Friday, November 12th, 2010

NYX I Dream of St. Thomas Eyeshadow Palette
NYX I Dream of St. Thomas Eyeshadow Palette

Color That Doesn’t Break the Bank

NYX I Dream of St. Thomas Eyeshadow Palette ($8.75 for 0.28 oz.) contains five eyeshadows and is part of NYX’s Caribbean Collection of eyeshadow palettes. (I reviewed St. Lucia previously.) NYX is one of my favorite brands for more affordable makeup, because the quality is consistently high and the range is huge.

St. Thomas includes: a dark charcoal gray with soft silver shimmer (similar to MAC’s Knight Divine); brightened cotton candy pink with a satin sheen; bright silver with a near metallic shimmer-sheen (similar to MAC’s Electra); pale golden peach with a high sheen; and a medium-dark, mint green with a pearly shine.

The pigmentation was excellent on the pink, peach, and green shades; it was still quite good on the charcoal and silver shades, too, but a touch sheerer than the other three. My favorite shade is the minty green, because you don’t see that kind of color–or with such vibrancy–by every brand.  These shades have a soft, smooth texture, though there is some residual powder kick up during use.  NYX eyeshadows have worked well for me and only fade minimally, but not noticeably so until six or more hours of wear.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re on a budget, NYX’s palettes are worth considering. They maintain quality and pigmentation while still keeping the price down.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

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Thursday, November 11th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Chapter 2 Overall Review & Roundup

Of all of MAC’s holiday offerings, I do like their miniaturized sets the best, because I find them to be on par with full-size products.

The pigment sets are definitely the most value-oriented set, and I think the holiday sets are an opportunity to try out a variety of pigment shades without laying down $19.50 for a full-size pigment.  Pigments can be really hard to use up in their entirety, so the smaller vials are perfect–and still more than enough for most!   I would just caution you that each set does include either a few permanent or repromoted shades.

I’m not as gung-ho with the lipglass sets, but I do like that they included a lot of new shades in each of them, rather than the same repromotes each holiday season.   The sets are a little more economical than buying full-size lipglasses (on a per ounce basis), but I like that you get to try five shades for the price of two.  Lipglasses have a lot of variability; some are more pigmented, some are creamy, some are frosty.

The only item I did not like much was the nail lacquer set, because the shades themselves were a little finicky.  I found two of the shades had a tendency to be streaky, and four of the five needed a full three coats for opaque color coverage.  Though the shade selection did not affect the overall score of the set, I think it’s worth noting that none of the shades are groundbreaking–and MAC has done some interesting shades in the past.

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves: Pigment Sets

Nice-to-haves: Lipglass Sets

Skip: Nail Lacquer Set

Don’t forget to Check your stash for…

FROZEN DREAM (repromote), ELECTRO LUSH (repromote), MIMMY (repromote), REFLECTS BRONZE (permanent), GOLD MODE (repromote), GILDED GREEN (repromote), REFLECTS PEARL (permanent), SILVER FOG (permanent at PRO), SOFTWASH GREY (repromote), MAUVEMENT (repromote), REFLECTS BLACKENED RED (repromote), NAKED (permanent), BLUE BROWN (permanent), DARK SOUL (permanent), NOCTURNELLE (repromote), ASIATIQUE (repromote), BEYOND JEALOUS (repromote).

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!).

Light, Medium, Dark Skin Tones: I think all of the sets would work equally well across the range of skin tones.

  • Best Picks for Cooler Skin Tones: Sassy Pink, Cool Thrillseekers, Smoky Thrillseekers
  • Best Picks for Warmer Skin Tones: Sassy Coral, Sassy Neutral, Warm Thrillseekers

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

Thursday, November 11th, 2010


Nail Lacquer: Asiatique, Beyond Jealous, Nocturnelle, Vice is Nice, Vintage Vamp

MAC Tartan Tale: 5 Naughty Little Vices Nail Lacquer

This year, MAC has created a miniature set of nail lacquers, which includes two new (and exclusive) shades as well as three repromotes. The set itself is limited edition.

This includes: Asiatique (creamy classic red), Beyond Jealous (blackened blue green), Nocturnelle (black-as-night black), Vice is Nice (classic metallic gold), and Vintage Vamp (deep black wine).

  • Asiatique is a bright, cherry red cream. It applied opaque in two coats, and it went rather smoothly–not streaky at all. This is a repromote.
  • Beyond Jealous is a green-teal tinged black cream. This applied rather streakily; I needed three coats to get an even, smooth look. I think three coats was necessary just to achieve total opacity, too. This looks rather black regardless of the lighting, though. This is a repromote.
  • Nocturnelle is a dark black cream. Three coats. It’s come out a few times before.
  • Vice is Nice is a shimmering lightened gold with soft yellow tones. The finish looks like a metallic frost to me. It did need a full three coats to get an opaque result, and you can see some brush strokes. It is golder than China Glaze Midnight Kiss.
  • Vintage Vamp is a deep burgundy-red cream. Like several of the other shades, I did need three coats for this, and the first two layers applied on the streakier side.

Each vial contains 2.5g/0.09 oz., while a full-size polish contains 0.34 oz. There is a total of 0.45 oz. worth of polish in the set, which is just under a polish and a half worth of product. MAC’s Nail Lacquer retails for $38.24/oz., while this set works out to be $56.67/oz.  I would expect a bit more given the price tag.

Given some of the application issues and the overall uniqueness of the colors (low), I don’t know if this would be the best introduction to MAC’s nail lacquers or even a great deal. MAC has done some really interesting shades, but this set does not include those. A black, red, and dark red cream just feel too standard. There’s no reason to settle for streakier, less pigmented formulas at this price point when competitors in this price range do it better. Just from the quality issues I had, it’s not a must-have based on my experience.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The formula on these is just so-so; the majority needed three coats, and a couple had streaky application.

AVAILABILITY: MAC

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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

NARS Sex Appeal Highlighting Blush
NARS Sex Appeal Blush

NARS Sex Appeal Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “soft peach.” It’s a pale, subtly warm-toned peach with a satin finish. Buxom Swept Away is pinker. MAC Stay By Me is a touch darker. MAC Peaches is darker and more orange.

It is absolutely a color and product that will work better on very, very pale skin tones. On my medium complexion, it just barely shows up, and it may turn chalky/ashy on deeper skin tones because of the light base color. For lighter skin tones, though, especially those with natural redness occurring in their cheeks, this will work quite nicely. The importance here is that the pigmentation is still good, as it appears true-to-pan; it’s just that the color won’t show itself to its full potential on my complexion. (Pale readers who’ve tried this, speak out!)

From what I could tell, the color lasted around six to seven hours on me, but it was even harder to see after eight hours (it’s so much harder to see wear when it’s barely visible to begin with!).  The texture is very soft, finely-milled, and a smidgen on the powdery side but it lies nicely on the skin–it doesn’t look powdery on the skin, and if you buff it into the skin, it turns just slightly luminous from that satin finish.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Sex Appeal Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This is a blush that will work best on lighter complexions, and it can help to reduce the appearance of redness from the peachy coloring.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Cle de Peau R4 Extra Rich Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Cle de Peau R4 Danse du Feu Extra Rich Lipstick

Cle de Peau R4 Danse du Feu Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deep coral-red with subtle golden shimmer. Pigmented, moisturizing, and long-wearing, Cle de Peau’s Extra Rich Lipsticks are a dream, but they come with a luxury price. (See R2 and T2 for full reviews.)  I love how Danse du Feu is this rich, lustrous shade of coral–it’s not orange, pink, but this decadent hue of fiery coral.

Is this the right deep coral for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

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Monday, November 8th, 2010


Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette ($45.00 for 0.30 oz.) contains six shades of eyeshadow designed to take you from day to night with shades on the warmer side of the color spectrum.  Each eyeshadow has 0.05 oz. worth of product, so the palette’s total weight is 0.30 oz. of product.  It does also include a short-handled eyeshadow brush with actual bristles–it’s surprisingly nice, workable, though I don’t think it’ll replace any full-size brushes you may own, but it is one of the better included brushes I have seen this holiday season.

This palette includes: Ivory (creamy white), Oat (soft mocha beige), Espresso (dark chocolate brown), Burnt Sugar (deep golden brown), Velvet Bronze (warm golden bronze), and Black Plum (deep black plum).

  • Ivory is a creamy, muted white with a very rich, smooth texture.  It’s surprisingly pigmented–not chalky at all–and it’s not a stark, bright white, so it’s more wearable.  It has a nearly matte finish.  This is a permanent shade (and a popular shade that Bobbi Brown has used often in her palettes).
  • Oat is a light-medium brown with an extremely subtle sheen that barely glints even under flash photographer.  It’s smooth, nicely pigmented, and would work well on both warmer and cooler skin tones.    This shade reminded me of MAC’s Soft Brown.
  • Espresso is a darkened cool-toned charcoal brown with a touch of satin sheen.  It has good color pay off and applies smoothly.  Espresso is very reminiscent of MAC’s Brun or Showstopper eyeshadows, both cooler browns.   This is a permanent shade.
  • Burnt Sugar is a golden-toned warm medium-brown with a glinting, metallic gilded gold sheen.  It has a smooth texture with rich color pay off with a metallic finish.  This is a permanent shade.
  • Velvet Bronze is a medium red-toned brown with a soft golden sheen.  This was the least pigmented shade within the palette, but it was still nicely pigmented (just worth pointing out that it was a bit softer).  It has a metallic finish.  The color itself is similar to MAC’s Texture, but Velvet Bronze has a brighter sheen.
  • Black Plum is a smoldering, deep brown with flecks of bronze shimmer.  It is a really nice, smooth textured brown, which leans a bit warm, but it is rather neutral overall.  It has a shimmer wash finish.  This is a permanent shade.

I think this palette is a good mix of neutrals that do tend on the warmer side, but the palette is closer to neutral-warm than one with very strong, warm under tones running through it.  These shades are classic–they will serve one well when it comes to creating office-friendly looks or smoking those looks out for something a touch more dramatic in the evening.  I am particularly pleased with the pigmentation level of the palette, as everything was nicely pigmented and five of the six were excellent in pigmentation.  The texture is soft and smooth, with all of the shades applying evenly.  I also appreciate that Bobbi Brown often mixes finishes within her palettes so that users can create a variety of textured looks.

Bobbi Brown’s Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.08 oz.), Metallic Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.10 oz.), and Shimmer Wash Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.08 oz.).   In this palette, you are receiving $37.50 worth of Eyeshadow, $20.00 worth of Metallic Eyeshadow, and $12.50 worth of Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow.   This palette thus contains $70 worth of eyeshadows for $45.  FINALLY! a true value-oriented palette for the holidays!

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

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

RECOMMENDATION:

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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