Monday, September 28th, 2009

Chanel Noirs Obscur Collection
Chanel Rouge Allure: Hysteria, Maniac, Obscure

Chanel Noirs Obscurs Collection features three shades of Rouge Allure Lipsticks: Maniac (deep black red), Hysteria (eggplant black), and Obscure (brown black).

Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00)

  • Hysteria is a deep, dark cool-toned blackened, red-toned purple.  It goes on very opaque and layers well.  Applied with a lip brush and/or over a dark lip liner, this color is very intense and completely solid.  It has subtle violet-purple shimmer and a glossy finish.
  • Maniac is a dark brown-based red–almost reminds me of a deep, dark blood red in a way.  Like Hysteria, it applies better with a lip brush rather than straight outta the tube (which is often the course you’d take with such a dark and bold lip color like this anyway).  This one has very subtle reddish shimmer that’s almost missed by the eye.  It has the same glossy finish as Hysteria.
  • Obscure is a dark, terracotta-warmed brown.  It also has a glossy finish with just a slight bit of coppery orange shimmer.  This one applied the best straight from the tube, but it, too, applies better when you use a lip brush.

I’m a big fan of Chanel lip products.  Their eye products are often misses for me, but their lip products rarely disappoint.  I’m so pleased to see truly opaque, richly pigmented colors release from this high-end brand.  These aren’t imitations of bold, fall lip colors at all–they’re intense and well-pigmented.  My advice is to line with a lip liner and potentially fill in all of your lips with it (you can try a flesh-toned, lip-toned, or similar-toned shade) and then apply using a lip brush for precision.  Bold lips look best when they’re well-defined, so a lip brush for application is really necessary!

Rouge Allure lipsticks are creamy, silky, and are nearly always pigmented.  They wear incredibly well throughout the day (several hours and still hang on a bit after eating/drinking) and fade in such a way that doesn’t leave any funny rings or the like around your mouth.  They’re hydrating and just feel good on the lips.

What do you think?  Are these colors drawing you in?

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For luxe, long-lasting and intense bold lips, Chanel’s new, limited edition Rouge Allure shades are a top choice.

Availability: October/November 2009 at Chanel.

See swatches and close-up photosContinue reading →

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

MAC Style Black Collection: Overall

OVERALL, Style Black puts out an interesting mix of products all that take inspiration from shades of black. There’s such a wide mix of different types of products — from mattenes to mineralize eyeshadows to the new greasepaint stick. I think some will love it, others will be leery of it, and still others will be unimpressed. I’m kind of in the middle; I appreciate the collection for its uniqueness amongst prior MAC launches, and I do like seeing a variety of products. I also like how a lot of the colors coordinate across product types (e.g. Glimmerglasses and Nail Lacquers). If you like mineralize eyeshadows, you’ll likely fall for these (I recommend using them wet!), and if you like jelly-esque glosses, Glimmerglass might catch your eye. My favorite part of the launch was easily the two new nail lacquers (Seriously Hip and Baby Goth Girl)!

Edited: If you want something from this collection, I think you can make it work for you.  Not every product is perfect right out of the box/tube, so if something about it calls to you, don’t be afraid to see how it works for you.  Use a concealer base (or MAC Lip Erase) to help combat some of lipstick unevenness/application issues; lip liner to prevent intense lip colors from bleeding; sheer glosses over more intense lip color to add dimension; and so on.  It’s just a matter of what you’re looking for, whether you want to experiment to see what works best, etc.  Personally, I like things to work well with little effort, but that’s just me. :)

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-Haves: Seriously Hip Nail Lacquer, Bling Black Glimmerglass, Volcanic Ash Exfoliator, Black Greasepaint Stick
Nice-to-Haves: Baby Goth Girl Nail Lacquer, Night Violet Mattene, Midnight Media Mattene, Blackfire Glimmerglass, Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask
Skip: Black Knight Lipstick, Nocturnelle Nail Lacquer

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

P.S. – I will do a review of the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and Thermal Mask after using both for a week or two :) I LOVED VAE when it first came out, so if it’s the same stuff… I will love it equally as much. I would recommend snatching both up if you’re leaning towards yes, because I know a ton of people are stocking up on both so sell-out risk seems high!

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

MAC Trend F/W Collection:  Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Trend F/W ’09 Collection Review: Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Trend F/W Collection launches in-store today across North America locations, and the collection includes four lipsticks, three lipglasses, an eyeshadow quad, and a fragrance. The Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad consists of four eyeshadows, all cool-toned with a mixture of finishes.

Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00 U.S. / $43.00 CDN)

  • A Warmer White is a cool-toned satiny white that casts a bit green. The pigmentation is decent and doesn’t come off looking too stark or chalky.
  • Tone: Grey is a soft, medium grey with a satin finish that has a cool blue-gray sheen. The pigmentation level is decent, though not intense; the shade itself is a bit muted.
  • The Right Smoke is a bright medium-dark blue with a soft blue sheen and has a frost finish. This is like a bluer Deep Truth (or if you mixed Freshwater and Deep Truth together). I’m so tired of seeing this blue, I can’t even tell you how much! This shade is the most pigmented of the four.
  • Waft is a dirty taupe grey–kind of pewter, but not quite–with a taupe sheen and a frost finish. Like the other shadows in this quad, it has decent color pay off, but it’s not intensely pigmented.

The eyeshadow quad actually reminds me of the Gentle Fume eyeshadow quad from Smoke Signals. It isn’t the same, but at first glance, it definitely was reminiscent of it (it doesn’t help that Waft was also in the Gentle Fume quad!). The quad is a nice pairing of shadows for smoky looks with a cool-toned theme. I don’t think this quad is particularly unique or a must-have, because you could easily create the same kind of quad with existing MAC shades that would just as easily suit you.

For those looking for dupes, A Warmer White is similar to Gesso (but without the barely-there-green tint); Tone: Grey is similar to Scene; The Right Smoke is similar to Deep Truth; and Waft is similar to Print (but without the frost or taupe — add a touch of Satin Taupe to fix that).

To get an idea on what kind of look you could create with this quad, check out this silver, gray, and blue look I did using the Gentle Fume eyeshadow quad.

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

Recommendation: If you don’t have similar shades and are looking for a cool-toned, slightly blue-leaning smoky palette, you’d like this!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

See more photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Barbie Loves Stila Smudge Pots

Barbie Loves Stila Cobalt Clutch & Purple Pumps Smudge Pot

Barbie Loves Stila Cobalt Clutch & Purple Pumps Smudge Pot ($20.00 each) are two of the three new smudge pot shades released with Stila’s Barbie Loves Stila Collection for the fall season. (Little Black Dress is the third shade–and it is on its way to me; as soon as I have it, you know I’ll be reviewing it!)

Purple Pumps is a shimmery shade of violet with a lighter violet-purple shimmer laced throughout the creamy gel liner. It is one of the sheerer smudge pots I’ve tested, but it can be layered for a more opaque look. I found layering was best achieved with a stiff, flat bristled brush (I used MAC’s 249).

Cobalt Clutch is a ridiculously vibrant shade of sea-water blue with a slight sky blue sheen (but more of a sheen than a shimmer). It goes on opaque without any need for layering, unlike Purple Pumps, and the shade is definitely intense. It will definitely look stunning as an eyeliner, but it could be used as a base for some really in-your-face eye color. (I am fairly certain it is the vibrant blue used in the Stila Smitten With Kitten Collection promotional image.)

I’ve always been a fan of Stila’s smudge pots. They’re smudgeproof, budgeproof, and wear all day without fading or creasing. They come in a variety of shades–one surely to entice you–and they’ll last you forever. I haven’t had any of mine dry out on me yet, either, which is a huge plus, because some gel liners have a tendency to dry out within a year.

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

Recommendation: These are not to be missed if you’re a gel liner fan (or a Smudge Pot fan in general!), because these are some bright-eyed shades you don’t see often.

Availability: Stila Cosmetics

See swatchesContinue reading →

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Givenchy Gloss Poetique

Givenchy Gloss Poetique Lip Gloss in Poetique Rose

Givenchy Gloss Poetique Lip Gloss in Poetique Rose ($45.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a lightweight, non-sticky, lightly tinted lip balm released with Givenchy’s Les Poetiques Collection for the fall season.

The product does everything it is supposed to do: truly enhances your natural lip color to a slightly flushed, just-kissed glossy pucker. It’s not sticky in the least bit, and it feels a bit like a lip jelly than a lip balm. It is also incredibly hydrating on lips and keeps them feeling soft and smooth for hours. The product itself doesn’t actually tint your lips like a lip stain, but it does seem to bring out the natural hues in your lips.

My lips tend to look a bit dull and corpse-ish when left alone, but with this glossed on, my lips had a pretty rosy look to them that wasn’t really colored so much as enhanced. It looked very natural and as if I was wearing clear gloss (though I definitely wasn’t!).

Like Givenchy packaging typically it is, it is both pretty and functional with the logo on the cover. Inside is a mirror, and underneath the gloss are three applicators — two bristled brushes and one sponge-tipped applicator. They’re useable, though just a bit stiff. Interesting enough, the gloss looks like there’s a design of the Givenchy emblem, but it’s actually printed at the bottom of the pan, so you don’t disturb it whatsoever. The lip balm has kind of a perfume-y strawberry scent, which I like, but some may find too artificial to enjoy.

I’m not really going to get into value — the price tag is steep, and they don’t give you a tub of it to really merit such a splurge. But if you like it, enjoy it, and don’t worry about the price tag so long as it’s within your budget! :)

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: Looks incredibly lovely on lips–totally enhances your natural lip color and makes it the best it can be, but for a price!

Availability: Sephora

See swatchesContinue reading →

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Barbie Loves Stila All Doll'd Up Eyeshadow Palette

Barbie Loves Stila All Doll’d Up Eyeshadow Palette

Barbie Loves Stila All Doll’d Up Palette ($28.00 for 0.36 oz.) is a refillable compact featuring four eyeshadow trios. Each eyeshadow has three stripes of color. It is part of Barbie Loves Stila for Fall.

MAKE A MAD DASH TO GET THIS PALETTE. LIKE… YESTERDAY!

I’m a seasoned beauty addict–I’ve seen and tested and loved a plethora of products. It takes a lot to *truly* knock my socks off these days. There are a lot of great products–even amazing products–but there are fewer absolutely, positively excellent products. Stila’s All Doll’d Up Palette is one of those rare gems beauty addicts live to uncover. Not only is it a stunning combination of shades and colors chocked full of quality shadows, but it holds tremendous value. You get ten fold what you pay for.

Shade rundown…

  • Trio #1: Soft champagne with shimmer; coppery brown with a softer sheen/shimmer; a cool-toned pink with an iciness to it
  • Trio #2: A bold lightly shimmered teal; deep grayish-brown with shimmer; iridescent violet with fuchsia undertones
  • Trio #3: Periwinkle blue with soft shimmer sheen; a dark black-brown with silver sparkle; dirty champagne taupe with gray
  • Trio #4: Pop of peach with gold shimmer; brown with a greenish cast; springy green with pale green-gold shimmer

Every shade is silky smooth with excellent color pay off. There is not a single fussy shade; no shade that does not earn its keep and position in this packed palette. The colors are diverse and the different looks one could create are immense. I love that each trio is almost a look in itself, but you can also mix and match the shades as you please. It is just so rare to find a palette that is consistent from shade to shade and there’s no shade that feels like it was just thrown in.

I absolutely recommend this palette to everyone, even the color-shy. It’s available at an incredible price, so even if you only want to experiment with color, this is a chance to get twelve high-quality shades without paying an arm and a leg. Truthfully, I would have purchased this quad for $40, easily. I wouldn’t have batted an eye! For those who aren’t sure just how great of a deal this really is, compare…

  • Stila All Doll’d Up Eyeshadow Palette: $77.78/oz.
  • MAC Eyeshadow Quad: $144.00/oz.
  • Benefit Velvet Eyeshadow (Single): $163.64/oz.
  • Almay Eyeshadow Trio: $57.31/oz.

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

Recommendation: Buy one for yourself and a friend! I’m seriously considering giving one of these to my friends/family for the holidays! Amazing pigmentation, great price, and cute packaging to boot!

Availability: Stila Cosmetics

Update:  I e-mailed Stila about international distribution, and they informed me that it is U.S. only.  I did relay your interest as international customers to them as well!

See swatchesContinue reading →