Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Cover Girl Bronze Glow (770) Lipstick
CoverGirl Bronze Glow (770) Continuous Color Lipstick

Quick Review: CoverGirl Bronze Glow (770) Continuous Color Lipstick

CoverGirl Bronze Glow (770) Continuous Color Lipstick ($5.49 for 0.13 oz.) is a coppery orange that applies nearly opaque with a slight frosted sheen. It’s creamy enough to apply evenly with little effort, and the color coverage is noteworthy for a drugstore brand. For me, the biggest was surprise was the lack of scent (or taste)–so many drugstore brands have the most synthetically sweet scents I’ve come across, which be a big turn off for some. The wear was average (four hours), and I didn’t find it drying, but I didn’t find it moisturizing either.

The packaging feels cheap, and it seems like it gets dinged up quite easily, as the inside is all scratched up, and this is photographed brand new.   For the price tag, I think you sometimes have to give up nicer packaging, though.

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a nice, affordable choice for warmer skin tones and deeper skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com

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Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Milani Bing Cherry Lipstick
Milani Bing Cherry Lipstick

Try Out a Subdued Red!

Milani Bing Cherry Lipstick ($4.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a subdued cherry red–it’s like a sheer cherry red but it’s actually opaque on lips. There’s still the brightness of a cherry red, but I think this is a much tamer way to wear one if full-on cherry red is too much for you. It seems like it has a pinkness to it, but when worn, it seems a little more of a coral-red. It’s definitely an interesting color, though. I’m curious to hear what others who own think!

Milani’s Color Perfect Lipstick is a creamy, moisturizing formula with opaque color coverage. It does have a rather a synthetic/waxy scent, though, which may be too much for those with sensitive sniffers. I typically get three to four hours of wear on average with this formula.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Consider Bing Cherry if you’ve always wanted to wear red but never wanted to go for a full blown in-your-face kind of red.

AVAILABILITY: Milani

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Monday, December 6th, 2010

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils vs. Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils
Urban Decay Sin, NYX Yogurt, Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils vs. Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils

Though they seem rather similar on the surface and even at first glance, I think the shade ranges differ enough where there is less overlap than expected.  For instance, I could not find dupes for Urban Decay’s Midnight Cowboy, Clinic, Narc, or Lit at all.  However, I think that Urban Decay’s Sin and Clash definitely have dupes, while Delinquent has something similar but there is a noticeable difference in quality that makes them different.

I think that Rehab and Barracuda may also lack dupes, but I do not have the appropriate NYX shades to tell you for sure.  Mercury and Wasteland may have dupes, but again, I can’t say for sure.

  • Urban Decay Sin seems to be closest to NYX Yogurt, but the latter is darker and pinker.
  • Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy is also closest to NYX Yogurt but I would not consider them dupes–Midnight Cowboy is more of a gilded champagne-beige without the pink of Yogurt.
  • Urban Decay Clinic has no corresponding dupe in the NYX line. NYX lacks any teal shade.
  • Urban Decay Narc has no corresponding dupe in the NYX line. NYX Rocky Mountain Green is a cooler, brighter green, which may be more comparable to Urban Decay Graffiti (which is available as an eyeliner).
  • Urban Decay Clash is the one shade I found a strong dupe for, which was NYX Electric Blue, though the NYX version is not quite as bright and requires layering to achieve opaque color.
  • Urban Decay Delinquent is similar to NYX Purple Velvet but the swatch will show you how different the pigmentation is between the two of them. Urban Decay’s is significantly more pigmented, and it is more of a jewel-tone purple with less red in its base.
  • Urban Decay Lit is a softer, lighter version of NYX Pure Gold, which is much more of a coppery gold.
  • Urban Decay Morphine is is a darker version of NYX Oyster, and it also has more of a purple tone, while Oyster pulls pinker.

I don’t have all of NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencils, but based on Dusty’s swatches that he did for Temptalia back in April, here are my thoughts on some possible similarities:

  • Wasteland and/or Rehab may be comparable to Iced Mocha, which looks like it runs lighter and perhaps not as dark.
  • Mercury may be comparable to Pots and Pans, but it looks a little darker.
  • Barracuda may be comparable to Slate, which looks like it has a bluer cast (less of a silver-gray).

What about the formulas?

Generally speaking (and based on the eight or so NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils I own), NYX has a creamier, more emollient base, which is likely why more people have experienced creasing when using them alone and/or as a base.  (You can always remedy this by using an eyeshadow base underneath the pencil itself.)  Keep in mind, also, that Urban Decay’s 24/7 Shadow Pencils are still very much untested by the makeup community at large–I can only report on my experience, but I have rather normal lids (neither dry or oily).

Some shades have excellent pigmentation and go on beautifully while other shades do look sheerer when swatched against Urban Decay’s.  NYX take longer to dry, so you have more time to work with them and blend them, but it may also mean they have more time to settle into creases and lines on the lid.  Urban Decay’s seem to take more elbow grease to remove (just using a makeup remover wipe) than NYX’s. Urban Decay also specifically calls attention to the fact that their pencils are free of parabens and mineral oil, both ingredients found in NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencils.

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Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

NYX Vixen Lip Gloss
NYX Vixen Lipgloss

The Sultry Season: NYX Vixen Lip Gloss

NYX Vixen (116) Lip Gloss ($5.50 for 0.53 fl. oz.) is a semi-opaque, brown burgundy shimmered with muted red sparkle. It’s not totally opaque, so it does have a tendency to settle into lip lines, but it looks pretty good from a normal viewing distance, so it’s not particularly bothersome. This gloss was scent-free, but in the past, I’ve NYX glosses that have smelled like plastic as well as synthetic berry. If you’re not sensitive to those scents, this is an affordable gloss to get you into the holiday spirit.

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

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Friday, November 12th, 2010

NYX I Dream of St. Thomas Eyeshadow Palette
NYX I Dream of St. Thomas Eyeshadow Palette

Color That Doesn’t Break the Bank

NYX I Dream of St. Thomas Eyeshadow Palette ($8.75 for 0.28 oz.) contains five eyeshadows and is part of NYX’s Caribbean Collection of eyeshadow palettes. (I reviewed St. Lucia previously.) NYX is one of my favorite brands for more affordable makeup, because the quality is consistently high and the range is huge.

St. Thomas includes: a dark charcoal gray with soft silver shimmer (similar to MAC’s Knight Divine); brightened cotton candy pink with a satin sheen; bright silver with a near metallic shimmer-sheen (similar to MAC’s Electra); pale golden peach with a high sheen; and a medium-dark, mint green with a pearly shine.

The pigmentation was excellent on the pink, peach, and green shades; it was still quite good on the charcoal and silver shades, too, but a touch sheerer than the other three. My favorite shade is the minty green, because you don’t see that kind of color–or with such vibrancy–by every brand.  These shades have a soft, smooth texture, though there is some residual powder kick up during use.  NYX eyeshadows have worked well for me and only fade minimally, but not noticeably so until six or more hours of wear.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re on a budget, NYX’s palettes are worth considering. They maintain quality and pigmentation while still keeping the price down.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

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Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

NYX Purple Smokey Look Kit
NYX Purple Smokey Look Kit

More Purple Than You’ll Know What to Do With

NYX Purple Smokey Look Kit ($11.00 for 0.32 oz.) is an eye and lip palette; it contains nine eyeshadows and two lip colors. If you’re a fan of cool-toned, purple eyeshadows, this is a palette with your name on it! The palette includes: a smoked, blackened purple with violet sheen; brightened navy blue with a subtle sheen; softened fuchsia lilac with a satin sheen; light fuchsia pink with satin sheen; gray-tinged brown with cool undertones; pinked brown with sheen; softened violet with sheen; red-toned, medium purple with violet shimmer-sheen; and dusty brown. The lip shades included a pinky nude cream and a metallic bronze.

The majority of the eyeshadow shades were nicely pigmented, but three were on the sheerer side — the pink brown, softened violet, and dusty brown. The dusty brown was pretty pitiful for me; extremely sheer, almost chalky, and wasn’t working for me whatsoever. The other eight shades were much more workable, though, so it’s easy to forgive a palette of nine shades for only one bad apple. I liked that only a couple of the shades had a frostier finish, while the rest had a low satin sheen. Shimmers/satins are easier to blend but sometimes you can get too much of a good thing!

I didn’t like the lip colors very much–they’re a little sticky and the shades themselves don’t seem to fit with the palette. A metallic bronze lip is lovely, but I’m not so sure about pairing it with such cool purples. I wouldn’t grab this for the lip colors, but I do like that they’re in a separate pull-out drawer, which means they won’t get any cross-contamination from the powder eyeshadows. The included double-ended applicators aren’t anything to write home about; the bristled one is sparse and a little scratchy, while the sponge-tip is thin and a little scratchy.

The palette itself is housed in a square black palette, so it manages to look sleek and compact, and it would work really well for traveling. It’s a good palette overall, and for $11, it’s obviously a real gem!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The quality is good overall with just a couple of misses but enough hits to make it well worth the price.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →