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The Tempting 10 — September 2013 Edition

September is the beginning of all things autumn for me. The temperatures have already started to cool down by me, though it’s still warm overall, the nights are cooling down. I’ve always been partial to September, as I am a September baby 🙂 Usually, the real start of fall begins with my first sip of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, but they already brought it back (and it was delicious!). By this point, I’ve typically reviewed several fall color collections, which is perfect timing so I can include some of those favorites while they can still be purchased. This month’s Tempting 10 features more recently released shades from the fall collections, but I still wanted to highlight a few favorites that you can find all year-long.

  1. Dior Millenium — a shimmering warm-toned, pewter in a cream formula that can be used as a sheer wash or built up for more intensity.
  2. Sugarpill Cold Chemistry Palette — it is such a perfect mix of deep, smoky shades for fall with excellent color payoff across the board.
  3. Color Club Beyond — a deep, warm, smoky gray-black with holographic shimmer–like ash from a crackling fireplace with dancing, fiery bits of shimmer.
  4. Urban Decay Vice — a rich, plummy purple polish with a soft, shimmering pearl.
  5. Milani Purr-fect Purple — a vibrant, rich purple eyeshadow with shimmer–perfect for accenting the eye!
  6. Tom Ford Love Lust — it’s a warmer, more muted coral, so it’s a lovely transition shade from summer to fall
  7. Guerlain Madame Batifole — creamy, hydrating, incredibly pigmented, and long-wearing makes this a rich, fuchsia-shimmered berry-red a true joy to wear.
  8. Tom Ford She-Wolf — it’s pricey, but not only is it a palette I could easily see myself reaching for time and time again, it was a palette that readers gravitated towards. It was easily one of the most viewed products from all fall color collections!
  9. Benefit Rockateur — a rose gold blush is subtle, wears well, and reminds me of the colors of autumn; rusty in a way, but still warm and inviting.
  10. Too Faced Pretty Rebel Palette — ten glorious shades of bold, bright, eye-catching shadows with buttery, soft, and smooth textures and excellent color payoff.

I hope you’ll consider sharing your must-haves for September in the comments! Here’s a quickie list to get you started…

Must-Have Eye Products:
Must-Have Cheek/Face Products:
Must-Have Lip Products:
Must-Have Hair/Skin Products:

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Giorgio Armani #701 Flash Lip Lacquer

Giorgio Armani #701 Flash Lip Lacquer
Giorgio Armani #701 Flash Lip Lacquer

Giorgio Armani #701 Flash Lip Lacquer ($29.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a medium-dark bluish-gray base with multi-colored shimmer and pearl (predominantly aqua, blue, and violet). On lips, this translates into a smoky, plummy purple tint to the lip color, plus an array of violet and blue shimmer. MAC Karin is less gray, less multi-color in shimmer. MAC Boys Go Crazy is purpler. Giorgio Armani #604 has a similar tint to lips but no shimmer. See comparison swatches.

If you tend to get intrigued by unusual colors, this is a very cool gloss. And as a result of it being semi-opaque, it can really add a versatile tool to your arsenal for layering. It will instantly add drama to any lip color, plus dazzling shimmer that looks like water when the sun hits it. The consistency is lightweight, comfortable to wear with a cushy, gel-like texture that is very lightly tacky but not full-on sticky. The shine lasts longer than the average gloss–three to four hours–and the shimmer and color linger for another hour or so. I had a total wear time of five hours with this shade, and it was lightly hydrating during that time. The biggest downside is that the sheer, darker color does settle into lip lines, though I think the amount of shimmer helped to camouflage some of it, and it was not too noticeable from afar (but you’ll definitely see it in the close-ups). I didn’t detect any scent or taste with the formula.

Giorgio Armani Flash Lip Lacquer #701
#701
#701
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
87%
Total

Round-up: MAC Pro Longwear, Retro Matte, & MAC x Antonio Lopez Collections


MAC Retro Matte Collection

Pro Longwear

Online now (for maccosmetics.com), online shortly at other online retailers; in-stores on September 5th.

Retro Matte Collection

Online NOW at maccosmetics.com; online next week for online retailers; in-stores on September 12th.  As a heads-up, all the new shades are showing up under the “limited edition” tab, which only further confuses everyone on what (if any?) shades are permanent or not.

Antonio Lopez

It may be online this week along with Retro Matte, but I wasn’t given a specific online date (they have been launching approximately one week prior to the in-store date). This collection will be in-stores on September 12th.

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MAC Retro Matte Pro Longwear Lip Pencils

MAC Retro Matte Pro Longwear Lip Pencils
MAC Retro Matte Pro Longwear Lip Pencils

The MAC Retro Matte Collection also includes eight shades of Pro Longwear Lip Pencils ($19.50 for 0.04 oz.), and five the shades (all featured in this post) are new. The collection will launch online the week of September 3rd and in-stores on September 12th (North America), and September 2013 for international locations. There is some uncertainty whether all shades are permanent or only some; the answer I received from MAC’s PR was some, which is what I’ve gone with, but the nearest counter/store are both saying all are permanent.

The Pro Longwear Lip Pencils tend to have good color coverage, apply evenly overall, but they aren’t super creamy lip pencils, so they can skip, drag, and tug.  They’re not the worst, but they’re not the most comfortable to apply or wear alone.  I like them best underneath lipstick or gloss, as you get the benefits of a lip pencil–longer wear, more even color fade, no feathering/bleeding–without the drawbacks of wearing it alone. The formula is not one I would opt to wear alone because of how drying they are by themselves, and honestly, they have a drier texture that tends to cling to lips and doesn’t look as flattering.  Even the Retro Mattes, though sometimes drying, look smoother applied.  I wish they were creamier during application with more of a set/dry down, so you could achieve really even, smooth color that still wore and lasted well. I prepped by slathering lips with lip balm while sleeping (I used Hourglass’ Lip Oil, actually) and wearing lip balm for a half hour prior to applying (blotting off immediately prior to applying the lip pencil).

On their own, I’ve found that while they wear like iron–topping in anywhere from six to ten hours–the wear can be less flattering over time, as it flakes off in areas, rather than a gradual fade.  The deeper colors stain, too, and so when they do, the fading appears more even as the product wears away.  These feel like they shrink or cling to the lips, which is why I really think they are best underneath other lip products.  I ended up wearing a lot of these two at a time (half on one side, half on the other), because after wearing one alone (and after all seven of the Retro Mattes), my lips weren’t going to make it through another four standalone tests.

Wearing them underneath lipstick adds anywhere from an extra hour to three hours, depending on the shortness of the lipstick to begin with and lighter shades always disappear faster.  How drying the lip pencil is also can be mitigated by wearing a more hydrating formula on top or patting on lip balm and/or a hydrating gloss throughout the day.

Dynamo is described as a “bright peony.”  It’s a bright, medium-dark coral-pink with a matte finish.  The consistency is slightly dry but is able to cover with even, opaque color without too dragging or skipping around.  On its own, it lasted well for seven hours.  I’m not familiar with many coral lip liners, and Urban Decay Streak is really the only one I could think of, but it is not similar to this shade.

Fashion Boost is described as a “bright purple cream.”  It’s a vibrant, medium-dark magenta purple with strong fuchsia undertones and a barely-there satin sheen. It had mostly opaque color coverage, but I couldn’t quite get 100% even, opaque color. It lasted seven hours and faded slightly unevenly.  Urban Decay Anarchy is brighter, pinker. MAC Heroine is very similar–a touch more muted but just barely.  See comparison swatches.

High Energy is described as a “bright orange red cream.”  It’s a medium-dark, orange-red with a matte finish.  It was slightly dry in consistency but didn’t skip too badly, and I was able to get opaque color that was very even overall.  This shade wore well for eight hours but was drying on its own.  Urban Decay Bang is slightly more orange. MAC Throw Me a Line is more muted. MAC Ablaze is slightly more muted.   See comparison swatches.

Shock Value is described as a “bright pink cream.”  More like a bright–nearly neon–light-medium, blue-based pink with strong fuchsia/magenta tones.  It’s definitely pink, but it’s almost so blue-based that it looks magenta.  This one was creamier than the others, but it tended to cling to itself as applied (seemed a little tackier than others).  I highly recommend blotting with a tissue before you press lips together to avoid the product sticking and lifting from areas on the lip.  This shade wore for eight hours well, though it was painful to remove and wear. I couldn’t think of any similar lip pencils to this shade, but I have no doubt it would pair well with MAC Candy Yum Yum and its dupes.

Trust in Red is described as a “bright cool red cream.”  It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned red with blue undertones.  It’s actually a bit muted–not as bright/bold as you’d expect.  It had mostly opaque, even color coverage, was somewhat drying when worn, and lasted for eight hours and stained.  Urban Decay 69 is not as blue-based, darker. MAC Cherry is darker. MAC Freehand is darker, less blue-based.  See comparison swatches.

MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil Dynamo
Dynamo
Dynamo
8
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
90%
Total
MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil Fashion Boost
8
Product
9
Pigmentation
8
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
84%
Total
MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil High Energy
High Energy
High Energy
8
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
91%
Total
MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil Shock Value
Shock Value
Shock Value
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
92%
Total
MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil Trust in Red
Trust in Red
Trust in Red
8
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
89%
Total

Make Up For Ever #146 Flat Blush Brush Review & Photos

Make Up For Ever #146 Flat Blush Brush
Make Up For Ever #146 Flat Blush Brush

Make Up For Ever #146 Flat Blush Brush ($37.00) is described as a “medium, trapezoid-shaped brush” that is designed to be used with loose and press powders. By its name, one would expect primarily using this with blush, as it is designed for buildable coverage. Make Up For Ever also recommends using it for face painting. The brush head is 26mm tall, 33mm wide (at the top, which is widest point), and 10mm thick with a pinched ferrule. It has a total length of 7.25 inches/18 centimeters.  The brush’s shape is flat, almost a square but slightly flared outwards–like a trapezoid, but it is a squatter one than I envision with just the word “trapezoid.”  It had soft bristles at the tips, and the bristles length-wise were fairly soft but you could “feel” the individual bristles slightly (they didn’t blend together as seamlessly).

I think the shape is somewhat large for a blush applicator, and it’s definitely best for just initially applying color to the cheek and less useful for blending or diffusing blush color. It splays out unevenly, is an odd mix of stiff and springy that never quite blends or applies the way you’d expect. It just seems to make applying blush harder than it is with other blush brushes (with more typical brush heads). I just received another blush brush from the range late last week, so I’m testing that one as well to see if that works better for blush application. I can see the flatter shape working better for face painting, though, and to that end, it was nice for applying liquid primer or moisturizer (I tried with Illamasqua’s Hydra Veil).

There’s something about this brush that felt off, because no matter how many washes (I’ve washed it a dozen times now with four different cleansers), it always feel a somewhat oily or greasy. I can press the brushes together, and it molds that way until I squish the brushes in another way. As of now, this is the only Make Up For Ever brush that I’m having this issue with, so it might be a one-off or more specific to the flatter brush shapes.  I just received a few other face brushes, so I’ll have a better idea of the context of this issue in a couple of weeks.

See more photos!

MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks (Part 2)

MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks
MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks

Here are the remaining three new shades from the MAC Retro Matte Collection, which will launch online the week of September 3rd and in-stores on September 12th (North America), and September 2013 for international locations.

Relentlessly Red is described as a “bright pinkish coral matte.”  It’s a brightened, medium-dark coral-red that almost looks cool-toned on me.  It had opaque color payoff, and the consistency was slightly dry with some drag when applied but with firm pressure, it will slide across lips well enough.  It lasted seven hours and left a stained behind.  It was somewhat drying.  MAC All Fired Up is definitely similar at a glance, and I think their undertones are slightly different, so it’s going to be a shade that may look more or less similar depending on your coloring and natural color of your lips.  All Fired Up is slightly pinker, less red/warm-toned but just barely. MAC Party Parrot is pinker. MAC Love Goddess is less matte. Guerlain Gigi is pinker, less matte. Guerlain Gourmandise is less red.  See comparison swatches.

Runway Hit is described as a “light nude matte.”  It’s a light-medium coral with a hint of pink, warm undertones, and a matte finish. It had mostly opaque color, and I always find the lighter shades to be less forgiving on lips–somehow they’re a little drier.  This shade wore well for four and a half hours and did not stain.  It was slightly drying when worn for me and faded unevenly.  MAC Flavour is slightly lighter. NARS Bolero is lighter. NARS Montego Bay is not quite as matte. See comparison swatches.

Steady Going is described as a “light pink matte.”  It’s a cool-toned, blue-based, cotton candy pink with a matte finish.  It had opaque color coverage, but like Runway Hit it felt drier and was less forgiving on the lips.  It wore for four and a half hours but was slightly drying during that time.  I noticed that both shades faded somewhat unevenly and left more color on the outer edge of the lip. MAC Raspberry Swirl is lighter, less matte. Maybelline Pink Pop is less matte. MAC Asian Flower is purpler, less matte. MAC Divine Choice is less blue-based, less matte.  MAC Pink Nouveau is less matte, cooler-toned. MAC Naughty Saute is less matte, slightly more blue-based. See comparison swatches.

Repeated from part one:

The MAC Retro Matte Collection brings back MAC’s Retro Matte with a vengeance, as it includes seven new shades in the finish. The collection will launch online the week of September 3rd and in-stores on September 12th (North America), and September 2013 for international locations. There is some uncertainty whether all shades are permanent or only some; the answer I received from MAC’s PR was some, which is what I’ve gone with, but the nearest counter/store are both saying all are permanent. Each lipstick retails for $15.00 and contains 0.10 oz.

If you love the Retro Matte formula, then enjoy and purchase these–I felt like these four were consistent with the formula in general, though creamier than a Retro Matte from five years ago (or older), and are similar to the consistencies of the Retro Matte finishes released with RiRi Loves MAC. The real downside to the Retro Matte formula (in my experience, of course) is that they are drying. I’ve worn nothing but these since getting them on the 29th, and if it weren’t for catching up on hydration while I was sleeping (thank you, Jack Black!), it would be difficult to keep wearing this formula back-to-back. They have great pigmentation and wear exceptionally long, but for me, I would rather wear a more hydrating formula, or if I was aiming for matte, a formula that isn’t drying (Burberry Lip Velvets come to mind).

The always lovely xSparkage has a fantastic tutorial on making your lip color last that uses loose powder (and lip pencil) to really set and lock down the lip color, which also makes it appear matte, that can pretty much turn most of your favorite lipsticks into a long-wearing, mostly matte version. This is the same thing I do when I need all-day color and want to touch up very, very minimally (like at a conference).

MAC Lipstick Relentlessly Red
8
Product
10
Pigmentation
8
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total
MAC Lipstick Runway Hit
Runway Hit
Runway Hit
7.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4
Application
82%
Total
MAC Lipstick Steady Going
Steady Going
Steady Going
7.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4
Application
83%
Total

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