Fresh for Summer with Essie’s Summer Collection
Essie’s Summer Collection features six shades of creamy summer colors. They dry pretty fast, and the finish is only slightly glossy, so I used Nubar’s Diamont Top Coat (it was the closest one at the time – no real preference!). I liked Knockout Pout and Pretty Edgy the most–very strong, opaque color and a fuss-free application. Vermillionaire applied the smoothest, and pros could probably get away with just one coat if they really wanted! I felt like these applied better than the average Essie, which may just be because three of the shades are much darker (and pastels have a tendency to be fussier).
- Knockout Pout is a brightened, glowing dark pink cream. It was pretty opaque in two coats.
- Haute as Hello is a lightened coral-orange. I used three coats with this one.
- Vermillionaire is a bold, deep orange. This one applied the best and only needed two coats.
- Pretty Edgy is a dark, grassy green cream. It’s pretty much exactly the color of grass to me – suppose that’s quite fitting for summer! I needed three coats to get a completely opaque look.
- Demure Vixen is a lightened mauve with pale purple shimmer. It’s a very soft, pretty color. The shimmer is incredibly subtle, but it’s there. It almost looks like a cream from a distance.
- Miss Matched is a pale pink-lilac cream. I found this one to be the streakiest, and I definitely needed three coats with it. You can still see some of my nail line even with three coats.
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: If one of these colors grabs you, then it’s certainly worth checking out. I don’t have anything quite like Pretty Edgy, but the other shades may be a little easier to find, depending on how extensive your stash is!
Dazzle Lipstick: Baby’s On Fire, Glaringly Hip, Hellraiser, Hot Sass, Infused with Glam
Preview: MAC Dazzle Lipstick & Dazzleglass from Digi-Pop
MAC Digi-Pops: Lip Server Collection is available for pre-order at your local Nordstrom. It doesn’t launch until July 15th, but pre-orders are in full swing. There are thirteen shades of new (and of course, limited edition!) Dazzle Lipsticks and seven shades (some new, some repromoted, but all limited edition) Dazzleglasses.
I didn’t test any of these my lips, so I really can’t comment on the wear or feel on the lips. (Sorry all, I couldn’t bring myself to use a tester — the germaphobe in me refused to participate!) The Dazzle Lipsticks did not feel gritty or rough when I swatched them–surprisingly smooth. They look like they varied from sheer to semi-sheer in color, but it’s difficult to know for sure just how sheer or opaque they may lean without swatching them on lips. (Which I fully intend to do, when I’m able to pick up my pre-order!)
Dazzle Lipstick ($14.00 U.S. / $16.50 CDN)
- Baby’s On Fire is a sheer darkened ruby red with silver sparkle.
- Glaringly Hip is a muted peach with brown undertones and pink and white glitter.
- Hellraiser is a sheer, darkened mauve-plum with bluish-silver glitter.
- Hot Sass is a semi-sheer, muted orange with reddish-copper glitter.
- Infused with Glam is a warmed-up brown with red undertones and reddish glitter.
- Liquid Lurex is a sheer yellow gray-gold with silver glitter.
- Naughty You is a brightened medium pink with fuchsia glitter.
- Smash Hit is a sheer beige-gold with darkened gold glitter.
- Snazzy is a semi-sheer red plum with fuchsia-purple glitter.
- Sweet Bits is a grayish lilac with multi-color glitter (predominantly light fuchsia). It’s kind of like Vex eyeshadow in lipstick form.
- Troublemaker is a darkened red-pink with fuchsia glitter. It’s a darker, more opaque version of Naughty You.
- Wham is a red-brown with gold and copper glitter.
- Win-Win is a light baby pink with blue undertones and gold glitter.
Dazzleglass ($18.50 U.S. / $21.50 CDN)
- Boys Go Crazy is a darkened plum-berry purple with iridescent purple and blue-violet glitter.
- Fabulous Fun is a brightened fuchsia-pink with fuchsia-purple glitter.
- Glamour OD is a brightened red with a touch of coral and pink glitter. This is a repromote.
- Hi-Falutin’ is a softened peach-coral with gold glitter.
- Spanking Rich is a softened pink mauve with fuchsia glitter. This is a repromote.
- Utterly Posh is a darkened orange with a little brown and orange-gold glitter. This is a repromote.
- You Got the Look is a brightened tangerine orange with almost teal glitter.
Philosophy Shower Gels: The Good, The Bad, The Delicious
Shaun, aka The Tech Guy, aka my boyfriend, continues to enjoy his romp here on Temptalia! He’s twenty-seven with normal-to-dry skin and suffers from no more acne (much to my envy!). Since I have a thing for Philosophy Shower Gels, inevitably, he gets into them and goes through them in record time. (No, seriously, if it was just me, a bottle will last me half a year or more. I don’t know, I’ve never gone through one before moving in with this guy!)
Shaun enjoys long walks on the beach, vegging out on the couch watching chick flicks, and cuddling with Mellan. Or maybe not! He handles all the behind-the-scenes action here at Temptalia, from tech support to server woes to being my shoulder to cry on.
Guess who’s back, back again, Shaun is back, tell a friend. No, seriously tell a friend! Right now!@$
After tackling extra-terrestrial life in my last review, it is time to get back down to earth. However, I will stick with the same brand and take on Philosophy’s Shower Gel Collection. This is definitely not a Man’s product. With flavors like Raspberry Sorbet, Unconditional Love, and Orchid Blossom, I don’t recommend walking onto the job site smelling like Cherry Angel Food Cake.
I guess what I don’t understand about these body washes is why you’d want to torture yourself with these delicious smells. Every time I find myself half asleep and taking a whiff of Classic Fudge Cake, I find that half of the bottle has gone missing and my mouth tastes like soap. I don’t really know what happened, but I’m sure it’s not good. Next thing you know I’m sneezing, and bubbles are coming out of my nose! What’s with this product?!
You also have to be careful around your dog when you are using these. He starts to get this look in his eye like he’s debating whether he can take you down without too much trouble. If they come out with steak-flavored body wash then I’m for sure going to be dog food.
Some smell exactly as the packaging states. Others, however, do not smell at all as what they advertise. We have one that’s called Gingerbread Man, and let me tell you, it doesn’t smell at all like gingerbread. In fact, it smells exactly like diet cola! And I can’t tell you how awesome it is to smell like diet cola. I wait until Christine is looking the other way and then I take a deep inhale of my forearm. It’s like heaven in a bottle! I cut soda out of my diet so long ago that I had forgotten how awesome soda smells. Oh, you bubbly fiend how I miss ye.
Onto the good! These soaps lather very well and that is basically my one criteria when it comes to body wash. If I don’t look like Mr. Bubble after lathering up then you don’t have any business being on my loofah! Yeah, I use a loofah. What’s the big deal?
However, a big gripe of mine is the packaging. After using up some of the bottle, it becomes increasingly difficult to squeeze the sweet smelling liquid out of its container. I’ve nearly popped a blood vessel trying to get the soap out of these darn bottles. We went as far as getting a pump for the bottle, but the pump has to be pumped twenty times to get a decent amount out. They use a different type of softer plastic on the smaller versions of these soaps, which is much easier to manage, so I don’t really get why they don’t use that on all of their products.
RECOMMENDATION: Great lather but not great for any man unless he really likes Classic Fudge Cake. Be weary around animals and any other hungry people that aren’t offended by cannibalism.
NARS Lipgloss: Albatross, Angelika, Luster, Super Orgasm, Oasis
Preview: NARS Sephora Exclusive Lip Glosses
On July 29th, NARS will roll out five limited edition lip glosses at Sephora. Each will retail for $24 and is named after one of their best-selling blushes. The shades include: Albatross (luminous glow), Angelika (cotton candy pink with gold and silver sparkle), Oasis (sparkling pink champagne), Super Orgasm (peachy pink with gold glitter), and Luster (sheer golden apricot).
- Albatross is a sheer white-gold with pale gold shimmer.
- Angelika is a semi-sheer brightened blue-based pink with very subtle silver shimmer.
- Luster is a sheer muted tangerine-peach with copper-gold shimmer.
- Super Orgasm is a sheer played down pink with gold shimmer.
- Oasis is a plummy mauve with gold shimmer.
NARS Lip Gloss has a thin, slightly tacky texture. I found these a little stickier than the average NARS Lip Gloss. Though I’ve only tried Albatross on my lips, they seemed on the sheerer side (which is standard for the brand’s glosses), so don’t expect a big pop of pigment. They’re all easy-to-wear, everyday kind of shades. Angelika is the brightest, but it sheers out quite a bit–it has a creamier, jelly-ish look in comparison to the other four, which definitely have more of a shimmer finish.
(I would happily do lip swatches for you, but these photos were taken at a NARS preview event that I attended in San Francisco yesterday, so all I got are swatches for now! Apologies!)
My New Favorite Summer Blush: Le Metier de Beaute Echo
Le Metier de Beaute Traviata Blushing Bronzed Duet ($65.00 for 0.49 oz.) is a blush-bronzer duo that includes Echo Radiance Rouge Blush (delicate coral-pink) and Sun Kissed Bronzer (sheer, light bronze powder). Normally, the blush retails for $30 and the bronzer retails for $55. I don’t own either (and couldn’t find it via googling), so I’m not sure of the size of each individually. All I know is that 0.49 oz. of product is a good deal of product no matter how you slice it. (The average blush is around 0.15 oz.!)
Traviata is part of Le Metier de Beaute’s Endless Summer Collection for the summer season. They also have Romeo & Juliet (which I will review soon as well!). The collection includes Bella Bronze Liquid Illuminator ($85); Canvas, Spicy, Jade, Sequoia True Color Eyeshadows ($30 each); Tamarack Dualistic Eye Pencil ($36); San TropezManhattan Color Core Moisture Stain Lipstick ($32); Lip Creme Lip Gloss ($36).
Echo is pure gorgeousness swatched and applied. Warm-toned beauties will love this shade in particular–it has the depth and dimension and sophistication that every blush should have. It’s smooth, soft, and wickedly pigmented but easy to use. It’s buildable, but it’s a richly pigmented product if you want it to be. It has a lovely soft, subtle shimmer-sheen of gold over a coral-pink base. I wore it lightly in this look. This is definitely a very “me” color, so I’m obviously a bit biased/partial to it! I love that it gives my cheeks a warmed-over glow but doesn’t emphasize pores with frostiness.
Sun Kissed is nice, but I was a little gaga for Echo that Sun Kissed didn’t leave much of an impression on me! It has the same soft, smooth texture of Echo, but it’s not quite as pigmented. It’s a nice subtle bronzer that doesn’t turn orange nor pull too red, which makes it a nice, universally appealing shade. There is a slight golden sheen but very little shimmer.
Even though the duo may give you more product for your money, Echo is really the star in this product for me. If you’re as sold on it as me, luckily you can buy it on its own for $30 rather than $65. I like that, to be honest, just because you aren’t roped into buying one product you’re so-so on and one you’re dying for simultaneously! (Hello, most palettes, I’m talking to you!)
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: Echo is to-die-for if you’re a coral blush fiend like myself. Truly a gorgeous, stunning shade that looks every bit as beautiful on as it does in the pan. Sun Kissed is a nice bronzer, and if you’re a regular bronzer wearer, the duo is certainly something worth looking into.
WHERE TO BUY: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus
AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF 30/PA+++ ($65.00 for 2 oz.) is a non-greasy, broad-spectrum moisturizing sunscreen that’s great if you have no aversion to heavily fragranced skincare.
I could only use this for an hour before I had to remove it. It wasn’t that the fragrance was unpleasant, but the particular scent is very floral, and I couldn’t stop sneezing and my eyes wouldn’t quit itching. It pretty much set off an allergy attack for me, and as much as I wanted to test this product for at least a full day for how well it would wear during the day, I just couldn’t.
In general, fragrance in products happens more often than not, and I don’t find myself particularly sensitive skin-wise to products with it in it. I’ve never encountered a skincare product this heavily scented, though. Typically, I’ll notice a subtle scent when I sniff directly from the jar, but the scent doesn’t linger once applied to skin. Completely the opposite here — it was lingering and noticeable, not just to me, but my boyfriend. (Yes, I totally made him smell my face!)
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Dimethicone, C12- 15 Alkyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Caprylyl Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Tricholoma Matsutake Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Hydrolyzed Ginseng Saponins, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Stearate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Glycerin, Polyacrylate-13, Alumina, Polyisobutene, Zincoxide, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone, Myristic Acid, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Propylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, PEG-5 Rapeseed Sterol, Ethyl Hexanediol, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, CI77491, CI77492, Fragrance.
On the upside, it dries to a lovely velvety smooth finish. It’s not a dry matte, but it’s that velvety matte kind of feeling. I loved that it applied smoothly and easily, and it didn’t feel greasy for even a second. This is the result of the silicone in it (dimethicone), so if you’re sensitive to silicone-based products, you may want to skip this one. I really wish I didn’t break out something awful when using products with dimethicone anywhere near the top half of a list. (I’ve noticed that I can handle smaller quantities of it, say towards the end of an ingredient list, but it can’t be a significant part of the product.) However, if you’re not, it’s a great way to keep oily skin under control and give you a lovely matte looking finish.
The sunscreen ingredients are: ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (aka octinoxcate) (7.0%), titanium dioxide (19.9%), and zinc oxide (0.025%). The titanium dioxide and zinc oxide cover the full spectrum of UVA and UVB. Octinoxate covers the UVB spectrum. (See our Sunscreen 101 post.)
It’s a real shame! If it wasn’t so heavily scented, it has all the makings to be a really great sunscreen overall. Because I really couldn’t give it a good wear test, I’m not going to give this product a rating. I do believe the scent is way too heavy, and there’s no real benefit or possible reason for it to smell stronger than a perfumed body lotion.