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  • b-glowing20% off skincare orders of $60+ with code 20SKINCARE, ends 10/25.
  • Ulta50% off Urban Decay Naked Concealer (now $14.50), ends 10/28.

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “navy blue.” It’s a dark navy blue with a shimmery finish. I feel it necessary to do a full copy-and-paste from spring’s press release regarding this product, because too often I receive comments and emails saying I’m being unduly harsh and unfair, all because NARS “meant” for this product to crease; that this is supposed to have that “creased” look.  I’m harsh, but I don’t think unduly so; this is an atrocious product, and from a high-end brand that can and does put out quality products, it’s appalling. I don’t make excuses for brands, least of all when they create products that perform this poorly.

This is what the press release states: “The navy blue Soft Touch Shadow Pencil complements any warm-weather look. Use the creamy, long-wearing formula alone, as a base for layering with powder shadow, or to line and sculpt the eye.” This product is long-wearing by itself, can be used as a base beneath powder eyeshadow, as well as an eyeliner. There is nothing about this product creasing, migrating, moving, turning to sludge, or otherwise indicating it’s supposed to look like this on the lid.

Whenever I wear/experiment NARS’ Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, I notice my eyes are a bit irritated; there’s a burning sensation (not on the lid but of my eye), especially when I use these as eyeliners. I’ve tried Dark Rite in the three methods that NARS states: alone, as a base, and as an eyeliner. None of these methods was successful. The good news is this product creases so quickly that it takes very little time to go through all those tests!

Alone, it fades, smudges on the beneath the lower lash line (from the lid!), creases, and pools into creases. It isn’t dry to the touch after a half hour of wear, which is obviously going to be a problem–if it doesn’t dry, it doesn’t set, so it won’t stay in place. It applies somewhat evenly but does have problems; if you apply with a finger, it seems to just slide around but I wasn’t able to get a really even look with it using my fingers. I had the best luck doing one pass and doing my best not to layer.

As a base with powder eyeshadows on top, it’s both a pain to use (because it’s wet, the powder eyeshadow tends to clump and stick to it but not blend out well; the darker hue also has a tendency to “eat” the eyeshadow) and wear (because it creases after five minutes, just not as bad as it was alone). In the past, I have tried several of these pencils over/under various bases, with/without eyeshadow, and the results are dismal  (See Celebrate.).  I tried the same methods with this one as well with the same disappointing results, whether it’s used alone, underneath eyeshadow, or over a primer, it’s a one-way trip to Crease City.

Finally, as an eyeliner, it smudges and travels further and further away from the lash line. I don’t need any help making my under eye circles look any darker, but this product excelled at it.

The only reason it earns any points is that it is pigmented, but the pigmentation is patchy and uneven, which does impact the overall pigmentation score.  The texture is creamy enough that it glides on the lid without too much tugging or pulling, which accounts for some points.  But you’ll notice that when it comes to overall product score and longevity, there are none.  These continue to be one of the worst formulas I’ve come across.  At $24, it’s a slap in the eye.

If you want a shadow pencil that actually works, consider Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils, which not only wear all day long without trouble, they’re four bucks cheaper. Here are some navy blue eyeliners to consider as well.

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Win It! Blast From the Past Pack o’ MAC #1 ($100+ value)

Win It! Blast From the Past Pack o’ MAC #1 ($100+ value)

For many, many collections, I would purchase extra pieces to giveaway on the blog, and now’s the time to do so!  We’ll be giving away lots of limited edition products in the next few weeks! To enter, use the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter & read official rules… 

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Free for Haul Friday, Volume #115

Welcome to Free For Haul Friday!

  • Haul:  I managed to resist; I spied some new philosophy shower gels, but I said no and backed away!
  • Weekend plans:  Really trying to be more productive – I need to get it together this weekend!
  • What inspires you?:   Happy endings, wise words, love, nature

Share your pet photos to the Temptalia Pets flickr group! 🙂

This week’s Mellan photo…

This is the look he gives me when I put on products to test!

Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel Review

By Chelsea Nusbaum, Fragrance Contributor

Chelsea grew up in Los Osos, California, which is a small coastal town. She completed her undergraduate degree in Literature/Writing at University of California, San Diego. She recently completed her master’s degree in Rhetoric and Professional and Technical Writing. Chelsea currently works as a proposal editor for a local defense company. She loves to freelance and edit, but between her full-time job and awesome pets, what little time she has left she devotes to fragrance!

Perfume and Memory: Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel Review

Herbaceous, rugged, and tethered to the earth that inspired it, Fleurs de Sel reminds me of my hometown. But my tiny coastal town perpetually shrouded in fog was not what perfumer Lyn Harris had in mind when she created this fragrance: hers was. She has a family home in Batz sur Mer, a small village in Brittany, France, where she says she spent her happiest times. She composed Fleurs de Sel using materials found at the nearby salt marshes. It was released in 2007.

Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel is a fragrance I never would have worn as early as a year ago, and now I count it among my favorites. Name aside, it isn’t floral—at least not in any obvious sense—and its opening is smoky. I hate smoke. Red thyme gives it an antiseptic edge that I’m also not fond of. Up until falling in love with Fleurs de Sel, I liked my perfumes floral, or at least sweet. Fleurs de Sel is pungent and aromatic. It didn’t fit my idea of how a perfume should smell. But I kept thinking about those salt marshes that inspired it, and the estuary I grew up near. Nostalgia led me to take a second sniff, and then a third. Once I got past the nose-crinkling opening, I was combing the internet for a discontinued bottle.

In addition to the smoke, Fleurs de Sel opens with a bundle of herbs and a kick of ambrette seed. I’ve learned to appreciate the opening, but I don’t really love Fleurs de Sel until about 20 minutes in, when the smoke evaporates and the wildflowers blossom behind a curtain of herbs. The herbs have such clarity that this fragrance still feels modern, in spite of its country roots. The antiseptic quality mellows considerably as the fragrance wears.

Extended exposure to Fleurs de Sel will make you think Harris’s family home is actually near a salt mine—it is very, very salty. The big salt accord is buoyed by the host of herbs from the top notes: red thyme, rosemary, and clary sage. The “fleurs” are there, but not so distinguishable that I could pick them out note-by-note, although the official notes list iris, narcissus, and rose. Rather, they form a sheer backdrop to the earthier aspects of the fragrance; herbs and salt are what take center stage.

Fleurs de Sel’s musky base comes courtesy of ambrette seed, with a woody assist from vetiver, which to my nose usually smells dry and earthy, but here is rendered as wet, freshly dug earth. There is a touch of leather.

It is not my signature scent—I’m incapable of olfactory monogamy—but it is the fragrance I consider the most “me.” When I wear it, I smell like where I came from.

Ambrette seed—the soul of Fleurs de Sel —is expensive, and I suspect it’s partially to blame for the unusually high price tag. Miller Harris perfumes typically retail for about $100. If you’re up for paying full price, £110.00 for 3.4 oz of eau de parfum (about $170, plus international shipping), you can order directly from Miller Harris. Or you can pick it up for about $20 less and save on shipping at online discounters Overstock and Fragrance X.

What perfumes conjure memories for you? Are you willing to give a challenging fragrance like Fleurs de Sel a try, or multiple tries?

China Glaze ElectroPop Collection

China Glaze ElectroPop Collection

Where heavy metal meets rocker chic, China Glaze® introduces the Spring 2012 collection, ElectroPop. Inspired by all things girly, edgy and fun, the 12 shades of ElectroPop bring out the inner rock star in all. For flash and glam this spring, China Glaze® hits the stage in style! ElectroPop will be available February 2012. Individual shades retail for $7; 6 piece collections retail for $42.

  • Kinetic Candy Touch the sky in light blue crème
  • Electric Beat Periwinkle nails for a wink worthy performance
  • Aquadelic Pool blue for nighttime gigs and daytime fun in the sun
  • Gaga For Green Green lacquer for the girl craving the limelight
  • Sunshine Pop Shine in the spotlight in bold yellow
  • Make Some Noise Rock the mic in tangerine
  • Wicked Style Party cocktail tropical punch
  • Fuchsia Fanatic Fuchsia pink for the rocker diva in us all
  • Gothic Lolita Steal the show on girls night out in seductive purple
  • Dance Baby Hit center stage in cotton candy pink
  • Sweet Hook Blow a kiss in dreamy lilac
  • Techno Glitter confetti polish for a dazzling topcoat finish or all over finger tip bling

See more photos!