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Friday, August 14th, 2009

According to WWD, we can expect to see Hard Candy make a full return… but at Wal-Mart. Hard Candy is expected to be rolled out into 3,000 Wal-Marts by the end of the year.  The pricing strategy aims to products priced at an average of $7.

The new line consists of 261 items ranging from shimmer lip glosses (Plexi Gloss, Lip Tattoo), baked eye shadow duos (Kal-eye-descope), glitter liquid eyeliner (Walk the Line), volume mascara (Ginormous Lash) and eyeliner pencils that double as hair sticks (Take Me Out Eyeliner). Prices average $7. Several iconic Hard Candy items will return, such as the Fortune Telling Lipgloss and the Eye Candy sliding compact with glitter eye shadow and coordinating glitter eyeliner, according to Lauren Kahn, Hard Candy’s senior brand manager, adding that the brand has exited its current retail partners and that sephora.com is clearing out its existing Hard Candy inventory. — WWD

Do you think this is a good or bad move? What’s your take?

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Temptalia Asks You

What brand do you think is known for their skincare? What brand(s) do you use?

Temptalia's Answer.

Shiseido always comes to mind, as does La Mer. The last skincare regimen I had going was Kate Somerville and Mario Badescu products. I’m testing something new now, though!

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Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Everyday Makeup:  Neutral, Natural Eyes with Too Faced

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection ($34.00) is a new eyeshadow palette from Too Faced’s Naturally Naughty Collection for the fall season.

The palette contains nine different shades of eyeshadow crafted by Too Faced’s Creative Director, Jerrod Blandino, for easy, effortless looks that work for everyone. It contains: Heaven, a matte cream; Velvet Revolver, a matte, cool-toned taupe; Sexspresso, a matte dark brown; Silk Teddy, a shimmery pink-beige; Push-Up, a shimmery neutral medium brown; Erotica, a lightly shimmered dark charcoal taupe; Nude Beach, a glittery pink champagne; Honey Pot, a shimmery softly muted gold; and Cocoa Puff, a warm-toned chocolate brown with gold shimmer. Each of the three larger eyeshadows are 0.07 oz., while the six smaller shadows are 0.03 oz.

Included with the palette are three how-to cards, detailing the three looks — Day, Classic, and Fashion. For those more eyeshadow savvy, there are definitely many more than three possible looks to create from this palette of nine. I like that the palette contains a mix of mattes, shimmers, and high shimmer/glitters, because it allows you to maximize your looks by adding different dimensions and layers of textures. Also included is a small, pull-out drawer with a double-sided brush (sponge-tip applicator on one side, angled brush on the other side)–not a highlight or a brush I’d personally use unless it was an emergency.

All of the eyeshadows swatched smoothly and went on with a good amount of pigmentation, including the matte shades, which were also smooth and buttery–not chalky at all. I didn’t see any of these colors “drag.” My favorite shades were Honey Pot and Cocoa Puff. Cocoa Puff is especially stunning with the mix of gold shimmer layered into the chocolate brown. While Nude Beach is pretty, it is extremely frosty/glittery, so it has to be worn with a bit more care, particularly for those with deeper skin tones.

The packaging was cute, but I could have done without the pull-out drawer that only contained the brush (which I didn’t like or find particularly useful). By omitting the drawer, the palette would be slimmer and more streamlined. If you’re bothered by cardboard/paper packaging, this palette might not be for you, as well. I like the earth-friendly-ness of paper packaging (at least, compared to plastic), so it wasn’t an issue for me. I thought the packaging was cute, functional, and worked well overall.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a go-to neutral eye palette, consider Too Faced’s Natural Eye. Nine great shades of neutral tone eyeshadows that all work well and go on smoothly (hey, it’s hard to find a palette with *all* winning shades!). If you prefer even softer neutrals or only like matte or semi-matte shades, this isn’t a good match for you. For $34, this product is well-worth a peek.

Availability: Sephora

What do you think of Too Faced’s new Natural Eye palette?

See photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Gilt Groupe is having a sale on Rock & Republic Cosmetics! I’m inviting you to join if you aren’t already a member (Gilt is invite-only).  If you’ve ever wanted to try this luxe brand, now’s a good time to satisfy that craving with 30-50% off retail prices.

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

HauteLook is having a Urban Decay sale!

The sale is going on now at HauteLook! :) 50% off UD? I’m so there.

Edit: I picked up all of the Liquid Liners and Glitter Liners they had up for grabs! $9 each! Total steal ;) (Also, for those interested, shipping was only $4.95.)

(The link above is an invite-link, which is a referral link. HauteLook has opened up membership, so you are free to sign up on your own, if you wish! :) )

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

It’s a Toner, Not a Lotion: Clarins’ Super Restorative Wake-Up Lotion

Clarins Super Restorative Wake-Up Lotion ($40.00 for 4.2 oz.) is indeed a toner. I must admit that I had to read the product’s tip sheet before realizing it was a toner and not a moisturizer. (Hey, I associate the term “lotion” with moisturizer, what can I say?) I will even go so far as to admit that I used this a few times as a lotion, but I am happy to report it did not cause any ill effects (e.g. breakouts). Funny enough, my skin didn’t feel like it even missed a moisturizer!

Which leads me to tell you that this is an excellent, non-drying, non-irritating toner that works well to re-energize the skin with the slight cooling nature of the product. The toner is a gel-based toner, rather than a liquid toner. Clarins recommends applying it with a cotton ball with “light, tapping movements,” and I’d say that’s a fair technique. You can substitute cotton balls with cotton pads or sheets as well.

Whenever I’m reviewing a product, I like to see what a company says about their products and what ingredients they tout as amazing, just because it helps keep me aware of what the product is supposed to do. Clarins lists the primary ingredients in the product as well as what they’re designed to do–something I like. Perhaps not always entirely believable, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

  • Pueraria Lobata – helps boost cell activity and collagen production, while soothing the skin.
  • Green coffee extract – rich in caffeine, energizes skin, helping it look more vital and radiant.
  • Ginseng root – reinforces energizing action of caffeine, adds vitality.
  • Oat Sugars, extracted from the plant’s seeds, work as a natural skin-tightening agent, and help smooth appearance of imperfections on skin’s surface.
  • Hibiscus extract – remove excess dry skin cells and brightens skin.
  • Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus) – helps eliminates toxins and reduce puffiness.

When applied, the product does feel a bit sticky, but it absorbs/fades within a few minutes, so it’s not a major concern for me, but it is a mild annoyance. My skin does feel clean and refreshed after using this product, and this toner is more about tapping it on than wiping away anything. I think this product is suitable for those with sensitive skin, but those with extremely sensitive skin may not find this suitable. It’s lightweight, goes on easily, and doesn’t leave skin feeling dry or tight.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: Easy to use and effective are two great ways to describe Clarin’s Wake-Up Lotion (aka Toner!). It doesn’t strip skin of its natural oils or leave behind tightness (often confused with “clean”), which is something I consider a must-have in any toning or skincare product. The value is so-so, with $40 being a steep investment for a toner, but the bottle is large enough to give you approximately two months’ of use, perhaps more. It’s a good, solid toner, and Clarins’ fans will enjoy it.

Availability: Clarins, Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com

Anyone else try out this Clarins’ toner? Thoughts?