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  • b-glowing20% off skincare orders of $60+ with code 20SKINCARE, ends 10/25.
  • Macy's50% off Buxom Full-On Lip Polish (now $10), ends 10/22.

Win a R29 + Color Club Nail Polish Set!

Win a R29 + Color Club Nail Polish Set!

For the holidays, Refinery29 has teamed up with several brands to create their own holiday products, including Color Club. The set includes six 15ml exclusively designed shades: Snow Pixie, Happy Hunter, Punch Drunk Red, Rolling in the Deep, Swan Lake, and Wine, Cooler. Color Club polishes are vegan, formaldehyde-, toluene-, and DBP-free.

Enter + contest rules!

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Giorgio Armani #604 Plum Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #604 Plum Gloss d'Armani
Giorgio Armani #604 Plum Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #604 Plum Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #604 Plum Gloss d’Armani ($28.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is described as “bold amethyst.” It’s a sheer grape purple, and when applied to lips, it looks like a cool-toned plum-purple. It reminded me of Illamasqua Fierce when it swatched, but they’re nothing alike on the lips. I couldn’t think of any other potential gloss dupes.

It doesn’t look nearly as purple applied as it does swatched, because the natural pinkness of my lips (which are already rather corpse-like to begin with) peeks through and makes this shade more wearable than it appears. It looks super, super dark in the tube, but don’t let it fool you–it’s a sheer gloss. Giorgio Armani described it as “vivid yet so translucent on application that it matches any skin tone,” and it’s true; there’s definite color, plenty of pop and oomph, but there’s a translucency there that makes the gloss look a bit different from person to person, depending on their natural lip color. I’m torn; I kind of dig the way the color looks on lips from afar, but my lips almost look diseased up close, because it does not apply evenly and the color has a tendency to settle into lip lines.

Though you’ll see disappointing marks for longevity, it’s only because the brand claims eight hours of wear (without fading!), and I’ve never managed to hit that marker; I get to around six with darker shades, five or so with lighter shades. Don’t get me wrong–it’s excellent wear for lipgloss (because this is really lipgloss, it’s not a liquid lipstick), but it does fall short of their claim. The texture feels like a gel, and while it feels non-sticky initially, I find it gets tackier as you wear it.


If you designed a cool-toned or warm-toned palette, what would you include?


If you designed a cool-toned palette, what would you include?

Yesterday’s posts got me thinking (never a good thing!), and though I know we’ve discussed our dream palettes before, I wonder what you would include if you had to make one geared for cooler complexions or one for warmer complexions.  I love smoky taupes and grays along with deep jewel-tones for cooler-toned shades, and for warmer-toned hues, I embrace earthy shades like golds, greens, and browns.  I wanted to make both palettes wearable with a mix of textures, neutrals, and pops of color–they’re not exactly where I want them, but you get the idea!


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An Introduction to Somme Institute

By Marcia, Skincare Contributor

Marcia is a former elementary school teacher. Teaching was her absolute passion, and she never thought she’d want to do anything else. She considered herself a creative teacher and poured her heart and soul into it. When the opportunity came up to retire at a young age, she took advantage of it, but she needed a new outlet for her creative abilities–enter in beauty.  She began writing reviews online and became a freelance makeup artist. She’s worked for lines like Paula Dorf and MAC as well as was a prestige makeup consultant at Ulta. At present, she enjoys her retirement while writing her beauty blog, Beauty Info Zone. Marcia is a married mom with adult children and the cutest grandson in the entire world (no prejudice!). She has a very close family and elderly mother she cares for–her extended family means the world to her.

An Introduction to Somme Institute

I have been like a butterfly with my skincare the last few years. I’d stop and drink the nectar from a few different brands but rarely getting to the heart of the flower. I’m taking a break from my fluttering and settling in with a complete regimen for now and using only the products from Somme Institute. Their basic system consists of five individual products; in addition they have three other products that are just as wonderful but not the mainstays of their routine.

Somme Institute uses something called Molecular Dispersion Technology 5 (MDT5) in all their products. This propriety system allows the five essential vitamins they use (A, B3, B5, C and E) to penetrate the inner skin layers in higher concentrations. The products work together to deliver the results they promise.

For the last five weeks I’ve used Somme Institute exclusively and for a change I have no inclination to move to another line.

  • Nourishing Cleanser ($40.00):  I use this twice a day. It’s a very mild creamy cleanser that doesn’t foam. My skin feels moisturized without any tautness plus it removes all of my face makeup easily. I either use a muslin cloth or The Body Shop’s Flannel Facial Washcloth to remove the cleanser.
  • Transport ($58.00):  Inside the jar you’ll find 50 amply soaked toning and exfoliating pads. I use this at night only since I don’t find my skin needs too much exfoliation. There is a definite tingle to this product but the rest of the products soothe that feeling. My skin is unquestionably clearer using this with less oil being produced.
  • Serum ($82.00):  The Serum is a vitamin C serum in a pump. I need just two drops to do my entire face and neck. I use this morning and night along with the following products.
  • A-Bomb ($70.00):  This is a vitamin infused moisturizer that is used immediately after the Serum. They two work together in synergy. It immediately re-moisturizes my skin from the exfoliation. My face and neck feel hydrated after applying this. When I apply the Serum and A-Bomb my skin is receiving all the vitamins and anti-oxidants that I believe in using.
  • Double Defense ($48.00):  DD is a lightweight water-resistant sun protection with SPF 30+ and Parsol 1789. Double Defense is quite moisturizing without being heavy. It helps with UVA/UVB protection during the day plus it hydrates and heals my skin both day and night.

My makeup goes on perfectly after using this Somme Institute regimen without balling up or disappearing. In addition to these products, I’m using their Eye Cream ($72.00) day and night. During the day, I’ll pat some on when I’m applying my makeup, I’ll use a drop to mix with concealer under my eyes. In the evening, I’ll even use a little on my eyelids. The dark circles under my eyes are diminishing and the thinner skin looks softer and less lined. I use a mask about twice a month and just started with Somme Institute’s Boost, Gentle Warming Mask ($40.00).

If you don’t want to get into an entire system, the products I don’t want to be without are Transport, Serum and A-Bomb. These three are the items that compose the heart of the regime. I haven’t been able to replicate the way these three work together with products from other skincare companies. It’s like a set of triplets that aren’t quite as magical without each other, and this trinity gives me smooth, unlined and moisturized skin.

Free for Haul Friday, Volume #109

Welcome to Free For Haul Friday!

  • Haul:  7 Jack Black Lip Balms! Gotta keep my cabinet stocked 🙂  I also bought
  • Weekend plans:  Give Mellan a bath, farmers’ market if it doesn’t rain, do a puzzle
  • What’s your favorite kind of weather?:   I love slightly cloudy skies with the sun still shining, around 80 degrees, with a light breeze.  I also enjoy a crisp autumn day with overcast skies (but no rain), a nip in the wind (but not a bite).

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

This week’s Mellan photo…

Mellan helping to put up the tree (at my parents’ house)… as you can, very helpful.

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