Friday, December 31st, 2010

Philosophy Peppermint Bark
Philosophy Peppermint Bark

Quick Review: Philosophy Peppermint Bark

Philosophy Peppermint Bark Shower Gel ($11.00 for 16 oz.) is a rich, chocolaty scent with an underlying peppermint sweetness.  The coolest part about this seasonal scent is really the color of it.  It looks like scarlet silk!  It’s not overwhelmingly sweet, though it’s certainly a foodie scent.

Philosophy Shower Gels are one of my personal favorites for body washes, because they come in an assortment of scents, with new ones each season. They lather up well and leave skin feeling clean without any tightness or dryness. I wouldn’t call these a moisturizing body wash nor do their scents linger. If you prefer your body wash to leave behind a long-lasting scent, these won’t be for you, but if you like to enjoy the scent while you shower but don’t want it to linger beyond, then these are perfect. (I belong to the latter category!) I don’t find them to lather quite as well in the hair, and they work in a pinch to clean hair, but I prefer many other shampoos over this one. It does, however, work well as a bubble bath, too–a little goes a long way.

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you love peppermint bark, peppermint chocolate, or mint chocolate, this might be worth picking up.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Chanel Coquette Rouge Allure Lipstick
Chanel Coquette Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Spring 2011: Coquette

Chanel Coquette (85) Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a softened pinky-coral with cool-toned, fuchsia iridescence. It is almost opaque, but a hint of my lip freckle still peeks through, but this is a very creamy, moisturizing shade within the Rouge Allure formula. The color glides on effortlessly and wears for a solid five hours.

Rouge Allures have a slight rose scent, but I’ve found that the scent is usually subtle though occasionally a tube will have a more concentrated rose scent. (I’m not personally bothered by the scent, but those with more sensitive noses may want to check it out in person.) I get between four to six hours of wear, as Rouge Allures tend to wear longer than average on me.

The closest dupe I could come up with was Korres #18, which is pinker with gold shimmer. MAC Crosswires is more orange-based and a touch darker. NARS Niagara is closest in the pink color (though a little cooler) but doesn’t have the shimmer.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s yet another shade that will be flattering on a wide range of skin tones, and it is natural enough to be worn often but still has enough color to add brightness to the face.  What makes the shade more unique is the integration of fuchsia shimmer in the color base, as most variations in this color family opt for gold.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Philosophy Hot Buttered Rum
Philosophy Hot Buttered Rum

Quick Review: Philosophy Hot Buttered Rum

Philosophy Hot Buttered Rum Shower Gel ($16.00 for 16 oz.) is a rich, buttery scent of caramel and sweetness; it’s a little sweeter than butterscotch but has the same sweetness of syrup without being overwhelming.  It’s a very foodie scent, but it has quickly become one of my favorite holiday scents from Philosophy this year.

Philosophy Shower Gels are one of my personal favorites for body washes, because they come in an assortment of scents, with new ones each season. They lather up well and leave skin feeling clean without any tightness or dryness. I wouldn’t call these a moisturizing body wash nor do their scents linger. If you prefer your body wash to leave behind a long-lasting scent, these won’t be for you, but if you like to enjoy the scent while you shower but don’t want it to linger beyond, then these are perfect. (I belong to the latter category!) I don’t find them to lather quite as well in the hair, and they work in a pinch to clean hair, but I prefer many other shampoos over this one. It does, however, work well as a bubble bath, too–a little goes a long way.

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you are a fan of sweet, buttery scents like butterscotch and caramel, you may like this.

WHERE TO BUY: Philosophy

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

MAC Sur Blush
MAC Sur Blush

MAC Mickey Contractor: Sur Blush

MAC Sur Blush ($18.50 for 0.21 oz.) is new and limited edition blush from MAC Mickey Contractor. MAC describes it as a “dirty rose brown” with a satin finish. When I swatched, I found Sur to be a rosied brown with a pearly sheen. It’s a really nice natural blusher–it’ll give your cheeks a little oh-la-la and dimension without too much color. I see this working well on light to medium-dark skin tones; darkest skin tones may find it gets lost when used.

It seems quite comparable to Notable (Makeup Art Cosmetics, ’09)–possibly a touch lighter and with a more noticeable sheen. It seems similar to Blushbaby, too, though browner.

P.S. — On eyes, I am wearing Jaan eyeshadow on the lid, Vivah eyeshadow on the outer lid/crease, Folie in the crease, Burberry Trench to highlight, Ivy fluidline on upper lash line, Urban Decay Perversion on lower water line, Jaan eyeshadow on lower lash line. On lips, I am wearing Yash lipstick with Lust lipglass on top. On cheeks, I am wearing Sur Blush.

MAC Mickey Contractor will be available on January 6th at select North American stores and January 2011 for select international stores. It will be available online on approximately January 4th but may not be available until the 6th.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s a very easy, everyday kind of blush that’s everyday without adding color but more about definition and dimension.  It does add some color, don’t get me wrong, but it’s very natural.

WHERE TO BUY: maccosmetics.com

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Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

MAC Gana Blush
MAC Gana Blush

MAC Mickey Contractor: Gana Blush

MAC Gana Blush ($18.50 for 0.21 oz.) is new and limited edition blush from MAC Mickey Contractor. MAC describes it as a “bright white gold” with a frost finish. When I swatched, I found Gana to be a gilded champagne with a bright sheen–slightly frosty but more of a sheen. I like it better as a highlighter than a blush, just because it seems to make me look a bit washed out when used as a blusher. It has a very soft, smooth texture and plenty of pigment.

I’ll have to do a comparison to be sure, but this seems similar to Trace Gold, which is part of the permanent line; the biggest difference seems in the texture–this is smoother, more sheen than shimmer.

P.S. — On eyes, I am wearing Jaan eyeshadow on the lid, Vivah eyeshadow on the outer lid/crease, Folie in the crease, Burberry Trench to highlight, Ivy fluidline on upper lash line, Urban Decay Perversion on lower water line, Jaan eyeshadow on lower lash line. On lips, I am wearing Yash lipstick with Lust lipglass on top. On cheeks, I am wearing Gana blush.

MAC Mickey Contractor will be available on January 6th at select North American stores and January 2011 for select international stores. It will be available online on approximately January 4th but may not be available until the 6th.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you sheer it out enough, it could work as a very soft, all-over-glow kind of product, but it is easier to use it as a highlighter where you need it.

WHERE TO BUY: maccosmetics.com

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Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

MAC Marvel Eyeshadow
MAC Marvel Eyeshadow

MAC Mickey Contractor: Eyeshadows

There are four new and limited edition Eyeshadows ($14.50 for 0.05 oz.) in MAC’s Mickey Contractor Collection. They include: Marvel (deep purple with soft pink pearl), Oomph (forest green with soft gold pearl), Rani (bright fuchsia with soft pink pearl), and Saffron (deep coral caramel).

  • Marvel is a grape purple with soft purple micro-shimmer. I had some pigmentation issues with this shade; it seemed a little sheer–really couldn’t get it to build up as nicely as I’d like to see. This is a frost finish. It is a brighter version of Top Hat (Starflash ’08), less intense version of Push the Edge pigment (Make Up Art Cosmetics ’09), less pigmented version of Grape pigment, similar to Violet pigment, and more purple than Fertile (Strange Hybrid ’08). I’d also say it’s a mix of Satellite Dreams and Purple Haze as far as permanent shades go.
  • Oomph is a blackened forest green with subtle gold shimmer-sheen. This is a veluxe pearl finish. Given the veluxe pearl finish, it seems less pigmented and not nearly as buttery as other shades in the same finish. It’s slightly greener than Greensmoke (discontinued), darker and blacker than Humid NARS Night Porter is closest but more pigmented.
  • Rani is a brightened medium fuchsia pink with subtle white micro-shimmer. It’s a little sheerer than I’d like to see. This is a frost finish. It’s a less iridescent version of Romping (C-Shock ’07, Hello Kitty’ 09), significantly pinker than Passionate, and pinker (less fuchsia) than Madly Personal (Stylishly Yours ’10).  I’d opt for Make Up For Ever #75 if you want something really pink.  NARS Divine (pink side) also seems quite similar.
  • Saffron is a softened, burnt orange with subtle micro-shimmer. This is a satin finish. It was smooth, pigmented, and easy to blend out. It’s a less orange, rustier version of Rule.  Maybe like a combination of Red Brick and Rule but with a satin finish.

Oddly enough, it is the neutral shade (Saffron) which has the best pigmentation and smoothest texture. The other shades were a little disappointing in pigmentation, and I think they are easier to dupe. Also, noteworthy, Oomph only has 0.04 oz., while the other three are the typical 0.05 oz. size. I wonder why that is!

MAC Mickey Contractor will be available on January 6th at select North American stores and January 2011 for select international stores. It will be available online on approximately January 4th but may not be available until the 6th.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I would skip Marvel, consider Oomph and Rani, while Saffron would be my top pick.  I’m not keen on handing out an overall rating across four eyeshadows with varying pigmentation issues.  Saffron certainly does not deserve a lower rating because Marvel suffers from pigmentation and textural issues!  Saffron lies in the B+/A- range, while Marvel is at the bottom at a C/C+ range.  Oomph and Rani hover around a B/B-.

WHERE TO BUY: maccosmetics.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →