Sunday, August 29th, 2010


Chanel Eyeliner: Marine, Jade

Swatched:  Chanel Marine & Jade

Chanel Long Lasting Eyeliner ($28.00 for 0.01 oz.) are budgeproof, smudgeproof, and waterproof automatic twist-up eyeliners. I reviewed this product initially with Cassis Eyeliner, which was a plummy shade. I have nothing new to say — these still wear amazingly without migrating or fading during the day. These are just two more shades swatched and tested for your viewing pleasure.

  • Marine (30) is a navy blue with silver shimmer with a darker blackened navy blue base. It’s surprisingly opaque in just one stroke.
  • Jade (50) is a lightened greenish teal with silver sheen. This one doesn’t have the heavier shimmer that Marine has–much more of a sheen. This is gorgeous with brown eyes.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For a nice, long-wearing eyeliner, Chanel’s makes a nice choice–if you don’t mind the price tag.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Friday, August 27th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines: Video Review

As promised, here is my video review for the new MAC collection.  I tried to get through it as quickly as possible, and yet it still ended up being 32 minutes long.  Whew!  Grab lunch, coffee, carrot sticks… and maybe a merit badge if you actually watch the whole thing :)

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Illamasqua Precision Ink
Illamasqua Precision Ink

A Tale of Twin Liners

Illamasqua Precision Ink Liquid Eyeliner (£16.50 for 0.06 oz.) is a new eyeliner launching with Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness collection for fall. It’s a long-wearing and waterproof liner that should dry quickly.

It may look familiar. In fact, it may look very familiar. Illamasqua’s Precision Ink and MAC Superslick Liquid Eyeliners are exactly the same. Every part of the packaging is the same, from the bottom to the inside to the formula itself. MAC has sticker labels on the bottom, while Illamasqua has the label on the side of the eyeliner–which reveals a bit of an inset, and after peeling back the MAC label, the MAC liner has it, too.

Illamasqua has two shades (at least for now): Abyss, which is a rich black, and Alchemy, which is a metallic gold. (The MAC counterparts would be On the Hunt and Pure Show, for reference.) The shades are exactly the same as far as I can tell. There is no discernible difference, and I swatched both gold shades on my hand and kept them there for about 36 hours–I wanted to see them in all different lighting.  If there is any difference between them, I could not detect a single one.

This is a very easy review, because I’ve done it before: they are as long-wearing as they claim to be. They won’t smudge, budge, flake, or migrate whatsoever once they’re dry, though I find that drying time is around twenty to thirty seconds (not super fast, not agonizingly long). It is water-resistant, and it flakes off when you put makeup remover on it.

Whenever two brands, particularly such well-known brands as these, come out with exactly the same product, not just similar colors (which you could simply say are coincidence or going with the trends), I wonder what went on. I don’t know much about manufacturing and the behind-the-scenes aspect of beauty product creation, so I don’t have any insider knowledge to provide for you. My first experience with it was with all of the lip stain markers that released in the earlier half of this year–it seemed like every brand was putting out some kind of lip stain marker. Then MAC and Orly’s polish similarities, and now this… It just makes you wonder.

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: Just depends on which brand you prefer, I’d say… It’s a very nice long-wearing liquid eyeliner that’s easier to use than your typical liquid eyeliner.

AVAILABILITY: Illamasqua

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Friday, August 27th, 2010

Old Spice Swagger

The Tech Guy Shaun, aka The Tech Guy, aka my boyfriend, is here with another must-read “manly” review. He’s twenty-seven with normal-to-dry skin and suffers from no more acne (much to my envy!).  Lately, he’s been smelling a lot like generic man.  Which is that “man” scent I’ve come to identify with men’s body washes these days.

Shaun enjoys long walks on the beach, vegging out on the couch watching chick flicks, and cuddling with Mellan. Or maybe not! He handles all the behind-the-scenes action here at Temptalia, from tech support to server woes to being my shoulder to cry on.

So, this is going to be the most epic standoff in the history of epic standoffs. In one corner, we have the manly and slightly insecure Old Spice Swagger Body Wash ($4.49 for 12 oz.) And in the other corner, we have the pinkest of the pinks in Dial Cherry Seed Oil & Mint Body Wash ($5.49 for 16 oz.).

Names

Dial might have a history setting mark in this category. The total name of this product is as follows: Dial Nutriskin with Fruit Oil Ultra Hydrating Body Wash Cherry Seed Oil & Mint. About three of those words mean anything to me and one of them is “&.” Old Spice on the other hand is much more mundane: Old Spice Swagger Body Wash. Dial should cut down on the words, but maybe that appeals to the female crowd? Do you ladies like to read while you wash your body? I prefer to look forlornly at my stomach wondering why there isn’t a six pack of abs there.

Grade

  • Dial: A Bronze Star
  • Old Spice: A Silver Star

Packaging

Old Spice’s packaging once again employs the grips on the side where you’d never grip the bottle while in usage, and it also feature a gray dot in the middle of its otherwise mostly red packaging. I’ve been staring at this dot for an hour… WHY ARE YOU THERE DOT? WHAT’S THE POINT OF YOU?! YOU SHOULD NOT EXIST!!! On my bottle, the label is not smooth on the bottle. There’s a wrinkle on it, and it’s driving me nuts, so it gets -1 point already. Dial’s packaging shape is curvy and very feminine. I like the label with the liquid and the cherry. DON’T JUDGE ME! It has no grips on the bottle and gets very slippery when wet.

Grade

  • Dial: 4/5 Points
  • Old Spice: 3/5 Points

Lather and Smell

I’m tired of beating this dead horse about male body wash and general scents of male products, but it doesn’t smell like anything but generic man smell!@$ I wish I had a better way to describe it. Dial on the other hand smells pretty synthetic. Like someone in the lab doctored up what they think cherries smell like and threw it in a bottle. I got no mint scent from it. Both lather up nicely, but Old Spice’s bottle seems conducive to over usage due to its “manly” spout.

Grade

  • Dial: B-
  • Old Spice: B

Ingredients

These days you expect to find the declaration of independence on the back of every bottle of anything, but in this case Old Spice actually has a respectable amount of ingredients in its body wash. Dial, on the other hand, has an ingredient list that eclipses the length of the last Harry Potter book. What is also entertaining is that Dial has to use a very tiny font size to even fit the list on the bottle, while Old Spice actually uses one that is legible without a magnifying glass.

Grade

  • Dial: Two Thumbs Down
  • Old Spice: One Thumb Up, One Thumb Turned Sideways

Final Grade

  • Dial: 70%
  • Old Spice: 71%

Recommendation: I wouldn’t really recommend either of them, although, they are both serviceable, but I’m running back to my Celebrate Love Shower Gel.

I’m on Twitter (@shauntechguy), viewing of Shaun The Tech Guy’s Twitter can lead to nausea, heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, and diarrhea. YAY, PEPTO-BISMOL! Also check out our cool Dog Blog at: Paws and Kisses.

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Friday, August 27th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines Dupes
To Pamper vs. Call My Bluff

MAC Fabulous Felines: Comparisons & Dupes

Here are just some comparisons/dupes I did when I filmed the video review for the collection :) They’re really just the dupes I talked about in the reviews.  I wish I could do things like this more often, but it’s usually all about getting photos/swatches of the collection up as quickly as possible since I’m doing it either the afternoon before the launch or on launch day.

I figure it’s more important that you see everything swatched and reviewed, so at least you might be able to use it before everything sells out!  I try to call out possible dupes in the review itself and link to past swatches when they’re available instead–I just want everything to be done when the collection is relevant, not a week later when several things have sold out!  Trade-offs, trade-offs… sigh!  Wish it wasn’t so.

Ironically, to me, most of these aren’t dupes, but to me, a dupe is something about 99% similar, not 80 or 90%!  The term dupe definitely seems to mean something different depending on the person.  What does “dupe” mean to you?

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Thursday, August 26th, 2010

MAC Nail Trend F/W 2010
Nail Lacquers: Concubine, Imperial Flower, Earthly Harmony, Ming Blue, Jade Dragon, Rain of Flowers

MAC Nail Trend F/W 2010 Review, Photos, Swatches

Wait, you thought it was JUST Fabulous Felines today? You must be new to MAC ;) Indeed, MAC had a short and sweet launch of six nail lacquers (which might account for why there were none in Fabulous Felines!), all of which are Asian-inspired. nail expert Jin Soon was inspired by the “Forbidden City,” and she created shades inspired by the sculptures, architecture, fabrics, and decorative papers of Imperial China. Each shade has “pearl essences for subtle dimension.”

All of these need a top coat (but how many of us go sans top coat anyway?!), because they dry to a rather flat finish–a little shiny but not at all glossy; I used MAC’s Overlacquer top coat on all of these. The formula was on the thinner side overall, but the majority of shades were very rich in pigmentation. Having only purchased these this morning, I haven’t exactly been able to wear these long term, but I did notice that Jade Dragon and Rain of Flowers are shades that may stain (for sure Jade Dragon).

You can check out official information and promotional imagery as well.

Nail Lacquer ($13.00 U.S. / $15.50 CDN)

  • Concubine is a darkened red with ruby and scarlet shimmer flecks. I used two coats in the swatching, but there’s still a bit of nail line showing, so a third coat would probably be best. It’s pretty, but if you already have a lot of shimmered reds, you could easily skip this shade.
  • Imperial Flower is a brightened medium orange with flecks of gold and orange shimmer. This is one of my favorites out of the launch, because it practically glows on nails. It is similar to China Glaze’s Orange Pacific, though Orange Pacific has more obvious shimmer. Just two coats — it was nearly opaque in one coat.
  • Earthly Harmony is this concrete greige taupe shade. It is a difficult shade to describe! It has faint flecks of yellowed gold shimmer. I needed two coats here, and this is the kind of shade that made me think of Chanel’s Particuliere–but it’s not a dupe–just in that same vein of ugly shades that are rather pretty. I found the formula of this one to be on the watery side, and it made it a little harder to apply.
  • Ming Blue is a brightened medium-dark ocean blue with softer blue shimmer. I used just two coats in swatches, and there’s my nail line faintly visible, but a third coat would definitely eliminate that. I didn’t see any immediate staining, but I could see this staining after a few days of wear.
  • Jade Dragon is a deep forest green with flecks of green-teal shimmer. It’s quite pigmented and applied the nicest out of the bunch (but I only found Earthly Harmony troublesome)–two coats was perfect. This one, however, stained my nails just during the time I swatched it.
  • Rain of Flowers is a deep, darkened black-purple base with flecks of violet shimmer. Two coats and I had opaque results, and I suspect this one might stain a little bit as well. I originally thought it might be similar to Illamasqua’s Baptiste or NARS Purple Rain, but it’s a lot more violet and less fuchsia.

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: I like ‘em, and some shades do seem different than the norm.  It’s a nice collection overall, and I haven’t had any issues with MAC polishes myself!

AVAILABILITY: MAC

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