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

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Maybelline Pink Peony Lipstick
Maybelline Pink Peony Lipstick

Quick Review: Maybelline Pink Peony Lipstick

Maybelline Pink Peony Color Sensational Lipstick ($8.29 for 0.15 oz.) is a brightened peony pink with a frosted white and gold shimmer-sheen. It delivers full color coverage with very little layering, and I get an average of three to four hours of wear.

This is one of the clingier shades (as noted in my lipstick comparison post), because it has a frostier finish, which is drier than a creamy or satin finish shade. It’s not drying, though, but if you have flaky or peeling lips, this one might not work out so well. If you’re particularly sensitive to scent, ColorSensational does have a rather synthetic, syrupy sweet scent, but it seems to fade as many of mine just smell waxy. Each tube has quite a bit of product, which is nice, and they’re often on sale for far less than their retail price.

(You should be able to pick one up for less than $8, which is the full retail price, but I spotted it at $5.49 at Target!)

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: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I wish it was a touch creamier, but the color pay off is excellent!

AVAILABILITY: Target

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Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Shiseido GD824 Eyeshadow
Shiseido Ocean Sunset (GD824) Satin Eye Color

Shiseido Ocean Sunset (GD824) Satin Eye Color

Shiseido Ocean Sunset (GD824) Satin Eye Color ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a shimmering, paled yellow gold. Shiseido’s new line of Luminizing eyeshadows, trios, and blushes really impressed me–this is a soft gold (and it’s not meant to be brighter or darker) that’s great as an all-over lid shade or on the lower lash line. This eyeshadow has such a smooth, silky texture that’s nearly creamy with how buttery it is. It is nicely pigmented and applies evenly with no fall out.  The only downside is that these singles are a little pricey.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Such a smooth, silky textured eyeshadow, if yellow isn’t your cup of tea, they have several other shades that might be worth checking out at the counter.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Aveda Brushes
Aveda Flax Sticks Daily Effects Brush Set

Quick Review: Aveda Flax Sticks Daily Effects Brush Set

Aveda Flax Sticks Daily Effects Brush Set ($65.00) includes a Medium Eye Color Brush (#2), Brow & Lash Brush (#7), and Blush Brush (#9). The handles are made of 30% natural flax fiber and 70% polypropylene (90% is post-consumer recycled resin). The bristles are 100% taklon, which means they are synthetic and not made out of animal hair.

The bristles on all three are incredibly soft; no scratchiness whatsoever, and the blush brush was extremely dense. I liked the Eye Color Brush the most, because it picked up a good amount of color without puffing it everywhere. The blush brush could have been a touch firmer, but otherwise worked well for me. I have not tested these brushes for longevity or put them through extensive washing/using tests, though, so I cannot comment on long-term conditions.

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: As set, it’s a nice value, because you’re getting three high-end brushes for about $20 a pop (while the face brush would certainly be more valuable).  They’re soft, seem sturdy, and didn’t shed.

AVAILABILITY: Aveda

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →