Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

2009 Editor’s Choice Awards — Part 1

I’m so happy (and relieved!) to be able to announce my picks for best brands and products of 2009. Because it is much easier to coordinate with just one person (myself!) than it is with thousands, I do have more categories than the Readers’ Choice Awards does. (Can you just imagine having to nominate products for 40+ categories? Exactly!) I also breakdown each award into best high-end winner and budget-friendly winner. For each award, the winning brand/product gets a brief description of why, and where appropriate, a link to any in-depth review.

Part 1 focuses on some of the biggest awards I give out each year — they’re the best of the best, creme de la creme — these products are some of the absolute best released in 2009.

Best Brand of the Year (High-end): Guerlain

Guerlain won me over this year with their beautiful limited edition collections along with their permanent range. I always find “Best Brand” to be an extremely difficult category to choose a winner for, but I felt like taking my experience with the brand throughout the year was the best way to go about figuring it out. Between the ultra luxe and lovely Rouge Gs to their silky soft blushes to the cult-favorite Meteorites, Guerlain just impressed me. Many of my latest and greatest holy grail products are by Guerlain (Gems Rouge G lipstick and Parure Gold Foundation, just to name two). You can read all of our Guerlain coverage here.

Best Brand of the Year (Budget): Maybelline

Maybelline showed me why they’re a worthwhile, budget-friendly brand this year. They’re incredibly reliable, and I just don’t run into too many products within the line that are just devastating. They make one of my favorite drugstore mascaras (Full ‘n Soft), as well as an excellent line of affordable lipstick and lipgloss (Color Sensational). You can read all of our Maybelline coverage here.

Find out who won Best New Product, Most Surprisingly Amazing Product, Most Disappointing Product, Best Seasonal Collections, and the Best and Worst of MAC! Continue reading →

Friday, December 25th, 2009

3rd Annual Temptalia Readers’ Choice Awards for 2009 — VOTE NOW!

Every year, Temptalia has been proud to hold an awards ceremony to honor and celebrate the best beauty brands and products, both new and old. (We also have to toss in a few “worst” categories!) Our first awards were held in 2007, followed by 2008. The full awards consist of both editor’s choices (aka my picks) and readers’ choices, which are based off of readers’ nominations and votes.

The nominations are in, and the top fifteen (or so!) for each category have been pulled and are ready for you to vote for your favorites!  This is one of my favorite things we do here at Temptalia, and I can’t wait to see the votes come in!  I’ll announce winners in January 2010.

Thank you SO much for participating in this year’s awards!

Now, go! Vote for your favorite beauty brands and products! Continue reading →

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

3rd Annual Temptalia Readers’ Choice Awards for 2009

Every year, Temptalia has been proud to hold an awards ceremony to honor and celebrate the best beauty brands and products, both new and old. (We also have to toss in a few “worst” categories!) Our first awards were held in 2007, followed by 2008. The full awards consist of both editor’s choices (aka my picks) and readers’ choices, which are based off of readers’ nominations and votes.

Like last year, for the next week or so, we’ll be taking your nominations for each of our categories in the Readers’ Choice Awards. We will then compile the top ten to fifteen nominees for each category and present it to everyone to vote later in December. Final results as well as my picks will be published in January/February 2010!

Thank you SO much, in advance, for participating in the nomination process for this year’s awards! I can’t wait to see what products are rocking your worlds!

Now, go! Nominate your favorite beauty brands and products! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

With December in full swing now, I hope all of your holiday gift shopping is well underway! I know that I’ll be wrapping up my holiday shopping over the next two weeks!

For those of you who are still on the hunt for beauty gifts to give (or receive!), check out our gift guides:

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Gifts Under $50

Bigger budgets mean a much bigger selection in gifts to give!  I tend to set a budget around $50 or so for a lot of my immediate family/friends, though I do have a tendency to collect little “extras” throughout the holiday season and often go over budget. 

Anyway, there are so many awesome gifts to choose from (a lot of the gifts featured throughout our holiday guides had my choice picks and plenty of ‘em under $50), but here are some of my personal favorites.  Share your favorite gifts under $50 in the comments!

Laura Mercier Mini Lip Glace Set ($48.00) includes five miniature sized Lip Glaces: Pink Diamond, Baby Doll, Violet, Ambre Rose, and Bellini.

Smashbox Eye Wish Palette ($44.00) is a gorgeous looking eyeshadow palette with twelve eyeshadows, four eyeliners, and a miniature sized Photo Finish Lid Primer.

Laura Geller Baked Basics ($49.50) is perfect for the one who loves baked/mineral products (or enjoys themselves a good MAC mineralize skinfinish).

Philosophy Holiday Cookbook ($35.00) is a six-piece shower gel set (each with 2 oz.) housed in a cardboard “cookbook.” It contains the following scents: Red Velvet Cake, Cinnamon Buns, Spicy Pear Cobbler, Pumpkin Spice Muffin, Gingerbread, and Double Rich Hot Cocoa. Delicious! You can find this gift at: Nordstrom, Philosophy.com, Sephora.

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II ($48.00) is a palette that’s big on value and big on color. For the person who’s been extra good this year, you may find yourself wanting to give this collection of sixteen eyeshadows to them. It includes new/exclusive shades: AC/DC, Nylon, Mushroom, Sphynx, Jinx, Homegrown, Misdemeanor, and Perversion; as well as existing/best-selling shades: Sellout, Gunmetal, Ecstasy, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Twice Baked, Half Baked, Flipside, and YDK. Also included are miniature-sized Zero and Bourbon 24/7 Eyeliner Pencils and a travel-size Eyeshadow Primer Potion–all three fit nicely within the palette to boot.

See more under $50 favoritesContinue reading →

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Gifts Under $25

If you’re looking for an affordable gift or one to add to your recipient’s pile, I find the under $25 category to be pretty fruitful.  (If we’re being honest, if your budget is under $30, it opens even more doors for you!)  Many gift and value sets range in the upper $20s to upper $30s, but don’t forget — you can always buy one really awesome full-sized product for under $25 from most brands.

What are some of your favorite gifts under $25?

Buy Full-Size! If you know your gift recipient just loves X lipstick, it might not be a bad idea to help them stock up.  Consider lipgloss, lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner, blush, or nail polish–so many shades to choose from!

China Glaze Wizard of Ooh Ahz Set ($18.00) is a great way to add a little dazzle to nails on a budget.

Philosophy’s The Recipe Box Set ($18.00) is a good option if you’re on a slimmer budget (or you just have a lot of friends and would like to spread the love a bit more). It’s a cute little set in a gift-ready box and red bow tied on top. It contains two 6 oz. shower gels: Sweet Creamy Frosting and Red Velvet Cake. It is available at Beauty.com, Nordstrom, Philosophy.com, and Sephora.

Korres Cherry Lip Kisses ($19.50) is a trio of Korres’ Cherry Oil Lipgloss (includes Fuchsia, Natural Purple, and Nude shades). These are fun glosses, and when they’re available in a set? Totally worth it! You can pick this set up at KorresUSA.com (save 30% on $35 or more with code TEMPTALIA til 12/31!) and Sephora. Korres has a lot of value-packed sets available for holiday as well as year-round (nothing wrong with giving one of those, y’know), so if you’re thinking about giving the gift of Korres this holiday season, there’s a good variety of sets to choose from.

See more gifts under $25Continue reading →