Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Benefit Tweezerman Tweezers

Benefit + Tweezerman = Cute AND Practical

Tweezerman for Benefit Slant Tweezer ($25.00) are cute white slant-tipped tweezers with a light pink and coral-pink design on the outside. I LOVE Tweezerman tweezers. I absolutely love their slant-tipped ones in particular. I think I have five of them scattered around my house–I never want to be without one.

They just feel so maneuverable in hands, and they grip incredibly well. They’re sharp without being painful, but you can get at stubborn hairs that need a pluckin’. I also like them for applying false lashes: use the tweezers to grip them and set them on the lash line, then flip it and use the end (the flat side–opposite of the opening) to press the false lashes into your lash line.

I will also say that they stay sharp and as good as when you first buy them for ages. I know that you can mail them to Tweezerman and get them sharpened, but I’ve never done it–because I’ve never felt like my tweezers needed it, and I’ve had some of them for years. (It reminds me that, someday, I should!) These tweezers are worth every penny. They’re the only tweezers I keep stashed away the entire six years I’ve been playing with makeup!

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  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you pluck stray hairs around the brow/upper lip, these do an excellent job grabbing even the shortest, thinnest hairs.

AVAILABILITY: Benefit, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s

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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

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!).  After much brouhaha over AXE commercials, he decided to give it a try himself (I really think he was hoping for hilarity to report back with)–but let me tell you, I kept sneezing every time he wore this!  Not offensive necessarily but really got my allergies going.

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.

I’ve never been one of THOSE guys… You know, the club going, glittery shirt, spiky hair kind of guy? But I’ve heard a lot of negative stuff about AXE and its various products that are seemingly targeting THAT guy. So, being on the outside looking in… And I don’t mean the guy in the line outside of the club looking in… COME ON, I’VE BEEN WAITING OUT HERE FOR THREE HOURS! Ahem, I decided to give AXE Body Spray a try.

First, if you are a guy, you have to realize that this isn’t an antiperspirant.  It’s not going to stop you from sweating when you are cutting a rug and showing unsightly spots around the pit region of your brand new glittery Ed hardy shirt. As for the smell, I took a whiff of various models and picked one with the least offending odor. To me, it just smells like generic man smell. I couldn’t differentiate it with any other man body spray.

The usage is a bit odd. They tell you to spray six inches away from your body, and while this gives you full coverage it also sprays about half of it into the atmosphere causing a hole in the ozone layer directly above you. I think this is the reason why most guys who use this stuff end up turning a bright orange color.

If you don’t douse yourself in the stuff, it lingers for a decent amount of time and will cover any frosted tip or hair wax smell that you may be harboring. On the bottle it claims that there’s “citrus extract,” but a quick look at the ingredient list yields a list of words so foreign to the human eye that it might as well be in KLINGON! Star Trek reference! BOOYAH!

RECOMMENDATION: It’s not for me. I don’t think it’s a bad product, but I would rather have a deodorant that prevents sweating and doesn’t potentially blind me if I go too medieval with the spray can.

Just FYI, you can follow me on twitter @shauntechguy. If I ever decide to take over the world all of my twitter followers will be exempt from slave labor. Just keep that in mind.

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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes
#1L, #6L, #8L, #11L, #23L

Aqua Eyes, I Love Thee!

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is one of my favorite eyeliners–pigmented, long-wearing, waterproof, and just all around fantastic liners. I love the color range, and I have kind of gotten into a rather “collect ‘em all” mentality. You can read my very first review of Aqua Eyes (includes #5L, 7L, 10L, 12L, 15L, 17L, and 20L) as well as my single reviews of #3L, #4L, #9L, and #16L, too.

  • #1L is a deep dark black (despite appearing brown in the swatch–what is it with black eyeliner turning brown when photographed?) with a soft sheen.
  • #6L is a dark plummy purple with slight red undertones and soft sheen.
  • #8L is a bright, metallic silver–on the lighter, brighter side.
  • #11L is a medium-dark violet purple with soft violet sheen. New favorite purple liner!
  • #23L is a shimmering golden champagne with a nearly metallic finish.

(What am I missing? Hmm… #0L, 2L, 14L, 18L, 19L, 21L, 22L, 24L… 13L is on its way… wow, that’s more missing than I thought. BOO!)

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: Aqua Eyes wears so well throughout the day without fading, smudging, or migrating. They’re one of my go-tos for eyeliners, and I love how pigmented and diverse the shade range is.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Burberry Beauty Blush
Burberry Cameo (02) Blush

Burberry Cameo (02) Blush ($42.00 for 0.24 oz.) is one of only five blushes!  I picked Cameo because it seemed like it might be one of the natural hues available.

Cameo is dirty rose with a very subtle satin sheen.  It can be applied sheerly or built up for a more intense, noticeable cheek.  It’s such a natural hue that it’s wearable on both cool and warm skin tones, and it’s so hard for it to look garish.  The texture is buttery and smooth, and it applies like a dream–like it melts onto the skin.  I had no issues with wear–I wore it for eight hours with no noticeable fading.

The blush comes in the same gunmetal compact with Burberry’s check pattern on the cover and the logo by the opening.  It’s magnetic, weighty, and feels luxe when you hold it.  It also comes with a check covered velvet pouch for safe keeping.  Inside the compact is a mirror and slightly angled miniature blush brush–that’s actually functional.  The brush is not only usable, but it works well and feels incredibly soft against the skin.  It’s probably one of the best brushes I’ve seen included in a compact that wasn’t full-size.

Though the blush will cost you a pretty penny (but in line with other designer brands like Chanel and Dior), you get much more than the typical high-end brand provides–0.24 oz., which makes it a pricey (by the ounce) as Illamasqua and Smashbox (and significantly less expensive–by the ounce–as Dior and Chanel).

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: For an easy to apply, easier to wear, and incredibly natural but not boring shade of blush, Cameo is a new favorite.

AVAILABILITY: Burberry, Nordstrom

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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette

Nordstrom Beauty Exclusives: Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette

Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette ($54.00) is just one of Nordstrom’s many Beauty Exclusives for their Anniversary Sale (which officially kicks off on the 16th–so close yet so far!). It looks like it’s sold out online, but you may be able to check your local Nordstrom to see if they still have any available for pre-order/sale. This palette contains a blush, bronzer, four eyeshadows, and two lip glosses along with three miniature brushes.

I could really get down with the palette’s theme if they just didn’t put those lip glosses in there–you’re going to experience some cross-contamination of the powder products into your lip glosses. It’s a little annoying and a bit gross. I’m also not entirely sure just how value-packed this palette is, but it seems to be–at the very least–what I’d expect to pay for a Dior palette such as this one. (Mine doesn’t have a label nor a box, so I don’t have specifics on sizes for each interior product.)

The blush is a dirty pink-red that’s rather on the sheer side, and the bronzer is a soft, sheer medium bronze-tan with subtle sheen. The eyeshadows include a frosted warm white, peachy-pink (think NARS Orgasm), shimmering spun gold, and cool-toned subtle bronze. These aren’t Dior’s best eyeshadows–they’re a little on the sheer side and the texture isn’t nearly as creamy as their quints typically are. The two lipglosses are a dirty caramel with multicolored shimmer and a sheer beige champagne.

You can definitely build some looks with this palette, though everything is a smidgen on the warm side (I guess that compensates for their rather cool-toned plummy palette for fall, eh?).  I think everything pairs well together, and it’s a nice color palette that’ll work for the summer, too.   However, I feel the quality isn’t as good as Dior products usually are–just feels a little below.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: For warmer skin tones, this may make a great travel palette–if you don’t mind shades on the sheerer side. Overall, though, it doesn’t meet the expectations I have based on my past experience with Dior.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Monday, July 12th, 2010

Burberry Beauty Eyeshadow
Burberry Trench (02) Eyeshadow

Burberry Trench (02) Eyeshadow ($29.00 for 0.088 oz.) is one of twenty shades of soft, subtle eyeshadows launched in the Burberry Beauty line. I bought Trench, because it seemed like it would be a very fitting shade for the brand.  From the packaging to the color range to the feel, it’s high-end and stays true to the Burberry line and philosophy.

Trench is a smooth, buttery shade of light beige with a soft, satin sheen. It may seem hard to see on my skin tone, because it very much matches my skin tone, but it’s a beautiful barely-there shade. It’s perfect as a highlighter for lighter skin tones as well as an all-over wash for a touch of lightness. The texture is soft to the touch, but it’s pigmented.

The packaging is luxe with the gunmetal case with the signature Burberry check patterning on the cover. It also has the Burberry logo stamped across the front side. The eyeshadow compact does come in a velvet check-patterned pouch, and there is also a sponge-tipped applicator included inside. I don’t care for most included applicators, whether they’re actual brushes or sponges, because they’re often too stubby to provide enough control and precision, so it’s a throwaway for me. I like that the packaging feels weighty enough that it’s substantial and not flimsy, and the darker gunmetal hides some of the fingerprints (but you will see some). It stays closed when you want it to, and it also has a mirror inside.

Surprisingly, each eyeshadow contains a bit more product than the average eyeshadow–0.088 oz., whereas Chanel and Dior single shadows usually weigh in around 0.07 oz. and are similarly priced. Guerlain still comes in as one of the weightier high-end shadows at 0.12 oz. a pop, though!

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like subtler color and enjoy soft, buttery textures, you may like Burberry eyeshadow.

AVAILABILITY: Burberry, Nordstrom

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