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  • Giorgio Armani Beauty20% off with $75+ purchase, plus get a full-sized lipstick gift with $125+ orders, ends 6/30.
  • Paula's Choice20% off sitewide + free 'It' Bag & Product Bundle on $65+ with code 23PC, ends 6/18.

Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Lacquers are really pretty, glossy, and long-wearing but so rarely do I hear hype for these! Pretty Vulgar’s powder highlighters are gorgeous and more affordable for mid/high-end. MAC Extra Dimension Blushes became permanent and are stunning on the skin, but I never see influencers using them! Estee Lauder Hi-Lustre Lipsticks have a luminous, pearl finish that has come the closest to replicating Guerlain Rouge Gs for me. Makeup Geek Highlighters are one of the best powder highlighters I’ve come across, and while pricey given where the brand started, are absolutely worth the premium and complete easily against $50+ highlighters I have.

— Christine
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Coffee & Swatches: My Latte Favorites

Coffee & Swatchese
Coffee & Swatches (May 15th, 2018)

If you’ve been following me on Instagram lately, you’ll notice that I’ve started to share what I’ve dubbed “coffee and swatches,” which are photos of products I’m photographing (and swatching) along with my morning latte.  I’ve always hesitated to share what I might be photographing or testing to avoid feeling pressured (or like an utter failure) about when a review might be posted (I don’t always get around to reviewing what I’ve swatched or even tested due to time constraints).  On the other hand, my life is pretty routine–blogging, eating, and cuddling with the dog–and that’s about it, so I liked the idea of it being an authentic post that was a bit more personal than a standard product shot but still represented my day-to-day life.

Since then, I’ve regularly received questions asking about how I make my lattes, which has led to this post.  I’ll touch on my current set-up along with various systems and products I’ve used over the years (which have less of an upfront cost).  What you need to know about me:  I’m not your coffee expert; I am not the person who drinks straight espresso or black coffee, I am the person who likes the flavor and depth of espresso but tempered by frothy milk and something to sweeten it.  (A particularly well-prepared latte I can drink without adding sweetener, sugar-free or otherwise.)

MAC Strobe Collection for Spring 2018

MAC Strobe Collection for Spring 2018
MAC Strobe Collection for Spring 2018

The Details

It’s your time to gleam, beam and strobe your way into the spotlight. Achieve a superhero glow all over with our ultimate tricks of the trade, Strobe Cream and brand-new Strobe Body Lotion. Finish it all off with a hydrating, refreshing spritz of Prep + Prime Fix+ in Goldlite and Pinklite – the Fix+ you know and love that improves the wear of makeup up to 12 hours, now infused with pearlescent particles!

Now online for MAC PRO & Select Members, 4/9 online, 4/12 in-store

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It’s Going to the Dogs: Temptalia’s Favorites for Dogs

Mellan in an Orvis Bed
Mellan in one of his many Orvis Beds

Mellan is my dog that I’ve had since he was a mere eight-weeks old. He’s just over 10 years old now, and he’s been featured on Temptalia weekly for most of his life (Temptalia is a year older than he is!). I often get asked about his beds and collars, and I thought it might be fun to try something a bit different by writing a post on things I’ve found and loved that are dog-related and not beauty-related. It certainly proved to be cathartic for me to share some of what I’ve learned with Mellan over the years as well as just to write about something not lipstick for a moment (but I quite enjoy writing about makeup 99% of the time!). I’d love to hear about any of your go-to pet products and things that you’ve discovered, too! 🙂

Don’t worry if you’re only here for beauty posts as I don’t expect these types of posts to be too frequent (and this is an additional post to today’s schedule, not in lieu of something beauty-related–it’s a bonus not a substitute!).

5 Eyeshadow Palettes I’d Love to See ColourPop to Release

ColourPop Eyeshadow Palette
ColourPop Treasures & Trinkets Eyeshadow Palette

Last week, I posted swatches of ColourPop’s newest eyeshadow palette, Give It to Me Straight, and the comments were pretty telling:  give us something that isn’t warm neutrals.  It got me thinking about what kind of palettes ColourPop (or any other brand!) could put out, and I was inspired to try my hand at making a few 12-pan color combinations as well.  I’ll say that it’s a lot harder to visualize a palette in my mind and put it to “paper” in a cohesive, organized way.  I think I would be better able to put something together if I had say, 100 eyeshadows on a table, and then I could choose, arrange, and keep re-arranging until satisfied.  When I thought about possibilities, I tried to go for a mix of cooler, more muted, and more colorful shades that we haven’t seen as much of.

I’d love to hear from you — breakdown a 12-pan palette you’d like to see; describe the colors and textures as you see them or mockup your own image!

Why do beauty brands resist diversifying their shade ranges? (Updated 1/18)

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation
Image Credit: PopSugar

For those who do not deep dive into the beauty community across platforms and channels, Tarte’s upcoming Shape Tape Foundation may not have hit your airwaves yet, so let me fill you in:  Shape Tape foundation is coming and will be available in two versions–Matte and Hydrating–with a 15-shade range accompanying each formula.  PopSugar had the exclusive and revealed swatches yesterday (shown above are swatches of the Hydrating range; the Matte range is almost as dismal), which only reinforced the absurdity of their ranges.

Based on the actual shades available, the swatches look like they’re veering lighter than they actually will be (on the whole), either because they need to dry down (more opaque foundations really do tend to darken as they dry down, especially more matte finishes) or that the lighting itself is washing everything out a bit.  It doesn’t actually matter since the difference between oh, I don’t know, 12-13 of the shades is minor and then boom! here are two dark shades for everyone not fair to medium.  The Shape Tape Concealer has 15 shades, and it’s common for concealer ranges to have less shades than foundation, so it really did come as a shock that Tarte didn’t have at least 20 shades, if not 25 to 30 shades.  Their own Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage has 23 shades and their Rainforest of the Sea has 21 shades (and I know this had recent shade additions–it didn’t start that way).

Updates

I think this is an important topic, and I think the response by the community (both from influencers as well as consumers/customers) has been incredible to see, so I wanted to provide a few updates that have occurred since last weekend.

First, PopSugar posted an updated article with a response from Tarte, which was that they already had “10” shades in the works to be added.  I’ll argue that the article was no more than PR fluff and worse, PopSugar had this gem in their write-up (which has since been removed):

A rep from Tarte explained to POPSUGAR that even when Shape Tape Foundation was revealed, the new colors were already in the works. Additional shades are usually added seasonally, which makes sense because your complexion tends to be paler in the Winter and darker in the Summer months (but please wear sunscreen, kids!).

No, additional shades being added seasonally does not make sense because people of color in shades beyond medium exist throughout the year.  I don’t know where that interpretation came from, but it should never have made it into print; it is the height of ignorance and blindness with no understanding about what people were frustrated with to begin with.

On the topic of shade extensions, it’s truly unclear what that means, because PopSugar tried to imply that the 10 new shades would join the “30 hues that already exist,” except it’s not 30 hues at all (and originally, compared to Kylie’s Concealer range, which actually has 30 unique shades!).  There are two formulas and each has 15 shades.  I went through, and the total number of unique shades is actually 20 between the two formulas, though I’m still struck by what a poorly done launch this was from start to finish (I’m still confused why the shades even differ between the two formulas as they do).

So when Tarte said “10,” I really don’t know if that means five new shades for each formula or a full 10 new shades for each formula.  There was also no confirmation that the 10 new shades would address the lack of medium-tan and deeper shades.  For reference, when Tarte expanded Shape Tape in December 2016, they added four shades: Fair Beige, Light Sand, Light-Medium Honey, Rich–that’s three more light shades and one deeper shade.  I recommend checking out Alissa Ashley’s and Jackie Aina’s videos where they both make it obvious why only two to three tan/dark shades fall so short.

Yesterday (1/17), Tarte issued an apology via Instagram stories, which is a short-lived media format (24 hours), and the apology is as follows:

We want to let you know, we hear you… You all know by now that we revealed our much anticipated shape tape foundation… & the final shade range that we launched was definitely not a full representation of all of you[.] It may be too little too late, but we can assure you this was not meant in any kind of malicious way.  We all just got so caught up in #shapetapenation and seeing your tweets asking for it… We wanted to get the product out as fast as possible, & we made the decision to move forward before all the shades were ready to go. We know there is no excuse, & we take full responsibility for launching this way.  We lost sight of what’s really important in this industry, & for those who feel alienated in our community, we want to personally apologize. We’re doing everything in our power to bring those unfinished shades to market as fast as we can, at any cost.  We CAN and WILL DO BETTER.

Prior to the apology, the brand turned off comments on their announcement post on Instagram. There are a lot of reports of comments being deleted and people saying they were blocked after commenting about the shade range of the new foundation.  Tarte cannot go back in time and release a full shade range, so we’ll have to just wait and see what exactly they release in terms of shade extensions and if, next time they launch a new complexion product, they actually do better than they did here.  I’m sure I’m not alone, though, in expressing that the apology was weak, shifts blame for releasing the shades they did due to customer excitement, and then putting that apology on a format that doesn’t even preserve it.

But 2018 has just started, and collectively, we made enough noise to at least get some acknowledgement of the issue, and that has to mean that their launch really did not go as well as they had anticipated.  Maybe Tarte will learn, but more importantly, maybe competing brands will take note and do better with their own future launches.  When we come together, we can truly be a loud, powerful voice for good.