Saturday, December 18th, 2010

MAC Very Important Platinum Nail Lacquer
MAC Very Important Platinum Nail Lacquer

MAC Cham-Pale: Very Important Platinum Nail Lacquer

MAC Very Important Platinum Nail Lacquer ($13.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a a metallic pewter with silver micro-shimmer strewn it. It has a frost finish, and MAC officially describes it as a “dirty platinum.”  Like Soiree, I found the finish to be much more metallic than that of a typical frost, and it has the brush strokes to prove it!  Shown here with two coats, I found it impossible not to have far too many brush strokes messing up the overall look of the polish.  I was disappointed in the consistency, too, which was thick and gloppy.  The color is gorgeous (I love pewter anything!), but the formula itself is one of MAC’s worst in the past couple years–and I like MAC’s lacquers in general.

MAC Cham-Pale is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

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

  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Only if you have the patience of a saint!

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Saturday, December 18th, 2010

MAC Soiree Nail Lacquer
MAC Soiree Nail Lacquer

MAC Cham-Pale: Soiree Nail Lacquer

MAC Soiree Nail Lacquer ($13.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a is a bright, light bronze metallic-frost with flecks of copper shimmer-glitter. It has a frost finish, and MAC officially describes it as a “sparkly light bronze gold.”  While it’s a frost finish, it is also a bit metallic.  This is really pigmented–swatches are shown with just one coat–and really easy to work with.  It dries down quicker than most MAC polishes.  It initially reminded me of Dior’s Timeless Gold, but it’s nowhere near it–warmer, darker, bronzer.  Zoya’s Austine is the closest dupe I could come up with, but the finish is quite different, and Soiree is darker.

MAC Cham-Pale is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This was so easy to work with, and the pigmentation was incredible. Very festive, too!

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquer
Noble Passion, High Wire, Magic at Dusk, Dynamique

A Quick Look at Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquers

Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquers ($15.00 for 0.14 fl. oz.) saw the addition of four shades for their fall collection, Le Cirque:

  • Noble Passion is a deep, iridescent navy blue with brightened blue-violet shimmer. This is a really cool shade. It glows in natural light as well as full light–not something every polish can do! It was almost pigmented enough in one coat, but I used two. It was reminiscent of Orly’s Lunar Eclipse, but while there are some similarities, they do look different and have totally opposite finishes. I also felt like a comparison could be made to Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Scrangie in the kind of feel–but the two are not the same in color at all.
  • High Wire is a mauve-tinged silvered gray with a metallic finish. With the more metallic finish, I did get brush strokes, but color was incredibly pigmented with just one coat used here. I couldn’t think of any dupes for this shade.
  • Magic at Dusk is a muted beige-pink with coppered gold shimmer. Two coats. I couldn’t think of any dupes for this shade.
  • Dynamique is an ultra deep, dark burgundy-red cream. Just one coat. It is similar to Essie’s Velvet Voyeur but with more red.

Le Metier de Beaute’s Nail Lacquers come an undoubtedly painful price point. These are tiny little bottles with still-hefty price tags, but the formula is dreamy. It’s not too thick or thin, but what stands out is the pigmentation–very rich, intense pigment in nearly one stroke. I think if I was a little more careful, I could have made some of these one coaters. I was able to get a full week’s worth of wear with just minor tip wear.

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: 29/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: From these four, I think three of them are really interesting shades–so in that respect, I liken this brand to Chanel. It’s a luxury brand, so if it’s something within your budget, I think they’re worth a look–especially now that the brand has increased their distribution channels.

AVAILABILITY: Neiman Marcus

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Thursday, December 9th, 2010

NARS Bad Influence Nail Polish
NARS Bad Influence Nail Polish

NARS Holiday 2010: Bad Influence

NARS Bad Influence Nail Polish ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a mushroom brown. It is one of two limited edition nail polishes from NARS for the holidays (the other being Pokerface). I have heard others compare this shade to Chanel Particuliere, but I find Particuliere grayer and less brown (I don’t comparison swatches, because I gave mine away). The are definitely similar, more so in natural lighting, perhaps 90% similarity. I only needed two coats to get creamy, opaque color.

I’ve had good luck with NARS polish in terms of wear–about a week with just minor tip wear but no chipping. Bad Influence wasn’t too thick or thin (but it is on the thinner side), and I didn’t experience any bubbling.

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: If Particuliere wasn’t in your budget, NARS is a good alternative that’ll save you a few bucks.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Estee Lauder Extravagant Night Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Extravagant Night Nail Lacquer

Best of Fall: Extravagant Night

Estee Lauder Extravagant Night Nail Lacquer ($18.00 0.3 fl oz.) is a stunning deep dark purple wine base decked out with multi-colored flecks that range from deep fuchsia to violet to gold. Ahh! This was absolutely gorgeous from the first coat on (two coats shown). I don’t even know how to describe the way it looks, because it practically dances under bright lights (like flash), but it still retains its character and depth in natural light. It applies evenly, just like a normal shimmer polish tends to do, but the effect is so much more like a glitter–without the grittiness.

It’s sold out in a lot of places, but Macy’s still has it online! I wish it weren’t so expensive or else they put more in the bottle (0.3 fl. oz. is below average for the price point).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If it’s something in your budget, YES!

AVAILABILITY: Macy’s

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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Chanel Riva Le Vernis Nail Lacquer
Chanel Riva Nail Lacquer

Chanel Cote d’Azur Collection: Riva

Chanel Riva Nail Lacquer ($27.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a pale sky blue with ultra fine, barely-there iridescent blue shimmer strewn through the creamier, almost jelly-esque base. The swatches included in this post show the effect of three coats (and thicker ones at that)–I would say that you would need a muted white shade underneath, perhaps, or else four coats.

In all honesty, this is just not a shade to be worn opaque (at least not on its own). You’re better off wearing two coats and going for a sheer look than layering it on and ending up with a very thick pile o’ polish. I didn’t experience any streaking when applying the three coats, but it did seem more prone to bubbling (I don’t think I’ve ever really had a polish look like it was going to bubble on me… it was odd!).

I’m actually a big fan of Chanel’s polishes typically, but I can’t say I’m on the Riva bandwagon yet. The color itself is just not there for me; it lacks the dimensionality of other cult status Chanel shades–the shimmer is too fine, too soft, and it’s difficult to detect unless under direct, bright light. I had no idea this was a much anticipated shade until after I purchased it, which I’m glad for, because my expectations may have been even higher had I known.

Even more painful is the $4 price increase on Riva as compared to their other nail lacquers–what? I’m fully willing to pay $23 for a shade that only Chanel can do (or at least, is the first to do), but $27 for a shade with some application/formula issues and doesn’t quite hit the zing color-wise makes it impossible to recommend in good conscience!

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 5/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a Chanel collector, you may want to snag it rather than see it for $200 in two months–just because a lot of hype has been built up for this shade and it likely will sell out. Otherwise, I think you could safely skip.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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