Ask Temptalia – Question & Answer Session #5

Q: Where can I find discounted MAC? I can’t afford MAC at retail price.
A: My favorite place to find discounted MAC is at They always carry various MAC products at slight discounts. Right now, though, there is a code for 50% off MAC orders of $50 or more, if you use code SAVE50 at checkout. This is such a great deal, and it is not as if MAC goes on sale at the actual MAC stores 😉 For brick & mortar shoppers, check for a Cosmetics Company Outlet store near you, which carries slightly discounted MAC and other Estee Lauder brands.

Q: What do you use the most, Pigments or the regular eyeshadow? (If it’s eyeshadow, do you use the shiny eyeshadow or velvet? what kind) And do you know how to make eyes look smaller?
A: I use both regularly – I generally use a pigment for nearly every look I do, but I also use several eyeshadows, too! I love all textures in eyeshadows. My favorite would be veluxe pearls, though. I know one trick that tends to make eyes look smaller is liner on both the upper and lower lash line. For some this opens up eyes, but on others it closes them quite a bit.

Q: Do you find that your craft brushes are the best for applying your eyeshadow? I bought a new eyeshadow brush from the Body Shop yesterday and it’s pretty stiff. My less expensive brush is a lot softer, but I don’t know if that’s worse to apply eyeshadow with. What do you suggest?
A: I apply my eyeshadow with a makeup brush, actually, but I have no problems with craft brushes. I would only recommend ensuring that it is extremely soft for shadow applications! Sometimes a brush will soften a bit after some use, though. I definitely suggest using whichever one works the best for you – so maybe try them both and return the one that doesn’t work so well!

Q: I was wondering if you could reccommend a few (say 5 to 10) shades that you think are the most versatile and can be used in multiple looks.
A: Five great staple eyeshadows to own would be Ricepaper (excellent neutral and highlighter), Carbon (matte black to darken any look), Bronze (warm chocolate brown), Goldmine (true yellow gold), Woodwinked (velvety brown), and Soft Brown (warm medium brown).

Q: I was wondering if you could reccomend eyeshadows that are similar to Rye, Casablanca, Beauty Burst, and Canary Yellow, since they are all Limited Edition.
A: Rye is such a tough color to find a permanent color that’s similar. You could try Patina, which is similar, but not all that close. Summer Neutral and Tendermetal were both extremely close in color, but those were also limited! Casablanca is really similar to Nylon eyeshadow. In place of Beauty Burst, you could try Texture eyeshadow. In the case of Canary Yellow, I’d try using Goldmine eyeshadow but then lightening it by adding a paler/white shadow to help bring down its intensity.

Q: My left eye looks a little bigger then my right eye. Is there anyway for me to make them look even? Because of this, I try to avoid lining the top of my eye with eyeliner because it make it look worst.
A: You might notice the difference because you are more critical of yourself, so the first thing is to figure out if the difference in size is noticeable to people around you. What you can do is try to emphasize the smaller eye by lining only the bottom or top, or using a white liner on the waterline to help open them up. Lighter shadows will also enlarge eyes.

Q: Is there any specific product you’d recommend to use for contouring? I use the MAC NC 35 concealer. Also, what other shades of lipglass would you recommend I use?
A: A lot of people adore Strada blush as a contour. It might be a tad light on you, so I would try it at the store befor eyou buy, if possible. Taupe blush is a great choice, too, but it is only available at PRO stores. Harmony blush is a darker, slightly rosier choice that can work on deeper skintones as well. For lipglass suggestions, I really like Lychee Luxe for a coral color; Russian Red for a glossy bright red; and Pink Poodle for a playful pink color.

Q: I can’t afford every Mac brush you have for all the looks, can you list a set of eye brushes that I can use with everything ranging from smokey to natural looks? I read your list on the Brush section but I can’t find the Philosopy brush or the Benefit brush anywhere. I use brush 216 for blending but its alittle to big for my eye size!!! I see you have 252 but you use it occasionally. Do I really need to get it?
A: You might want to check out your local craftstore and pick up high quality paint brushes. They work fabulously as cheaper alternatives for makeup brushes. Not only are they less expensive, but you can often get a really quality brush for the price you pay, too. The 252 is not at all an essential brush! I rarely use it. Also, keep an eye out for makeup brush sets, especially miniaturized or travel kits, because they tend to be discounted since you are buying in “bulk” so-to-speak. Here are a couple I found: Professional Brush Set 6 Piece Brush Set, Lola Cosmetics La Petite Brush Set Brush Set – 7 piece set, Clinique Brush Basics Set.

Q: I’m just curious to know how many Pro stores are there in U.S. and where are they located?!
A: I think there are about 5-10 PRO stores in the US. I know MAC has changed a handful of regular freestanding stores into PRO stores in the past year or is planning to in the near future. Your best bet is to go to and do a find store search and locating stores that only sell MAC products. There are three PRO stores in California – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, one in Las Vegas, another in Dallas, two in Florida (Miami & Orlando), as well as one in New York.

Q: I am a female of color and just to give you a sense of my shade, my foundation of choice is MAC studio fix C7. I would like to know if you have any recommendation on blushes and eyeshadows that will compliment my skin tone, especially in the neutral, so that I can try the neutral look you have up, as well as any other suggestions you may have.
A: If you want to go more neutral with blushes, I would definitely recommend going for Desert Rose for a dusty pink, Raizin for a darker bronze blush, and Style for a peachy-coral blush. As for eyeshadows, some of my favorite neutral permanent colors are Ricepaper, Bamboo, Expresso, Bronze, Shroom, and Mulch.

Q: What do you use to remove the eye makeup?
A: Most often I use Cetaphil cleanser, which removes the majority of my makeup. Sometimes when I have heavier makeup on, I will use makeup remover wipes to facilitate the process. One trick to getting stubborn makeup or waterproof makeup off is to use an oil-based remover, because oil breaks down makeup product, thereby making it easier to remove! 🙂

Q: I love playing up my eyes but I’m stuck with not very much choice when it comes to color and designs. I can only use 1 color on my eyelids, maybe 2 if I apply a lighter color on the crease and brow section. I’m desperate for your suggestions.
A: One way to brighten and open eyes is by using a white or light colored liner on the lower waterline. Sometimes minimizing the amount of dark or black liner can also help – some people find that lining both top and bottom lash lines are necessary, while others find that just the bottom is perfect or just the top opens up their eyes. The key is to experiment and see what works best for you. Another trick is to only use liner on the outer portion of the lash line, instead of the entire length of it.

Q: I wanted to ask you if there is any trick to applying MAC’s paint as a base to the eye? When I use the paint, and then apply my eyeshadow it looks bumpy, caked up, and not smooth. I use MAC’s 217 brush to apply my shadow. Am I applying to much paint or not using the correct eye shadow brush?
A: This is an interesting problem you are having! Have you tried to smooth the paint on your lid with the tip of your finger? It might help make sure it is completely smooth. I think there is a chance you are simply using too much paint. Try using less and seeing if that minimizes the bumpiness of it! The 217 doesn’t seem like the ideal brush to apply paints with; I would personally gravitate more towards a flat, stiff brush like the 242 or 252 for applying paints. Hope that helps!

Thanks for all the questions! Keep sending them in to [email protected]. If you have a time-sensitive question, please let me know so I can try and answer it on time. If you didn’t see your question, check for it in the next Ask Temptalia post. Keep on sending them in!