Sunday, October 27th, 2013

NARS x Guy Bourdin Color Collection
NARS x Guy Bourdin Color Collection

Update:  I have added photos, swatches, and dupes for the products from the NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection.  The majority of the shades included in the Gifting collection are permanent to NARS’ color range. To ensure context, I’ve added them to the existing post, rather than make a separate post.  My goal is to raise awareness, open the channel for discussion (I highly recommend reading through readers’ comments and viewpoints), and to respect each reader’s autonomy and decision-making.  I strongly believe that we each must do our own research and come to the conclusion that feels right to us, whatever that may be.  Thank you for your continued support, respect, and understanding!

When the NARS x Guy Bourdin collaboration was first announced, I felt my readers’ excitement. I knew nothing about Bourdin, and having little interest in fashion photography, I didn’t look to learn any more than what was being widely reported. I’m here for the makeup, not the collaborators or inspiration or names, so when I see a new collection, I want to know what’s in it, what the colors are going to be, what the formulas and textures will feel like. It was not until I saw more and more readers comment on Bourdin and his emphasis on violence in his work, particularly of what seems to be best categorized as “high fashion crime scenes,” that I knew I needed to look a little further than the press release.

Warning:  This post contains discussion about violence against women, so please be warned that the discussion that follows and comments on the post may be a potentially triggering.

Bourdin’s body of work is not solely centered around violence as he also explored other themes like surrealism and sexuality. There are shots of vibrant, thriving women in his work; it is not all dark but certainly a good deal of his work is, and more to the point, many of his more controversial shots are more famous (which is not a surprise). I suggest visiting his website and browsing through his portfolio of photos–beware that some are more graphic than others–and in particular, the “Beauty” section showcases a different side of his work. There is no question that Bourdin was an artist, and he is legendary in his sphere.

I fully respect NARS’ decision to collaborate with someone who has influenced Francois Nars not just today but for years; that Bourdin was his inspiration for becoming a makeup artist is just how telling of the type and scope of impact Bourdin had on the industry as a whole. I don’t just see in black and white, which is not always a comforting thing, and I enjoy challenging people’s opinions and playing devil’s advocate. It has always been important to me to avoid mixing my personal beliefs (on such hot topics as sex, politics, religion, etc.) with the blog, because Temptalia is not just your escape but mine. This is the first time where how I feel has put me in such a quandary as to how to react.  First and foremost, I am abstaining from reviewing the NARS and Guy Bourdin collection, because I cannot fully dissociate how I feel about Bourdin’s art from a collection intended to pay tribute to him.

The idea that an advertisement or runway photoshoot that features dead women in designer clothing and shoes is used to sell to people is hard for me to wrap my head around. I am particularly sensitive to the concept of glamorizing violence, against women or men, because I worry it normalizes it in a way that makes us react less to a very real and prevalent issue not just in the U.S. but globally. Bourdin has passed away for some time now, so all of the visuals that showcase Bourdin’s work are images he previously shot, so none of them were originally intended to sell NARS’ makeup specifically (or possibly makeup at all, but you’d have to really go back through and figure out where each photo originated from). Many of the selected images for the NARS collaboration are not controversial or violent but some are certainly up for interpretation.

There’s an informative interview with Susan B. Carbon, Director of the U.S. DOJ’s Office, Violence Against Women, which also includes sobering statistics about the level of violence women experience (with sources cited). It speaks on and illuminates as to why violence against women is a real issue that we should be talking about, understanding, researching, and creating the resources, community, and culture that both prevents and reduces the violence that occurs (and we can do more than just prevent/reduce violence against women but all people). We, as a society, have made strides towards these goals, but we can do more and we should do more–and we need to remember to think globally on behalf of all women.

Here are some resources for learning more about this issue:

I have spent the past week and a half soul-searching and doing as much as I can to learn more about Bourdin, not just from those that feel similarly to me, but those who have assessed his work from an artistic point of view, to determine if I was still going to post photos/swatches. My focus was on his work, not him as a person.  We all want to be taken as the sum of our parts, not merely one part out of many, which is why I really wanted to take time to assess, digest, and react. I found this essay about the evolution of the “crime scene photograph” into news, fashion, and art a very good read. I understand that not everyone who views Bourdin’s work feels he glamorized violence against women or even if taken as true, is able to find other qualities of his work (lighting, colors, angles, composition, etc.) admirable as an artist or perhaps argue it is a statement on our own curiosity for the morbid or even the fashion industry and its consumptive nature. I have read various reactions, arguments for and against, from both outside sources as well as from readers in our community.

To that end, I respect each reader’s opinion, whether for or against.  So in a show of respect for a broad range of opinions, while I will not review or otherwise recommend the collection personally, you will find full photos and swatches of the products featured in the color collection for those who wanted to see them, and for those who did not want to purchase, I have included dupes for each shade that you may want to consider purchasing from instead.   From me to you, I wanted to use this time to also say, “Let’s not forget about what we can do to reduce violence against women.” In our consumption of controversial images, let’s not forget about the very real issues that real people face that the art seeks to recreate or transform.

I hope that you understand my decisions and know that they come from the heart after a lot of reflection, research, and reading. I urge you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions. All I want is us to ask questions and challenge what we’re seeing and being told (or sold) and go from there.

Update: Thank you SO, SO much from the bottom of my heart for the outpouring of support & understanding!  I am still reading through and responding to the incredible stories and comments that you have all left on this post, but I wanted to make sure everyone knows how meaningful your feedback and response has been! Thank you!

See dupes, photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Giorgio Armani Eccentrico Face Palette
Giorgio Armani Eccentrico Face Palette

Giorgio Armani Eccentrico Face Palette ($88.00 for 0.27 oz.) is an illuminating blush palette consisting of four shades: tangerine orange, coral-pink, lavender-pink, and iridescent white. Initially, it has a layer of gold shimmer, but it’s just an overspray and underneath, the colors are much darker and richer. It is also a lot less shimmery. Swirled together, the blush palette creates a hue of light-medium pink with subtle, warm undertones and a pale golden sheen. Urban Decay Temper (LE) is cooler-toned, less shimmery. Chanel Inspiration (64) (P, $38.00) is a cream product, less shimmery. Tom Ford Beauty Frantic Pink (P, $55.00) is warmer. MAC Stunner (LE, $21.00) is warmer. MAC Legendary (LE, $21.00) is less shimmery, less pink. MAC Launch Away (LE, $21.00) is less shimmery. MAC Easy Manner (LE, $21.00) is less shimmery. Benefit Bella Bamba (P, $28.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

The texture is incredibly soft and finely-milled, and to that point, it can get a little powdery. It doesn’t look powdery or caky when applied, and it is extremely easy to blend and diffuse on the skin. It didn’t emphasize pores or imperfections on the skin. The color payoff was good, and even on my medium complexion, there was plenty of visible color.  Eccentrico wore well for eight hours, and then looked slightly faded after nine hours of wear.  I only wish they hadn’t bothered with the overspray, since it doesn’t go all the way through and drastically different from the way the palette looks when you actually use it!

The Glossover

LE
product

Eccentrico

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

MAC Stroke of Midnight/Coral Lip & Cheek Bag
MAC Stroke of Midnight/Coral Lip & Cheek Bag

MAC Stroke of Midnight/Coral Lip & Cheek Bag ($59.50) includes a travel-sized blush (0.09 oz. vs. 0.21 oz.), full-sized lipglass (0.17 fl. oz.), full-sized lipstick (0.10 oz.), travel-sized #129 brush, and a slim mirror. It is an exclusive set to MAC stores and maccosmetics.com. The #129SE brush felt really floppy; the brush head seemed a lot longer than the full-sized #129, and it was also somewhat scratchy. The mirror works as it should, but it’s all mirror, so it’s easy to smudge and get fingerprints on it when removing it from its pouch. The bag is a good size and will fit several products easily. I liked the lipstick and gloss, and Margin is an old favorite, though it does emphasize pores slightly. The set contains $9 worth of blush, $15 worth of gloss, and $15 worth of lipstick for a total of $39 in color products; then there is some value for the #129SE, mirror, and bag–all of which are hard to value.

Margin is described as a “peach with gold shimmer.” It’s a peachy-brown with a golden shimmer. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and just slightly powdery. There is a slight emphasis of pores with the frosted, metallic finish. It wore well for seven and a half hours. I found this color hard to dupe, actually. MAC Stereo Rose (LE, $23.50) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Pure Sophistication is described as a “gold frost.” It’s a golden-orange-tinted gloss with a ton of gold, copper, and dark gold shimmer. On lips, it warms up the natural lip color but mostly adds a lot of shimmer. It wore well for three hours. MAC Pure Flattery (LE, $15.00) is less gold. MAC Natural Flare (LE, $20.00) is more orange. Bobbi Brown Canary (P, $24.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Night to Remember is described as a “warm red frost [with a Cremesheen finish].” It’s a brightened, medium red with warm, yellow-orange undertones and a soft sheen. It had mostly opaque color coverage, and it wore well for five and a half hours, plus it left behind a soft stain. It was neither hydrating nor drying. Givenchy Grenat Initie (307) (P, $36.00) is similar. Maybelline Infra-red (LE, $7.49) is warmer. Milani Cherry Crave (P, $5.49) is more matte. MAC Must Be Red (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Cockney (P, $15.00) is a touch warmer. Guerlain Genna (LE, $49.50) is similar. Guerlain Habit Rouge (P, $35.00) is more matte. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Stroke of Midnight/Coral

A-
The #129SE brush felt really floppy; the brush head seemed a lot longer than the full-sized #129, and it was also somewhat scratchy. The mirror works as it should, but it's all mirror, so it's easy to smudge and get fingerprints on it when removing it from its pouch. The bag is a good size and will fit several products easily. I liked the lipstick and gloss, and Margin is an old favorite, though it does emphasize pores slightly.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Margin

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Pure Sophistication

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Sunday, October 20th, 2013

MAC Stroke of Midnight Face Palette/Cool
MAC Stroke of Midnight Face Palette/Cool

MAC Stroke of Midnight Face Palette/Cool ($49.50 for 0.295 oz.) is a cool-toned palettes with products for eyes, lips, and face. It contains three eyeshadows (0.028 oz. each), two lipsticks (0.024 oz. each), one iridescent powder (0.176 oz.), and one eye pencil (0.015 oz.). The products represent a a total value of $44.09 –$16.80 worth of eyeshadows, $7.20 worth of lipsticks, $15.09 worth of iridescent powder, and $5 worth of eyeliner. Over time, as more and more brands churn out mega palettes for the holidays all around $50 or so, and I wish MAC would step-up the value (or reduce the cost) of their holiday sets and kits. The biggest misses in this palette were Scene and Ebony, and they were both really pitiful products. There are several nice products here–Romantically Inclined, All Races, Magic Moor–but they don’t make up for the two bombs.

Sparkling Rose is described as a “soft pink with gold frost.” It’s a soft, golden beige with a light, frosted finish that looked rather metallic on. It had decent pigmentation, and the texture was soft and fairly smooth. It wore well for seven hours, but it looked noticeably patchy after eight hours of wear. It did lightly emphasize pores as it looked quite metallic applied. Urban Decay Glint (LE) is warmer. bareMinerals The Love Affair (LE, $26.00) is darker. Bobbi Brown Rose Gold (LE, $42.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Sublime Pleasure is described as a “soft mauve cream [with a Lustre finish].” It’s a soft, cool-toned, medium pink with a luminous sheen. It had semi-sheer pigmentation, and it applied smoothly overall. It lasted two and a half hours and was a little drying on me. MAC Flair for Finery (LE, $15.00) is lighter, less pink. theBalm Milly (P) is warmer. MAC Dreaminess (P, $22.00) is pinker. Chanel Candeur (P, $34.00) is similar. Bobbi Brown Orchid Pink (LE, $23.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Romantically Inclined is described as a “cool plum cream [with a Cremesheen finish].” It’s a magenta purple with cool undertones and a soft sheen. It had semi-opaque color coverage, and it applied evenly and smoothly. It wore for five hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Feel My Pulse (LE, $15.00) is similar. Maybelline Brazen Berry (P, $7.49) is lighter. MAC Seductive Intent (LE, $16.00) is more magenta/purple. MAC Violetta (P, $15.00) is more iridescent. MAC Strong Woman (LE, $15.00) is purpler, darker. MAC Heroine (LE, $15.00) is slightly purpler. MAC Bust Out (LE, $15.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

All Races is described as a “cool light mauve taupe [with a Matte finish].” It’s a pale, gray-ish lavender with cool undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft and finely-milled with great color payoff. It lasted well for eight hours on the lid. NARS Namibia (P, $24.00) is grayer. Disney by Sephora What’s-It (LE) is similar. MAC Creative Whim (LE, $15.00) is shimmery. MAC Fresh Ice (LE, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Silver Gull (LE, $15.00) is grayer. MAC Silverwear (LE, $15.00) is frosted. MAC Look at the Eyes (LE, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Scene is described as a “muted blue-grey [with a Satin finish].” It’s a dirty gray with neutral undertones and a satin finish. The texture was dry and stiff, so the color payoff reflected that–it was very sheer. It had noticeably faded after six and a half hours of wear. Guerlain Crazy Paris #5 (LE)is darker. NARS Delphes #2 (LE, $24.00) is similar. MAC Interior Life (LE, $15.00) is darker, grayer. MAC All Woman (LE, $15.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Magic Moor is described as a “rich blackened plum with pearl [with a Veluxe Pearl].” It’s a deep, dark purple burgundy with a pearly sheen. The color payoff was fantastic, and the texture was soft and smooth. LORAC Deep Purple (P) is similar. Fyrinnae Alchemist’s Curse (P, $6.80) is brighter. Urban Decay Rapture (LE, $18.00) is purpler. Urban Decay Rockstar (P, $18.00) is purpler. Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac (LE, $24.00) is also purpler. See comparison swatches.

Ebony is described as an “intense black.” It’s a sheer, stiff black eyeliner. The consistency of it was really dry–it just wasn’t creamy at all, so it skipped and dragged on the skin. I highly recommend dulling the initial point, as it is extremely sharp, which doesn’t help the color payoff but does make it less painful to use. It lasted for almost eight hours with light shrinkage. There is no shortage in black eyeliners, so you can see comparison swatches of many blacks that out-perform this one.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Stroke of Midnight/Cool

C+

The biggest misses in this palette were Scene and Ebony, and they were both really pitiful products. There are several nice products here--Romantically Inclined, All Races, Magic Moor--but they don't make up for the two bombs.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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LE
product

Sparkling Rose

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Sublime Pleasure

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Saturday, October 19th, 2013

MAC Scene to Be Seen Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Scene to Be Seen Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Scene to Be Seen Mineralize Skinfinish ($33.00 for 0.26 oz.) is a two-in-one product that features a section that’s described as a “brick rose with gold reflects” and a larger area described as a “mauve with pink sheen.” I’m reviewing each shade individually as well as when mixed, so there are three sets of swatches and corresponding photos. To make sure it doesn’t get too confusing, each Mineralize Skinfinish will be posted separately.  All three shades lasted the same on me — just under seven hours before there was noticeable fading.  The inner section of the product wasn’t quite as pigmented as the outer shade, but when everything is swirled together, the outer shade makes up for whatever pigmentation is lacking from the inner portion.  Aside from below average wear time, whether the shades were worn separately or together, the finish emphasized pores.

Scene to Be Seen (Inner) is a warm, reddish plum with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, but the texture was a little chunky. It did somewhat emphasize pores when applied to the cheeks due to the more metallic sheen. Tom Ford Beauty Savage (P, $55.00) is redder. NARS Lovejoy (P, $29.00) is similar but smoother. MAC Small Vanity (LE, $21.00) is more muted. Illamasqua Allure (P, $26.00) is brighter, redder. bareMinerals The Indecent Proposal (P, $22.00) is more plum-hued. See comparison swatches.

Scene to Be Seen (Outer) is a subtly, warm-toned plum with a frosted, metallic sheen. It had so-so color payoff, was slightly powder, and did emphasize pores. MAC Lavish Living (LE, $25.00) is cooler-toned. theBalm Cabana Boy (P, $21.00) is less warm-toned. Chanel Plum Attraction (LE, $43.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Scene to Be Seen is a warm, coppery-plum with a frosted, metallic sheen. The inner shade seemed to overwhelm the outer shade when swirled together. It had good pigmentation, but it did emphasize pores. MAC Small Vanity (LE, $21.00) is less shimmery. bareMinerals The Indecent Proposal (P, $22.00) is less shimmery, darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

product

Scene to Be Seen

B

All three shades lasted the same on me -- just under seven hours before there was noticeable fading. The inner section of the product wasn't quite as pigmented as the outer shade, but when everything is swirled together, the outer shade makes up for whatever pigmentation is lacking from the inner portion. Aside from below average wear time, whether the shades were worn separately or together, the finish emphasized pores.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Scene to Be Seen (Inner)

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Scene to Be Seen (Outer)

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Friday, October 18th, 2013

MAC Perfectly Poised Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Perfectly Poised Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Perfectly Poised Mineralize Skinfinish ($33.00 for 0.26 oz.) is a two-in-one product that features a section that’s described as a “creamy beige with pinkish purplish sheen” and a larger area described as a “bronzy coral with golden tones.” This particular Mineralize Skinfinish wore a little better on me than others, topping in at seven hours, which isn’t great wear but longer than some other shades of Mineralize powders for me.  There is significant emphasis of pores due to the outer shade, which has a very frosted, metallic finish, so when that is used alone or mixed in, pores seem to be at the forefront.

Perfectly Poised (Inner) is a pale, cool-toned beige with a pink, pearlescent sheen. It had a soft, finely-milled texture and was slightly powdery. It emphasized pores somewhat when applied. It seemed to wear well for almost seven hours, which as far as Mineralize products go, not bad. NARS Debbie Harry Highlighter (LE, $29.00) is lighter. MAC In for a Treat (LE, $30.00) is similar. MAC Snowglobe (LE, $24.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Perfectly Poised (Outer) is a warm, medium, slightly muted orange with a frosted, metallic sheen. It had good color payoff, but the texture was a little powdery. It emphasized pores quite a bit and had a very shiny look on the cheeks. This shade also lasted seven hours on me. NARS Luster (P, $29.00) is more golden, darker. MAC Trace Gold (P, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Center of the Universe (LE, $23.50) is similar. MAC Solar Ray (LE, $25.00) is lighter. MAC Warmth of Coral (LE, $25.00) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Perfectly Poised is a muted, light-medium orange with a slight peach coloring. It had a frosted, slightly metallic, sheen. It had good color payoff when swirled together. It did somewhat emphasize pores but wasn’t as shiny as when the outer shade was worn alone. Together, they still wore well for seven hours.  MAC Talk of the Town (LE, $25.00) is pinker. NARS Realm of the Senses #3 (LE, $29.00) is lighter. NARS Miss Liberty (P, $29.00) is yellower. MAC Poised (LE, $21.00) is browner, darker. MAC Bareness (LE, $25.00) is less metallic. Le Metier de Beaute Whisper (P, $30.00) is slightly pinker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Perfectly Poised

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Perfectly Poised (Inner)

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Perfectly Poised (Outer)

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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