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Becca Valentina Sheer Tint Lip Colour

Becca Valentina Sheer Tint Lip Colour
Becca Valentina Sheer Tint Lip Colour

Becca Valentina Sheer Tint Lip Colour

Launched with the Balearic Love Collection for the spring, Becca Valentina Sheer Tint Lip Colour ($24.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “nude pink.” I have to disagree on the description–there’s nothing about this that says “nude.” It’s a medium petal pink with a subtle frosted finish and healthy shine. Guerlain Rose Ensoleille is a bit pinker. Guerlain Bloom of Rose is rosier, a little less warm-toned. Chanel Paradis is a touch less warm. Guerlain Cherry Blossom is warmer.

If you’re unfamiliar with this formula, Becca says it’s supposed to be sheer, hydrating, and is finished with a subtle shine. It has a burnt brown sugar scent to me–lightly sweetened, not too over-the-top–but I didn’t detect any taste. The consistency is soft, smooth, and lightweight; the texture is more akin to a lip balm than a lipstick. It doesn’t have the heavier slip that a lot of sheer and moisturizing lipsticks have, which is nice. It hangs on for about three hours and fades away naturally and evenly.

With this particular shade (which is the only one I’ve tried), the color coverage is semi-sheer to semi-opaque depending on how heavily you apply it. I like that there’s enough color to noticeably change your natural lip color but there’s no heavy or opaque look, so it retains a softer, more natural appearance. I love how moisturizing the formula, is, too–not quite as luxurious as a true lip balm, but it’s very close! It’s definitely one of the more moisturizing products I’ve come across.

It’s packaged in a metal case with an interesting clicking mechanism where you actually have to twist the lid to lock it in place.  If you often tote your lip products around with you and find caps come off, you might like this type of packaging!  It will hold fingerprints, even though metal cases always feel more luxurious and look more elegant! Ah, the game of packaging is riddled with trade-offs.

Becca Valentina Sheer Tint Lip Colour

A-
10
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
92%
Total

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Guerlain Extrait de Rose (262) Shine Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Extrait de Rose (262) Shine Automatique Lipstick
Guerlain Extrait de Rose (262) Shine Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Extrait de Rose (262) Shine Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Extrait de Rose (262) Shine Automatique Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “fuchsia pink.” It’s a brightened medium pink with silver and fuchsia sparkle. Revlon Lollipop is much more fuchsia and brighter. MAC Pink Burst is similar but a bit brighter. Chanel Belgravia is lighter. It’s almost a neutral pink; it’s very subtly cool-toned, but the brightness counteracts that so it should be wearable across many skin tones.

The formula is supposed to be moisturizing, long-wearing, and full of shine. It’s supposed to be the “sheer and sparkling side” of the Rouge Automatique range, which has a more subdued finish and more opaque color. It is very reminiscent of Guerlain’s Rouge G de Brilliant formula, actually–but with more color payoff.

The sparkling shimmer in Extrait de Rose is fantastic; it looks wet and glistening and eye-catching on the lips. It really is stunning, and it’s something that’s worth seeing in person for that effect alone. It’s reminiscent of Chanel’s Glossimers in that half of what is so appealing is hard to capture in a photo! I can feel all of the sparkle and shimmer from the very beginning of application until the very end. It’s not coarse and gritty, but I do feel it–it feels flat and micro in size but noticeable every time I lightly pressed my lips together. There is a little bit of traveling after three hours of wear.

It’s not long-wearing–this has a very creamy, slippery consistency that allows for easy application and excellent glide, but it is definitely prone to disappearing. On me (and keep in mind, non-long-wearing lipsticks wear four hours on me), it wears for three and a half hours. I’ve also tested some of the lighter shades, and those disappear as quick as two and half hours. Guerlain doesn’t indicate a specific hour of wear claim, but they do say this is long-lasting; by signaling it’s a product meant to be longer-wearing, it should last longer than regular lipsticks. Rouge Automatiques last four to eight hours, depending on the shade.

Shine Automatique has a fair amount of slip–reminiscent of a lip balm. Thankfully, it actually is moisturizing while you wear it; my lips always felt good after wearing these, and I wore several shades back-to-back.  Lately, I’ve come across too many of these high-shine formulas that claim to hydrate but end up leaving my lips dehydrated, so I’m very glad to see that there’s no lack of moisturizing elements in this formula.  The lipstick feels lightweight and comfortable to wear, and it’s the kind of product that is easily worn alone–it already has the high-shine of a gloss.  These have the same scent as Rouge Automatiques and come in the same type of packaging.

Ingredients

Polyglyceryl-2, Triisostearate, Diisostearyl Malate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polydecene, Synthetic Wax, Methyl Hydrogenated Rosinate, Phenylpropyldimethylsiloxysilicate, Polybutene, Trimethyl Pentaphenyl Trisiloxane, Ozokerite, C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Trimethylolpropane Triisostearate, Silica, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Polyethylene, Parfum (Fragrance), BHT, Tin Oxide, Propyl Gallate, [+/- Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, (Iron Oxides), CI 15850 (Red 6, Red 6 Lake, Red 7, Red 7 Lake), CI 15985(Yellow 6 Lake),CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake) CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 45380 (Red 21 Lake), CI 45410 (Red 28 Lake), CI 73360 (Red 30 Lake), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet)].

Guerlain Shine Automatique Lip Color Extrait de Rose
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
6
Longevity
5
Application
88%
Total

Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette

Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette
Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette

Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00 for 0.54 oz.) consists of six full-sized eyeshadows inspired by The Emerald City. They include: Glinda’s Kiss (iridescent white), Silver Shoes (pearlized silver), Dandy Lion (pearlized olive green), Saw Dust Heart (matte deep brown), Ozma (pearlized aqua blue), and Very Wicked (pearlized emerald green).

Glinda’s Kiss is a pale white with a white gold sheen. It has great color payoff, but it is a shade that is dupeable–and Tarina Tarantino has already put similar shades in a few of her palettes. Bare Escentuals One Hit Wonder is creamier, less frosted, slightly yellower. Tarina Tarantino Delightful and Tarina Tarantino Dreamy are more frosted, less metallic, subtler yellowness. MAC Manila Paper much yellower. MAC Nylon is yellower. Bare Escentuals Breathtaking is very similar, slightly less white. Urban Decay Zephyr is less yellow-toned.

Silver Shoes is a dark charcoal gray with a frosted shimmer-sheen. It has excellent pigmentation and a soft, smooth texture. Maybelline Audacious Asphalt is very similar though in a cream form. Tarina Tarantino Lovely has a pretty similar gray shade. Bobbi Brown Gunmetal is slightly darker and bluer-toned. Urban Decay Gunmetal is bluer-toned. theBalm Inspirational is also similar but bluer-toned.

Dandy Lion is a deep olive green with a dirty gold shimmer-sheen. It has intense color payoff and a really soft, smooth texture. Dior Garden Pastels has a lighter, more green shade. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful has a much darker, more cool-toned green. Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here has a browner, less green-toned version. MAC Sumptuous Olive is browner, less green. Inglot #433 is more golden, less green.

Saw Dust Heart is a dark burgundy chocolate brown with a matte finish. It has rich pigmentation (it applies even better on the lid). It has a similar color to NARS Ponderosa, without the shimmer. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is less brown. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is a little lighter and has shimmer. MAC Smut is a little darker and has shimmer.

Ozma is a blue-teal with a metallic shimmer-sheen. The color payoff is rich and intense, and the texture feels like butter. MAC Rain Drop is darker. Milani Primary Runway Eyes has a shade that’s a bit bluer. Milani Teal the Truth is more teal. theBalm Open to Offers Olwen is more frosted, less metallic, but the colors are very similar. Inglot #413 is a bit lighter.

Very Wicked is a dark brownish-green–it has this murky olive brown base with dusted forest green sheen. The pigmentation was spot on. OCC Poison is the closest dupe, though it has a much darker, blacker base color. Make Up For Ever #84 is greener.

Tarina Tarantino’s eyeshadow formula is AMAZING! — seriously one of my absolute favorites on the market and one of the more affordable formulas, too. The color payoff is excellent across the board, and the texture is buttery, dense, soft, and silky smooth. These apply as beautifully as they swatch, too. I wore Glinda’s Kiss, Dandy Lion, Ozma, and Very Wicked together to test out the wear–both with and without a primer–and after twelve hours, I didn’t have any creasing or fading either way. I applied them all dry, though her eyeshadows can be used both wet and dry.

Now, there is one glaring downside to this product, and it bothered me from the moment I opened up the palette: the size is unnecessarily large. There is a lot of wasted space in this palette, and while it’s slim, it’s still obnoxiously large. I was bummed about the packaging, because if it had been tighter and more like her other palettes (or just smaller), this would have been an A+ product all day long. Know that the contents are A++++ and its the size of the palette that holds it back.

It’s made out of heavy-duty cardboard, so it’s not the same plastic compacts that her other eyeshadow palettes and duos have been packaged in. Cardboard has its advantages and disadvantages–it’s much, much better if you’re prone to dropping products, because the cardboard will absorb more of the impact compared to plastic. Cardboard can be tossed around more easily without causing breakage of the eyeshadows, but it will show scuffs, dents, scratches, and wear and tear around the edges while plastic compacts won’t.

P.S. — Both Sephora and the back of the palette itself list the product weight as 6 x 0.9 oz. but also as 2.5g–2.5g is actually 0.09 oz. Based on the size of the eyeshadows compared to her other palettes and the various eyeshadows on the market, 0.09 oz. makes sense. Most eyeshadows are around 0.05 oz. (like MAC and Urban Decay), so six shades at nearly double that size for $36 is a great deal.

Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette

A+
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #20, 21, 22, 23

Giorgio Armani #20 Obsidian Black Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani #20 Obsidian Black Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #20 Obsidian Black Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) has just launched four new and limited edition shades for summer.  I bought these shortly after they became available, and I’ve been testing them out over the past week.  I’m a big fan of this formula, so I’m always eager to see how new shades perform and compare to existing shades.  I will admit that I haven’t been overly wowed by some of the newer shades, though they’re not by any means awful! Just… less impressive, but on the whole, still good.

#20 Obsidian Black is a blackened navy blue with teal-green and navy blue shimmer. It’s not nearly as black or as intense as Giorgio Armani #13. Giorgio Armani #1 is also lighter, grayer, and generally doesn’t look much like this. I do think you could mix the two and come fairly close, though. #20 works best wet; when it’s used dry, the color payoff wasn’t there (and it usually is with this formula). More of the shimmer comes through, as the base color looks mostly like a faded black, when it is applied dry–and it does apply with a little more oomph to the lid with a brush. Some of the complexity gets lost when it’s applied to the lid–it’s very subtle and more noticeable in-person than it is in a still photo (which isn’t completely unexpected given the nature of shimmer and how it plays with the light). Oddly enough, it actually reminded me of Revlon Neptune Star in color and shimmer. It also reminded me of Urban Decay Loaded, which is a little bluer. (9, 8.5, 9.5, 10, 4.5, 4; A-)

#21 Obsidian Grey is a medium-dark gray with a silver shimmer and sheen. It has decent color payoff dry but still works best applied damp.  This shade read more dupeable to me; it doesn’t have as much dimension to it compared to some of the other shades in the range.  That’s not something that affects the overall rating, but it’s a point worth considering if you can’t (or don’t want to) grab all four.  MAC Warm Thunder is similar, perhaps a little less gray. Tarina Tarantino Lovely is slightly darker. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk has a purple tint to it.  This shade applied the smoothest out of the four on the lid. (9.5, 9.5, 10, 10, 5, 4; A)

#22 Ecailles is a pale bluish silver with a metallic finish. It applied about the same both dry and wet, which is decent but not great. I did find it applied better to the lid when I used a brush to do so–more like good pigmentation there. Bare Escentuals Mingle is bluer and a bit darker. MAC Water & Ice is cooler-toned. Lancome Style Section is similar. Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a New Realm is a bit darker. It is a bit similar to Giorgio Armani #12, which is brighter, lighter. (9, 8, 9, 10, 4.5, 4; B+)

#23 Madre Perla is a pale, iridescent warm white with a frosted metallic finish. It has flashes of blue, green, pink, and purple. It applies better wet than dry with more color payoff and a smoother texture. This one was a little chunky in texture; it wasn’t as smooth as the other shades. It felt like this was more designed to layer over other shades. Illamasqua Beguile is very similar. MAC If It Sparkles… is almost the same as well.  This is the most wearable shade on its own (Ecailles would the the runner-up).  (9, 9, 9, 10, 4.5, 4; A-)

I’ve only tested one shade within the range for a full twenty-four hours, but I have tested several others for twelve to sixteen hours. I did a look using all four of the limited edition shades and wore it for sixteen hours. These wear and wear and wear. No creasing, fading, or fallout during wear, not even after sixteen hours. Because these have an interesting texture and consistency–they are much like a loose powder product that has been compacted by the accompanying plastic insert–it can be easy to use more than you really need and end up with some minor fall out.  The fall out I’m concerned and dock points for is major fall out or fall out that occurs while you wear it (aka during the day); and there isn’t any of that with these.

I think Eyes to Kill Intense is an excellent formula, but it’s not necessary to own every single one of them either. There are some unique and transformative shades, but there are a few that are more basic or end up looking similar to another shade.  These four create a beautiful gradient effect when used together, though Madre Perla is the most versatile of the bunch.  I think it can work as a wash, inner corner highlighter, or as a layering shade that will change-up whatever is underneath it.  The one that is most visually stunning at first is Obsidian Black, but like a lot of ultra dark shades, some of that loveliness gets swallowed up once applied.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #20, 21, 22, 23

A
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
93%
Total

MAC Fashion Sets: Nail Lacquer Review Round-up

MAC Russian Red Trio
MAC Pink Nouveau Lipglass over Lipstick; Nail Lacquer

MAC Fashion Sets: Nail Lacquer Review Round-up

MAC is not known for an excellent nail polish formula. Sometimes they do it right, but they often create some major misses that tend to suffer from too thin/too thick consistencies, streaking, and poor pigmentation. As is generally the case, the set of sixteen matching nail lacquers was a mixed bag but with more winners than real losers. Pigmentation wasn’t a problem with most of the shades, but I found several of them to be on the streakier side with some more readily covered with a thicker second coat. There were also a handful of shades that were lovely to apply!

The other downside was that a few of the nail lacquers did not match well with the lipstick/lipgloss (Angel, Impassioned, Razzledazzler, Rebel, Snob, and Spice were among the least matching, particularly in tone, not just slightly lighter/darker).

I think MAC has accelerated the price point of their nail lacquers far too quickly–$16 is more than a lipstick or a gloss! It’s $2 less than NARS, the same or $2 less than Deborah Lippmann (depending on the type of polish, as some of hers are $16 and others are $18), $2 MORE than Illamasqua (one of the best polish formulas I’ve ever tried), and $2 more than Butter London. And frankly? At that price tag, MAC is giving you less than the brands I just mentioned–0.34 fl. oz. vs. 0.50 fl. oz. 0.50 fl. oz. is the standard lacquer size (China Glaze, Essie, OPI, etc. all have this size as well). This formula needs to be on point to command a $16 price tag when there are nail polish niche brands where all they do is nail polish have excellent formulas.  The nail lacquers have increased in price faster than other comparable price points at MAC (e.g. lipsticks, glosses, and eyeshadows go up $0.50 every year).

I very specifically removed price from the overall rating so that a $30 formula can be compared to a $3 formula with no boost/decrease because of the price–you are the only one who can decide what is too expensive, just right, or not worth it. As a buyer, I’m most interested in quality, and then I’ll figure out if the quality-to-price-ratio is worth it to me or maybe the color is so original that I’m willing to pay a higher price — or maybe it’s so cheap that I’ll accept that it streaks or is powdery. I try to shed light on situations where the price seems out of line with the brand’s position in the market, against competitors, or if the price/quantity ratio is unusually low or high.

MAC’s lacquers are packaged in a cylindrical bottle (though it has some tapering) and a rubberized cap, and this type of cap normally brings packaging scores up to 5/5, but because it’s awkward to hold (it’s stubby and oddly shaped when gripped), it ends up being a wash. Though it has been an issue in the past, I didn’t have any problems with the brush–they all seemed fine and didn’t have any splaying issues.

The best shades were: Chestnut, Girl About Town, Morange, Pink Nouveau, and Russian Red (A). A good but not great shade was Impassioned (A-). The most under-performing shades were: Saint Germain (C+) and Snob (B-). The rest were middle-of-the-road shades with mostly Bs and a few B+s.

Availability: Based on the information I have received from MAC, the distribution of these shades is regional. I cannot confirm the extent of non-regional shades being available online for your region (e.g. whether all of these will be available on the UK website). I can confirm only that for North America, all shades are available for purchase online. Only the North America-specific shades will be available in-stores on May 3rd, 2012. Select Macy’s will also carry Latin America & Middle East region-specific shades.

North America: Chestnut, Girl About Town, Myth, Rebel, Russian Red, Snob, Spice; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Girl About Town and Snob to the permanent range in July
Asia Pacific: Angel, Morange, Impassioned, Peachstock, Ravishing, Razzledazzler, Saint Germain; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, Saint Germain, and Snob to the permanent range in July
Europe & Africa: Impassioned, Morange, Myth, Rebel, Russian Red, Saint Germain, Spice; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Impassioned, Morange, and Saint Germain, to the permanent range in July
Latin America & Middle East: Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, Pink Nouveau, Please Me, Russian Red, Snob; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, and Snob to the permanent range in July

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

MAC Fashion Sets: Nail Lacquer Review Round-up

B+
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
89%
Total

Please note that the photos included in this post are for summary purposes only–there are four additional photos for each lipstick shade that have been excluded in this post but are available in the set’s original post: one product photos, one swatch (diffused flash), and two swatches (studio lighting).

MAC Fashion Sets: Lipglass Review Round-up

MAC Russian Red Trio
MAC Girl About Town Lipglass over Lipstick; Nail Lacquer

MAC Fashion Sets: Lipglass Review Round-up

Of the sixteen Lipglasses in this launch, it ended up being a mixed bag. A lot of the common problems seen from the thicker formula of Lipglass came up, and these tend to be seen more often in lighter, milkier shades. These lighter shades tend to apply unevenly and settle into lip lines. Darker shades tended to be more opaque and less problematic, though the less opaque they were, the more unevenly they applied.

Lipglass is a heavier, thicker, and very sticky formula (it is often my benchmark for how sticky a gloss is–many readers have experience with the formula, so it often works as a global reference point), which doesn’t mean that it’s bad, but I know that it specifically does not appeal to some for those very reasons. I think the thickness could probably be improved upon as more and more glosses have come out and have a lighter feel that’s more comfortable and wears just as long and as well–it’s more a sign of improved and more refined formulas in the past decade. MAC has shown it themselves with their gloss extensions and limited edition formulas.

This opinion does not change or have any impact on the overall rating, which is about the product and its quality and relevant metrics in relation to quality. I don’t think the lipglosses are necessary if you own or love the lipstick version and do not typically wear gloss alone or are only really seeking out the gloss to pair with the lipstick. The lipsticks are very opaque on their own, so they do not need a semi-opaque or opaque gloss on top to help it along. What the glosses really do is add glossiness, which can be achieved with clear gloss. If you want to mix your favorite lipstick-now-gloss shade with other lipsticks or wear it on its own, then some of the shades can certainly be worth purchasing.

The top-performing shades were: Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, Russian Red, and Spice (A- — no lipgloss received an A). Good but not great shades were: Angel, Please Me, Rebel (B+). The most under-performing shades were: Saint Germain (C); Chestnut and Myth (B-).

Availability: Based on the information I have received from MAC, the distribution of these shades is regional. I cannot confirm the extent of non-regional shades being available online for your region (e.g. whether all of these will be available on the UK website). I can confirm only that for North America, all shades are available for purchase online. Only the North America-specific shades will be available in-stores on May 3rd, 2012. Select Macy’s will also carry Latin America & Middle East region-specific shades.

North America: Chestnut, Girl About Town, Myth, Rebel, Russian Red, Snob, Spice; only Russian Red is permanent
Asia Pacific: Angel, Morange, Impassioned, Peachstock, Ravishing, Razzledazzler, Saint Germain; all shades are limited edition
Europe & Africa: Impassioned, Morange, Myth, Rebel, Russian Red, Saint Germain, Spice; only Russian Red is permanent
Latin America & Middle East: Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, Pink Nouveau, Please Me, Russian Red, Snob; only Russian Red is permanent

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

MAC Fashion Sets: Lipglass Review Round-up

B
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4
Application
86%
Total

Please note that the photos included in this post are for summary purposes only–there are four additional photos for each lipstick shade that have been excluded in this post but are available in the set’s original post: two product photos, one lip swatch (diffused flash), and one lip swatch (studio lighting).

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