MAC Chill and Penultimate Liner Look

I am SO sorry for the fugly, crappy picture resolution! I couldn't believe I forgot my camera for a second time in a row! I had to use my crapola 2-megapixel camera phone, but I tried to make the resolution a tad sharper, though it didn't help very much. I am sorry and will try to post a crisper picture using the same products next time. The Penultimate liner is such a beauty. It gave me sleek, slick, crisp lines that last the whole day. Arctic Grey was breathtaking in my opinion. Super love the color! Lastly, my new all-time favorite MSF is now Blonde from the upcoming Brunette Blonde Redhead collection. I will make another look featuring this as it is just gorgeous.

MAC Beige-ing shadestick as primer on lid and to line lower lashline
MAC Bare Study paint pot on lid
MAC Arctic Grey shadow on lid and inner corners
MAC Swan Lake shadow on outer lid
MAC shadow in Mont Black on outer V and to contour crease
MAC Pincurl shadow to highlight
MAC Penultimate Liner in Rapid Black
UD 24/7 liner in Zero to tightline and on waterline
L'oreal and Maybelline mascaras

Monistat gel as primer
Cory mineral foundation in Beyond Cream
UD 24/7 pencil concealer on undereye area
Bare Escentuals Well Rested over UD 24/7
Dreamworld creme topping (finishing powder) in Butterscotch
MAC mineralize skinfinish (MSF) in Blonde as blush
MAC Taupe blush to contour

MAC lipliner in Whirl
Prescriptives Colorscope lip color in Golden Quartz
MAC lustreglass in Beaux

Short Update On Shades Of U Contests

Happy New Year everyone!!! Just a quick update on the Shades Of U Giveaway for International Readers. The first winner didn't respond back with her postal address information, so as I had mentioned in THIS post, I have disqualified the entry and Contest Machine randomly picked another winner. Do check out your E-mail Inboxes (or Spam mail) for the e-mail from Contest Machine, and do verify your postal address so we can send out the prize immediately.

Also, I will be announcing the winner of the Shades Of U Holiday Giveaway for E-mail Subscribers tomorrow, January 1st. You still have the whole of today and part of tomorrow to be included in this drawing, so hurry!

Thanks to all who participated in the Giveaway Contests, and congratulations to the winners. I am confident you will love the prizes. :)

Top Mascaras For Length and Volume
Top Mascaras for Length & Volume

What clumped, what ran and what truly transformed our real-woman testers

We had 12 beauty-junkie members of our Total Beauty Squad test out so-called lengthening and volumizing mascaras. Their verdict: You could spend a fortune on the best -- but you don't have to. See what was tops.

Their findings

MAC Chill and Dame Edna Product Photos and The Penultimate Eyeliner Experience

NOTE: Swatches of these products can be seen HERE.

Here are product photos of Chill and Dame Edna collections from MAC. If I were to choose between the two collections, I'd pick Chill over Dame Edna because, as I said, I already own many colors that are similar to those of Dame Edna. However, if you are just starting with makeup, these collections have a good balance of both neutral and fun colors that are staples in every makeup traincase.

Let's start off with Chill. I'd mentioned previously that I fell in love with Arctic Grey, and I still am up to this day. It reminds me of dirty snow - a dirty greyish silver, and its name probably conjured images of ice and snow in my head. Applied on, it is beautiful without being overly shiny or garish on the lids. I have many MAC shadows, but this particular one is unique. I have silvers and greys, but not this kind of in-between, dirty snow color. Love it. Mont Black is a beautiful black with a lot of sparkles (or multi-dimensional pearl) in it, but I believe the light captures them as goldish sparkles, which are gorgeous. This is similar to Black Tied, but the sparkles in the latter are somewhat one-dimensional silver shimmer. If you have either, though, you can do without the other. Mont Black would give depth to those sultry smokey eyes and you can also use this to contour the crease.

Okay, I think I'm pretty qualified to review the new liquid liner from MAC called the Penultimate Eye Liner in Rapidblack, as I wear liquid liner about four times a week. I really like my Almay Liquid Liner in both Black and Brown because I am always in a hurry in the mornings, and the liquid liner gives me a very smooth, slick, perfect line in three seconds flat. I love that I don't need to scrounge around looking for an eyeliner brush. I don't need to dip it in any gel liner pot. I just unscrew it, and the cap has a felt-tip applicator built into it, and I just effortlessly glide it on my lashline for a smooth line. Personally, I believe once you get the hang of it, liquid liners are less cumbersome and more convenient than gel liners. Really. So anyways, I tried the Penultimate liner in Rapidblack and compared it to my favorite Almay liquid liner. They both have the same felt tip that I love that gives the ease in applying the liquid liner. I swatched them on my hand and this is what I got:

Almay gave a thicker line since I had to reapply it around 3 times because the first coat was kinda sheer. MAC Penultimate yields a very thin, heavily pigmented line, mainly because of the finer tip. I also love the fact that Penultimate is a lot darker than Almay, so just one application should be enough. I apply two lines of my Almay liner on the lashline to have the desired effect. All in all, I still like my Almay because it gives me the precise line that I like in less than five seconds, but the Penultimate is a winner as well because you can create precise, very fine lines with it because of its fine tip and very dark pigment. I am really loving it as well. The raves were true: The Penultimate rocks! I just hope that it lasts a long while because looking at the pen, you really wouldn't know how much is left in the tube.

I used Penultimate today, intending to post a look using this, but I forgot my camera. Bummer! Will be doing looks using it soon.

Dame Edna is such a fun collection. I love the little cards stuffed into the boxes with little quotes from Dame Edna, kinda like cosmetic fortune cookies, haha! The names are a hoot as well. Splendid is a pretty coral that I liken to some of my favorite coral lipglasses like Orangedescence. Kanga-Rouge is a dark blue red that would look nice on my skintone because warm red colors make my skin look dirty and yucky.

I like the idea of mixing a robin's egg blue color with silvers and greys for a pop of color in an otherwise boring neutral/smokey palette. As I said, if you already have similar colors (like Silver Ring, Knight Divine), you can skip this trio, but the combination of colors is pretty cool. You can use Wisteria on the lid and Fineshine and Divine Night on the crease and outer V, or you can use the latter two on the lid and apply Wisteria on your lower lashline for a pop of blue.

Earthen Glow Minerals Eyeshadow Haul

Everybody knows me as an eyeshadow ho', so when Earthen Glow Minerals had a Buy One, Get One sale of their eyeshadows, I just had to grab some. The BOGO sale pegged the shadows at only $3 each so it was a pretty good deal. If you are not into loud hues on the lids, you can always opt to use these great colors as liners. Colored, non-neutral liners just make the eyes pop and really take boring neutral colors up a notch.

These shadows were swatched dry without a base. Can you see how nicely pigmented these are? They really look vibrant as they are; imagine how amazing they would look on the lid with a good base or when foiled.

I honestly can't pick any faves because I love all of them! I can see myself using the lighter colors as washes foiled on the lid (or applied dry), or as highlighters. The browns would make lovely crease colors or shades above the crease to blend into the highlight color. Congo and Amethyst are amazingly beautiful green and purple colors that can work great either as an outer V shade or as liners. Polar Ice would look lovely as an inner lid color or to highlight the tearducts or the browbone. The browns look gorgeous for neutral looks. I basically loved everything I got. Can't wait to play!

Trendy Short Haircuts
Trendy Short Haircut Photos

Will these celebrity styles inspire you to go short?

What's our favorite look of 2008? A cropped hair cut. Check out these celebrities' hair cuts and maybe you'll be tempted to chop it all off in 2009.

View styles

Link Love

MAC Chill and Dame Edna Swatches and NYX Haul

I checked out Dame Edna the day it came out, and here are swatches of some of the products including that of Chill. First impressions: these two collections are total opposites of each other. Dame Edna sports products saturated with crazy, fun colors, while Chill is as tranquil as ice blue waters, showcasing colors an ice maiden I would imagine would have in her makeup arsenal. Chill has beautiful, neutral cool colors that are staples in any makeup traincase, but I am not too fond of the color payoff especially on an NC30 skintone like mine. They would definitely work though if paired with a good colored base (like paints, shadesticks or paint pots), but I really expected more from the color payoff. I am in love with Arctic Grey, though. It has relatively good color payoff compared to the others, and the color is quite unique and beautiful. I will definitely use this an inner lid or a highlight color. Another gripe is that apart from Arctic Grey, the other colors are easily dupe-able. If you have Black Tied, Knight Divine, Silver Ring, Gentle Fume quad from the Smoke Signals collection or any of the Holiday Smokey Eyes palettes, you can easily find something similar in place of the Chill eyeshadows, and the said shadows have better color payoff compared to Chill's. However, if you don't have the above-mentioned colors, the Chill collection can be a good start.

The lipglasses from Chill, however, are beautiful. They are definite must-haves in my book. They are gorgeously glossy, and to my mind, are not as sticky as the usual lipglasses that I have. I will definitely be getting Frozen Dream and Naked Frost - they are my kind of colors.

As for Dame Edna, I didn't see anything that piqued my interest, but who knows, I might change my mind. It's not that Dame Edna has no products worthy of purchase, but it's just that I already own a lot of similar colors. The shades are beautiful though and are must-haves if you are just starting to build your collection. The packaging is super cute as well.

On to my other purchases. I finally got NARS Super Orgasm blush, a product I had been lemming for a while now. I used to have a dozen NARS blushes, but realized that not all were flattering on my skintone. I swapped or gave away everything except seven: Angelika, Oasis, Sin, Matahari, Cactus Flower, Gina and Madly. These blushes look amazing on my skintone, so I decided to keep them. I am glad to include Super Orgasm to my little NARS blush collection. It's the perfect coral-pink that I'd hoped Orgasm, Deep Throat and Torrid would be but weren't (sadly, I used to own those colors but had to let them go). Some people don't like the gold sparkles, but for me, as long as I use a stippling/duo-fibre brush, I don't end up like a discoball.

I'm rediscovering my passion for NYX shadows. I used to love NYX before I got addicted to MAC shadows. Now I am realizing again what made me fall in love with NYX in the first place: silky smooth application, wide range of colors, good color payoff, and amazingly affordable price. I got some neutral colors which I will be using again and again.

I will be back with more news for you guys. I had been away on vacation for the holidays so my blogging had been sporadic, but I will be making up for it, so stay tuned!

Silver Grey Look Using Aromaleigh and Prescriptives

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you are all enjoying your holidays. Here's one of my favorite looks of late. I was pretty impressed with the Aromaleigh's Elemental Lustre in Awe that I used for this look. I used to hate the Elemental Lustres because when I apply them, they turn out to be one hot metallic mess on my eyes. I realized that they looked that way because I had been foiling them. I used Awe dry on my lid, and the outcome was really pretty. I can't wait to re-discover my Elemental Lustres and create looks for them now that I know how to properly apply them.

Awe is a gorgeous silvery gold color. In the picture above, you can definitely see the gold nuances.

MAC Beige-ing shadestick as primer on lid and to line lower lashline
Aromaleigh Elemental Lustre shadow in Awe applied dry on lid and inner lower lashline
Prescriptives shadow in Twinkle on outer V and crease and outer lower lashline
MAC shadow in Carbon to contour crease
MAC Blacktrack fluidline
UD 24/7 liner in Zero to tightline and on waterline
L'oreal and Maybelline mascaras

Monistat gel as primer
Joppa mineral foundation in mix of Light #3 and Medium Light #3
UD 24/7 pencil concealer on undereye area
Bare Escentuals Well Rested over UD 24/7
Dreamworld creme topping (finishing powder) in Peaches
MAC mineralize blush in Warm Soul
MAC Taupe blush to contour

MAC lipliner in Whirl
MAC slimshine lipstick in Mousse
MAC lipglass in C-thru

Hand Cream Showdown
Hand Cream Showdown

Find out which top hand hydrators our testers found desk drawer-worthy

Dry winter air making your hands all chapped and gross-looking? Join the club. Battle the dryness with one of these proven hand creams, your fingers will thank you.

View creams

Shades Of U Holiday Giveaway for International Readers Announcement (And A Green Look)

Hello hello hello!! Happy Holidays everyone! So sorry for being MIA for a few days as I had been really busy preparing for the holidays. Anyways, just a brief announcement on the contest results. The Contest Machine has already randomly chosen a winner for the Shades Of U Holiday Giveaway for International Readers. It has sent a notice to the winner via the e-mail address indicated on the entry form. It has asked that the winner send us her/his postal address, but up to now, the winner has not yet sent us the needed information. If you have joined the contest, please check your e-mail inbox (and even your Spam inbox) for the notification from Contest Machine and Shades Of U. You might have been chosen as a winner. If I do not hear from the recipient by December 31, 2008, I shall disqualify said entry and will randomly pick another winner to be fair and to give chance to the other readers who have joined the contest.

I have a few looks that I have been meaning to post here but wasn't able to for lack of time. Here's a green look using mostly mineral makeup and pigments. I have also included a step-by-step illustration. I have used some samples given to me by Franchesca of Adorned With Grace Minerals, and I am liking her glows as well as blushes. Some of them were used for this look.

Apply MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base on lid and lower lashline, and smoothed on brows. Apply MAC Chartru paint on lid; blend with finger. Using MAC mixing medium and MAC 242 brush, foil Aromaleigh pigment in Lorelei on lid.

Using the 242, Apply Aromaleigh Holiday shadow in Twinkling Lights dry on outer lid and crease.

Using MAC 239 brush, apply Aromaleigh Holiday shadow in Party Dress dry on inner to mid lid, blending with Twinkling Lights.

How it should look so far.

Using Sonia Kashuk blender brush, apply MAC Grand Entrance eyeshadow (from Holiday '08 Warm Eyes palette) to contour crease and outer V. Apply MAC Blacktrack fluidline using Sonia Kashuk bent liner brush.

Using Essence of Beauty large fluffy brush, apply MAC Sweetjoy shadow on browbone to highlight. Using Sonia Kashuk blender brush, apply a tiny bit of Prescriptives shadow in Twinkle on outer V and crease. Apply mascara, fill in brows. Using Sonia Kashuk pointed contour brush, apply Lorelei on inner to mid lower lashline, and Grand Entrance on outer lower lashline. Apply UD 24/7 in Zero on waterline and to tightline.

Monistat gel as primer
Joppa mineral foundation in mix of Light #3 and Medium Light #3
UD 24/7 pencil concealer on undereye area
Bare Escentuals Well Rested over UD 24/7
Aromaleigh illuminating finishin powder in Nectarine
Adorned With Grace mineral blush in Bronzed Pink
Adorned With Grace mineral glow in Golden over blush

ULTA lipliner in Flesh
MAC lipstick in Lollipop Lovin'

Shades Of U Holiday Giveaway Winners for US and Canada

Just a brief post to announce the winners of the Shades Of U Holiday Giveaway for US and Canada readers! Two winners have been randomly selected to win the prizes. Joanna P. of Canada is the winner of the Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement, while Sheng X. from the United States wins the Aminogenesis Dermascyne Intense Serum. The winners have been notified, they have sent in their mailing addresses, and the prizes were mailed today. Congratulations! I will be announcing the winner of the Shades Of U Giveaway for International readers sometime next week, as I will be away again for the holidays. You still have some time left to participate, so do send in your entries! Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Hair Accessories Celebs Can't Live Without
Hair Accessories Celebs Can't Live Without

Take a cue from these Hollywood A-listers and add some panache to your next 'do

Don't know what to do with that impulse-buy jeweled hair clip you snagged while holiday shopping? Check out these looks for some inspiration and amp up your holiday hair with practically zero effort.

Best accessories

MAC Dame Edna

“Hello possums!” Dame Edna Everage is in the house! With her zesty zingers, cutting-edge appearance – lilac hair (which is completely natural), rhinestone-encrusted face furniture, fanciful frocks – frankly; there’s nothing like a Dame! Dame Edna is the resident muse for our spectacular post-holiday makeup collection, and modestly describes herself as “probably the most popular and gifted woman in the world today: housewife, investigative journalist, social anthropologist, talk-show host, swami, children’s book illustrator, spin doctor, megastar, and Icon.”
With packaging as mirthful and minx-like as The Legend herself, the Dame Collection of heavy-on-the-lilac Lipstick/Lipglass, eye shadow, Highlight powder and nail lacquers is in a class by itself!

“Follow my beauty regime possums, and you’ll never be cosmetically challenged”
– Dame Edna

Gladiola Matte mid-tone blue pink
Coral Polyp Creamy mid-tone coral
Kanga Rouge Creamy dark blue red
Suggested Retail Price: $14.00 U.S./$16.50 CDN

Hot Frost Sheer mid-tone blue pink with multi-dimensional pearl
Splendid Frosty pale pinky coral
Possum Nose Pink Sheer bright coral with multi-dimensional pearl
Suggested Retail Price: $14.00 U.S./$16.50 CDN

Royal Tour Eye Trio
Royal Tour Mid-tone cool lilac
Dame’s Desire Frosty mid-tone reddish purple
Climate Blue Dark blue violet with pink pearl
Suggested Retail Price: $32.50 U.S./$39.00 CDN

Wisteria Eye Trio
Fineshine Frosty true silver
Wisteria Frosty robin’s egg blue
Divine Night Frosty charcoal with silver pearl
Suggested Retail Price: $32.50 US/$39.00 CDN

Hi-Light Powder
What a Dame! Pale clean orangey peach
Spectacle! Pale soft pink
Suggested Retail Price: $26.00 U.S./$32.00 CDN

Nail Lacquer
Asiatique Creamy classic red
Varicose Violet Frosty Mid-tone pinkish purple
Suggested Retail Price: $11.00 U.S./$13.00 CDN

North America December 26, 2008
at all M·A·C locations,
1.800.588.0070 and
International January 2009 at all M·A·C locations,
1.800.588.0070 and