Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Benefit Bella Bamba Powder
Benefit Bella Bamba Powder

Benefit Bella Bamba Boxed Powder ($28.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a brightened medium pink with pale gold shimmer-sheen. It’s fairly pigmented and can easily be used as an intense blusher, but it’s soft and fine enough in texture to be used as a sheer color on cheeks when blended out. I want to say it’s like a mix of Coralista and Sugarbomb but distinctly pink, not really a coral at all.

At first glance, it seems like Bella Bamba might just be another NARS Orgasm variation, but it’s so much pinker than those peachy-pinks. The closest dupe I could think of was Chanel Pink Explosion Joues Contraste, which is slightly cooler and has less gold shimmer. NARS Angelika is closest in color by NARS, but it’s really more a mesh of that blush with Albatross, I’d say.

I’m a little disappointed to see Benefit cutting the product size down by so much–a lot of their boxed powders have as much as 0.42 oz., while ones that are lower hover around 0.35 oz. It’s just as pigmented and incredibly similar in texture to Coralista, which is a full 0.42 oz. It’s still a lot of product for $28 (most blushes are 0.15 oz. or so), but it was something I thought was worth noting. I’m also not a fan of the flip-top packaging, because it doesn’t stay open on its own (probably more frustrating to photograph than to use, I suppose, though). I prefer the removable lid myself.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think this is a great boxed powder, and even though they reduced the size, it’s still a ton of blush for the price.  It’s nicely pigmented win a flattering pink that’s not too cool or warm; the golden sheen makes it suitable for warmer skin tones while the slightly cool-toned pink of the shade itself works well on cool skin tones, too.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Friday, December 24th, 2010

Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Eye Studio Baked Eyeshadow
Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Eye Studio Baked Eyeshadow

Quick Review: Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Baked Eyeshadow

Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Baked Eyeshadow Duo ($7.29 for 0.09 oz.) is a baked eyeshadow (similar to MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows), and one side is solid while the other is marbled. When swatched, the product works amazing whether wet or dry–the solid side is a rusted orange-red with a frosty finish, while the marbled side is a pinky beige with a white frost finish.

It has a smooth texture, high frost finish, and both shades were incredibly pigmented. In the past, I’ve found that baked eyeshadows often must be used wet in order to achieve good color pay off, but these worked well dry, too. I did have the ever slightly noticeable fading after eight hours of wear with Maybelline’s Baked Eyeshadow Duos, but it was very slight.

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: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Maybelline has several other variations on their duos, and based on this one, these might be a great alternative to higher-end baked eyeshadows like MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows–perhaps not necessarily exact dupes in terms of colors but the product type is quite similar.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com

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Friday, December 24th, 2010

NYX Emerald City Eye Pencil
NYX Emerald City Eye Pencil

Quick Review: NYX Emerald City Eye Pencil

NYX Emerald City Eye Pencil ($3.50) is a darkened forest green with a hint of teal. It leans on the cooler side, but it works well with hazel eyes in particular. It has a fairly matte finish and good color pay off. NYX’s Eye Pencils last nearly all day on me, only slightly fading after eight hours (but from afar, I don’t think anyone would notice), but they are most notable for how soft they are. Use less pressure initially, just to get an idea of how soft these are–if you apply firmer pressure, you may find the tip breaks off.

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: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re in need of affordable colored pencil eyeliners, NYX has you covered.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis
Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis

Chanel Spring 2011: Black Pearl

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis Nail Colour ($23.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a stormy teal-tinged blackened base with threads of metallic silvered green running through it, then topped off with green, blue, and teal micro-shimmer. This has a rather metallic finish, so brush strokes are apparent, but the formula works well enough that with some patience and steady hand, the brush strokes can be pulled out evenly and made to look like brushed metal. (I, on the other hand, lack steady hands–or patience–and wobbled a bit.)

LE VERNIS is a pricey product that often comes out with more unique shades (that are later replicated by other brands). The originality or amount of depth in their shades is what often pulls me towards them. Overall, I’ve had good luck with the formula and wear. The formula tends to be on the thicker side but not so thick it’s gloppy, while I typically get a full week’s worth of wear (and just minor tip wear).

Black Pearl seemed a little thicker than normal for Chanel, but each coat was pigmented, and I only needed two coats for opaque color. The only similar shades I could think of were China Glaze’s Rodeo Fanatic (way too blue to be similar) and NARS’ Full Metal Jacket (which is similar in the finish and look/feel, but not the color).

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I couldn’t come up with any dead-on dupes, so perhaps Chanel has another unique shade on their hands. The formula applied fine, but I’ve never been a big fan of brush strokes. I could see this being a must-have for Chanel lacquer fans, but it might not hold the same appeal to others.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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Friday, December 24th, 2010

Becca Concealer
Becca Compact Concealer

Quick Review: Becca Compact Concealer

Becca Compact Concealer ($38.00 for 0.10 oz.) is an item I picked up when HauteLook had a Becca sale, so I was guessing on my shade… and I guessed wrong. Becca has quite the impressive shade range–I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many for concealer in particular–and the shade I chose was Toffee. It has stronger yellow and orange undertones, and in general, it was a couple of shades too dark for me (for reference, my arm is about NC20 or a little lighter).

The Compact includes two different formulas; one side offers medium-coverage while the other side offers full-coverage. It definitely is opaque and very creamy, but it is a thicker formula overall. It works best when warmed up between fingers and patted on, because then you can work out the consistency and get a more even application without over-applying the product. I found it would crease a little bit if I wore it thick, but if blended out to a thin layer (which is still plenty pigmented), it didn’t crease at all. One compact will surely last quite awhile, but the $38 price tag is daunting.

I wasn’t able to do a full test on this product nor provide before/after photos as it a completely wrong match for me.

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: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It seems like a decent concealer, but it may be a better concealer if you need a very opaque one — because this is definitely one of the fuller coverage ones I’ve tried.

AVAILABILITY: Becca

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Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Burt's Bees Pomegranate Night Creme
Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Night Creme

Quick Review: Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Night Creme

Burt’s Bees Naturally Ageless Night Creme ($24.99 for 2 oz.) is a rich, moisturizing cream that doesn’t actually feel rich or heavy or much like a cream at all. It felt more like a gel cream, because of the lighter texture and the cooling sensation (not tingly, just… cool). There is a noticeable but not overwhelming scent of sweet-tart berry and pomegranate that I don’t find heavy or cloying, but it is there.

Ingredients: Water, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Alcohol Denatured, White Birch Bark Extract, Acmellia Oleracea Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Sucrose Stearate, Xanthan Gum, Sucrose Distearate, Fragrance (Parfum), Glucose, Sodium Chloride, Lactoperoxidase, Glucose Oxidase

I liked that it absorbed within three to five minutes and didn’t leave behind any greasy residue or feeling on the skin, which some heavier night creams can do. It kept my skin soft, smooth, and moisturized during the six weeks I used it (at this point, I had finished the jar). I think this is a great moisturizer for normal to very dry skin types, and it’s budget-friendly, too! Now, if only we could ditch the jar packaging…

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: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a nice option for a heavy duty moisturizing cream for night time that won’t feel heavy or greasy.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com