Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Splendid Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Splendid Lipstick

The Summer Season: Dolce & Gabbana Splendid Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Splendid Lipstick ($30.00) is an opaque, medium pink that’s bright enough to attract attention to your pout, but not so bright it’s obnoxious.  This is a nice in-between pink that’s good for wearability in particular.  I love that it’s such a nice medium pink but still opaque.  It also has a glossy sheen without being shimmery.  All Dolce & Gabbana lipsticks are rose-scented, for the scent-wary.  I like it, but I’ve yet to run into a fragranced lipstick I don’t like.  I get four to five hours of wear with this lipstick formula, too, which is a bit above average.

Is this the right pink for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Friday, July 9th, 2010

An Underappreciated Lancome Blush

Lancome Shimmer Mandarin Sky Blush ($29.50 for 0.18 oz.) is one of the prettiest shades of coral-pink with peachy-gold shimmer and sheen. Even though it seems reminiscent of such cult favorites as NARS Orgasm and MAC Springsheen, the way the gold sheen reflects light makes it stand out. It’s so wearable you could wear it as an everyday blush, but it can be worn subtly or intensely, depending on the look you’re going for. It blends beautifully with skin because of the soft, smooth texture of the powder. I always forget how gorgeous this shade is until I pull it out. It’s even pretty in the pan, but it’s truly at its best when worn. Very glowy without being shimmery.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of coral blush, definitely check this shade out next time you’re near a Lancome counter or Boutique.

AVAILABILITY: Lancome, Macy’s, Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish

Ahh, finally! Operation Stereo Rose was a success. Not only did I get to meet several amazing Temptalia readers at my local MAC, but I was able to pick up the Stereo Rose I put on hold!

Stereo Rose is a lightly pinked coral with a golden-bronze sheen. I actually found it difficult to dupe, particularly because the texture is very smooth with a soft sheen rather than obvious shimmer. Ironically, the best dupe I was able to find was mixing Comfort and Petticoat together. NARS Luster also came close, but it lacks the pinkness of Stereo Rose. MAC New Vibe also comes close, but it’s significantly more pigmented/darker a well as redder than Stereo Rose–so perhaps if used lightly, you could come close.

It’s pretty, and it’s easily worn everyday by itself for a nice pop of color and sheen on the cheeks.  It doesn’t emphasize pores, and it doesn’t look orange, either.   It’s not the most amazing blush I ever used, but it is a nice one to have if you’re able to get one.  I don’t think I would drive ten hours to grab one, though ;)

Were you able to snag one yourself? Is it all that and more? Disappointed?

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

NARS Funny Face Lipstick
NARS Funny Face Lipstick

The Summer Season: NARS Funny Face Lipstick

NARS Funny Face Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a brightened cherry-fuchsia with an iridescent fuchsia sheen.  It’s an opaque, rich color that’s bright and pink and red and fuchsia all at the same time.  It wears well and leaves behind a stain after two to three hours as it begins to fade, because it is so pigmented.  It’s scent- and taste-free, though there was a slight waxy scent (but I don’t attribute that as fragrance).  Not ultra moisturizing but not drying either–smooth application and no bleeding.

Is this the right pink for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

NARS Fall 2010 Collection

NARS Fall 2010 Collection

When it comes to describing fashionista Daphne Guinness, François Nars’ passion knows no boundaries. And when it came to designing and photographing this futuristic makeup look for Fall 2010, François created a look worthy of his leading lady.

Central to this ultra-sophisticated, ethereal look: A canvas of impeccably, smooth skin. Under Nars’ direction, Makeup Artist Kabuki primed the skin with line-erasing Skin Smoothing Face Prep, followed by a base of Siberia Sheer Matte Foundation and finally a light application of Snow Loose Powder. To contour Daphne’s complexion, he dusted Douceur Blush to the cheeks and blended it with the Yachiyo Brush.

To create scintillatingly dramatic eyes, Kabuki applied a coat of Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base, followed by a wash of Daphne Single Eyeshadow. Using the Wide Contour Brush, he built color and intensity along the outer eye. For brightness in the inner eye, he applied Mangrove Single Eyeshadow and lightly lined the top and bottom lashes with Nuits Blanches Eyeliner Stylo. Brows were defined with Ipanema Eyebrow Pencil. The look was finished off with two coats of Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara to both the top and bottom lashes. The pièce de résistance: Daphne’s lips, stained with Rouge Basque Lipstick and highlighted with Scandal Lip Gloss for ultimate shine and fullness.

Douceur Blush ($26.00)

A soft pink-brown hue that lightly imparts a honeyed brown kiss of innocence on cheeks. Unique to the Fall 2010 collection, the powder is lightly etched with the NARS logo. Use to contour from the apple of the cheek upward; warm forehead, jaw line and nose.

Daphne Eyeshadow ($23.00)

Style icon. Designer. Model. Heiress of haute couture. Named after Daphne Guinness herself—François Nars’ inimitable muse—this hypnotizing matte, deep-violet single eyeshadow exudes excitement. Apply liberally across the lid up to the brow, blending outward. Head-turning.

Mangrove Eyeshadow ($23.00) (Limited Edition)

The magnificence of this tropical tree, captured in the softest, mellow yellow laced with lime. Richly pigmented and crease-resistant, use this single eyeshadow to highlight the inner corner of the eye, as a bright base shade for the lid or to diffuse a deeper shade by sweeping it into the bridge.

Coconut Grove Eyeshadow ($23.00)

Grooving in the Grove—Miami’s magical neighborhood on Biscayne Bay—has attracted musicians, artists, and writers for decades. Dense, dramatic, and daring, this dark chocolate-cum-taupe confection increases depth on the lid and doubles as a lash liner when used wet.

Rouge Basque Lipstick ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

Inspired by the inside cover of a book from the famed French countryside, François Nars envisioned the quintessential red from the Basque region. The result is lipstick with a luminous satin finish. It is as deeply pigmented as the region’s history and as bold as the wine for which the area is known. Pair with NARS pencils, or apply with a NARS lip brush.

Strawberry Fields Lip Gloss ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

Imagine juicy, mouthwatering strawberries, just picked. Then delight in the serious, yet sexy shine of this bright pink confection. Worn alone or over NARS lip products, the gloss’ Vitamin-E enriched formula seals in moisture. Lips feel supple and hydrated.

Palladium Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

Once the NYC hot-spot, characterized by glamour, glitz, and decadence. This sparkling turquoise soft touch shadow pencil rocks with all the vibrancy and sex appeal of its namesake. Layer it with other NARS eye products—or go it alone—to line, accent, highlight or illuminate unforgettable eyes.

Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00)

Love, sex and power. Russia’s empresses had it all. Inspired by royalty, the eyeshadow duo pairs the majesty of platinum gold infused with silver reflections with a bold, steel grey. Swipe and shadow along the upper lid or smudge along the lower. Positively regal.

Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00) (Limited Edition)

Sacred temples and scorching deserts. Bengalese tigers and Bagaru prints. India’s largest state fascinates and tantalizes. Like its namesake, the Rajasthan Eyeshadow duo is an exotic palette, playing glazed almond against cool charcoal. Worn solo, blended or layered, the look signals drama.

Availability: July 15th @ NARS Cosmetics

See more photos and Q&A with Francois Nars! Continue reading →

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

MAC In the Groove Collection: Overall Review & Round-up

In the Groove debuts in-store on Thursday, July 8th, but it’s been online since Tuesday morning.  It’s a pretty massive launch with over thirty pieces and nearly all of them new and limited edition.  Personally, it feels too big–it’s a little overwhelming and hard to focus on which products really stand out amongst the rest.

These are definitely some of the better formulated mineralize products that MAC has put out.  I say this as someone who is, generally, not a fan of mineralize eyeshadows.  I have always found them to look pretty in the pan than in practice–even using them wet never generated the look and feel I wanted out of them.  The payoff on the lids is very much like what you see in a swatch–it doesn’t look faded.  I also noticed that these were significantly less powdery and have a creamier, buttery texture.


Video review… grab some popcorn–it’s about 10 minutes longer than I wanted!

I think the pigmentation is good across the board with a couple of misses, and it’s important to realize that there really aren’t any bright, in-your-face kind of shades here.  These are softer, subtler shades–more universally wearable–and the textures reflect that.

The blushes aren’t too glittery, though they’re all shimmery, but you can choose your shimmer level, since only half of each duo is really shimmery.  If you’re more of a matte or semi-matte finish kind of person for cheeks, I’d recommend skipping the blushes and mineralize skinfinishes.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves:In the Groove Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio, Making It Easy Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio, Happy Together Blush Duo, By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish, Jazzed Lipstick

Nice-to-haves:Togetherness Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio, Love to Love Mineralize Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio, Band of Roses Blush Duo, Hang Loose Blush Duo, Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish, Petticoat Mineralize Skinfinish, Chillin’ Cremesheen Glass

Skip: Cool, Calm, Collected Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio

Skip if…

  • Skip ALL STYLED UP if you have VIVA GLAM GAGA, SAINT GERMAIN, SNOB, OR REAL DOLL.  (They are not 100% identical, but they are all in the same family and very close.)
  • Skip GO FOR IT if you have VIOLETTA (PRO)–unless you want something sheerer and less red-toned.
  • Skip the CREMESHEEN GLASSES if you want pigmented lip color.  They are not it.
  • Skip JAZZED if you have RAVISHING (permanent) & VEGAS VOLT (permanent)–you can mix the two to get something very similar.
  • Skip I LIKE IT LIKE THAT if you get ALL STYLED UP (or vice versa) but you don’t need both.
  • Skip CALL MY BLUFF if you have FRESH BREW–it’s a smidgen cooler and they have different finishes.
  • Skip YOU’VE GOT IT if you have CHAI (permanent)–unless you prefer a non-sticky texture.
  • Skip HANG LOOSE if you have WELL-DRESSED (permanent)–unless you want more shimmer.
  • Skip BAND OF ROSES if you have DOLLYMIX (permanent)–but the former is more versatile as you can lighten/darken as you desire.
  • Skip STYLE INFLUENCER if you have DEEP TRUTH (permanent) or one of its many limited edition variations.

Don’t forget to…

Check your stash for CREME D’NUDE (permanent), BY CANDLELIGHT (from Warm & Cozy), STEREO ROSE (from Goldplay), COMFORT (from Warm& Cozy), PETTICOAT (from Sheer Minerals).

Recommendations by Skin Tone

  • Best Picks for Lighter Skin Tones: Cool, Calm, Collected Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio, Making it Easy Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio, Hang Loose Blush Duo, Band of Roses Blush Duo, By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish, Petticoat Mineralize Skinfinish, Going Casual Cremesheen Glass, All Styled Up Lipstick, Creme d’Nude Lipstick
  • Best Picks for Medium Skin Tones: Love to Love Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio, Making it Easy Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio, Happy Together Blush Duo, Band of Roses Blush Duo, Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish, Right Image Cremesheen Glass, Jazzed Lipstick
  • Best Picks for Darker Skin Tones: Togetherness Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio, Blue My Mind Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio, A Little Bit of Sunshine Blush Duo, Band of Roses Blush Duo, Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish, Comfort Mineralize Skinfinish, You’ve Got It Cremesheen Glass, Go For It Lipstick

Product Photos, Swatches, & Reviews

What are you loving? What are you looking forward to?