Temptalia Logo
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
  • Coloured RaineUp to 60% off, plus extra 10% off with code TEMPTALIA, ends 11/26.
  • SephoraInsiders, get 15% off with code BIBONUS, plus VIBs & Rouges can get 20% off with code ENJOY, too, ends 11/19.
  • UltaBlack Friday deals available for preview here, live 11/22 at 5PM CST, ends 11/23.

Speed Skincare Reviews featuring Sol de Jeneiro, Tatcha, Drunk Elephant, Farmacy, Clarins, Kiehl’s, Biologique Recherche

01/03

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel  
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel  
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel  
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel  
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel  
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel  
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel  
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel  
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel  

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel ($52.00 for 1.69 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a hydrating serum that uses the following ingredients (as called out by the brand): Pro-Vitamin B5 for “attract[ing] and hold[ing] hydration to skin,” Pineapple Ceramide to “help boost luminosity and improve the appearance of skin texture and tone,” sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer for “intense hydration,” and “watermelon rind/apple/lentil complex” for “up to 24 hours of skin hydration.”

It had a clear, gel-like consistency that spread easily across the skin, and one to two pumps was all I needed to get enough product for my entire face and part of my neck. It dried down quickly, never felt tacky or greasy, but it definitely kept my skin hydrated throughout the day. I noticed the effect of it more when I used a more lightweight moisturizer in my routine (rather than a moderate to intensive hydrating one), but even when I was using a richer moisturizer with it, B-Hydra never felt like overkill or made other products feel greasy or heavy. I often use this one at night and occasionally in the morning if I’ve done a number to my cheeks through swatches. It is also nice under makeup when one needs more hydration but doesn’t want to use a heavier cream. I didn’t notice any scent to it.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

NARS Makeup Removing Water Review

NARS Makeup Removing Water
NARS Makeup Removing Water

NARS Makeup Removing Water

NARS Makeup Removing Water ($28.00 for 6.7 fl. oz.) is touted as a “soap-free, oil-free, and alcohol-free water that removes face makeup and tones the skin.” It’s designed as a gentle formula that will remove makeup without requiring rubbing while hydrating skin.

This is a makeup remover that is best described as gentle, because that’s exactly what it is, but it’s gentle in every way–it’s not at all stinging, burning, or irritating against the skin, even around the eyes, but it doesn’t effectively remove all your makeup, though it specifically says “face makeup” and not “eye makeup.” Just so we’re clear: if you wear eye makeup, don’t expect this to do much in the way of removal. All it ever seems to accomplish is smudging everything around so I end up looking like a mutant. I absolutely would not use this for anything that says “long-wearing” on the label, including face products.

If you want it to remove light eye makeup, I recommend gently pressing the soaked cotton pad against the eye for 15-20 seconds before gently swiping the product away. You’ll get some, perhaps not all, of it removed this way. Since NARS only mentions face makeup, it seems like you would use something else for your eye makeup.  It’s packaged in a clear plastic bottle with a flip-top that has a small hole so only a little comes out as you need it.

I’d like to think of this as a remover for gentle makeup; lightweight, natural, soft makeup. However you want to term it, it’s good for lighter makeup days. For me, it seems to remove face makeup as well as most facial cleansers are able to. It is very lightweight, doesn’t feel greasy or oily against the skin, and it leaves no trace of residue once it’s wiped away with a cotton pad.  It really does have the consistency and feel of water.  There’s no stickiness, dried, or tightened skin after use either. I need at least two cotton rounds in order to remove about 90% of face makeup.

It doesn’t remove makeup completely, so I feel like I need to use a cleanser afterward or yet another cotton pad. Instead, the way I found this product to be most useful was after using a facial cleanser, so it was only responsible for removing the last bits of makeup the cleanser missed.  You can definitely use it before your cleanser of choice as well–I just like the visual of seeing the cotton pad just picking up stray makeup and knowing that my face is clean.  It also means that I can better control how much product or how many cotton pads I use since this doesn’t eliminate a cleanser.

It’s a superfluous product in my night time regimen; it seems to be an extra step rather than a time-saver. It’s more like a toner in my routine–I don’t trust it to remove all my makeup, but I do trust it to remove the last vestiges of makeup my cleanser may have left behind (especially around my hairline and the edges, which I don’t push the cleanser around as much so it doesn’t get into my hair!). And if I’m going to use NARS as my toner, I’d rather use their Hydrating Freshening Toner, which is one of my favorites, and for me, hydrates a little better than the remover does.  You can use this like you would a toner, however, so if you do include one in your regular routine, this could take its place.

If you’re a fan of micellar water removers, then you may enjoy this recently launched remover by NARS, which has all the earmarks of one (though I didn’t see NARS officially billing it as such).  There are quite a few on the market internationally and a couple in the U.S., but this year has shown major progress with more U.S. brands launching their own versions.  Bottom line:  this will remove some but not every type of makeup, particularly longer-wearing products and heavier textured products, but it’s not designed to do much more than it does do, so it’s pretty good from that standpoint.

Ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Peg/Ppg-35/40 Dimethyl Ether, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trisodium Edta, Cucumis Sativus [Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract], Chamomilla Recutita [Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract], Sodium Hyaluronate.

Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist Review & Photos


Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist

Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist

Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist ($31.00 for 3.3 fl. oz.) is described as “a daily replenishing mist with the calming scent of lavender that tones and soothes the complexion. Ideal for dry skin types.” To use, shake the bottle and then gently mist the face (and closing eyes and month) “to fresh and tone.”

The real downside to this product without having even tried it? Alcohol is listed as the second ingredient, and alcohol-based toners often do more harm than good, as alcohol can be drying. I looked through the ingredient lists for some of Jurlique’s other Toning Mists and found alcohol listed in those, too — and it’s unfortunate, because this particular formulation is touted as hydrating.

Admittedly, I didn’t read the ingredient list before initially testing (lesson: don’t assume anything, no matter the brand), and after a week or so of using this before bed, I was wondering why the current skincare regimen I was using suddenly seemed less effective. This was the only product I changed-up, and my skin felt a little drier.  It could be weather-related, too — I don’t think this product did all that much for me either way. Since my skin was feeling tighter and less hydrated, I stopped using it after that point.

The spray concept is interesting, but it doesn’t distribute evenly.  If you spray from too far away, the air around you gets most of product, while if you spray too close to your face, then you end up with a lot of product in a small area.  It feels refreshing when sprayed, particularly after a walk outdoors and the like, but a spray of cool or room temperature water will do the same. The lavender scent is very earthy and herbal, pleasant without being synthetic or sweetened.

See more photos!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner Review, Photos

Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner
Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner

Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner

Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner ($30.50 for 8 oz.) is a calming and hydrating toner that’s alcohol-free. Over the years, one of the musts in toner, for me, is to ensure it is alcohol-free, because toners that contain alcohol are often too drying and leave my skin feeling stripped rather than refreshed.

The Elderberry Toner is effective while being simple and straightforward.   It removes any vestiges of makeup I might have missed during cleansing (particularly around the hair line), gives my skin a boost in moisture, and preps skin for my moisturizer.   It never leaves my skin feeling dry or stripped, just clean, refreshed, and moistened.  I’ve been using this at least once a day for the past couple of months, and I’ve used–at most–15% of the bottle.  It’s actually cheaper and stretches further than one of my favorite toners–NARS Hydrating Lotion.

See more photos!

MAC Cham-Pale: Complete Comfort Cream & Fix+ Lavender

MAC Complete Comfort Cream
MAC Complete Comfort Cream

MAC Cham-Pale: Skincare

There were two skincare products launched with Cham-Pale: MAC Complete Comfort Cream ($32.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.), which is permanent (except Asian locations), and MAC Fix+ Lavender ($18.00 for 3.4 fl. oz.), which is limited edition.  This post is more of a photo post than a review, as I haven’t had the opportunity to trial either of these products as I would normal skincare products.  I am not currently planning to review either in-depth, as my skincare review calendar has several other products already in line.  (I also do not want to lead you on thinking you may see one in the near future!)

The Complete Comfort Cream is a thicker cream that absorbs quickly (about three to five minutes on the face), and it has MAC’s signature skincare fragrance, which seems to be a blend of subtle citrus and some kind of herbal hint–it’s pleasant and not overwhelming nor “perfume-y.”  It is the same Comfort Cream originally part of Prescriptives’ line (and still technically available online at Prescriptives).  Given the thickness of the cream, I imagine this is most suited for those with dry to normal-to-dry skin.

Fix+ Lavender is a colorless spray that has a strong scent of sweetened vanilla and lavender when sprayed, but the scent dissipates quickly (we’re talking seconds).  I found the scent too strong; too much when spraying on my face, but when I sprayed it in my boyfriend’s face, he thought it was “nice.”

MAC Cham-Pale Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

See more photos!

NARS Hydrating Freshening Lotion Review, Photos

It’s a Toner, Not a Lotion (Part 2): NARS Hydrating Freshening Lotion

NARS Hydrating Freshening Lotion ($36.00 for 6.7 fl. oz.) is a water-based toner with a gel-like consistency designed to hydrate skin as well as gently exfoliate it.

When I was at NARS a few months ago, the artist was telling me about this magical toner that was really great for acne-prone skin. I was a bit skeptical, but every so often, an artist manages to convince me to buy something I had no intentions of getting, so that’s how I wound up with NARS’ Hydrating Freshening Lotion. Like the Clarins’ Super Restorative Wake-Up Lotion, “Lotion” means toner. It’s easy to use: just pump once onto a cotton pad and then use it on your face to remove any dirt and build-up.

One of the reasons I bought this was to help hydrate and exfoliate dry patches prior to applying foundation. It actually does seem to help hydrate and remove some of the flakiness on my dry patches and keeps the skin looking natural and radiant. This also helps to make sure I’ve gotten every last bit of dirt, makeup, and cleanser off of my face before I apply my moisturizer. (Seriously, the amount of gunk this product removes reminds me of the blackhead strips by Biore!)

Though a bit pricey, one bottle should last you a few months, if not more, depending on how often and how much you use per application. I find need about two pumps for face and neck on a cotton pad per application, so I expect to finish my bottle in the next month or so. I do believe Shiseido (which owns NARS) also makes a similar product, so if you’re a Shiseido fan, you may want to look in their line.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation:  NARS’ skincare is underrated, in my opinion, because they really do have a solid line of skincare products that have never done me wrong–including the Hydrating Freshening Lotion!

Availability: Nordstrom