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Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection

Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection Complete Day Cream

Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection Complete Day Cream ($30.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is one of the best hand creams I’ve ever slathered on my paws. My hands take a beating, because I constantly wash them, and I’m less-than-perfect about regularly applying near enough hand cream/lotion to keep them in tip top shape.

With the labrasnore running around, wiggling for attention all the time, and it, of course, being absolutely impossible to resist, I pet him, but then I wash my hands afterward. (Hey, since becoming acne-prone, hand-washing has become a regular ritual.) I easily wash my hands twenty times a day, and I may only lotion up once or twice a day–it just seems so silly to apply lotion and wash most of it off a half hour later.

Additionally, after landing in NYC last February, I found myself with these odd dry patches on my hands and fingers. I just figured that lotioning up more often would cure those dry patches, but to no avail. I saw my doctor after a few months, and she informed it was just eczema. OK, cool.

The only product (out of some ten or more that I tried to moisturize those dry patches) that worked was Hand Perfection. I can’t actually think of any better endorsement for it, because I was starting to feel rather hopeless about it all. My hands were soft, smooth, and they even looked a little less ragged after just a few uses (like two days). It’s a bit more than I’d think to spend on a hand cream, but a little goes a long way, and I’ll often use it as a spot treatment now, and then use something else throughout the day.

It does have titanium dioxide, which can be used for sun protection, but there’s no SPF noted on the product, so I don’t think it’s in a high enough quantity to do anything. For being touted as a day cream, I’d expect SPF in it (hands need SPF protection, too!). The size I have is just the “purse” size, which has lasted me a month now. The full-size is 3.4 fl. oz. and retails for $50.00 (ouch!).

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

Recommendation: If you’re still searching for a hand lotion to keep your hands smooth, soft, and moisturized, I definitely urge you to check this one out. The purse size makes for an easier first-time investment without committing to the full kit and kaboodle.

Availability: Ellen Sirot

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

The Hit List

Worst Brush Brand…

What brand/product wins this category? Any particular reason it wins?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Dolce & Gabbana Champagne Smooth Eye Colour Quad

Dolce & Gabbana: Champagne Smooth Eye Colour Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Champagne Smooth Eye Colour Quad ($59.00) is D&G’s take on the smoky eyes palette. It contains four shades of eyeshadow: a pale, silvery-white; a medium-dark matte black; a mauve-tinged silver; and a subdued, cool-toned dark brown.

Like Dazzling, the Champagne consists of smooth, well-pigmented eyeshadows that feel like buttery goodness to the touch. They apply easily and softly, and they never look garish. They blend seamlessly together, and they work well with all of your favorite eyeshadow bases. They also still blend well when used with other brand eyeshadows.

One of things I like about the Dolce & Gabbana quads I’ve tried so far is that the colors go on as they’re pictured. They’re apply and swatch true-to-color, so there is a whole lot less guesswork to be done. I can also appreciate the “honesty” of the palette in that sense, too. Champagne, in particular, works well together, because the shades are diverse enough to create gradients, but they can be worn in pairs of triplets.

For those who find the price a bit steep, D&G is priced competitively with other major high-end brands like Chanel ($56), Dior ($56), and Guerlain ($58). The packaging is hefty and looks like gold (though it does hold fingerprints). It’s sleek and elegant, so it does look lovely when you hold it. If it didn’t hold fingerprints, the packaging would definitely help sway me even more.

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

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of high-end, luxury brands, Dolce & Gabbana has put out a quality line of makeup. Champagne is a great quad to travel with to be able to create several evening smoky eyes.

Availability: Saks

See swatchesContinue reading →

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Celebrity make-up artist Brett Freedman gives Temptalia readers his best tips on making your makeup last through hot, sticky, and sweaty weather. Thanks Brett for the great advice! :)

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

The Best Dior Products

The Best of the Best:  Dior

Dior excels at creating (even when you thought you had it covered) staples that you’ll use time and time again. Many of my favorite products to use on a daily basis are dior. Dior can be colorful and bright, but they’re more often subtle and natural–not boring, mind you.

  • Dior Diorskin Shimmer Stars ($43.00) are quite possibly my favorite product by Dior, period. These are subtle highlighters that work well on all skin tones and give that “glowy” appearance without overloading the skin with shimmer. They’re natural and bring out the skin’s own glow. Really, really phenomenal. You can just see how many looks I’ve done with Amber Diamond and Rose Diamond alone.
  • Dior Addict 1.7 oz Eau de Parfum Spray ($72.00) was one of my first fragrances, and it is still one of my more coveted scents. It is a heady scent that works extremely well for evening and formal occasions.
  • Dior Diorskin Nude ($45.00) is a water-based, lightweight light-to-medium coverage foundation that gives skin a flawless and healthy look. You can read my full review for even more reasons why it rocks my world.
  • Dior ‘One Color Extreme’ Eyeshadow ($27.50) are highly pigmented single doses of eyeshadow. Dior is actually coming out with several new shades this fall/winter, so look for them! For now, you can check out the two that came out with the fall collection.
  • Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss Reflect ($25.50) are non-sticky, hydrating lipglosses with a beautiful glossy finish. They come in a variety of shades, and they’re one of Dior’s signature products.
  • Dior 2-Colour Eyeshadow ($35.00) are richly pigmented eyeshadow duos. They’re not quite at the level of the Extreme eyeshadows, but they’re coordinated shades that are worth the investment if it’s in your budget.
  • Dior Bronze Harmony Blush ($42.00) is on the level of Skin Shimmers. Soft, subtle color that looks natural and truly enhances the skin in a way that’s beautiful. Check out my review for Rose Brazilia and Coral Riviera.

What are your favorite Dior products?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Tips & Tricks: How to Line Your Lower Lash Line

When it comes to lining your lash line, do you often get lost on the who, what, when, where, and why of it all?  Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks to make lining the lower lash line a breeze.

When using gel liners… I find using a more traditional pencil liner to an extremely effective tool for applying the gel liner itself to the lower lash line.  What I do is I take a similar colored pencil liner and dip the tip into the gel liner.  I then apply it to the lower lash line (or water line).  This is especially useful when lining the water line, too, because I know my water line is far too sensitive to endure using a brush!

Prevent smudging and migration… by setting any and all liners with powder.  You could certainly try translucent powder (e.g. MAC Transparent Finishing Powder), or you can use a similar colored eyeshadow.  I’d apply it sparingly and lightly using a very thin or pointed brush so you don’t smudge your liner too much.

Prevent smudging and migration, part deux… by using a concealer or primer base first on the lower lash line.  This is only going to work with skin-colored bases (and I mean, your skin), which is why concealers tend to be the go-to, but if your skin tone matches your eyeshadow primer/base, that will work just fine.  Apply sparingly, because you don’t want too much product in that area–too much will cause it to sink into fine lines and end up creasing.  Just like with eyeshadow, a good base for liner helps to keep it in place.

Softer is better… you want a soft, smooth, near-creamy product for the lower lash line (or the upper lash line, for that matter).  Gone are the days where we have to suffer through stiff, tough liners that drag and tug at our eyes.  No one needs to settle for that!  If your eyeliner is tough, try heating it up for a few seconds under a blow dryer, but if that fails to help, toss it and invest in softer liners.  My picks are Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes and Urban Decay 24/7 Pencils.

You don’t have to go all the way… you don’t have to line your entire lower lash line.  It may not be to your liking or taste, or you may find your eyes are more open by just lining the outer third of the lash line.  There are no hard and fast rules about how much or how little you need to line–the best way to figure out what works for you (particularly in discovering what you like best on yourself) is experimenting.

What are your tips & tricks on lining the lower lash line?