Month in Review | September 2016

Here’s a look at the top 25 products reviewed in the month of September, plus a summary of how many products and brands were reviewed and a break out of ratings! 🙂

I think it’d be fun to go through what we used, purchased, resisted, and so forth each month, here are some questions:

  1. What were your favorites from the last month?
  2. What didn’t impress you?
  3. Did you return anything you purchase?
  4. Or successfully resist temptation?


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


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

What were your favorites from the last month? I have such a devil of a time remembering what the heck I bought but I do really love the Shiseido lipstick I got (Bloodstone) and I’m also enjoying the new Buxom shadows as well (pretty sad for someone on a no-buy)
What didn’t impress you? that rip off palette from Hourglass, of course (not something I purchased!)
Did you return anything you purchase? No but I make really considered purchases and rarely return anything.
Or successfully resist temptation? HA!!! Was it Oscar Wilde who said “the only think to do with temptation is give in to it”? I’ve actually been pretty good as I’m trying to do a “no buy” which has morphed into a “low buy”.

LOL! I don’t think I could remember what I reviewed in the last month if it weren’t for the round-ups, to be honest!

Christine, thank you so much for all you do! Your extensive reviews and swatches are so thorough that Temptalia is my go-to place before buying. Also, I no longer mind splurging for a product such as Guerlain’s Lingerie de Peau because I know that I am saving substantially in the long run by not buying items that will end up being tossed.

I resist purchases every day lol. I guess the one thing I *almost* bought was the Hourglass Sheer Color Trio (the cream compact with highlight, blush, and bronzer). I kind of still want it, but I’m afraid of the creams getting dry and/or dusty.

Favorite purchase this month is probably theBalm Meet Matte Trimony palette; really good for some warm earthy smokey eyes.

Something I did return was the Kat von D lipsticks I bought: Lolita, Lolita II LE, Double Dare LE. I wasn’t disappointed in them, per se, but they were all extremely similar and none of them really flattered me.

What were your favorites from the last month? So many wonderful things this month! Pat McGrath Blood 2 lipstick, Pat McGrath gold pigment from the lip kit, Laura Mercier loose powder, MAC Blushbaby blush, Beaute Flouron gel stain, MAC Heaux e/s for both the eye and as a contour, Marc Jacobs Nude(ist) lip pencil.

It’s worth noting that I was disappointed by Marc Jacobs’s runway show in September, and his response to criticism about it was enough to make me question whether I want to support his brand anymore when there are so many options available. I haven’t made a firm decision, but for now I’m holding off on future purchases. It’s so personal and complex where to draw the line of which companies to support, and I’m not trying to suggest what other people should be doing. I just didn’t want to endorse one of his products without mentioning my personal ambivalence. There are several brands I chose not to buy from that I can still understand why other people continue to support, such as KVD, and some that I continue to buy from in spite of mixed feelings, like MAC, UD, and Lush.

What didn’t impress you? Pat McGrath Bloodwine glitter, which I thought was going to be an HG because of those blue-purple reflects in the promo videos. On the upside, I have a red glitter that performs better IMO and the Pat McGrath one gave me the idea to mix it with the tiiiiniest hint of another color glitter for dimension!

Did you return anything you purchase? Only MUFE HD powder because I grabbed it by mistake instead of the LM one I love.

Or successfully resist temptation? Stila Aria liquid lipstick, Bite Thistle lipstick, Cover FX green and peach color correcting sticks, ABH Renaissance Palette, LM Caviar stick in Sand Glow (similar to MAC Powersurge but goes on like butter as a lid color), MUFE liquid liner, literally dozens of $5 niche perfume samples online that I now have bookmarked for later. I’m planning on probably picking this stuff up at some point, but I’m pacing myself as I bounce back from travelling this summer followed by a job change. It’ll still be there in a month or two, and I have a silly amount of makeup to play with anyway. 😉

I fully understand those who do/don’t choose to support whatever brand(s) for whatever reason. The frustrating part was how his response was far more troubling than the show itself. It reminded me a lot of MAC’s Vibe Tribe; it was so clear why some took issue with the collection, but their response was even worse.

You resisted Bite Thistle and the Renaissance Palette? Your willpower is to be admired greatly!

What is your favorite niche brand for perfume?

Exactly re:Marc Jacobs! The choice to use faux locs on overwhelmingly white models was problematic, but in an unsurprising way, given the atmosphere in mainstream fashion. It was the way he responded that made it so noteworthy. Not only could he not properly apologize, THEN he couldn’t stop at a garden variety non-apology either, he couldn’t help but explain why he was not only in the OK but actually very enlightened and it turns out that he, Marc, is the anti-racist one after all!! Super disappointing, and his whole line of thinking was just really ignorant and hurtful.

I’m just getting into niche perfumes. I don’t think Tom Ford counts these days, especially the scents I’m about to mention, but I am a huge fan of Tuscan Leather and Tobacco Vanille. Tuscan Leather I just feel like I’m smoldering in, it’s such an inviting, agreeable scent while still conveying poise and commanding sensuality. Tobacco Vanille I’m 99.9% sure I’ve read that you love as well. It’s very beautiful and in spite of its heft is an incredible crowd pleaser IME. I love them equally, Tuscan Leather for bombshell occasions, Tobacco Vanille for a more casually sexy vibe.

I got a set of Histoires de Parfums that I was really impressed by, and I appreciate Etat Libre d’Orange’s humor and flair. Juliette Has a Gun has a couple fresh scents I love (Not a Perfume and Gentlewoman), but I don’t like rose nearly as much as they do, which rules out probably half of their scents off the bat. On the less pricey side of things, I think Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is the best in the biz for indie oils at a widely affordable price point.

My recent bookmarks are across the board and entirely brands I’ve never smelled, but include a lot of Oriza L. Legrand, Slumberhouse, Euphorium Brooklyn, and Serge Lutens. I’m really excited to try them. I’m also crazy to try the Sultan Pasha attars. Kafkaesque’s reviews of them really impressed me, and it seems like a brand that might become a much more major player in the near future.

True, though maybe niche in the sense that they are still hard to access in person and certainly $$$!

But I am a huge fan of a lot of the Tom Ford scents, as they just work and sit well on my skin. I AM the type that would throw down the $200+ for a scent, but I am inclined to wear one for awhile.

Kafkaesque’s reviews are top notch!

This month was all about NARS for me, and I’m pretty sure the products I got from NARS are going to go down in history as being some of my favorite products of all time. (After 30+ years of purchasing and wearing make up, I think I have enough experience to know when products really hit the mark for me.) I got the NARS contour set in Melina; dual intensity shadows in Rigel, Arcturus, and Antares; NARS velvet lip pencil in Consuming Red; velvet eyeliners in Kaliste and Darklight; the NARsissist LE dual intensity blush palette; and Audacious lipsticks in Mona and Shirley. I also picked up the dual intensity shadows in Cressida and Tarvos. Love all these products, they are exceptional to me. Another stand out in September was the MAC Star Trek collection (in fact, I’m still purchasing more pieces in October). The product that went back: NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Main Bleue. The thing that disappointed but didn’t go back because I used Ulta points to purchase was the Two Faced Totally Cute Palette. (I am still glad I got it because I was able to use it as a template for recreating one of my favorite Christine looks of the summer.)

I forgot to mention what I resisted: This was a crazy month of goodies to fall for but for me the hard things to resist were the Estée Lauder Modern Mercury highlighter, the Kat Von D Matte Metal Palette (I own all the Crushed Metal eyeshadows and the amazing 2015 Mi Vida Loca Remix palette, a girl has to draw the line at some point), and the early release of the Lorac Pro 3. I am trying to stay true to my plans to get the fall NARS releases (almost done), more of the MAC Star Trek Collection, the Wayne Goss anniversary brush set (on its way), a couple Chikuhodo brushes, the Viseart Royal Bijoux palette, and maybe the LE Anastasia Mario palette. Those are my planned purchases for the remainder of 2016.

Wow! Sounds like NARS has a new greatest fan 😉

The Audacious Lipsticks are really lovely. I’m so glad they’re doing new shades for the holiday, though I wish they made them individually available, too, lol!

Favorites from past month- I am really enjoying the Sulwhasoo cushion foundation that I purchased just about a month ago and I have been using it everyday. It is just so easy.
What didn’t impress me-The Tarte holiday palette and it is the answer to the next question also, I returned it. I purchased before seeing your swatches and I know better!
Resisted temptation- I love the look of the Bobbi Brown Paris/London/New York palettes and have had them in my cart for a month now. I don’t know why I am hesitating because I love the packaging and would be buying it pretty much for that reason. They look beautiful and I think I would go for it if I could swatch them but the Nordstrom’s closest to me (3 hours away) isn’t carrying them. So…..

I have heard only good things about Sulwhasoo!

Happy you were able to return the palette you didn’t like, Deborah!

What were your favorites from the last month? The shadows I’ve picked up from Chantecaille (lions), Tom Ford’s A/W duo and MUFE. Shadow brushes from Tom Ford and Armani and the lipsticks from byTerry.

What didn’t impress you? All of the holiday releases so far! I haven’t been drawn to anything so far. I have some releases I’m waiting for from Amani and Cle de Peau, but I may be done for a bit after that. Nothing else is on my radar at this point.

Did you return anything you purchase? Too Faced Matte Melted Lipstick in Queen B – it looked too dry and ashy for me. I’m still mulling over the matte Armani eye tints, but I’m pretty sure they’ll go back for something I’ll use more.

Or successfully resist temptation? Not really but I gave it a solid go and kept my buying to a minimum!

I never saw the brush review Christine! And I only read the Modern Mercury and Black Honey Pop review because I searched your site for them.
Something is up with yahoo email- I’m not receiving over 90% of what you usually send out. I can follow you on Twitter and get into your site thru the links you post- and no, it’s not going into my spam folder either.
I noticed it especially that I’m not getting any “replies”, you know- from when you post a comment. You also come thru ok in my BlogLovin’ emails- I think. I usually don’t click on those because I’m not crazy about how their articles are formatted to read.
I did do the IOS 10 update, but this problem is older than that. Hmmmm. Just weird and I’m thinking I may not be the only person who’s having this issue.
Thanks Christine for hearing me out.

Hm, I’m not sure. The only thing could be if Yahoo as a domain is blocking the Temptalia domain from receiving mail, but I am not sure.

If you send me a note at christine[at] with the email you use for the daily newsletter, I can check to make sure you’re subscribed/when was the last time it was emailed.

Favourites from the last month: Tarte Cosmetics Blush Color Wheel, also totally frivolous (but cheap) ‘Galaxy Chic Palette’ from BH Cosmetics only because the shades are named after and look like celestial bodies. I am not even sure if I got it for wearing it or just looking at it (so far I’ve only done the latter). I rediscovered Revlon Bronzer (02 sunkissed bronze, now discontinued) in my stash that I had randomly picked up once upon a time and never opened. I have recently realised that the accidental/ignorant buy actually goes rather subtly well with my skin tone. Since it has been lying around for so long I think it’s time has finally come. Also Mac Star Trek Eyeliner in Pure Show and IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream SPF 50+

Galaxy Chic:
Revlon Bronzer:

What Didn’t Impress You: Most things don’t, I guess I get turned off by the media hype. I agree with Mariella about Hourglass though, I had hoped they would have been embarrassed a little after last year’s holiday palette value fiasco but what do they do? Instead of improving their proposition they make a smaller brush to go with it and encourage you to spend even more money. Hahahaha! It really did crack me up! P.S. I love that you did the value calculation in your review, I do that for every palette and assorted product offering I buy.

Returns: Not easy here in Australia because other than one retailer that offers store credit as long as you haven’t swatched or used a product, most don’t accept cosmetics returns. I order most of my things online anyway from international vendors because the price difference is huge. E.g. I ordered VBxEL Modern Mercury and eyeshadow palette from Harrod’s, paid for DHL and still managed to get the two 25% cheaper than what I would have paid here.

Resist Temptation: This has been a bad month temptation wise (I generally am good at controlling my spending). I got the Galaxy Chic Palette, a couple of Becca Champagne Splits, a couple of makeup brushes, a mineral setting powder, quite a bit of hair and skin care (Cult Beauty had their beauty bag offer), Guerlain Pause d’ete, Mac pure show, Tarte Color Wheel and the CC cream mentioned earlier and lusted after VBxEL but I finally placed the order in October so that doesn’t count.

Sorry too long!

I’m sad Hourglass didn’t improve their pricing as well – I think they could have made it $10-15 less, and it would still be pricey but less insulting. I think one really has to use it all the time/need it for travel to justify the price otherwise.

What were your favorites from the last month? Tarte Amazonian Blush Color Wheel Palette; both Urban Decay Vice lipstick palettes; UD Vintage Vault Vice Lipstick in UV-B; UD Vice Lipsticks in Seismic and Perversion; Notoriously Morbid eyeshadow in Spray Paint and Why Am I In the Morgue?

What didn’t impress you? SugarPill Liquid Lip Color in Kim Chi. It’s a pretty good formula (not the best, though), and the color is gorgeous. However, it’s too light and not the most flattering on me. Plus the shimmer doesn’t show up that well. I can make it look nice using darker lipliner and layering lipgloss over it, so it’s not a total loss.

Did you return anything you purchased? No

Or successfully resist temptation? I’ve resisted the MAC Liptensity collection so far.

No, I haven’t tried layering Seismic and Perversion yet. It sounds like a gorgeous combo, though. I layered Seismic over Ofra liquid lipstick in Mina, and really loved the effect. Mostly, though, I’ve been wearing Seismic on it’s own. I’m digging the sheer berry wine color with smokey eyes.

I returned Exorcist Kat Von D ELL. It settled into my lips weird and was too dark, even for a cute fall look. That Lorac Megapro 3 palette keeps catching my eye, though…!

1. What were your favorites from the last month? The Taraji p Henson collection from MAC. it is so flattering to my skin colour. And so pleased that there were items such as blush and highlighters geared towards darker skin…that DOES NOT happen very often. And so glad that the products performed well. I was also greatly impressed with MAC’s it’s a strike collection. I totally thought the entire collection would be a pass, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. I also enjoyed MAC Star Trek collection, another one that I thought would be a pass, but I did end up purchasing and liking a few things.
2. What didn’t impress you?
Not really that thrilled with too faced holiday collection. I feel like I’ve seen it before (as in last years stuff). I think maybe I’m just bored with too faced now.
3. Did you return anything you purchase?
I returned the oh so BORING gimmie some lip set from Sephora. I got it in person and all the colours were so blah, and all the same. I then caught wind of the gimmie some BOLD lip kit, now that is right up my alley! I also returned the pat McGrath lip kit in fetish, because I ended up purchasing the everything kit.
4. successfully resist temptation?
I have resisted the Laura mercier face Illuminator set, I pretty much have dupes for all the colours (even though it’s soooooo pretty). I also resisted the ud junkie lip kit as I have half the colours it comes with (but it would be nice to have them all together in one palette).

What didn’t impress me? Artis oval 6 brush. I had heard so many good reviews and comments about it. I tried it , but I wasn’t impressed at all. I’m not sure if it’s s’thing that I’m doing wrong. Maybe I need to practice a bit more with it and watch some tutorials.

I’ve heard good things about that brush, too, but haven’t tried it myself. Maybe it’s just not the right shape/style for how you apply makeup?

I keep looking at Artis 6 and 7, but hesitate because I typically prefer to use my fingers for foundation. I have the Shiseido foundation brush, but never really reach for it and I secretly worry about the BeautyBlender not drying properly and growing bacteria. My other worry about Artis is if the handle will fit properly in my over crowded brush holder. An “awful” problem to have, I know.

What were your favorites from the last month? If I only could remember! I don’t think I had any new favourites last month, I tried to use old trusted things.
What didn’t impress you? The holiday LE’s. They are announdced so early and so far nothing, except one eyeshadow palette has been really interesting and that one is the really pricey one from, was it CdeP? (I can’t spell the name of the brand at the momen, too tired to try French.)
Did you return anything you purchase? We can’t return makeup unless it’s sealed, but I didn’t return anything.
Or successfully resist temptation? Yes, I didn’t order anything from the Victoria Beckham LE Collection, and I did like quite alot from it. A lot of money saved.

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