Monday, March 9th, 2009


Marco Santini pictured on the right (in blue)

Marco Santini is the co-founder of Ion Studio, and he has been in the beauty industry since 1986 (that’s the year I was born!). Ion Studio recently opened up in 2008, and it is Manhattan’s first green salon–it used recycled and eco-friendly building materials and it is powered by wind.

“There is magic behind a good haircut,” says Marco of the switch. “Very few things can make a person feel as beautiful and confident, and I have yet to find something more rewarding than styling.”

Marco shared these awesome how-tos on getting the best curls at home for Temptalia readers:

Hair How-to: Waves

To create Botticelli waves, prep damp hair with a product like Davines Defining Texturizer to help hold the curl. Dry hair completely. Facing the mirror, hold a one inch medium-sized curling iron with the tip of the iron facing down. Take large sections and twist hair around the iron, rolling the sections of hair perfectly down to the end. Hold each section around the iron for 20 seconds. After each section, use a mild hairspray like Davines Defining Invisible Hairspray. When all of the sections are complete, use a soft brush to brush out the curls. This will soften curls, achieving a more natural wave.

Hair How-to: Spiral Curls

To create spiral curls, make sure to have hair pins close by. Separate hair in large sections from the hairline at the neck to the middle of the ear and from temple to temple. Hold the curling iron with the tip facing upwards towards your head, take a small piece of hair from one of the sections. Use the blade of the iron to hold the hair in place while you wrap each section around the iron. Let the hair set on the iron for 20 seconds. When it is done, keep the curl intact by pinning the section close to the scalp. Repeat this technique until all sections are complete. When you’re finished with all of the sections, remove the pins. Run your fingers through the tights spirals to loosen them up. Flip your head upside down while shaking the curls. This will add volume to the top and defined spiral curls throughout the head.

Monday, March 9th, 2009

OMG, why are smile close-ups way creepier/awkward looking compared to close-up of lips alone?! As soon as I do my makeup for the day, I’ll pop in a full-face shot of me smiling instead–this seems a little too up-close-and-personal ;) (And yes, I have a permanent stain between my two front teeth–a nice little gift from wearing braces for 10 years so says my dentist.)

I am six days into Crest’s Get Bright Challenge, and I have eight more days to go (total of 14 days) My teeth weren’t super, super yellowed/stained when I started, so I definitely wasn’t seeing a huge improvement each day, but now that I seen my picture from last week compared to this one… I can definitely see the improvement!

I’ve used Crest’s White Strips in the past, and they worked well enough for me to cross off professional whitening (way more expensive!), but I admit it wasn’t a perfect process.

Crest’s Whitestrips Advanced Seal have most certainly improved upon the process in several significant ways. The best upgrade they made was that you only have to wear the strips once a day for thirty minutes. It used to be twice a day, thirty minutes each time–not terrible, but if you’re busy like me, it’s easy to forget to do it!

The other improvement is about the adhesive nature of the strips themselves. I’d have to say that these adhere way better to my teeth, and they don’t slide much, if at all. I get a little of the whitening taste in my mouth, but not a lot at all. I used to find I’d forget to swallow whenever I used a whitening product, and it would be so gross waiting to remove them so I could spit it out (I know, I know, TMI!)–so it was really nice not worrying about that.

I’ve heard some people had issues removing the strips, but so far, I’ve had no issues. I just grab part of the strip, tear it off, rinse my mouth with water for about five seconds, and I’m done for the day.

Will keep update you on my progress next Monday! :)

See close-up… Continue reading →

Monday, March 9th, 2009

8 MAC Face Brushes You Need In Your Arsenal

129 Powder/Blush Brush ($34.00) is your best bet for general blush application. Seriously, I’m constantly reaching for this brush whenever I go to apply colored blush. If you can only afford one face brush, this is the one I recommend getting first, because it can apply blush, highlighters, and do a little bit of buffing in a pinch. It’s thick, dense, and deliciously soft on the skin. (And don’t be fooled by the 129 in the brush sets–it is not at all the same in regards to quality.)

138 Tapered Face Brush ($52.00) is a domed-shaped brush, much more tapered than many powder brushes. It’s excellent for both highlighting, shaping, and contouring the face–whatever tickles your fancy!

165 Tapered Cheek/Highlight Brush ($34.00) is like a thinner, smaller version of the 138, and it’s $18 less–so if you’re on a tight budget, you might think about picking up this one instead. I love, love, LOVE this one for highlighting. The tapered end really makes placement of highlighting powders ridiculously easy.

168 Large Angled Contour Brush ($32.00) is THE brush to have handy if you ever want to sculpt and shape your face. The angled, slightly-fluffy-and-not-overly-dense brush is perfect for making cheekbones pop, jawlines thin instantaneously, and polish the face.

182 Buffer Brush ($45.00) is an essential face brush to have. I love it so much that I have two, because it is so phenomenal and perfect for a variety of jobs. Ultimately, buffer brushes are designed to finish your face, whether it’s blending contouring and blushing colors together, applying loose powder, or just blending all your face products together. You can buff out harsh blushes by moving this brush in small circles, so you can wear Frankly Scarlet blush without fear. I love it to apply foundation personally, as it gives a polished, streak-free result. Worth every single penny.

187 Duo Fibre Brush ($42.00) is a must-have brush if you love mineralize skinfinishes. Yes, it is indeed a fabulous brush for applying those delicious baked goodies MAC puts out from time to time. The way the brush is designed uses a blend of goat and synthetic fibers and it allows for softer, lighter application of product. It’s also known as a stippling brush (for those trying to find a dupe), and it works well with highlighting (if you don’t need so much precision).

188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush ($34.00) is a smaller version of the 187 Duo Fibre Brush, and it works in similar ways. However, I do find that this brush is not a substitute for the 187, but more like a complement. This brush works best with creamy products, like MAC blushcremes and cream colour bases. In the summer, I love wearing blushcremes layered with a powder blush for more long-wearing color in the hotter months!

195 Concealer Brush ($22.00) recently debuted, and it is superior to the 194 Concealer Brush. It’s a thin, firm bristled brush that holds its shape and easily applies concealing products, but it is also great for dabbing liquid foundations onto the skin (to then be smoothed and spread out using a face brush like the 182, 187, or 190). I find using a concealer brush to apply liquids onto the face helps waste less product than directly applying liquid to a fluffier face brush or sponge.

Honorable Mentions: 109 (great if you do a lot of contouring), 134 (great for loose powder)

What are your must-have face brushes?

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Temptalia Asks You

Do you re-apply your lipstick/gloss throughout the day? Or do you just let it fade and forget about it?

Temptalia's Answer.

When I do “full makeup,” I do lipstick and a gloss, but I tend to only re-apply the gloss portion… if I bother at all. It mostly depends on on where I am; if it’s an event, I will definitely re-apply, though!
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Sunday, March 8th, 2009

7 MAC Eye Brushes You Need In Your Arsenal

204 Lash Brush ($11.00) is perfect for grooming brows, grabbing mascara, and combing out lashes. It’s sturdier than disposal wands to boot!

208 Angled Brow Brush ($19.50) is my go-to brush for all my eyelining needs. It doesn’t matter that it’s labeled as a “brow brush,” because it’s excellent for thin, precise lining. It’s angled and stiff enough to use for upper lash lining and tightlining. Everyone raves about the 266, but I prefer this over the 266 when lining my upper lash line! (If you have the 263, it should be just about as good–though it’s $20).

219 Pencil Brush ($23.00) is a must-have if like to smudge your eyeshadow or wear eyeshadow as liner. It applies and deposits color easily on the lower lash line, but it can also smudge or smoke out liner (with or without shadow) in just a few seconds.

224 Tapered Blending Brush ($28.00) makes crease-work a breeze. Blend out harsh lines with a soft, wispy motion with this fluffy, blending brush. Add ultra-rich, pigmented shadows in smoother, subtler layers–and never worry about going too heavy. (By the by, the limited edition 226 is even better, but the 224 will do if you can’t get your hands on the 226.) I find the 226/224 works better for me than the 217 (too fluffy).

239 Eye Shader Brush ($24.50) should be the first eye brush you purchase. It is beyond phenomenal, and if you really want to, this is one brush that can do it all. It is up to the challenge of replacing every single other eye brush you own. Soft to the touch with a nice density of bristles, it’s has enough fluff to easily pick up eyeshadow color, but enough density to pack on the color on the lid. The size is ideal for applying eyeshadow from the lid to the crease to the lower lash line. In fact, you may want to think about owning multiple 239s. (I have five–yes, five!)

249 Large Shader Brush ($27.00) is the best brush for applying creamy products to your eyes. I am always using this whenever I’m applying paints, paint pots, fluidlines, etc. as a base. It’s flat, firm, and holds its shape while still picking up plenty of product. What I love is it picks up product, and it doesn’t all get stuck in the bristles.

266 Small Angle Brush ($19.50) is an oft-raved about brush, usually when speaking about fluidline and lining, but it is also excellent for filling in brows. It’s thicker than both the 208 and 263 (my choices for lining), but if you’re going for thicker liner, this will definitely be a must-have. Talk about making cat-eyes easier!

* Please note that these are my picks for essential brushes based on my experience, brushes not included may be valuable, but they are not brushes I find myself using often enough to call them essential.

What eye brushes would you deem as your essential set?

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Four Ways to Wear Carbon Eyeshadow

Lightly above the crease to add just a little drama to any look without looking over done.

All over the lid for a deliciously rich and dark smoky eye in pure black.

To add depth to color by enriching the intensity and darkness. And matte texture always adds something special, too.

On the outer V, just to add smoke where there’s already fire…

What are your favorite ways to wear Carbon?