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Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Clarins’ Palazzo d’Oro Collection:  Gold Attraction Eye Quartet

Clarins Gold Attraction Eye Quartet & Liner Palette ($66.00) is a limited edition holiday palette from Clarins’ Palazzo d’Oro collection, which was “inspired by the light and sumptuous radiance of the architecture of Venice.” It’s a very minimalist collection with four pieces: an eyeshadow palette, a face palette, a lipstick, and a mascara.

The Eye Quartet includes a soft, shimmery milky pink, high-sheen peachy-gold, subdued taupe brown with subtle gold shimmer, and a richer, chocolate brown with just a smidgen of gold specks in it. It also has a black-brown cream liner included with the palette. All four shades are pigmented, and the eyeshadows themselves are smooth to the touch. They blend easily, and this combination of shades is actually very easy to use, because they work so well together. It’s not quite a neutral quad–almost like a neutral quad with a kick, I suppose. It’s perfect for the holidays, but it’s a palette you could easily continue to use throughout the year.

The packaging is stunning; it’s a heavy metal-ish compact that looks like gold. I may even go as far as to say I like the packaging more than the contents! It’s just particularly lovely and well-done, and I am happy that the insides didn’t disappoint.

I only found one drawback for this eyeshadow palette, and it’s the price. The price is really tough to swallow, even for Clarins. Even though you are getting 0.17 oz. of eyeshadow in the palette, it still works out to be $388.24/ounce–which prices it above MAC and NARS, but around the level of Givenchy and Chanel. They sell eyeshadow quartets as part of their regular line-up at $40 each, so I do think you are paying quite a bit on top of this for the packaging itself.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you’re a sucker for packaging, Clarins’ Gold Attraction palette just might sucker you in!

Availability: Clarins, Nordstrom

See swatchesContinue reading →

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick

Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a deep, blue-based red. It’s fairly bright and most definitely noticeable, but it’s deep enough that it doesn’t come off too bright. It has a slightly glossy sheen, and it’s surprisingly hydrating. One of the best parts about Make Up For Ever’s lipsticks is how well they wear and how long they wear for. I find I get no less than four solid hours of amazing wear, but it easily extends into six or more, if I’ve only eaten a light meal or had one or two drinks. #205 is richly pigmented, goes opaque in just one layer, and it hugs lips.

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See more swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Temptalia Asks You

What’s on your nails right now? Nothing? New shade of polish?

Temptalia's Answer.

Nothing for me!

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

If you were using Dolce & Gabbana Gold Eyeshadow Duo?, what look would you create with it?

What shadows would you use? What would you use on cheeks? Anything added to the lips? Create a look using whatever you want, as long as you include today’s look book product!

Did you come up with a look you’d like to share featuring today’s product? You can link to your images, embed your images using HTML, or you can submit your images via e-mail to share them with readers to help give them inspiration on how to use the product!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Affordable Skincare: Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Cleanser

Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Cleanser ($6.99 for 5.5 fl. oz.) is a foam-based cleanser that feels lightweight, doesn’t dry out skin, and removes most makeup.

This review is one of those short and sweet kind, because the product itself is really simple.  Like many Aveeno products, it’s not about frills, it’s about meeting a need.  If I had to compare this to another high-end brand, I’d consider this similar to Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple (Foaming).  This one comes in a bottle-shaped container with a pump to distribute the foam cleanser.  I find one or two pumps is all I need to feel clean.

It is advertised as a makeup removing cleanser, not just a cleanser, and it’s unfortunate, because it doesn’t quite remove all makeup.  Whenever I have a makeup remover, I test it against the long-lasting power of MAC Fluidline.  This removed some, but it didn’t remove all.  It does remove the majority of my makeup (eyeshadow, non-waterproof mascara, foundation), but it’s not necessarily the best choice for heavier or more long-wearing products.

I do, personally, prefer to remove heavier makeup with an oil-based makeup remover (like Lancome’s Bi-Facil) before I do my nightly cleanser, so it’s not a big deal for me.  It’s just something that does take away from this product’s score, since it doesn’t completely live up to its claims.

It smells like something soft and clean and a little sweet–it reminded me of baby shampoo, to be honest.  When I was trying to describe it, all I could think of was baby shampoo as my descriptor.

Bottom Line: This is an affordable cleanser that works well for daily dirt and grime and light to medium makeup.  If you’re looking for a cleanser to remove heavy eyeliner, you may want to look elsewhere.   I actually really liked it, and I was pleasantly surprised by it overall.  I’ll probably be switching over my boyfriend over to this from Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple when he runs out.  (Well, I’m going to have to see if Aveeno offers a foaming cleanser in this product line that doesn’t have “makeup remover” on it!)

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For an easy, lightweight cleanser that works well on daily dirt and build-up, this one is worth checking out!

Availability: ULTA

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for the Girl Who Has Everything

I have to admit; when I was putting together this selection of gifts to give (or receive!), I considered and chose a lot of gifts that I thought would make sense for me–because beauty wise?  I am kind of this girl.  I don’t think it’d be honest to try and downplay that I have a respectably sized beauty stash, so let’s not sugarcoat it:  I don’t really need more makeup (in fact, need has long as since been replaced with want).  So I thought to myself, “What could others give me that would still excite me?”

I am also notorious for my lack of patience, so when there’s something I want (beauty or otherwise), I tend to buy it myself if I really want it.

What are your picks for the girl who has everything?

My picks:

Holiday Cookbook ($35.00) is a six-piece shower gel set (each with 2 oz.) housed in a cardboard “cookbook.” It contains the following scents: Red Velvet Cake, Cinnamon Buns, Spicy Pear Cobbler, Pumpkin Spice Muffin, Gingerbread, and Double Rich Hot Cocoa. Delicious! You can find this gift at: Nordstrom, Philosophy.com, Sephora.

Urban Decay Show Pony Shadow Box ($30.00) contains six shades of eyeshadow – a good mix of funky, brighter shades with more neutral toned shadows, plus a miniature-sized 24/7 Eye Pencil in Zero and Eyeshadow Primer Potion. The shades included in this palette are Snatch, Mildew, Flash, Painkiller, Smog, and Toasted.  I do have this already, but it’s a palette that some beauty buffs may overlook in lieu of the BoS II.

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II ($48.00) is a palette that’s big on value and big on color. For the person who’s been extra good this year, you may find yourself wanting to give this collection of sixteen eyeshadows to them. It includes new/exclusive shades: AC/DC, Nylon, Mushroom, Sphynx, Jinx, Homegrown, Misdemeanor, and Perversion; as well as existing/best-selling shades: Sellout, Gunmetal, Ecstasy, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Twice Baked, Half Baked, Flipside, and YDK. Also included are miniature-sized Zero and Bourbon 24/7 Eyeliner Pencils and a travel-size Eyeshadow Primer Potion–all three fit nicely within the palette to boot.  Like the Show Pony Shadow Box, there are some of us who felt like we just couldn’t justify the price tag on this palette or felt it was “too similar” (though I don’t think it is!) to last year’s.

Urban Decay 24/7 Super Stash ($36.00) is a superb collection of miniature-size eyeliners in a variety of bold shades. If you’ve been reading the blog for a bit, you’ll know that I favor these liners quite a bit–they’re often my go-to liner. I absolutely adore their holiday sets, because practically speaking, most of us won’t finish an entire pencil of blue, but half the size and cheaper? Yes, count me in! The set contains nine different shades: Binge, Corrupt, Eldorado, Graffiti, Oil Slick, Ransom, Rockstar, Stash, and Zero.  Everyone can use more eyeliner!

Smashbox Wish For The Perfect Pencils ($32.00) includes five, full-sized and stunning limited edition shades of pencil eyeliner (Celebrate, Dream, Hope, Love, and Wish). Smashbox did a tremendous job formulating these eye pencils–they are definitely a top formula and wear so well.  These are so fantastic in quality and only available for the holiday season that I think the seasoned beauty shopper would appreciate this surprise.

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