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Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Benefit Spring 2010 Eyeshadows

Benefit Velvet Eyeshadows for Spring 2010

Benefit Spring 2010 Eyeshadows ($18.00 each) come in six, limited edition varieties:  Bo Peep, Buns, Nice Melons, Shamrocker, Mermaid, and Fancy Pansy.  They’re new and only available for a limited time, unfortunately, but they are perfect spring-friendly shades.

I am a big, big fan of Benefit’s Velvet Eyeshadows. I have been for awhile (you can see my original review, if you’re curious), so when I found out that there were six new shades for spring, I got a little excited. When I saw that they had pops of color, I couldn’t wait to try them.  You know me, I love me some color–even though I can totally appreciate a good neutral–and Benefit finally brought me some color.

  • Bo Peep is an icy pink with a silver sheen.  This is probably the one with the most frost-like appearance.
  • Buns is a caramel brown with a soft golden bronze sheen.
  • Nice Melons is a peachy-pink with gold sheen.  It would appear that nobody is going to escape spring without some sort of melon-esque shade in their makeup wardrobe.  Yes, it totally reminds me of MAC Melon pigment, but it’s in glorious pressed form.  (For the record, I do not like MAC pigments pressed… they’re not the same!)
  • Shamrocker is a fresh, minty green with silver sheen.  I don’t even know if I have any minty greens in my stash–it’s just not a color you see too often.  I like!
  • Mermaid is a dark green with a teal edge and gold sheen.  I would have loved to see a little more boldness and vibrancy from this shade, even though it is very much in line with the look and feel of Benefit as a line.
  • Fancy Pansy is a iridescent fuchsia-purple pearled shade with an icy sheen.  It’s like a much more purple version of MAC Stars ‘n Rockets (which runs a little fuchsia in comparison).

All six shades have the same softness, smoothness, and pigmentation as I’ve come to expect of Velvet Eyeshadows.  One of my favorite qualities about these is the consistency across the line — there are no duds.  There are no misses in texture, color pay off, or feel.  Everything is as it should be, even if one color may not be to your taste.  I can really appreciate the consistency, because it means you don’t have to worry, “Is this one going to be a flop?”

I would, of course, love to see Benefit add even more vibrant hues (a girl can dream, right?) or even a line of matte or semi-matte eyeshadows to complement the Velvet Eyeshadow line (which is all on the shimmery side of life).  But nevertheless, I hope they’ll continue to release new and/or limited edition shades throughout 2010!

Can’t wait to do a look with these!

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love soft, smooth, well-pigmented eyeshadow, Benefit’s Velvet Eyeshadow is all that and more.

Availability: Benefit

See photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Temptalia Asks You


What beauty question would you like to see asked to readers? Help me out!

Temptalia's Answer.

Did you know that there have been over 840 “Temptalia Asks You” posts? Seriously, 840+! Now, I’ve definitely repeated a few questions (sometimes deliberately, usually not!), but some nights, I sit here totally stumped for five minutes. Would love your ideas!

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Tarte Flower Child Eyeshadow Palette for Spring 2010

Tarte for Spring 2010:  Flower Child Palette

Tarte Flower Child Natural Eyeshadow Palette ($44.00) is a new spring-styled palette from Tarte. It seems like every season, Tarte has a new eyeshadow palette up their sleeves. The Flower Child palette is in the same vein; it includes ten eyeshadows housed in a purple-covered case (kind of like a patent material) with flowers sprouting out on top (sorry, no photo).

Inspired by the rich earthen hues from which their pure color pigments are harvested and this Spring’s runway and red carpet trends, Tina’s interpretation of tarte’s best-selling eyeshadow palette combines saturated pigments with subtle pops of color. Versatile and artistic, this palette seamlessly transitions between day and night thanks to a wide variety of tones ranging from delicate to robust. This harmonious balance of shades ingeniously captures the expressiveness of the eyes no matter the look.

Eyeshadows

  • Soft Daffodil is a lightly shimmered peach. It’s hard to see on my skin tone, but it’s a very pretty shade to use with a neutral or softer look.
  • Ecru Hibiscus is a pink champagne. It may not seem ultra pigmented to the eye, but it’s designed to be softer shade — this is something you could use as a highlighter or as a wash. I think it’s just pigmented enough to do what it should.
  • Pink Peony is a brightened up blue-based pink. It was a little powdery when I played with it and looked sheerer when swatched than I’d have liked it to be. Even though it’s supposed to have shimmer, it seemed very minute to me.
  • Gray Periwinkle is a silvered gray with a light shimmer sheen (but it’s truly quite faint). I didn’t see any periwinkle in this, though. This shade was decently pigmented relative to the rest of the shades in the palette.
  • Peach Tulip is a coppery bronze that goes on very smooth and looks rich. This one is very pigmented, but it looks absolutely nothing like a peach or tulip. This seems like a better fit for the name “Firewheel” (while Firewheel seems a better fit for Peach Tulip).
  • Firewheel is a peachy melon with a soft gold sheen. This is a played down, more pinked melon than MAC’s Melon pigment. I always gravitate towards these kinds of shades! This applied very smooth and pigmented.
  • Buttercup is a slightly warmed-up soft brown with a matte finish. It’s soft, but it’s a little on the sheerer side and can look a bit faded.
  • African Violet is a darkened purple with red undertones with a light shimmer sheen. It’s decently pigmented, though not intense.
  • Delphinium Blue is a powdery navy blue. This was the sheerest and most powdery shade of the ten eyeshadows–it just wasn’t very pigmented or smooth.
  • Vibrant Forest Grass is a darkened cool-toned green with a soft shimmer finish. I think the name is a little off — it’s not vibrant (just pigmented, but not intensely so), but it is like a forest green, I suppose.

Also included in the palette is a double-sided eyeliner that has a dark brown on one side and a lightly shimmered darkened teal on the other; a double-sided brush (yes, a brush–no sponge tip applicators here!), and a miniature-sized Natural Eye Primer. The Eye Primer doesn’t actually fit inside the palette, though, so it’s not as functional as it could be. (It comes in a plastic holder that hangs off of the side.)

All of the eyeshadows are full-sized and magnetized so you can remove them if you want, refill with other Tarte eyeshadows as needed, and so on. I really do like that, because it means you are getting a great deal for your money, but it means you can always slot in another shade if you happen to finish one of these!

Bottom Line: It’s a solid palette, but it’s definitely on the sheerer/softer side of the eyeshadow spectrum. The colors do fit well with the season, as it gives me a spring feeling. The palette itself holds excellent value as you get ten full-sized eyeshadows for $44 (as opposed to $10 a pop, not that you can purchase these shades individually, though). I think some of the shades could have used some more pigmentation, particularly the deeper shades, but it’s a decent palette overall.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For a real value-loaded palette, Tarte’s Flower Child offers several soft shades for the spring season.

Availability: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Rant & Rave

This Week’s Topic: DRY SHAMPOO!

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

Monday, January 25th, 2010

MAC Nymphette Lipglass

The Spring Season: MAC Nymphette Lipglass

MAC Nymphette Lipglass ($14.00) is a pretty semi-sheer concoction of golden shimmered champagne pink with just a touch of green-gold shimmer. It’s the most affordable dupe of Cle de Peau #2 Lip Gloss that I’ve found, but it is also a lot sheerer (more of a soft pink base, whereas Cle de Peau shows up more a champagne nude with lots of gold). But Nymphette is a beautiful shade in its own right, so I really wouldn’t think about it as “just a dupe for,” but a shade that’s worth buying independent of that. It works well layered on lipsticks but can also be worn alone for a pretty pout. MAC Lipglass is vanilla-scented and one of the tackier glosses on the market, but those are both things I like (hey, tackier lipglosses have a tendency to stay on better!), particularly since MAC Lipglass lasts about three to four hours on me when worn alone.

Is this the perfect glossy shade for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Spring Makeup: Gold, Green, & Teal with Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Palette

I love the lips for this look.  It’s my new favorite lip combo, and as soon as I slipped on Le Metier de Beaute Apricot Creme, I completely remember why I shelled out $36 for it.  In fact, I think I’m going to place an order for a few more later this week!

My major criticisms of the Urban Decay palette (aside from the lack of new shades) were: lack of matte/satin finished eyeshadows and lack of a highlighter. The glittery shades definitely leave a nice mess of glitter beneath the eye — so I recommend applying your eyeshadow first and then cleaning up afterward, at which point you can apply your face makeup (foundation, blush, etc.). I used Lancome Bi-Facil on a cotton round to remove the majority of the glitter, and then my tinted moisturizer covered up any remaining bits. Just for fun, I included a photo of the glitter that fell out during application. 😉

Even though I love me some shimmery, frosty eyeshadows, I do like more variety in finishes these days, even if it’s only a subtle difference in the end result. I kind of felt like this look was too frosty; maybe if the brow bone had a semi-matte or satin eyeshadow instead, it wouldn’t have been the case. As always, I deliberately tried to use only the eyeshadows found in the palette, but going forward, I just don’t think I can do that. I need a less garish highlighter (there are only two potential highlighters: White Rabbit, which is too glittery and white on me; and Drink Me, Eat Me, which can lean frosty). Even still, I ended up throwing on a little MAC Nylon to yellow-up the brow bone (in the full face photos), because the peachy champagne shade wasn’t working on my skin tone as a highlighter (at least not with these shades).

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Primer Potion as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply White Rabbit eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Wonderland eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Absolem eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Lightly blend Alice eyeshadow, with the 239, on the outer corner and lid. Lightly tap and brush White Rabbit eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Drink Me, Eat Me eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. (I also later added Nylon eyeshadow on the brow bone to make it look less stark on me.) Bring everything together by applying Flipside eyeliner on the lower lash line. Finish by sweeping lashes with Plushlash mascara.

For cheeks, apply Lover blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116.

For lips, apply Corail Passion lipstick first, and then layer Apricot Creme lipgloss for a complementing lip.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →