Saturday, January 16th, 2010


MAC So Sweet, So Easy Cremeblend Blush

MAC Cremeblend Blushes — Lip Swatches

Here are quick & dirty lip swatches of the four Cremeblend blushes. When applied to lips, they can have a decent amount of slip. They almost seem to sit on lips and take quite awhile to sink in. The more pigmented ones (e.g. Florida) will stain lips if left on for long enough. I put about two or three layers of product on with a lip brush to get these, then I blended with my finger.

So Sweet, So Easy looked the worst, because it came off frosty and showed off lip lines, while Joie-de-Vivre and Florida seemed to look the best. My apologies in advance for the ultra close-up of Optimistic Orange – it was the only photo that was remotely in focus, and I didn’t want to keep delaying this post so hopefully it still gives you an idea of it on lips, even if it is uber close.

The taste is borderline tasteless to slightly plastic-y. It’s not delicious by any means, and there’s no real scent, but I probably wouldn’t recommend licking your lips with it. It’s not as bad as some of MAC’s Tinted Lip Conditioners, which definitely have a sunscreen taste to them.

See more swatches… Continue reading →

Friday, January 15th, 2010

MAC Pop Colour Collection

MAC “Pop Colour” Collection:  Review, Photos, Swatches

Debuting today in-store are eight eyeshadow shades, permanent extensions to the freestanding and PRO store eyeshadow ranges. They will only be available in limited quantity and duration at counters (department stores), though. They’re also available online and should be online for as long as they’re permanent (think of online as much like a freestanding store). These are, thus, available in palette form when you purchase through freestanding/PRO stores or through the MAC website. Four shades were already PRO shades, two were previously limited edition shades, and two are brand new.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-have: Lucky Green, Atlantic Blue, Winkle

Nice-to-have: Free to Be, Vibrant Grape

Skip:

I found the texture and pay off to be pretty good across the board. The mattes tended to needed two or three layers to build up the intensity and make them smooth without a proper base, but since I’ve owned a few of these previously, I can say they work well in practice. I don’t think any of them are poor in quality to merit skipping them based on that; it comes down to whether or not you like a particular shade (e.g. I don’t know if I’m going to love Goldenrod on me). Sunny Spot is the only one of the eight that has a similar shade already in the permanent line (Bitter), but it’s not a dead-on dupe.

Eyeshadows

  • Red Brick is a brick red — that’s really what it is. It’s an orange-y red with a matte finish. It can be pigmented, but it requires building up the intensity and/or a good base. Red Brick has been a PRO color for as long as I can remember. As far as I know, it is pretty much the closest to red eyeshadow I’ve seen from MAC (with the exception of Mi’Lady mineralize eyeshadow).
  • Free to Be is a satin-y coral-pink. It can go on pink, or it can go on more coral; it will depend on what you use it with or your natural skin tone. Thanks to Sarah, she pointed out that the Free to Be from 2005 is actually a dusky gray-green. It is also going to be released as a limited edition shade (and in special packaging) in Give Me Liberty of London in March, as the description is a coral matte (fits).
  • Goldenrod is a brightened golden yellow with a little orange thrown in. It’s much darker and more orange than Chrome Yellow. Like Red Brick, I can’t remember when this wasn’t at PRO.
  • Lucky Green is a golden shimmered yellow-based green. This is one of my all-time favorite shades by MAC, and I’m really happy to see it become part of the permanent range. It was originally released with Belle Azure (2005). It has an amazing texture and goes on so smooth and pigmented, but it is a veluxe pearl, so I’ve come to expect that from my VPs! You can looks I’ve done with it here.
  • Sunny Spot is a matte textured chartreuse shade. It’s a very yellowed green. It’s decently pigmented (more so than similar permanent shade Bitter–also yellower, by the by), but I’d have rather seen Sour Lemon from the PRO line (though that isn’t matte, to be fair). This is one of two brand spankin’ new shades to debut at both freestanding and PRO stores as an extension of the permanent line.
  • Vibrant Grape is a medium dark reddened purple.   This one definitely needs a base underneath it to go on smoothly.  I’ve used it in practice, so I can tell you it’s easier to use than it is to swatch.  It’s been a PRO shade for sometime now, but it will now be permanent at freestanding stores in addition to PRO stores. It was also released in limited edition packaging in Style Warriors last year. And if you’re looking for ideas on how to wear, we have a Look Book for it! You can see the original launch images here. You can see a look with it here.
  • Atlantic Blue is a gorgeous shade of deep ocean blue with kind of a violet twist to it (because it’s not just plain ol’ blue, nor is it a navy blue). I love this shade, and I really love that it’s matte. Works excellently in the crease! This was originally part of the PRO line, but it is now permanent at freestanding stores, too. Check out a few reader-submitted ideas on how to use this shade in our Look Book.  Here are a few looks I’ve done with it: here, here, here.
  • Winkle is a softened sky blue with an edge of periwinkle. It’s not quite periwinkle (not nearly enough purple), but it’s not quite a true sky blue either (check out the PRO shade Sky Blue if that’s what you’re looking for). This is the second of the two brand new shades.

Any favorites for you? What are you getting? (Or not getting?)

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Julie Hewett Simone Lipstick
Julie Hewett Simone Lipstick

The Spring Season: Julie Hewett Simone Lipstick

Julie Hewett Simone Sheer Lipstick ($20.00) is a soft, lightly frosted shade of pinky-coral. This is a shade that’s definitely a YMMV (your mileage may vary) kind of shade, because even though it looks and swatches with a coral tint, on my lips, it turns rather pink. When applied, Simone brightens up my lips to a soft, petal pink shade with decent coverage, even though it’s supposed to be a sheer shade. I liked the way it turned out, but the way it looks on your lips may be different since we all have different pigmentation, and this one definitely pulled pink on me!  The formula itself is semi-sheer, creamy enough to apply with ease, and a slight glossy sheen (almost a frost sheen, in my eyes).  I get a good four or so hours of wear with the sheer lipsticks in Julie Hewett’s line.

Is this the right pink for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Barielle Wildflower Collection for Spring 2010

Barielle’s Spring collection is called Wildflower and consists of six spring-y shades.  All but Snap Dragon apply pretty well, with Blossom being a little goopy but manageable.  Daring Dahlia and A Bouquet for Ava had the best application–very smooth, pigmented, and perfect consistency.  My favorites were Daring Dahlia (the way the fuchsia shimmer sparkles is gorgeous!) and June Bug (so different!), but I also really liked Myrza’s Meadow, too.  Snap Dragon was my least favorite from the runny consistency to the way brush strokes are really apparent.

Each bottle retails for $8 a pop and is available through barielle.com (though I swear, I only saw Daring Dahlia there at present). By the way, 100% of the proceeds from A Bouquet for Ava, June Bug and Myrza’s Meadow purchased at OCRF.org will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund!

  • Daring Dahlia is a bright hot pink with fuchsia micro-shimmer. This one had a phenomenal texture and feel–it applied nearly opaque in just one coat and was a dream to apply.
  • Blossom is a creamy, bright orange-peach. It’s not neon, but it’s not tame either. This one I had a little trouble with the application; definitely need to use thinner coats initially. It went opaque in two coats, though.
  • Myrza’s Meadow is definitely one of the standouts of the collection. It’s almost like a soft, pastel pickle green with particle glitter spread throughout a creamy base. Application was good on this, though I should have used thinner coats (went a lil’ thick!). Two coats was good, but a third coat was perfect.
  • Snap Dragon is a metallic grassy green. I just don’t dig metallic/chrome kind of finishes, because dealing with the visible brush strokes is a pain in the butt. I wasn’t loving how this applied (a little runny), so this was my least favorite shade of the six.
  • A Bouquet for Ava is a beautiful shade of slightly darkened sky blue. It’s a creamy shade and goes opaque in one coat, though I did two for good measure. Application was perfect with this one.
  • June Bug is a periwinkle blue with an iridescent teal-blue shimmer-sheen with small red glitter. I loved this one, because it’s completely unlike anything I have already. It has the same finish and look/feel as Myrza’s Meadow, but it’s more exciting, because the contrast is greater. Application was good on this one as well.

Which are you favorites? Are you going to grab any of ‘em?

See more photos & swatches… Continue reading →

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Dior Spring 2010:   A Lacy, Floral Confection

Dior Vintage Pink (#839) Blush ($40.00) is a prettily designed blush duo from Dior’s Spring collection. Nearly all of the powder-based products from Dior’s Spring collection feature a raised lacy, floral embellishment. The design is fitting for the blossoms of spring, but it does fade away quickly once you start using the product. I am sure there are at least a few who will be buying just to admire, though! :)

Vintage Rose is a blush duo that I’d likely wear swirled together, but you could apply from either side to pull the color one way or the other. It’s not a huge compact, but a brush can fit on each side for the most part (though opt for a smaller brush-head!).

The darker side is a medium-dark pink with just a lingering of peach in it and no real shimmer. The lighter side is much more of a peach with a little pink to it–this side reminded me of a softer, more finely milled NARS Orgasm (maybe a little pinker, too).

Together, they merge and create a pinker, slightly shimmered, but still lighter than the darker side color. Whether you use one side, the other, or them together, the result is lovely–but seriously, when I have I said “Stay away!” to a peachy-pink blush? Please, this had my name all over it!  (Although, personally, I thought it was going to be rosier and not so warm, but it worked out for me.)

I’m a really big fan of Dior’s cheek products. I think they are particularly adept at creating and delivering very useable, universal shades of color that work on a variety of skin tones and ages. You won’t find disco-ball glitter here, but you will find a smooth, silky product with buildable coverage and fine, subtle shimmer.

As far as price goes, Dior is slightly cheaper ($150/oz. vs. $156/oz.) than NARS blushes, because they give you plenty of product for your money. Whether you want to plunk down $40 on one blush is another story, of course! I can’t imagine using this up unless it’s one of just a few blushes you use, but even then, you’ll have plenty to get through.

I’m hoping to check out the rest of the collection in person at Nordstrom later this week!

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: If you love peachy-pink or coral blushes, definitely take a peek at Vintage Rose!

Availability: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss
Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss

The Spring Season: Cle de Peau #2 Lip Gloss

Cle de Peau #2 Lip Gloss ($47.00) has been a favorite of mine since I first swatched it on the back of my hands at Barneys (in Vegas).  I still can’t believe I plunked down the bucks for this one without even trying it on!  I don’t regret it, though, because it’s such a stunning golden-peach flecked gloss.  I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say it’s worth every penny by any means, but I’m happy with the purchase, even over a year out.  It’s mostly non-sticky, but it doesn’t have the jelly feel that a lot of non-sticky glosses have.  It’s a fairly thick gloss that has decent pigmentation (particular for this kind of shade) and really stands out amongst all the Cle de Peau Lip Glosses (IMO!).  I remember swatching several shades and none of them grabbed me like this one.  It has an almost duochrome nature to it; it’s peachy, gold, green, apricot…  Love it. It comes with a wand applicator, has little to no scent (I didn’t notice anything myself).

The only shade I’ve found that’s truly comparable to it has been Le Metier de Beaute’s Payapa Creme ($36).  Sheerer and not nearly as reflective dupes might include shades like MAC Nymphette Lipglass ($14) or NARS Orgasm Lipgloss ($22).  It’s a pricey gloss, so it’s not going to be something just anyone will buy or will want to buy, and that’s fine.  If you like indulgent buys or the ultra luxe, this is definitely one of my favorites.

Is this the right spring gloss for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →