The Scarlet Season: Lipstick Queen 9 Minutes of Fame Pop Art Gloss

Lipstick Queen 9 Minutes of Fame Pop Art Gloss ($16.50 for 1.45ml/0.05 oz.) is a semi-opaque medium red gloss. It comes in a twist-up brush-type applicator, which isn’t my favorite delivery method (it’s the germaphobe in me), but the color is really pretty. It almost seems like it enhances your natural lip color in such a way that it doesn’t really look like you’re wearing a lipstick or gloss — it’s like the color becomes your lips, and then it’s just glossiness after that. It wears well and feels hydrating!  It’s non-sticky, contains no shimmer, and is pretty lightweight.

I do have to mention that this product seems awfully pricey, because a typical gloss (e.g. MAC Lipglass) has 4.2ml for $14… this is not even half as much.

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

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Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Gifts Under $25

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, Nordstrom,, 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 (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.

See more gifts under $25

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Holiday 2009 Gift Guide: Gifts Under $10

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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MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection: Lipgloss & Lipstick Lip Swatches

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection:  Photos & 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 swatches

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MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection: Lipsticks

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection:  Photos & Swatches

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!

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).

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