We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
  • b-glowing20% off makeup orders of $50+ with code BGMKP202, ends 7/27.
  • Nordstromsimplehuman Rose Gold Round Pro Mirror for $167.50 (normally $250!) through this link, ends 8/06.
  • UltaPlatinum perk -- 5x points on all purchases, activate here, ends 7/29.

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “purple/gray” or “gravender” as Cult Nails calls it. It’s a light-medium grayish purple with sparse white shimmer that’s opaque in two coats. I’d say the closest shade I have to it is Rescue Beauty Lounge Insouciant, which is a few shades darker and less gray. Shades like Nubar Purple Aster and Zoya Marley are much lighter.

The formula is excellent–it wears really well without bubbling, chipping, or streaking. The lacquer applies evenly and flows well on the nail, and after a week, there is minimal tip wear. One of the best things about the brand is that you’re supporting an independent company and truly making someone’s dream come true–and when you have a great back story with a quality product? It doesn’t get any better.

Cult Nails Nail Lacquer My Kind of Cool Aid
A+

Permanent

10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

Benefit Dandy Brandy Eyeshadow

Benefit Dandy Brandy Eyeshadow
Benefit Dandy Brandy Eyeshadow

Benefit Dandy Brandy Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “copper spice.” It’s a gorgeous shade of bronze-shimmered medium brown with copper-red undertones. The hue reminded me of Make Up For Ever #15 when it is sheered out (when it’s opaque, it’s much too bronze and deep). Bare Escentuals The Truth is also quite similar, perhaps a bit redder. Shades like MAC Make Your Mark and MAC Buckwheat are noticeably darker.

Brandy Dandy has strong warm undertones, but paired with cool grays, taupes, or blues, could work on cooler complexions. Dandy Brandy pairs well with Fawn Over Me or Bikini Line for a quick and easy look of light/dark contrast with a lot of underlying warmth. It’s a good staple shade for those who love warm browns, but it’s certainly a shade that many brands have, so check your stash first for similarities.

Benefit recommends sweeping it on over bare lids for sheer color and layered over their cream eyeshadow for richer color. The super soft texture of the finely-milled powder makes it effortless to blend to a soft wash, but it doesn’t require building to get opaque color (see the swatch!) either. The Velvet Eyeshadows have a dense quality to them, and combined with their softness, makes them feel buttery and almost creamy (but they’re powder, I promise!). I’ve been a fan of Benefit’s eyeshadows for years now, and for those seeking softer shades overall, I recommend checking out the range.  As a bonus, each eyeshadow is double the size of your average eyeshadow!

Benefit Velvet Eyeshadow Dandy Brandy
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

What We’re Wearing, Vol. 044

What We’re Wearing, Vol. 044

I was testing out Guerlain’s Les Aquas eyeshadow palette (new for spring) along with Tarina Tarantino Spark of Envy Eyeliner on the lower lash line!  I was totally surprised by the brightness of the palette–you just don’t see a lot of vibrant color from high-end/luxury brands like Chanel, Dior, Guerlain, etc.

What was your favorite look you wore this week?

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Spring 2012: Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Debuting in January, Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites ($67.00 for 0.31 oz.) is a limited edition highlighter than can be used to highlight specific areas or as an all-over glow. It delivers a light pink with neutral-warm undertones with a shimmer-sheen. It reminded me of a lighter, pinker version of MAC Crystal Pink. Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees is lighter, more beige/white. MAC Light Sunshine is more similar in color but is a bit lighter and has more of a sheen than shimmer.

It looked rather frosty when I swatched it on my arm, but it worked well when I applied it with a brush on my cheek bones to test out the wear. There’s no emphasis of pores, and there’s enough glow and sheen to perk up the face without looking like a disco ball. This is more shimmery than other pressed meteorites in my experience but not by much. I was really happy with the wear, which is really what I liked most about the product, which was ten hours undisturbed. No breaking up, migration, or looking like it was worse for the wear .It didn’t have the typical Guerlain violet scent; there’s a lingering scent, but it’s very, very subtle–I practically had my nose buried in the gardenia! When I finally caught the scent, it smelled a little soapy. It’s supposed to be Cruel Gardenia, though.

The powder is finely milled but dense and firm, which is why it doesn’t turn frosty on the face–the brush picks up the right amount of product. Sometimes a product can be too soft, like when you put your brush to the powder, it loosens a ton of product (more than you need), which can be wasteful. Nevertheless, it’s more of a sheen and shimmer than Parure de Nuit from fall.

BritishBeautyBlogger has an excellent write-up about how/why products can be similar (and looking at these two particular products). Industry insiders know that products are often planned at least one to two years in advance; often, the conceptual phase is 18-24 months out, while prototype production can begin a year or further out from launch–products have to move through various stages like creation, testing, reformulation, production, etc. Color agencies like Pantone often determine the trends we’ll see in upcoming months, so some similarities are entirely coincidental or par for the course.

Design similarity aside, though, the two don’t really compare in the way that matters–color. Cruel Gardenia is distinctly pink, and it will do more to flatter cooler complexions (but it is equally flattering on warmer complexions, because it’s a neutral pink), compared to the more bronzy Rose Rendezvous by Laura Mercier. I wanted to review Laura Mercier’s, but unfortunately, by the time I received my order from Nordstrom (boo, ground shipping!) and tested it (seriously, I photographed and started testing immediately after it arrived), it was sold out.

Guerlain Illuminating Iridescent Powder Cruel Gardenia
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
96%
Total

How-to: Contouring

By Victoria, Theatre Makeup Artist

Victoria is a 19-year old college sophomore who attends school in Massachusetts for Engineering, but she’s an avid Theater Makeup Artist and has worked on a variety of shows, from dance shows (think intense, flamboyant glitter) to periodic musicals. She aims to combine her “nerdy” passions with her artistic ones: to overanalyze the mathematics of reshaping the face, learn the science of why a product works better or worse. She’s a romantic dreamer who enjoys re-imagining herself in a soap opera, pretending one day a prince is going to come riding in on a dragon and take her away. Until then, she’s planning to use her makeup brushes and colors to force her friends to be the stars of her imaginary fairy tale.


How-to: Contouring

I remember the first time I looked at my pictures from a dance performance:  my face was completely bleached out, and I was so embarrassed I didn’t want to show them to anyone! At the next show, an older girl with beautiful orange stripes down the sides of her face came over and lovingly gave me some help. After a friend asked me if that performance was “Lion King” themed, I knew I needed a change. Since then, I’ve joined the battle against the monster we theatre makeup artists have to fight: giving life and dimension to a face that is flattened by unforgiving lights.

My weapon of choice is contouring. Highlighting and contouring is the art of changing the face. For theatre, we may contour for two reasons: one, because theatre lights bleach out all the shadows and dimension of the face, or two, to make the face look like a different ethnicity entirely. Today, I’m going to concentrate on the former: on giving yourself beautiful cheekbones.

One thing that I really want to highlight (ha!) in this post is that having beautiful cheekbones is not just about the cheekbones! It’s about how things look in relation to each other; how far the cheekbones are positioned from the eyes or the shape of your jawline. A relatively wider set jaw can mask any high cheekbones. Just shade along the jawline to soften and recess it a bit, and your cheekbones will pop out naturally.

Cheekbones generally start a finger or two widths away from the edge of the eye; if yours don’t, you might want to consider shading under the outside corner of the eye to push the cheekbone down further. Some cheekbones are naturally quite prominent and maybe your goal is to diminish them a bit! Avoid highlighter and place your blush further down. Before you start, analyze your own facial structure and compare it to the look you’re trying to achieve.

Find out what you’ll need and how to contour!

On Instagram