Ask Temptalia - 2012 Edition

Long-time readers may remember that from time to time, I would hold “Ask Temptalia” sessions, which were open Q&A sessions where I would take questions from readers about all sorts of things–from blogging to recommendations to dupes to education and everything in-between. Β It’s a great way for me to interact with readers on one-on-one basis, answer any questions you may have, and the like. Β I’ll keep this post open and answer any questions for a few hours tonight πŸ™‚ Β I also encourage readers to chime in with an answer of their own!

Edit at 9:47 AM PST: Thanks for an amazing Q&A session! I’ve answered all outstanding questions and have closed the post to comments, but you can still read them! πŸ™‚

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Where can I get an empty eyeshadow (or any other pressed powder) case/container? I want to press some loose makeup I have for travel convenience.

You can usually find empty metal pans on eBay – just look for the size. I believe 26mm is the size of eyeshadows. and both sell empty pans as well.

Wow, how do you convert them, I often love colours in loose shadows but hate using them so never bother. If I can convert them to pressed at home it would be a whole new obsession πŸ™‚

There are a ton of factors that go into it, and the decision process isn’t the same all the time, but here are some things I consider:

– Reader interest
– Product popularity/potential popularity
– Product availability
– Seasonal offering? New and permanent?
– Is everyone else already talking about it?
– Will I be able to review/test/swatch before it’s sold out?
– What else am I reviewing? Do I have time to review this? (I’m trying to be more realistic about the latter.)
– Has anyone requested it specifically?

We cover 40-70 brands per month, which is only a small fraction of what is carried at Sephora – I simply can’t get to them all!

I’ve wondered this too. I’ve noticed that you never cover Smashbox. I actually am interested in many of their products, but that’s definitely a brand that I don’t see you cover. Same with Too Faced and Tarte. You have covered them recently, but not much. I’d also be interested in seeing you review BB creams.

Try to figure out the undertones of your hair color, and for brows, you usually go a couple of shades lighter than your natural hair color – except if you’re blonde, then usually a couple of shades darker.

Christine, Please tell us how do you apply your lip perfect pout with lipstick or gloss….thru the tube, with lip brush and how do you finish it? I dont see you use a lip liner…but do tell us.

I always apply from the tube for lipstick, and I use a disposable gloss applicator for gloss. I don’t use lip liner or lip brushes for swatches, and even for wear, I think I’ve used lip liner maybe 3-4x in the past year!

I don’t actually do any clean-up or removal! I let my mouth hang open, apply to my bottom lip first, then I go from the cupid’s bow outwards on each side of the upper lip, and that’s about it!

Christine, I’ve been considering purchasing a Coastal Scents palette, just for cheap fun. You reviewed a couple back in 2009. Would you still recommend it over some other palettes, like those from The Balm, Sephora, etc.? What are your picks for quality, more affordable eyeshadow palettes?

I’m not personally comfortable using Coastal Scents really (or any of the brands that sell the same bulk palette). It’s kind of the case of “too cheap to be good,” and I worry about quality control. So for me, I’d go with something else because it doesn’t sit well in my gut (like lash growth products) – I guess brands that are really cheap, say Wet ‘n’ Wild, have more accountability to the larger population. If you’re looking for really cheap, I’d go Wet ‘n’ Wild – fairly available and you get a long of bang for your buck. Not every shade is a slam dunk, but a lot of them are. theBalm is a great formula, and you can often catch their palettes at 50% off (HauteLook has sales on them from time to time).

They’re really fun, and I never have the time to DO it, usually because I have a backlog of 100+ comments. I’m REALLY good once I clean them out… for like two weeks, and then it’ll be like a MAC day and 400 comments will come and we’ll be back to square one.

The one thing I’ve learned is to only take so many and then close it down rather than keep it up perpetually πŸ˜‰

Hi Christine! I’d love to know what your work flow is like. From the time you receive a package to the time the review goes up online… what do you do when you receive it? How do you organize your products to review? Do you have a certain “system”? Thanks!

It can be anywhere from a few hours to months – it depends on the urgency of the need to review something, which generally depends on how interested readers are, if it’s an exclusive or coming out tomorrow or if it will sell out instantly. All products are opened and then sorted into categories – e.g. eyes, lips, face, skincare, etc. in the “mail room” (what would be a normal person’s dining room). Anything that I anticipate reviewing sooner rather than later will go into a box that’s simply “new stuff I really should review yesterday.” That moves upstairs to where I take photos, and then when I take photos, I start with products from that box. I organize all products by product category, and if after awhile, I haven’t reviewed, they move into permanent to-be-reviewed (but with no definite date) homes.

If your skin can handle silicones, anything silicone-based helps a lot – they give the skin a smoother-looking appearance, which gives the illusion of smaller pores.

If you had to recommend one staple palette or gift set that is still available considering price point, quality, and quantity, which would you recommend?

For color, Urban Decay Naked (or Naked 2, if you prefer) – I still think the bang-for-your-buck and overall quality is amazing. Urban Decay palettes, in general, are usually a great way to go.

Although it seems like you have great skin most (or all!) of the time, will you share your steps/products of choice for covering up the random single flare up zit? I have some supposedly good stuff (like the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage and MUFE Full Coverage concealer) but even though I exfoliate well, when I get a pimple it always seems to have a layer of dry skin that just gets highlighted when I try to disguise it. Thanks!

If you have something that’s drying out, you’ll want a more emollient concealer. Sometimes a primer can help, too. For heavy duty concealing, I use either OCC’s concealer or Cle de Peau’s. Cle de Peau is creamier, while OCC’s goes on more opaquely faster.

A few tips:

1.) Always back up and check it, because most people aren’t looking at you 2 inches away.
2.) If you can handle silicone-based products, try dabbing a smoothing primer over the area.
3.) Spot moisturize the area to minimize flakiness/dryness.

What is a great budget friendly mascara? Also, I have very oily lids and I have tried some eye primers, but nothing work for me, what would you recommend? Thanks!
BTW I check your blog everyday, you are awesome πŸ™‚

I like Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft, which has been my go-to mascara for years. I heard it was discontinued, though, but I haven’t tried too many drugstore mascaras in the past year. I’ve liked CoverGirl in the past, too (original Lash Blast, I think it was).

For eye primers, have you tried layering them? Many readers with super oily lids find that layering MAC Paint Pots and something like Urban Decay Primer Potion seems to do the trick. You could also try lightly dusting translucent powder on your lid first, then applying the primer.


WHOA WAIT. Where/when did you hear that Full N’ Soft was discontinued? Has Maybelline confirmed it? The waterproof formula is without question my favorite mascara, so I definitely need to hoard if this is true! (I also love Clinique’s High Impact, but it isn’t waterproof, so I get some flaking during the day, even though the look is quite similar to FNS on me)

Hey, CC! I thought I’d chime in as a fellow makeup lover with oily lids. What I do is make sure I have washed my lids just before application in order to wash off any oil that may be present then I pat them dry with a washcloth then immediately apply NARS’ primer. That primer seems to work best, but I take it a few steps further. I do a very light layer of MAC Paint Pot in Painterly, which I make sure to blend in with a brush to remove any excess then I dust with a translucent powder. After all that, I apply the rest of my eye makeup. This does the trick for me every time. Have you tried this method?

Also, I know people who swear by MAC Pro Longwear concealer as a base, so maybe you can try that?

CC – hope you don’t mind my replying. I have oily lids as well,usually my mascara smudges below my brows were my lashes touch and most shadow creases by hour 8 even WITH a paint pot. My best prevention has by far been Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

I still sometimes get a teeny bit of creasing or mascara smudges by the end of the day but that’s noticed at 8 or 9 pm after putting my kid-let to bed!

Maybe something like Too Faced Naked Eye Palette? I think that would work with your skin tone – it isn’t too dark or too warm or too light.

Thanks for doing this πŸ™‚
I would like to wear a red lipstick during the holidays. I can’t seem to find a shade that I like. What would you suggest? I have light skin with neutral (maybe slightly more yellow) undertones? I’ve tried russian red by mac and I really don’t like how it looks on me πŸ™

What is it about Russian Red that you don’t like on you? Is it too cool-toned, too matte, too bright? If you’re not used to wearing red, it could simply be that. For a darker, slightly retro red, Viva Glam I is very flattering on most skin tones. Ladybug is a bit sheerer and glossier, so it might be easier if you’re not used to wearing red!

theBalm Meet Matt(e) if you want neutrals and some colors, Urban Decay Naked Basics if you want subtle neutrals, Too Faced’s Matte palette for neutrals in general. Or make your own with Inglot.

Hi Christine! I was wondering,what lipstick formula is most long-wearing you’ve ever tried? And also what lipstick overall do you prefer, Guerlain Rouge G’s or Tom Ford’s? Thanyou:)

The long-wearing products like Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro, Guerlain Rouge L’Extrait, Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge, etc. all last 6-8 hours (or longer). OCC Lip Tars last 8-12 hours usually. I prefer Guerlain Rouge G over Tom Ford Lip Color.

Great idea!! Thanks for doing this.
If you had to pick your top 3 lip colours of all time, which would they be? (I.e. particular color from a brand.)

Guerlain Gems
Chanel Dragon
Guerlain Gigolo

At least for the 30 seconds it took to reply to your comment. I make no guarantees that I’d give you the same answer if you asked me in a week πŸ˜‰

I’ve been in love with Gigolo since you reviewed it, but haven’t had the nerve to buy it! It’s funny, I’ll shell out $100+ for a combination of products, but can’t bite the bullet to pay $50 for just one. I think I’m gonna just have to do it! And while you make no guarantees, I imagine Chanel Dragon would be on your list till the end of time!

If it helps, a lot of readers have returned to say they’re really happy with their Rouge G purchase and it was “worth it.” But hopefully, you can purchase it and return it if you don’t like it! πŸ™‚ Rouge G continues to be my favorite lipstick formula!

That does help πŸ™‚ I’ve only seen great reviews of the Rouge G formula.
I think I remember something you wrote in one of the Rouge G reviews – it might be better to purchase higher-quality lipsticks, which may be more expensive, but will wear better and you’re likely to wear more often *because* of how comfortable they are, than to buy cheaper products that you’ll never/rarely wear because of the low quality!

Yes – if I were to re-do my collection (and pretend I’m not a beauty blogger in this scenario), I would buy the BEST product for me – ones I would use and use and use. I would go cheaper on trend products – you know, maybe you never wear bright fuchsia, so you don’t NEED it in a pricey formula, but anything staple, I’d go to the product I loved the most.

I’m starting to follow the same philosophy. My boyfriend jokes that I could buy a small island with the amount of makeup I’ve collected over the years, but I wear only a fraction of it. I’m glad another reader asked what your top 10 products would be if you were to start all over – that was going to be my next question!

Hey Christine, i was wondering whether you have any tips on how to match your lip colour with your cheek colour, i never seem to get a coherent look between the two.

It kind of depends on the eyes. Here are a few tried and true combos for me:

Eyes = green, teal, blue –> Lips/Blush = coral-peach/coral-orange/lightly pinked-coral
Eyes = purple –> Lips = pink, plum –> Blush = pink, plum
Eyes = neutral –> Lips = anything –> Blush = natural brown, peach, plummy-brown

I tend to use blush to balance the overall look – whether to add warmth, contrast, coolness, or definition.

If you don’t feel like answering this, it’s perfectly fine & understandable. How did you meet Shaun & what was your initial impression or reaction? Details! πŸ˜€

Shaun and I met playing an online word game when I was 13, and when I was 19, we met in person one summer when I was home from college. He was really funny, and he was down-to-earth, which is probably how we somehow managed to stay in contact for years before meeting.

WOW! That is cool beyond belief!! Really. It was all, quite clearly, meant to be! (I don’t have enough exclamation points for how sweet and amazing I think that story is!!) Thank you so much for answering.

I consider you to be a celebrity in the make-up world:) Do you get recognized a lot when you go out? I love reading your blog and hope you do this forever!

I don’t think I’d say a lot – I have definitely been recognized, but typically, I’m more likely to be recognized if I go trolling the makeup counters or Sephora not if I just go to the grocery store πŸ™‚

Thank you!

You just tell me whether to sign it “Temptalia” or my name, LOL! I’m never sure what to do — Urban Decay had me sign one of the BYOP palettes, and I was like, “What do I sign as? Who am I??!”

Hi, Christine!

How do you get your lipstick to last for so many hours? Even when I wear high quality, long wear lipstick (like those you’ve reviewed for 5+ hours of wear), I can’t get them to last half that. Have you just “trained” yourself to never press your lips together or lick them? I feel like my problem is not with application (I use all the typical tips), but with the actual experience of having lipstick on my lips. Any thoughts?

You’re fabulous…thanks for all your hard work!!

I stopped licking my lips after the first week of wearing lipgloss/lipstick (I think that would be 2005?), since it’s bad habit anyway, and it meant I was ingesting far more lip product than I wanted to! I don’t really press lips together, but I don’t think that was a habit I ever had. Licking lips can definitely be the culprit, though! Make sure you’re wearing a comfortable you feel comfortable in – e.g. Chanel’s matte lipsticks were so UNcomfortable on me, I kept fussing with my lips – even my friend remarked on it at lunch.

I’ve had good luck with:

Revlon ColorStay
MAC Studio Fix Fluid
MAC Face & Body
Guerlain Parure Gold
Guerlain Lingerie de Peau
Guerlain Parure de Lumiere (I think that’s the name)
Hourglass’ foundations
Giorgio Armani Maestro

– but these are ones that haven’t broken me out, so I don’t know if they wouldn’t break you out!

I’d like to second the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation not breaking me out too! I have very oily, acne prone skin and Maestro may be the only foundation that hasn’t broken me out! πŸ™‚ It’s expensive, but definitely worth a try and you don’t use very much (I don’t, anyway) so it lasts a long time!

christine. i wnat to see your wedding photos plz! i havent seen any of yours..:(. also can you tell me till now how many mac collections have come out and which ones were your favourite?

Do you use concealer under your eyes? Do you have any tips for applying it? I feel like no matter what product I use it seems to end up in my incredibly fine lines. The lines aren’t even noticeable when I skip the concealer! Any suggestions for how to make my under eyes look smooth and flawless? Thanks so much!

I rarely use concealer in general, but you could try:

1.) Smoothing primer to help fill/plump/smooth lines
2.) Add a dab of moisturizer to the area to help work the concealer into the skin
3.) Pat concealer on
4.) Use less, then build up as you need more
5.) Set with powder

I have brown eyes and would like to play them up more, but I’m not very sure how I should do that. What do you recommend for making brown eyes really pop?

You can warm brown eyes up by using golds and coppers. You can also do that by wearing yellowy greens. To make them look cooler, try blues and teals!

loveeee this feature Christine :d and i rem during one of these sessions i came little more close πŸ˜€
from my first MAC quad to first 15 pan palette to my first 10 MAC lipstick , you are the one behind all the beautiful colors in my collection πŸ˜€
thank you for everything dear and thank you for making my vanity puuurrfectttt πŸ˜€

for quest :

your top 10 picks for drugstore from USA
and your top 10 picks from Sephora / nordies in USA …

love you and temptalia πŸ˜€

Drugstore: 1) L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow, 2) Milani Eyeliners, 3) Revlon ColorBurst Lipgloss, 4) Maybelline Color Tattoos, 5) Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Mascara, 6) L’Oreal Nail Polish, 7) Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palettes, 8) Milani Powder Eyeshadows, 9) L’Oreal Lineur Intense, 10) Revlon Lip Butters

High-end: 1) Guerlain Rouge G, 2) Guerlain Meteorites, 3) NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base, 4) Hourglass Mineral Veil, 5) Illamasqua Nail Varnish, 6) Burberry Eyeshadow, 7) Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense, 8) Tom Ford Blush, 9) Guerlain Parure Gold, 10) Jack Black Lip Balm

I travel internationally a lot, and like to go to the duty free counters for some of my beauty product shopping. Do you know whether duty free lends itself to being a good value?

Hi. I travel quite a bit and have checked out those duty free shops inside the airports and on the skymall (on the plane). Duty-free is supposed to be tax-free BUT…the prices are way more expensive than if you were to buy it anywhere else. The markup price is borderline ridiculous! You are better off shopping at the local stores at your destination, online, anywhere but at the airport! I like looking at them though because some of the products they have are the newest ones out there and oh so pretty. Then, I look for it elsewhere.

If I own the Naked palette, do I really need Naked 2? I know Naked 2 is the cooler version, but are the colors different enough to warrent the purchase?

I don’t think it’s like a need-or-you’ll-die (or even miss out). It’s a nice thing to have, and if you wear neutrals and the like a lot, it could be useful. I do think there are differences and enough so to make it worth having along Naked 1!

I have really sensitive skin and I’m not sure what kind of foundations I should use.. please recommend some to me – preferably drugstore and medium coverage.

Do you know what you’re sensitive to? You might want to see if you can get an idea as to what you’re sensitive to and then try to avoid that ingredient.

Hi Christine!

I’d love to know your favorite eye brushes, or the ones you use most in your step-by-step looks. I feel like I’m still on the hunt for the perfect eye brushes! Thanks! πŸ™‚

I pretty much use MAC 239 for everything, and then I might use a crease brush like MUFE 17S and MAC’s 272 or 217 for applying the brow highlight. I have 7 239s, if that gives you an idea of how much I use them πŸ˜‰

In searching for a metallic red for the holiday season, I came across your review of a lip gloss from Hourglass in Siren. I can’t remember your exact words, but you said Hourglass had the best metallic formula/finish. I was wondering if you still find that to be true, or if you have found better?

Also, what is your favorite perfume?

And what do you suggest in terms of base makeup for people with flaky skin? It seems no matter what I do skincare wise, once I try to put on foundation, BOOM…flake city!

OCC’s new Metallurgy Lip Tars are pretty good and will move around less, so depending on what you like, that might be a worthwhile competitor. Siren is still a fantastic, and one of the best, opaque glosses I’ve seen.

My favorite perfume is Tom Ford Oud Wood.

I like Eve Pearl’s moisturizing primer, because it adds a boost of moisture right before you start applying. I also like spritzing water to brushes. You might find a sponge to be a better tool, since you’re pressing and patting – less sweeping and thus less loosening of any about-to-flake-off areas.

I am wanting to purchase a serum. Never used them before. So i dont know what exactly to look for. I have combination skin. It’s pretty normal but can be dry in the winter. Do you have any recommendations?

If you’re just looking for added moisture, I really like Renee Rouleau’s Skin Drink – I use that whenever I feel like I’m getting dry!

Serums come in all flavors and varieties, since it’s about getting a higher potency product for whatever ails ya.

Maribel, I have combination skin and I highly recommend Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum. I notice a huge and quite visible difference when I don’t use it. Plus, a little goes a long, loooooong way!

First ten (more or less) that I could think of… let’s pretend we don’t need to repurchase TOOLS.

1. Guerlain Parure Gold
2. Guerlain Les Voilettes
3. Guerlain Pressed Meteorites
4. Guerlain Rouge G (I’d need some shade at the very least)
5. Tom Ford Lovelust Blush
6. Korres Natural Blush
7. Urban Decay Naked Palette
8. MAC Espresso eyeshadow
9. OCC or Cle de Peau Concealer
10. Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipgloss in some shade
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense in some shade
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara

MAC 239 (eyeshadow brush)
Hourglass Foundation Brush
MUFE 17S (crease brush)
MAC 165 (highlighter brush)
MAC 116 (blush brush)

Hi Christine! I just found your blog last week and I am hooked! Anyway, I am looking for a good highlighter. I’ve been doing some research on your blog and others and have found 3 that I think would be ok for me: Nars Albatross, Benefit Watts Up, or MAC Vanilla pigment. I have NC20 skin and want something that’s good for everyday wear and doesn’t make me look like a stripper (no crazy glitter!). I was leaning towards Albatross, but in your review you said it may be better off for those with cool toned skin. Are there any others that you would recommend? I’d like to ideally stay around the $30 price range.

Do you feel like you prefer creams or powders? As much as I like creams, I always reach for powders, so I would say Albatross. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer is also a nice, warmer variation on a golden highlighter. I like MAC Vanilla, but it’s loose, and it’s not the easiest to apply (it has a learning curve – no doubt not a problem once you get used to it!).

If you don’t mind my input, I’m about NC15, perhaps a bit lighter, with very neutral under/overtones, and I really like NARS Nico as a subtle highlight powder. It actually matches my skintone, so it may actually “show up” a bit stronger on you, depending on your undertones. If you have access to. NARS counter, at least give it a look.

Another one I like is e.l.f. Golden bronzer, which is also fairly subtle, and I actually have no idea why it would be called a “bronzer”.

In the AM, I’m using Lancome’s Bienficial or something like that with SPF. In the evening, I’m using Biotherm’s Aquasource. I also use generic Differin (prescription) in the evening. For cleansing, I’m using a Murad Anti-Acne Foaming Wash at present for AM and generally shu uemura cleansing oil in the evening.

Inglot #354, Inglot #337 Guerlain Les Gris, bareMinerals Suspense – those would the best that I could think of. I wouldn’t say that they’re GREAT dupes.

Hi Stacey!

I use MAC’s 266 brush and start in the middle, and work my way towards the inner section and outer sections from there. I use MAC’s brow scissors to trim by brushing the hairs in the natural growth direction using a clean spoolie brush. I use MAC Espresso to fill them in!

I’m looking for a new foundation, I’ve been using Dior airflash and I love the finish(natural, med-full coverage) but the can only lasts 1 month($62). Could you recommend a high end foundation that would give a similar finish? Also, do you have any tips on concealer for very dry under eyes (product suggestions)? Thank you

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau has a great natural finish, but it’s more light-medium to medium coverage. You might like Hourglass – that is a bit more coverage but still has a good natural finish.

Try a lightweight but creamy concealer – some that I like are Cle de Peau’s and Amazing Cosmetics’.

Do you plan on swatching anymore NYX products? They recently released some new lipsticks, lipglosses, liquid eyeliners, etc (the aqua luxe stuff) that I’m very interested in but I can’t find any swatches anywhere. And I refuse to buy an item till I see swatches.

I don’t have anything currently planned! They used to send me press releases, but I haven’t seen/heard from them in a bit, so I’ll have to check out what new stuff they have. Thanks!

Yeah, it would be great if you do happen to get ahold of them, I always love your swatches the most because they are very clear and accurate. Oh also…do you know of any brands that have a true lavender lipstick? I keep getting excited over MAC saying they are releasing a lavender one, and it always ends up more pink than anything. I’ve been dying for anything lavender lately.

First of all, a big thank you for providing such a wonderful resource. We women spend a lot of money on cosmetics and so much of the advertising is basically hype, so it’s really nice to come to a site with intelligent, honest, meaningful reviews. Of course, since finding your site, I’ve spent more than ever on makeup but at least my purchases have been well researched!

Two questions:

First, is it prying to ask why you stopped doing video tutorials? I loved your tutorials and would really like to see new ones. Is it a time issue or did you just get a lot of rude/hater comments on youtube (seems a lot of people get those)?

Second, above, you mentioned dupes and I’m wondering if/when the Dupe List will be updated. I submitted a dupe or 2 and probably submitted them multiple times because I thought they’d appear sort of “instantly” and when they didn’t, I tried to resend them.

Hi Mariella!

1.) Mostly time – everything in life is a trade-off! One video on YouTube takes 4-6 hours of time, but I need those 4-6 hours to keep up with the blog (because I’m already behind 24/7!). I’ve been on the internet a longggg time, so comments wouldn’t be enough to stop me if something made sense!

2.) The Dupe List is manually updated, and we haven’t updated with user submissions in awhile. It’s on the to-do list! All submissions go onto a spreadsheet, which I then have to go through line by line to correct for format and (some) accuracy. Sometimes we get stuff like “MAC” and the dupe is something like “1” and it doesn’t make sense, so we haven’t been able to automate the process!

Christine! I can’t tell if I’m warm or cool toned. I’m really fair skinned — even clinique’s lightest concealers are too dark for me. When I look at my veins, they’re on the purple side, neither blue nor green. I turn pinkish in cold weather, but I feel like ‘cool’ toned things — like NARS’ Angelika — can show up a little bright on me. Help?!

Hi Liz!

Well, being cool or warm shouldn’t really mean that the lightest are too dark for you – it just might mean you’re just super super fair! I think it sounds like you’re neutral to cool but very fair.

Do you feel like you look better in golds or silver (whether makeup or even jewelry)?

I have similar tones by the sounds of it. I’m generally cool toned (my veins are quite blue), but I can’t wear cool-toned blush without looking like I’ve fallen into a candy factory. I’ve found that a nice peachy or neutral blush is the best thing for brightening your face. Illamasqua Rude (cream) and Maybelline Light Nude (powder) are my favourites.
Don’t stress so much about finding your undertone, just try and find colours that work for you πŸ™‚

If you’re fair and your veins look “purple,” I’d say you’re likely cooler toned. Mine tend to lean blue/purple, especially in the winter when I don’t have a tan that alters the color.

And speaking as a fellow pale person, NARS Angelika can be VERY bold if you aren’t careful. I’ve had plenty of days when I accidentally swatched it on too heavy and have had to wipe it off and redo it. A stippling brush might help you diffuse the color easier.

If you are having difficulty finding a concealer light enough, try Bobbi Brown corrector in porcelain bisque. Her foundations also run fair but more neutral (no real pink undertones). Also Illamasqua skin base shade 2 is very fair (you have to order from their website as it’s not available from sephora). I use shade two to mix in to colors that are too dark for me. There is also a brand called Dainty Doll ( online) that is specifically made for the super fair. I have not tried anything from this brand but I have seen many positive reviews.

Are there any products that you’ve given an A+ rating to that you really don’t personally like it all? Whether you hate the color or finish on you, don’t use that type of product, etc.?

I don’t know if it’s an A+ rating, but there are definitely products that receive B+ or higher that I’m not particularly interested in or would use personally. I’m sure something’s received A+ and been a hideous color on me – that definitely happens, LOL!

Hi Christine!! I’m new to your amazing blog and have spent many hours looking through your archives. πŸ™‚ Sorry if you’ve addressed my question in a previous post! I’m getting married in a couple of weeks and I wanted to know what long wear foundations and concealers you’d recommend that would last all day and look great in photos. Thanks so much!!

It’s more about layering, IMO, than anything else. You’ll want to start with clean skin, moisturize and let it totally sink in before you apply makeup, prime, press and buff foundation into skin with thin layers, then setting with powder. You might want to bring a pressed powder with you to help minimize any oiliness and help keep your face looking fresh.

Thank you!

Hi Christine! I’m going to go to visit family in south-east asia in April for new years (Lunar new year) and family reunion. The weather is in your face hot and humid. Basically, I sweat like crazy once I step foot off the plane. Do you have any foundation recommendation that will last? And to make it worse, I have oily skin! Thanks. Any tips would be greatly appreciated πŸ™‚

I always liked tinted moisturizer best for humid climates, just because it’s much, much more forgiving and easy to kind of push back into place, if necessary. Otherwise, lots of pressed powders and mattifying primers!

Thanks! I like your “…easy to kind of push back into place…” comment! I will definitely check out some mattifying primers. Last time in Thailand, I went bare faced because all of my foundations (MAC, Lancome, Clinique) would melt right off. The hubby got jealous and mad because I kept getting hit on by teens. I needed the “made up” look to look my age. Thank you for your lovely advice!

If you want to wear foundation (or even tinted moisturiser) without getting too oily, Illamasqua’s Matt Primer is fantastic. I mix it with my foundation for a lighter application, or you can apply it underneath as usual. It’s also good on the eyelids if you tend to get oily there.

Hi Christine! You always seem to be pushing out so many blog posts. How many hours would you say you work a week? And also, I think you should get a huge vacation for all that you’ve done for us. πŸ™‚

I work on Temptalia from ~9 to 10AM to 11PM every day (this does vary – sometimes I don’t get to the computer until 10, or I might work until midnight). I’d say I take maybe three hours a day to eat and stuff πŸ™‚ And of course, there are some quantity of hours each week spent on errands like grocery shopping! I would say the typical week is 70 hours. A lazy week would be 60 hours, and a good week would be 80 hours. Vacations really just mean working 80-90 hours a week before vacation and then stressing out while away that the sky is going to fall, which is why I hate taking vacation, LOL. I’m also one of those people who can’t relax. I try to get a massage once a month or so, since it’s only an hour or so out of my day, so I can try to relax better that way!

There it is. It’s easy to underestimate how much hard work and commitment go into making anything a great success. I really admire you, Christine. I think you could succeed at anything.

I recently picked up two L’Oreal Infallible eyeshadws and I’m having some trouble applying them. What’s happening is I drag a brush across the product a few times then pat to apply and repeat this a few times. My brush just doesn’t want to pick up the product and I don’t want to dig in too hard and make a mess. My brush is just a cheapo elf one so maybe that’s the issue, but I don’t want to buy a better one if it isn’t going to help!

Have you tried dampening your brush with water? You could try a sponge applicator if you have one in another palette or something!

I had the same problem as you when I first bought the Infallibles.
After some trial-and-error I figured out that the best type of brush is a flat, sparse one. MAC 239 works best for me, but I’m sure there are many brushes of this type around. Fluffy brushes perform the worst, and dense brushes aren’t much better.
I pick up and apply the shadow in swiping motions, which also helps give it a uniformely metallic finish. If I pat it on there’s a lot of fallout.

What were your favorite recent MAC collections? I am really digging Taste Temptations. Also what brands do you think we should keep our eyes on in 2013? I am becoming an Hourglass and No.7 and Tarina Taritino fan recently. (: thanks for all you do for us! this is one of the only beauty blogs I trust the quality of!

I liked To the Beach. That’s all that I can recall, which isn’t to say I haven’t liked anything more recently but nothing is coming to mind…. Sephora, Urban Decay, Maybelline

Thank you!

Hello!! You by far are my favorite guru. I have freckles, and one of the main issues for me in acne around my chin and nose, but I need something that won’t look unnatural. Please Please Please recommend products for a girl with freckles and hazel eyes!! I can never find any good answers!!

Are you looking for a foundation? You might like Urban Decay Naked foundation – very natural, sheer coverage so it wouldn’t hide your freckles. You might consider using concealer for heavier coverage where you need it, so you don’t have to cover up everything!

Hazel eyes work with EVERYTHING! They are really pretty with emerald greens, teals, and coppers.

I love Illamasqua’s Skin Base. It’s light enough that you can apply to sheer coverage, but it blends well enough that you can build it up a bit more. The only bit I wouldn’t recommend building up is under the eyes and the very sides of the nose. It has a tendency to crease in those areas. Paired with their cream concealer, you can cover anything! They have something like 26 colours, so there’s a good chance you can find a great match. The Light Liquid foundation is also good, it just wasn’t as good a match for me colour-wise.

Hi! I’m a huge fan of the blog. Thanks so much for doing this!

I’m a lipstick girl, but I’m trying to get more into lipgloss. Do you have recommendations for a gloss that is super shimmery or glittery, but not gritty? I’d love to pick up some super glittery gloss with a good formula for the holiday season.

Also, what is your favorite formula for matte lipstick?

I lurveeeeee Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipglosses.

Burberry’s matte formula is pretty good πŸ™‚ Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro and Guerlain L’Extrait are also nice!

Oooo! The High Shimmer Lipglosses are gooorgeous. I’ve also been dying over the Burberry matte lipsticks for a while…I think I’ll just have to bite the metaphorical bullet and grab some.

Sorry, I have another question too. What would you recommend as far as tinted moisturizers go? There are some days when foundation just seems like too much, but I haven’t been able to find a tinted moisturizer I’m in love with yet.

I love Kiehl’s, which was discontinued recently, and I also like Korres’, but the shade range is very limited! If you use have a favorite liquid foundation, have you tried mixing it with your moisturizer?

Hope you don’t me butting in, but my coworker swears by Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer. It has a broader range of color and comes in different finishes/formulas depending on what one needs. NARS recent release has gotten good reviews from what I’ve seen, too.

If you’re on the lighter side of the color spectrum, you might also want to try Sonia Kashuk’s tinted moisturizer. It’s the brand I carry in my to-go bag and use regularly for work. Light formula and coverage, imparts a very subtle glow. The downside is that it has a very limited color range – anyone darker than Christine won’t find what they need there.

Or if you are very fair with pink undertones. The lightest shades are very yellow. Which is unfortunate because I too have heard that LM TMs are phenomenal.

If you don’t mind me butting in, my favorite tinted moisturizer is from Shiseido. Absolutely perfect degree of coverage for me and better even than the NARS (which I really, really like). I’ve tried the Laura Mercier one and it’s far too thin, liquid-y and sheer for me. Hope that helps.

Hi Christine! I love your website and I always find it so helpful whenever I see something new and am interested in how it performs. I was wondering what are your favorite red lipsticks around the $30 and under range? I have about the same skin tone as you do and have been looking for a red lipstick that performs well, especially in cold/dry conditions.

Hey Christine! I’ve always wondered about this; I know you organize all your make up to review in those tall drawers but is there anywhere you store your own personal collection of make up? Or is it all just stored together? πŸ™‚

It’s mostly stored together, though I have daily stuff like foundation and the like in my bathroom (that is just for applying makeup, lol).

Hi Christine! I’m currently a high school junior and I’m at about that time when I have to start thinking about college. I’m not 100% sure about what I want to major in, but I’m thinking about going in the direction of beauty/makeup. I was wondering if you have any advice on majors that involve makeup (or even the business side as well) or any advice on steps to take in this process. I’m sorry if this question is too broad/unanswerable!
Thank you so much for devoting so much time and effort to this website!

Hi Christina,

As far as a 4-year college goes, your best bet for a major that could be used in makeup would be…

– marketing/psychology (much of makeup is SELLING it and understanding advertising)
– chemistry (then you could develop it)


You can always major (or minor) in Theatre. Not only will you learn makeup, but costuming, as well. Even if you don’t take well to the actual performance aspect, there are schools that have extensive costuming programs. HTH

Pure curiousness! Do you wear much perfume? Have favorites? Answers from anyone are welcome! I’ve added a bit to my mini collection and just started having fun seeing how what someone wears can reflect their personality. A pretty little detail, if you will.

This is how I start my day:

“I’m going to test a perfume! So don’t put anything on!”
8 hours later
“I didn’t test anything! I will still!”
bed time

My favorites are Tom Ford Oud Wood and Amber Absolute. I love Lavender Palm at bed-time.

I definitely love perfume! I usually wear it a couple times a week. I like Viva la Juicy during the day. But for going out I love Jean Paul Gaultier Madame, it perfectly matched my personality πŸ™‚

Mar, I’m a perfume junkie and I’d be happy to help in any way I can if you tell me what categories or types of scents you gravitate to most. Like, florals, sweets, spicy, orientals, fresh/clean scents, etc.?

Some of my all-time favorites are the vintage, unreformulated versions of YSL’s Opium (super spicy oriental), Piguet’s Fracas (white floral & tuberose), HermΓ¨s’ 24 Faubourg (sophisticated citrusy floral) or their Elixir de Merveilles (woody, spicy orange, dark chocolate, with a touch of saltiness), some men’s colognes, & Molinard’s Habanita (musky, smoky vanilla spice) (check online at eBay). For more mainstream scents, I like Michael Kors by Michael Kors (white flowers), Chanel’s Coco (Sandalwood, spicy oriental), Kate Spade….. I could go on but I’ll spare you. Oh, a number of classic Guerlain’s too, esp. L’Heure Bleue (oriental floral). Hope that helps. πŸ™‚

Thanks so much for doing this again! I know that it takes up a lot of your time and you are so kind to do it πŸ™‚ I was wondering what would be the best highlighter to use on my medium skintone with pink and yellow tones. I use MUFE Duo Mat 207 which you recommended on Ask Temptalia a while ago and I love it! I tried MAC Whisper of Gilt and it really accentuated my pores. Also, what is the best brush for highlighting? Thanks!

Have you tried Dior Amber Diamond? I think you might like that πŸ™‚ I like stippling brushes like MAC 188 or tapered brushes like MAC 165 (LE).

I’m planning on going on a month long trip backpacking in ireland and scotland. What beauty products do you think are the absolute essentials, since I want to look good (not saying a need a full face of makeup or anything, just want to look polished), but won’t exactly be able to carry a lot around.

Pick your favorite foundation (and if you need sheerer cover, sheer it out with water or moisturizer), mascara, 2-3 blushes (cool, warm, neutral), 2 eyeshadow palettes (neutrals and colors), handful of lipsticks/glosses (again, cool/warm/neutral and light/dark). You can mix and match as you need lighter/darker/warmer/cooler products — that would be the max. Since you’re backpacking, I’d honestly use a tinted moisturizer, since it’s super easy to apply and quick, too. A little brow filler, mascara, tap of blush, and touch a of gloss go a long way for looking nice without taking a lot of time or product.

Thank you so much! That was helpful, never thought about choosing colors like that (warm/cool/neutral), but that seems like a good plan! I think that gives good variety, while not being too excessive. I really do love this website, you are amazing!

Hi Christine, do you ever worry about your face being all over Google Images? Have you ever gotten any unwanted attention from being prominently online? Thanks.

Not really – it’s less scary today than it would have been 10 years ago, because so many people are online, and so many people have their photos plastered everywhere!

What are your favorite Cult Nails polish colors that you’ve tried so far (or what would you recommend for somebody around NW20)? I’ve just recently been getting into the brand and am trying to start planning what I should pick up in my next order, your swatches make them all look so gorgeous! Thanks for any advice, and I think this open Q&A is really cool!

I Got Distracted, Captivated, Iconic, Princess are all ones that I like that are a bit different from other things I have πŸ™‚

Do you ever feel a bit burdened by having to try out x,y, and z? Like, you just want to wear your favorite eyeshadow and just, say, one?

Also, do you ever feel uncomfortable having to photograph certain looks? As in, with my skin tone if anyone saw me in I would feel so uncomfortable in an orangey lipstick because of my coloring, or are you used to it, or is it just not an issue?

I don’t know if I’d say burdened – maybe pressure? Like I don’t have enough time as is, so I shouldn’t be wasting time using stuff I already know works! And it’s not that I never get to – because there are definitely times that I do πŸ™‚ I just don’t wake up each day and only get to use my favorites, and that’s okay, because it means I constantly find new favorites!

Not really! At a certain point, you just don’t care, because it’s for the greater good (well, you know, beauty blogging wise, not that it’s for the greater good of society as a whole, yada yada), and you definitely get used to it!

Hi Christine! So Skimp from the Urban Decay BOS 4 is my absolute favorite highlighting shade, but I just can seem to find a dupe with the same texture and finish. Any ideas? I’m hoping for something I can get as a single. Thanks in advance πŸ™‚

Hi Christine! Long time reader here. I’ve noticed that you don’t do a whole lot of mascara and foundation reviews. Is there a particular reason for this? Or do you have a YMMV outlook when it comes to these products? If not, I would LOVE to see some information for them on your site! Thanks for all your hard work on the blog!!

I want to, but they’re a low priority product against the grand scheme of products (since they’re permanent) so they always get pushed back and back and back!

The questions I wanted to ask were already covered by other readers, I just like to thank you for everything that you do, especially really honest reviews on products that aren’t worth purchasing (I still can’t get over NARS Andy Warhol Collection). I always check your blog for before buying anything, and you’ve been really helpful. I know what to buy and avoid when I stalk make-up counters, so anything I decide to splurge on is justified. Haha! God bless you, Christine. You’re an angel. πŸ™‚

Oop, I just thought of another question (feel free to ignore if the queue is long). Have you ever experienced any sort of backlash for a bad (D/F rating) product? Have companies ever threatened to sue? Or perhaps even ask you for advice on how said product may be improved upon?

Sigma Brushes and Lime Crime both took issue with my reviews, the latter going as far as giving out my personal email address to all of her newsletter subscribers. Companies have only threatened to sue over posting collection information before they want (even if it’s on 100 other websites, they absolutely will sue us for it) — this is why we no longer can “lead” in releasing info. Illamasqua has thanked me specifically for critical feedback and said they bring it back to development. I would say that most brands ignore reviews, whether positive or negative – I don’t really get feedback from a brand about my reviews!

Hi Christine πŸ™‚ I was just wondering what would be a good substitution for OCC Belladonna lip tar? It was my PERFECT purple “lipstick” and is now discontinued (so devastating!). I wouldn’t mind buy one off anyone.

Also, could you recommend a good lip liner for Ruby Woo?


Hi Christine, I really hope you would review Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation but I know you’re very busy. So, can you tell me what your thoughts are on this foundation?

Hi, Christine! I’m heading to London at the end of the month, and I was wondering what UK beauty brands I should pick up while I’m there (something not readily available in the US). Also, what exclusive shades would you recommend? Thanks in advance! Love the blog so much. Thanks for all your hard work πŸ™‚

Question about concealer application! I’ve never been very good at it, and mostly, I always find that while I’m trying to blend out concealer, I end up smearing away the coverage it gives. Any tips on this?

What foundations would you reccomend for flash photography? As a woman of color, it’s the worst thing to see a ghostface looking back at you in a picture.

You just need to avoid physical sunscreens, which reflect light back πŸ™‚ Physical sunscreens include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. If you want to be safe, avoid foundation with SPF in it.

I would recommend looking for a lighter-weight primer, but I don’t think it should majorly interfere regardless.

Yes, you sure can!

Hi! I wear glasses and I am at a loss for how my eye makeup should look. How should my makeup look under my glasses? What are some guidelines for eye makeup and glasses? Is there a certain way that I should be applying my eye makeup: subtle, or bold? Natural, or bright? Thanks!

Definitely try to put on your glasses throughout application so you can really get an idea of where you need to modify things – usually in height or with eyeliner. Stronger upper lash line can help define eyes and make them appear more prominent. Curling lashes can help keep lashes off the lenses and open up eyes more. Brows can be SUPER important, because while they always frame the face, they can often be even more important as framers when you wear glasses. Sometimes it can depend on the type of frames you have – colorful frames may compete with colorful makeup, but it’s definitely about experimentation with your particular lenses (which is why it’s good to put them on and take them off during application!). HTH!

Please help me why why why does my black pencil eyeliner from my waterline always end up under my eyes or it will settle in my wrinkle on the side of eye? No matter what I do, I have tried putting black eyeshdaow on top of the eyeliner but it still don’t stay put. I’ve tried using a light hand while putting it on.I’ve tried cheap brand pencil to high end pencil no luck. I have even added a step to my makeup routine by using concealer under my eyes and setting it with powder but still no luck. What can I do? What can I try to stop this from happening? Thanks Christine!

A lot of people have watery…. waterlines. It’s naturally wet and watery, so if your eyes are particularly watery, you might not find an eyeliner that stays put, unfortunately. You could try putting eyeshadow primer underneath the lash line to help things stay in place.

Hi Christine! I’ve been trying to find the perfect MAC compact powder for me. I have oily skin but also some dry flakes. Ive used MSFN and love most everything but HATES that the compact doesn’t have a mirror!

Taking these into account, what would be the best MAC powder for me to set foundation, considering I also have some (very) fine lines under my eyes? Could you help? Thank you very much.

What’s your favourite mascara?

Also, did the blog open for you some business opportunity? (As: did some companies want to hire you for something?)

And last one, I promise: will Mellan have one day a brother or sister pet? πŸ™‚

I don’t know if I have a very favorite mascara – but I use Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill a lot! Sure – I’ve done things like go on press trips, have had exclusives to cover certain products before others, and things like that.

There are no plans to have a second dog any time soon! I don’t know about in Mellan’s life time, but it’s unlikely.

how often do mac items get repromoted? I know it probably varies but I am totally in love with “Love Goddess” from the Marilyn Monroe collection and haven’t been able to find any great dupes. Do you know any awesome dupes for that lipstick or around how long it takes for an item like that to come back in a collection? Thanks!

How did you get into makeup? Did it start at a young age, did you go to college for it? Did you start off as a blogger or are you/were you a makeup artist? WOW. sorry for all the questions lol, but I look up to you a lot and as a college student right now I’m trying to decide whether or not to pursue makeup. Thanks!!

I didn’t wear makeup until I was 18 and in my first year of college. I went to college and graduated with two bachelor’s degrees – one in Economics, one in Political Science. I later went graduate school and completed a JD/MBA program. I started off as a blogger, I guess – I don’t know if you could say that, since I just wrote and posted for fun, as it was just a hobby πŸ™‚ I never went to school for anything makeup-related, and I’m not currently doing any makeup artistry on the side – I did some in the beginning, but I hated it (personally).

Thank you! πŸ™‚ Best of luck in school!

It seems that our European friends have much more stringent guidelines as to what ingredients can go into their makeup products. Do you believe that a normal, everyday routine of wearing makeup would prove to be a health concern down the road, given the standards of products for the United States? I’m not asking for medical advice, just your personal take on this issue. Quite a few people these days are believing that our beloved makeup products can cause breast cancer, ovarian cancer…all sorts of cancer, yet the FDA isn’t making a big deal about anything which I’m finding to be confusing.

I would truly appreciate your thoughts.


Hi Audrey,

From what I’ve read, I’m not convinced. I’m very leery of fear-mongering. I would not say that they’re necessarily safe or the safest, only that significantly more research is necessary to answer those questions fully. Unfortunately, I’m also NOT a scientist and have no scientific background, so my research has been limited and on a very layman’s level, so your best bet is to consult your doctor or even a university professor in the field.

As, of now, what are your ALL time favorites?

Tinted Moisturizer:
Face Primer:
Face Concealer:
Under-Eye Concealer:
All-purpose Concealer:
Powder Foundation:
Finishing/setting Powder:

Powder Blush:
Cream Blush:
Contour Powder:

Eyeliner Pencil:
Eyeliner Liquid:
Eyeliner Gel:
Eyeshadow Primer/base:

Lip liner:
Lip Gloss:
Lip Stain:
Other lip-related favorites:

Thanks!! I’d be great to hear what your personal favorites are!

Hi Audrey,

Please check out the Editor’s Choice Awards link to your right – I have a full list of all of my favorites there! πŸ™‚

Hey Christine, since most of my questions were already asked by other readers Im gonna save you the trouble, and I want to say I love ur work and I love Temptalia, I dunno what I’d do without you both, Temptalia is my daily dose of relaxation,fun, and ofcourse the only place I get amazing reviews and tips from. I buy all my makeup now after reading your reviews and tips. However I do have one small question, since I’m 5 months pregnant and glowing like crazy, how do I make the most of it?
my acne has almost all cleared up, any products to make me glow even more? I bought Mac extra dimension whisper of gilt and I already have Benefits high beam? how do I use it well since I have oily skin, what do you think about sun beam? do I need it?

Thank you! πŸ™‚

Wear less foundation – go for something with sheer, natural coverage – I think UD’s Naked would be nice for this. Burberry Luminous, too, could work, and Dior DiorSkin Nude has great natural coverage and finish.

Use a stippling brush – like the 188 – and lightly tap onto skin. You can also apply it heavily and then buff it a lot to almost push it into the skin. I don’t think you need Sun beam if you have High Beam!

Sorry about the late addition, in the UK so I was asleep.

Do you think there is a general difference in quality between baked vs pressed products? Or is it purely down to the brand /individual product quality?


I really think it’s down to the brand, and in some ways, personal preference. The textures of baked products tends to be a little more powdery, so sometimes they’re prone to fading.

Can you recommend an Inglot dupe for the Chanel Notorious Sculpting Veil?

I’d love to see reviews of the following as well as see them added to the foundation matrix:
Burberry foundations (Sheer and Velvet)
Giorgio Armani foundations (Maestro and Luminous Silk – newer shades)
YSL Le Touche Eclat foundation
Concealers from these brands as well!
I’m trying to purchase new foundation online but find it challenging when there’s little to no information regarding the shades.

i ask because i love strange lip colors when done right! (on fair skinned people like me, usually the darker end of the spectrum works better, or it washes you out.) but pretty much every beauty blogger i’ve come across doesn’t even consider them, which makes it difficult to find swatches!!

Can I just say that I think I have a problem, I am always checking your blog even though I’ve already read all the recent posts, it’s bookmarked and I always go to it every morning and every time I get home :)) It’s crazy.

What make-up essentials do you think every girl (foundation, a red lipstick, whatever) and what do you recommend for each? And what is the best contour product you’ve ever used and can dark foundations can be used for contour?
Also, I’ve always wanted to ask this, but wasn’t sure if it was too personal, but is blogging your main job, or do you have a different career?

Sorry for all the questions, but I don’t want to waste this amazing opportunity! πŸ˜€

Hi Cel,

It reallyyyy depends on the person. Someone who rarely wears foundation doesn’t need it! I’d say the more likely essentials would be mascara, lip balm, and maybe tinted moisturizer – those I think could go across everyone! I’d go with Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft (natural but not nothing), Jack Black Lip Balm (the best I’ve found), and I’m actually now on the hunt for a better tinted moisturizer since my favorite (Kiehl’s) was discontinued! MAC Sculpt works the best on me, personally, and while it suits a lot of skin tones, it won’t work on really dark complexions. Absolutely dark foundation can be used as a contour, though! Using foundation to contour and highlight is often easier than trying to find the right shade in highlighting/contouring shapers!

I blog full-time/professionally – there’s no way I could spend 60-80 hours a week on Temptalia and have a career in something else, lol!

Thank you!

Two questions. I see that you don’t do a lot of mascara reviews, but what is your favorite mascara?

Also, I’ve been using Smashbox foundation primer and thinking of changing to a different brand. Any recommendations?


Hi Barbara,

I like Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill a lot right now, but I don’t know if I have a holy grail, favorite mascara that I’ve been reaching for.

I like Hourglass’ Mineral Veil!

Hi Christine,
What are your general feelings about chanel makeup? do you think its as good quality as other luxury brands? and also, for someone interested in starting out buying some luxury brand makeup i.e. chanel, guerlain, etc. what specific products would you suggest? thanks!

It really just depends on the product. They do many things well, but like most brands, not everything. I would start with Chanel’s blushes and their single eyeshadows!

I don’t review OPI for some internal/behind-the-scenes problems – it has nothing to do with the quality or their product, which was usually good when I used to use/review! πŸ™‚

Hi Christine,
I always worry about foundations with SPF and how they look on photos. It seems like every foundation out there has some SPF in them, except for the MUFE HD foundation, any thoughts or suggestions?

As long as you avoid foundation with physical sunscreens, you should be OK, because physical ones reflect light. I use Guerlain Parure Gold and MUFE HD for photography!

Hi Christine! What do you think of the new Guerlain Parure de Lumiere foundation? Does it have a light or more of a medium coverage? In your opinion how does it look on photos? I’m on the hunt for a great foundation, that still looks natural enough in daylight but also photographs beautifuly. Thanks!

Hi Doll,

I’m not comfortable rendering a review for it yet, as I have not tested it enough! Sorry!

MUFE HD fits those requirements – natural, photographs well!

Sometimes but not usually, since there is little point in doing so when there are 23984723479 new products I still need to cover!

Hi Christine! Would you consider adding more options in the swatch gallery tool? i would found very useful to have options like “permanent” or “temporary” (since i fell in love with a lot of MAC lipsticks which i cant have anymore, i rather see sometimes only the products available on a permanent range!) or even “low-to-high” and “high-to-low” price options!

We are working on it – it has to be completely redone, so it’s not something we can just turn on with a flick of a switch. We’ve been working on expanding that feature for several months now but aren’t ready to release anything! Sorry! πŸ™

Hi Christine! I’m a high schooler who is obsessed with makeup, and, although I’m not sure if I’ll be pursuing cosmetology as a career, I’d really like to take a course to learn more about the artistry and application of makeup. Aside from the Makeup 101 classes, there are a million others to choose from – What kinds of courses do you think are the most interesting and beneficial?

I’m not very familiar with what kind of courses are available since I’ve never researched cosmetology or gone to a school for it! I would say something like theatrical or costume makeup? It’s probably wise to take a contract/business course to understand how to run and work as a makeup artist!

Hi, Christine!

First of all, I check your blog every day (sometimes multiple times throughout the day!). The posts are always visual and very informative, and your analysis is great! πŸ™‚

My question is…I have been contemplating starting my own makeup blog. Where should I begin?

Thank you!

Just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, because the niche is very, very, very saturated. I’m actually not trying to discourage anyone, I just want people to be realistic. So long as you start because you love it, it will work out. Aside from that, you’ll want to figure out where to host and run your blog from. Depending on how tech savvy you are, you might want to get a ________ for Dummies book! I recommend WordPress, which is harder to use initially than Blogger, but everyone I know has always migrated from Blogger to WordPress when they’ve become more successful.

Dear Christine, it is so amazing that you take this time to answer our questions! I really admire you! I would like to ask you if you ever had any experience (or would be willing to ) with Brazilian makeup Brands, such as O BoticΓ‘rio, Natura, Quem disse Berenice?, ContΓ©m 1g, Duda Molinos…? Ever heard of them? =)

I think I’ve only come across maybe one Brazilian brand, which was a nail polish, and even that I’m not 100% certain on. I have heard of the brands, but I haven’t tried them!

I have a pretty dark lipline that makes it hard to wear even bolder lipsticks without it showing through. I was wondering if you had any tips on this issue. I’ve tried dabbing on a bit of concealer, but my lips are too dry for this method. I’ve used my regular concealer for this, but do you have any suggestions on a concealer that is more preferable? Thank you, Christine! I’m a HUGE fan of your blog!

Have you tried patting your foundation on? Well, assuming you wear liquid. I find liquid foundation is more comfortable on lips that way. Otherwise, I’d recommend using a lip liner! πŸ™‚ You might like MAC Prep + Prime Lip.

Thank you!

Maybe Buffy? To be honest, I really don’t watch much TV! Buffy was the only thing that came to mind, but I don’t know if that’s a great idea.

Hi Christine!
First of all I want to say how much I love your blog, I’ve found so many different makeup looks that I would have never thought to have tried. My only question is about nail polish, I’ve noticed you don’t review OPI, just curious as to why?

Hi Christine! I’m a bit of a makeup hoarder and shop frequently at makeup counters and stores. But for all my perusing, I have yet to find a duplicate for Rock & Republic Bedroom blush. It’s the warm guava pink matte color that compliments my olive skin. Any recommendations?