Monday, December 31st, 2012

Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition)
Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition)

Sneak Peek: Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition)

Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition) ($34.00 for 10 x 0.03 oz.) includes ten of Urban Decay’s bestselling eyeshadows. It is an update of the original Ammo palette with the reformulated version of their eyeshadows, but all of the eyeshadows in this palette are exactly the same colors in the original–just with the newer formula. It comes with a travel-sized Good Karma Shadow Brush and Eyeshadow Primer Potion (0.13 fl. oz.) instead of a sponge-tipped applicator. It is also cheaper by $4 (original was $38 and all the shadows were the same size), which is certainly unusual.

I don’t have the original Ammo palette, so I could not compare them side-by-side. I will have a full review of this shortly, but I need to conclude testing the wear of the shades, and the eight hour mark is not until later this evening. For now, here are photos and swatches–please hold any questions until I have a chance to post the review.

It will be available in January 2013 at Sephora, ULTA, select Macy’s stores and online at sephora.com, ultra.com, macys.com, beauty.com, and urbandecay.com.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Makeup Palettes

There were actually a lot of fantastic palettes released this year! I already pulled up twenty that to consider for the top ten, and I had only reached August (I go backwards).  So here are my picks–and I tried to include a variety of brands that were all excellent, but full disclosure: could have easily included more bareMinerals, Guerlain, and another Tom Ford (Enchanted).

What was your favorite makeup palette from 2012?

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Pink Eyeliners
Pink Eyeliners: Tarina Tarantino Broken Doll, MAC Full of Fuchsia, MUFE #13L, UD Woodstock, UD Asphyxia

Pink Eyeliners: Your Guide

I didn’t have a lot of pink eyeliners, but these were the few that I did have, and you can see that within the five, there aren’t any dupes.

  1. TARINA TARANTINO BROKEN DOLL is a pale, shimmering pink. I didn’t find any dupes for it.
  2. MAC FULL OF FUCSHIA is a fuchsia pink with a subtle iridescent sheen. (LE)
  3. MAKE UP FOR EVER #13L is a medium pink with a metallic sheen. It is lighter than the other pinks.
  4. URBAN DECAY WOODSTOCK is a vibrant fuchsia-red pink with a metallic sheen. It is less cool-toned compared to MAC Full of Fuchsia.
  5. URBAN DECAY ASPHYXIA is a pinky-purple with a violet iridescence. (LE) Compared to these pinks, it is much purpler.

TEMPTALIA PICKS:  #1 (good for brightening), #4 (wears well)

Behind-the-Series:  It was my intention to provide heavy, opaque swatches to provide an accurate color comparison.  Some eyeliners required one pass, some required five, and a few even more.  When possible, the shade name (above) is linked to the original review so you can read more about the quality, wear, etc. of a particular eyeliner.  If we’ve never done a review, there will be no link.  Shades that were limited edition will be marked with “(LE)” and shades that were discontinued will be marked with “(DC)” after the color description.  You can also find all comparisons on The Dupe List.

What’s your favorite pink eyeliner? How do you like to use it?

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

White Eyeliners
White Eyeliners

White Eyeliners: Your Guide

In my stash, I had four matte white eyeliners and three shimmery/metallic white eyeliners, and I’ve compared them in this post.  The finding? The matte white eyeliners are completely dupes of each other across all four shades, while the metallic white eyeliners are nearly dupes of each other, with one being minutely less bright.  I like using white eyeliner to lighten other colors or to act as a base color when using eyeshadow on the lower lash line.

  1. DOLCE & GABBANA WHITE is a bright, creamy white. It is similar to the three other matte white pencils I have: MAC Pure White, MAC Fascinating, and NARS Santa Monica Blvd.
  2. MAC PURE WHITE is a crystal clear creamy white. It is similar to the three other matte white pencils I have: Dolce & Gabbana White, MAC Fascinating, and NARS Santa Monica Blvd.
  3. MAC FASCINATING is a bright white with a matte finish. It is similar to the three other matte white pencils I have: Dolce & Gabbana White, MAC Pure White, and NARS Santa Monica Blvd.
  4. NARS SANTA MONICA BLVD. is a pure white a matte finish. It is similar to the three other matte white pencils I have: Dolce & Gabbana White, MAC Pure White, and MAC Fascinating.
  5. URBAN DECAY YEYO is a silvery-white — it’s not 100% white on me, there is a little bit of silver sheen to it, but it’s close. It is very similar to Tarina Tarantino Crystal Gun; a touch starker compared to MUFE #14L.
  6. MAKE UP FOR EVER #14L is a brightened, metallic white. It is not quite as stark/bright compared to both UD Yeyo and Tarina Tarantino Crystal Gun–but realistically, the difference is nearly imperceptible when applied.
  7. TARINA TARANTINO CRYSTAL GUN is a bright, metallic-finished white.  It is exactly like UD Yeyo and a touch brighter compared to MUFE #14L.

TEMPTALIA PICKS:  #2 (wears the best), #5 (most pigmented, balanced between creamy/soft)

Behind-the-Series:  It was my intention to provide heavy, opaque swatches to provide an accurate color comparison.  Some eyeliners required one pass, some required five, and a few even more.  When possible, the shade name (above) is linked to the original review so you can read more about the quality, wear, etc. of a particular eyeliner.  If we’ve never done a review, there will be no link.  Shades that were limited edition will be marked with “(LE)” and shades that were discontinued will be marked with “(DC)” after the color description.  You can also find all comparisons on The Dupe List.

What’s your favorite white eyeliner? How do you like to use it?

See more swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Nude Eyeliners
Nude & Champagne Eyeliners

Nude & Champagne Eyeliners: Your Guide

Two years ago, I went through and swatched every eyeliner I owned by color, so that they could easily be compared.  It’s time for a re-do, because we have so many more shades to add to our comparisons!  Our first part of this on-going series is a comparison of the various nude and champagne eyeliners I have on hand.  This shade is typically used on the lower lash line or water line to help brighten and open up eyes.

  1. BAREMINERALS 5AM is a pewter–it’s a dirty, cool-toned gold with a silvered sheen. I didn’t expect it to be similar to anything here, but it didn’t fit well with golds either.
  2. MAC GILDED WHITE is a warm white gold with a metallic sheen. (LE)
  3. MAC NC15/NW20 is a light beige/fleshy shade. It is a hair darker than NARS Rue Bonaparte.
  4. MAC NW25/NC30 is a darker version of NW15/NC20. Almost looks like a darkened peach.  It is very similar to Givenchy #2.
  5. MAC NC42/NW35 is darker version of NW25/NC30. It looks a bit peachy/orange on me.
  6. GIVENCHY #2 is a warm, peachy beige with yellow-beige undertones and a mostly matte finish. It is comparable to MAC NW25/NC30.
  7. NARS RUE BONAPARTE is a soft beige with a matte finish. It is just barely lighter than MAC NC15/NW20.
  8. MAC I GET NO KICK is a soft champagne nude with a metallic sheen. (LE) It is ever-so-slightly warmer than MUFE #23L but very comparable to UD Midnight Cowboy.
  9. MAKE UP FOR EVER #23L is a shimmering golden champagne with a nearly metallic finish. This shade is slightly less warm compared to MAC I Get No Kick and UD Midnight Cowboy.
  10. URBAN DECAY MIDNIGHT COWBOY is a shimmering champagne peach with a subtle metallic sheen. (LE) This is most comparable to MAC I Get No Kick.  An alternative to this shade would be Urban Decay’s Shadow Pencil of the same name.

TEMPTALIA PICKS:  #1 (high quality), #3-6 (good formula), #9 (versatile, readily available)

Behind-the-Series:  These swatches should not be used to judge the quality of an eyeliner.  Some eyeliners required one pass, some required five, and a few even more.  It was my intention to provide heavy, opaque swatches to provide an accurate color comparison.  When possible, the shade name (above) is linked to the original review.  If we’ve never done a review, there will be no link.  Shades that were limited edition will be marked with “(LE)” and shades that were discontinued will be marked with “(DC)” after the color description.  You can also find all comparisons on The Dupe List.

What’s your favorite champagne/nude eyeliner?

See more swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Today, it was announced that L’Oreal has signed an agreement to buy Urban Decay Cosmetics. Urban Decay was founded in 1996, acquired by LVMH in 2000, then sold to private equity firm Castanea in 2009. L’Oreal owns several recognizable brands in the high-end market like Lancome, Kiehl’s, shu uemura, Giorgio Armani, and YSL. When it comes to this price point, adding Urban Decay into the mix makes a lot of sense of L’Oreal.  The Body Shop seems to be the only similarly-priced brand in their portfolio.  They also own L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York, and Essie, which can all be found at mass.

One concern among Urban Decay fans might be its stance on animal testing and how that might change over time.  While ultimately whether you buy or not will depend on your set of rules, but some brands under L’Oreal have no animal testing policies, including Giorgio Armani and The Body Shop (another brand that was acquired) were two readily identified. It is possible for Urban Decay to continue forward with their policy, but the parent company does still conduct animal testing; L’Oreal has significantly reduced its animal testing and has invested millions of dollars into alternative testing methods (source; also see L’Oreal’s developments here), though it has not ceased entirely.

Here is Urban Decay’s response: “Though our ownership is changing, our policies are not. We just spoke to both the CCIC and PETA, and will keep our cruelty-free bunny icons. Urban Decay is staying cruelty-free and proud.”

L’Oréal today announced the signing of an agreement with Castanea Partners to acquire Urban Decay.
Based in Newport Beach California, Urban Decay, created in 1996 by make-up expert Wende Zomnir, has built a reputation based on the concept of “beauty with an edge” and values of femininity and irreverence. The line has star products in the eye category such as the Naked Palette and recently successfully launched its new foundation, the Naked Skin weightless liquid make-up. Urban Decay is popular among the youthful highly-involved cutting-edge consumers who are attracted by the fashion-forward image of the brand. The market for make-up specialist brands represents 44% of the luxury make-up market in the US.

In the fiscal year ended in June 2012, Urban Decay recorded net sales of 130 million US dollars.

“Urban Decay will beautifully complement L’Oréal Luxe’s portfolio of iconic brands. It is the make-up specialist we needed to fully satisfy young women in search of playful colors and inspiration in selective distribution, at an accessible price point. It is totally additional to our existing propositions and as such it will contribute significantly to the growth of the Division in the years to come,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, President L’Oréal Luxe.

Urban Decay is distributed in the key assisted self-service channel which includes among others Ulta and Sephora. It is one of the fastest growing segments in the US luxury retail universe. Urban Decay is also strong in e-commerce with http://www.urbandecay.com/ and http://www.sephora.com/.

Frédéric Rozé CEO L’Oréal USA said, “Thanks to the acquisition of Urban Decay, the Group will strengthen its position in two very dynamic distribution channels in the USA, ie assisted self-service and e-commerce. We look forward to this new and exciting opportunity.” In the US, Urban Decay will report to Carol Hamilton, President of L’Oréal Luxe USA.

“L’Oréal’s strong innovation capabilities and presence in every channel of distribution will enable Urban Decay to reach its full potential in the marketplace,” added Tim Warner, General Manager, Urban Decay. “Together, we have great ambitions for the future.”

The closing is subject to regulatory approval which is expected by the end of the year. — L’Oreal