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Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

2009 Editor’s Choice Awards — Part 1

I’m so happy (and relieved!) to be able to announce my picks for best brands and products of 2009. Because it is much easier to coordinate with just one person (myself!) than it is with thousands, I do have more categories than the Readers’ Choice Awards does. (Can you just imagine having to nominate products for 40+ categories? Exactly!) I also breakdown each award into best high-end winner and budget-friendly winner. For each award, the winning brand/product gets a brief description of why, and where appropriate, a link to any in-depth review.

Part 1 focuses on some of the biggest awards I give out each year — they’re the best of the best, creme de la creme — these products are some of the absolute best released in 2009.

Best Brand of the Year (High-end): Guerlain

Guerlain won me over this year with their beautiful limited edition collections along with their permanent range. I always find “Best Brand” to be an extremely difficult category to choose a winner for, but I felt like taking my experience with the brand throughout the year was the best way to go about figuring it out. Between the ultra luxe and lovely Rouge Gs to their silky soft blushes to the cult-favorite Meteorites, Guerlain just impressed me. Many of my latest and greatest holy grail products are by Guerlain (Gems Rouge G lipstick and Parure Gold Foundation, just to name two). You can read all of our Guerlain coverage here.

Best Brand of the Year (Budget): Maybelline

Maybelline showed me why they’re a worthwhile, budget-friendly brand this year. They’re incredibly reliable, and I just don’t run into too many products within the line that are just devastating. They make one of my favorite drugstore mascaras (Full ‘n Soft), as well as an excellent line of affordable lipstick and lipgloss (Color Sensational). You can read all of our Maybelline coverage here.

Find out who won Best New Product, Most Surprisingly Amazing Product, Most Disappointing Product, Best Seasonal Collections, and the Best and Worst of MAC! Continue reading →

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Temptalia Asks You

What makeup is in your purse right now? Share!

Temptalia's Answer.

Guerlain Gems lipstick, MAC TLC (Clear), Chapstick, and that’s about all beauty-wise!

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Are you ready for Spring?

‘Cause there’s a whole lotta beauty coming your way… If you absolutely cannot wait to get your hands on a collection, do what I do and obsessively stalk Nordstrom’s “What’s New” section for the latest goods. (They just put up Guerlain’s new collections today! I’ve also spied Chanel and Clinique.) YSL is doing pre-orders for their Spring Look on their official website. I saw a few pieces of Dior start getting listed on Sephora… so you can imagine that in the next two or three weeks, we’ll see a lot of these launches come online. There are still a few more brands to add to the round-up as information is released, but for now…

Which ones are you most excited over?

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Dark Neutrals: Smoky Brown Eyes

This is probably my last look dedicated to MAC’s Warm & Cozy Collection. I’m pretty sure my next look is going to use some *color* as the past few have all been fairly neutral, given the theme of Warm & Cozy. I’ve never been a huge fan of using super dark bases overall, just because I’ve always found they have a tendency to eat color and not enhance it as much as lighter bases can do. Relaxed seemed to work best when layered with shimmery eyeshadows, rather than softer, more satiny shades.

You will need the following…

Directions: Start by applying Relaxed shadestick as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply Modelette eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Mulled Cider eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Coppering eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Antiqued eyeshadow with the 226. To add more depth, tap and lightly blend in Embark eyeshadow in the crease with the 219. Lightly tap and brush Modelette eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Chamomile eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Feline kohl power on the lower waterline and Goldmine eyeshadow on the lower lash line, and then sweeping lashes with DiorShow Extase mascara.

For cheeks, apply Imprevu blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116. To highlight, apply Empreinte de Chanel lightly over the cheekbones with the 165.

For lips, apply Warm Me Up lipstick first, and then layer Feelin’ Dreamy lipglass for a lighter lip.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Rant & Rave

This Week’s Topic: TONER!

Your Mission: Tell us what you love, hate, or are otherwise indifferent to about toner and all that those entail.

Monday, December 28th, 2009

New Year, New You with Clarisonic

Our Clarisonic giveaway from last week went so well, we wanted to offer up a few more Clarisonics for three lucky winners and their dearest friends.

What You’ll Win

THREE lucky winners will win a set of Clarisonics (yes — TWO Clarisonics) of their choice! You’ll get to choose the model and color — make it the perfect one for you!

Clarisonic has three versions available to choose from:

  • MIA Smaller, more compact than the originalm with one speed ($149) (my review)
  • Classic The original, two-speed cleansing system ($195) (my review)
  • PLUS Three speeds, plus a “body mode” and a brush for the body ($225) (it’s the only one I don’t have!)

Clarisonic also offers an excellent comparison chart for easy shopping between models.

How to Enter

Leave a comment on this post telling us how you’d like to start the new year, and who in your life would also benefit from starting the new year with a Clarisonic!

Rules

All entries must be submitted by January 4th, 2009 at 11:59 PM PST. This contest is open to all readers as pursuant to your local state/country’s laws. Please make sure to use a valid e-mail address when leaving your comment. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via e-mail. This post will be updated once winners have been confirmed.

Again, lots of gratitude and thank yous to the lovely folks at Clarisonic for their generosity this holiday season!

Congratulations to Mandy, Sixx, and Joanne J.!