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Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Makeup Geek Hipster Eyeshadow
Makeup Geek Eyeshadows: Glamorous (inner lid), Mango Tango (middle of lid),
Simply Marlena (outer lid), Duchess (crease), Peach Smoothie (brow), Liquid Gold (lash line)

Makeup Geek Glamorous Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “shimmery bronze gold.” It’s a golden copper with subtle hints of brown and a soft, frosted finish. At a glance, it doesn’t seem overly complicated, but when swatched and applied, there are so many layers to it–it’s not quite orange, copper, or brown, but a mix, and the golden shimmer makes it look lit from within. It had excellent color payoff, was soft and silky to the touch, and blended easily. It wore well for eight and a half hours before showing signs of fading. Anastasia Rum Cake (LE) is browner. Makeup Geek Vegas Lights (P, $6.99) is more orange, sparkly. LORAC Gold (P) is similar but more frosted. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Starlet #4 (P) is slightly more orange, more frosted. Guerlain Cuivre Ora (LE, $35.00) is darker, more orange and frosted. NARS Isolde #1 (P, $24.00) is more golden. See comparison swatches.

Goddess Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “metallic pale copper.” It’s a medium-dark, coppery brown with a soft, satiny finish. It didn’t read metallic when I swatched it; quite the opposite, smoother, softer, and satin to pearl in finish. It is darker, warmer, and more orange compared to Glamorous. The color payoff was fantastic, and the consistency was soft and buttery.  It wore well for almost nine hours before fading.  Cle de Peau #121 (LE, $45.00) is browner. Makeup Geek Vegas Lights (P, $6.99) is more metallic but very similar in color. Sleek MakeUP Sunset #9 (P, $9.99) is more metallic. Sugarpill Asteria (LE, $12.00) is also more metallic, brighter. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Starlet #4 (P) is more metallic, lighter. Guerlain Cuivre Ora (LE, $35.00) is similar but more metallic. See comparison swatches.

Hipster Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “dark sand and light taupe tan with slight shimmer.” It’s a medium-dark, muted brown with neutral-to-warm undertones and a satin finish. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was easy to blend, but it could be a little softer and more pigmented. It wore well for eight hours before starting to fade on the lid.  Urban Decay Factory (P, $18.00) is darker. NARS Flowers 3 #3 (LE, $24.00) is a touch lighter. Dior Fairy Golds #5 (LE) is darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

Glamorous

Temptalia Recommends
A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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product

Goddess

A

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Hipster

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, December 9th, 2013

China Glaze Just Be-Claws Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Just Be-Claws Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Just Be-Claws Nail Lacquer ($7.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “red with an aluminum-like mirror finish.” It’s a medium-dark, rich ruby red with subtle, cool undertones and a high-shine, metallic finish. There is a lot of depth to this color–China Glaze really knocked this one out of the park. It was mostly opaque after one coat, but I applied two coats to be sure, and you’ll find there’s a richness to the finish with two. The consistency of the formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it spread evenly and without bubbling or pooling along the edges. Cult Nails Annalicious (LE, $12.00) is warmer but similar in the finish. China Glaze Cranberry Splash (LE, $7.50) is very similar, slightly cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Put a Bow on It Nail Lacquer ($7.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “magenta glitter.” It’s a sparkling, muted pink-shimmered purple micro-glitter. It has a sandy, sparkly texture, and it dries to a mostly matte finish (the sparkle isn’t totally matte). This shade was mostly opaque after two coats. The consistency was on the thinner side. I don’t have any dupes for this shade, especially because of the finish; the only shade I considered was Zoya Carly (P, $8.00), which is darker and has a totally different finish (they’re not dupes at all).

This is Tree-mendous Nail Lacquer ($7.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “green with fine gold glitter.” It’s a mix of light-medium, yellow-toned green, emerald green, and light gold micro-shimmer and micro-glitter. It has that sandy, sparkly texture that’s mostly matte but still sparkles here and there. The consistency of the formula was thinner and a little watery, and the color payoff was still noticeably sheer after two coats. Ironically, I think it’s too dense, though, to work better as a top coat, as it will cover a lot of the underlying polish, but using a green or gold polish underneath for one coat would help this look more opaque with less coats. The only other green sand-textured shade I have is Zoya Chita (P, $8.00), which is several shades darker and less warm-toned.

The Glossover

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product

Just Be-Claws

Temptalia Recommends
A

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Put a Bow on It

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

This is Tree-mendous

B-

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Guerlain Les Voilettes Translucent Compact Powder
Guerlain Les Voilettes Translucent Compact Powder

Guerlain Les Voilettes Translucent Compact Powder ($56.00 for 0.22 oz.) is described as an “ultra-absorbent blend [that] perfectly sets makeup and adorns skin in a matte veil.” It’s a sheer, tinted powder that mattifies the skin–my skin looks like the smoothest velvet after applying over foundation. The texture is incredibly finely-milled, silky smooth, and blends easily across the skin.  I used shade Medium, and it only comes in four shades–Light, Intense, and Dore are the other three.

I’ve used it primarily with Guerlain Tenue de Perfection, and it increased the longevity of that foundation by two to three hours. The most stunning aspect of this powder is really how much smoother and pore-less the skin looked after applying a light veil of product. This powder is a touch darker than my skin tone, but as the foundation I often used it with was slightly too light for me, the two worked perfectly together to give me a really nice shade match. (This is also something I’ve done in the past with Guerlain’s Les Voilettes loose powder.) It’s a very close match to my arm when I swatched it, so it may be difficult to see it there, but I think you can easily just how smooth and velvety this makes the skin look in the photos below, which is really what its purpose.

The Glossover

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Medium

Temptalia Recommends
A+

It's a sheer, tinted powder that mattifies the skin--my skin looks like the smoothest velvet after applying over foundation. The texture is incredibly finely-milled, silky smooth, and blends easily across the skin. It photographs exceptionally well, too.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes
Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes

Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes ($48.00 for 0.36 oz.) contains twelve eyeshadows. The palette leans just slightly cool-toned, though there are some warmer shades included. It’s a mix of peach, brown, and plum; with more matte finishes than the average palette. Some shades seem to be part of the permanent range, while others are not. The ones that aren’t include (based on looking at Laura Mercier’s website): Sparkling Dew, Violet Ink, and Espresso.  The palette is really consistent across the board; all shades had nice color payoff with some hitting it totally out of the park and others just being slightly under, but all the shades are easy to work with, blendable, wear well (eight and a half hours without creasing/fading), and apply easily.

Normally, Laura Mercier eyeshadows are $23 a pop for 0.09 oz., so the palette is a value of $92. The main advantage is that most people take years to even hit pan on an average sized eyeshadow (0.05 oz.), let alone one twice the size, so you get a lot more variety for a little more than the cost of buying two eyeshadows individually.  This palette is exclusive to Sephora, and it’s on a lot of wish lists from readers’ for the VIB sale, so it may sell out. YEP! this sold out late afternoon/early evening on 11/7. You might still be able to find it in store! (I wish I could have gotten this up sooner for you, but by the time I purchased it due to reader requests, received it, and finished testing it… this was as fast as I could do it. So sorry!)

Sparkling Dew is a pale, soft peach with a hint of pink and barely-there warm undertones. It had a soft, frosted finish. The texture was incredibly soft, finely-milled, and blendable. It had good color payoff. It was a smidgen on the powdery side, one of the drawbacks of such a soft texture, but it did not seem to show on the lid. When this is sheered out, the frost finish becomes more pronounced. Too Faced Whiskers on Kittens (LE) and Too Faced Spike the Punch (LE) are both warmer. Urban Decay Dope (LE, $18.00) is similar. MAC Easy Gesture (LE, $15.00) is similar. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Tease #4 (P) is pinker. Urban Decay Snatch (P, $18.00) is darker, glittery. MAC Orb (P, $15.00) is less frosted. See comparison swatches.

Guava is described as a “peach stucco.” It’s a light-medium, peachy-pink with a pale golden sheen and light warm undertones. It had a soft, frosted finish with good color payoff and the same soft, buttery texture that tended towards very, very slightly powdery. Too Faced Ringleader (LE) is slightly warmer. Urban Decay Snatch (P, $18.00) is glittery. MAC Dynamic Duo 1 #1 (LE, $15.00) is similar. Le Metier de Beaute Nouvelle (LE, $30.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

African Violet is described as a “violet copper shimmer.” It’s a cool-toned, violet purple with a golden frost. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was very soft but didn’t bind together as beautifully as other shades. Over a base, you shouldn’t have any issues with it. theBalm A1 (LE, $16.00) is less golden. Fyrinnae Meerkat (Pressed) (P, $8.25) and Fyrinnae Meerkat (P, $6.80) are brighter. theBalm rem (P, $16.00) is more muted, purpler. Urban Decay Bordello (P, $18.00) is warmer. MAC Neo Nebula (LE, $21.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Plum Smoke is described as a “smoke amethyst.” It’s a muted, smoky purple with neutral-to-cool undertones and a matte finish. The texture was incredibly soft, finely-milled, and a little buttery, with great color payoff and no powderiness. Too Faced Mulberry (LE) is darker. MAC Stormy Pink (P, $18.50) is lighter, grayer, cream product. LORAC Mauve (P) is pinker. Benefit Rain Check (P, $20.00) is darker. Inglot #358 (P, $6.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Kir Royal is described as a “deep aubergine.” It’s a dark, burgundy-brown with a satin finish and warm undertones. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was fairly soft. Tarina Tarantino Deep Dahlia (LE) is darker. Kat Von D Wonderland (LE) is darker. Chanel Delicatesse #4 (LE) is similar. Kat Von D Fur Elise (P) is also similar. Make Up For Ever #141 (P, $20.00) is lighter. MAC Festive Delight (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Palace Pedigreed (LE, $15.00) is cooler-toned. Burberry Mulberry (24) (P) is similar but more frosted. See comparison swatches.

Violet Ink is a muted, neutral-to-warm eggplant purple with a matte finish. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft, blendable, and easy to apply. Tarina Tarantino Deep Dahlia (LE) is slightly warmer. Disney by Sephora Master (LE) is more shimmery. bareMinerals Nightcap (P) is more intense. MAC Fig. 1 (P, $15.00) is also more intense. Make Up For Ever #160 (P, $20.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches.

Vanilla Nuts is described as a “light neutral champagne.” It’s a cool-toned, pink-tinged beige with a matte finish. It had excellent color payoff, and the texture was very soft–it might look a little chalky on deeper skin tones. Too Faced Powdered Sugar (LE) is similar. Tom Ford Beauty In the Pink #1 (LE) is pinker. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Tease #3 (P) is similar. theBalm Matt Chung (LE, $16.00) is cooler-toned. NARS Douce France #1 (LE, $24.00) is cooler-toned. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse #1 (LE) is whiter. Chanel Variation #1 (P) is shimmery. Chanel Premier Regard #2 (P) is similar. Inglot #356 (P, $6.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Primrose is described as a “yellow pink with golden pearl.” It’s a light-medium, peachy beige with a frosted sheen. It had good color payoff, but it had such an interesting texture–it almost felt like a solid, wet cream product, but it is a powder. Tarina Tarantino Tiny Pansie (LE) is similar. Tom Ford Beauty In the Pink #2 (LE) is similar. Dior Chimere (821) (P, $30.00) is a cream product, cooler-toned. Too Faced Ringleader (LE) is similar. theBalm Stubborn (P, $16.00) is less frosted. MAC Jete (LE, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Fresco is described as a “neutral beige brown.” It’s a medium brown with neutral-to-warm undertones and a matte finish. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft and blendable–just a tiny bit powdery. Sleek MakeUP Propose in Prague (LE, $9.99) is darker. Too Faced Cookie Dough (LE) is lighter. MAC Indie Spirit (LE, $15.00) is warmer. MAC Soft Brown (P, $15.00) is also warmer. Inglot #337 (P, $6.00) darker, grayer. See comparison swatches.

Bamboo is described as a “golden brown shimmer.” It’s a medium, slightly golden brown with golden champagne shimmer. It had excellent pigmentation, and the texture was soft, smooth, and buttery. Sleek MakeUP Lust in LA (LE, $9.99) is more golden. LORAC Pewter (P) is less frosted, darker. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Starlet #3 (P) is darker. Bobbi Brown Sandy Rose (LE, $21.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Superwatt (LE, $18.50) is a cream product. MAC Aloha (LE, $32.50) is grayer. bareMinerals A-Ha (P) is similar. Inglot #402 (P, $6.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Truffle is described as a “deep chocolate taupe.” It’s a medium-dark, chocolate brown with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had excellent color payoff with a smooth, silky texture that was never powdery. MAC Swiss Chocolate (P, $15.00) is darker. Make Up For Ever #17 (P, $20.00) is similar. Inglot #357 (P, $6.00) is lighter. Inglot #327 (P, $6.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Espresso is a deep, dark blackened brown with a matte finish and cool undertones. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was fairly soft and blendable, but a little drier compared to other shades. MAC Midnight Flurry (LE, $15.00) is similar. Inglot #329 (P, $6.00) is similar. Inglot #326 (P, $6.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Artist's Palette for Eyes

Temptalia Recommends
A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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LE
product

Sparkling Dew

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Guava

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Cult Nails Masquerade Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Masquerade Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Midnight Masquerade Collection ($24.00 for 3 x 0.50 fl. oz.) consists of three full-sized polishes. Note, there are only 500 sets available, and the colors must be purchased together as a set of three to take advantage of the pre-order pricing. The set is $24 between now and November 14th, and any remaining polishes will be sold individually at full price ($12 each). Cult Nails’ formula is one of my favorites, because it’s long-wearing, pigmented, and a lot of the shades have a naturally high-shine finish (no need for a top coat).

Masquerade is described as a “green [with] color shifting micro-glitter that blends from emerald to gold to magenta.” It’s a cool-toned green with a bluish tinge and then the color-shifting micro-glitter that sparkles from gold to rose gold to magenta to green. It’s a total joy to wear, really, because at any angle, you’ll see the micro-glitter dance, sparkle, and change. It was mostly opaque after two coats, but if enough light catches underneath my nail, it shows a little visible nail line. The consistency was on the thinner side, so be sure to wipe off excess so that you don’t over-apply in a single coat. The dry down was somewhat shiny but a top coat would be recommended. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this.

Midnight Mist is described as an “olive toned base with an intense copper/golden shimmer.” It’s a muted, olive brown with very fine copper shimmer. The finish almost looks metallic, but the shimmer is fine enough that it reads more like a pearled finish. There were very, very slight brush strokes sometimes visible, depending on the angle. It was opaque in two coats. Chanel Mysterious (601) (P, $27.00) is darker, cream. Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie 2.0 (LE, $20.00) is more shimmery. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Ripley (P, $10.00) is greener, more metallic. SpaRitual Lithophonic (LE, $10.00) is much darker. Rescue Beauty Lounge Turn It Around (LE, $20.00) is similar but a warmer, greener hue and the shimmer is larger. Cult Nails In a Trance (LE, $12.00) is warmer, greener, less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Ms. Conduct is described as a “rich taupe creme.” It’s a deep, dark taupe with neutral-to-cool undertones and a high-shine, cream finish. It has impeccable glossiness even without a top coat. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and the color was fully opaque in nearly one coat (but I used two coats in the swatches). Urban Decay Gunmetal (LE) is similar. Chanel Western Light (LE, $27.00) is darker. Zoya Codie (P, $8.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

Masquerade

Temptalia Recommends
A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Midnight Mist

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Ms. Conduct

A

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Tom Ford Deeper (01) Eye Defining Pencil Pen
Tom Ford Deeper (01) Eye Defining Pencil Pen

Tom Ford Deeper (01) Eye Defining Pencil Pen ($55.00) is a double-ended liquid eyeliner with a calligraphy brush on one end and a squatter, thicker felt-tip on the other. It’s a very deep black (and frustratingly, I still can’t get my black liquid eyeliners to really photograph as black as they are–they always turn brown-ish), but I can assure it is an incredibly rich, deep dark black.

The calligraphy brush is amazing; it makes applying liquid eyeliner a breeze, and you can achieve such thin, precise lines with hardly any pressure. The brush is nicely saturated, so it doesn’t skip or drag while applying, so you can get crisp, opaque line. The calligraphy brush is capable of thicker lines, but it excels at the thin lines in particular.  The formula is very wet, and it takes a few seconds to dry down and set.

The felt-tip side can create thicker lines while still applying with continuous flow across the skin–no dragging or skipping. In the swatch, you can see the eyeliner bled outside the original line, compared with the calligraphy brush as an applicator, which delivered an equally thick line but no bleeding. Sometimes, this can occur when swatched, but the actual performance on the eyelid is better, which was the case here (same thing happened with Hourglass Jett).  The actual liquid eyeliner, regardless of which applicator is used, lasted ten hours on me without flaking or smudging. It removed easily with my shu uemura cleansing oil.

I haven’t tried it myself, but I have heard good things about Jesse’s Girl Liquid Eyeliner, which has an applicator that looks incredibly similar to the calligraphy brush end to this, so I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for that in stores and see how it compares, because I know that this price point is difficult to swallow. (And there are many stellar black liquid eyeliners on the market.)

The Glossover

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product

Deeper (01)

Temptalia Recommends
A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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