Saturday, December 18th, 2010

MAC Cham-Pale Lipsticks
MAC Calm Mode Tinted Lip Conditioner

MAC Cham-Pale: Lip Conditioners

MAC Lip Conditioners SPF15 + Lavender ($14.50 for 0.5 oz.) are potted lip balms and new and limited edition with Cham-Pale.  There is one that is tinted, Calm Mode, which MAC describes as a “light neutral beige,” while the other is colorless.  I actually found it more of a soft neutral pink than a beige–very much my-lips-but-better kind of a shade.   Well, maybe not for me, as it’s a little light, so it can look obvious and milky on my lips in particular, but it’s that type of a pink; subtle, rosy, easy to wear.  It is incredibly similar to last year’s Feelin’ Good.

The lip conditioners had a very light scent to them – vanilla and something, but I couldn’t detect any lavender to it (my nose is by no means a superior sniffer, though).  The scent of these is nothing like Fix+ Lavender (good news for me!).  Even though the formula is nice enough–smooth, moisturizing, comfortable–potted balms aren’t as sanitary as I’d like.  For me, lip balm is something I carry around in my purse or pocket, that I probably reapply a couple of times a day as needed.  With a potted lip balm, you need to be sure to use only clean fingers or else a lip brush.  I also wish these lasted longer, as I feel like they disappear within an hour or two.

I will also caution you about the tube versions of MAC’s Lip Conditioner (not promoted in this launch), as the caps easily come off in my bag.  I was constantly finding mine un-capped, rolling around in who-knows-what at the bottom of my bag, and it was just gross.  I’ll keep this at my desk or on my night stand, but it’s not travel-friendly enough for me to use regularly.  (Plus, Jack Black’s lip balms work better for my lips!)

MAC Cham-Pale Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: I like the color of Calm Mode, and if you find your lips need a lil’ extra pink to make them look alive, you might consider grabbing a pot of it.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Saturday, December 18th, 2010

MAC Cham-Pale Paint Pots
MAC Paint Pots: Chilled on Ice, Dangerous Cuvee, Let Me Pop, Vintage Selection

MAC Cham-Pale: Paint Pots

MAC Paint Pots ($16.50 for 0.17 oz.) are part of the permanent line, and it feels like it’s been forever since we’ve seen anything new in the range, but Cham-Pale brings to us four new and limited edition variations: Chilled on Ice (frosted white gold), Dangerous Cuvee (frosted cool grey), Let Me Pop (frosted light copper), and Vintage Selection (frosted dirty peach).

  • Chilled on Ice is a cool-toned iridescent pale yellow gold.  It is interesting because it seems cool-toned but yet it is a gold, which is often a warmer hue.
  • Dangerous Cuvee is a navy-tinged gray with a silvery-white sheen and shimmer.
  • Let Me Pop is a medium-dark copper with a golden copper sheen.  In the pot, it resembles Melon pigment, but when worn, it’s anything but.
  • Vintage Selection is a medium taupe brown.  It has a highly reflective frosted sheen.  It was the most opaque of the four.

Paint Pots can be used alone like a cream eyeshadow or as a base for your eyeshadows–I would say the latter is the more popular usage, though. I happen to use them as eyeshadow bases myself, because I find that most shades lend themselves to such rather than be worn alone. Whether I wear them alone or underneath eyehadow, they wear all day, and they are actually quite water-resistant, too.

These shades have a slightly creamier, but sheerer, formula than typical paint pots, which I imagine is due to the higher shimmer content in these.  They’re part shimmer, part metallic (but definitely not true metallics!).  The effect is reminiscent of Bobbi Brown’s Metallic Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadows, but these are more shimmer, less glitter, and generally speaking, more opaque (not that they are opaque).  They are easy to blend out and can be worn on their own, because they can be softened at the edges and sheered out enough to be worn in that fashion.

I felt that these took a wee bit longer to dry than other paint pots, but they still dried down and stayed in place.  My big concern with these is the sheerness, because I could not build up the color.  In the past, paint pots have been rather opaque, so it’s hard to know if this was simply the desired result for these in particular or if there is a deficiency of pigment.  However, since the official description is still “[a] highly pigmented eye colour that goes on creamy but dries to an intense, vibrant finish,” I would expect more intensity from these–at the very least, achievable by layering.

MAC Cham-Pale Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: As much as I wanted to fall in love with these, I’m a little underwhelmed.  The sheerness isn’t what I would expect from the paint pot formula, but it may be a welcomed characteristic to others.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Saturday, December 18th, 2010

MAC Caviar Dreams Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Caviar Dreams Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Cham-Pale: Caviar Dreams Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Caviar Dreams Eyeashadow Quad ($36.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a new and limited edition quad that contains these shades: Brule (soft creamy beige), Caviar Dreams (dirty frosted pewter), Et tu, Bouquet? (frosted pale pink), and Retrospeck (beached blonde).

  • Brule is a neutral light beige with a barely-there sheen.  It has a satin finish, and it is permanent.  It makes for a nice all-over color on the lid or as a highlighter.
  • Caviar Dreams is a cool-toned medium-dark brown with flecks of bronze shimmer and sheen.  It has a lustre finish, and it is new and limited edition.  It originally reminded me of Club eyeshadow but without the duochrome.  The pigmentation was decent, but it could have been a little more intense, given how dark it looks in the pan.  It’s less pewter than described–more taupe than pewter, I’d say.  I did have some fall out when I used it in the crease.  It seemed similar to Charcoal Brown or Corduroy.
  • Et tu, Bouquet? is a pale pink with a frosted, white sheen.  It has a frost finish, and it is limited edition but a repromote from A Rose Romance in 2009.  Pink Freeze, while a little pinker, would dupe it in a pinch.
  • Retrospeck is a softened gold with gold shimmer-glitter.  It has a lustre finish, and it is permanent.  It seemed less gritty than I remember it being, but I still had fall out concerns when I wore it.

It’s a nice neutral quad with a good mix of colors, but one of my concerns about the quad, but also the collection in general, is how shimmery, glittery, or otherwise reflective the products are.  When I wore this on my eyes, paired with one of the Special Reserve Highlighters, and a lipgelee, it felt like overkill.   Both lustre finish shades had noticeable fall out, and the gritty look of lustres underneath the eye makes one look a little haggard.

MAC Cham-Pale Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a nice quad color-wise, but it’s not the greatest neutral palette I’ve come across.   The fall out of two of the four shades makes this something I wouldn’t recommend, just because good eyeshadows shouldn’t have that problem.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquer
Noble Passion, High Wire, Magic at Dusk, Dynamique

A Quick Look at Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquers

Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquers ($15.00 for 0.14 fl. oz.) saw the addition of four shades for their fall collection, Le Cirque:

  • Noble Passion is a deep, iridescent navy blue with brightened blue-violet shimmer. This is a really cool shade. It glows in natural light as well as full light–not something every polish can do! It was almost pigmented enough in one coat, but I used two. It was reminiscent of Orly’s Lunar Eclipse, but while there are some similarities, they do look different and have totally opposite finishes. I also felt like a comparison could be made to Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Scrangie in the kind of feel–but the two are not the same in color at all.
  • High Wire is a mauve-tinged silvered gray with a metallic finish. With the more metallic finish, I did get brush strokes, but color was incredibly pigmented with just one coat used here. I couldn’t think of any dupes for this shade.
  • Magic at Dusk is a muted beige-pink with coppered gold shimmer. Two coats. I couldn’t think of any dupes for this shade.
  • Dynamique is an ultra deep, dark burgundy-red cream. Just one coat. It is similar to Essie’s Velvet Voyeur but with more red.

Le Metier de Beaute’s Nail Lacquers come an undoubtedly painful price point. These are tiny little bottles with still-hefty price tags, but the formula is dreamy. It’s not too thick or thin, but what stands out is the pigmentation–very rich, intense pigment in nearly one stroke. I think if I was a little more careful, I could have made some of these one coaters. I was able to get a full week’s worth of wear with just minor tip wear.

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: 29/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: From these four, I think three of them are really interesting shades–so in that respect, I liken this brand to Chanel. It’s a luxury brand, so if it’s something within your budget, I think they’re worth a look–especially now that the brand has increased their distribution channels.

AVAILABILITY: Neiman Marcus

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Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Kat Von D Black Metal Love Autograph Pencil
Kat Von D Black Metal Love Autograph Pencil

Quick Review: Kat Von D Black Metal Love Autograph Pencil

Kat Von D Black Metal Love Autograph Pencil ($18.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a medium-dark black base with silver micro-glitter. It also looks like there are flecks of teal in it when the light hits just right. Sephora describes it as a “matte black with silver micro-glitter.” If you were hoping for a deep dark black–from descriptions only–it sounds like Puro Amor may be the one to consider. It also has a sharpener in the cap and a smudging sponge on the other end.

It’s a very smooth, creamy formula that’s easy to smudge, but takes a few extra seconds to dry down–great for smudging purposes, and if you close your eyes tightly for a few seconds, you can even get some tight-lining done. Since it has glitter in the formula, I kept it away from my water line but wore it on my lower lash line and had good results. I had some fading after four or five hours, but it looked about 80% there after eight.

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: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The creaminess of the formula made it incredibly easy to work with, but I wish it lasted a bit better.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Cover Girl Bronze Glow (770) Lipstick
CoverGirl Bronze Glow (770) Continuous Color Lipstick

Quick Review: CoverGirl Bronze Glow (770) Continuous Color Lipstick

CoverGirl Bronze Glow (770) Continuous Color Lipstick ($5.49 for 0.13 oz.) is a coppery orange that applies nearly opaque with a slight frosted sheen. It’s creamy enough to apply evenly with little effort, and the color coverage is noteworthy for a drugstore brand. For me, the biggest was surprise was the lack of scent (or taste)–so many drugstore brands have the most synthetically sweet scents I’ve come across, which be a big turn off for some. The wear was average (four hours), and I didn’t find it drying, but I didn’t find it moisturizing either.

The packaging feels cheap, and it seems like it gets dinged up quite easily, as the inside is all scratched up, and this is photographed brand new.   For the price tag, I think you sometimes have to give up nicer packaging, though.

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: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a nice, affordable choice for warmer skin tones and deeper skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →