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Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette
Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette ($42.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a series of “autumn hues” of “khaki, satiny taupe, intense bronze, and pale gold.” The formula can be used wet or dry, depending on the intensity one desires. Three of the four shades had very nice color payoff, while one shade had more of a glimmering, metallic consistency and look, so it was sheerer (the press release actually calls it a “beige illuminator,” so sheerness would make sense here). The darkest shade felt like a cream eyeshadow–did not feel like a powder at all. All four shades wore without fading or creasing for almost eight hours, and the glittery shade had minor fall out over time. Worth noting, the palette seems like it has plenty of product, but by weight, it’s a mere 0.10 oz.–which is about half of what you’d expect spread across four eyeshadows.

Forest #1 is a medium-dark, olive green with warm, brown undertones and a satin finish. It had nice color payoff, and the texture was silky-smooth and blendable. theBalm D4 (LE, $16.00) is more matte. Dior Bonne Etoile (384) #1 (LE) is darker. Urban Decay Jealous #1 (LE, $18.00) is warmer. theBalm Lead Zeppelin (P, $16.00) is darker. MAC Fiction (DC, $15.00) is very similar. Guerlain Coup de Foudre #1 (LE) is greener. bareMinerals Eureka (P) is more frosted. bareMinerals Speaker Box (LE) is slightly darker. Make Up For Ever #148 (P, $20.00) is more olive. See comparison swatches.

Forest #2 is a glittering golden beige with a metallic finish. It had sheer color payoff, and this is the shade the press release describes as a “beige illuminator.” It’s not much of an eyeshadow–best worn alone as an all-over wash or layered on top of something more opaque to change the texture. I noticed a little bit of fall out over time with this shade. MAC Phresh Out #1 (LE) is lighter. Kat Von D Galore (LE) is yellower. Guerlain Crazy Paris #2 (LE) is slightly warmer. MAC Vanilla Diamond (LE, $21.00) is lighter. Bobbi Brown Bone (LE, $28.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Forest #3 is a deep, dark, murky blackened green with warm, khaki undertones and a sprinkling of bronze shimmer. It’s almost gray. The texture of this felt like a cream–there was nothing powder-like about it!–and blended and applied like one. I didn’t have any creasing with it, though, which is what I was most worried about. It’s incredibly pigmented–a little goes a long way. Too Faced Chocolate Moon (LE) is blacker. Urban Decay Cobra (LE, $18.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Forest #4 is a golden taupe with warm, brown undertones and a frosted, metallic sheen. It had very nice color payoff, and the texture was soft, silky, and buttery. Sleek MakeUP Lust in LA (LE, $9.99) is similar. Too Faced Buche de Noel (LE) is darker. Urban Decay Shakedown (LE, $18.00) is less golden. Urban Decay Suspect (LE, $18.00) Burberry Pale Barley (P) is similar. Benefit Thanks a Latte (P, $20.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

P.S. — Clarins’ Friends & Family sale is currently in progress and ends on 11/13. They have a tiered system, so if you purchase one item, it’s 15% off; two items, 20%, 3 items or more, 25% off with code CLARINSFF13.

Also In This Review

A

Forest #1

Limited Edition
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B-

Forest #2

Limited Edition
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A

Forest #3

Limited Edition
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A

Forest #4

Limited Edition
Read Review
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Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick

Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick
Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick

Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sparkling cool red.” It’s a lightened, medium red with cool, blue undertones and a pink tinge, along with a soft, metallic shimmer. The shimmer is faint, so it has more of an overall effect of giving it a frosted sheen than over-the-top shimmer. MAC Prepare for Pleasure (LE, $15.00) is redder. MAC Relentlessly Red (P, $15.00) is more matte. NARS Luxembourg (P, $25.00) is slightly redder. MAC Love Goddess (LE, $15.00) is a touch pinker. Dior Marilyn (LE, $36.00) is quite similar–just a little darker/redder. See comparison swatches.

The Diorific formula is lightly creamy, richly pigmented, and comfortable to wear. The texture is creamy enough that it won’t pull or drag on the lips, but it stays put and doesn’t bleed or feather outside the natural lip line. Minuit is long-wearing, topping in at seven hours of wear, plus it leaves behind a residual reddish stain. It’s somewhat hydrating while worn, and it’s a really nice formula overall. It is lightly floral scented but has no discernible taste. I wish it wasn’t so close to last year’s holiday release Marilyn, though!

Tom Ford Tobacco Oud Eau de Parfum & Oud Wood Soap, Body Moisturizer Reviews & Photos

Tom Ford Oud Collection
Tom Ford Oud Collection

Tom Ford Oud Collection is an expansion of the usage of Oud in Tom Ford’s Private Blend fragrance range, which is centered around Oud Wood. I reviewed that scent a few years ago, and it remains my favorite fragrance of all-time (though it jockeys with Tom Ford’s Amber Absolute and Bois Marocain). There were rumors of Oud Wood being discontinued, but luckily the brand confirmed it was staying in line and merely being repackaged for the Oud collection launch.

The collection features three scents: Oud Wood, Tobacco Oud, and Oud Fleur. The latter I don’t have, so I can’t speak on, though it seems to be the more interesting scent between the two newer scents from early reviews. In addition to the two new eau de parfums, Oud Wood now has companions in the form of soap, shower gel, and body moisturizer.  Private Blend fragrances are available in the following sizes:  1.7 fl. oz. ($210), 3.4 fl. oz. ($290), and 8.4 fl. oz. ($520).

To quickly summarize Oud Wood, it opens with a spicy, smoky air–rosewood and cardamom–that is a little sharp initially, but it transforms into an amber and sandalwood mix with an underlying touch of vetiver with just a lingering smokiness. Towards the end, it is a mix of amber, vanilla, and woods; rich and earthy and warm. For a really great, in-depth look at Oud Wood, I recommend this review.

Oud Wood Bar Soap ($35.00) is a lot like the first forty minutes of the eau de parfum, but the scent doesn’t linger on my skin for very long–an hour or so post-shower, and I really can’t detect it. It produces a rich lather that’s hydrating, and thankfully, doesn’t leave the skin feeling squeaky-clean. The Oud Wood Body Moisturizer ($65.00) follows a similar pattern as the fragrance on a more muted scale that always wears close to the skin, though it lingers for far longer than the soap; after eight to ten hours, it’s mostly gone on me. It has the consistency of a slightly thicker lotion, but it is thinner than a cream. To contrast that against the eau de parfum, I can still get faint whiffs the eau de parfum of Oud Wood twenty-four hours later.

Tobacco Oud opens with a burst of smoke, spice, and almost reminds me of incense burning at an altar. It’s dry, like walking in the woods during autumn, when it’s chilly enough that fireplaces are crackling, but there’s no snow or rain yet. Or stepping into a dry sauna–it’s just a lot of smokiness and drier woods to me; I keep thinking cedarwood (which is a note). There’s amber in the background, somewhere, that’s fleeting initially, and then it settles in for a long stay. It morphs into a mix of smoke, spice, amber, labdanum, and the beginning tendrils of vanilla. Finally, it becomes a more comforting, warmer scent that smells of lightly sweetened vanilla with a soft smokiness and a wee bit of spice that lingers. Oud is here and there throughout the first few hours of wear; it’s not the star–the smokiness from tobacco is definitely more in the forefront. If you’re looking for a strong oud note, it’s not in this scent. It has moderate projection and wore twelve to sixteen hours (two sprays) on me.  If you like Tobacco Vanille, Amber Absolute, Sahara Noir, or Oud Wood (or some combination of them), I think you’ll like this one.

Tobacco Oud has received some comparisons to Amber Absolute, which I can see and not see. I found Tobacco Oud’s metamorphosis was greatly influenced by the number of sprays; less than two, and it was very, very dry and lacked warmth, but three sprays gave me that warmth that I missed the first time I wore it, and that warmth made me understand some of the comparisons to Amber Absolute. With that being said, Amber Absolute is much, much heavier on the amber; it’s headier, thicker, warmer, cozier; when Amber Absolute opens, I get that resinous quality but not the smokiness that I wafts from Tobacco Oud. Amber Absolute is also sweeter throughout the wear, where Tobacco Oud turns slightly sweeter from the tonka bean after six to eight hours of wear. Even if the two had more similarities than differences, the most marked difference is that Amber Absolute is a monster–it has more projection, longevity, and overall, it is just more potent. Amber Absolute–one spray split between my wrists–is still a skin scent twenty-four hours after I’ve applied and taken a shower.

Tobacco Oud is standing in front of the hearth and warming your hands, a brief respite from the cool outdoors.  Amber Absolute is curling up in a luxurious blanket in your favorite chair and settling in for the night.

See more photos!

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Dior Golden Snow Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Golden Snow Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Golden Snow Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Golden Snow Eyeshadow Palette ($60.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a cool-toned palette that features five shades for the holidays. Overall, it was just all right; it had some powdery, slightly dry textures coupled with two glittery eyeshadows–so you have to love glitter to consider this one–and so-so color payoff. I had minor fall out (which is notable) with the two glitter eyeshadows, but they adhered better than the average glitter eyeshadow. The darker black eyeshadow was hard to blend, though.

Golden Snow #1 is a cool-toned, pink-tinged white with a frost finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was very soft. MAC 2x Dare #1 (LE) is more glittery. Kat Von D Instaglam (LE) is similar. Disney by Sephora Treasures Untold (LE) is golden. Tom Ford Beauty Enchanted #1 (LE) is similar. bareMinerals Muse (P) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #2 is a warm-toned, muted gold with a glittery, metallic finish. It had good pigmentation, but the texture was a little chunky. I had minor fall out when I wore this. Dior Golden Flower #3 (LE) is lighter. MAC Greenluxe #2 (P) is lighter. Urban Decay Oz #1 (LE, $18.00) is darker. MAC Retrospeck (P, $15.00) is similar. Dior Fairy Golds #2 (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #3 is a cool-toned white with a glittery, metallic finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff, and the texture was somewhat glittery but not as chunky as the golden shade. I did see some fall out with this shade during wear. MAC Angelic (P, $21.00) is similar. Dior Fairy Golds #3 (LE) is slightly pink-tinged. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #4 is a cool-toned, taupe with a metallic sheen. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft and applied smoothly. MAC Phresh Out #4 (LE) is darker. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Starlet #1 (P) is similar. Giorgio Armani Shimmer Greige (LE) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #5 is a charcoal black–a little gray-ish–with a satin shimmer. It had decent to good color payoff, but the texture was on the dry side, and it was difficult to blend on the lid. theBalm A4 (LE, $16.00) is darker. Urban Decay Redemption (LE, $18.00) is lighter. Disney by Sephora Jetsam (LE) is similar. theBalm Sexy Stacey (P, $16.00) is also similar. Estee Lauder Black Chrome #2 (LE, $21.00) is blacker. bareMinerals Do Not Disturb (P) is similar. Inglot #451 (P, $6.00) is slightly cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Also In This Review

A

Golden Snow #1

Limited Edition
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B

Golden Snow #2

Limited Edition
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C+

Golden Snow #3

Limited Edition
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A

Golden Snow #4

Limited Edition
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B

Golden Snow #5

Limited Edition
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My Top 5 Must-Have Products by Guerlain

Long-time readers will know that Guerlain is easily one of my favorite brands. A lot of my very favorite products are by the brand, from foundation to finishing powder to lipstick. If we threw limited edition shades into the mix, there’d be even more favorites to be found. If you’re new to the brand and aren’t sure where to start, let me share with you my five must-have products…

  1. Guerlain Meteorites — pressed or loose pearls, they’re a cult favorite for a reason. I prefer the pressed as a finishing powder to add subtle luminosity back into the skin. If you like a little more shimmer and sparkle, I’d opt for the loose pearls.
  2. Guerlain Rouge G Lip Color — it’s been a non-stop winner for my very, very favorite lipstick formula for years; long-wearing, hydrating, smoothing, and good variety of colors. Guerlain’s strength, for me, has always been in base and lip products.
  3. Guerlain Le Vernis — incredibly glossy (without a top coat), highly pigmented, and long-wearing–I love the cream finishes best.
  4. Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain L’Extrait — long-wearing, intensely pigmented, matte lip color
  5. Guerlain Parure de Lumiere — foundation is another strength by the brand, as I haven’t encountered one I didn’t like (and my favorite, Parure Gold, is now discontinued), and every time I wear Parure de Lumiere, a reader asks about my skin care routine. The major downside is they have a limited shade range.

Have you tried Guerlain? Any must-haves you’d recommend to others?

YSL Fuchsia Tomboy (104) Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain

YSL Fuchsia Tomboy (104) Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain
YSL Fuchsia Tomboy (104) Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain

YSL Fuchsia Tomboy (104) Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain ($34.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “bright fuchsia.” It’s a medium fuchsia-pink with cool, blue undertones and a soft gold shimmer. The shimmer is subtle, and it really seems to add depth the fuchsia, making it redder in a way. None of the following similar shades are stains, so they wear differently, but I picked them for similarity in overall look. Giorgio Armani #523 (P, $29.00) is glossier, less shimmery. Guerlain Illusion (660) (LE, $35.00) is not quite as glossy. Revlon Sorbet (P, $7.49) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

I picked mine up at Sephora F&F sale last week (thanks to lovely reader Melissa for sending a code to me–totally random act of kindness!), since I’ve been really loving the way YSL’s Glossy Stain looks with a little shimmer. It wore well for six and a half hours, and it was lightly hydrating enough that it didn’t feel drying while worn but did still feel like I wanted lip balm towards the end. The color applied evenly for the most part, and the shimmer was spread throughout.