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Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The Hit List

What’s the Best Nail Polish Remover…?

What brand/product wins this category? Any particular reason it wins?

Thursday, April 8th, 2010


Orly Nail Lacquer: Ole, La Playa, Bailamos, Fiesta

Orly Viva Collection for Summer 2010

Viva is a short and sweet lacquer collection featuring four bold, summer-ready shades. The formula on all four shades was excellent — thin enough that it wasn’t goopy or hard to work with, but the formula was richly pigmented. You could do just two coats on all of these shades, but I did three because that’s my style :) These were easy to work with and required no trickery or playing around to get a smooth, even application. I also love Orly’s rubber-grip bottles, because it makes it easier for me to hold onto the polish when applying!

  • Ole is a vibrant orange cream with just a hint of redness in it, but it’s still very much an orange. It’s not neon or construction orange, because it’s much, much deeper. This easily goes opaque in two coats, though the swatches feature three.
  • La Playa is a darkened navy blue cream. It has a very glossy finish on its own, and it’s quite pigmented. This had the thinnest consistency, but I had no troubles with it. It applied evenly and smoothly, and this one could get nearly opaque with two coats, but I did three just for good measure. It’s a very inky blue.
  • Bailamos is a teal-shimmered turquoise-blue. This is exactly what I think of when it comes to summer–lots and lots of aqua, teal, and turquoise. Two coats and it’s opaque, but the swatches are with three, for reference.
  • Fiesta is a bright medium pink with iridescent pink sparkle. It’s a fun, totally-pefect-pink for summer kind of shade. I think this would look particularly fitting on summer toes.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

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

Recommendation:  If you love bolder, vibrant shades for summer nails, Orly’s Viva Collection offers an excellent formula in four fun-for-summer shades.

Availability: Orly in May 2010

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Balenciaga Giveaway

Win Balenciaga Paris!

I’ve been playing with this scent this past week, and it’s a sensual, sophisticated scent for spring. It’s a soft violet tempered by a woodier, muskier base. It’s a lighter scent that wears well throughout the day, but it’s not overwhelming. Definitely feminine but not girly or candy-sweet–grown-up without being totally on the edge.   And now, Temptalia is giving one away!

One (1) lucky Temptalia reader will win a bottle of Balenciaga Paris Eau de Parfum! (Retail value $130.)

Immediately, the demure violet note makes us think that BALENCIAGA PARIS is a light fragrance, as pleasant as sunshine. In BALENCIAGA PARIS, we find the first moments of April, floral breezes and blossoms from milder days. A spring-like feel: airy dresses and fleeting glances. A bouquet of violets also has an old-fashioned tone, the antique charm of a few dried petals that we find between the pages of a book by Colette, traces of memories, the work of art so fine that is the past

But soon, a peppery note reveals itself and swells over calm, mossy wood. Foliage that breathes in the secret hours of night. Then, another more nocturnal facet of nature expresses itself. A sensuality becomes clearer. The shadowy color of the liquid within already says something of its mystery.
It is a fragrance full of light with a few dark apertures. BALENCIAGA PARIS is a lovely paradox. It is a fragrance that becomes life, that melds with living. BALENCIAGA PARIS offers itself and guards itself…

How to win: Leave a comment sharing with me why you love to wear perfume!

All entries must be submitted by April 12th, 2010 at 11:59 PM PST. This contest is open to U.S. readers only as pursuant to your local state/country’s laws. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via e-mail. This post will be updated with “winner chosen” when one has been chosen.

Congratulations to Steph Z.!

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Shu Uemura Gem Glam

Shu Uemura Gem Glam Collection for Summer 2010

Gem Glam Flawless Glow Powder ($55.00)

A gorgeous multicolor face duo for the perfect complexion. Achieve a flawless, glowing, multidimensional finish. The fine powder minimizes the look of pores and evens skin tone. Upper set highlights the luminous transparency of the skin while the lower set enhances the natural contours of the face. Set in a luxurious compact inspired by the brilliance of gemstones.

Gem Glam Glitter Pressed Eyeshadow ($24.00)

Dramatize eyes with gem-like sparkles. A limited-edition pressed eyeshadow texture to create captivating, dazzling, jewel-like eyes. Use on its own or layer over cream and pressed eyeshadow colors to create an infinite number of multidimensional eye looks.

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Rainbow

Availability: Now @ Nordstrom

See more photos! Continue reading →

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Blush 101

Beauty Lessons: Blush Brushes

For a softer look, consider using a fluffier brush that’s not as dense as the traditional blush brush. I recommend using stippling brushes, like Sephora’s #44 Professional Stippling Brush ($35), MAC 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush ($42), or Make Up For Ever HD #55N Blush Brush ($39). Stippling brushes deposit color more evenly while allowing you to build up color slowly.

For a brighter look, consider dense, tapered brushes. The tapered edge allows you to deposit color with precision, which will help get you that brighter, more noticeable pop of color right on the apples of the cheeks. I recommend angled brushes like Sephora #42 Natural Slant Brush ($32), Benefit’s Slant Brush ($20), Laura Mercier Angled Cheek Contour Brush ($45), and MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush ($32).

For everyday usage, consider dense, domed brushes with some fluff to it. A fluffier brush will allow you to blend and deposit color more evenly and softly without going too heavy, but the density will still allow you to pack on color should you choose to. The dome shape works nicely to give cheeks color without being too concentrated on the apples, so it can blend outward and look natural. I recommend Bobbi Brown Blush Brush ($50), Eco Tools Blush Brush ($9), MAC 116 Blush Brush ($32), and NARS Blush Brush ($46).

For mistakes, use a dense, buffing/kabuki brush in soft, small circles to diffuse the color and blend out harsh edges. Some top buffing brushes include NARS Botan Brush ($75), MAC 182 Buffer Brush ($45), and Eco Tools Kabuki Brush ($9).

What’s your favorite blush brush?

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Cle de Peau #26 Lipstick
Cle de Peau #26 Lipstick

The Summer Season: Cle de Peau #26 Lipstick

Cle de Peau #26 Lipstick ($55.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a glossy, lightly champagne-shimmered coral-orange with a mostly opaque finish. What makes a Cle de Peau lipstick stand out from other high-end lipsticks is its ability to give lips a plumper, fuller appearance while minimizing lip lines. I always notice my lips look better when I wear one of Cle de Peau’s shades–right from the get go–compared to some other mid-to-high end lipsticks. Whether that effect is necessarily worth $55 is for you to decide, but this lipstick is certainly luxe with its weightless, glossy full-coverage color that lasts a solid four to five hours (though the sheen fades around two or three hours, the color itself lingers).

Is this the right coral lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →