Shades Of U Contest: Holiday Look # 13 From Helen

We're at the homestretch! Four more entries (including this one) and you're all set to vote for the Popular Choice Winner. Remember, the Grand Prize Winner will be announced on December 3rd, so stay tuned!

Here's Helen's take on the holiday look. Helen, from British Columbia, Canada, sported a classic holiday look that is so chic. Her shots were so tastefully done, it seems as if she were transported back in time and forever frozen in her timeless pictures. Her work reminded me of the makeup of movie stars in the '40s and '50s - so classic and classy at the same time. I think the focal points of her look are her deep berry red lips and her gorgeous, porcelain skin - the very stuff movie stars are made of.

Primer/Base: Bare Escentuals: Mineral Veil
Concealers: Everyday Minerals Mint corrector, Lumiere Healing Concealer Light-medium-yellow
Foundation: EDM Light-Medium beige semi-matte
Bronzer/contour: BE warmth
All-over-face-color/highlight: Valerie Cosmetics Satin Sun
Blush: Milan Minerals mauvalous

Entire Lid: Milan Sista
Top Lid: Milan Black Amethyst
Bottom: Milan Bijou-brown, Black Amethyst
Liner: Almay liquid liner in brown
Mascara: CoverGirl Lash Exact in very black
Brows: EDM dark brown

Lips: Vaseline with Milan Krazze pigment

Shades Of U Contest: Holiday Look # 12 From Crissy

Here's a lovely, not-your-usual green look from Crissy of Paranaque City, Philippines. I really love how the green got smokified on her eyes. Since I love anything green, her eyeshadows are totally up my alley. I've also been told that Monave Sultries eyeshadows were quite good, but I didn't know they actually look gorgeous on the lids, as shown in this holiday look. I also can't believe how creamy and flawless her skin looked like. I have not seen a look using Monave foundation that I didn't like. It really melds to the skin and makes it look creamy, and if I have not said it before, let me say that Monave is undisputedly the King of foundation staying power in my book. I cannot rave enough about how unbelievably long-lasting this product is. Anyways, here's Crissy's own description of her holiday look:

Smokey Green Eyes

I love the color green and smokey eyes are a great holiday makeup look. Green is usually paired up with gold, but using some silver and adding more shimmer just made it a little more unique.

Awesome look Crissy! It looks simple yet very unique and flawless!

Makeup For Ever Primer in Neutral (0)
Monave Mineral Foundation in Saturnina and Cecilia
Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil
Valerie Beauty Minerals Pin Up Collection Blush in Coy

Aromaleigh Eye Primer
Silver Eyeshadow from Zali Makeup Palette on lid and lower lash line
Monave Sultries Eyeshadow in Ivy on lid & lower lash line
Monave Sultries Eyeshadow in Ivy (foiled) on outer V and crease
Aromaleigh Sonic Rocks in White Wedding as browbone highlight and on top of eyeshadow
Fasio 3D Airtech Curl + Volume Mascara in Black

Clinique Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick in Creamy Nude
MAC Lipglass in Perfectly Pink

Shades Of U Contest: Holiday Look # 11 From Nikki

Here's fresh-faced Nikki's rendition of the holiday look. As soon as I saw Indelible gel liner in Peacock on her, I felt I just HAD to have it. I have always admired Peacock on the MAD minerals website, but I haven't seen it on anyone till now, and it looks like a gorgeous teal on Nikki's eyes. I was also thrilled when I saw Nikki wearing Ocean Mist foundation in Bamboo, because I also ordered the same shade from their half-off sale last weekend, and I received it today (pictures to come). Nikki and I have almost the same skintone, and I think Bamboo would be a good choice because it looks great on her. Nikki, from Quezon City, Philippines, is a self-confessed mineral makeup junkie. I can totally relate (mineral makeup can make you look AND feel good, and it's good for your skin)! As flawless as the minerals are on her, I don't think we can blame her, can we?

Foundation: Ocean Mist in Bamboo

Finishing powder: Silk Naturals Perfecting Powder

Cheeks: The Natural Source Camouflage Colors in Desert Sunset

- J.Lynne e/s in Kuzu all over lid
- MAD Chocoberry in crease and lower lashline
- Indellible gelliner in Peacock on upper lashline
- Palladio Clear lash and brow gel on lashes and brows

Lips: Bourjois Effect 3D lipgloss in Violet Psychedelic

MAC Metal X: The Good and The Bad

I was very skeptical about the Metal X cream eyeshadows because of the mixed reviews I have been reading online. Some people gushed over how pigmented, rich, creamy and vibrant these shadows are, but some were disappointed with the creasing. I decided to see and try it out for myself, and when I arrived at the counter, I was totally floored by how gorgeous these eyeshadows are. First of all, I didn't know the Metal X pots were going to be bigger than regular MAC eyeshadows. Secondly, I thought the Metal X's were going to be gunky, sticky cream eyeshadows, but I was met with firm, ultra smooth cream shadows that dry to a powder finish. Most of all, I fell in love with the amazing, wondrous, vibrant colors. I gravitated toward 6th Sin and Plum Electric (shown in pics), and you can probably see why. The hues were so rich and vibrant, and definitely buildable, so you can have these as sheer or as opaque as you want. I debated with myself and I wanted to get Pure Ore, Virgin Silver and Gold Spice as well, but I held off because I kept thinking about the creasing issues I've read on makeup boards online. I went home and swatched the shadows, and these are unlike any other eyeshadow from MAC that I've tried. Sooooo rich, smooth, uber-pigmented. I was in love.

I tried 6th Sin today and I was just blown away by the color. It's one of prettiest greens I've ever owned. It was so beautiful on the lid that I decided to leave it alone and not apply powder shadow over it. Take note that I used a base (Beige-ing shadestick) and I was quite confident that it wouldn't crease on me.

Well, I was wrong. Less than three hours later, I saw big, fat creases on my lids despite my careful application of primer. MAC shadows NEVER creased on me, until today. I should have known that cream shadows are not really known for their staying power, regardless of the brand. That said, Metal X's are great, but only when used as a base when you're working on the crease, which is such a shame because I bought the shadows to be showcased and not buried under tons of powder eyeshadows. I wanted it to shine. Such a shame. Oh well. I can always find great shadows to layer over these, but I'm just disappointed that I will never get to wear these without powder eyeshadows over them.

MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base on lid and lower lashline
MAC Metal X eyeshadow in 6th Sin on lid
MAC Juxt eyeshadow on inner to mid lid
MAC Metamorph eyeshadow on inner half of lower lashline
MAC Greensmoke eyeshadow on outer half of lower lashline
MAC Humid and Plumage eyeshadows on outer crease and outer V
MAC Shroom eyeshadow to highlight
Indelible gel liner in Black Out to line
Shu Uemura mascara base
Shu Uemura and Maybelline mascaras

Camellia Rose skin smoothing primer
Everyday Minerals foundation in Winged Butter Intensive
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Silk Naturals sheer perfecting powder
MAC Emote blush to contour
Everyday Minerals blush in Apple
Terra Del Sol # 7 skinfinish (MAC Pleasureflush MSF dupe) over blush

MAC lipliner in Whirl
MAC lipstick in Ultra Madame
MAC lipglass in Contessa (Finery Plum lips)

Shades of U Contest: Holiday Look # 10 From Aireen

As soon as I saw Aireen's photos, I just gaped in awe at her holiday face. The lips, oh wow! Can you get any more Christmas-y than those bright red puckers? It was also applied so precisely and flawlessly on her full, pouty lips. Aireen, who hails from Makati City, Philippines, created a visual feast by combining vibrant green and blue shadows and liners with vibrant red lipstick. So undeniably festive; it totally screams "Christmas is here!". I'm loving the earrings as well and how they matched her lips; it's obvious that Aireen really made her entire look as festive as can be.


Makeup For Ever Primer in Neutral (0)
Valerie Beauty Cover Deluxe in W3 + Y2
Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil
Smashox blush in Smashing Epic


Aromaleigh Eye Primer
Careline Eyeshadow in Mestiza White as lidwash
Eyeshadows from Estee Lauder Denim Quad For the blue eyeshadow on lid and inner lower lashline
Estee Lauder Eyeshadow in Khaki in crease and outer lower lashline
Aromaleigh Sonic Rocks in White Wedding as browbone highlight and on top of eyeshadow
Maybelline Unstoppable Shiny Black Mascara


Avon Ultra Color Rich in Butternut

Shades Of U Contest: Holiday Look # 9 From Marcela

An artistic rendition of the holiday look comes from Marcela of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She painstakingly drew a pattern of holly leaves on her cheeks with keen attention to detail. The pattern is gorgeous and it truly bespeaks of holiday traditions and warm, fuzzy thoughts of Christmas. You could tell from Marcela's strokes that the pattern was very carefully and lovingly made and was not done haphazardly, nor was it rushed. I admire the fact that she used common, ordinary makeup to draw her work of art instead of using specialized body paint. In line with her concept, Marcela kept the rest of her face clean and neutral so as not to overwhelm. The clean lines of her eyes, cheeks and lips drew attention to her holiday pattern which is of course the focal point of her look. I love the entire concept, and she pulled off the entire look amazingly well.

'Tis the season to be holly!


* La Roche Posay Toleraine Liquid Foundation in ‘light beige’
* Natura Diversa corretivo extreme conforto candeia in 'claro' (Concealer) (light beige)
* Faces_Natura polvo compacto in ‘bege natural claro’ à (Pressed Powder)
* Clinique Fresh Bloom Allover Colour in '01 peony’


* Bloom eyeliner in ‘black’ to line lower lash line and trace ‘v’
* Givenchy eye shadow in ‘dressy black’ on ‘v’
* Clinique colour surge eye shadow soft shimmer in ‘sierra glaze’ on middle
* Clinique shimmering tones powder in ‘golden bronze’:
- Dark and middle shade on lid
- Light shade to highlight beneath the brow and blend
* Mila Marzi mono eye shadow in ‘1110/101’ (gold) on inner corner and to line lower lash line
* Clinique high impact mascara in ‘black’ on upper and lower lashes


* Natura Diversa lápiz retractile in ‘cor da boca’ (Lip Liner)
* Nivea Labello in ‘cherry’
* L’Oreal glam shine sorbet in ‘cherry sorbet’

* Mila Marzi mono eye shadow in ‘1110/P10’ (green) to draw leaves
* Dinhora labial cremoso in ‘N·71’ (red lipstick) to draw berries
* Maybelline New York waterproof liquid eyeliner in ‘black’ to outline


* Sponge wedge à to even out foundation and concealer
* Natura blush brush à to apply pressed powder and blush
* Natura eye brushes à to apply eye shadows and draw leaves
* Drugstore brand brushes à to blend shadows and to apply liner

Shades Of U Contest: Holiday Look # 8 From Sue

Here's pretty Sue from Selangor, Malaysia who sent in her Ice Queen look. She said that she aimed for a look similar to that of the Ice Queen from the Chronicles of Narnia. I was mesmerized by her lovely eyes, so expressive and pensive (lol, it rhymes)! Her lashes seem to go on forever! I think she just used the right amount of products because too much would overwhelm her beautiful eyes and features. Here's Sue's take on the holiday look in her own words:

To me, Christmas reminds me of snow...the beautiful white, goose-feather soft snowflakes raining down from the sky and blanketing the surface. I've not seen nor touched snow, so this is purely imagination. :) And Christmas = cold. When I think of cold, I think pale.

MAD Minerals Medium Concealer ---> applied wet
TKB Authentic Silk Powder
Lure Beauty Moosie Mix (this is what I got from Moosie when she mixed 16 shades together)

MyMineralsBath&Body (MMBB) Highlights --->patted all over lid until brow bone
Cheapie kohl, tightlined on upper lashes
Brow liner in black (korean brand)
Rimmel Extra Super Lash mascara in Blackest Black

Meow Kittylicious blush
Vaseline layered on top

Lancome Color Fever Lip Shine Lipstick and Purples

Turn up your lips with gliding sensual shine!

> Light reflecting pearls give translucent color and pure shine.
> Gliding and lightweight texture hydrates your lips for hours.
> 12 fresh, luminous shades.

I had the chance to try this lipstick out and I like the fact that it doesn't dry my lips. I also appreciate the sheerness of the product because that makes application very buildable. I like the cute see-through packaging and the sleekness of the tube that is very Lancome. It moisturizes my lips and never made it crack or peel, and the slickness of the product just babies the lips with moisture throughout. If you don't like sparkle in your lip products, however, this is not for you. It shimmers and sparkles so I believe this is more apt for night time wear, especially with the deeper colors. I used the shade in Provocative which is a deep plum color. I was wearing purples for a night out as well, so I used a light lip gloss to tone down the shade. It is a very pretty shade though and if you want your lips to stand out for a fun night in town, go get this color.

For my eyes, I used MAC pigments in Mauvement and Grape, and I think I have a new favorite pigment in the latter. I soooo love the depth and the perfect purple shade of Grape. It is not as dark as Entremauve and it is beautiful when paired with a lighter purple on the lid. The coming of fall makes me want to wear deeper colors like plums and purples, and this beautiful pigment is going to be a staple for me this fall and winter.

MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC Mauvement pigment foiled with MAC mixing medium on lid
MAC Quietly pigment on lower and inner lid
MAC Grape pigment on crease and outer V
MAC Up At Dawn eyeshadow to line lower lashline
MAC Sunday's Best eyeshadow to highlight
Almay Amazing I-liner (liquid eyeliner) to line upper lashline
Shu Uemura mascara base
Shu Uemura mascara

Camellia Rose skin smoothing primer
Meow mineral foundation in Flawless Feline Naughty Abyssinian and Pampered Puss Fierce Abyssinian (75-25 mix)
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Silk Naturals sheer perfecting powder
MAC Emote blush to contour
MAC Ablaze blush
MAC Northern Lights MSF over blush

MAC lipliner in Whirl
Lancome Color Fever Lipshine lipstick in Provocative
MAC lipglass in Pas De Deux

Shades Of U Contest: Holiday Look # 7 From Andrea

Here's a breathtaking interpretation of the Snow Queen look by Andrea from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The concept is hauntingly beautiful, and I totally dig the icy eyes and blood red lips. Andrea is a young lady who is obviously a very gifted artist.

When all the leaves have fallen, winter comes along and brings chilly winds, grey landscapes and hoards of snow. No need to fear though, holidays are around the corner! Snow, hot chocolate, presents, music, parties, Christmas trees, food and…her.

She waits with flushed cheeks and blood red lips. Her porcelain skin tingles with cold. She has frosty eyes which are pure white: snow flake covered lids and eyelashes like icicles. She is the Snow Queen

Andrea was also kind enough to include a pic of the products and tools she used for this look. She reckoned that since most of the products she used were from Argentina and Brazil, some of the readers would not be familiar with them.

Here's her note about the products:
I just wanted to apologize for using so many unknown brands! Natura is quite a big brazilian brand, and has three different 'branches' of makeup (Faces_ , Diversa & Unica) aiming at different age targets. Dinhora is a brand from Argentina and there are a couple of Australian brands as well (Sugar Baby, ChiChi Cosmetics & Red Earth). I included a pic of products used so you could get an idea. Thank you! And enjoy!

No need to apologize Andrea! If you can create gorgeous looks such as this, I doubt if anybody cares even if you used water color paints. You look beautiful!

* Natura Diversa base extreme comfort SPF 15 candeia in ‘bege claro’ à (Liquid Foundation) (I)
* Natura Única concealer face and eye area (only colour > medium beige) (II)
* Faces_Natura polvo compacto in ‘bege natural claro’ à (Pressed Powder) (III)
* Maybelline New York expertwear blush in ‘pair o`plums’ (IV)

* Rimmel London Twist & Shimmer eye colour in "white" as base (V)
* Red Earth shimmer powder in ‘MS002’ on lid and ‘v’ (VI)
* Chichi cosmetics eye shadow dust in ‘primadonna’ on lid and ‘v’ (VII)
* Chichi cosmetics eye shadow dust in ‘centrefold’ on lid and ‘v’ (VIII)
* Faces_Natura sombra en polvo in ‘verde iluminado’ on lid and ‘v’ (IX)
* Lancome ellipse mono eyeshadow in ’02 songe argente’ to line upper and lower lashline (X)
* AVON color trend glitter roll on gel to stick on stars (XI)
* Falsies à Drugstore brand. I cut them in half, painted them with the Rimmel London eye colour and then dipped them in the Red Earth shimmer powder. (No pic!)

* Dinhora labial cremoso in ‘N·71’ à (Lipstick – fire engine red) (XII)
* SugarBaby lipstick in ‘Smooching’ à (deep rose) (XIII)

* Sponge wedge à to even out foundation and concealer
* Natura blush brush à to apply pressed powder
* Maybelline blush brush (in compact) à to apply blush
* Natura eye brush à to apply shimmer powders (XIV – top left)
* Tweezers à to handle falsies
* Kryolan glue
* Natura lip brush à to apply lipstick (XIV – bottom left)

Shades Of U Contest: Holiday Look #6 From Silver

Here's Silver of Singapore with her holiday look interpretation. Silver looks so cute with the winged eyeliner. It gives her look a unique and dramatic flair. I can never look good with cat eyes no matter how many times I tried (the results looked horrendous enough not to merit space here), but Silver pulls off the look effortlessly.

Meow Primp & Preen: Premiere Puss Primer Combo
Everyday Minerals Sandy Medium Semi Matte Foundation
Mad Yellow correcter Concealer
Prim & Preen: Crystalline Cat Glow Powder
Majolica Majorca Active Spice Blush in Orange
Brandless Contouring Powder
MAC MSF Lightscapade to highlight
MAC Petticoat MSF over blush

Urban Decay Shadow Primer Potion
Mad Yellow correcter Concealer for undereyes
Mad Evocative Mineral Pigment all over lid
Mad Rave Mineral Pigment on inner V
Mad Trust Fund Mineral Pigment on lid
Mad Taxi Mineral Pigment on lid
MAC Go Bananas on lid to blend
MAC Fab & Flashy Eyeshadow on lid to blend
Mad Rave Mineral Pigment on lid
Mad Change Mineral Pigment on outer V
MAC Wondergrass Eyeshadow on outer V to blend
MAC Haunting Eyeshadow on outer V to blend
MAC MSF Lightscapade to highlight
Mad Retro with Mineral Eyeshadow Sealant to line top and bottom
Mad Speed with Mineral Eyeshadow Sealant to line inner waterline
ELF Eye Widener in Pearl White to line inner waterline
Mad Snow Angel to dust lid and bottom eyes
Loreal Panoramic Curl Mascara

Vaseline as lipbalm
Fasio Lipstick in Brilliant Blaze
Elf Hypershine in Flirt

Shades Of U Contest: Holiday Look # 5 From Joyce

Here's Mary Joyce's entry for the Holiday Look contest. Mary Joyce, from Manila, Philippines, features green shadows and shimmery cheeks for her holiday interpretation. I was pleasantly surprised when the entrants featured my most favorite mineral makeup for their looks. Joyce looks great using J.Lynne mineral foundation. J.Lynne is one of those mineral makeup companies that I use its entire range of products. I love J.Lynne's mineral foundation (finish looks flawless and natural), blushes, eyeshadows, mineral glows, and their luscious, pigmented lip glosses. As you can see in Joyce's look, the foundation looks so flawless, finish is just fab. I also love her shimmery cheeks which looks very festive, so apt for the holidays. The green shadow also showcased her pretty dark eyes and made them pop. The simplicity of the whole look is very appealing because attention gets focused on the green shadow and the glowy cheeks.

Foundation- J lynne foundation in l/g 1.9
Concealer- Uglo girl concealer in buttercup
blush- Lumiere flushed
bronzer- Meow tanned tabby
finishing powder- Lumiere silk powder in ivory

MAC paintpot in moss scape all over the lid
Monave mpp in lime green on inner 1/2 v
Lumiere mpp in emerald in outer 1/2 v and outer crease
indelible gel liner in chocolate mousse
Maybelline unstoppable mascara


Thanksgiving Look from Coastal Scents

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I just want to insert a little commercial break from all the wonderful holiday looks that have been sent in, and feature my thanksgiving look using Coastal Scents. I had a little "Eureka!" moment when I found a shade that is so much better on me, a 50-50 mix of Silk Medium 1.2 and Silk Light 1.2. I love how even the finish is and how natural it looked. I used Coastal Scent's blush in Sassy for this look and I really adore it! It's not too pigmented nor too sheer like some other mineral blushes I've encountered, and I love the texture of Coastal Scents' blushes - very smooth and easy to apply. I want more!

I have been reading rave reviews about Silk Naturals' tinted lip balm in Birthday Suit, aptly described on the site as the Ultimate Nude Lippie. I just love how creamy and non-drying it is, and it is truly the My Lips But Better shade. You can't beat the price as well. I'm really loving these two new-found (by me) mineral makeup companies.

I also said that I would be using MAC mineralize eyeshadows for my looks to conquer my lukewarm reception of them because I really wasn't a fan. I used Earthly Riches today (been using mineralize e/s these past few weeks), and I am beginning to love the texture and color pay-off. No need to foil these babies anymore, and the texture is just fab. I think I'm beginning to defect.

MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC Rubenesque paint pot on lid
MAC Shimmertime pigment applied with MAC mixing medium on lid and inner corners
MAC Cosmic eyeshadow on lower lid
MAC Earthly Riches mineralize eyeshadow from Antiquitease collection (used purple side) on outer V
MAC Star Violet eyeshadow on crease
MAC Sunday Best eyeshadow to highlight
Indelible gel liner in Tanzanite and MAC power kohl eyeshadow in raven to line
Shu Uemura mascara base
MAC Zoom Black mascara

Camellia Rose skin smoothing primer
Coastal Scents Silk Foundation in Silk Light 1.2 and Silk Medium 1.2 (50-50 mix)
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Silk Naturals sheer perfecting powder
MAC Emote blush to contour
Coastal Scents Sassy blush
MAC mineralize skinfinish in Northern Lights over blush

MAC lipliner in Whirl
Silk Naturals tinted gloss in Birthday Suit
MAC lustreglass in Spring Bean

Watch out for more Holiday Look contest entries in a few!!

Shades of U Contest: Holiday Look #4 From Dayna

Here's Dayna's contribution for the holiday look contest, and her look just blew me away. Dayna, who hails from Kentucky, USA, reminds me of a beautiful ice queen with her look. She even used nail gems on the inner corners of her eyes which I believe are the focal points of her look, and of course her luscious, berry-colored lips. I love how the nail gems made her look so alive despite the icy concept. It was such a brilliant, unique idea to use nail gems for the eyes. Isn't it also wonderful that she made most of the cosmetics she used for her look? Is there anything this woman couldn't do? I also loved that she included her skin care regimen to the list of products she used. I've told Dayna how beautiful she looks with her glowing skin, and I'm glad that she spilled her secrets on how she takes care of her ageless skin.

Washed with Snowdrift Farm Melt and Pour emu soap
Exfoliation with MIY scrub- a few drops of emu oil, honey and sugar mixed into paste.
Emu oil with water used as moisturizer

Foundation- Dayna Minerals "Dayna Light" applied with Lumiere Long Handled Kabuki
Monave Concealer in Carolina for spots using concealer brush
Glow: Dayna's Minerals Illumination using Bare Escentuals Soft Focus Brush
Blush: Milan Minerals Pretty In Pink using Bare Escentuals Soft Focus Brush

Dayna's Minerals Peach Fuzz applied dry
Dayna's Minerals Showin' Some Skin foiled all over lid below crease
Dayna's Minerals Lustrous White Gold foiled along inner lash line top and bottom and as brow highlight
Dayna's Minerals Miss Gigi applied dry in crease and outer V.
Dayna's Minerals Earthy Girl used to fill brows.
MAD Minerals Blackout indelible liner
False lashes applied.
Dayna's Minerals Sable Coat dry lining after false lashes applied
Nail gems applied to inner corner using lash glue to adhere
Maybelline Full N Soft Mascara applied- one coat

NYC Pencil & Pout in Ruby Duet.
Bare Escentuals Gossamer Gloss applied on top.