Thank you for 10 years of support, here’s to another 10!

Can you believe it’s been 10 years? If you had told me 10 years ago that this is where I would be, this is where the blog would be, I would have looked at you like you were crazy!  This post is rather long, so for those who immediately think, “TLDR?” — thank you very much for being along with me on this journey and for your support!

I have had the honor and privilege of being part of the beauty blogging community since its early days and seeing it grow from more text-only blogs to the deeply interactive, creative spaces that they can be today. I have seen the change in how brands and retailers interact with bloggers (and now, other social media influencers) from when brands only worked with top ten online media to seeing brands continually evolve their influencer strategies across platforms and influencers with better ways to measure than purely the size of one’s following. There are more ways than ever before to find and engage with beauty lovers around the globe–one of my favorite places these days is Reddit’s MakeupAddiction community, which has given me a boost in enthusiasm since joining–that have made my joy and passion for makeup more enriching, personal, and enjoyable.

With Gratitude

I believe that Temptalia’s longevity and success are due to the strength and positivity of our community of readers, first and foremost, because without the support of readers, we really would not be where we are today. It is the enduring readership, engagement, and word-of-mouth (or click, in the digital space) that has given the blog a strong foundation to stand on. This belief is why I feel so strongly about being as candid as possible in my reviews, because my reviews are for my readers; they are not to win brands over or to convince you to buy something you didn’t need in the first place. They are intended to help you make better, smarter purchases; to have a better idea of what the product is like and does and whether that’s something that works for you. They are intended to take down the hype and buzz a notch and ground the product in reality. Starting from readers always helps me make better decisions in the long-run, so I thank you for reading, but I thank you for providing me the strength to make difficult choices about what directions to take because they have made me a better, more honest, more confident person, period. You earn trust, and you have to keep earning it to maintain; it is not something you want to lose because it can be near-to-impossible to earn it back. I am so humbled to have you believe in me, and to trust in my reviews, when I know the community at large has had issues with transparency and disclosure over the last five years.

There will never be an adequate way to thank you all for what you have done for me. I have grown-up blogging, I have moved from teenager to new adult to a total grown-up with grown-up responsibilities, like retirement savings, estate plans, and life insurance. You were there when Mellan, my furriest of family members, entered my life and changed it irrevocably. You were there when I graduated college, when I graduated graduate school. You were there when my husband proposed to me (quite literally, as he proposed on the blog!), and later, when I got married. You have provided not just me, but my husband and my brother-in-law (and so a smaller extent, my mother and my sister) enduring jobs. My husband has been working behind-the-scenes at Temptalia since it started, as he was already a web designer at the time!

Your esteem of me, your trust, and your support have shaped me over the last 10 years into the person I am today. I am so lucky and so grateful to be able to have a dream job: one that I am passionate about doing, one that I can do well, and one that gives me what I need to live a good life. A few years ago, my mom had our logo embroidered in silk, and it was a housewarming gift for our first home. It hung there, and it continues to hang in my second home, because whatever home I live is the home that Temptalia built. Thank you so much for giving me a home; both figuratively and literally–a reason for being, a place to share my passion, a place where my skills are useful, and a place to keep my family warm. Thank you so, so very much.

Second place finish, of course, goes to my family and friends who have supported me over the years. My mother, who is my role model in all things, is both responsible for my commitment to readers and honesty but also helping me build Temptalia as a brand and as a business. Her experience has been invaluable to me, and her advice, her fielding of negotiations when I first started, helped to set the stage for success behind the scenes. I more recently learned that my own mom’s work ethic flows from my grandmother, who just recently gave me the advice to do as much and as well as I can today, while I’m young, which was music to a work-a-holic’s ears! I was and continue to be lucky to have my family, extended family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that have supported blogging, that have looked at it with admiration and not disdain, that never said makeup was frivolous or unworthy of pursuit. I’m pretty sure that of all my family members, my dad actually reads and keeps up with the blog the most, which is so endearing. My sister always asks me for more business cards, because she apparently distributes them at a rate of 50x faster than I do!

To my husband, who has been there for me for the last 11 years: thank you for your support, your faith in me, and your love. I could not ask for a more supportive and understanding partner in life or in work. He has been in the background of the blog since it started, and he laid a lot of the groundwork for features like The Dupe List, Swatch, Gallery, Foundation Matrix, and so forth. He is actually now responsible for what we call “new development,” where he has built other sites that he now designs and creates content for (his site actually gets more pageviews than Temptalia now!).

To Mellan, my labrador love: for an example of living life with only optimism, there is no better example than Mellan. He is a happy dog, one that plays like he’s still a puppy, and one that always brings a smile to my face if I am having a down moment. He also lets me talk his ears off, and he never interrupts or tells me to be quiet!

To my brother-in-law, Nick, who has become the lead behind development for Temptalia in the last couple of years: he is like a magic coding genie; I say, “I want XYZ” and he never makes it sound impossible. I tell him where a pain point is in my review process, and he looks for ways to alleviate the bottleneck. I appreciate his willingness to learn, his ability to take direction and switch on and off tasks as priorities change, and always finding creative solutions when we are faced with a technical problem!

Reflecting on the Journey, So Far

I’m not someone who looks back that often; I am surprisingly a present person–I plan for the future but I very much live my life day-to-day and focus on achieving short-term goals while having a larger picture sketched out. I thought today would be a good time to reflect on the past and share some of those reflections with you, my dearest readers, as so many of you have been here from the beginning but so many of you have joined me along the way.

I’m no stranger to the internet nor producing content online, and I’ve spent a large amount of my free time on the internet since I was 13, when AOL was the big thing (in fact, I still use AIM to chat with friends and family!). Few know this at this point, but I used to make ‘zines through AOL, and I had two that I sent daily for years (years!), which I really think set-up my ability to maintain a daily blog through the years. (Fun fact: this why there are regular “columns” like question of the day, hit list, rant and rave; they are all concepts I used in my past ‘zines.) I have, effectively, been making and distributing free content for over half my life! It is funny as when I was younger and doing the whole ‘zine thing, spending that much time online made you a loser, but now, I feel like so many of us have our lives intertwined with the internet and social media that the cool thing is to have a strong internet presence! I officially quit ‘zines when I graduated high school and went to college, thinking I would not be able to balance the two (and feeling like it was time to move on, to some degree).

As an adult, I understand more of what my mom has always said to me – that her dream retirement is not to do nothing but to have a second career (one she has always thought about) as a college professor (which she has already achieved, though I’m pretty sure she works harder and more hours than she did in her first career). In college, I was so, so bored. The concept of free time was foreign to me, and I had too much of it. I got two part-time jobs, I took extra classes, and I still felt like something was missing. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup growing up, so when I went away to college, that’s when I really discovered and had a chance to play and experiment with it myself. I fell in love with MAC Pigments, and it led me to participate in the mac_cosmetics community on Livejournal. It was exactly what I was looking for; it was a something, a hobby, anything that I felt a real passion and delight in–and it was makeup.

The first posts on Temptalia were published on October 3rd, 2006, and they were really setting up an archive of makeup looks I had already shared with mac_cosmetics. The first review ever published was for MAC Formal Black (October 21st, 2006). There was no long-term goal for the blog when it started; it was meant to be a place to easily archive my looks, tutorials, and post the occasional review/swatches. I didn’t know anything blogging back then, and beauty blogging was definitely in its infancy–it was still the “wild, wild west” so-to-speak. It wasn’t until January 2007 that I started to post more regularly, and I got closer to daily blogging by May 2007.

I know the exact tipping point that turned Temptalia from a casual blogging affair to something more: MAC reached out to me in July 2007! Me! Little ol’ me! As a huge, huge fan of MAC (it was the only brand I purchased at the time), being recognized and contacted by their team (thank you Heather!) was incredible. I interviewed Dita Von Teese a few months later, I attended my first press dinner (with MAC) for San Francisco Fashion Week. The idea that my blog was being taken seriously by the very company I was most passionate about made it real; made it a THING! It made me take blogging a lot more seriously, even if I definitely had no expectations that it would be a career or even a part-time job at that point. By Semptember 2007, I was pretty much blogging daily, if not multiple times per day. This is where a lot of the format of Temptalia that you see today started taking shape; the first Temptalia Asks You went live in September 2007. (Fun fact: There have been 3,270 Temptalia Asks You posts to date.) By June 2008, I was posting between five and six times a day, which is the current level I post today, and since then, that’s what I’ve done. I think I have missed one day, possibly a question of the day still went up, when I was sick with the swine flu (I’ve never been that sick before; I could barely move) since moving to a daily schedule!

We have done some really cool things (well, obviously, I think we have!) over the years, like creating The Dupe List, Swatch, Gallery, and Foundation Matrix. We have improved on these things greatly over the last few years in particular, as the system of products has its own database so everything is intertwined, which makes everyone’s life better.

A Temptalia Timeline

  • November 2007 — First Annual Temptalia Awards
  • January 25, 2008 — WWD names Temptalia one of ten hottest beauty blogs
  • February 25, 2008 — Magellan is announced
  • November 15, 2008 — Beyond Beauty Look Compilation eBook
  • February 25, 2009 — New logo
  • April 20, 2009 — Best Beauty Blog, Glam Media
  • June 5, 2009 — Temptalia Gallery (predecessor of the Swatch Gallery)
  • July 24, 2009 — Top Beauty Blog (out of 50), Konector
  • January 23, 2010 — Foundation Matrix Born
  • January 31, 2010 — Newsletter started
  • June 28, 2010 — The Dupe List launches
  • July 16, 2010 — Revlon features Editor’s Choice Logo on False Eyelashes
  • April 5, 2011 — The Glossover introduced
  • May 19, 2011 — Swatch Gallery
  • May 30, 2011 — MAC x Temptalia, Jealousy Wakes Eyeshadow
  • October 8, 2011 — Foundation Matrix 1.5
  • December 24, 2011 — Shaun proposed on the blog
  • August 16, 2012 — First major direct campaign (Sephora Color Vision)
  • May 3, 2013 — MyTemptalia Launches
  • August 2013 — Illamasqua features Editor’s Choice Logo on Nail Varnishes
  • November 21, 2013 — Foundation Matrix 2.0
  • February 7, 2014 — The Dupe List 2.0
  • February 7, 2014 — Christine Mielke, Editor, listed as 50 Most Influential People in Beauty by WWD
  • August 7, 2015 — MyTemptalia 2.0
  • February 26, 2016 — Foundation Matrix 3.0
  • May 2016 — The Dupe List 3.0 / Swatch Gallery 3.0
  • October 2016 — 10 Years

Thank you for your support, and here’s hoping for another 10 years we can be proud of!

Chanel Rouge Allure Ink Collection

Chanel Rouge Allure Ink Collection
Chanel Rouge Allure Ink Collection

Smooth gloss meets intense lipstick in new ROUGE ALLURE INK. The innovative, long-lasting formula smoothes, nourishes, hydrates and protects lips, while leaving a luminous, velvet-like finish. In a provocative range of red-tint shades.



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The Details

Rouge Allure Velvet | $37.00

  • Rouge Troublant (60)
  • Rouge Rebelle (172)
  • Rouge Angelique (174)

Rouge Allure Ink Matte Liquid Lip Colour | $37.00

ROUGE ALLURE INK is a long-lasting liquid lipstick with a smooth texture that glides on like a gloss and sets with a luminous velvet-like finish. Polymers, waxes and plant oils smooth and nourish lips, while jojoba oil and a unique antioxidant complex offer hydration and protective benefits. The applicator tip allows for comfortable and easy application. It’s available in a provocative range of red-tint shades, from tart pink to deep brown-noir.

  • Amoureux (140)
  • Creatif (142)
  • Vivent (144)
  • Seduisant (146)
  • Libere (148)
  • Luxuriant (150)
  • Choquant (152)
  • Experimente (154)

Rouge Double Intesite Ultra Wear Lip Colour | $37.00

  • Milky Blueberry (102)
  • Bright Raspberry (104)

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Sponsored: Bergdorf Goodman Rewarding Beauty Event + My Top Picks

Bergdorf Goodman Rewarding Beauty Event

Bergdorf Goodman has kicked off their Rewarding Beauty Event today! Now through September 18th, you can get $25 off $250+ orders, $75 off $500+ orders, and $200 off $1,000+ orders with code BEAUTY.

In celebration of the event, I’ve curated the list below of some of my favorite high-end and luxury beauty favorites that you can find at Bergdorf Goodman. I’d love to hear about what you haul if you take advantage of this deal!

Psst… they also have exclusive early access to the Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham collection! 🙂

Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder

Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder
Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder

Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder ($46.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a new, limited edition highlighting powder with “high-impact, buildable radiance.” The texture was very soft and smooth, while it had a firmer feel to it overall, so it seems like a product that would take awhile to get through, but the firmness didn’t make it hard to apply or get color payoff out of the powder. It had medium, buildable coverage, which is in line with the brand’s description of the formula. It’s available in three shades (see reviews here)

Marc Jacobs Beauty Makeup Brushes

Marc Jacobs Beauty Makeup Brushes
Marc Jacobs Beauty Makeup Brushes

Marc Jacobs Beauty Makeup Brushes ($30.00 to $78.00) are all synthetic brushes, mostly for face, that I’ve been testing out for almost a year now (I owe you all reviews!). They’ve held up wonderfully and several have made it into my go-to brush arsenal: 1) The Conceal No. 14 Brush ($30.00) is excellent for diffusing and buffing concealer underneath the eye, 2) The Bronzer Brush No. 12 ($78.00) is nice for applying and dusting powder and finishing powders all over the skin, and 3) The Face II No. 2 Brush ($48.00) is great for applying liquid and cream foundations, particularly higher coverage formulas.

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a creamy, pigmented, moisturizing formula that wears well and has a great, smoothing effect on the lips due to the consistency and finish. They have a ton of shades to choose from, too. You can check out the top 15 best-performing shades or read reviews for all shades.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow ($65.00 for 0.56 oz.) is a highlighter and bronzer duo available in two shades (one for lighter skin tones, one for darker skin tones). My personal go-to is the lighter option, which is the original (review here) as it adds subtle warmth to my face and moderate luminosity. The Medium/dark version is warmer and deeper, which would work better on medium-tan to dark skin tones (review here). The texture of the powders is smooth, soft, and blendable with good wear.

Marc Jacobs Beauty The Social Butterfly Eyeshadow Palette

Marc Jacobs The Social Butterfly (230) Eyeshadow Palette
Marc Jacobs The Social Butterfly (230) Eyeshadow Palette

Marc Jacobs The Social Butterfly (230) Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a neutral palette with a mix of mattes and shimmers, slightly cooler-than-average warmer shades. Overall, it’s a nice palette with a mixture of finishes and shades; it should work nicely as a standalone palette as well as can be mixed with pops of color (review here).

Kevyn Aucoin Starlight The Celestial Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Starlight The Celestial Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Starlight The Celestial Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Starlight The Celestial Powder ($44.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a champagne-shimmered peach with warm undertones and a luminous finish (review here). You’ve often seen me wear this shade in photos, and many readers will know that this is my particular favorite of the Celestial Powders (though I enjoy them all!). This one is perfect on my skin tone, because it adds subtle color, warmth, and glow, so it is versatile and can be worn alone or layered over a blush/bronzer. If you want something with less noticeable color, try Candlelight (review here), and if you want more warmth, try Sunlight (review here).

Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush

Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush
Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush

Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush ($42.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a real winner across the board. I think it actually comes pretty close to living up to its 24-hour claim, which I was completely surprised by. The formula also lives up to its buildable coverage and color claims, as each shade can be lighter or darker, depending on whether you lean to the left or right of the compact or just swirl altogether. The pigmentation is solidly medium and buildable, but the silky, smooth texture makes it forgiving and easy to sheer out or build-up without it looking powdery or caked on the skin (reviews here).

Estee Lauder Hi-Lustre Pure Color Envy Lipstick

Estee Lauder Hi-Lustre Pure Color Envy Lipstick
Estee Lauder Hi-Lustre Pure Color Envy Lipstick

Estee Lauder Hi-Lustre Pure Color Envy Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is the newest in the Pure Color lipstick range, and this formula is a shimmery take on it. It’s supposed to have medium coverage with “lustrous color” and “brilliant shine.” The shade range varies from pearly to frosted in finish, medium to mostly opaque coverage, and is a hydrating, comfortable-to-wear formula that lasts between four and six hours. The consistency felt smooth, lightly creamy but not slippery, and held well to the lips but did not feel clingy (reviews here). They are vanilla-scented but have no discernible taste.

Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm

Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm
Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm

Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm ($24.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a squeeze-tube lip balm that I picked up a few weeks ago on a whim, but with all of this year’s lip product releases, I’ve been extremely impressed by this balm. It’s been my go-to since I bought it, and I find it very hydrating after a long day of lip swatching and lipstick testing! It wears well throughout the night, and I can always tell there’s still a bit left on, which is something I look for in my lip balms. There’s just enough adhesion so you get that longer wear without it feeling thick or tacky.

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush
Clinique Cheek Pop Blush

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush ($21.00 for 0.12 oz.) is one of my all-time favorite blush formulas. I’ve reviewed them all, but some of my personal go-to shades are: Peach Pop, Ginger Pop, and Fig Pop! The texture of this formula is incredibly soft, smooth, and almost velvety, despite being a powder product. It sits beautifully on the skin giving it a luminous sheen but never emphasizes pores or the skin’s natural texture.

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps

Kiehl's Creme de Corps
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps ($29.50 for 8.0 fl. oz.) has been my favorite body moisturizer for years–it has been an Editor’s Choice Award winner since 2012. I love it for its intense hydration, smooth, spreadable consistency, and unscented nature. It doesn’t feel heavy but delivers hydration of a rich cream, and I like how it dries down quickly so it doesn’t feel greasy throughout the day.

FAQ: Temptalia’s Foundation Matches, Skintone, & Skin Type

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation

About My Coloring

I would describe myself as light-medium in color with soft, warm, yellowish undertones.  My neck is closer to light in color, while the edges of my face are closer to true light-medium and the center of my face is closer to light-to-light-medium.  As a result, I find color matches that are slightly warmer and yellower to suit me best, as true neutral foundations look rosier/pinker against my complexion. I also will lean lighter, as it will be easier to match against my neck, and I’ll often use a flesh-toned powder that adds a touch of additional color.  The closest match I have found thus far is Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral.

I have hazel eyes (a mixture of green and brown) and black-brown hair with less warmth in my eyebrows (they aren’t true black but warmer brow colors tend to look obvious).

About My Skin

I have normal-to-dry skin overall.  The majority of my face is normal most of the time, but occasionally, I get dryness on my eyelids, around my nostrils, and on my cheeks.  I have some fine lines around my eyes and underneath my eyes as well as visible smile lines.  I have a larger line that runs across my forehead.  As far as skin concerns go, I am most concerned with signs of aging and evenness of my skin overall.  I feel like I have normal-sized pores, as I do not notice them all. the. time. but find they can be visible and emphasized by the texture and finish of products.  I would not consider my skin sensitive, and after trialing so many products over the last ten years, I’d actually say it’s rather resilient.

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Keeping Track of My Looks + Submit Yours!

Temptalia's Looks

For those readers who have missed my look posts, I’m really trying to make a conscious effort to submit my looks through our system so that they can be easily found in one place. You can find all of mine here 🙂 Short of really awful looks (like when it’s a cream eyeshadow that doesn’t apply evenly at all), I have been pretty good about getting them up for the last few weeks, so it seemed like a good time to share!  Here are some recently added ones:

I’d also like to take this time to remind you that you can also share your look with the community as well as check out looks shared by other readers!

MyTemptalia | Vanity + Wishlist Updates

MyTemptalia | Vanity
MyTemptalia | Vanity

I’m so excited to announce some major updates to the Vanity and Wishlist features on MyTemptalia! We hope that they make it easier to use these areas of the site but also help make it easier for you to keep track of what you own and what you’re most tempted by as well.


  • Search within your Vanity. You can quickly look to see shades within a formula you have (like all Urban Decay Eyeshadows), or you can look up a specific shade.

MyTemptalia | Vanity
MyTemptalia | Vanity | Filter + Sort

  • Sort your Vanity. You can now sort your Vanity by various options to make finding items or seeing what you have at a glance easier, like by color, finish, type, etc.

MyTemptalia | Vanity
MyTemptalia | Vanity | Add Details

  • Keep track of when you purchase, open, and use products. You can now add these dates to keep track of how long you’ve had something or how long it may take to finish, or even to make sure you’re using things frequently.
  • Keep track of what you want to buy again. You can now mark yes, maybe, or no for whether you’d repurchase an item in your Vanity.

MyTemptalia | Vanity
MyTemptalia | Vanity | Keep track of dates and thoughts

  • Add notes. Each item on your Vanity has a notes section to write any additional information that may help you, like color combination ideas, brief reviews, and what have you. These are your private notes and are not shared with the community.

MyTemptalia | Vanity
MyTemptalia | Vanity | Adding Products

  • Easier to add a palette. When you add a palette, it will automatically add all the shades within the palette.
  • Add products to your Vanity. You can now add products to your Vanity through your Vanity, rather than having to find them on the site.

MyTemptalia | Vanity
MyTemptalia | Vanity | Quickly Add Multiple Shades

  • Quickly add multiple shades to your Vanity. Do you own 100 MAC eyeshadows? You can add by formula, and then select the shades you own, and voila, they’re added without having to look up each shade individually.

MyTemptalia | Wishlist
MyTemptalia | Vanity


  • Search within your Wishlist. You can quickly look to see shades within a formula you have, or you can look up a specific shade.
  • Prioritize. Assign one of five priority labels to each item on your Wishlist.
  • Add notes. Each item on your Wishlist has a notes section where you can keep additional information that helps you use your Wishlist to the fullest. These are your private notes and are not shared with the community.
  • Add products to your Wishlist. You can now add products to your Wishlist through your Wishlist, rather than having to find them on the site.
  • Quickly add multiple shades to your Wishlist. Do you covet 25 MAC eyeshadows? You can add by formula, and then select the shades you want to buy in the future, and voila, they’re added without having to look up each shade individually.