Ask Temptalia Revisited

Ask Temptalia Revisited

Yesterday, I had the urge to do an old school “Ask Temptalia” session, so I asked readers on Facebook and Twitter to submit any questions they had via e-mail, and I would answer and post them the following day (which is now!). So without further ado, here are those questions and my answers…


Is there a lip liner like MAC Quartz out there? I had no idea it was going, and can’t find anything like it.
I think it was discontinued awhile ago, and I never owned it, but going off of some swatches I was able to find on the internet, maybe Make Up For Ever #9C would be worth checking out.

I have a lot of pigment in my lips so lipsticks never look like they do in the tube. Any suggestions for something that will tone down the color in my lips without drying them out or changing the color of the lipstick?
Lip primers can help (and sometimes have more hydration benefits), but generally, a dab of concealer or foundation does the best job of muting your natural lip color. If you just use a little, it won’t be drying and shouldn’t change the lipstick color drastically. You could also try using a lip liner that’s similar to your lip color but a few shades lighter, so it helps to lighten your natural lip color but not in a drastic way like concealer/foundation would.

When you apply eyeshadow, do you apply darkest to lightest or vice versa? Does one method make blending easier than another?
I usually apply from left to right, but if I want to use a matte shade in the crease, I’ll often apply that first with a big, fluffy crease brush. Then, I’ll go back with a smaller brush to add more definition to the crease with the same color or something darker. I find it easier to blend light into dark by gently pulling the lighter color into the darker one, but you can really do it either way.

My forehead is ridiculously shiny but it’s shiny from dry tightness, or I moisturize and it seems moist but not greasy but still very shiny. What can I do? I’ve tried toners and Studio Fix Powder. Is there a mattifying gel that works?
Are you giving your moisturizer enough time to sink in? If your moisturizer hasn’t absorbed fully, it can still look shiny. I try to give my moisturizer 30 minutes to sink in before I apply any makeup. For mattifying primers, I like CoverFX Matte and NARS Pro-Prime. If you find yourself shiny and really dislike it, you might want to carry around a pressed powder like Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder, MAC Blot Powder, or Urban Decay De-Slick.

More Q&A!Β 

Basically, I live in AZ which has one of the (if not the) highest rate of sun cancer and I’m trying to be really good about wearing sunscreen on my face every day! The problem is I’m not really sure how to go about it since you are supposed to reapply it every couple of hours regardless of its strength. Am I really supposed to take off all my makeup (foundation, concealer, blush etc) every couple of hours and start over? Or does being protected from the sun really not work with having a full makeup routine? Is there any sort of sunscreen that can be sprayed or something OVER face makeup?
I’m not a doctor or scientist, so first, I’d recommend checking with your doctor or dermatologist. There’s a quickie video here from dermatologist Dr. Schultz that seems to say that if you’re not outdoors, you probably won’t need to reapply your sunscreen. It’s when you’re sweating, swimming, in the sun, etc. that reapplication is most important. He used the example that if you swam, your makeup would come off, so reapplication isn’t a problem; but if your makeup is still intact, then your sunscreen is probably still intact as well. If you’re not being photographed, consider sunscreens and products with physical blockers like zinc oxide, which don’t break down in the sun, while many chemical sunscreens do break down over time. Others might recommend powders that you can apply over makeup throughout the day, but it seems like the jury is still out on whether you can ever apply enough powder to provide the marketed SPF coverage without using a ton of product (Christine from 15 Minute Beauty has an excellent post on picking out sunscreen and the pitfalls of using powder-based sun protection).

For ages, I’ve been looking for the perfect silver nail polish, but I haven’t found it yet. MAC’s “$$$$$ YES” is pretty close, but still not quite there. What I’m looking for is for a foil, even mirror-like silver nail polish. The Minx-silver is exactly what I’m looking for; and now I’m wondering, is there a way to achieve a finish like that at home? It doesn’t have to be nail polish (or could you think of one that comes close?), but I live in Germany so Minx isn’t an option sadly!
Have you perused through the silver nail polish swatch gallery? These are the silver polishes I’ve come across personally – it sounds like SpaRitual Looking Glass or Duri Celebrity might be what you’re looking for!

I’m an NC30 in MAC foundation and I have the following questions regarding a neutral everyday look for me.
What lipstick and lip gloss would you recommend? What three eye shadows would you recommend for crease, lid and highlight. What color blush?

MAC Crosswires Lipstick/MAC Nymphette Lipglass. MAC Bamboo, Soft Brown, Shroom. MAC Margin or Peaches.

I use mainly MAC eyeshadow and am wondering what are the best colors to use on older faces with wrinkly eyelids? I know frosts aren’t good, but what colors do you recommend for highlighting?
You can use satiny finishes, like MAC Shroom or Vanilla!

I’m looking for a lipstick that actually stays put and I don’t have to touch up so often during the day. I’m a busy and active mom and would like to find something either by Mac Cosmetics, Smashbox or Bobbi Brown that doesn’t have to be reapplied throughout the day. I’m not a fan of the lipstains as they dry out my lips and become cakey as the day goes on. I look for the quickest makeup steps possible and like to keep a simple, sophiscated look. I’m looking for a nice brown color but not something overly dark.
If you like MAC, have you tried their new Pro Longwear Lipcremes? They do wear for several hours without drying, and some of the darker shades stain, so you’ll still get a fair amount of color even as it wears off. You might like So Very Good, which is slightly brown.

I am 6 months pregnant and I no longer feel like putting on a ton of makeup, but I need to do something to brighten my face! Is there something I can do that doesn’t involve foundation or powder?
Congrats on your pregnancy! There are definitely a multitude of products that can do that, and they’re luminizers. These are often lotions/moisturizers that have light-reflecting particles (like shimmer) in them, so you can apply easily and still get a little glow and brightening effects. A few suggestions to check out: MAC Strobe Cream/Lotion, Smashbox Artifical Light Luminizing Lotion, or Givenchy Mister Radiant. You could also use a cream highlighter, like Benefit Watt’s Up!, which is super easy to use and gives a subtle glow.

What’s the best way to apply MAC pigments and glitters? (What products are best to use underneath, what brush works best, etc.)
I prefer using MAC’s Water-Based Mixing Medium with pigments. With glitters, it also works, but using the Eyeliner Mixing Medium can sometimes be a little more durable. If you’re using an adhesive base (like the mixing medium), you shouldn’t need product underneath it if you just want the pigment color to stand out. I like using the 242 brush with pigments, but the 239 will also work. You want it to be firm enough to pick up the pigment without getting color between the bristles too much, especially if you’re laying them down with a little dampness.

I have a simple (and yet complicated) question. I honestly cannot figure out how to use highlighter–liquid or powder. I have a thing of Benefit’s High Beam and I can’t figure out how to apply it in a way that makes me look any different than I normally look! Every one I’ve ever seen, swatched, or used seems to either not show up on my somewhat-dark skin or turns me into a pores-ahoy disco ball. Help?
Benefit’s Moon Beam would probably be the better shade for your darker skin tone, which might be why you don’t find it works with your skin tone at present. If it’s a liquid or cream, sometimes the best way to apply is by gently patting it against the top of the cheekbones with your finger tip. This way, you can warm it up and gently blend it out so it’s smooth but still noticeable. Not all highlighters are created equal, so some are really sheer and others have larger particles so they can emphasize pores. If you have a liquid one that is too much, you could try adding it to a moisturizer or immediately applying while your foundation or moisturizer is still “wet.”

If you could only use 5 MAC brushes do to your whole face, which ones would you use and why?
109, 116, 134, 239, 266.

I’ve read several of your posts saying that your readers prefer to use MAC paint pots as eye shadow base (ESB). You also recommend using Benefit Creaseless cream eye shadow as a base. My question is, providing that these ESB doesn’t crease or budge, can you use them underneath pigmented powder eye shadow without a primer (aka. ESB = primer)? If it’s the case, can they hold metallic or glitter eye shadows as well? I don’t have access to UD and Too Faced so I consider if it’s worth to invest on NARS.
Yes, you can use powder eyeshadow on top of a product like MAC Paint Pots or Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows. When it comes to loose products or glittery eyeshadows, you’ll find that most eyeshadow bases and cream eyeshadows are not quite enough to hold them on. I would say a product like Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow is better than Urban Decay Primer Potion or MAC Paint Pots. I believe Too Faced makes a product specifically for glitter eyeshadow or products, so that might be better out of all the products. Though eyeshadow bases and primers can technically be two separate things, they usually serve very similar functions and most only need one.


How did you get brands to send you samples of their products? Did you contact them first telling about your blog or did they contact you?
answer Both, but I started blogging five years ago, and the atmosphere was very, very different. I know that these days PR firms and brands are inundated with requests. It can be difficult for brands and firms to distinguish which blogs are credible and deserving of samples and which are simply in it for freebies. If you are just starting out your blog, it’s better to establish yourself first, so you can prove to brands you are serious, dedicated, and you’re about more than free products. At present, I only reach out to a brand when there is something very specific I’m looking for and expect to review. You want to make sure that if you put in a request that you are really serious about reviewing it–I never guarantee, but I know that I’m asking for something because readers really want to see it, so I fully intend to test it, and will make the final call on whether it gets posted at that point.

I’m starting my blog in Spanish, and sadly, here it is a bit dangerous to contact strangers. How did you know that the companies contacting you were not a stranger with bad intentions?
I only work with people who have email addresses from the brand’s website or an established public relations firm. For example, I do not work with people who send me an email from @gmail or @hotmail; I want to see @covergirl or @maccosmetics. I know in America, you can also get third-party mailboxes, so if you are giving out your address, it is not your home address.

What do you do with all the stuff you swatch and don’t use?
Depending on the product, I may keep it for later consideration for a review because generally, I only swatch if I intend to review. If I don’t expect to review, I don’t open or touch it. If I don’t keep it, then I donate to a local legal aid fund, which has an arm that provides legal services to victims of domestic violence. They distribute the products to both their clients (who are the victims) as well as the volunteers (as they provide legal services for free/low-cost).

How many hours do you spend on Temptalia?
Around 70 hours a week. I’m usually at the computer by 8AM and work until lunch time on various things (approving comments, responding to emails, replying to comments, writing 1-2 posts for the remainder of the day). I eat lunch (30-45 minutes), and then I resume blog-related activities. It depends on the day, product launches, etc., because I’ll either photograph and swatch products or edit and crop photos to get them ready for actual write-ups in the afternoon. If I’m not photographing, then I apply whatever products I’m testing (and I usually squeeze in a lipstick or gloss in the AM, too!) before heading back to the computer. If I am, then I usually photograph and then apply those products afterward. Another break for dinner for about an hour, and then I edit photos or write-up posts. I usually head to bed around 11pm. On a really good day, I’ll manage to be productive for 12 hours, but I’m usually not that good and am productive for 10 or so. I take short breaks throughout the day, though πŸ™‚

Why don’t you review X brand? Y product?
It’s unlikely that there is a specific reason. There is only so many hours in a day and so many products I can review–if I could review every product possible, I would totally do it, but it’s not. I try to listen to readers and keep an ear to the ground about what seems to be most interesting to them to help direct what brands or products I review. I also try to review products that are interesting but perhaps pricey, so you can see what they really look like and how they perform without breaking the bank–it’s less painful to spend $2 on a drugstore lipstick and have it bomb than spend $30 on a high-end one.


In the last few months, which product has seem to disappoint you the most?
MAC Big Bounce was pretty disappointing.

Has there been a collection you decided to just skip as a whole?
No, I don’t think so. I review products based on what readers want, not necessarily what I like or am interested in.