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Tuesday, January 13th, 2009


Lip Plumpers:  Pink Pearl, Rose Flush, Peach Glow;
Palette: Buff, Tawny Apricot, Granite; Blushing Peach, Blushing Pink

Laura Mercier’s First Blush Collection recently debuted at retailers and Nordstrom.com.  I believe just this morning it launched on LauraMercier.com, as well!  It’s a fairly small launch, relative to many of the other major beauty brands this season, with just a palette, brush set, three lip plumpers, and two nail polishes.

The First Blush Palette ($55.00) contains three eyeshadows (Buff, Tawny Apricot, and Granite), two blushes (Blushing Peach and Blushing Pink), and three lip glazes (Flushed, Natural, and Naked).  My favorites of the palette are both blushes; they’re both soft, smooth powder blushes in complimentary tones.  The peach is soft and light, while the pink is pretty neutral and subtle.  The eyeshadows didn’t impress me overly so, as I’ve definitely seen these shades many times before.  Buff was a little chalky, which totally turned me off.  The lip glazes were pretty, but I imagine they are at least semi-sheer when actually applied to lips (my swatches ran thicker).  The shades of lip glazes are flattering on most skin tones, and they’re soft and springy for sure.

The First Blush Lip Plumpers ($30.00 each) are pretty, but with a price tag like that, I had to pass.  I don’t need a lip plumper, so I see no reason to pay that much for a Laura Mercier gloss (their Lip Glace is $22 a pop).  Pink Pearl is a sheer, pastel pink–not terribly unique–but it’s a face friendly color that works easily and can be used everyday.  Rose Flush is a brownish red that goes on sheer and glossy.  Similarly, Peach Glow is just as glossy, but the color is a brighter coral-orange shade.

I didn’t have much time to play with the brush set, though from what I could tell, it felt nice enough.  I have plenty of brush sets myself, so I don’t see myself buying more at this time, which is probably why I didn’t fight through the crowd at the Laura Mercier counter to see them better!  The nail lacquers were also being used, but they were both soft, subtle shades designed with spring in mind.

See more swatchesContinue reading →

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Yours truly has had the great honor of being interviewed by the lovely Beth, from The Girls of Beauty Department, Glamour Magazine’s online beauty blog. Head on over there to read the interview! :)

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Bobbi Brown’s Brights Collection really grabbed our attention with its star product: Bobbi Brown Brights Palette with 35 shades of bright, matte eyeshadows. The pricetag for this dreamboat is $70, which is not quite the deal many of you were looking forward to, because this palette is indeed quite small. It’s just a little shorter in height than UDPP, which makes it around six inches tall. The shadows themselves are approximately dime sized or perhaps even slightly smaller.

BARGAIN BUY OR OVERPRICED?

Let’s discuss whether this is truly a bargain buy or if it’s way overpriced and something you should skip if only for the pricetag. Bobbi Brown consistently releases palettes each season, and they all range around $50-60 a pop. Sometimes they’re all eyeshadows, but other times they are a mix of blushes, eyeshadows, and lip colors. Each Bobbi Brown eyeshadow goes for $20 each for 2.5 grams of shadowy goodness, and if I recall correctly, each shadow is around an inch in each direction.

Now, if you’re a beauty addict, you quite possibly have more shadows than you’ll ever use in your lifetime (cough, that’s me!). Coming from that side of the spectrum, getting 35 colors for $70 isn’t a bad deal–especially because I’m unlikely to use any of these all up. I’ll use as much from one of these as a single $20 eyeshadow in all likelihood. What if you’re not a beauty addict? If you’re just starting out, this is a great opportunity to fill your collection with 35 new shadows. Talk about doubling or tripling your collection in one fell swoop!

I bet a few of you are thinking, “But Coastal Scents has a palette with 88 colors for $20!” I actually can’t personally vouch for it, but I know enough respected beauty bloggers have reviewed it with raves, so I’ll assume it’s true for the purpose of this comparison. You’re totally right–Coastal Scents is a way better deal and bargain. It’s going to be pretty hard for any high end brand to compete with that price tag, even the much adored MAC shadows costs much more.

There is at least one good reason I can think of for going for Bobbi Brown’s instead: size. What? Small size is a good thing? When it comes to traveling it is! Instead of taking several palettes or pots of shadows, you can take 35 vivid colors in a compact palette. It’s truly a travel-friendly way to bring a ton of eye makeup with you without taking up a lot of space.

So in the end…

Yes, the palette is worth it relative to Bobbi Brown products (so we don’t get into a quarrel over pricing, bargains, etc.).  The price is in line with comparable Bobbi Brown palettes and products, and I feel this is one of the best measures of “value” aside from comparing against other brands.  You just gotta buy what you love, what works for you, and what you see as a better value for you.  Overall, Bobbi Brown did a fantastic job of making her mattes smooth, more buttery than chalky, and the majority of the shadows have great color pay off. I found the pinks had the least vivid pay off, but the greens, blues, and purples were much more pigmented. I swatch everything without a base, because I believe in seeing what you really get. A good base often elevates any mediocre shadow to at least average, but a good shadow shouldn’t need the best possible base or combination of bases to look good. I like to see color pay off and good pigmentation sans a base to make sure I like what I’m getting!

See more palette photos as well as swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Here are the five final categories of the Awards! Please share your thoughts on winners, your picks, and all that jazz in the comments!

Best Facial Cleanser/Scrub of 2008
Best Finishing Powder of 2008
Best Tinted Moisturizer of 2008
Best Everyday Blush of 2008
Best Sunscreen (Face) of 2008

St. Ives Apricot Scrub is not just the best favorite body scrub this year, but it’s the best Facial Cleanser/Scrub! It won with 16% of votes, with Cetaphil trailing in second place with 12% of votes. MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator came in third place with 11% of votes.

See the rest of the winners! Continue reading →

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Temptalia Asks You


Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your makeup? Does everything have to be just right?

Monday, January 12th, 2009


Vendetta Le Vernis

In my earlier Chanel Bohemian Fantasy Review, I mentioned I was going to review and feature the nail polishes separately–and here it is! The reason why I wanted to separate it out is because…

If there is just ONE nail polish you buy this spring season, make it VENDETTA LE VERNIS ($23.00).

Vendetta is this amazing shade of dark, jewel-toned purple that looks purple and reflects such a seductive shade of violet when the light hits it, it just cannot be overlooked. The shimmer level is fantastic; it’s noticeable and adds dimension without being frosty or gritty.

I’ve always been a big fan of Le Vernis, because I find my nails do not chip, and the polish wears really well. I don’t find a need to touch-up, and I can wear Le Vernis on my nails for at least week without feeling like I need to re-do.

Poor Django! Vendetta completely outdoes it in every way imaginable except, perhaps, how wearable it is. You can wear Django anywhere: the office, work events, school, etc. It’s a creamy, pale peach-beige shade. It’s very pretty, don’t get me wrong! It’s just not as eye-catching as Vendetta. I love me a good work-safe polish color, but Vendetta has stolen my heart.

See nail swatches of the two new polish shades, as well as DjangoContinue reading →