Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Nude Eyeliners
Nude & Champagne Eyeliners

Nude & Champagne Eyeliners: Your Guide

Two years ago, I went through and swatched every eyeliner I owned by color, so that they could easily be compared.  It’s time for a re-do, because we have so many more shades to add to our comparisons!  Our first part of this on-going series is a comparison of the various nude and champagne eyeliners I have on hand.  This shade is typically used on the lower lash line or water line to help brighten and open up eyes.

  1. BAREMINERALS 5AM is a pewter–it’s a dirty, cool-toned gold with a silvered sheen. I didn’t expect it to be similar to anything here, but it didn’t fit well with golds either.
  2. MAC GILDED WHITE is a warm white gold with a metallic sheen. (LE)
  3. MAC NC15/NW20 is a light beige/fleshy shade. It is a hair darker than NARS Rue Bonaparte.
  4. MAC NW25/NC30 is a darker version of NW15/NC20. Almost looks like a darkened peach.  It is very similar to Givenchy #2.
  5. MAC NC42/NW35 is darker version of NW25/NC30. It looks a bit peachy/orange on me.
  6. GIVENCHY #2 is a warm, peachy beige with yellow-beige undertones and a mostly matte finish. It is comparable to MAC NW25/NC30.
  7. NARS RUE BONAPARTE is a soft beige with a matte finish. It is just barely lighter than MAC NC15/NW20.
  8. MAC I GET NO KICK is a soft champagne nude with a metallic sheen. (LE) It is ever-so-slightly warmer than MUFE #23L but very comparable to UD Midnight Cowboy.
  9. MAKE UP FOR EVER #23L is a shimmering golden champagne with a nearly metallic finish. This shade is slightly less warm compared to MAC I Get No Kick and UD Midnight Cowboy.
  10. URBAN DECAY MIDNIGHT COWBOY is a shimmering champagne peach with a subtle metallic sheen. (LE) This is most comparable to MAC I Get No Kick.  An alternative to this shade would be Urban Decay’s Shadow Pencil of the same name.

TEMPTALIA PICKS:  #1 (high quality), #3-6 (good formula), #9 (versatile, readily available)

Behind-the-Series:  These swatches should not be used to judge the quality of an eyeliner.  Some eyeliners required one pass, some required five, and a few even more.  It was my intention to provide heavy, opaque swatches to provide an accurate color comparison.  When possible, the shade name (above) is linked to the original review.  If we’ve never done a review, there will be no link.  Shades that were limited edition will be marked with “(LE)” and shades that were discontinued will be marked with “(DC)” after the color description.  You can also find all comparisons on The Dupe List.

What’s your favorite champagne/nude eyeliner?

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Saturday, June 9th, 2012


The Best of Bobbi Brown

Whether you’re new to the brand, or you used them long ago, this post is designed to be an at-a-glance summary of the best Bobbi Brown formulas and shades.  Bobbi Brown is a brand that does emphasize and focus on more “natural” beauty, so you’ll find plenty of basic shades of beiges, browns, and the like within the range. You won’t find an extensive range of bright and neon hues, but you will find some. A lot of the brighter colors get launched seasonally in limited edition collections, so if you like a formula, you might see a vibrant neon pink during the spring or summer.

Eyes

When it comes to gel eyeliners, Bobbi’s Gel Eyeliner ($24.00) is a cult favorite, and for good reason–it comes in a variety of shades, applies easily and fluidly, and lasts all day long. You have the classic black, Black Ink, along with fun colors like Ivy Shimmer Ink (deep emerald green) and Violet Ink (violet purple).

Her Metallic Eyeshadows ($21.00) are really plush; soft, smooth, and lots of color payoff with a frosted, metallic fiinsh. Shades like Forest, Burnt Sugar, and Cognac are lovely on warmer skin tones, while Mint, Midnight, and Velvet Plum are flattering on cooler complexions. For neutral eyeshadows with matte finishes, her regular Eyeshadow ($21.00) line is worth considering–pay attention to Bone, Caviar, Espresso, Hot Stone, Wheat, and Taupe.

From time to time, Bobbi Brown also releases eyeshadow and face palettes–some are amazing, others are so-so–but they’re usually worth at least a glance or two if you’re near a counter. My favorite Bobbi Brown mascara is Everything Mascara ($24.00), which results in really great everyday, natural-looking lashes.

Cheeks

If you love high shimmer, nearly metallic-finishes in your blushes and highlighters, you’ll find Shimmer Bricks ($39.00) right up your alley. Shades like Nectar can be used as blushers on light to dark skin tones as well as providing highlight. Each compact has five strips of color, which can be used individually or altogether.

If you’re into cream blushes, you might like Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks ($24.00), which is a multi-tasking color product that gives both cheeks and lips a soft tint of color. It comes in an assortment of shades (ten at the writing of this post). Calypso Coral is great for a pop of coral during the summer, while Chocolate Cherry is excellent for a bolder, darker cheek color. Raspberry flatters lots of skin tones, even deeper ones, as it has just the right level of intensity.

Lips

Rich Lip Color SPF 12 ($23.00) is pigmented, lightweight, and moisturizing, and it’s probably my favorite lipstick formula by the brand, though the regular Lip Color ($23.00) is rather good and her Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15 ($23.00) is great for a glossier (but still a lipstick) option.

High Shimmer Lipgloss ($23.00) may be my most favorite Bobbi Brown product, period, though don’t hold me to it, because it’s so hard to choose! They’re rich in sparkle and shimmer and look utterly dazzling on the lips (especially in the sunlight). Some shades are sheer with lots of sparkle, others are more pigmented with plenty of shimmer. My favorite shades are Canary, Electric Violet, Midnight Violet, Naked Plum, Pink Sequin, and Plum Gold.

Base

If you suffer from really dry skin and find most foundations emphasize dryness, EXTRA Tinted Moisturizing Balm is fantastic–it gives coverage and lots and lots of ongoing, all-day moisture. I wouldn’t recommend it for oilier skin types, because it would be too heavy. I haven’t tried her range of foundations very much–not enough to make recommendations–but check reader comments for possible options.

Skincare

I have normal-to-dry skin, so I do review and speak from that perspective for the most part, but of course, sometimes a product that isn’t hydrating enough for me but otherwise has a good texture may be a good fit for someone with oilier skin. I have tried and quite liked Hydrating Face Cream (thick but never heavy, nicely hydrating), Hydrating Gel Cream (quick-absorbing, lightweight, moisturizing), EXTRA Repair Moisturizing Balm SPF 25 (creamy, hydrating, slightly heavy), and Hydrating Rich Cream Cleanser (creamy, removes makeup and dirt well, never drying).

Tools

Every Bobbi Brown brush I’ve used, I’ve been happy with, but I haven’t used the full range. I love the soft, dense feel of her Blush Brush ($50.00) and full, dense feel of her Bronzer Brush ($50.00), which really seems like a buffer brush with a longer handle.

What are your recommendations for someone looking to try Bobbi Brown products?

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Milani Black Cherry Lipstick
Milani Black Cherry Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Milani Black Cherry Lipstick

Milani Black Cherry Lipstick ($4.99 for 0.14 oz.) is a blackened berry-red with nearly opaque color–it did not apply quite as nicely as other Milani shades. It looks a little dry, though it didn’t feel that way, and the color seemed to get drawn into my lip lines.

my thoughts on the formula: Milani’s Color Perfect Lipstick is a nice formula that delivers opaque color and are usually creamy, though Black Cherry seemed rather dry and seemed to settle into lip lines. They do 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: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: It’s not my favorite Milani, just because the texture isn’t the same as other shades.  It’s not as creamy and doesn’t look as flattering when worn.

where to buy: Milani

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Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Cle de Peau #113 Extra Silky Lipstick
Cle de Peau #113 Extra Silky Lipstick

The Sultry Season:  Cle de Peau #113 Extra Silky Lipstick

Cle de Peau #113 Extra Silky Lipstick ($52.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a reddened brown berry with gold and ruby micro-shimmer in a semi-opaque color base.  It is a really nice shade during fall, because it is vampy enough to be deep and dark but not overpowering.  This should look amazing on cool-toned beauties!

my thoughts on the formula: Extra Silky Lipsticks are one of my favorite lipstick formulas, for their lightweight feel, moisturizing properties, and the way colors look on. I average around four hours of wear, sometimes getting five, and with lighter shades, between three and four. I haven’t met a shade that wouldn’t work on a variety of skin tones. I recommend applying less than you think, because it’s easy to over-apply the product here due to the creamy nature of the formula. At this price (and the amount you get), you don’t want to waste a single bit! These are also scent- and taste-free as far as I can tell.

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

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If only these had more product in a tube, these would be some killer lipsticks. As is, the formula is amazing, but it’s so easy to use a tube up.

where to buy: Neiman Marcus

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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

MAC Capricious Lipstick
MAC Capricious Lipstick

The Sultry Season: MAC Capricious Lipstick

MAC Capricious Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a rosy plum with subtle gold shimmer. MAC describes it as a “fanciful rose plum,” and it has a lustre finish. Lustre finishes are “demi-sheer with wet-look lustre finish … Very slick … Makes lips look soft, smooth, ultra-moist.”

If you can’t tell by the photo, Capricious has been a long-time favorite, and I’ve always found it an infinitely flattering shade. It’s got that pop of natural color that enhances lips but never overwhelms a look. It has a cool-tone edge to it but the play of gold shimmer works well to make it very wearable for both cool and warm undertones.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four. I find the formula comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte and lustre shades can be drying).

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

final thoughts: Capricious is such a great way to wear plum without being too dark or bold.  It is as pretty in springtime as it is in fall.  It was one of my first MAC lipsticks and still a favorite.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Monday, January 31st, 2011

Shiseido Tawny (BR 735) Lipstick
Shiseido Tawny (BR 735) Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Shiseido Tawny (BR 735) Lipstick

Shiseido Tawny (BR 735) Perfect Rouge Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a warmed up caramel brown with a hint of coral. It’s semi-opaque and finishes with a noticeable glossiness.  I have always felt that Shiseido’s Perfect Rouge is rather under-appreciated, because it is such a flattering formula.

my thoughts on the formula: It’s moisturizing and applies evenly, while it wears for about four hours before beginning to fade. It is also scent- and taste-free. Perfect Rouge has a really beautiful color range and ranges from semi-opaque to opaque in color. The finish is a semi-gloss with very subtle micro-shimmer.

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

final thoughts: This is a beautiful shade for warmer skin tones; it is a color that works alone or paired with a brighter eye/cheek.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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