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  • Giorgio Armani Beauty15% off all orders, plus free shipping on $75+ orders and free Lip Balm on $150+ orders with code SPRING, ends 3/28.

Can you see a theme in this week’s questions? 🙂 I want true-to-pan color that’s rich and dense–if I want to sheer it out, I’ll use less–that applies smoothly, evenly, and doesn’t disappear once you blend it out. I like denser, richer textures that almost feel buttery and creamy but are still powder-based.

— Christine

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Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color


Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color ($19.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a new-for-fall product, which is exclusive to Sephora. This product claims to deliver long-wearing opaque color without feathering and all with a glossy shine–oh, and they’re supposed to be moisturizing, too. There are currently five shades: F-Bomb (bright red cream), Punch Drunk (bright orange cream), Adrenaline (bright fuchsia sparkle), Crush (hot pink), and Big Bang (bright pink with sparkle).

  • F-Bomb is a bright, medium-dark red with subtle ruby shimmer. It’s opaque, and it does stain a little (but surprisingly, not as much as some reds). It does have a subtly glossy shine. Overall, it leans a touch blue, but it’s not strongly blue-based. Make Up For Ever #44 is similar but not quite as dark. Guerlain Gwen is less vibrant. NYX Hero is not as opaque, slightly darker. Burberry Hibiscus seems a touch lighter. Chanel Dragon is a bit darker and has more shimmer.
  • Punch Drunk is a vibrant, darkened orange with creamy finish and subtle shine. It’s completely opaque. MAC Strut Your Stuff ius similar, perhaps not as dark. Giorgio Armani #405 is similar in vibrancy, but it is brighter, less red-based. Dolce & Gabbana Sheer is very similar.
  • Adrenaline is a darkened raspberry red with ruby and pink shimmer and glitter. I did not find that this was really glossy at all–it felt a little dry when I applied it, and it looked more like a regular lipstick than a gloss. MAC Quite the Thing is similar, more iridescent. Estee Lauder Wild Violet is slightly redder. NYX Chloe is similar in base color but has more iridescence.
  • Crush is a creamy blue-based fuchsia pink with a glossy shine. It’s nearly opaque in color. NARS Schiap is pinker, not quite as blue-based. MAC Florida is similar in color but lighter.
  • Big Bang is medium-dark raspberry pink with fuchsia glitter. It is lighter, less opaque, and not nearly as red as Adrenaline. This is cooler-toned as well. MAC Pink Burst is very similar, while MAC Quite the Thing is darker.

The majority of these shades are vibrant and rich in color, which means they definitely wear longer rather than shorter. Shades like F-Bomb wear three to four hours with a subtle shine, but the color itself lasts through a meal and still looks presentable six hours later. I only tested the wear on F-Bomb and Big Bang, so I could test out different finishes. Both Adrenaline and Big Bang have a fair amount of glitter (“sparkle”) in their finishes, and as a result, they have a slightly gritty texture, which becomes more noticeable over time, as the creaminess of the product wears away. It doesn’t travel too much, but as fun as the sparkling glitter might be, it is more troublesome than the creamier finishes. I did get four hours of wear with Big Bang.

Crush was the only shade that had a high gloss shine–the kind expected from these–while the others fell a little flat. Adrenaline was the only shade that I felt really missed the shine. F-Bomb, Punch Drunk, and Big Bang all had a subtle shine. After I wore them, I’m pleased to report my lips did not dry out, so they delivered on their ability to moisturize while worn. I also did not experience any bleeding while wearing F-Bomb, which is the most likely to bleed as it is a rich red.

This product is easy to sharpen, but you’ll waste doing so (from what I can tell, 1-2 uses), and you won’t particularly enjoy cleaning out your sharpener afterward. It shaves off the actual product, while it sharpens, and because of the creaminess of the formula, it smears easily when you attempt to clean. I tested it twice by removing the entire sharpened portion (so initially, the entire tip, then I sharpened until about 3mm of product was exposed, removed that, repeated).

Aside from the sharpening issue, the new pencils are rather good–as long as you don’t mind the lack of glossy shine. They look more like lipsticks than glosses (except for Crush). It falls short of that particular claim, which is reflected in the product rating, but it is certainly something that may be easily overlooked.

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

B+
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
89%
Total

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Giorgio Armani Pulp Fiction (4) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow


Giorgio Armani Pulp Fiction (4) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani Pulp Fiction (4) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani Pulp Fiction (4) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a muted gray with a hint of brown and burgundy shimmer. theBalm’s Come Hither was the closest shade I could think of that was similar. It’s less brown, more obviously purple. It’s a complex mix of brown, gray, burgundy. When used wet, it appears browner, less gray, so it looks a touch darker.  The color payoff is good but not fully opaque when dry or wet, and it doesn’t apply quite as evenly as other shades in the range.

The texture of the Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows is interesting; it’s a really compacted loose powder, but it’s so finely milled that it almost feels like a hybrid cream-powder. Each pot contains 0.14 oz. worth of product, which is a good amount, given that most pressed eyeshadows average around 0.05 oz. I have worn around half of the range alone on lids with 12+ hours of wear without creasing, smudging, or fading.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadow #4
#4
#4
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
89%
Total

Chanel Rouge Byzantin Rouge Allure Lipstick


Chanel Rouge Byzantin Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Byzance: Rouge Byzantin Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Rouge Byzantin Rouge Allure Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as “an iridescent ruby red with a hint of sapphire, for a rich, jewel-toned lip look.” On me, it’s a rich, pinked red with ruby micro-shimmer. It delivers nearly opaque color and even coverage. There is subtle iridescent sheen–looks almost fuchsia to me–that pops at a distance. It’s a very holiday-esque red to me. It’s bright and joyous, but the depth of the color gives it a luxurious richness.

Rouge Allure is a lovely formula–rich in color, moisturizing, and longer-wearing. I typically get five to six hours of wear, but with an intense shade of red like this, it tends to wear just past six. The color didn’t bleed or fade unevenly, either, which is excellent when you wear a high maintenance color like red.

It’s pinker and bluer than Chanel Lover, and similar but deeper than Dior Technicolor Red. You can see side-by-side comparisons here.

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour Rouge Byzantin
10
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

Chanel Or Joues Contraste / Blush


Chanel Or Joues Contraste

Chanel Byzance: Or Joues Contraste

Chanel Or Joues Contraste / Blush ($43.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a yellowed gold with a subtle, satin sheen. Chanel describes it as a “sheer, lightly shimmering shade of gold to bring a subtle new luminosity to the face.” It looks more shimmery in the pot than it does on–it’s not glittery or heavy. On my skin tone, I don’t find that it really adds much–it’s a touch of warmth, at best, accompanied by a glowy reflection. As a highlighting product, it’s good but not the best on the market. It’s a blush that would work well for layering over other shades to add golden shimmer. I liked that it delivered a sheen without an abundance of shimmer, and as far as golds go, it’s surprisingly demure.

Joues Contrastes don’t wear superbly on my skin–they last six to eight hours but rarely past that–but they tend to easy to blend and look natural applied.  I might have had some blending issues with Rouge, but Or was a cinch to apply to high planes of the face and cheeks.

Chanel Shimmering Tweed is similar but a little more bronzed, and it has a chunkier glitter/shimmer in its finish. MAC Sun Rush is more of an orange-gold, but on, I think they’re very similar. Chanel’s Or is going to be subtler, because it has less of a sheen.

Chanel Joues Contraste Blush Or
Or
Or
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total

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