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Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Gifts Under $25

If you’re looking for an affordable gift or one to add to your recipient’s pile, I find the under $25 category to be pretty fruitful.  (If we’re being honest, if your budget is under $30, it opens even more doors for you!)  Many gift and value sets range in the upper $20s to upper $30s, but don’t forget — you can always buy one really awesome full-sized product for under $25 from most brands.

What are some of your favorite gifts under $25?

Buy Full-Size! If you know your gift recipient just loves X lipstick, it might not be a bad idea to help them stock up.  Consider lipgloss, lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner, blush, or nail polish–so many shades to choose from!

China Glaze Wizard of Ooh Ahz Set ($18.00) is a great way to add a little dazzle to nails on a budget.

Philosophy’s The Recipe Box Set ($18.00) is a good option if you’re on a slimmer budget (or you just have a lot of friends and would like to spread the love a bit more). It’s a cute little set in a gift-ready box and red bow tied on top. It contains two 6 oz. shower gels: Sweet Creamy Frosting and Red Velvet Cake. It is available at Beauty.com, Nordstrom, Philosophy.com, and Sephora.

Korres Cherry Lip Kisses ($19.50) is a trio of Korres’ Cherry Oil Lipgloss (includes Fuchsia, Natural Purple, and Nude shades). These are fun glosses, and when they’re available in a set? Totally worth it! You can pick this set up at KorresUSA.com (save 30% on $35 or more with code TEMPTALIA til 12/31!) and Sephora. Korres has a lot of value-packed sets available for holiday as well as year-round (nothing wrong with giving one of those, y’know), so if you’re thinking about giving the gift of Korres this holiday season, there’s a good variety of sets to choose from.

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Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Gifts Under $10

I must admit that finding fun gifts to give (or receive) under $10 (and mind you, I was strict about it being under $10… so nothing that was even $10 would do!), but I managed to find a few items to my liking!  Not too surprising, but I found Bath & Body Works to be the best bet for finding cute gifts under $10.  What are your favorite beauty gifts to give under $10?

Bath & Body Works Deep Cleansing Soap ($4.50 for 8 fl. oz.) are extremely affordable at-home-with-beauty options that work well in just about every household. B&BW has a whole slew of scents to choose from, but one of my favorites to keep in the household is Kitchen Lemon. I just love me a fresh lemon citrus smell in the kitchen!

C.O. Bigelow Mini Mentha Frosty Trio Set ($8.00) includes three mini-sized Mentha Lip Shines in Original, Cinnamint, and Spearmint.

Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 ($6.50) is a 0.5 oz. tube lip balm that helps combat the cool winter winds and keep lips looking their best. One of my favorite lip balms when you’re not looking for color but just moisture.

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine ($7.50) are available in several different scents, but my personal holiday favorite is Warm Spiced Cider! There’s also Hot Buttered Rum, Triple Hot Chocolate, and Vanilla Cream Eggnog for the holiday season.

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Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Temptalia Asks You

Do you match your fingers to your toes, polish-wise? Always different? Skip the toes?

Temptalia's Answer.

I don’t always have polish on my toes (or fingers for that matter), but I almost wear China Glaze’s For Audrey exclusively on my toes!

.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection:  Photos & Swatches
MAC The Lap of Luxury Lipgloss

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection: Lipgloss & Lipstick Lip Swatches

As promised, here are lip swatches for the new, limited edition lipglosses and lipsticks from MAC’s Baroque Boudoir Collection. My lip swatches are always done trying to use what the “reasonable” user would use — so I’m not in the business of spending ten minutes layering a lipstick on nor will I goop on gloss just to get it to show!

I mentioned earlier, in the individual reviews, but D’Nouveau was the most pigmented of the lipglosses, and all three lipsticks were fairly opaque.

See swatchesContinue reading →

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection:  Photos & Swatches

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection: Lipsticks

Every year, MAC presents us with a very limited edition, small-sized collection that’s decked out in more luxe packaging accompanied by equally more luxe prices. This year’s collection is Baroque Boudoir, which is in matte silver with shiny silver and black filigree overlay. This year’s collection contains a whopping nine items to covet: three lipsticks, three lipglosses, two shades of Sheer Mystery Powder, and a clutch.

The lipsticks are creamy, contain no shimmer, tend to be a little more pigmented, and apply more opaquely on lips, though this year’s are less pigmented than some of the previous years’ launches. Like the Lipglosses, I felt like these shades weren’t particularly special or standout. I’m am surprised, yet again, to not see a really excellent holiday red launched. And again, the price on these? Really obscene. They’re definitely not better than MAC’s lipsticks at $14 a pop; you could say these are, perhaps, a little more moisturizing, but not any more so than MAC’s Amplified Creme finish.

P.S. – I will do lip swatches this afternoon!

Baroque Boudoir Lipstick ($22.00 U.S. / $26.00 CDN)

  • Prive is a blue-based medium pink with a light sheen. It’s creamy, and it goes on so-so, not totally opaque, but still adds plenty of color to my lips. It reminded me of a more subtle Speed Dial Lipstick.
  • Baroque Boudoir is a plummy brown with a light sheen. It’s semi-opaque (you can kind of tell in the swatch) both on the skin and on the lips. I think it’s similar to Spice It Up! (a little redder) or Sheer Plum (a little browner) Lipstick.
  • Treasured is a creamy, semi-opaque neutral beige. MAC says it’s warm, it seemed neutral on me. It really didn’t jump out at me as warm (I almost wanted to say it was cool!). It reminded me of Jubilee! or even a more pigmented Fresh Brew Lipstick.

Let me also give you a quick run-down of the Sheer Mystery Powder, which I chose not to spend solely for the sake of photographing it. My bottom line is I don’t think it’s a particularly good pressed powder, and therefore not even close to being worth the $60 price tag attached to it. The compact is very similar to the Hello Kitty Kouture compacts, just with different embellishments. It’s also similar to Monogram’s from last year. It has some heft to it, but it’s not too heavy (unlike Couture and Stylistic’s compacts).

Sheer Mystery Powder is an extremely lightweight pressed powder. I find it a little too dusty and chalky to really enjoy it, and the shade range is incredibly limited. As NC30, I felt too dark for Light Medium and yet too light for Medium Plus. If you love the packaging, there’s no shame in purchasing it for the compact alone! If it makes you happy, it makes me happy! (Please note, the rating below is only for the lipsticks. For the compact, I’d give it an overall score of C for an average product housed in an overpriced compact.)

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: Like the Lipglosses, if you’re a big fan of the packaging, you might find it’s worth picking up one or two!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection:  Photos & Swatches
MAC Baroque Boudoir Lipgloss: The Lap of Luxury, Preciousness, D’Nouveau

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection: Lipglosses

Every year, MAC presents us with a very limited edition, small-sized collection that’s decked out in more luxe packaging accompanied by equally more luxe prices. This year’s collection is Baroque Boudoir, which is in clear packaging with filigree in semi-opaque white overlayed (but to be sure, they’re not stickers). This year’s collection contains a whopping nine items to covet: three lipsticks, three lipglosses, two shades of Sheer Mystery Powder, and a clutch.

The lipglosses are creamy, hydrating, and they’re non-sticky. They do feel a lot like MAC’s Cremesheen Glass, to be honest. They’re about as sheer, too! The glosses themselves are quality and feel very nice on the lips, but my big issue with these is that they’re just out of sync with MAC pricing (which is part of the point of their luxe collection, I’m sure).

They’re not any better or worse than MAC’s Lustreglass (these are completely non-sticky, Lustreglass is mostly non-sticky), which is priced at $14. I will also point out that this year’s shade range is less unique than years’ past, which is a little disappointing. Pretty colors, but you can find decent dupes or similar shades in the permanent range.

P.S. – I will do lip swatches this afternoon!

Baroque Boudoir Lipgloss ($22.00 U.S. / $26.00 CDN)

  • The Lap of Luxury is a sheer, peachy-melon nude with pink shimmer. On my lips, there’s really not much too it: glossy lips with a little bit of peach and pink shimmer. This shade reminded me of Enchantress Lipglass or Love Nectar Lustreglass.
  • Preciousness is an icy pink with a little bit of lilac in it. It is fairly sheer and sort of gives my lips a milky look to them, but it doesn’t add much color, mostly pinky-purple sparkle from the shimmer. This reminded me a lot of Cultured Lipglass or a slightly more purple Luminary Lustreglass (though it’s less noticeably different when applied on lips).
  • D’Nouveau is a raspberry-ish color base with lighter pink and copper flecks of shimmer throughout. It was the most pigmented of the three, but I’d still consider it fairly sheer. It brightened up and added a rosier look to my lips along with the shimmer. I was immediately reminded of Star Nova Lustreglass. This is also kind of like a more berry version of Love Alert Dazzleglass.

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 fan of the packaging or love non-sticky, creamy glosses like Cremesheen Glass, you might find these worth the splurge.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

See more photos and swatchesContinue reading →