Sunday, April 15th, 2012

The Making of Dr. KISS Gloss – Mini-sodes #3 and #4

Celebrity makeup artist Brett Freedman has been developing a new product–Dr. KISS Gloss–and he’s filmed a series of videos exclusively for Temptalia readers as a look into the process behind creating a product and bringing it to the market.

Here are the next two episodes in the series — packaging modifications and gloss mechanical drawings!

Monday, April 9th, 2012

By Dustin Hunter, Makeup Artist

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Dustin Hunter has been designing various media since his early teen years. Studying several different art forms, Hunter’s creative background ranges from illustration and photography to fashion and interior design to music production and makeup artistry. He has worked for over a decade as a professional illustrator and his retail interior design concepts have been featured in nation-wide publications, receiving recognition for their uniqueness and creativity.  Check out his blog and YouTube channel!


My Most Embarrassing Moments in Fashion and Beauty

With every decade comes a birth of something… unnatural. An exaggeration of something that was once cool, twisted and warped into something truly horrific: massive shoulder pads and razor-sharp blush, “Hammer” pants (which is even embarrassing to type), and the HUGE wall o’ bangs fringe, platform Mary Janes and–one of my favorite love-to-hate moments–the Bobbi Brown look of the 90s.

I actually experienced TWO trendy-at-the-time flashbacks recently. One of them, I am sad to report, was entirely my own doing. I had requested a specific haircut from my stylist (shaved on the sides and long on the top) that would allow me to style a nice pompadour, which looked great, except on the days when I didn’t style it, and I looked like Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys circa 1998.

Later on, during that week of bad decisions, I also began sifting through the boxes in my attic (re-organizing and making room for new piles of crap that I have decided I cannot part with but no longer want in my immediate vicinity) where I stumbled upon a relic from the Flintstones era: actual photographs! On paper!  That’s when I noticed the hair. “Wow… that looks a lot like my hair right now,” I thought to myself as I looked over a photo of me from the late 90s.

Flash forward a couple more Kodak envelopes and a few more years, and there it was:  a wonderful gem of me with spiked hair (bleached tips of course) wearing one of those silver beaded necklaces that we all thought were somehow… good?

Aye, I had my share of skater shoes and tight shirts (some with Lycra even), baggy pants and wallet chains, silver rings, and those bizarre necklaces. I would even routinely shave off all seven of my chest hairs in an attempt to look more like a model from an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog! Why?! Because I thought it was cool, that’s why!  And no one ever thought to tell me otherwise.

It made me wonder… what fashion and beauty trend will be next? What offensive thing am I wearing RIGHT now that will haunt me years later? Wait… hang on–my low-rise pants are riding a little too low and people are looking at me funny while I’m typing.

What are your worst or funniest memories in fashion and beauty? Any trends that you actually miss and would love to see make a come-back? What do you think will be next on the chopping block of style?

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

The Making of Dr. KISS Gloss – Mini-sodes #1 and #2

Celebrity makeup artist Brett Freedman has been developing a new product–Dr. KISS Gloss–and he’s filmed a series of videos exclusively for Temptalia readers as a look into the process behind creating a product and bringing it to the market. Check out these first two episodes where Brett introduces the upcoming product and starts explaining the creative process for designing the packaging!  Stay tuned for more.

Friday, April 6th, 2012

By Polly of Beauty Mish Mash

Polly is a 22-year old recent graduate who hails from England. She studied East Asian studies, so she learned some Japanese and even spent six weeks in Japan last summer–she loved it and hopes to return one day.

She currently lives with her family and waitresses while trying to decide on her future career. Polly is fortunate to have a wonderful boyfriend who spends countless hours with her at Boots and makeup counters–even if it is done so begrudgingly! Check out her blog, Beauty Mish Mash!


Springtime in England

Now that it is well and truly spring in the world of beauty, I thought I would try and track down some pretty pastels suitable for the occasion. I always find it hard to ditch my red lips and glitter, as holiday make up is my favourite type! I tried some new products to create a really soft, pastel look, and have reviewed the English products that I used below.

Eyes

Natural Collection Solo Eyeshadows (£1.79 each) are from one of Boots’ budget make up ranges. In my look below I used Candy Floss, Lilac Shimmer, Aqua Shimmer and Secret Lagoon. I chose these eyeshadows with the aim of creating a really pretty look with pastel colours, so whilst I wanted pigment, I didn’t want them to be overpowering. Unfortunately, I found it hard to get any color payoff from these, and I had to pack it on to get anything to show up! Even after this, I might as well not have bothered using Candy Floss, since it is such a poorly pigmented eyeshadow that I couldn’t see it no matter how much I applied! Aqua Shimmer and Secret Lagoon were better in terms of pigmentation, but I still had to work hard to get the color pay off I needed. My pastel look was still wearable, but due to these eyeshadows being so difficult my eyes didn’t turn out as I intended! I understand that I cant have the same expectations for budget and high end eyeshadows, but if I can’t even see the color I’m trying to apply then it’s a real issue for me.

Cheeks

Dainty Doll Blusher in Hippy Shakes (£13.50 for 46g) is a product that I was extremely excited to try! Dainty Doll, a brand created by Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts, is designed for those with pale skin that isn’t catered for by most brands. This is a problem that I am extremely familiar with, but I haven’t actually tried any products until now. This pastel lilac blusher is unsurprisingly very subtle, but in all honesty I found it a bit too subtle – it hardly shows up on me, and if I try to build it up it ends up looking too white and it just sits on my skin. I think this is the first product I have ever tried that I feel is too light for me! I wonder just how many people it would actually suit, since I’m on the very pale end of the spectrum. It was a bit of a miss for me, but I must say that when I was shopping for it I also swatched the bronzer, which looks like it could be absolutely gorgeous, so I’ll have to try that at a later date!

Lips

Barry M Lip Paint in Palest Lavender (£4.49) is a pale, lavender color lip stick with a hint of pink. It has plenty of slip so glides on easily, and wears well for about 4 hours. You can see from the pictures below that it looks very patchy on my lips. It didn’t look that terrible in real life so I was quite shocked when I saw the pictures! It did cling to dry patches, and my lips are exceptionally dry at the moment (thank you, English weather!), so I think that is what caused the problem. I really like the color, as it is different to anything else that I own, but wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that suffers from particularly bad dry lips. I’ll definitely be trying this again once my lips recover!

Overall, it seems that all of the products I tried for this look were a bit of a miss! I’m so disappointed as I’d have loved to be able to recommend something to you! Are there any pastels that you love which I could have tried instead?

See more photos! Continue reading →

Monday, February 13th, 2012

By Angela, Cosmetic Chemist

One of the leading brains behind beauty, Angela is an industry-renowned Cosmetic Chemist with over 11 years training and experience in developing cosmetics and toiletries. Having been immersed in the wondrous beauty world from an early age, she was instantly captivated by the rituals, the artistry and the allure. This initial intrigue soon developed into an unequivocal beauty obsession partly fuelled by teenage skin dilemmas but also stemming from a deep seated creativity and desire for self expression. This was quickly followed by a behind the scenes role in new product development where she formulated make up and skin care for an array of global brands.

Still not content with the industry offerings, especially those for women of colour, she still indulges herself with customised formulations to suit her specific beauty needs! Despite her wealth of scientific knowledge Angela takes what she calls a “feelosophical” approach to the industry. So whilst analysing ingredients and technologies, addressing safety fears and generally aiming to reveal the truth she never loses sight of the one essential thing about beauty and that is appreciating how it simply makes you feel! Check out her blog Beauty Feelosophy!


NARS Orgasm Illuminator

Complexion SOS: Skin Brightening Solutions

As the days grow shorter, the nights grow longer, and the  sun becomes but a distant memory, the skin can start to look a little lackluster.  For many of us around the globe, especially women of colour, maintaining a bright complexion, combating hyperpigmentation, and maintaining an even skin tone is a problem all year round!

There are many lightening, brightening and illuminating products out there, but here are just a few of my top solutions for getting through the dull winter months:

Exfoliate but don’t over do it!

One of the easiest and quickest ways to rejuvenate the skin is to remove some of the outermost skin cells that make up the surface of the skin. This also helps to clear hyperpigmentation and speed up the turnover of new skin cells being produced.

Skin takes up to 24 days to create new surface cells, which are, by this time dead and rich in keratin, then about three days for these skin cells to naturally shed. An at home microdermabrasion once a week like Kiehl’s Epidermal Retexturising Microdermabrasion ($41.00) will help to achieve instant radiance (I get compliments on my skin every time I use it!). The scrub uses fine particles of alumina as the main exfoliant along with diatomaceous earth, combined in a creamy emollient base to prevent it feeling too harsh or drying out the skin.

However as easy and amazing as it is, it is still important to remember that those dead skin cells are still there for a reason:  to protect your skin from the elements! Don’t over do it and always make sure you moisturize and use sunscreen after you exfoliate, especially if you suffer from dry skin or sensitive skin!

Vitamin C boost!

Vitamin C is an effective ingredient for brightening the skin and reducing hyperpigmentation. However, it quickly breaks down when used in certain formulations, therefore adding the pure powder yourself will ensure you get the real benefits.

Many people rave about Philosophy’s Turbo Booster C Powder ($35.00) which is (nearly) pure ascorbic acid, which is the stabilized powder form of Vitamin C.  A cheaper way to get your fix is from your local health food store where you will also find Ascorbic Acid powder ($6.95). Dissolve a small amount every day in water, add a bit of glycerine if you can find it in your local chemist as otherwise it can be a bit tingly, then apply directly to the face or with your moisturiser or serum. Be on the look out for 100% ascorbic acid without fillers though!  It is a great antioxidant that helps to protect the skin but that is whole other post in itself!

Fake it with illuminators and highlighters!

Adding a touch of pearl to your bare skin, mixed with foundation, or on key areas of the face to capture the light is a quick-fix way to bring your complexion to life.

For an all-over radiance, NARS Orgasm Illuminator ($30.00) is the type of product that’s great to use even in the day time. I use it mixed in my foundation and on a dull, sleep-deprived day, this is my saving grace. The great thing about this is that it works on all skin types. Products like MAC Strobe Cream or Benefit That Gal or Girl Meets Pearl are great on fair skins but on darker skin barely make a difference.

To enhance contours, an old favorite of mine is Benefit Moon Beam ($26.00)! In the beginning, I wasn’t sure the color, looking at the bottle, would work well for darker skin, but it does and it is a true classic–again great on all skin tones! Other highly recommended products are NARS Copacabana, but this is only really good for the night and has to be used very carefully on dark skin tones to avoid looking like a ghost!

Glow from within!

No discussion on complexion would be complete without a mention about diet and lifestyle so three important ingredients are vitamins (especially B, C and E), water, and sleep!

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

By Mehak Sagar, 24, India, Global Contributor

Mehak is 24-years old and a number-crunching economist from India. When she’s not analyzing data, she’s analyzing beauty, which is where her real passion lies. She loves blush and the color peach, and together, the two give her unparalleled happiness (hence her blog, Peaches and Blush). Aside from beauty, she loves food, shoes, traveling, dancing, and painting. She has an unhealthy obsession with chocolate cookies, lip balms, her three-year-old niece, and planning her upcoming wedding. Mehak lives with a joint family, which means 13 people in a single house, but she says it just means there is more makeup to go around!


Lakme Lip Love Conditioner

3 Indian Lip Products for Soft, Lush Lips on Valentine’s Day

Let’s face it:  most men hate oodles of lipstick, or at least my man does. So with Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s essential to stock up on subtle lip products that work well for date nights! Here are three Indian lip products for soft, lush lips on Valentine’s Day.

Lakme Lip Love Lip Conditioners (Rs 225 or $4.50): These lip conditioners were made for Valentine’s Day! They come in adorable heart-shaped pots and give a juicy,wet look to the lips. While they won’t heal extremely chapped lips, they ensure your pout is drenched in subtle color and stays hydrated for those Valentine Day Date Nights. My favorites of the Lakme Lip love Conditioners are Flirt, a bright fuchsia pink, and Charmer, a bright coral orange. They also come in two other colors: Hottie and Siren. I recommend you stock up on all four of these! If you want an overload of the cheesiness factor, then also take a look at Lakme’s Lip Love Lipstick which come inscribed with word love on them.

Boutique Bio Berry Plumping Lip Balm (Rs 99 or $2.00) | The Biotique Bio Berry plumping lip balm claims to be a ‘medicinal product’ but one look at the pretty watermelon inside of it, and medicinal is the last word you would think of. It is mostly sheer, giving a light watermelon tint to the lips and keeps lips hydrated and soft throughout the day. While I am not a big fan of the slightly cough syrup like smell, it does give a fuller pout to the lips and makes sure your lips stay hydrated throughout the day!

Colorbar Coral Crush Lip Pot (Rs 495 or $10.00) | The Colorbar Lip Pots are kind of like liquid lipsticks. Similar to NYX Lip Lacquer Pots but much more pigmented, they last an immensely long time, give mostly opaque coverage, and have a cushioned feel on the lips. Coral Crush is an earthy terracotta orange, which looks great on warm skin tones and is a must for me. They come in a range of other colors like Cherry Pop, which is a deep red, and Pink Velvet, which is a plummy pink .

See more photos & swatches!  Continue reading →