MAC Sculpt and Shape Collection

From the MAC website:

Sculpt and Shape Powder

A duo-pan shaded compact featuring a contour and a highlight powder in shades selected to complement each other. Professional formula. Jet-milled, ultra-smooth to apply: provides almost imperceptible shading. Use to shape and define the facial planes, or define the shape of the eye.

Bone Beige/Emphasize Palest Cream/Tan
Accentuate/Sculpt Pale blushed beige/soft taupe brown
Lightsweep/Shader Soft peachy beige/mid-tone leathery brown
Warm Light/Definitive Clean peach/mid-tone reddish brown

138 tapered face brush

A domed brush of ultra-soft, natural fibres featuring a slightly pointed tip with round chiselled sides. Specially designed to streamline and enhance the makeup technique of sculpting and shaping. Use chiselled side for contour shaping of facial planes; the pointed tip for applying and blending powder blush, highlighter or face powder.

169 angled brush

Synthetic, angled for precision, this brush is specially designed for the application/blending of face or cheek product.

223 tapered eye blending brush

Synthetic, tube-shaped with tapered tip, this brush is specially designed for the application/blending of face or eye product.

My haul:

I've been hearing fabulous raves about the new Sculpt and Shape split pan powders, as well as the awesome rosebud-shaped 138 brush. This is one of the prettiest brushes I've seen. When I went to the counter to test-drive these, I was blown away by the breathtaking, gorgeous brushes. The 138 is the answer to my quest for a holy grail contour brush. The head is not too small nor too large, and is just perfect to do contour work. The sides of the brush are perfect for sculpting the cheeks, while the flowering tip doubles as a powder/skinfinish applicator. I bought the Accentuate/Sculpt duo as well and together, they work magic. In real life, the Sculpt powder really makes the face look more chiselled when used together with the 138, but unlike regular angled brushes, the 138's effect is neither too harsh nor too fake. The contouring looks really natural, so much so that it is hard to capture in pictures. The accolades of many reviewers online attest to the duo's effectivity, however.

I also got the 223 brush for my eye crease work. I am beginning to really, really love my 222 brushes (I can't do my eyes now without these awesome tools), but the 223 called out to me as well. The tapered head is a bit longer than the 222, but still tapered which is perfect for blending the eyeshadows together or for contouring the crease area. I just love these brushes. I am inclined to get the 169 as well because I just can't get over how pretty (and how useful!) these brushes are. Of course, these are quite high-end brushes (the 138, at $52 a pop, is one of the most expensive makeup brushes I own). However, most of the people who own MAC brushes really do attest to their beautiful craftsmanship and quality, and I am inclined to agree, especially with regard to the full-size brushes. MAC tools are indeed a wise investment, because these give you years of enjoyment and flawless application.

Golds and Greens

Just in case it ain't obvious by now, my favorite color is green. Here is a holiday look to herald the coming of the new year featuring different shades of green paired with golds. I used Valerie Beauty's Smokin' Mocha blush which is currently my favorite blush. I love the mauve-ish color and a little truly goes a long way. I likewise used Lumiere's angled duo fibre brush which is becoming my favorite brush for those pigmented blushes, illuminizers and skinfinishes. I also tried the Utter Pervette lipstick from the MAC Originals collection, and it's not as bad as I thought, maybe because I swiped Nico Now lipglass on top. I'm okay with that combination so Utter Pervette is not unwearable on me after all.

Happy New Year everyone! Drive safe, enjoy the holiday and best wishes for the coming year.

MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base on lid and lower lashline
MAC Gold Dusk pigment foiled on lid and inner lower lashline
MAC Gorgeous Gold eyeshadow on inner lid
MAC Guacamole and Metamorph eyeshadows on middle of lid
MAC Tease N Teal eyeshadow on outer lid
MAC Humid eyeshadow on outer V and outer lower lashline
MAC Pandamonium eyeshadow on crease
MAC Ricepaper eyeshadow to highlight
MAC Blacktrack fluidline

Camellia Rose skin smoothing primer
Meow Flawless Feline mineral foundation in Naughty Abyssinian mixed with Pampered Puss in Fierce Abyssinian
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Silk Naturals sheer perfecting powder
Valerie Beauty Smokin' Mocha blush
MAC Emote blush to contour
MAC So Ceylon MSF over blush

MAC lipliner in Spice
MAC lipstick in Utter Pervette
MAC lipglass in Nico Now

Silk Naturals Mineral Lipsticks and Glosses

Here are some lipstick and gloss swatches from Silk Naturals; I like a lot of products from this company, and the lip products are no exception. I love the fact that their lipsticks are organic but highly pigmented and don't dry out my lips. The best part is that for $6.45 a pop for lipsticks and $3.92 for glosses, how can you go wrong? My favorites are Birthday Suit gloss (I believe this is their bestseller) and Bliss lipstick. Both really brighten up my face and are My Lips But Better shades. Birthday Suit is my tinted lip balm, I can apply it without using a mirror (much like chapstick), and yet infuses a pretty, healthy dose of color on my lips (perfect for those after-meal touch-ups). Birthday Suit would also look great under lipsticks, especially the matte ones. Rapture is also a pretty color, as is Regal, and Decadent is a perfect dark shade for nights-out and if you simply want your lips to stand out. I also like the subtle sweet scent (and taste), especially of the glosses. Best of all, these contain only organic, all-natural ingredients.

MAC Originals Look

Okay, so I changed my mind about Parrot eyeshadow. The slip, color pay-off and pigmentation are just divine, and I now understand why it became a supremely hard-to-find and much-coveted product of MAC. It just glided on my lids like butter, and application was very easy without any drag whatsoever, and staying power was the absolute best. The color does not scream teeny-bopper at all, unlike what I was imagining at first. It is gorgeous for lining or to give that pop of color to the lids when you want to go for a smokey look. It also looks smashing with pretty pastel colors for spring and summer.

That said, it looks great combined with the other gorgeous colors of the Originals collection. Alum, Charred, Daisychain and Clue are true winners in my book; pretty classic colors that every woman should have. I used these shadows together with Pandamonium eyeshadow from the Balloonacy quad, and the combination was a smokey eye that did not come off as too dark because Parrot softened the look. Noveau Frou lipstick with Nico Now lipglass completed the look. I am beginning to really like this collection, and I am inspired to concoct more looks using products from the Originals.

MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base on lid and lower lashline
MAC Parrot eyeshadow on lid and inner lower lashline
MAC Silver Ring and Alum eyeshadows on middle of lid
MAC Charred eyeshadow on outer V
MAC Clue eyeshadow above crease
MAC Pandamonium eyeshadow on crease and outer lower lashline
MAC Daisychain eyeshadow to highlight
MAC Blacktrack fluidline

Camellia Rose skin smoothing primer
Silk Naturals Buttery Gold Perfect Harmony mineral foundation (17:2 mix)
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Silk Naturals Date Bait perfecting powder
Valerie Beauty Starlet Glow mineral illuminizer to contour
NARS blush in Sin
MAC Shooting Star MSF over blush

MAC lipliner in Spice
MAC lipstick in Noveau Frou
MAC lipglass in Nico Now

MAC Originals Collection: Images, Swatches, Review

I was away for the holidays with limited access to the internet, so I apologize for the delay in writing this entry, MAC addicts! Here are some beautiful product images and swatches of this collection. I must admit I wasn't too excited about this collection because I am a pigment fiend and I was a little disappointed with the releases of old but relatively easy to find pigments (a number of these are from the permanent collection). Nonetheless, when I received my Originals products, I completely understood why MAC chose to re-release these colors, and why these are called Originals. The shades and products in this collection are the most beautiful BASIC colors every woman needs on her dresser and in her traincase. The shades take any woman from having the most gorgeous set of neutral eyes to the smokiest of looks, and can transform her from a shimmery-lipped fresh-faced mademoiselle to a sultry, breathtaking vibrant red-lipped vixen. I am most blown away by the eyeshadows, lipsticks, lipglasses and eye pencils. MAC has put together the prettiest, most wearable shades of lip and eye products for a lady to mix and match to her heart's content. I am simply in awe of the rich shades of eyeshadows and lip products on opposite ends of the color spectrum, combined in one beautiful collection.

Let's start with the lipsticks. I am crazy over Twig-Twig, an improved version of Twig from the permanent collection. This one though is a little more - I don't know - alive on my lips compared to the original version, and when I swiped Nico Now lipglass on top, it totally gave the look a whole new dimension. Rozz Revival is a wonderful surprise for me. I usually loathe watermelon pinks on my lips because they make me look like a 1950's reject, but this one came out soft and sheer on my lips. It truly brightened my complexion and I've suddenly craved for watermelon colors because of Rozz Revival. Noveau Frou is my favorite pale lipstick shade of the season. It is described as "beigey grey pink with white pearl". It sounds like dead-looking lips but it actually flatters my complexion. This would be a staple of mine for dark, smokey eye looks. The prettiest colors for me are the berry-ish, plummy ones like Back To Del Rio, Retrofluid, Supersequin. These colors are gorgeous because for some reason they really complement my skin undertones, and brightens up my entire face. They may look dark in the tube but because they are lustre formulas, they apply sheer and moist and luscious. Mmmmm. Chintz on Chintz is another favorite. It is a sheer mid-tone yellow brown but applies on my lips with a slight rust cast, and complements my warm-toned skin. This shade is truly a toast to the modern woman and very apt for any kind of occasion, from the office to the dance floor to the runway. My least favorites are Russian Red and Utter Pervette, mainly because they are either too dark or too light for me, and not the shades I usually wear. I will keep them, though, just in case an occasion calls for me to wear either one. Don't get me wrong; both are gorgeous colors, and I salute every woman who can pull off Russian Red (intense matte bluish red), and such color is perfect for the vintage 1940s glam look.

I remember I used to have Lust, and I never wore it because it came out flat without any shimmer, and I prefer a little luscious shimmer on my lips. Full On Lust is a big improvement because it is still a cream formula, but gives off the tiniest glimmer on the lips when worn. So pretty. Real Desire and Avarice may look scary dark in the tube, but these leave a sheer stain on the lips that is not too overpowering. C-Thru is a thrill to have because I like light-colored glosses to tone down darker lipsticks. My hands-down favorite however is Nico Now. It is described as a "mid-tone grey purple with multicolored pearl", but this one truly transforms the lips into objects of beauty. Really. This makes ordinary lips look neutral but luscious and very inviting. I love how understated the look Nico Now creates, but it evokes a subtle sexiness that most MAC customers quite understand, given how truly popular the original release, Nico, was.

I have not worn the shadows yet, but looking at the swatches, they are sooo beautiful, richly pigmented, and can create a myriad of looks from the smokiest sultry eyes to the subtlest neutrals. I think my favorites are going to be Ochre Style, A Little Folie, Memorabilia, Clue, Charred, and Alum. Not Parrot you say? Hmmm, I know how hugely popular the original release was, and how it fetched insane prices over at eBay, but really, just how often would you use an aqua eyeshadow during your lifetime? I love the color though, and I am glad to have one in my collection just for that subtle pop of color on the lid or an all-out aqua fest on a summer day, who knows, maybe. I'm just glad eBay vultures' happy days are over when it comes to Parrot.

Guest Blogger Entry: Things To Remember On Your First Date

Shades of U is proud to announce a guest blog entry from Vicky. She shares with us her expertise on how to look good on a first date. Thanks for the little nuggets of wisdom, Vicky, especially when first date jitters sometimes overcome reason and sensibility.

Looking good on your first date is important because first impressions matter. Regardless of what you may have heard before, people do formulate an opinion of you when they first see you and it's no secret that attractiveness will factor in.
Luckily, you don't need to be the next Miss America to get a positive reaction, you just need to learn the correct beauty approach and then emphasize the good qualities you have.

Here are some points to consider.

Emphasize One Key Area On The Face

Far too many women will go with bold eyes and bold lips, creating a look that is just a little too overwhelming. Instead, focus on playing up your eyes, whether you choose to make them smokey or really open them up with bright colors and then play down your lips with a barely-there color.

Add Some White Shadow In The Corner Of Your Eye

As long as you are not going for something very dark with your eye color, try adding a small amount of white to the very corner. This will really give your eyes a wide-eyed look and help set them out, showing off your beautiful eye color.

Many men say the first thing they notice about a woman is her eyes, so why not use this to your advantage?

Always Go For The Gloss

Whether you're using lipstick or not, a gloss is a must on a first date. It'll make your lips look softer, moister, and definitely more kissable. Do watch that you don't put on too sticky of a gloss, as this is a turn-off for most men, but go with something that lays on the shine and potentially even tastes great for his added benefit.

Leave Curls By Your Face

When it comes to your hairstyle, one that's a can't-miss by most men is half of it pulled back with a few delicate, curly tendrils framing the face. This further enhances the eyes and gives you a playful yet sexy appearance.

Go Easy On The Perfume

While you definitely do want to make sure you smell good for your first date, try not to overload yourself. At this point you won't entirely know what types of scents your date finds attractive and if you happen to choose wrong and are overwhelmingly strong, this could really impact how long he wants to stay near you.

Choose a fresh scent since most people find these appealing and apply with ease.

Don't Overlook Gold

Gold is a great make-up color that many women never make use of. You don't necessarily have to use strictly gold on any part of your face, but rather, enhance the look you already have with a small amount of gold powder.

It'll give you a nice tanned appearance as well, that'll really glow when you hit the light.

Take The Occasion Into Consideration

Make sure when you are applying your make-up that you take into consideration the location of your date. For an evening date at a classier restaurant you will want to wear a different look of make-up for example than if you were meeting at a local coffee house for lunch.

Always ensure that your look is appropriate, not only so that you give off the right impression, but also so that you feel comfortable yourself. If you feel as though you're out of place, this will come across in the confidence level you project.

Make Sure It's 'You'

Next, you want to make sure the make-up you do wear is 'you'. If you get all done up for your first date and it doesn't even resemble how you normally prefer to wear your make-up, you'll be sending a false impression to your date.

While it's fine to add a few extra touches to really enhance yourself, don't go for a complete opposite look of that that you normally use.

Use Jewellery Selectively

Make sure the jewellery you choose isn't too overdone. This can lead some men to think of you as more high maintenance so it's best to error on the side of caution for this.

If there is one piece you definitely do want to go for, it's a really nice dangling pair of earrings. These help to draw more attention to your face, especially if you've used the principles mentioned above.

When In Doubt, Use The Less-Is-More Approach

Finally, when you're prepping for your first date, if you are even in question as to whether you should put on more make-up, chances are you should leave it off.

The vast majority of men actually prefer women who look more natural and whose make-up isn't noticeable rather than women where it's clearly obvious she's painted the colors of the rainbow on her face.

Keep eye make-up natural and use a fresh lipstick color that's not too overwhelming. You'll likely find this is what turns the most heads - particularly that of your date.

So, keep all of these points in mind next time you find yourself preparing for your first date. While it shouldn't make or break whether he wants to see you again, if you enhance your natural beauty just right, it might add a little something extra to that 'spark' of excitement he feels when he lays his eyes upon you.

About Guest Blogger: Vicky is a freelance writer, editor, relationship expert, and soon to be author. She shares her advice with dating, fashion, and lifestyle in

Brush Love

I am suddenly on a vegan brush lust, maybe because I've drooled over some gorgeous pictures of Lumiere brushes that were posted online. Some of these were from this very nice girl named Catherine. I asked her permission if I can publish photos of her fantabulous pre-buy brush haul, and she happily obliged. Here are her pictures (thanks Catherine!):

her entire brush haul

fiber optics and fan brush


flat top/powder/face brushes

eye kabuki, retractable kabuki, long-handled/short-handled bukis

*wipes drool* Okay, for many of us who may have missed out on the pre-buy, Lumiere is bringing back four of these gorgeous brushes!!! Up on the site now are the much raved about - MAC 187 dupe called the duo fibre brush, the baby kabuki, the cat tongue concealer, and the retractable full size kabuki. Knowing how wonderfully made my Lumiere angled duo fibres are, I know Lumiere's MAC 187 dupe is one hell of a great brush, made of high quality materials, for a fraction of the price of the 187. Needless to say, I got three of the brushes (didn't get the small kabuki brush). I can't wait to get my hands on these. The ones I have from Lumiere are unbelievably soft to the skin but very sturdily made, and not a strand of synthetic hair has shed. For those wanting these, you still have time! Go grab your pre-buy brushes and experience a marriage of good quality and affordability.


In the previous entry, I have posted images and information about MAC's upcoming breathtaking collection. MAC kicks it up a notch by sponsoring a contest called "Are You a MAC Original?". Details can be found below. Get your creative juices flowing, ladies and gents! I am really excited about this contest and looking forward to see who will win.

M•A•C ANNOUNCES “ARE YOU A M•A•C ORIGINAL?” CONTEST in celebration of its new Originals Collection.

New York, December 18, 2007 – M•A•C Cosmetics announced the “Are You A M•A•C Original?” contest to launch their new limited edition collection The Originals. The contest is a celebration of one’s individuality and originality—qualities intrinsic to the M•A•C brand. Launching nationally through the M•A•C website (, the contest will also run regionally in 6 key cities across the United States: New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Houston.

The M•A•C Originals Collection will launch in stores December 19, 2007. The Originals pays tribute to popular product shades both discontinued or existing that consumers covet and can’t live without. The Originals, a collaboration of the new and the old, introduces new textures and modified formulations of must-have Lipsticks, Lipglass, Eye Shadows and Pigments.

National Contest – How to Enter?
To enter the “Are You A M•A•C Original?” contest on a national level, consumers can visit beginning December 26th to submit a picture of themselves wearing their favorite M•A•C products, along with 50 words on what makes them a M•A•C Original. The winner will be determined by votes online. The winner will receive a $1,000 M•A•C gift card and the complete Originals collection.

Regional Contest – How to Enter?
On a regional level, M•A•C will hold the “Are You A M•A•C Original” Contest in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Houston on the weekend of January 4th-6th. M•A•C customers can visit designated M•A•C locations for a complimentary makeup application and get a professional photograph taken. Customers can then enter to be the MAC Original winner of the city and will also be automatically entered into the national contest. The regional winner will receive a $250 M•A•C gift card, the complete Originals collection and a story in a local publication.

For contest rules and regulations, please visit

M•A•C (Make-up Art Cosmetics)
M•A•C, the leading brand of professional cosmetics, was created in Toronto, Canada in 1985 and is now part of The Estee Lauder Companies. The company’s popularity has grown through a tradition of word-of-mouth endorsement from makeup artists, models, photographers and journalists around the world. M•A•C products are sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. For a M•A•C location or information on our products and services, visit

MAC The Originals Collection

Originals have a lust for life that can never be squelched! Some classics can’t be improved upon – from Carol Channing to Björk to Blondie, Bowie, and every glam rocker and tightrope walker in-between. This season M•A•C pays tribute to all the high flyers, in the shades, shadows and styles that have stayed with us for all these years, and some of the late-greats we discontinued all too soon. It’s a throwback to the future. Originals are now and forever.

Rozz Revival Watermelon reddish pink (lustre)
Chintz on Chintz Sheer mid-tone yellow brown (lustre)
Utter Pervette Soft pastel pink (lustre)
Back to Del Rio Deep brown red (lustre)
Nouveau-Frou Beigey grey pink with white pearl (lustre)
Retrofluid Sheer dirty deep plum with gold and red pearl
Supersequin Plummy pink with silver pearl (lustre)
Twig-Twig Neutral brown plum (lustre)
Sandy B Light shell pink
Russian Red Intense bluish-red
Suggested Retail Price $14.00 U.S./$16.50 CDN

Full on Lust Neutral brown pink (cream)
Avarice Mid-tone yellow red with soft red pearl (cream)
Real Desire Deep plum with red plum
Nico Now Mid-tone grey purple with multicoloured pearl (cream)
C-Thru Soft peached-beige with shimmer (cream)
Suggested Retail Price $14.00 U.S./$16.50 CDN

Daisychain Soft yellow beige with soft white pearl (satin)
Ochre Style Mid-tone yellow brown with gold (frost)
A Little Folie Mid-tone red brown (matte)
Memorabilia Dirty purple (matte)
Clue Mid-tone dirty grey with silver (matte)
Alum Mid-tone blue grey with soft blue pearl
Charred Deep steelgrey with silver pearl (frost)
Frisco Soft pastel pink (matte)
Parrot Deep aqua blue with bright green and blue pearl (frost)
Suggested Retail Price $14.00 U.S./$16.50 CDN

Kitschmas Light airy shimmering pink/mauve pearl (frost)
Violet Vivid bright violet-purple (frost)
Melon Soft bright golden peach (frost)
Golden Olive High frosted green gold (frost)
Steel Blue Rich deep turquoise green-blue shone with
small pearl particle (pearl)
Suggested Retail Price $19.50 U.S./$23.50 CDN

Reflects Blackened Red Sparkling burgundy
Reflects Very Pink Sparkling fuchsia pink
Reflects Transparent Teal Sparkling white with turquoise
Reflects Antique Gold Sparkling taupe
Suggested Retail Price $16.50 U.S./$20.00 CDN

Ebony Soft black
Coffee Muted brown
Indigo Muted greenish-blue
Suggested Retail Price $12.50 U.S./$15.00 CDN

Black Black
Suggested Retail Price $12.50 U.S./$15.00

Pinks, Purples and Neutrals

I'll just post some recent looks using soft pinks and neutrals for everyday. These were not as festive as I'd wanted them to be because these were for office wear. I just feel I have to post them now because I might forget what I used for these looks if I procrastinate in posting this entry.

MAC Rubenesque paint pot all over lid as base
MAC Fresco Rose paint pot on lid
MAC Swish eyeshadow on lid over Fresco Rose
MAC Expensive Pink eyeshadow on mid-lid
MAC Grape pigment on crease and outer V
MAC matt2 eyeshadow in Poison Pen on crease
Almay Amazing I-liner (liquid liner) on upper lashline
MAC Up At Dawn eyeshadow on lower lashline

Laura Geller Spackle Under Makeup Primer
Meow Flawless Feline mineral foundation in Naughty Abyssinian
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Silk Naturals sheer perfecting powder
MAC Emote blush to contour
Valerie Beauty mineral blush in Smokin' Mocha (love this!)

MAC lipliner in Spice
MAC Slimshine lipstick in Ultra Elegant

MAC Beige-ing shadestick all over lid as base
MAC eyeshadow in All That Glitters on lid
MAC matte2 eyeshadow in Tete-a-Tint above crease to blend with highlighter
MAC eyeshadow in Twinks on outer V
MAC matte2 eyeshadow in Handwritten on crease and outer V
Indelible gel liner in Chocolate Mousse to line upper lashline
MAC eyeshadow in All That Glitters to line lower lashline

Laura Geller Spackle Under Makeup Primer
Silk Naturals Butter Gold Perfect Harmony Foundation (15:2 mix)
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Silk Naturals sheer perfecting powder
MAC Emote blush to contour
Valerie Beauty mineral blush in Smokin' Mocha (again, love this!)

MAC lipliner in Spice
MAC mattene lipstick in Cafe Matte