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Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Jo Malone Wild Fig & Cassis Bath Soap ($50.00 for 3 100g bars) is an elegant yet simple way to add a little luxury to your counter top.

Composition

  • Top Notes: Cassis, Cherry, Fresh Grass, Fig
  • Middle Notes: Cyclamen, Hyacinth, Jasmine, Pine
  • Bottom Notes: Patchouli, Cedar, Amber, Musk

Every product by Jo Malone should be opened with care, like a treasured gift, because each piece feels like an indulgence. Beautiful packaging with a signature black ribbon makes it feel like a present, even if it’s just for you. I really just appreciate that extra touch. In the box, each soap is individually wrapped, so you can use it as you need to (or even easily split with a friend) and close the box and stow away the extras.

Jo Malone describes this scent as, “Inspired by breakfast in Tuscany – the moment of breaking open juicy figs, fresh from the tree – Wild Fig & Cassis is a delicious fragrance. The scent of sun-warmed figs and delicate cassis is entwined with notes of hyacinth and cedarwood, enveloping the wearer in the warmth of the Mediterranean. Wild Fig & Cassis Bath Soaps cleanse, moisturise and fragrance the skin. The frothy lather feels delicious to the touch.”

It has that slightly earthy, lightly sweetened scent of fresh fig, but it also has the touch of cedar, amber, and musk after you’ve washed your hands. What I love is the scent lingers. It perfumes my bathroom, and it stays on my hands after washing (not all day, but a few hours). I’m actually not a bar soap kind of gal–I usually stick with liquid soaps I can easily pump out, but I love the way this feels. It smells amazing, and the soap itself doesn’t dry out my hands. I will say that this is a scent you have to sniff more than once; at first pass, it may be too intense or bitter, but give it time, and I think you’ll enjoy it more than you’d think.

Sometimes I find life can be stressful, and I love little home accents that just make your home more welcoming, more you, and give you moments to savor scents and memories. I’ve been using the first bath soap for over three weeks now, and I can easily see it lasting me several months. For my household (since it’s just in my bathroom–please, the boy would never appreciate it!), one gift box of the three soaps will easily keep me in luxury for a year. Even though it seems pricey, I’ll get a lot of use out of these before I need to start thinking about what scent to try next. Now, the only issue I face is finding the perfect soap dish to pair this with!

The Wild Fig & Cassis Collection also includes Cologne, Bath Oil, Shower Gel, Body Lotion, and Candles, should you find yourself loving this scent and wanting to be enveloped in it! If you like Bath Soaps, Jo Malone also has them available in Pine & Eucalyptus, Lime Basin & Mandarin, Lime & Grapefruit, and Nectarine Blossom & Honey.

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love bathroom luxury, Jo Malone’s Wild Fig & Cassis Bath Soaps are an easy way to add some warmth.

Availability: Nordstrom

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Guerlain Geisha Le Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Geisha Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick

Guerlain Geisha Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a beautiful shade of red with just a tinge of orange. It has a soft, glistening sheen with a very subtle mix of coppery shimmer that you can’t even feel–it’s that fine. It applies decently from the tube, but to get a really defined pout, a lip brush is a must. It feels like silk on the lips–very lightweight–but it gives you heavyweight color.

The color wears well, giving me hours of wear and lasting fairly well through drinking/eating. I’ve noticed that lighter shades of Rouge G don’t quite last thoroughly through drinking or eating, but more intense shades like Geisha do. There’s some fading, but it’s even and still wearable without needing to reapply.  Geisha is surprisingly not too orange on me, as I tend to run away from anything too orange-red.  It’s just a slight fiery red on me.

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

See swatches and lip swatchesContinue reading →

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator Review

MAC Style Black included two pieces of limited edition skincare — the ever-raved about Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and previously-mentioned-but-finally-released Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask.

I’ve been a big supporter of MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator since it released.  I loved it.  I sparingly used it so it would last as long as I could manage.  I managed to make two tubs last me a year or so (it was launched in 2008).  I couldn’t even begin to tell you how excited I was for it to be re-released with Style Black!

The re-released Volcanic Ash Exfoliator is slightly different than the original in a few key ways, though the product still feels, smells, and does the same (for me!) as the original version did.  This release of Volcanic Ash Exfoliator uses both sugar (sucrose, specifically) and silica for exfoliating, whereas the original release only used sugar.  Before, when you scrubbed your face with the exfoliator, the sugar particles would eventually dissolve, but with the addition of silica, you’ll notice a slightly gritty texture the whole time.

From what I can tell, MAC was attempting to address some of the problems/concerns the product created when it was originally launched.  The tub packaging was both unsanitary and was not shower-friendly (which is the most convenient place to use this, because it can be messy).  The tub seemed to get a lot of water in it when I had it in my shower, which kind of resulted in the sugar dissolving faster than I’d like–and the heat of the shower also caused some of the sugar to dissolve, I’d imagine.   Since silica doesn’t dissolve, it also makes it a more shower-friendly ingredient when it comes to exfoliation!  The new tube packaging now makes it more hygienic and shower-friendly, as well.

Considering I ended up having half a tub of exfoliator without any exofliating properties because all the sugar dissolved, I’m happy it’s in a tube!  I also think that while it feels thicker, it’s also hard to judge, because before you were scooping it out of a jar so the two processes are different enough.  I also don’t have any of the old stuff left to compare.  It does, though, feel a little thicker.

In the end, it applies and feels like the original.  I’d say it’s a little grittier than it previously was, with the addition of silica, but it still doesn’t feel like a harsh, aggressive exfoliator.  It’s fairly gentle, and it should be used once or twice during the week, depending on how your skin takes to exfoliants.

Product value on this could be better, because they took out about an ounce of product and tacked on an additional fifty cents.  I can handle the slight price increase, but I’m less than impressed with the decrease in the product itself (particularly since it’s 3.4 oz.), since it represents about 20-25% decrease in how much you get for your money.

Bottom line: It’s a mild exfoliator that has an earthy, ashy smell that’s not unpleasant (at least not to me), nor is it like ohhh, yummy! , it’s just kind of the scent I’d expect from it.  It leaves skin feeling soft, smooth, and may even give you a lil’ bit of that glow.  I still love it, but I’m not quite as in-love as I was originally (I think that’s more because of all the other exfoliators that I also love).  I definitely still recommend trying it out–ask for a sample if you’re unsure–because it is a fantastic exfoliator!

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you liked the original, I think you’ll still like this slightly reformulated version!  It’s a good, mild exfoliator!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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.

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Chanel Santal Rouge Allure Laque ($32.00) is the fifth entry to drool over in our seven days of Chanel Rouge Allure Laque feature.

Santal is a subdued peachy-coral. It has just a little bit of a coral-tone to it, but otherwise it is quite peachy. There’s almost a hint of pink, but yet there’s definitely some golden-orange shimmer. This is exactly what I love about the Chanel Rouge Allure Laques: the colors have so much going on, it’s hard to classify them. It’s lightly glossy (but not quite as glossy as some of the other shades, like Dragon), packs plenty of color, and subtle shimmer that’s there but not glittery.

I find one layer of color provides me plenty of full color coverage. I think the natural pink of my lips does add some of the pink tones I see in Santal, so if your lips are less pink, it may appear more peachy. Like Ming, this is a shade you can wear anywhere and anytime; it’s perfect for everyday or paired with a dramatic smoky eye.

Since I don’t want to just re-write what I say about the formula (since it is the same–if there are any variations, you can be sure I’ll call them out), here’s a quick bullet-point summary.

Pros

  • Satiny, creamy lip color that hydrates
  • Opaque color in one layer–very pigmented
  • Lasts for hours and even through eating/drinking
  • Glossy sheen
  • Looks like a lipstick AND a gloss
  • Easy to travel with
  • Sleek packaging

Cons

  • Pricey at $32 each

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For easy, wearable color, Santal offers exactly that!

Availability: Nordstrom

See more swatchesContinue reading →

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Temptalia Asks You

What eyeliners work on your waterline? Any?

Temptalia's Answer.

I personally don’t find that any liner truly lasts for hours on my waterline, though some last longer than others. UD, MUFE, and MAC Feline all last decently on my waterline!

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