Archive for the 'Sephora exclusive' Category

Tarina Tarantino Pearl Glow Primer Review & Swatches

April 6, 2010
TARINA TARANTINO Pearl Glow Primer ($32 for 1 oz.)

Since spotting Nicci Nix’s seriously glowing complexion on American Idol, I’ve been a little obsessed with achieving that perfectly dewy, glowy look without looking greasy or like I have gigantor pores (which sadly I actually do), and to that end I’ve been playing around with a million different primers and highlighters that have promised me that healthy, luminescent glow.  So how does the TARINA TARANTINO Pearl Glow Primer stack up?  Click on after the jump for the review!

The Science: Pearl Glow Primer contains actual pearl powder, which from what I’ve heard is not only ideal for giving skin that glowly look, but is also pretty great for softening your complexion and reducing skin pigmentation.  Yay for a multi-tasking product! 

The Review: I’ve actually been using the Pearl Glow Primer in two different ways: (1) as a primer, and (2) as a highlighter, either blended right into my foundation or patted on top, and so of course you’ll be getting a review of how the product performs in both respects.

As a primer Pearl Glow is decent – it doesn’t rock my world and make me do a happy dance in the morning, but it does absorb quickly without leaving behind that somewhat greasy, slick feel so prevalent in primers heavy on the silicones (it has a sort of light moisturizer feel to it) .  So why wasn’t it love for me?  Well here’s the thing – if you’ve got nearly perfect skin and don’t wear foundation, Pearl Glow applied over your usual skincare regimen will give you the most beautiful, luminescent, glowing looking skin without any of the strange multi-hued shine that a lot of luminzers can give, but if you’re like me and need to apply a good amount of foundation over your primer, the luminosity pretty much disappears under it all.  Why bother with a luminizing primer that disappears when you use it as primer?

As for how it looks and wears, I will say that it really helps my foundation shades to stay true all day long which I’m thrilled with, and it does a pretty good job of controlling my oilies all day long.  So all in all it makes a solid primer, I guess I’m just a little disappointed that I don’t get more luminosity out of it. 

Swatches below!

But while I do have my complaints about this as a primer, as a luminizer it’s really second to none.  Every other luminizer I’ve ever tried has emphasized my pores and given me a sort of odd pink luminescent glow that’s not very flattering on my skintone, but Pearl Glow somehow manages to give all the glow without any of the accompanying weirdness.  I like to mix a pump of it into my foundation pre-application, then to top it all off by patting small dots onto the tops of my cheekbones, along the bridge of my nose and just a tiny bit on my forehead (basically all the sports the sun would naturally reflect off of). 

If you’re in the market for a fantastic luminizing product that will give you a beautiful, youthful look, Pearl Glow is your product, but if you’re still on the hunt for that perfect primer I’ve got some better suggestions coming your way sometime soon so stay tuned!

Ingredients: Water, Octyldodecanol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Glycerin, Alumina, Manganese Dioxide, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Sodium Hydroxide, Pearl Powder, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

I obsessively checked the Sephora stores to see if the Tarina Tarantino line had launched and when I saw this I snatched it up – I mean if I don’t spoil myself, who’s going to spoil me, right? 😉

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Tarina Tarantino Mini Haul

March 10, 2010
 You all all know that I’m a huge sucker for anything and everything pink, so when the Sephora-exclusive Tarina Tarantino line launched at Sephora a few weeks back I had to haul an item or two to review for the blog.  I swatched away at the store, and while I wasn’t too wowed by the liners (smudgy) and shadows (a little boring), I did happen to fall in love with the TARINA TARANTINO Pearl Glow Primer ($32), a quick-to-absorb, lightweight primer that contains actual pearl powder to give your complexion a luminscent glow, and the TARINA TARANTINO Dollskin Cheek Feather ($25).  The Dollskin Cheek blushes were all beautifully pigmented, finely milled powders that for me were the stars of the line, along with the primer.  
More photos after the jump!

If you’ve already got a Tarina Tarantino counter near you (and you’ve seen the Sephora employees dressed up in horrible hot pink wigs that look nothing like the glorious one featured on the model above) definitely run to check out the line.  I’m seriously tempted to go back for the Dollskin blushes in Charm and Parasol (the shimmer is multi-dimensional and really lust-worthy) and to maybe get a backup of the primer I love it so much.  I’ll be reviewing both for you soon!

Tarina Tarantino Launches at Sephora

January 18, 2010


All my fellow crazy Sephora stalkers (you know you’re out there) may have noticed that Sephora has launched a little preview of the soon-to-arrive Tarina Tarantino cosmetics collection! There was a time when I was obsessed with all things Tarina Tarantino (I have a few of her flower hair clips and lusted after a Hello Kitty necklace for the longest time) so of course I’m thrilled to see her going back to her roots as a makeup artist and bringing us a Sephora-exclusive fun, girly new collection to check out.

Products I’ve got my eye on? Well the Pearl Glow Primer ($32) for one – I’m a sucker for any product that promises me luminescent skin. I mean what’s more beautiful than a pearl’s nacre? Other releases include the beautiful Sparklicity Shimmer Dust ($39) which is reminiscent of Guerlain’s holiday shimmer sprays and a fun kabuki with a shock of fuchsia bristles called the Kapinki ($38). Can’t wait for everything to officially release so that I can check the products out for myself!

Yay or Nay: Sephora’s Luxury Lighted Makeup Stand

November 2, 2009

What it does:
Take a world of show-stopping beauty on-the-go with this portable, standing lighted case, specially designed for makeup artists, hair stylists, and serious glamour girls. The central compartment’s four cantilever trays can be lifted out and used separately, for increased versatility.

This ultimate beauty tool features:
– Ample size (23.6 x 18.1 x 9.1″ external dimensions)
– Mirror (dimensions 14.2 x 16.5″)
– Mirror extension to stand 3′ above the floor
– 6 x 40 watt light bulbs around the mirror (U.S. specific electronics)
-Light dimmer feature
– International-compatibility plug

While I love to play makeup artist every now and again, this is most definitely a nay for me with its $998 price point. Madness I say! What’s your take on Sephora’s new Luxury Lighted Makeup Station?

SEPHORA by OPI Nail Colour in 212-Sephora Review & NOTD

November 1, 2009

SEPHORA by OPI’s Nail Colour in 212-Sephora
($9) is a limited-edition shade that was launched for the opening of the latest Sephora Times Square location a few months back. 212 sold out quickly and was slow to come back in stock, but now that it’s back I had to get a bottle for myself. It’s a smoky black polish base with a myriad of iridescent gold, copper and other shimmery bits that’s opaque in two coats – be forewarned that this is one glittery polish!


A lot of you have been asking me what polish I was wearing in my first two YouTube videos (thank you so so much to everyone for checking them out and subscribing!), and this is it. 212 was my polish of choice for Halloween as the chunkier coppery/orange looking shimmery bits are nice and festive and definitely holiday-appropriate.


Check out my nail photos and the rest of the review after the jump!


One thing that I do feel needs to be mentioned is that 212 Sephora tends to look a little green under certain liking conditions. It’s not unattractive, just a little weird. The finish isn’t completely smooth due to all the glitter – it’s a little lumpy and chunky feeling, and definitely a major ordeal to remove, but all in all I’m kind of loving it.



It’s no OPI DS polish (really need more of these!) but constantly find myself admiring all the shimmer (there’s much more than you see in the photos – darn flash!) so it must be pretty nice, right?

I purchased this product myself. A fellow blogger, Charm Candy, introduced me to the shade and I spent weeks hunting it down. Needless to say I was ecstatic to learn it was back in stock!

Kat von D Rock n Roll Palette (aka the Sephora 500 Point Palette) Review & Swatches

October 13, 2009


I was all gaga over this Kat von D Rock n Roll Eyeshadow Palette Sephora was offering as one of its 500 point gifts, and of course I had to get it even though I’d been hoarding my points for who knows how long.


So I’ll bet you’re all wondering, was it worth the splurge? Is it really worth 500 of your precious points that you’ve so painstakingly accumulated?


Wondering if the Kat von D Rock n Roll Palette actually rocked my world? Find out (and check out the close-ups and swatches) after the jump!



I bet you look at this palette and think fabulous hip packaging, some great wearable shades that aren’t too crazy but not too boring either, plus a cute mini brush ~ what could be better, right? Well honestly, pretty much anything. I gave this palette chance after chance to at least make me fall in like with it, but it just wasn’t to be.


The swatches above are of Believer, Confessional, Groupie and Motorhead, and all four shades were seriously unpigmented. I had to swipe at the shadow 3-4 times to get the amount of color I did above! Thanks to the lack of pigmentation, I found that these shadows lent my overall eye looks a muddy, dull appearance and really weren’t very flattering at all.


Now I’m not judging the rest of Kat von D’s products based upon this palette as I’ve heard that her regular palettes really are quite special, but I’m a little saddened that my introduction into the world of Kat von D was so lackluster.


The Verdict: Save your points for something better! I do really LOVE the packaging but the contents are less than stellar and really not worth spending those 500 points on.

The Latest & Great Sephora Samplers Exclusive to Beauty Insiders

September 26, 2009

This set contains:
– 0.27 oz Tarte Celebutante Dry Oil Shimmer Spray
– 0.3 oz Smashbox Artificial Light Luminizing Lotion in Flash (iridescent pink)
– 0.17 oz Tarte Glam Gams
– 0.4 oz Tarte Lock & Roll in Bronze (shimmering true bronze)
– 0.28 oz Guerlain Meteorites Powder Pearls for the Face in Beige Chic (golden glow)
– 0.17 oz Tarte Cheek Stain in Eco-Cheek (coral with a touch of shimmer)
– 0.23 oz Sephora Super Shimmer in Desert Gold (rosy tan with pink and gold shimmer)
– 0.06 oz Laura Geller Blush-N-Brighten in Sunswept (bronze, coral, and rose)
– 0.59 oz Smashbox Eyeshadow in 24K (true gold shimmer)
– 0.1 oz Laura Geller Lip Shiner in City Lights (pink and gold flecked glimmer)


My First Makeup Kit Deluxe Sampler ($89 value for $32)
This set contains:

– 0.21 oz Korres Lip Butter in Pomegranate (sheer coral)
– 0.12 oz Givenchy Gloss Interdit in Rose Taboo (rosy mauve)
– 0.7 oz Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Pout
– 0.04 oz LORAC TANtalizer Baked Bronzer in Bronze
– 0.06 oz LORAC Eye Shadow in Serenity (shimmering light bronze)
– 0.16 oz Sephora Nail Polish in L15 Chamallow (cotton candy)
– 0.17 oz Tarte Cheek Stain in True Love (sheer watermelon)
– 0.1 oz Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara in Black
– 0.13 oz Korres Deep Colour Mascara in Black

Lip Service Deluxe Sampler ($119 value for $38)
This set contains:

– 0.05 oz Duwop Private Red
– 0.12 oz Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Sheer
– 0.02 oz Sephora Nano Lip Liner in Beau Bordeaux 11 or Radiant Rosy 14
– 0.086 oz NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Roman Holiday (vibrant pink sheen)
– 0.06 oz Korres Guava Lipstick in Wine Red (burgundy wine)
– 0.14 oz CARGO Plantlove Botanical Lipstick in Muir Woods (sheer spiced mauve)
– 0.8 oz Tarte Vitamin Infused Lipstick in Hatha (shimmering berry rose)
– 0.04 oz Laura Mercier Lip Coulour-Crème in Pink Champagne (cool rose)


LashStash Mascara Deluxe Sampler ($104 value for $39)
This set contains:

– 0.16 oz Hourglass Superficial Lash
– 0.09 oz Urban Decay Skyscraper Multi-Benefit Mascara
– 0.13 oz Korres Abyssinia Oil Volumizing and Strengthening Mascara
– 0.14 oz Benefit A Little Bit BADGal Lash Mascara
– 0.2 oz Smashbox Lash DNA
– 0.03 oz Laura Mercier Thickening and Building Mascara
– 0.07 oz Fresh Supernova
– 0.1 oz Sephora Lash Stretcher
– 0.14 oz Tarte 4 Day Stay Lash Stain
– 0.12 oz Cargo LashActivator.

Radiant Skin Regimen Deluxe Sampler ($143 value for $38)
This set contains:

– 1 oz Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash
– 1.35 oz Cosmedicine Medi-Morphosis Self Adjusting Exfoliator
– 0.5 oz Perricone Advanced Face Firming Activator
– 0.23 oz DDF Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum
– 0.24 oz Kinerase C8 Peptide Intensive Treatment
– 0.14 oz Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF15
– 0.4 oz Philosophy Hope in a Jar
– 1 oz Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
– 0.5 oz Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion

My Thoughts: Sephora’s sampler kits have always been good in the past, but this new slew of releases is downright awesome! I love that they’ve included some high-end items such as the Givenchy gloss and Guerlain Meteorites, and each set contains multiple items that I already love (such as the Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash which is good stuff) and even more that I’d love to try (such as Cargo’s LashActivator).

As always I happen to think these are a tad overpriced, but if they’re within your budget I think they’d make somebody an amazing stocking stuffer or holiday gift!

ABS Wants: 2 Palettes From Sephora

September 3, 2009
The Runway Palette ($175 Value for $49)
A Sephora-exclusive kit featuring all the products you need to create the hottest beauty looks of the season—offered at one pretty price!

This kit was created to make applying Fall 2009’s hottest runway looks easy and fun. The season’s color palette allows for endless combinations with the smoky gray eyes, bronzed nude cheeks, and pops of vibrant eye color. Complete with a smoky-gray eye palette, six runway-inspired eyeshadow shades, three silky powder blushes, and a best-selling bronzer, you’ll be on your way to creating your own custom, vibrant fall looks in no time.

This set contains:
– Essential Palette in Gray
– Blush in Big Easy, Rome, and Topeka
– Medium Bronzer
– 6 Button Eye Shadows in Emerald Green, Charcoal Blue, Shimmering Green-Gold, Golden Brown, Dusk Blue, Matte Purple

I’m usually not a big Cargo fan, not that I’ve actually tried any of their products. There’s just something about the way that they’re packaged that doesn’t appeal to me, and that in turn results in my not purchasing cosmetics from them. Silly but true. But I’m a sucker for cable-knit anything and I happen to love buttons (I know I’m weird!), so seeing these two things combined into a makeup palette is like going to my little happy place. I want this! I need it! I must have it!

Sephora Brand Colorful Artist Palette ($30)
An exclusive, fifteen-shade, next-generation eyeshadow ensemble. Discover this set of highly pigmented, long-lasting shadows that reinvent color intensity. These show-stopping shades have the perfect, high-payoff combination of brilliant color, an easy-blending formula, and endless versatility that will revolutionize your eye-makeup outlook and deliver stunning effects. Experiment with multiple finishes: matte, glitter, and metallic shimmer. Apply your color dry for a natural vibe or dampen your brush and apply wet for an all-out sophisticated stare. Let inspiration be your guide and watch your makeup go from everyday to extraordinary.

So this isn’t nearly as cute as the Cargo palette, but it’s pretty high on my to-buy list considering that I’ve been wanting a Coastal Scents palette forever and still haven’t managed to get my hands on one. I do think it’s a little pricey at $30 considering it’s Sephora brand, but it does look pretty good. Not as good as that Cargo though! =P

TEMPTU AIR pod™ Foundation Review & Swatches + Before & After Photos!

August 19, 2009

Welcome to Day 2 of the TEMPTU-athon! As promised, you’ll be getting more TEMPTU information than you ever thought you needed or wanted. Still coming at you are reviews of the TEMPTU RETOUCH products (meaning the foundation, blush and highlighter pens – woohoo!) and swatches of every single one of the twelve foundation shades currently available for the system.

TEMPTU AIR pod™ Foundation ($55 for 2 x 0.28 pods)

My biggest concern when purchasing the TEMPTU AIRbrush Makeup System (review HERE) wasn’t that I wouldn’t like the system itself, since TEMPTU is pretty well known for its airbrushing devices, but that I wouldn’t be crazy about the foundation. I’d say that I’m rather picky when it comes to my foundations and I expect quite a bit, so of course I was worried that TEMPTU wouldn’t deliver.

But I’m happy to admit that I was oh so wrong, the foundation formula is darn near perfect! This foundation was formulated to provide a flawless, soft-focus finish; it contains a smoothing complex to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, color-correcting pigments to camoflauge imperfections, and moisturizers to hydrate the skin.

The airbrushing system evenly mists a super fine layer of foundation particles across the surface of your skin, and once the foundation settles there it dries rather quickly (unlike my SK-II Air Touch which took forever to dry!) to a dewy finish. So you’re thinking dewy = terrible for oily skin, right? Wrong! I avoid dewy-finishes like the plague because usually it’s just asking for trouble (hello oil-slick on my t-zone!), but TEMPTU’s foundation, set with just the smallest amount of their RETOUCH Powder literally lasts all day and night on me, which just astounds me. I’ve experimented with wearing the foundation with primer, without primer, with different moisturizers underneath, with and without powder, and the result is always an extraordinarily long-wearing finish.

Plus the foundation really doesn’t settle into any lines you might have. One issues that has always plagued me is how my foundations would settle into the crease connecting my nose to my face (no matter how good the foundation, it can’t help but slide around on my face towards the end of the day), but this has never once happened with the TEMPTU.

So you know I don’t do the before/after photos, and these aren’t the best, but they were demanded! =D

Before (gross ruddy skin w/ some breakouts)

After TEMPTU foundation in Shade 003 Warm Ivory

And with a tiny bit of TEMPTU blush in Washed Rose on top.

I like to tell my friends that TEMPTU’s foundation seems to form this tightly-knit network of foundation particles that stretch across my skin and adhere like crazy without being irritating in the slightest – I feel as though i’m not wearing any foundation at all and my skin never develops those unpleasant hives some other foundations give me at the end of the day. The airbrushed finish is natural enough that you’ll never suffer from “two-tone face/neck syndrome” ever again and seriously I just love it so much.

For someone whose skin is as oily as mine, it’s nothing short of a miracle that I can go out on a day when it’s 100+ degrees and ridiculously humid without piling on the powder and have my makeup look better than it ever has at the end of the day.

RELATED POSTS:

Can’t get enough TEMPTU?

  • See my review of the TEMPTU AIRbrush Makeup System HERE.
  • Plus I’ve reviewed and swatched TEMPTU’s blush and highlighter pods for you HERE.
  • And be sure to check back in the coming days for reviews of TEMPTU’s RETOUCH products and swatches of all the available foundation shades!

TEMPTU AIRbrush Makeup System Review

August 18, 2009
TEMPTU AIRbrush Makeup System ($225)

I know this has taken longer than some of you had hoped (and thank you for waiting so patiently! I promise you’ll be rewarded with more TEMPTU info than you’d ever want) but I’m finally ready to introduce you to my new favorite makeup gadget – the TEMPTU AIRbrush System!


TEPMTU’s Airbrush Makeup System represented the next generation of makeup – for years pro makeup artists have used TEMPTU products to achieve flawless airbrushed results, and now TEMPTU has brought us a compact unit that we can (afford) to use in the comfort of our own homes!

What you get in your TEMPTU Airbrush Makeup System:

  • A trigger-activated AIRbrush which you can use to achieve sheer, medium or full coverage.
  • An AIR Compressor that’s compact enough to travel with and easy to set up.

The AIRbrush trigger with no foundation pod connected.

Closer look at the trigger. You can pull this back to varying degrees so that you can achieve various degrees of coverage (controls the air flow).

There’s also an on/off switch and an adjustable pressure dial (which you’re looking at right here) to enable you to have even more cutomization and control.

What I Love: I decided to test the TEMPTU Airbrush system one morning when I was running really late to work and didn’t have time to read over length instructions, but the system literally took me all of 30 seconds to set up. You connect one end of the air hose to the AIRbrush, and the other to the AIR compressor, open a pod, pop it on and you’re set! The photo below illustrates how you open one and attach one of TEMPTU’s blush pods:

You should actually be holding down that little round button while attaching the pod!


So what else do I love about the TEMPTU? Well the coverage! My SK-II Air Touch Foundation was pretty great, but it was a small handheld system and so could never really achieve the high pressure needed for a decent spray stream which would give full coverage. The TEMPTU allows me to achieve a full coverage finish that looks and feels natural (my skin can actually breathe!) with a gorgeous luminous finish and lasts and lasts. The steady stream of foundation blended with air across my face feels incredibly refreshing on a hot summer’s day, and I even like to cut off the foundation flow and just use the air across my face post-application to help everything dry and set.

The foundation is actually released from a needle-like point at the tip of the foundation pod which gives me incredible control over where the foundation ends up – plus it’s hygienic since you never have to touch your face! This is also a major pro for me because I don’t know about the rest of you, but I hate applying an expensive face cream and then feeling like I’m smearing it all away by applying primer and foundation right over it.

Not So Much: Following my first two uses of the system I ended up with a little foundation in my hair, eyebrows, and all over my lashes (unlike the SK-II you will notice a little bit of this on hairs if you spray for long enough – i.e. to achieve full coverage), but with a few uses I learned to be more precise with my application, focusing on the areas that needed more coverage, and now I’m virtually mess-free! My other tiny gripe is that for me, full coverage takes a good minute or so of continuous spraying as I need a a lot of coverage, but that’s only because I have a lot of redness to cover. Oh and the fact that the pods are rather hard to remove from the AIRbrush trigger – it takes a good deal of maneuvering and strength to get that thing off!

The Verdict: Honestly I really don’t think that $225 is bad at all for an entire airbrushing system, particularly one of this quality – I mean who doesn’t want to look like they have naturally gorgeous glowy skin? Have I mentioned that I love love love LOVE mine? It really is like having a pro airbrushing device at home and you’ll love the amazing results you can achieve with this. Whether you intend to reserve it as a finishing spray to achieve a flawless finish for those special occasions, or plan to use it on a daily basis like I do (airbrushing your foundation each morning is such a refreshing way to start the day), this is a worthy investment to me. Plus TEMPTU offers not only foundation pods, but also blush pods, highlighter pods, and a myriad of touch-up products that coordinate fabulously with the system itself.

Nonetheless I know that this is a rather significant investment, so if there are any other aspects of the TEMPTU you’d like to see covered in this review just e-mail me/leave a comment and I’ll incorporate it! Before & After photos using the system, plus more in depth reviews of the foundation, blush & highlighter pods and all of the touch-up accessories to come!