Thursday, May 24th, 2012

On June 18th, sun care products will undergo new labeling requirements.  Olay has created a helpful infographic about some of the upcoming changes to sunscreen labeling as well as sun care, and the amount of concise, easy-to-understand information on it was great to see in my inbox this morning. This is not an advertorial, which means Temptalia receives no compensation for posting this. Though it contains call-outs to the brand, it does have excellent non-brand specific information that is very useful and digestible.

From the FDA:  The final regulations, which become effective June 18, 2012, establish a standard test for over-the-counter (sold without a prescription) sunscreen products that will determine which products are allowed to be labeled as “Broad Spectrum.”

However, to avert a shortage of sunscreen in the upcoming months, FDA has extended the compliance dates for testing and labeling until Dec. 17, 2012 for most over-the-counter sunscreen products. This decision followed a review of timelines and other data submitted by trade associations representing sunscreen manufacturers.

Here are some additional links for information from the FDA:


Click image for full infographic

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

By Renee Rouleau, Skincare Expert and Esthetician

Renée Rouleau has been helping men, women and teens attain healthy, glowing, beautiful skin for more than twenty years.

Her philosophy is simple: With the proper tools, effective products and a disciplined approach, anyone can have great skin.

She provides regular skincare advice and tips on her blog, too!

Five Things to Know about Sunscreen

Did you know that you can get a 50 percent decrease in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, when sunscreen is applied daily? (Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology) Since May is National is National Melanoma Month, it’s the perfect time to integrate a healthy sun protection approach into the daily skin care routine. Not only is it good for your health, sun protection is the #1 anti-aging product I recommend to my clients. It prevents premature wrinkles, reduces the chances of getting sun spots and hyperpigmentation and is a must for the sake of your health. Here’s five things you need to know about sunscreen to ensure you’re getting the best protection for your skin:

1. Sunscreen must be applied generously. In order for SPF to truly protect the skin and prevent the harmful UV rays from damaging the skin, the formula has to be applied generously or it will not provide adequate protection. If you have a sunscreen that feels too heavy on your skin (which so many can), you’ll probably only apply a small amount and you’re not doing your skin any good. The goal is to find a sunscreen that doesn’t use heavy emollients so as not to leave a greasy residue. That way, you can be heavy-handed when using it (as you should be) but you’re not left feeling oily. This is why Renée Rouleau broad-spectrum Daily Protection SPF 30 is one of our best-selling products. It actually dries to a matte finish and never, ever leaves a residue. If you have oily, acne-prone skin, this one is for you.

2. Don’t get overly confident with a high SPF number. With so many companies launching high SPF number sunscreens, it creates a lot of confusion as to which number is the best in protecting the skin. Did you know that an SPF 30 offers only 4% more protection than an SPF 30, and an SPF 45 offers just 2% more? High SPF number sunscreens like an SPF 50 or 100 can give people a false sense of protection and therefore may not be applied generously enough to do its job. While I do suggest using a minimum of SPF 30, it has far more to do with how generously you apply it than the number. (By the way, the FDA is proposing to limit the maximum SPF on labels to 50.)

3. Sunscreen built in your foundation makeup is just not enough. If you apply a regular non-SPF moisturizer to the face and then apply a foundation with an SPF over it, the sunscreen in the makeup has a difficult time penetrating through the moisturizer to effectively coat and protect the skin cells. Plus, most people only apply foundation makeup sparingly so you may not be getting the full protection anyway. I highly suggest using a sunscreen moisturizer directly on the skin first to adequately deliver the specified SPF (as long as you apply it generously) and then apply foundation makeup with sunscreen, then finished off with SPF-infused mineral powder.

4. Sunscreens degrade from sunlight and your skin’s natural oil. Many sunscreen formulas degrade with exposure to UV light. The daily oil produced on the skin (especially on the nose which is the oiliest area of the face) can also cause sunscreen to breakdown. This is why reapplying sunscreen every few hours is so necessary. However, reapplying often is not always practical. Are you supposed to wash your face, reapply sunscreen, reapply makeup and repeat this every two hours during the day? Not so easy. The fastest, easiest, and most effective way to ensure that your skin is protected all day is to dust the skin every few hours with a good mineral powder formulated with sunscreen. They are considered “dry” sunscreens and make reapplying very simple. My personal favorite (and the one I use faithfully) is ColoreScience, because it’s endorsed by The Skin Cancer Foundation and contains SPF 50. I don’t use it as my makeup, even though it has a light tint, but rather as a light powder over my regular makeup to give a good physical block of protection to my skin.

5. If you’re prone to sensitivity or breakouts, choose a sunscreen formula with Zinc Oxide. Of all the categories of skin care products, sunscreens are the most likely to cause negative skin reactions on the skin. And mostly, it’s rashes or acne breakouts from the use of sunscreen. The good news is there have been a lot of advancements in sun protecting ingredients, so if you still shy away from sunscreens because of past bad experiences, you just haven’t found the right one yet—but they are out there. My skin is oily in the t-zone, and even at 42, my oil production hasn’t slowed down too much yet. I have my own built-in moisturizer (the oil) which is considered to be a good thing, but I also have to be very careful because I’m definitely very sensitive, prone to breakouts and clogged pores. So using a lightweight, gentle sunscreen is an absolute must for me and the best ingredient to offer that is Zinc Oxide. It’s chemical-free, won’t clog the pores, offers excellent UV protection and never leaves the skin feeling greasy. Also of the two chemical-free sunscreen ingredients, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, Zinc is better for skin of color as it won’t leave a white-ish cast on the skin that Titanium Dioxide can.

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

By Dustin Hunter, Makeup Artist

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Dustin Hunter has been designing various media since his early teen years. Studying several different art forms, Hunter’s creative background ranges from illustration and photography to fashion and interior design to music production and makeup artistry. He has worked for over a decade as a professional illustrator and his retail interior design concepts have been featured in nation-wide publications, receiving recognition for their uniqueness and creativity.  Check out his blog and YouTube channel!


5 Expert Tips for Prom Makeup

While I don’t do prom looks much anymore, in high school it wasn’t uncommon for me to have an hour or two set aside before each dance for doing my friends’ makeup.  Here are some of the earliest lessons that I learned on my own… all those many, many, many, many, many years ago.

PROM TIP #1: Pick one, lips or eyes?

The simplest way to start your makeup look is to choose an area to focus on: lips or eyes. In beauty makeup, you typically focus on one and downplay the other to create a natural balance. Want to wear a bold and dramatic eye look? Pair it with a muted lip instead of a bold one. Just remember that “muted” doesn’t mean concealer-mouth, land of the dead lips either! Über pale lips can be just as “bold” as bright red ones.

PROM TIP #2: Play up your best features.

If you can’t decide on an area to focus on, think about your favorite features. Every girl I’ve ever known has had a part of their face they love best. Usually, it’s lips or eyes (often we will draw attention to these areas when talking to someone we’re attracted to by placing a pen near the mouth or resting fingertips at the temples, “pointing” at the eyes). If you have an area of your mug that you love most, then choose that as the focal point for your makeup.

PROM TIP #3: Match the frame with the painting, not with the furniture.

Nothing is stopping you from matching your eyeshadow to your dress (lots of women do), but if you find yourself struggling, choose colors that complement your natural coloring (hair, eyes, and skin) instead. It will look more effortlessly flattering. One of MY favorite beauty books is “Color Me Beautiful” by Carole Jackson. It’s an oldie, but believe it or not, still has some solid tips for matching your makeup to your coloring (it’s also a really fun read, especially if you can get your hands on one of the original editions from the 70s)!

PROM TIP #4: What to bring in your purse.

Blot papers instead of powder help keep the shine under control without adding layer upon layer of powder, which will build up and look cakey.  But do bring powder, though, because it is a good idea to use it right before photos are taken, along with lipstick and/or gloss, cream concealer for emergencies, travel-size can of hairspray, breath mints, and make sure something you have has a mirror in it!

PROM TIP #5: Photo time!

Avoid MSF-style, high-shine powders when you’re doing your makeup. A natural glow is good (I LOVE shine on the skin), but if you’re going to have photos taken, you run the risk of looking greasy or sweaty instead of glowing. Matte is always a safer bet for photos (especially conveyor-belt style photography like you’ll find at a dance). Pick your foundation and powder carefully. Products with a SPF rating often use ingredients like titanium dioxide in them that will bounce light back in flash photography, making you appear several shades lighter than you are.

Most of all, remember that being comfortable is one of the most important parts of looking good. If you feel uneasy in bright red lipstick, it will show, and you won’t have a good time. It doesn’t matter what anyone else things as long as you like it! Oh… but also… Don’t dress like a baby hooker! You know who you are. I’ve seen you at the mall on prom night looking like the first 15 minutes of Pretty Woman. It’s not grown-up looking and the rest of us talk about you behind your back. Yes… yes, we do. Have fun!

Friday, January 20th, 2012

By Renee Rouleau, Skincare Expert and Esthetician

Renée Rouleau has been helping men, women and teens attain healthy, glowing, beautiful skin for more than twenty years.

Her philosophy is simple: With the proper tools, effective products and a disciplined approach, anyone can have great skin.

She provides regular skincare advice and tips on her blog, too!

Six Skin Habits You Should Unlearn for 2012

As a skin care expert and celebrity esthetician with 25 years of hands-on experience, I have observed and heard many bad skin habits through the years. Here’s six of the most common habits I hear, and ones that should be broken to ensure your skin is healthy, balanced and glowing.

1) Tugging at the delicate eye area.

The eye area is the thinnest skin of any area on the face, and it’s the first to show the signs of aging, so when people pull on the skin when they put in their contacts, apply eyeliner, or rub aggressively on the area when removing stubborn eye makeup, this can unnecessarily create wear and tear on the collagen and elasticity fibers within the skin. These habits may cause visible lines and wrinkles prematurely, so be sure to treat this delicate area with care.

2) Misting, not wiping, your skin when using toner.

While I understand a lot of people have gotten in the habit of misting toner on the skin because of the convenience, it is really important to use a wiping action while using toner. The reason is because toners are designed to remove cleanser residue and (most importantly) salts, chlorines, and chemicals from tap water that may dehydrate the skin. So when you mist the toner, you are simply diluting these chemicals, not removing them. Always use an alcohol-free toner, wipe it over the skin with our Toning Cloths, and if you so choose, mist afterwards.

3) Over-using your Clarisonic brush.

In a previous Temptalia post called Skin Care Expert, Renée Rouleau Reviews the Clarisonic, I share my thoughts on how many people may be over-using the Clarisonic brush and being more harmful than helpful to the skin. The company suggests you use it twice a day, every day but I personally feel this is way too much for most types of skin to handle, especially if you’re using other exfoliating products such as acids, scrubs and enzymes. Just like you shouldn’t use a facial scrub twice a day, you also shouldn’t use the Clarisonic twice a day. It should be reserved to 2-3 times a week.

4) Not washing your skin in the morning.

Many people have gotten in the habit of not washing the skin in the morning, because the skin is already clean from washing the night before and no makeup was worn. The reason it is important to wash your face in the morning is because while you are sleeping, the skin is in repair mode and will secrete toxins and sebum, which can prevent your daytime products from working effectively. When you wash your skin in the morning, you are removing not only the toxins and sebum, but your nighttime products as well – this allows your daytime products (particularly our Daily Protection SPF 30) to absorb into the skin better since they will have a clean slate. Be sure to wash with a mild, sulfate-free cleansing gel in the morning.(And of course, washing your skin every night is a must!)

5) Using the same products year-round.

Without a doubt, your skin has different needs in summer and winter, but even in fall and spring. In summer, the focus should be on protecting your skin from the sun with sunscreen and antioxidants, which have powerful protective qualities. Products should be lighter-weight in the summer, since there is more humidity in air. A summer skin care routine should have less exfoliation since more time is spent outdoors. During the fall, you can increase your exfoliation to repair the skin from the summer sun. With the dry air in winter, it is about increasing moisturization with more hydrating products. In spring, it is time to do a spring cleaning with deep pore cleansing products. So getting in the habit of using the same products year-round is an absolute no-no.

6) Picking at your skin.

Many are guilty of this one, but they are in the habit of automatically picking at a blemish the minute it appears. Whether it is out of nerves or simply trying to make a blemish go away faster, you really do end up making it worse. The truth of the matter is, a blemish only lasts 5-7 days, but the redder, dark scar can linger for months. Did your blemish leave you with a dark or red scar? Use Post-Breakout Fading Gel. To keep your hands busy and off of your face, try our No Picking! Twisty Toy.

So if you are stuck in any of these habits, follow these skin care tips to break free and be well on your way to healthy, glowing and beautiful skin in 2012.

Monday, December 5th, 2011

By Courtney, Indie & Mineral Makeup Expert

Courtney is the amazing talent behind Phyrra.net, which showcases a veritable treasure trove of looks and reviews, often focusing on indie brands and mineral makeup. She’s my go-to for all things in those areas! I reached out to Courtney to help me and readers like me understand more about indie brands–how can we make sure we’re buying from good companies and getting quality products (and not just repackaged ones)?  You can also check out Courtney’s own tried and true list of brands she buys from.

When she isn’t blogging, you can find her with her much loved standard poodle (Phaedra) and pug (Maximus), gaming, or writing (about non-makeup, that is)!  She’s not afraid to experiment with color, whether it’s her hair, lips, or on the eyes.


Mineral Makeup: What to Look For When Buying

I first got into mineral makeup in April of 2008. I didn’t know much about it at the time, so I started to try and find as much information as possible. Surprisingly, I didn’t find too many reviews (though some of the best ones I could find came from The Shades of U). This led me to decide to start a blog and write about my experiences with indie cosmetics. Through my trials and tribulations, I’ve learned a lot! I’ve interviewed company owners and experimented on my own. From my experiences over the past three years, I’ve compiled a list of tips to share on how to discern good products.

When you stumble across an indie company that you’re just dying to order from, before you hit that buy button, there are a few things you should do…

Look at the Type of Products Sold

While some great indie and mineral makeup companies only offer eye shadows, so do a lot of companies that merely repackage product. If you’re unsure of what repackaged products are, it’s where a company will buy products wholesale, mark it up 400% and put it into tiny containers to resell it to unsuspecting consumers as a handmade product.
I’ve got no problems with companies that sell unblended shades that are clearly denoted as such, but I often feel it’s duplicitous when a company sells unblended shades at a crazy markup and claims those are handmade when they don’t even add a base to the product. A lot of the great indie (independent) makeup companies out there sell not only eye shadow, but also blush, mixing mediums (Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, anyone?), foundation, and lip products. Lip products and foundations are usually a very positive sign of a legitimate company, because many people find creating both of those product lines to be labor intensive, so someone looking to make a quick buck isn’t likely to make either.

Do Your Research First!

First, Google the company name with the word review after it and see what people have to say. Sometimes, I’ve found a neutral or negative review on a product or customer service to be a deciding factor for if I will purchase. Positive reviews, as well as product swatches, are very helpful in deciding if the product is something I want to purchase, too. It  is also helpful to see how an indie company handled a problem, like if someone had an item missing from an order, or to see how promptly a company responds to inquiries.

Next, Google the company name with the word repackaged after it. If nothing comes up, that’s usually a good sign. If repackaged links come up, see what people say. Some companies, as mentioned before, do sell some unblended colors. This means that they’re a stock shade, usually with a base added to it to make it a finished product. The most common colors to see that are repackaged are the Pops mica. Many companies have sold these shades.

If you’ve found a company that you’re interested in and they have some colors repackaged but others that are not, chances are they carry the repackaged colors due to customer request. Additionally, if the repackaged shades are a finished product, meaning they have a base added, they should be a good product to purchase and wear. Just be wary if a repackaged color doesn’t have any base ingredients listed!

Check out more tips to help you buy from reputable, quality indie brands and learn what ingredients to look for/avoid!  Continue reading →

Friday, November 25th, 2011

By Amanda, Traveling Contributor

While earning her degree at university, Amanda traveled around the world to a plethora of countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. She currently lives on New York City’s Upper East Side where is pursuing a graduate degree and working in education. Amanda has studied the histories of beauty around the world and is herself, an avid admirer and practitioner of the beauty techniques she studies.

To track her travels, thoughts, and techniques follow her at www.aklectique.com. As a world traveler (and with more travel plans on the horizon), she’ll be offering a unique perspective of the amazing local brands and products she’s discovered and still discovering.


Traveling Must-Haves by a World Traveler

I’d like to share with you what I take with me whenever I go traveling. From the High-Atlas Berber villages in Morocco, to the Pyramids in Cairo, to Red Sea just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, to Diocletian’s palace in Croatia, and through Nottingham’s rainy days, these products have proven their metaphorical “valor” for their resilient consistency and inherent capacity to work well across varying climate conditions.

I’ve found that my MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Power ($23.00) works for me in all whether conditions. Whether it be the 125 degree weather in Egypt or -30s in New Hampshire, this product provides the same consistent coverage and staying power across temperatures. I’d find that my bronzer and highlighter (listed below) are best suited for all temperatures below 85 degrees. If the temperature is higher, I risk looking shiny all day long. Finally Benefit’s One Hot Minute ($30.00) adds the perfect amount of matte color to my face to prevent me from looking washed-out in any climate.

Now, the eyes are almost a free-for-all. I tend to keep in neutral when I am traveling so as to not stand out as a foreigner too much.  (Below is a more detailed list of eye products that I’ve found to last underwater in Jamaica and Croatia, as well as after a long day of work.)  To the complete the visage, my must-have lip product is my Burt’s Bees Sun Protect Lip Balm ($3.99). This lip balm neutralizes the color of my lips and allows me to then apply pigmented lip product that is appropriate for the given situation. More often than not, I find myself using MAC Snob ($14.50) or Revlon’s Nude Attitude ($7.99).

Just remember: When traveling, less is more!

Check out Amanda’s list of must-have products for travel! Continue reading →