Saturday, October 30th, 2010

NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow
NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow

NARS Holiday 2010: Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow

NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) contains three shades: (as described by NARS) silver, deep cobalt blue, and black onyx. According to Sephora’s description of this trio, the eyeshadows can be used wet to double as eyeliners.

The colors included in the trio are not unique, but they have a beautiful, smooth texture and rich, intense pigmentation that glides on with ease. There is a light silver-white with a frosted finish, medium-dark blue with subtle shimmer-sheen, and a medium-dark black with a satin sheen. These felt smoother and softer than the average NARS eyeshadow.

The silver has the largest portion, while the blue is about half the size and the black a third. It makes sense to have the black be such a thin strip, since you really do not need much black in most looks, but it may be too thin for those who use bigger brushes (say the MAC 252). It’s not a major drawback, as most eyeshadow brushes should be able to maneuver in there, but it was worth noting.

I’m not sure why this is a whopping $45, which is rather killer for a product like this, even for high end. A NARS Eyeshadow Duo contains 0.14 oz. of product and retails for $32, which makes the trio more per ounce (but a better value than the single eyeshadows). The quality is phenomenal, though!

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: I wish this was priced more in line with NARS Eyeshadow Duos. If you do not have similar colors in your stash already, though, it’s worth taking a peek at.

AVAILABILITY: NARS, Sephora.com

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Thursday, October 28th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale

MAC Tartan Tale Collection (Colour): Overall, Round-up, & Recommendations

OVERALL, Tartan Tale doesn’t do it for me.  The eyeshadows look really cool, and they have a lovely soft and smooth texture, but they just seem so muted when you apply them.  Glamora Castle and Semi-Precious were the best of the six, while the other shades felt more appropriate as soft, springy pastel kind of shades.

I don’t like the value of Dazzleglass Cremes, and this batch of five tends to run rather sheer and they start to all look like the next when worn on the lips, and there were too many that were similar to permanent or recently released shades–a few also looked just like Dazzleglass and lacked the “creme” part.   Sheer is great, but seeing it over and over within the same collection is redundant.

My favorites are all of the Pearlglide Eyeliners, though three of them are repromotes–all worth a peek if you don’t yet have them! It’s just such a rich, pigmented formula that glides on like butter and still wears long, I can never pass these up.  I also really enjoyed the pigments that came out with the launch, because I felt like they had depth and stood out amongst past and present pigment releases.  Both nail lacquers were stunning on, but the brushes on both were a bit thick, so I’m not sure if there was a manufacturing defect there or not.

Much of this launch felt decent to good but only some items were really great.  On the flip side, I didn’t feel like anything here was really lacking in quality to merit a skip.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves: Pearlglide Eyeliners (pick your poison!), Style Clan Nail Lacquer, Pigments

Nice-to-haves: Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer, Gone Romancin’ Dazzleglass Creme, Courting Lilac Lipstick, Glamora Castle Eyeshadow, Semi-Precious Eyeshadow

Skip:  Nothing is terrible, most things just lie in the middle

Skip if…

  • Skip MY HIGHLAND HONEY if you have UTTERLY GAME; they’re pretty similar–Utterly Game is a touch coral.
  • Skip LIGHTLY PRANCING if you have BARE NECESSITY; it doesn’t have as much gold shimmer, but it’s pretty close in color.
  • Skip SOFT DAZZLE if you have MOTH TO FLAME; they look incredibly similar when worn.
  • Skip RADIANT JEWELS if you have CREME ALLURE; it’s a touch darker but similar enough.
  • Skip DEEPEST WISH if you have KITTENISH or MEDIA; it’s just a blotchy version of both of those.
  • Skip SEMI-PRECIOUS if you have HEPCAT or PLUM DRESSING; they are all very close to each other.
  • Skip HER BLOOMING CHEEK if you have AZALEA; Azalea is PRO but incredibly close.

Don’t forget to Check your stash for…

LATER (repromote), SOFT DAZZLE (repromote), FULL FUCHSIA (permanent at PRO).

Recommendations by Skin Tone

Please note that this section is merely suggesting shades that would complement a particular skin tone better than other shades, but these lists are meant to be rather exhaustive of the entire collection; it’s not reflective of must-haves for your skin tone. When it comes to cooler/warmer skin tones, these are products that lean noticeably cool/warm and therefore complement the corresponding skin tone better (but it does not mean you can’t wear a warmer product if you’re cooler!).

Pearlglide Liners: I recommend all shades for all skin tones.  Seriously.

  • Best Picks for Lighter Skin Tones: My Highland Honey Blush, Style Clan Nail Lacquer, The Family Crest Pigment, Moonlight Night Pigment, Soft Dazzle Dazzleglass Creme, Gone Romancin’ Dazzleglass Creme, Courtly Lilac Lipstick, Deepest Wish Lipstick, The Faerie Glen Lipstick, Glamora Castle Eyeshadow, A Wish Come True Eyeshadow, Semi-Precious Eyeshadow
  • Best Picks for Medium Skin Tones: Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer, Style Clan Nail Lacquer, The Family Crest Pigment, Later Pigment, Moonlight Night Pigment, Passing Fancy Dazzleglass Creme, Courtly Lilac Lipstick, Cut-a-Caper Lipstick, The Faerie Glen Lipstick, Glamora Castle Eyeshadow, Enviably Fun Eyeshadow, Semi-Precious Eyeshadow
  • Best Picks for Darker Skin Tones: Her Blooming Cheek Blush, My Highland Honey Blush, Style Clan Nail Lacquer, Later Pigment, Moonlight Night Pigment, Radiant Jewels Dazzleglass Creme, Deepest Wish Lipstick, Full Fuchsia Lipstick, Glamora Castle Eyeshadow, Semi-Precious Eyeshadow
  • Best Picks for Cooler Skin Tones: Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer, The Family Crest Pigment, Later Pigment, Moonlight Night Pigment, Gone Romancin’ Dazzleglass Creme, Radiant Jewels Dazzleglass Creme, Courtly Lilac Lipstick, Deepest Wish Lipstick, The Faerie Glen Lipstick, Glamora Castle Eyeshadow, A Wish Come True Eyeshadow, Semi-Precious Eyeshadow
  • Best Picks for Warmer Skin Tones: Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer, Style Clan Nail Lacquer, Moonlight Night Pigment, Passing Fancy Dazzleglass Creme, Soft Dazzle Dazzleglass Creme, Lightly Prancing Dazzleglass Creme, Cut-a-Caper Lipstick, Enviably Fun Eyeshadow, Follow Your Fantasy Eyeshadow, Golden Crown Eyeshadow

What are you loving? What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale

MAC Tartan Tale Collection (Chapter 1): Overall, Round-up, & Recommendations

OVERALL, Tartan Tale is both overwhelming and underwhelming–the sheer size makes it difficult to focus on individual products and starts to feel more like an explosion of products. It’s underwhelming in that a lot of the kits/sets aren’t as value-driven as palettes and sets often are, but some of the quality is lacking in the palettes, as well.

For this part of the holiday collection, I have no must-haves. There are some nice colors within the palettes, but I don’t feel that the entire palette/kit is a must-have. These were some of the individual shades I thought were worth noting: Endless Fun (Happily Ever After Lip Kit), Baron’s Rose (Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag), Mellow Mood (Vain & Glorious Lip Bag), and Rolled Gold (Twists of Tartan Palette.  I liked Rockers & Reelers the most out of the palettes and sets, but I didn’t love it.

I also like the Face Kits, and I think they’re worth checking out if you don’t have any of the permanent blush shades included in each. It’s a more affordable way to try three cheek products at once, and at least, if you love the blushes, they’re available in the permanent range, too.  I do always recommend the MAC Viva Glam holiday products. If you love the color of either the gloss or lipstick, but not the bag or both, they are available year-round for purchase.

The one item I specifically do not recommend are the brush sets.  I think the quality is significantly below MAC brushes (full-sized), but worse yet, below more affordable brush options.  Buy one or two full-size brushes and add to your brush collection over time.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves: None

Nice-to-haves: Beauties Play It Cool Palette, Reelers & Rockers Palette, Happily Ever After Lip Kit

Skip: Dashing Lassies Eyeshadow Palette (MAC has better permanent neutrals), Brush Sets

Skip if…

  • Skip ENDLESS FUN if you have OYSTER GIRL; it’s a little less milky but very similar.
  • Skip BARON’S ROSE if you have FUN BATHING; they’re incredibly close–Baron’s Rose is a touch redder.
  • Skip SMOOTH HARMONY if you have GOLDEN BRONZER;
  • Skip CROWN & SCEPTRE if you have ANTIQUED; slightly less metallic but similar enough color-wise.

Don’t forget to…

Check your stash for MOTH TO FLAME (permanent), BABY SPARKS (permanent), IN SYNCH (repromote from Too Fabulous, ’10), MELLOW MOOD (repromote from Electroflash, ’08), MELBA (permanent), PEACHTWIST (permanent), SMOOTH HARMONY (repromote from Heatherette, ’08), DAME (permanent), PLUM FOOLERY (permanent), OH SO FAIR (repromote from Venomous Villains, ’10), SILVERWEAR (repromote from Holiday, ’07), HOLD MY GAZE (repromote from Holiday, ’09), ALTERED STATE (repromote from Holiday, ’09), BRONZE (permanent), BUCKWHEAT (repromote from Naked Honey, ’09), SHOWSTOPPER (repromoted endlessly), WHITE RABBIT (repromote from Holiday, ’09), CARBON (permanent), VAINGLORIOUS (repromote from Venomous Villains, ’10).

Recommendations by Skin Tone

Please note that this section is merely suggesting shades that would complement a particular skin tone better than other shades, but these lists are meant to be rather exhaustive of the entire collection; it’s not reflective of must-haves for your skin tone. When it comes to cooler/warmer skin tones, these are products that lean noticeably cool/warm and therefore complement the corresponding skin tone better (but it does not mean you can’t wear a warmer product if you’re cooler!).

  • Best Picks for Lighter Skin Tones: Happily Ever After Kit, Dashing Lassies Eyeshadow Palette, Beauties Play It Cool Palette, Twists of Tartan Palette, Hark the Heraldry Face Kit, Vain & Glorious Lip Bag
  • Best Picks for Medium Skin Tones: A Fabulous Fantasy Kit, Happily Ever After Kit, Beauties Play It Cool Palette, Reelers & Rockers Palette, A Triumphant Blush Face Kit, Vain & Glorious Lip Bag, Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag
  • Best Picks for Darker Skin Tones: A Fabulous Fantasy Kit, Reelers & Rockers Palette, Twists of Tartan Palette, A Triumphant Blush Face Kit, Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag
  • Best Picks for Cooler Skin Tones: Happily Ever After Kit, Dashing Lassies Eyeshadow Palette, Beauties Play It Cool Palette, Twists of Tartan Palette, Hark the Heraldry Face Kit, Vain & Glorious Lip Bag
  • Best Picks for Warmer Skin Tones: A Fabulous Fantasy Kit, Reelers & Rockers Palette, A Triumphant Blush Face Kit, Vain & Glorious Lip Bag, Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag

What are you loving? What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010


MAC A Tartan Tale: Link Roundup

PHEW!  It’s been a grueling week!  We’re finally done reviewing and sharing MAC’s A Tartan Tale with you, and since it’s been a long ride, here’s a quickie round-up of all of the coverage.  To follow, there will be an overall review along with recommendations and all that jazz, per usual.

MAC A Tartan Tale Collection: Colour

MAC A Tartan Tale Collection: Palettes & Sets

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

MAC Highland Honey Blush
MAC My Highland Honey Blush

MAC Tartan Tale: Highland Honey Blush

MAC Highland Honey Blush ($18.50 for 0.21 oz.) is a rich shade of peach-orange with a very subtle satin sheen.  It can be built up for a more intense, more orange-y look or used lightly for a lit-from-within kind of glow.  I love that it’s pigmented without being straight-up orange, but it’s also buildable; you can easily apply it lightly or pat more on for a more intense look.

It’s warmer and more orange than Melba Blush, which is a darker peach with less of an orange pull. It’s not as orange as NARS Gina nor as coral as NARS Gilda. It’s a shade lighter than Illamasqua’s Lover, but the two are similar. It’s also similar to Utterly Game, which leans a little coral but not by much.

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: It’s a nice choice to warm up cheeks, especially on warmer skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale Dazzleglass Cremes
Passing Fancy, Gone Romancin’, Lightly Prancing, Radiant Jewels, Soft Dazzle

MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzleglass Cremes

MAC Tartan Tale Dazzleglass Cremes ($18.00 for 0.09 oz.) feature five new and limited edition shades ranging from sheer neutrals to more opaque red. Dazzleglasses Cremes have a thicker consistency but aren’t as sticky as lipglass. I do find that they have a slightly gritty texture, which becomes more noticeable as the gloss disappears and the glittery bits are left behind. They smell like vanilla.

The shades include: Passing Fancy (bright orange coral with soft pearl), Gone Romancin’ (mid-tone lavender with multi-dimensional pearl), Lightly Prancing (light peach with gold pearl), Radiant Jewels (dark sparkly magenta), and Soft Dazzle (mid-tone peach pink with gold pearl).

Their biggest downfall is how little product you get in each tube: a measly 0.09 oz. To put that into perspective, a normal MAC Lipglass is $14.50 and contains 0.17 oz. I like Dazzleglasses for their high shine, glossy look and very dazzling shimmer, but the pitiful amount drives me batty.

  • Passing Fancy is a soft, sheer coral-nude with white shimmer. This is the least shimmer-filled of the five. I don’t know how this translates to “bright orange coral,” though. It may look it in the tube, but on the lips, not the case. Smile would be the closest permanent dupe, though it has a bit more shimmer.
  • Gone Romancin’ is a semi-opaque lilac pink with lots of light lilac and white shimmer. This one is full of shimmer! It reminds me of Negligee lipglass or a more lilac Cultured. It’s a bit pinker than Via Veneto.
  • Lightly Prancing is a semi-sheer, milky peach nude with soft gold shimmer. It is reminiscent of Sublime Shine, though less gold shimmer. The closest permanent dupe would be Bare Necessity.
  • Radiant Jewels is a semi-opaque, deep fuchsia raspberry with fuchsia shimmer. It looks very much like Creme Allure — maybe just a touch darker, but they look very, very close to me. Love Alert would be the closest permanent dupe.
  • Soft Dazzle is a semi-sheer, milky pink-nude with gold shimmer. Yes, it looks incredibly similar to Lightly Prancing–it’s just a little pink. Moth to Flame would be the closest permanent dupe –it doesn’t have as much gold sparkle.

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

RECOMMENDATION: Gone Romancin’ is fun, and I think with the amount of lilac lip fans, it’ll go over well. The others are rather similar to past or present dazzleglasses/dazzleglass cremes, though.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →