Ask Temptalia Session #017

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I’m taking your questions and answering them today. You can feel free to ask any question you’d like, beauty-related or unrelated. Feel free to answer other readers’ questions, too 🙂 The more the merrier!

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i just bought at at super price two perfecting face powders from chanel – nr 30 and 40 – rosee & lilas…and for the life of me i cant get them to work ! i am super pale so its not about the coulour..they just seem to shimmery ( rosee) and ashy ( lilas)
are they supposed to be used only as highlighters ? 🙂

thenk u !

Hi Lisha,

I’ve never tried the product you’re asking about, but from searching on the internet, it sounds like Rosee may be better off as a highlighter or very, very lightly applied. I’m not sure about Lilas!

My inability to get myself to cook (too lazy), how much I don’t like school (wish I loved it), not as productive as I should be (forever working on this one!), too trusting, always forget to put things away (so I can be kind of messy, boo!).

I like L’Oreal’s Chrome Liners – very pretty. I love CoverGirl’s LashBlast mascara! I also like Maybelline’s Full ‘n Soft if you just want soft, feathery lashes.

Yes, you should be. One way to check is to look at the box (I know, you probably don’t have the box any more, but for future reference) and see if they have the B2M symbol on it.

I just have to say I love your site, I check it everyday. You’re the best!! So much work you must put in!!!

I was wondering how you swatch eyeshadows. Just because when I swatch them in the store, then bring them home and use them with a brush I find their texture and color payoff to be different. So when you swatch them on your arm, what do you use? (brush, finger, q-tip??)

Thank you so much! 🙂

When I’m in store, I use my finger (because I don’t care about contaminating the shadow since they’re testers and already destroyed), but when I’m home, I use a q-tip or sponge applicator (whatever I have on hand). The texture shouldn’t really change, and the color pay off can be lessened when you use a brush, but if you use a base, you shouldn’t have many color issues. I try to swatch “normal” and not do anything heavily (so I’m not going to sit there and swipe on five layers of color), since I do find heavy swatches misleading.

Is Temptalia essentially a one-woman show? Because if it is, I’m just truly amazed at your ability to juggle your daily life & still be able to provide us with such in-depth reviews, recommendations, and even taking the time to reply comments. (I guess in short, THANKS FOR BEING SO AWESOME!)

Quick question, what do you think of Revlon’s colorstay liquid foundation?

I use revlon colorstay, it’s the only foundation I can wear. I have very dry skin. I quite like it, considering I don’t have many options. (not that I have tried every foundation) It blends well and lasts all day.

Hi Caroline,

I (Christine) do all of the writing, photography, replies, swatching, etc. My boyfriend does back-end work — like all of the technical support, design, edits videos, making sure the server stays up, etc. But pretty much any other task, it’s probably me doing it. A lot of the “visible” work is done by me, and then my boyfriend takes care of more behind-the-scenes techy stuff!

Thank you! 🙂

I haven’t personally tried Revlon’s ColorStay foundation, BUT I have heard many, many good things about it. I’ve had lots of readers tell me they prefer it over MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid.

i tried it but i am one person that dont prefer it over MAC studio fix fluid it has good coverage but for some reason it breaks me out and its harder to blend than MACs

Hi Christine! Do primers and bases do the same thing? I usually use Primer Potion as a primer and then I use a base as well, before I put my makeup on. I noticed you usually don’t use a primer, but you always use a base. I love Pixiwoo on You Tube and I know the one MA doesn’t use a primer because she feels it does “funny” things to the color of her makeup. I like to use colored bases (pigments), but when I do, they usually totally eat the color. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Hey Rachael,

Usually, a base and primer are the same thing. I mean, technically, they can mean different things, but in general, most of us use the two interchangeably. I’d say a primer gets something ready for product, while a base is an actual product you’re laying down to improve wear, color, etc.

UDPP doesn’t work on me – it creases. I also find that a lot of neutral bases/primers (TFSI, UDPP, etc.) just don’t give me enough pop, so I opt for colored bases (pigments). I find pigments are the least likely to eat color, but it always depends on the shade. The darker the pigment, the more likely it’ll eat the color! I like pigments such as Melon, Old Gold, Sumptuous Olive, Violet, Fuchsia, Teal for bases (that are permanent shades).

To use a mattifying product. I like DDF Mattifying Oil Control Moisturizer, Philosophy Never Let Them See You Shine Mattifying Primer (longest product name EVER), Cosmedicine Medi-Matte, MAC Oil Control Lotion, or Make Up For Ever’s Mattifying Face Primer. I don’t have super oily skin, but I have heard from folks who’ve had problems controlling oil on their skin, and I always hear good reviews for Cosmedicine’s Medi-Matte (the most).

Hey….thank you for taking the time to do this….I have somewhat unruly dry hair and usually blowing it out myself it does not look good at all…well I want to buy the t3 but i want to know if it is really worth it???
also….I have acne due to stress and at that time of the month, unfortunately salicylic acid kind of makes it worst, i was just wondering if the clarisonic might help?
Thank You!!!!!!!!

I know that when I changed from a regular blow dryer to the T3, everything got better (less frizzies/flyaways, shinier, etc.), but I’m not sure if it’ll necessarily tame unruly dry hair overall. Are you blow drying freestyle or with a brush? I’ve always found using a brush helps tremendously to keep my mane tamed!

Since it seems like it’s due to stress/hormones, the Clarisonic may help, but I don’t know if that’s your best. Have you tried AHA/BHA or benzoyl peroxide? If salicylic acid isn’t working, benzoyl peroxide might (it’s basically the alternative to salicylic acid).

you could also use tree tea oil which is get for blemish, you can buy the oil or go to lush and they have this scrub called dark angle as well which I use twice a wk and u may want to look into getting a facial I found that helped me out alot too

Thought of another question! In your opinion, what is the best makeup remover? Should I use an eye makeup remover, and then a seperate face one?

My favorite eye/lip makeup remover is Lancome’s Bi-Facil. It just gets EVERYTHING off. When I do heavy eye makeup, I tend to use Lancome Bi-Facil on a cotton pad. For lips, I just use makeup remover wipes. I prefer a regular face cleanser for my face, followed by a toner, to make sure it’s ALL off.

Specific shades or just formulas? Since you said products, I’m going to pretend it’s FORMULAS to make it easier on me 😀

Chanel Rouge Allure Laque
YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick
Guerlain KissKiss Lipstick
Guerlain KissKiss Gloss
YSL Golden Gloss

hi Christine,

I was wondering what would be the best black base, a black paint stick or blackground paint pot?

Also what brush would you suggest to use with mac studio sculpt foundation?

Paint stick as in the Greasepaint stick? I’d probably opt for that over Blackground, but my favorite (personally) is just Blacktrack fluidline.

I’d use the 190 to apply (or any flat brush) and then the 109 to blend/buff it out.

Hi Christine!
Thank you for doing this again!
-What are you really loving right now in your beauty stash? Choose 5.
-If you could go duty free makeup shopping, what would you pick up?
-What holiday collection are you looking forward to?
-If you had to choose, do you like Benetint or Posietint better?
-Are you going to review the Stila Holiday 2009 Collection? (Please say yes!)
-What do you want to buy with the Sephora F&F sale code?
-What is your HG pencil eyeliner?
-What do you use when you have really rough hair to smooth it out?
-What hair straightener do you like?
-What’s your favorite chocolate? [I’m craving some :)]

Hey Crystal,

1.) Chanel Rouge Allure Laques — LOVE THEM. Does that count as just one? I’m loving Guerlain’s new Gem Rouge G lipstick for holiday… so pretty. Perfect pink for the holidays. I’m still adoring Chanel’s Exfoliating Mousse Cleanser, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. Chanel’s new holiday quad (blanking on the name) is sooo pretty. It’s refreshing for holiday! Finally, Philosophy Pumpkin Spice Muffin Shower Gel.

2.) Gosh, I have no idea. I’m not even sure what’s available duty-free. I’d probably look for exclusives or opt for pricier lines to make the most of my savings!

3.) Guerlain! Always steals my heart. (And I love this year’s!!)

4.) Posietint, because I like the brightness more.

5.) I’m sure going to try!

6.) I’ll probably cave on some high-end stuff like YSL Rouge Voluptes, Guerlain Rouge Gs/KissKiss Lipsticks, and the like. I actually spend so much throughout the year (I have ZERO, and I mean ZERO, capacity to wait on anything), that when F&F comes by, I have no idea what to buy.

7.) MAC Feline Kohl Power. So black. LOVE IT.

8.) My hair is pretty easy. I do next to nothing to it. I like TRESemme for hair products, though. Fekkai is good, too. I admit it – I am hair stupid.

9.) I have FHI for my straightener, but I never use it, since my hair is fairly straight as is. Like I said, I’m really quite hair stupid, LOL.

10.) I love chocolate fudge. I’m actually not a big chocolate fan, but I like it in some things – like chocolate fudge, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate mousse.

I usually just use a concealer – my favorites are YSL Touche Eclat, Make Up For Ever’s Full Coverage Concealer, or Laura Mercier’s Camouflage. I do use Eve Pearl’s Salmon Concealer sometimes, too. I rarely bother (sooo lazy!) with concealer myself, though. I do find that layering concealer, then dusting with translucent powder, and then using a light highlighting shadow that’s flesh-colored just on the lower lash line helps to brighten eyes.

Pinks – Sweetie, Craving
Reds – New York Apple, Viva Glam I
Nudes – Touch, Velvet Teddy
Plums – Amorous, Plumful
Vamps – Odyssey, Dark Side

No prob!

Hey there! Hope you had a lovely birthday (I’m a little late!).

What are your tips for easy ways to brighten eyes in the mornings? And best way to cover dark circles? Those are my two biggest beauty concerns at the moment, omg school stresses me out!

Hey Lia,

I like these concealers: MUFE Full Coverage Concealer, Laura Mercier’s Camouflage, and YSL Touche Eclat. I like to layer the concealer, then use a translucent powder, and then highlight right below the lower lash line with a flesh-colored eyeshadow (something that’s very, very fine and lightly shimmered, nothing glittery).

I had a great birthday! Thanks 🙂

For brightening your eyes in the morning (and I’m sure it helps for your dark circles as well), put a teaspoon in the fridge (NOT the freezer) for a couple of minutes and then press lightly onto your eye. It wakes them up instantly. If you have some more time, you can just use a pair of cucumber slices. Cucumber is up to 20°C colder than the outside temperature (which it’s why it’s great for sunburns by the way) AND they help regulate your blood pressure.
What also helps “optically” is to put a lot of mascara on your upper lashes, but not your bottom ones (that would “drag them down” instead of “pulling them up” if that makes any sense) and use a subtle highlighter in your inner tearduct.

Hope that helps! Just chiming in here…

Nail Polishes:
1. China Glaze For Audrey
2. China Glaze Ruby Pumps
3. Chanel Vendetta
4. MAC Seriously Hip
5. China Glaze Wagon Trail

Pigments: It’d be easier to say which ones I don’t like, ha! My top five would be (including limited edition): Gold Dusk, Your Ladyship, Melon, True Chartreuse, and Golden Olive.

If I could only pick one for each color of eyeshadow… My favorite purple would be MAC Stars ‘n Rockets; teal would be MAC Shimmermoss eyeshadow; coral would be Benefit’s Sippin’ & Dippin’ Creaseless Cream Shadow; and black would be YSL’s Ivory Beige/Black duo.

Thank you for doing this Q&A, its amazing how you have the time to make this website and answer our questions! Your the best!
What are your favorite drug store products?And what is your favorite drug store brand?
Lip Stick:
Lip Gloss:

Hi Kitson,

Eyeshadow: Sonia Kashuk or L’Oreal HIP (though I find HIP too expensive to bother with unless it’s a good sale)
Blush: Physician’s Formula
Eyeliner: L’Oreal Chrome Liners
Mascara: CoverGirl Lash Blast, Maybelline Full ‘n Soft
Lip Stick: NYX (the round ones – not the black diamond or whatever, those are more $ and don’t seem better to me)
Lip Gloss: NYX
Nailpolish: OPI or Sally Hansen

From MAC, I like Ricepaper and Shroom, but flesh-colored is kind of relative… who’s flesh?! I’m not very familiar with Urban Decay’s permanent line-up, so I couldn’t say for that brand!

hey christine just a few questions for you:
1. Whats your favorite nail polish?
2. Favorite moisterizer and exfoliator?
3. Best baby pink lipstick?

Hi Annie,

1.) China Glaze For Audrey
2.) Kate Somerville Oil-Free Moisturizer; Prescriptives’ Instant Gratification (for an exfoliator)
3.) YSL Frivolous Pink Rouge Volupte

I don’t have dark circles but with sleeping so little now that I’m back in school I have these jumbo bags under my eyes sometimes. Like I drank and all night and am dehydrated. What can I do to help?

For puffiness, try using anything cool on the area – as one reader recommended, a spoon kept in the refrigerator for a few minutes, or the tried-and-true cucumber slices. Potato slices can also be helpful to rest on the area. Make sure you eat healthily and drink a lot of water–both are vital to help reducing puffiness. I’ve also heard hemorrhoid cream can help with puffiness, but I haven’t personally tried it, so I can’t recommend it either way! (If you have sensitive skin, I wouldn’t recommend it period, as it’s not designed for the face and may contain irritating ingredients and the like.)

You can buy a bottle of cornflower water. As cold help, you can put it in the fridge and apply 2 cottons with this flower water on your closed eyes. Cornflower is the go-to plant for eyes. 🙂

Hi Christine, I have a hard time figuring out why the outer corner of my eyes seem to water a lot after I layer & blend my eye makeup. It only happens when I’ve invested the time to really layer and blend the colors to get a great looking eye, not when I just opt for a simple eye look. It’s not specific to any certain brand or product, just mostly when I blend & layer a lot. I use a combination of products ranging from UD, Bobbi Brown, The Balm, Estee Lauder & Stila, etc. I don’t know if it’s the products or the technique I’m using but do you have any ideas or suggestions for me? Thanks!

Hi Kristi,

It sounds like perhaps you just have more sensitive eyes – like a simple look doesn’t require much work in the area, so your eyes don’t get irritated, but when you spend a more prolonged period of time applying makeup to them, they seem like they’re getting agitated. I’d say make sure you’re using soft brushes, using soft/gentle strokes (you shouldn’t be able to hear your brush strokes), and maybe wait five minutes or so after you’ve blended before adding any liner/mascara.

Hi Lisa,

Hope you’re well! To be honest, I haven’t tried any drugstore pressed powders/loose powders in forever, so I have no idea!

I’m loving sonia kashuk’s (target) loose powder at the moment. I have really fair skin and her lightest loose powder is one of the best matches I’ve ever found. It’s light coverage but leaves a really nice finish.

For any type of powders, I have found Physicians Formula to be the best in value, quality and colour matching 🙂 I’ve tried just about every drug store brand available (in canada anyways). The only other powder I use is Clinique.

I use NC40 and I’d Breezy and Fleur Power, too. Both are highly pigmented and blendable plus they look super awesome on tanned skin 😛

Do you have any suggestions on how to keep my lipstick from settling into the crevices in my lips? After about an hour, my lips start to look like they have shrivled up. Also, how do I keep my concealer from settling into the lines under my eyes. I have been using prep & prime line filler, but it doesn’t help.

Lip plumpers or line fillers — those are kind of the products you’d want to look into. My only other tips/tricks would be to fill in your entire lip with a lip pencil to help minimize the colors getting into the lines.

For undereye concealer, I’d recommend using a face primer underneath and/or setting with translucent powder! The setting is probably the more vital step of the two!

Hi Christine! I’m surprised that there is no B2M logo on my Prep+Prime powder box (at least not on the one I bought at my counter!). Do you know if it’s nonetheless returnable? Thank you for the time you take to respond!

Interesting. It sounds like it should be a part of the B2M program, but you could always ask next time you’re at the store 🙂

HI Christine!
First I just want to say I love your site your site! I check it everyday! It’s a bookmark on my iphone. Haha.
I was wondering..
1) what is a good concealer to use on acne or acne scars?
2) What is your favorite shade out of the YSL Rouge Volupte Lipsticks
3) What is a good night cream?

Thanks, Jennifer! 🙂

1.) I like Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage, but I usually just apply and pat on a little extra foundation on the spot. I find trying to conceal acne is pretty hard, and it never seems to look better. For acne scars, just something that has a more opaque coverage rather than sheer — a medium coverage foundation should do the trick.

2.) Forbidden Burgundy if I had to pick one!

3.) Is there something you want your night cream to do, specifically? What kind of skin type do you have? One of my winter cream go-tos is MAC’s Moisturelush; it’s great for very dry skin. I also like NARS Hydrating Cream and Aquagel for year-round usage.

Hi Christine,
what do you think is the best lip brush?
I own the retractable one from MAC and it just seems too tiny. I’ve been thinking about getting a concealer brush to use it as a lip brush, but maybe there’s a better solution?

Hi Natalia,

I personally use MAC’s lip brush, and I don’t really have any problems with it (I think it’s the 316?) so I’m not sure what to recommend to you! I know MAC’s concealer brush is very similar, but it seems too long to really be used well for lips.

I have a Coastal Scents Lip Brush (the pink taklon one) and I like it. I don’t know if it’s any bigger than the MAC one though, but the only thing I’ve ever heard complaints on the CS one is that it’s kind of stiff. Hope that helps! 🙂

Christine, I want your opinion on these two Korres products:
Olive & Rye Eye Cream and Evening Primrose Eye Cream.

Which one would be best to help with dark circles and puffiness under the eyes?
I can’t seem to hide them or prevent them.
Any other suggestions or remedies that I can try?

Hey Susan,

I’ve tried neither, but from reading through the ingredients, I’d probably say Evening Primrose–primarily because I’ve heard good things about primrose for eyes. From Korres’ description, it sounds more suitable to what you’d like to do.

Drink more water, sleep with your head slightly elevated, eat healthier, or try cool cucumber/potato slices for some remedies/suggestions 🙂

Firstly, I LOVE your site! Your the only blog I know that has a beauty question session and I aprreciate that….anywho, on with my questions, lol:

1. How would you apply MAC’s shape and sculpt foundation without looking “cakey”? I’ve tried using the 187 brush and the colour looks too light on my face…would your methods of applying foundation help? (tut videaos)

2. What do you think about Make-Up Forever’s HD Foundation?

3.My lips are pretty pigmented (dark)naturally, and it makes it so difficult with getting that true colour out of lipsticks. What’s the best lip erase out there that I can get that could eliminate that and make my lipstick look “better”. I know MAC bought out a lip erase for their D Squared collection, but it’s limited edition.

Hey Natasha! 🙂 Happy to have you here!

1.) I’d probably use water. I pretty much use a spritz or two of water with any and all foundations I use. The only one I’ve found that doesn’t need it is Dior DiorSkin Nude (Liquid). You may also try using a sponge instead.

2.) I like it, and it does photograph well. I don’t find it looks that different than the average foundation on me (particularly MAC Studio Fix Fluid), so I keep it as a special occasion foundation for when I know I’ll be in a lot of photos!

23.) Just use foundation or concealer! I find MAC’s Lip Erase is very dry. It’s permanent at PRO stores, so you can always pick it up there instead (either in person or placing a phone order – you don’t have to be a PRO member to do either).

LOL, top 10? I don’t think that’s possible. You’d have to give me a category. Particularly since just about everything is available at Sephora!

Just… anything! Makeup anything! If someone left you in Sephora and told you to pick 10 things… what would you get?

I’m prepin’ for F&F…


Because we’re talking F&F, then I’m going to name some stuff that is really good to get on SALE, too, so the list is probably filled with some pricier items than a normal list…

Clarisonic – AMAZING!! MIA or regular or whatever, they’re all the same – it’s just features you get/give up (and they’re not a big deal, IMO)
YSL Golden Gloss – I got my first one last year during F&F! I’ll probably get another one this year.
Guerlain Rouge G – if you’re able to see them in person, I’d get one, just because 20%!! off helps a LOT. (Chanel’s not sold at Sephora, otherwise I’d probably waffle between these two for a pricey little indulgence for lips…)
Guerlain Meteorites (so pretty, but ouch on the wallet!) – or get the sampler that has a mini size in it just to try…
Kate Somerville Oil-Free Moisturizer – love this stuff, and I’m out, so it’s on my F&F list!
UD Stereophonic Set – totally a me item, since I’m just missing one freakin’ 24/7 liner now…
Holiday Collections – like Stila’s is up now!
Barbie Loves Stila – available still & 20% off makes it extra sweet 🙂
Korres Tinted Moisturizer – ADORE IT
Dior DiorSkin Liquid Foundation – ADORE IT
Dior Skin Shimmers – ANY SHADE = LOVE

I usually do F&F on staples and skincare. I find that I usually have the makeup items before F&F comes out, but I do try and see if they’ve put up any holiday launches (lovin’ Guerlain’s holiday!), too.

For the YSL Golden Glosses… do you think the descriptions YSL/sephora gives are pretty accurate? That something described as “bright raspberry pink” or “light strawberry pink” actually looks like that on?

hi have u tried the new zoom fast black lash mascara… can u really tell the difference with the intensity and its blackness. i’m still debating if i should buy one since i’m hooked on plush lash

Hey Tess,

I don’t think it’s really that much blacker. It’s really hard to tell. I’ve been testing it out this past week, and I’ll do a review soon!

First, just wanted to tell you that your blog is awesome! I appreciate all the work you put into it!!

And now the question!

I know you love gold shadows…do you have a favorite?? I’m still on a lookout for a really nice one.

Thanks Christine!

Thanks, Kate! 🙂

I love Goldmine by MAC. It’s just such a beautiful shade of gold. I also like Gorgeous Gold when I want to mix a gold with greens or blues, because it has that green-gold cast.

Oh I thought of a couple more questions I hope that’s ok!

Do you have a favorite smokey bronzey green? Greensmoke is a tad too grey even though I still love the color!

Favorite lip stain?? I really want to try it…

Clarisonia MIA for Sephora FF…worth it?? My skin used to be perfect (actually because of last year’s VAE) and now that I’m abroad it became much worse. Does it really cleanse much better than other exfoliators??

Thank you!

Feel free! 🙂

1.) I love Humid and Sumptuous Olive, actually! They’re both very pretty. I find Greensmoke is really great to *add* into the crease with those other two!

2.) I don’t have any lip stains I LOVE, but I do like Benefit’s BeneTint as a standby. I find I prefer just taking a very opaque, pigmented lipstick and blotting and getting a stain that way.

3.) I love, love the Clarisonic. The MIA or the regular–they’re truly the same product in the end (you just give up certain features or whatever). I think it’s worth it, particularly as a F&F buy!

Do you think Strayin lipstick would be to cool for an NC35? I recently purchased haunting. It is a little to cool and ashy for me. Can you suggest a mac shadow that is similiar but would be better on my NC35 complexion? Also, what color shadow do you suggest to make brown eyes pop?

No, I think it would be okay! 🙂

Shimmermoss is pretty, though it doesn’t have the same matte finish. Newly Minted is nice, too, but it was recently discontinued.

Try greens – but ANY color works well with brown eyes!

Hi Christine, thanks for doing another ask session! 🙂

I saw answered above about the b2m but do you happen to know if MAC takes back de-potted eye shadow containers?

Thanks in advance ^^

They’re supposed to. Last I heard, they should have all gotten an email that says they should. One trick to do is to do a chat via LiveChat feature, ask them, and then print it out and take it with you as “evidence.”

Also, sells empty pans that you can always put back in there, too, if yours is fussy about it!

Thank you for doing the Ask Temptalia Session again!
I’ve always read the post and responses and this is the first time I am able to log on and participate! I log on and see your posts almost everyday! They are very informative. When making a (MAC) purchase I have an idea of what I want. If i’m not sure about a product I always check your reviews on it. It helps me understand and item.

I have been wanting to try an HD foundation. I’ve heard so much hype about it especially MUFE HD foundation. Only thing is I can’t bring myself to pay $40 for it! Can you suggest another foundation or alternative to achieve the flawless look on my face?

Since i’m on the topic of foundation… I wanted to ask you what Primer do you recommend???

Also… what do you think of MUFE smoky lash?
Is there a mascara that gives you the illusion of full think and long lashes with out using falsies??? I haven’t been very successful applying my own falsies. I seem to do better with half lashes than with a full strip of lashes. So i wanted to see if I can achieve that effect with a mascara instead!

Before I forget… I read your MAC VA exfoliator review (I tried it & I loved it!) Now, Have you been able to try the MAC VA thermal mask??? Will you be posting a review of it???

Thank you again! Sorry its such a long post… Again.. I’m so excited to finally partcipate in ths session! =)

Hey Sue! Happy to have you here at the Q&A session! 🙂

If you haven’t had any bad reactions to MAC’s foundations, I do find MAC Studio Fix Fluid to be very similar to MUFE HD. MUFE HD is very nice, and I do like it, but I find it’s best for photography – in real life, it looks about the same on me as many other foundations. IMO, technique is half the battle. My preferred method is spritzing water on a brush (I love the 109), and then applying to your face. The mix of water + liquid foundation always gives me a dreamy finish.

I don’t like MUFE Smoky Lash personally. It doesn’t really do it for me – there are better ones out there. My favorite is Chanel Exceptionnel, but it’s pricey. CoverGirl LashBlast is quite nice (it could be blacker), and MAC PlushLash is my second favorite (but it’s my first choice, since it’s half the price of Chanel). Also, if you’re good at half lashes, try cutting your full strip of lashes into halves or thirds — this is always one way to help apply if you have trouble! 🙂

I have tried the Thermal Mask, and I’ll post a review sometime next week. I want to give it one or two more tries before I write up a review on it 🙂 Overall, it’s OK. I don’t love it. It’s nice, but I don’t know if it’s actually doing anything to my skin beyond the time I use it, you know?

what are your thoughts on the Urban Decay 24/7 Super Stash? I really want to get it but I’d love to see swatches of a review ^__^
If you do have it, what do you think about it?

Thanks a bundle!

Posting it on Wednesday 🙂

If you don’t have the 24/7 liners already, it’s a great set. If you already have some, I’d still say it’s the best set (this year) to get, because it has 4 new shades in it. They’re a bit stubby, though (0.02 oz. vs. 0.04 oz.), which is annoying.

Hi Christine!

Do you know I can get ahold of the MUFE Aqua Eyes 25 years collectors set. Its such a bargain and I really want it but i can’t figure out who sells it. I am from Canada but I can’t find any American retailers who would ship to me either. Hope you can help!

Thanks a lot.

They do ship to Canada but the set I’m looking for isn’t on the Sephora website. It’s the one with all 25 Aqua Eyes liners sold together. Its on the MUFE website but you can’t make orders directly from them.

Is MUFE sold in any retailers in Canada? I wonder if it’s even available at the NY MUFE boutique… I’d say eBay or else see if there’s any local retailers (or Canadian ones) that would be willing to do a phone order & ship to you.

Why do the posts sometimes change order in the day? Do you do it yourself based on importance or if you want more people to comment? Sometimes I notice that one that was farther down will get bumped up to the top. It doesn’t happen a lot but I’ve noticed it and was curious.

Hey! So, sometimes I write posts in advance and schedule them to appear, and then I also write posts more “on the fly” and in real-time and so I change-up the order based on that a lot. Other times it’s just I want it to be in a certain order or I like a post more and want to make sure people see it first! Or they’ll be a lot of posts that are more participation-based lumped together and I want to space it out more.

Hi Christine! I just wanted to ask you, what MAC blush would be best for contouring? I’m looking at Strada, but I’d like to know your opinion.

Sculpt is my favorite (particularly for NC25/NC30), which is a sculpting powder. MAC just put out sculpt and shape duos, so there is Accentuate/Sculpt available at regular stores. Sculpt by itself is available at PRO. Strada is a nice one, too, but it’s not my favorite. Strada would be my 2nd choice!

I’m aware there are lip erase products for those with lighter skin tones but I am quite dark, I’m guessing NC40/NC45 maybe? Do you have any tips on how I could cancel out the brown’ish tones to my lips please? Thank-you and keep up the good work 🙂 Belated Happy 3rd Anniversary wishes xx

Well, Lip Erase doesn’t really mean anything when it comes to skin tones per se. It’s more about neutralizing your natural lip color, which doesn’t always coordinate with your skin tone, you know? Any fleshy colored product would work – lip liner, concealer, foundation, MAC’s Lip Erase, etc. will work to neutralize your lip color.

Thank you!

Hurray!!! I love the Q&A sessions:)

I have a chance to get the below shadows online. What do you think? Take ’em or leave ’em?
– Aquavert
– Grand Entrance
– Style Snob
– Glamour Check!

And do you know when the next MAC friends & family sale will be on?

Yay! 🙂

Aquavert – YES. Very pretty, and unique!
Grand Entrance – NO! I don’t love it. If it’s free, sure, why not, how can you say no to free? Paying for it, eh, pass. It’s so, so frosty. I know some love it, but it’s just way too frosty for my taste.
Style Snob – So-so. It’s pretty, but it’s not super unique. I’d get it over Glamour Check! though.
Glamour Check! – So-so again. Sure, it’s pretty, but it’s similar to existing shades (like Amber Lights), just the texture is different.

I imagine they’ll do a pseudo F&F sale post-holiday with the holiday products 15-20% off like last year, but I don’t see any F&F sales on the horizon for awhile.

Awesome! Thank you so much Christine. As always, you are super helpful!!! 🙂

And now knowing that a potential sale is a couple months away I don’t feel so bad about holiday shopping!!! Yeee!

What is a good foundation brush? I have one of those flat ones and it streaks. I looked at one from MAC and heard you are supposed to do swirl motions. The woman at MAC said it is supposed to give you an airbrush look. They had two sizes.

Have you tried anything from Illamasqua?

Sorry, one more question! A hand cream that is *not* greasy? I don’t really care about smell. Just want it to absorb quickly and not be greasy. I keep running into ones that claim they are not but I find out they are.

Thanks very much! 🙂

I loveeeeeee the 109! The 109!!

I have tried stuff from Illamasqua. It’s okay. I’m not impressed really. There are some products that are nice, others that are so-so. It’s not bad, but from all the hype, I was expecting more.

Hand Perfection Day Cream, I adore. It’s not greasy, dries really quickly, and works well. It’s pricey, but I really love it.

hi christine! i always have a million questions to ask but then when you have these sessions i dont remember any. so here’s what i came up with for now
1) when you do lip swatches is there any way you can get in a whole face shot. i feel like that would make it a lot easier to see how the product looks on the whole. you have great lips so i think anything more or less would look good on just your lips but overall it might look weird. anyway i know you do a million and 1 swatches a week so if you dont feel like doing this, its cool!
2) random personal question: are you planning on getting engaged anytime soon? i feel like all the bridal beauty tips that would come a-flooding would be AMAZING!

Hey Lulee,

1.) One of the reasons I don’t include full face photos is I don’t wear makeup when I’m doing them. I’m wiping my lips so often, any foundation around my mouth area gets completely removed after 2-3 swatches and the area around my mouth reddens up a bit, too… so it’s not pretty, LOL.

2.) Umm, not that I know of, LOL! I’m still in school, so I’m not planning to get married whilst in it, and graduation is still about two years away! I did do a bridal makeup series awhile back, which you can read here –


Christine, you said you’ve been loving Rouge G in Gem from the holiday collection lately. Does that mean that you’ve previewed all/some/most of the Guerlain holiday collection?!? If so, are we going to see a review soon??? Sorry, but \I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for this all year long!! As always, thank you so much for answering our questions, it’s always so very helpful!!

I’ve seen some of the items, and I’ll be posting them on Monday 🙂 I didn’t want anyone to miss it, so I’ve been sitting on it til Monday, LOL.

Are you getting anything from the Dior Cristal Boreale collection?

Whats your favourite shade of Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick?

Best non-MAC purple eyeshadow?

And how much do you hope Dior come with a peach/apricot/coral toned Skin Shimmer? (like me!)

Thanks hon!

Not sure yet. I always have to see it in person before I decide. I’ll probably end up with a lip something rather.

Rouge Allure Lipstick… hmm… I like Instinctive and Comedia a lot. I haven’t found a favorite really, though.

I actually really like the purple in the Stila Barbie Loves Stila palette that came out for fall!

I die. I die for ANY AND ALL Dior Skin Shimmers. I’ll take it in blue, I don’t care! From MAC, I’ve heard coral is big (at least for them) this spring. Maybe Dior will follow?

Hey Christine! I have two questions…first, how would you recommend applying and blending NARS multiples on top of foundation? I use my fingers right now but I wonder if there’s a better way because it can be streaky/splotchy/uneven. I have the Multiple Duos in pan format, BTW. Also, I was wondering what you think the best MAC brush is for contouring the nose.

Thanks so much Christine! Have a great week!

Hi Christine,

Thanks! Sorry, but would you mind describing what you’d do w/ the Multiples using the 187/188? Would you first get the Multiples color (mine is in pan format, not stick format) onto your fingers, then stipple/blend using the 187/188? Or is there a better way?

Thanks again!!

Not really – definitely not professionally trained or anything. I do freelance makeup on occasion, but since I’m in school full time, I don’t have much room for it. I usually just do it for friends/family or friends of friends/family.

Hi Christine
I absolutely love your blog/site – it’s awesome and I check it everyday.
Can you please recommend products to help fade hyper pigmentation spots? My skin is NW43. Thank you very much!!!!

Kiehl’s has a corrector treatment that I like, because it’s not too harsh, and it works decently, but it takes awhile. I also really like Vitamin E – cheap and effective. I only have post-acne marks, so those are what I use! I also sometimes use Mederma.

Hi Christine,
Which color of YSL Touche Eclat do you use? Also, have you tried Guerlain’s Issima Precious Light Smoothing Iluminator? Does it compare to the YSL?
Thanks xx

Hi, Christine! Love your website! Quick question, if you’re starting out with makeup, what would you recommend? (i.e., eyeshadows, blush, lipstick) I have a medium skin tone with yellow undertone. What colors should I look out for (what range would look good on me, in your opinion)? (i.e., golds, purple, grey for eyeshadows or pink for lipstick)

Hey Florence,


I think a lot of colors would work for you! Really! 🙂 If you’re just starting out, I do recommend neutrals, just because they’re easiest work with and make look good even if you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing! Golds, bronzes, and coppers all look good on medium, warm-toned skin, too. So do greens! Coral for cheeks/lips are always good.

Hi Christine and anyone who can answer 🙂 ,
I am wanting to get into Philosophy 3 in 1 body wash products. They have so many scents, and right now am to busy to hit the stores, but want to order online. I just got and tried “Pumpkin Spice Muffin” while it smelled great and just like its name, after awhile my sinuses were killing me from it. Maybe I put too much on in the shower, who knows..I am returning it to Sephora.

I was wondering if you have ever tried or smelled Amazing Grace or Pure Grace 3 in 1? If so could you describe the scent as best as possible and if it works well as a shampoo etc? Also would either be great as a gift for a mid 30’s mother of 2? I want to buy a little something for my Neurologist daughter who works with him for Christmas, and was thinking that would be a safe bet? As maybe most people don’t want to smell like food?


How do you use the face gloss that came out with dsquared collection? Do you use it under or over makeup?
Do you know if fix + has to be used by some expiration date, I have a new one in box that i’ve had for over a year and not sure if I can still use it? Thanks

Hey Jen,

Sorry I missed your Q!

I do believe you put it over makeup! I’m not really familiar with it 🙁

You can easily still use Fix+. I’d say you probably have 2-3 years shelf life, since it doesn’t get contaminated!

Why do you suppose a high-end brand like Dior is so much more expensive to another high-end brand like MAC?? Is it really that much better in quality or are we just paying for the name?? Trying to decide if i should pick up some Dior during the Sephora sale…thanks!!! =)

The two brands are positioned themselves differently. Some products may have more quality than others, but it’s never wholly true that higher the price, higher the quality!

Hi Christine!
Oh!! I really love your site!!! i check it everyday
i have some questions hehe

1. for my olive skin, i wear blushcreme in laid back (MAC) cuz it looks natural on my skin, but i wanna choose another one to look tan, what do u think?
2. i have hazel brownish eyes, i usually wear my teddy eyeliner (MAC), but i want to make more pretty mi natural color (i was thinking about green eyeliner), but… what do you think?

my skin is NC35 (mac)


Hey Adriana,

MAC doesn’t make a bronzy one, from what I can tell!

You can easily wear any eyeliner! Green would be lovely 🙂

I’m doing the makeup for my high school play and the only MAC Pro store is in Chicago… 3 hours away from me! I have a couple of questions for you:
Will chromacakes and paint sticks last over the years? Or will they expire?
Would Ben Nye makeup be better to invest in? Or do you know of another theatrical makeup line that would better last over the years?

Thank you in advance! The acting won’t be so good, so I’m more than happy to do the makeup so at least it will LOOK good. 🙂

Makeup, technically, has a shelf life. Cream product are about 1-2 years.

Ben Nye will expire just as fast, but I do believe it’s cheaper and if you’re doing theatrical stuff, then it’s probably better to go that route, too!

hey Christine GREAT job with the web site its my go-to source for getting the bottom line on makeup products..i got a few questions
what kind of base would u use when using pigment eyeshadows?
have u tried Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation? what are u thoughts about it? im looking for a full coverage foundation for events(i have oily kinda complex skin)
and a request-plz post ur full pic hen u review a lipstick/lipgloss coz it shows more if the color is wearable or not lol i know it will be extra work

Thanks, Lola! 🙂

I usually use pigments with water-based mixing medium, which is kind of like a watery adhesive that helps pigments stay on all day long 🙂

I haven’t played with Double Wear in a long time, but I found it very, very heavy from what I can remember! It’s definitely full coverage.

Hey Christine,

First of all, I love your blog, I read it religiously! Congrats on all your hard work and success.

And as for my question, I was just wondering if you had any MAC lipstick shade suggestions for me, I’m an NW20.

What colours/makeu-up styles do you think are a no-no for tanned/dark-skinned women? (I’m hispanic, and quite gothy, and I find it hard to not look like a clown sometimes, jaja!)

To be honest, I don’t believe in makeup rules or the like! I think everyone can wear whatever they want in some way! 🙂 I imagine some shades have a tendency to look ashy on darker skin, so some modifications might need to be made.

Hey Christine 😀
“Choose or Loose” Barbie Loves Stila Palette or an Urban Decay palette (which is your fav?). BTW I don’t have any Stila or UD eyeshadows and am trying to make up my mind :(!

Hi I was wondering if you can back to M.A.C. pan eyeshadows that are for the pro palette’s? And what would be a good blush, highlight and lipstick for a Nc 20?

Yes, you can 🙂 Only if they came as pro palettes, though!

Blush – Margin
Highlight – Vanilla
Lipstick – Sweetie

Hey Christine,
I came across your site about 2 and a half years ago, and I’ve checked it daily ever since. Even after I gave birth to my son, there I was in the hospital with my laptop checkin’ out what’s new on Temptalia! I love your drive, charisma, professionalism and talent, but most of all I love this site! I’m a MUA and being the only female in the house (husband, 2 boys), it’s always so nice to get lost in Temptalia!!! Which finally brings me to my question: What does Temptalia mean or stand for?

Wow, you have been with us for awhile! Thank you so much for your support! 🙂 Aww, that is so cute!!

Temptalia is a word I made up to describe the perfect woman — she’s sexy, smart, confident, beautiful, compassionate, and everything in between!

I just recommended these for someone who is NW25, and I think they all apply to NW20! Hug Me, Bombshell, Sweetie, Plumful, and Honeylove!

Feel free not to answer this question but I really have to ask. How old are you? Sometimes you look like you’re in your late teens, other times like you’re in you early twenties. Sorry for asking such a personal question, I’m just really curious. 😛

I’m a big fan of Benefit’s cream shadows and was wondering what brand you think might be close in quality? I’ve tried Bobbi Brown and UD’s creams and thought those were ok but nothing like Benefit. Love the site and appericate all your hard work!

MAC’s paint pots are similar, but they’re not as blendable as eyeshadows — they’re better as bases. I haven’t come across a brand that really outdoes Benefit in that respect!

sweet, I made the deadline!

1) Thanks for keeping up this site. You’ve really helped me (and many others, Im sure) in making educated cosmetic purchases. You’re awesome.

2) Do you think its much more difficult for darker skinned women to buy cosmetics? Im a NW 35-40 and i find that I really have to search far and wide for some good lip glosses.

3) Whats your favorite crease brush?

4) What was your last international destination??

Thanks, Jennifer! 🙂

Yes, I think it is. I don’t think it’s impossible, but it’s not always easy. On the other hand, I know paler ladies have much trouble finding light enough foundation!

I love the 226! That’s my go-to.

Wow, I haven’t left the country in awhile. I think it was China… wow, that was forever go, LOL.

Not sure yet. I’m very, very last minute. I’m terrible at WAITING, so when F&F rolls around, I am clueless, LOL.

Right now I’m testing: Korres Wild Rose Moisturizer for AM/PM. I’m still using Chanel’s Exfoliating Mousse Cleanser and Korres’ Materia Herba Cleanser for my face, too!

You can use makeup remover on a cotton swab and get a crisp line, then take a smudging brush and smudge on the outer edge!

Hi Christine and to all of you:)

Do you know any product similar to the MAC sculpt? there are no PRO store here in Saudi and the MAC Dsquare2 collection will not be available here in like 3 or 4 months, actually we are still stuck with the colour craft:((…I am desperate to get one because Im currently using the wedge e/s to sculpt my face but its just too small:((, Im tired of the mess already. Anyways, Im thinking of getting the MUFE sculpting kit but its too pricey at $45. So any suggestion? Thanks a lot and more power to you:)

And for those who are thinking twice to get the clarisonic because of the price, TRY THIS! the BODY SHOP FACE BRUSH…its just $5 and works really good…I havent tried the clarisonic so I cant compare them but the results I get from the TBS face brush is so good, as in REALLY REALLY GOOD:) plus its just $5 so if it doesnt work for you, you can just throw it in the bin without getting your heart broken:)

Strada or Emote blushes are OK. Are either of those available?

Oh, and you can always use a foundation that’s darker than your natural color. Concealer, foundation, whatever 🙂

Hi Christine!

What Guerlain products do you recommend on getting for the upcoming F&F?

What lip products from Guerlain do you recommend? I have pigmented lips and I’m a NC35. I love how Guerlain’s lip products are so soft. I’m just undecided which color to choose!

What is your favorite perfume?

Have you tried both Kate Somerville’s Intensive and Gentle Exfoliators? I tried the Intensive exfoliator. Initially, it worked really well for me. I loved how soft my skin was. However, I had these red spots near my lips, cheeks, and under the eyes after my third and fourth use. It lasted for about a week to go away. This happened twice so I stopped using it. I really love how soft my skin was so I was wondering how would the Gentle exfoliator would work.

With the upcoming F&F discount, what are some skincare line do you recommend? My skin is combination.

Thanks for all your help!
P.S. Thank you again for introducing Chanel Rouge Allure Laque – Dragon! When I saw this post, I quickly went to Saks to purchase it. I only collected 4 – Dragon, Dynastie, Ming, Santal. I’m still deciding whether or not to get the other 3.

Thank you Christine! =)

I love their Meteorites, KissKiss Gloss/Lipstick, Rouge G lipstick, and their BLUSHES. BLUSHES. LOVE THEM! They have great eyeshadow, too, but their blushes are fantastic.

I recommend any and all of the KissKiss Gloss/Lipstick line, to be honest. Couldn’t tell you a color, LOL.

My favorite is Burberry The Beat!

I haven’t tried either of those, actually. I’ve always wanted to, though! LOL.

I’ll probably, personally, be purchasing Kate Somerville during F&F. I like Korres, too, but it’s not quite love yet.


I want to get some Benefit velvet e/s at Sephora’s FF sale. I have bikini line and rich beach, which others would you suggest for a NC 30 warm? thanks!

Hey Christine! My friend is wearing this costume for halloween:
and she wants me do do her makeup in the same way the model has it…sort of smoked out and neutral (you can zoom in on the picture for a better look at it). I was wondering if you had any suggestions on what colors (from MAC) I could use to achieve that look? I was thinking maybe cranberry or satin taupe in the crease, but I’m not sure where to go from there. Any help would be great 🙂

Thanks so much and thank you for such an amazingly resourceful website!

Hello! What do you use to keep your lips soft and smooth? I always exfoliate and use Burt’s Bees chapstick, but my lips seem to chap even with chapstick. ): What lip exfoliants and chapsticks do you recommend?

I use Sara Happ’s Lip Scrub every week or so – sometimes twice a week, and I use NARS toner on my lips before/after lip swatches which helps, too!

What is a good dupe (MAC) for Style, Pollinator, and Buckwheat? I have all three but I have only used them about once and I’m thinking about returning them. Do you think they are fairly original colors or should I return them?

Style blush? I don’t remember a Style eyeshadow. I’m blanking!

Pollinator is most similar to Nylon, and Buckwheat is kind of like Bronze.

I have NC20 skin tone , dark brown hair, and green eyes.

I want a blush that is pink, shimmery , dewy, and glowy on the skin like a fairy lol Would Mac’s Dollymix or Mac’s Posey be good for that? Or which ones from mac would you recommend for my skin that would give that affect?

The only Mac blush I have is Fleur Power that one of the Mac ladies recommended me awhile ago. It is nice on me when done lightly, but I want a shimmery look now.

[email protected]

Posey would be good, though it is a cream blush (not sure if that matters to you). Dollymix is a darker pink, very pretty, but not so glowy.

Hi Christine,

Hope this isnt too late but I was wondering what are your tips for making lipstick stay? I always want to wear bright stuff when going out but dont want to have to constantly retouch.
thanks a lot! i really appreciate it :]


Fill your lips with lip liner is pretty much the easiest and oldest trick in the book 🙂 You can also blot with powder before applying the lipstick for extra staying power!

Hi Christine!!! I just noticed today that et tu bouquet? is in the goodbye list on the MACs website so i wonder if it’s worth getting it. But since the of summer eyeshadow is sold out, do you think i can make it work with creme de violet if i were to get it?
Second question…lol..Do you know any good anti aging creams/eye creams? thank you sooooo much 🙂

It’s okay, but not great. I probably wouldn’t get it, lol. You could make it work with Creme de Violet, though.

I don’t! I don’t use an eye cream regularly nor do I use a lot of anti-aging skincare 🙁 I just use sunscreen!

Hey ….

Do you know about b.vain cosmetics?? I Just saw it in a store today and im wondering how it is. What caught my eye was their baked shimmer powder – it had really nice shades and was similar to bobbo brown! looked nice….lemme kno if any of u hav tried it….comments? Suggestions? Reviews??


Love your site!!! I check it out every day. Can you give me some clarification on some of the acronyms/lingo?
any others terms I need to know…

Hi Christine! I was looking for Mac Graphology eyeshadow and found out that it has been discontinued :o( . The make-up advisor in the store said that Shadowy Lady would be a good alternative, as the colours are very similar in colour and both have matte finishes. Just wanted to ask what you thought of Shadowy Lady in comparison to Graphology? It looked very similar when I swatched it but I’m not very sure what it’s like on. Thanks.

Shadowy Lady is much more burgundy. It’s not a bad shade, but it’s not very similar, IMO. You might try Contrast (though it’s not matte) instead.

Hi Christine,

Thanks very much for your help :o) . Hmmm, sounds like Contrast might be a better shade for me to try out if Shadowy Lady is more on the burgundy side (looking for something in the cooler spectrum). Will check out Contrast next time I am in the Mac store.

hi there, i find this space is very useful,and i really really like ur website, very informative! before i wanna ask u some q’s i just wanna say pardon my english-im not that good in english. Hee.

I just wanna know if you’re self-taught in makeup or u have some certificates in makeup or u worked in some makeup store? Cos im really looking forward to know what it takes to work at makeup stores or have some affiliations with makeup industry,and of coz,being makeup artist.
So can u give me some opinions on what usually academy of makeup offers? Cos there’s just a lot of academy in my country,and there were courses like, personal makeup course,professional makeup course and bridal ones and a lot more. Which one do u think i should attend in order to be makeup artist? Or can i just be self-taught? Thank u for ur concern. Love ya!

Hi Adryna,

I am self-taught, and I have never gone to any school or have worked at a makeup counter or for a brand.

If you want to be a makeup artist, I’d suggest bridal and professional makeup course, perhaps anything that has to do with TV as well.

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