Monday, April 6th, 2009

8 Must-Have MAC Neutral Eyeshadows

About the Temptalia Must-Haves Series

A series of posts showcasing must-have products from MAC Cosmetics’ permanent line of products. Selections are based on quality, universality, uniqueness amongst the line, and the like. Limited edition shades are deliberately excluded to make buying easier. Readers’ comments act as a supplement to these lists of their favorites and must-haves. You can find the entire series here.

Shroom eyeshadow is a soft, lightly shimmered beige color. It is great for an all-over wash on the lid for the ultra neutral look, but it also makes for an excellent brow bone highlighter for just about any look. It is an essential for any one looking for neutral shadows.

Ricepaper eyeshadow is a smooth, shimmery peachy beige that can instantly brighten your look. It’s great to highlight the brow bone or the inner tear duct, and of course, it makes an awesome lid color, too.

Wedge eyeshadow is a matte, muted taupe. Mattes make for excellent neutral colors, because they can be used in so many ways. They’re perfect for giving any look more depth when used in the crease, and the contrast between finishes is often one way to add complexity to your look, too.

Bronze eyeshadow is a rich, deep chocolate-bronze shade with lots of shimmer. It’s gotta be one of my favorite shades of all-time, and I am constantly using it. It works well with other browns and neutrals, but it is easily paired with golds and greens, too. It’s a versatile shade with so much color pigmentation — I can’t imagine anyone not loving it.

See four more must-haves! Continue reading →

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

What to Do With Beauty Products That Didn’t Work Out

As the old saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” the same is true about beauty products. There are many reasons why we don’t return products that don’t work out for us–poor return policies, guilt about returns, past return dates, etc. Besides giving products to friends/family or just letting them sit idle, here are a few ways to turn those lemons into beauty lemonade!

Got a moisturizer that broke you out? Your face is often far more sensitive than other parts of your body, so one of the best ways to make use of an acne-causin’ facial moisturizer is to use it on your body. Try using anti-aging products on your hands, which can always benefit from anti-aging ingredients often found in facial moisturizers. (Side benefits are often that facial moisturizers are fast-absorbing, non-sticky, etc. — all things you’d want in a good hand cream!)

Love glitter, but can’t figure out how to use it? Add some to your favorite hair gel/sculpting cream. Mix some in your hand, and then spread through your hair for a fun, glitzy hair-do. Try adding some to your favorite nail polish or make your own glitter polish.

Too much mineral makeup? If you have too much mineral makeup–like loose eye shadows–think about creating your own lip colors and nail polishes. Most mineral makeup is really just loose pigment, so you can combine it with a clear lip emollient (like vaseline or clear gloss), mix it up, and color up your lips.

Lipstick too pigmented, too dark, or too much? Tone any lipstick down by just applying it lighter (or blotting), but you can also combine with any lipgloss to alter the color.

Foundation that’s too thick or just a little too dark? Turn it into a tinted moisturizer! With the summer coming up, tinted moisturizers are a must-have for easy summer skin. In the palm of your hand, add a pea-sized amount of your favorite moisturizer to a few drops of your foundation, mix with a brush or sponge, and then apply it to your face. If you want, you can just use your hands to apply (like you would a normal face cream).

Mascara too clumpy, flakey, or just not what you want? Try using the brush from a mascara you do like to see if that helps the formula stay on/work better. If it’s just not happening, try using it as liquid liner.

What do you do when a beauty product doesn’t work out?

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

8 Ways to Wear MAC Sumptuous Olive Eyeshadow

Smoked out with black. Try wearing Sumptuous Olive all over the lid, perhaps even on top of a deep green/black base for extra drama. Darken the crease with a matte black eyeshadow like Carbon to really make it sultry and dark. Line with a bright gold kohl or ultra black gel liner as desired. Highlight browbone with your favorite neutral shade like Nylon or Vanilla.

With golds. Sumptuous Olive has great flecks of gold tones to its color, which makes it a perfect color to pair with other bright, warm-toned golds like Goldmine eyeshadow. Try Goldmine all over the lid with Sumptuous Olive eyeshadow in the crease, or add Humid eyeshadow to brighten up the greens. Finish look by adding a pop of gold color to the inner tearduct and/or lower lash line. Highlight browbone with your favorite neutral shade like Nylon or Vanilla.

Try warm warm browns. Wear an antique brown like Woodwinked eyeshadow or Patina eyeshadow on the lid with Sumptuous Olive eyeshadow in the crease to add depth. Bring a little Woodwinked to the outer third of the lower lash line to tie look together. Highlight browbone with your favorite neutral shade like Nylon or Vanilla.

Smudgy liner. Try wearing Goldmine eyeshadow all over the lid with Antiqued eyeshadow in the crease. Something simple, but warm with golds and browns. Line your lower lash line (whether it’s the entire area or just half or a third–whatever your preference is!) with Sumptuous Olive. You could even mix in a bit of Goldmine eyeshadow to brighten the color. Highlight browbone with your favorite neutral shade like Nylon or Vanilla.

Check out four more eyeshadow combinations! Continue reading →

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

7 Great Mother’s Day Gifts to Give (or Receive!)

Prescriptives’ Everything Eyes Seticon ($26.50) contains full-sized False Eyelashes Plush Mascara in Plush Black, travel-size Lash Builder Mascara Basecoat, Quick Remover for Eye Makeup, and Softlining Pencil in Cocoa neatly fit into a summery yellow zip-top bag. This set is valued at $49.50, and with the economy as it is, sometimes we have to scale back our expenses, even when it comes to gifts. I like to save some money by looking for gift sets, which are often better value than buying products individually. You get a super black mascara, mini lash primer, plus Prescriptives’ eye makeup remover. Travel-size isn’t actually a bad way to go — you can take all these on the plane with you, too!

Prescriptives’ Real Results Seticon ($65.00) contains a full-size Intensive Rebuilding Eye Cream, travel-size Intensive Rebuilding Moisturizer, and travel-size Instant Gratification Skin Renewal Peel. If you’ve got a little more cash stashed away for Mom this year, this is a great treat for her face. I absolutely ADORE Instant Gratification–it’s one of my all-time favorite Prescriptives’ products. It feels heavenly. I kind of want this set just so I can have a travel-sized version of it!

Shiseido The Skincare Moisturizing 1-2-3 Seticon ($38.50) highlights some of the best from the Shiseido line. Shiseido is known for their skincare, and to be a prominent brand in Asia, you really gotta know your skin care. If your mom is in need for a new skincare regimen, consider this as an option. It contains travel-sizes of Extra-Gentle Cleansing Foam, Hydro-Nourishing Softener, and Day Moisturizer Protection SPF 15.

Clinique Happy for You Seticon ($49.50) is a favorite of mine to give to friends and family. Happy is such a familiar and go-to scent, so it makes a great gift for the one you aren’t sure what to get. They’ve put together a Mother’s Day Set, which includes Happy perfume spray, moisturizing body cream, and a dual-ended rollerball perfume with Bamboo Pink Long Last Glosswear on the other end. Love rollerballs for on the go perfumes!

Philosophy Amazing Grace Seticon ($59.50) is another can’t-go-wrong-with scent. I just find this to be such a nice, feminine scent that’s not too cloying. This set contains an 8oz. buffing wash, 8oz. firming body emulsion, and 2 oz. spray fragrance.

Clinique High Shine to Go Seticon ($25.00) contains two shades of Long Last Glosswear in Air Kiss and Mystic; and two shades of Full Potential Lips Plump & Shine in Peach Plump and Peony Pop. I love the long-wearing capabilities of the Long Last Glosswear, and I can appreciate the high shine of the Full Potential glosses, too. But really, I think I’m just eyeing the cute Clinique bamboo-printed bag!

MAC Prep + Prime Line Fillericon ($19.50) will help turn back the hands of time. Well, at least maybe fifteen minutes! New from MAC is this line filler that will help mask fine lines and minimize the appearance of some of those signs of aging.

Or if your Mom loves to cook, maybe splurge on some Le Creuset cookware. I mean, I’d love some, but I don’t think Mellan has enough pennies saved up for that quite yet. ;)

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Get Sunkissed Without the Risk: Best Bronzers for Over $30

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Powdericon ($65.00) contains four shades that go from light to dark. They can be used together, swirled, or alone for personalization, which is definitely nice. The compact is large enough where you can feasibly use one or two shades alone, rather than all four. What I love about this bronzer is it feels silky and smooth, very finely milled. It feels weightless, and it looks very, very natural. It has a subtle shimmer sheen when applied, but the shimmer isn’t overly so. It falls into the category of “sophisticated” shimmer–the kind that doesn’t accentuate facial flaws.

Guerlain Terracotta Mineral Loose Powdericon ($65.00) is a sheer-to-medium buildable, loose bronzer. It’s new for the spring/summer season, and included with the bronzer pot is a miniature kabuki brush. It is available in three shades: Light, Medium, and Dark. Light is probably going to be too light for most; this shade is most suitable for those who want just the faintest (and I mean faintest!) hint of color on them–perhaps as an allover powder vs. where the sun hits. Medium is a more universal shade that doesn’t go on glowing orange. It didn’t feel like there was any shimmer in it to me, and I did find it fairly blendable. The biggest downside is that it can get messy. Being a loose powder means that you may find a cloud of bronzer poof when you open the container, and you may get more powder than you’d like on your brush.

Dior Bronze Collagen Activ Bronzericon ($48.00) is a new bronzer from Dior that is designed to help smooth and fill fine lines. It’s not just makeup, it’s makeup with skincare ingredients in it. The bronzer also has SPF25, which is nice, though not necessary (I’m already going to wear SPF all over my face, so my bronzer doesn’t have to have it). The new bronzer comes in four shades: Healthy Tan, Honey Tan, Amber Tan, and Spicy Tan. It’s near matte in finish, and it gives you a glowy, sunkissed look that looks very natural–no orange glow here. I found this particular bronzer very blendable upon application, and it felt softer and less powdery, too.

What’s your favorite bronzer?

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Get Sunkissed Without the Risk: Best Bronzers for $30 or Less

Prescriptives Mineral Bronzericon ($30.00) is available in both Cool and Warm, which is something I can really appreciate from Prescriptives. I can just imagine some of the trials our cool-toned beauty addicts have to go through to find a bronzer that works well. I picked up the Warm Mineral Bronzer, and it’s smooth, silky in texture, and it gives me a subtle, natural glow. There is shimmer in it, which Prescriptives calls Radiance Emitting Crystals Complex (R.E.C.) — a combination of amethyst, rose quartz, and calcite. It’s oil-free and talc-free for those concerned about ingredients and oil.

MAC Bronzing Powdericon ($21.00) comes in three shades: Golden, Refined Golden, and Bronze. Golden is suitable for paler to medium-toned complexions, and it is not quite as pigmented as the other two shades. Refined Golden is a good color for those who are medium-toned in complexion, though it does seem to run a little peachier/orange-y if you are really cool-toned. Bronze is best suited for deeper complexions, and it does have some shimmer in its finish. MAC’s Bronzing Powder does seem to run a bit more pigmented than the typical bronzer, so take heed and use a light hand when you first give it a try. The shimmer may be too much or too little, depending on your preference, but the wear time is tops for this bronzer.

Smashbox Bronze Lightsicon ($28.00) is available in two shades: Suntanned Matte and Sunkissed Matte. Bronze Lights is a silky, matte bronzer–aka no shimmer or glitter or any frostiness in its finish. Those with larger pores, skin concerns, or signs of aging will appreciate Bronze Lights’ lack of shimmer. It’s also a nice way to get a beautiful, sunkissed glow, which you can always highlight with your favorite highlighter. I often prefer to highlight separately, because then I can actually highlight, rather than just have shimmer everywhere I applied the bronzer. (In my case, I like to highlight the tops of cheekbones.) Sunkissed Matte will best suit paler and peachier/pinker complexions, I think, while Suntanned Matte is better for medium to dark complexions as it’s more on the brown side. I didn’t find either to run orange, though!

We’ve got three more top picks for bronzers! Continue reading →