Friday, June 18th, 2010

NARS Niagara Lipstick
NARS Niagara Lipstick

The Summer Season: NARS Niagara Lipstick

NARS Niagara Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a smooth shade of lightly brightened coral-pink with a frost-gloss sheen.  It’s not a fully glossy look, but it’s not quite frosty, either.  Thus, frost-gloss sheen texture is born!  The shade is quite pigmented, giving pretty much full, opaque color without having to layer heaps on.  NARS Lipsticks are scent- and taste-free, though they have a little waxy scent to them (which is more of the “natural” scent, e.g. from the ingredients themselves, rather than infused with fragrance).  It’s lighter and not as shimmery as MAC Crosswires, which runs a little more coral, and this one leans a little pinker.

Is this the right coral for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

MAC See Sheer Lipstick

The Summer Season: MAC See Sheer Lipstick

MAC See Sheer Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a slightly muted coral-orange with a glossy sheen.  It has a creamier look to it, as there is no noticeable shimmer in it.  It delivers nearly full-color coverage–you can just lightly see the freckle on my lower lip.  It wears very well and feels incredibly comfortable on–soft, moisturizing, clinging enough to wear for three to four hours, but not tight or drying.  It’s a fun way to wear coral without going full-on coral.

Is this the right coral for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm

Man or Woman, Jack Black Loves Lips

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 ($7.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a new wonder in the Temptalia household!  What’s interesting about the Jack Black line is it is geared towards men, but thank goodness there’s no rule against women using it, too.

Designed from the ground up, Jack Black was created to appeal to the Guy’s Guy. Keeping it simple with superior products specially formulated for a man’s needs. Nothing complicated. Nothing cosmetic. Just real solutions that provide immediate visible results.

I’ve been using this about two and a half weeks now, and I love it.  I really, truly think it’s an outstanding lip balm that does everything it needs to do perfectly.  It fits into pockets and purses with ease, and it’s easy to apply–just squeeze a bit and out comes just enough to give lips a good coat of hydration.  Funny enough, when I’ve been experiencing packaging that gives me too much, Jack Black’s squeeze-tube takes a little more squeezin’ to get the product out than you’d expect (we’re not talking like squeezing an orange effort, or anything, though!).  I’ve never gotten too much product out in a squeeze, so I don’t feel like I ever waste any either.

During the day, I often wear lipstick and/or gloss, so I have been primarily using this at night.  I slick it on around 10 PM, and even when I wake up at 5 or 6 AM, I still feel a good bit of it on.  It really hangs on, and it keeps lips completely hydrated.  I feel like I need to exfoliate less, and I’m not constantly reapplying lip balm every few hours.

It’s available in two variations — one is the natural mint, which has a very cooling, minty feel when on (as well as the scent–but it smells natural, not synthetic or sweet); the other is lemon and chamomile, which reminds me a little of lemonade sipped outside on the deck during late summer.

I fully intend on stocking up on these the next time Sephora has a sale going on, but until then, I will definitely repurchase whenever I’m out of the first tube (probably in a few weeks).  It seems a little pricey at first, but given that this isn’t a drugstore brand and compared against other similarly-priced brands, you get a good amount for the money, which will last you at least a month, I’d guesstimate.  (I’m on my third week, and I use it once or twice a day on average.)

Oh, and it has SPF 25 in it.  That’s always a nice, added bonus!  And 25!  Very, very hard to find lip balm with that level of SPF in it.

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

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

Recommendation:  If you’ve been hunting around for a long-lasting, ultra hydrating, SPF-having lip balm, you gotta give Jack Black’s a try.

AvailabilitySephora

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Cle de Peau Extra Rich Lipstick
Cle de Peau Red Abundance (R2) Extra Rich Lipstick

Decadence in Lipstick with Red Abundance

Cle de Peau R2 Red Abundance Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a wicked, wicked, wicked shade of vibrant red. It’s a slightly orange-hued red with ridiculous pigmentation and glossy sheen. This is not an affordable lipstick–this is, quite easily, a lipstick that epitomizes luxury. The color is rich, smooth, and clings to lips for hours (I had six hours of wear, including a meal) and retains much of the sheen throughout. It’s not a heavy, thick, or particularly creamy lipstick, but it’s hydrating and doesn’t leave lips parched after it’s removed.

The Exra Rich line-up includes a total of eight shades: R1 Black Bacara, R2 Red Abundance, R3 Leonardis, R4 Danse du Feu, T1 Halloween, T2 Just Joey, T3 Baby Julia, and T4 Calliope.

The lipstick itself is shaped into a baguette, where the edges are designed to help you apply it as if you were using a lip brush. While I didn’t have any trouble applying it without a lip brush (the swatch is an application straight from the tube), I don’t know about it being particularly owing to the design. It’s pretty and unique as far as lipsticks go, but in terms of making it easier to apply, it felt about the same to me. The lipstick also contains Vitmain A Acetate, which is supposed to be the first lipstick formulated with it, which gives it both the texture and the moisturizing properties. I found the lipstick easy to apply–no drag–but it’s not creamy like YSL Rouge Voluptes; it’s smooth and feels like silk against lips.

Where this lipstick excels, as with Cle de Peau’s lipsticks in general, is de-emphasizing lip lines, giving lips a fuller, plumper look (but make no mistake, it’s merely from smoothing out lip lines–no actual lip plumping here). R2 also happens to be a very pigmented shade that really showcases the brightness and depth of this particularly red hue.  I’ve also experienced particularly long wear with this shade (which does lightly stain even as it begins to wear off in the sixth hour), but even in the lighter shades (to-be-reviewed), wear is surprisingly lengthy.

Price aside, is this a red you’d wear?

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

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you’re in the market for a truly stunning red and don’t mind the splurge, Cle de Peau’s R2 makes an excellent orange-toned red.

Availability: Saks

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Smashbox Naked Beauty Lip Gloss Collection

Truly Barely There Lip Gloss with Smashbox

Smashbox Naked Beauty Lip Gloss Collection ($25.00 for 8 x 0.04 oz.) includes eight shades of sheer, barely-there lip gloss. The lip gloss itself is smooth, not too thin (but not thick), and non-sticky. They last about one to one and half hours on lips for me.

This set is part of Smashbox’s summer collection, and I did lip swatches but forgot to write down the order I did them in. Normally, I can figure out which shade is which, but these were all so sheer, most of them were indiscernible from the next. I planned to re-do the lip swatches, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet, and I’d like to at least review it in part before it’s no longer available for sale! (I guess you could say that since these ran so sheer, I was less than enthused at re-doing them.)

  • Buff is a sheer pinky-nude with white shimmer.
  • Sunkissed is a sheer reddish brown with gold shimmer.
  • Exposed is an ultra sheer, milky pink.
  • Bare is an ultra sheer pale, pastel milky pink with iridescent pink shimmer. This looked like clear gloss with very subtle shimmer on my lips.
  • Nude is a sheer, darkened peach-nude with gold shimmer. I found this one brightened up my natural lip color just a smidgen, but it was pretty colorless.
  • Naked is a pale gold with white gold shimmer. Like the other shades, it’s very sheer and looks like a colorless gloss with shimmer on lips.
  • Pure is a sheer watermelon pink. It looks a lot more pigmented in the swatch than it does on lips. What’s nice about this one is the pink does play-up the natural pink tones of your lip color and gives them a juicier look.
  • Natural is a sheer red-coral. Like Pure, it has that juicy look when worn, but the color is very, very hard to distinguish.

I think the set is a good value, and if you’re not necessarily a gloss person or you enjoy ultra sheer glosses, it’s worth a look-see. If you like gloss that’s pigmented, or you hate when items are limited edition, it’s not for you. Each lip gloss is pretty small (I’d guesstimate at 4-6 uses per container), but I didn’t see any of these show up in Smashbox’s permanent lip gloss ranges. Once you’re out, you’re out! They’re very travel-friendly, though, since their compact size makes them easy to toss anywhere without taking up much room at all. (Knowing me, I would easily lose these and find them in the couch!)

They definitely represent the theme of “Naked Beauty” quite well–they range from the ultra sheer to the sheer. Some have jelly-like appearances where there is no real shimmer, while other shades look frostier on lips. They all have a great glossy shine, though. I want to reiterate that Smashbox fully intended for these to be very sheer–they’re described as “barely there shades”–and they did exactly that. It’s not my cup of tea, but the product delivers exactly what it sets out to do.  I do wish that they’d varied up the shimmer more in the gloss — at least so the effect would be different, even if they didn’t add much color.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a barely-there gloss girl, you may enjoy these ultra sheer to sheer non-sticky glosses by Smashbox. If you’re looking for some color or enjoy more opaque glosses, don’t even think twice about passing on this set.

Availability: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Fuchsia Shine Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Fuchsia Shine Lipstick

The Summer Season: Dolce & Gabbana Fuchsia Shine Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Fuchsia (#150) Shine Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a beautiful softened fuchsia-pink (actually, it strikes me as a peony pink!) with iridescent light pink shimmer and a glossy shine.  It almost has a glow to it.  It’s not a true fuchsia, because it’s really quite pink and doesn’t have the purple tones that most fuchsia lipsticks have.  The color pay off is excellent with complete opaque color.  I get around four to five hours of wear with this shade, and it’s moisturizing from start to finish.  Dolce & Gabbana Lipsticks are rose-scented, so those with more sensitive sniffers may find it a bit too much.

Is this the right pink for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →