Sunday, May 30th, 2010

True Blue Spa There's the Rub

Oh, the Scent! NOW, There’s the Rub…

True Blue Spa There’s the Rub ($24.00 for 24 oz.) is a salt glow with natural sea salt–basically, it’s a sea salt-based body scrub to help slough off dead skin and all that fun stuff in the shower.

Where’s the Rub? IN THE SCENT. I’m sorry, but I found this product really, really difficult to test just because I found the scent so appalling. I’m not that prone to disusing a product purely based on scent–I can get through some interesting scents (chemical, synthetic, weird, whatever), but this smelled like I was scrubbing with household cleaner. It smelled exactly like the bathroom would after my Dad finished giving it a good scrub from floor to ceiling (when I used to live at home).

Anyway, I wanted to get that out of the way, because scent is inherently a personal experience, so you may not find it as cleanser-like as I did. I used it three times, and I really did like the product itself. Despite being a salt-based scrub, it didn’t feel overly coarse or harsh against skin. Each time I used it, I was in the shower, so I applied it to wet skin, and it was creamy and easy to scrub into skin. Sometimes a scrub will dissolve, disperse, or otherwise not allow you to really work it into the skin.

It gets the job done and leaves behind soft, smooth skin. It just smells terrible (to me) while in use. I didn’t notice any lingering scent post-shower, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned with a scent like this. I’ve used other True Blue Spa products, and I haven’t had any issues with the scents in those, so I was a bit surprised here. (One of my favorite products is their Just a Minute hand scrub, which has a nice orange-citrus scent.)

Because scent is personal, I don’t want my nose to dictate that this is a no-go purely on scent alone, particularly when the product performs well otherwise.

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: 4/5

Recommendation: Smell before you buy, if you can. It may or may not be the right scent for you!

Availability: Bath & Body Works

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Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Illamasqua Writhe Bronzer

Going Bronze with Illamasqua

Illamasqua Writhe Bronzing Powder (£20.00 for 0.32 oz.) is part of Illamasqua’s Body Electrics Collection, but it’s only available overseas as just Writhe.  In the U.S., Sephora carries Illamasqua Glint & Writhe Bronzing Duo ($27.00), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, to be honest.  The idea of ever using a single product so much that I’d need an entire compact of it seems unlikely, so sometimes a duo let’s you play with two shades for the price of one.  (By the by, Glint is a peachy highlighter kind of shade.)

Writhe has a very pretty, burnished copper-bronze look to it.  It has a slight metallic gold shimmer-sheen, but it can be applied very subtly for a softer look.  It’s nice as a bronzer or as a blush.  I didn’t find it too orange or red, though I think this definitely suits warmer skin tones best.  You can also layer it for a more intense, obvious bronzed cheek, too.  It is particularly shimmery, though, so those looking to use this all over the face may find it a bit much for day time.

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: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love that burnished, sun-bronzed cheek, Writhe will achieve all that and more.  Very pretty when paired with golds on the eyes!

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream: Two More!

I’ve already fully reviewed Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream ($22.00) here (#5, 7, 18, 21) and here (#6, 9, 11, 13, 20). I’ve got two more shades to show you!

  • #1 Anthracite is a darkened steel green with a light silver shimmer.
  • #22 Emerald Green is a brightened green with a slightly metallic-frost sheen and yellow undertones.

I can see #1 Anthracite working really well for an intense, ultra-dark smoky eye. I definitely think that #22 Emerald Green is definitely the more versatile and usable shade of these two in particular, though. It’s great layered underneath golds, greens, blues, and teals.

Anyone else indulge in the new Aqua Creams?

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: If you love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley.

Availability: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Head & Shoulders

The Tech Guy Shaun, aka The Tech Guy, aka my boyfriend, ego was so inflated after last week’s debut review, he was quick to write another! He’s twenty-seven with normal-to-dry skin and suffers from no more acne (much to my envy!).  But apparently he has one very itchy scalp…

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.

Back by popular demand, the TECH GUY! IN 3D!

After reading all of your comments I got such a big head that I started strutting around the house like a Pharoah. I commanded Mellan to get me my royal slippers, but he just stared at me for a minute then whined for me to take him for a walk. Christine’s gone from withholding food to Corporal Punishment for this review, so let’s get this going before she figures out that I used up all her ExfoliKate and replaced it with anchovy paste.

I’m a simple man… Simple tastes.. Simple… In the brain.. Simple! And I like me some Head and Shoulders Shampoo ($7.99)!  What’s wrong with that?! I imagine the people at Head and Shoulders are Witches and Warlocks who sit over a boiling brew stirring their magical elixir and having forest animals bottle it. It’s magic! My head itches like crazy if I don’t use whatever is in the Head and Shoulders Dry Scalp bottle and I’m pretty sure whatever is in it has ruined my head and hair for life. I’m bound to them!

It had to happen–the unfortunate day when I ran out of my much loved Head and Shoulders Bottle, and I was required to buy a new bottle. Christine said she had plenty of shampoos for me to try! So I did whatever any man would do when faced with change: I ran out to the store to buy another bottle of Head and Shoulders! I got to the supermarket and found it. EIGHT DOLLARS FOR A SMALL BOTTLE?!?! Those Witches and Warlocks must have hit hard times, because they must be out of their mind if they think I’m spending that kind of scratch on shampoo!

So, I came back home and faced the precipice of change, and it looked grim. One bottle was bright yellow and smelled of flowers. This was not a good start. The other bottle was black and the spout was on the wrong end… The logic of it made sense, but how could I get used to such a change in basic bottle structure? Things were looking bleaker than ever.

I started off with the black bottle, and it went okay for a couple days, but then… The itching started. It was a bit itchy at first, but then it turned into full blown two-handed epic scratching that lasted for hours! The itching would start around 5pm and get progressively worse until I went to bed. This would inevitably end up with me itching my head profusely while trying to sleep and keeping me awake. My ability to covertly scratch my head was lacking, so it also woke Christine up, and let me tell you, she is not a happy camper when she is rudely awoken.

After having my head itch and ruin my sleep and turn my scalp raw from itching, I tried the yellow bottle. Things still did not go well. My head was itching, it was hard to get to sleep, and I was in an unfortunate state. By this time I had gone to Costco to try and find my best friend in the world H&S and it was no where to be found! What’s going on in this world?!

The last straw happened on a sunny Saturday. My brothers came down to visit and we were having a nice time chewing the fat and walking around our nearby park. That’s when it happened… From the sky ascended a beast of unknown origin, sent on a mission by the very Witches and Warlocks that created my fine elixir. I heard a buzzing right next to my ear, so naturally, I swatted at it. It became persistent. Then I felt a tap on my head, and another… AND ANOTHER… So by this time I was flailing around and screaming in a high pitched whine. “GET IT OFF, GET IT OFF!!!” (Keep in mind that I’m a 6 foot tall, 200lb guy screaming like a 6 year old girl and flailing around like a crazy person.)

A minute or so into this, it’s still attacking the side of my head, and by now I’m literally running across the park swatting at my head in a mad dash for safety. After running across the field the merciless attacker finally relented and apparently vanished into thin air having made it’s point. I can only assume that it was a bee that had attacked me, but I also somewhat believe that it was the spawn of satan come to earth for five minutes to torment any guy unfortunate enough to be wearing floral smelling shampoo.

Needless to say, I broke down and bought a big bottle of Head and Shoulders and will never go back!

Recommendation: Great for a man who has an itchy head. Why buy anything else?! Head and Shoulders is the greatest product ever made!

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams: Part II

Ahh! The five Aqua Creams ($22.00) I ordered from Sephora arrived over the weekend, and I’m pleased to say I’ve been enjoying them! I liked the first four that I tried, because the pigmentation is incredible, and the finishes are beautiful.

Lips & Cheeks: #5 Peach, #6 Fresh Pink, #7 Fuchsia, #8 Red, #9 Coral, #10 Orange
Eyes & Cheeks: #1 Anthracite, #2 Steel, #3 Silver, #4 Snow, #11 Gold, #12 Golden Copper, #13 Warm Beige, #14 Satin Brown, #15 Taupe, #16 Pink Beige, #17 Plum, #18 Purple, #20 Intense Blue, #21 Turquoise, #22 Emerald Green

  • #9 Coral is a medium coral-orange with subtle shimmer (very faint).
  • #6 Fresh Pink is a beautiful blue-based pink with golden shimmer. SO pretty. It’s amazing on cheeks and lips! Just make sure to prep lips, because it seemed a little drier than some of the other Aqua Creams, but it holds on for hours.
  • #13 Warm Beige is a lightened champagne taupe with a metallic sheen. This is kind of a neutral base color, but it’s a bit high on the frost/metallic finish and darker than I’d like — not quite as universal as I was hoping.
  • #11 Gold is a metallic gilded gold. Very, very pretty. Not entirely sure how usable it is, but it is stunning.
  • #20 Intense Blue is a medium ocean blue with silver shimmer. It’s like MAC Freshwater eyeshadow, in a cream form.

The reason I like these so much is they’re creamy but not too creamy–they won’t slip around on your eye lids, and they really lock down. These just don’t budge at all, even without setting with eyeshadow. I also like that you can use them on eyes/cheeks or lips/cheeks (depending on the shade), because they’re more multi-tasking. I like them the most on eyes, then cheeks, and finally lips. I wouldn’t wear these alone on lips (they dry down a bit, so they’ll last for over four hours on me, possibly stain, but my lips need more moisture, so I top with a gloss). Like they are on the eyes – they are excellent bases.

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: If you love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley. These are particularly lovely blushes for those with oily skin, because these dry down quite well.

Availability: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection: Overall Review & Round-up

To the Beach debuts in-store on May 27th, 2010 in the U.S./Canada, as far as I know. There are preview parties at select locations on May 18th. Otherwise, it should be available online around May 25th.

EDIT/UPDATE: Just moving this post up for all those who went to an unveiling party tonight! :)  I hope you got everything you wanted.  Shout outs to Tatiana & Olivia for saying hello to me @ Hillsdale!  Can you believe that the unveiling had already pre-sold the majority of the Marine Lifes?  There were literally three available.  I was customer #2 and only ended up with one.

ANOTHER EDIT/UPDATE: Just moving this post up since it’s officially out now, though goodness knows it’s been one crazy launch.

This is quite the launch, with 31 products releasing all at once. You can think of the collection in two parts — the traditional color collection and a secondary bronzing collection. The packaging doesn’t do anything for me either way; I don’t find it particularly cheap or tacky, but it doesn’t blow me away either. I like the mixture of products in this launch–there are some bright pops of color, subtler, more wearable colors, and everything in-between. I think it’s well-rounded collection that’s perfect for summer (with the color selections), but it’s pretty wearable.

I do recommend purchasing Marine Life if you think you want it. It’s just not going to be a product you’ll have the luxury of time with. Again, I fully believe it will sell out shortly after it becomes available online. I’ve heard some stores have received less than ten! I also anticipate Sweet & Punchy, Thrills, Life’s a Breeze, and both brushes to sell quickly. I would not be all that surprised if In the Buff, as oddly received as it has been, goes fast as well.

P.S. — I will try to get brush reviews up shortly. I’ve had them since whenever they originally launched, but I never reach for them, so I’m going to play around with them this weekend!

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves: Marine Life High Light Powder, Sweet & Punchy (if you have nothing like it), Thrills Lipstick, Fun Bathing Lipstick, Life’s a Breeze Lip Pencil

Nice-to-haves: Float on By Eye Kohl, Life’s a Breeze Lip Pencil, Hipness Blush, Get-Away Bronze Blush

Skip: Beachbound, Sand & Sun

Skip if…

  • Skip SWEET & PUNCHY if you have RATED R, SOUR LEMON, or EYEPOPPING (all previous limited edition shades).
  • Skip BEACHBOUND if you have MELON (pigment–use it sheerly with balm), ARCHETYPE (from Pret-a-Papier), or TANARAMA (permanent).
  • Skip the EYE KOHLS if you eyeliners are prone to smudging and migrating on you (e.g. the majority of eyeliners you’ve tried do so).
  • Skip FUN BATHING if you have “O” (permanent) — unless you adore and wear it all the time–though Fun Bathing has the copper-metallic-bronze thing going on that’s less apparent in “O.”

Don’t forget to…

Check your stash for SHIMMERMOSS (permanent), HUMID (permanent), THRILLS (from Rushmetal), ROSEMARY & THYME (permanent), HIPNESS (from Fafi), PINK REBEL (from Style Warriors), SUN RUSH (from Style Warriors), GOLDEN (permanent), and REFINED GOLDEN (permanent).

Recommendations by Skin Tone

  • Best Picks for Lighter Skin Tones: Firecracker Eyeshadow, Lazy Day Lipstick, Easy Lounger Lipglass, Splashing Lipglass, Float on By Eye Kohl, Life’s a Breeze Lip Pencil, Hipness Blush, Golden Bronzer
  • Best Picks for Medium Skin Tones: Sweet & Punchy Eyeshadow, Shimmermoss Eyeshadow, Thrills Lipstick, Fun Bathing Lipstick, Float on By Eye Kohl, Marine Life High Light Powder, Refined Golden Bronzer
  • Best Picks for Darker Skin Tones: Sweet & Punchy Eyeshadow, Shimmermoss Eyeshadow, Humid Eyeshadow, Thrills Lipstick, Fun Bathing Lipstick, Splashing Lipglass, Marine Life High Light Powder, Get-Away Bronze Blush

Product Photos, Swatches, & Reviews

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