Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Clarins Natural Instant Smooth Highlighter
Clarins Natural Instant Smooth Highlighter

Quick Review: Clarins Natural Instant Smooth Highlighter

Clarins Natural Instant Smooth Highlighter ($32.50 for 0.28 oz.) is a sheer, shimmering pink highlighter with soft peach-gold shimmer. It has a creamy, almost gel-like consistency, and it melts into the skin with ease. It’s easy to blend, and the shimmer is fine enough that it doesn’t look too frosty. I like this for light and medium skin tones, as it may look a little ashy on darker skin tones.

Earlier, I reviewed its darker companion–Bronze–here. My big issue with Bronze was the wear time, and I had similar problems with this shade, too–it just doesn’t last beyond four hours. It seems to fade away into oblivion before I know it!

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: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If it lasted longer, it would be a more viable highlighter choice. Given the short wear time, it’s something that could be used for special occasions but not if you’ll be out and about all day.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Philosophy Heavenly Light Pink Illuminator
Philosophy Heavenly Light Pink Illuminator

Quick Review: Philosophy Heavenly Light Pink Illuminator

Philosophy Heavenly Light Pink Illuminator ($28.00 for 1 fl. oz.) is a sheer pink-based highlighter in a lotion form. It’s gorgeous on cheekbones, and it is most suitable for cooler, paler skin tones. The problem with this product is the packaging, which has a brush attached to the end. In order to squeeze out any product, it squeezes through the brush. It’s a bit unsanitary, because I wouldn’t feel comfortable washing it (in case any of the cleanser got back into the tube), but more frustrating is the absolute waste of product. A little goes a long way, but so much gets pushed through the brushes and ends up staying there.

If you like the idea of a pale pink highlighter, I suggest checking our Benefit’s High Beam instead.

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: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 1/5

RECOMMENDATION: Skip it — there are so many excellent highlighters on the market, there is no need to buy one with such fussy packaging.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

NYX Lip Pencils
NYX Lip Pencils: Natural, Plum, Auburn, Dolly Pink

Quick Review: NYX Lip Pencils

NYX Lip Pencils ($3.50 for 0.04 oz.) are excellently pigmented lip pencils to enhance, mute, or neutralize your lips. If you can’t find the shade you need amongst NYX’s 53 different lip pencils, I don’t know you ever will! Like most pencils, I recommend swatching it once or twice on the back of your hand, which will soften the point to make it easier to apply to the lips. You can use the slanted edge to get a really crisp line when lining your lips, too. For a traditional lip pencil, these are exceptionally creamy and glide on easily. They also wear well without feeling dry (but they are matte and for most, you’ll want to layer a lipstick on top or a balm underneath if you plan to wear it for extended periods of time).

  • Natural (810) is a medium beige with a hint of brown.
  • Plum (812) is a deepened, berried red–not really plum to me, though.
  • Auburn (801) is a muted brick red with brown.
  • Dolly Pink (839) is a bright, blue-based cotton candy pink. This would work well with shades like MAC Snob, Lady Gaga, etc.

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

RECOMMENDATION: These are lovely lip liners, not even for the price but on their own merits.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Caramel Lipgloss
Dolce & Gabbana Caramel Lip Gloss

A Nude That Works!

Dolce & Gabbana Caramel (50) Lip Gloss ($29.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a muted, medium beige nude with a high shine finish. It tones down my natural lip color without washing me out, which I can definitely appreciate! Unlike some nude glosses, it doesn’t look thick or unnatural, and it doesn’t feel gloopy at all–but there is still some color to it, it’s not just a sheer gloss. There is a touch of tackiness, but I wouldn’t describe these as sticky.

Dolce & Gabbana Lip Glosses are moisturizing, and they fade really well when they wear away. I only get about two to three hours of wear, which is a little below average for me. These glosses are rose-scented but don’t seem to have any taste. With just 0.13 oz. in a tube (compared to 0.20 oz. for other high-end brands like Chanel, Guerlain, and YSL), these are pricey. Overall, they’re nice glosses, but it’s not quite the holy grail.

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: It’ll work well to neutralize your natural lip color without washing out, which is nice, but it’s pricey.

AVAILABILITY: Saks

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Cover Girl Bronze Glow (770) Lipstick
CoverGirl Bronze Glow (770) Continuous Color Lipstick

Quick Review: CoverGirl Bronze Glow (770) Continuous Color Lipstick

CoverGirl Bronze Glow (770) Continuous Color Lipstick ($5.49 for 0.13 oz.) is a coppery orange that applies nearly opaque with a slight frosted sheen. It’s creamy enough to apply evenly with little effort, and the color coverage is noteworthy for a drugstore brand. For me, the biggest was surprise was the lack of scent (or taste)–so many drugstore brands have the most synthetically sweet scents I’ve come across, which be a big turn off for some. The wear was average (four hours), and I didn’t find it drying, but I didn’t find it moisturizing either.

The packaging feels cheap, and it seems like it gets dinged up quite easily, as the inside is all scratched up, and this is photographed brand new.   For the price tag, I think you sometimes have to give up nicer packaging, though.

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: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a nice, affordable choice for warmer skin tones and deeper skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Burberry Midnight Brown (02) Eye Definer Pencil
Burberry Midnight Brown (02) Eye Definer Pencil

Burberry Breaks My Heart

Burberry Midnight Brown Eye Definer Pencil ($27.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a rich, dark brown with golden flecks and subtly cool undertones. As beautiful as the color is, I didn’t have good luck with wear. When I wore it on the lower lash line, it seemed to disappear significantly within three to four hours.

It was creamy enough to apply a smooth, precise line without tugging on the lash line. The texture actually gave me false hope, because it seemed dry enough that it would have no problem staying put! I loved that it is a true pencil but the pencil itself did not feel harsh against my lid or lash line.

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: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The color is gorgeous, and it would work so well with green and hazel eyes, but the wearability left too much to be desired to recommend it as a purchase.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →