Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Last week, we asked for your feedback via a survey, and all of the responses we received were really great and just helped us develop a picture of where we are and what we need to change up in the future.  Here are some findings/explanations, just because the audience is split on some things, so I don’t want half of you to think we’re ignoring your suggestions–because the other half loves what you hate!  (I think the adage “you can’t satisfy everyone” applies!)

  • Drugstore vs. high-end:  about 15% of readers seemed to want more coverage of beauty products available at a lower price point, while 75% were happy that there isn’t a lot of coverage of drugstore brands.  Solution: Money-Saving Mondays — the theme is to cover and feature products that are more affordable, at least on a once-a-week basis.
  • MAC vs. non-MAC:  about 10% of readers feel like this blog is all MAC and nothing but, while 20% of readers say there aren’t enough posts about MAC (and about 5% say skip other brands and only write about MAC).  The majority of readers (about 75%) are satisfied with the level of non-MAC to MAC ratio.  Solution:  keep on keepin’ on.  If MAC keeps putting out a zillion and one collections per year, we’ll be there to cover it.  We’re still trying to do our best and cover other brands’ releases, too.  We can’t always get to all of them, but we certainly give it a go!
  • Reader Participation: about 20% of readers dislike at least one or two of participation-based posts (The Hit List, Rant & Rave, Temptalia Asks You, etc.), but the overwhelming majority loves to participate in these.  Solution: we’re going to take a look at our schedule and likely ditch Project Revamp (that’s your call to save it, if you wish) and potentially scale back others so that there’s some but not too much.
  • Sales/Deals: several readers commented on not wanting sales/deals clogging up the front page… Solution:  we already adjusted this about a month ago so that the majority of sales/deals are only posted on the deals page.  We’ll, of course, still feature some deals on the main page, depending on whether we think it’ll interest you, as well as the weekly deal round-up on Mondays.
  • Guest Posts/Submissions: some readers commented that they’d like to see guest posts/reviews/looks/tutorials.  Solution: we’ve actually always welcomed and asked for submissions — we just rarely get any!   We will try to make more “call to submit” posts throughout the year.
  • Rating System: there seems to be a fair amount of confusion over the rating system — some love the addition of it, others think it’s pointless.  Solution: at this point, I’m probably going to get rid of it.  It seems like it requires more explanation to avoid the confusion, which seems like it’ll clog up the post.  But to clarify here:  I don’t actively seek out products I dislike, which is why I don’t have a lot of “terrible” reviews.  I try and buy what I think I’ll like.  A “C” product is average – not bad, but not great; a “B” product is good, but I think there’s something better out there; and an “A” product is great, and it’s something I’d buy again.
  • Disclosure: a few readers were curious about how Temptalia will work with the FTC’s disclosure requirement.  Solution:  we have had a site-wide disclosure and policies page up for about a year now — in general (in the past), if I didn’t say I bought it, I probably didn’t.  But since the revisions came out (so about two weeks now), we’ve also implemented a post-by-post disclosure system.  (Anyone notice it? Here’s an example.)  We don’t do paid reviews, we don’t promise positive reviews–hell, we don’t guarantee we’ll review anything, period.  Bottom line, I review stuff I like/love or products I think readers are interested in.

There’s one major area that we could use further feedback on:  NAVIGATION.

It definitely seemed like a fair number of readers experienced some issues with navigating the site.  Because we are, quite obviously biased, we have no idea what’s wrong with it.  We can navigate the site just fine, darn it!  So to help us understand where you’re coming from, could you tell us what problems you’re having? What’s not working?  Maybe an example of a navigation that would work for such an unwieldy site such as Temptalia?

Any insight on making your site experience better, more streamlined, and just more enjoyable would be most appreciated. This is the time of the year where we start working on our layout and redesign, so all of your feedback is vital to the process.  (If you want change, you gotta speak up!)

Thanks so much for participating in the quarterly reader feedback survey!

(And, of course, if you have any additional feedback, suggestions, comments, or questions, you are always welcome to post them — whether on the blog or via email.)

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009


(And yes, those cupcakes were tasty!!)

Happy 3rd Blogiversary!

Three years ago, on October 3rd, 2006, the first post went live on Temptalia. In fact, 230 looks were posted on October 3rd–they span about a year’s worth of looks. Temptalia began as an archive for all of the makeup looks I was already doing previously. I would post them on the MAC Cosmetics Livejournal Community, but this way they were all in one place, easy to find and refer back to.

The very first review didn’t occur until October 21st, 2006, and it was a review on MAC’s Formal Black/Nocturnelle Collections — that’s holiday 2006, for those newer to MAC!  We have continued those reviews of the latest MAC collections to this day.

Can you believe in November 2006 we had less ten posts for the entire month? (September 2009 had 330!) It wasn’t until nearly a year later in September 2007 that the blog ramped up and started on the path that has led it to where it is today. In that same month, Temptalia published its first non-MAC review (Prescriptives’ 24 Hour Mascara), which truly marks the where the blog began to explore all brands and move beyond its original purpose.

It has evolved into a beauty lovin’ community; a place where we can share our favorites, our least favorites, and everything in between.  We discover new products together, anticipate the latest launches, and save each other from potentially disappointing purchases.  This is not just a blog to me; this is a part of me, this is my heart and my soul.  I breathe and live it and love every moment of it.

Let’s celebrate! Throughout the month of October (and likely part of November), Temptalia will be giving away over $3,500 in giveaways as our way of celebrating and saying thank you to all of you.  Stay tuned for a whole lotta fun!

To date, Temptalia has…

  • …received 180,635 Comments
  • …published 5,055 Posts
  • …written 825 Collection/Product Review-related Posts
  • …asked 731 questions under Temptalia Asks You
  • …created 697 Looks
  • …covered 150 Brands
  • …written 108 Tutorials

This is a day where I want to say thank you to everyone who has contributed and supported Temptalia.

To Readers: Every bookmark, every comment, every question, and every criticism has helped both me and the blog grow–as an individual, as a blogger, and as a blog. I started this when I was 20 and an undergraduate in college, and now I’m 23 and am a year and half away from getting my butt out of law/business school. I’m still young, but I’ve learned so much from all of you. I’ve become such a better person because of your kind words, your constructive suggestions, and your support. You all make Temptalia a dream come true; something I love to do, something that has given me a purpose.

To Family: My parents, sister, and all of my extended family — for your pride in my work, for your unwavering support in this endeavor. For pushing me when things get tough. For giddily recommending me to friends and coworkers and clients… who may not even know what lipgloss is. To my Dad who checks Temptalia to see how I’m doing. To my Mom who is always there to give me advice. To my sister who is currently working on the most tedious task to make the Temptalia archives cleaner. To my aunts and uncles and grandparents who dream even bigger dreams for me and drive me to find them.

To the Boy: For all of his knowledge and technical skills to keep Temptalia looking its best and running smoothly. There are so many things he does that are so essential to maintaining the blog that are invisible to the eye. But most of all, for all of the support he has given me. Through the tears and the smiles, the failures and the successes, he’s been there, every step of the way.

Thank you so much for all of your support throughout these past three years! It means more than I could ever tell you in words, and everyday I wake up and know that there’s this amazing community that I’m apart of and I’ve never felt happier.

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Hello, Fall!

With Labor Day well behind us, summer is truly on its way out and fall breezing on in.  Today was one of the first days of “fall” here in California–below 70 degrees (ha!).  One of the ways we finished up our final days of summer was with a very nice mention on Only In A Woman’s World. I also watched my favorite webisode from the series thus far:

I’ve been there so many times, I couldn’t even tell you the funny moments that ensued. Every time my boyfriend catches me jumping into skinny jeans, he can’t keep himself from laughing. If it wasn’t me trying to finagle my way into them, I might even laugh, too. (Maybe.)

So with fall upon us, I want to know how (and if) your beauty routine changes as the season emerges!

My routine doesn’t change much except I try to embrace darker lip colors and ensure my skin doesn’t dry out (as it often does towards the fall/winter).


This post was sponsored by “Only In A Woman’s World.”

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

With summer really just around the corner, the idea of short shorts, shorter skirts, and swimsuits has be a bit on edge. As someone who’s always struggled with weight, a part of me is always a bit loathe to see the summer rays peek through the clouds as June rolls around. It’s way better nowadays, since my boyfriend thinks I’m nuts and all that for having issues with it (hey, support is good!), but this year, I really feel like I need to get healthier. I was watching the latest webisode at Only In A Woman’s World, and it SO described my previous fitness attempts.

My goal is a lot less intense this time around — I want to incorporate exercise into my daily routine while reducing some more no-no foods/habits in my life. So, I’m not talking about spending half a day at the gym (I don’t think I could ever do that) or eliminating anything from my diet. It’s about making better choices (aka not drinking Starbucks everyday!). This is how I’m going to celebrate summer this year — as a huge motivator to kick my butt in gear. I’m also hoping to ease some of my beauty woes like under-eye circles, skin that hates me, etc. by feeling more energized, getting better sleep, and increasing my water intake. Continue reading →

Friday, June 5th, 2009


Temptalia Top Secret Project: The Temptalia Gallery (Beta) Launches

For the past several weeks, we have been working nonstop on creating, developing, and tweaking a project very near and dear to our hearts — a high quality gallery for beauty product photos and swatches. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, I’ve been hinting at a top secret project, and this is it!

Today, we are launching the Gallery into beta, so we have an opportunity to address bug fixes and the like, and we are not finished adding to content or implementing some more advanced features — but there are over 1,000 products/looks/swatches currently available for your perusal!

Visit the Gallery!

Just a Few Neat Features Live Today…

  • Browse through Temptalia’s Looks from 2008-2009
  • Browse through Temptalia’s Lip Combinations from 2008-2009
  • Browse through hundreds MAC Product Photos by Type
  • Add your own product reviews/thoughts

Preview of (Some of) What’s to Come

  • Non-MAC brands’ product photos/swatches from the blog
  • More MAC swatches from past collections
  • Submit Your Product Photos/Swatches
  • Popular Tags List in Sidebar of Each Category
  • Additional tags in place
Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Don’t forget to vote for Temptalia in Glam’s Network Awards. We’re nominated for “Best Beauty Publisher.” It would mean so much to me if you could take a quick moment to cast your vote :) Voting ends the 13th, so this is the final day! I know we can do it! Thank you for all of your support!