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Thoughts on New Beauty Brands and Authenticity

Flesh Beauty Tender Flesh Blush
Flesh Beauty Tender Flesh Blush

Last week, a new beauty brand–backed by a well-known, major beauty player, Revlon–officially debuted:  Flesh Beauty.  After the brand’s product catalog popped up on Ulta (the brand’s exclusive retailer) a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been thinking on what it means to build a new beauty brand in today’s environment, how it can or should be done, and can it be done authentically.  This is as much me teasing out my own feelings and thoughts on the topic and wanting to see how my readers feel.

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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

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!).