High- and Low-Rated Lip and Cheek Stains

High- and Low-Rated Lip and Cheek Stains

See which makeup has Total Beauty readers looking all flushed and rosy-lipped and which ones are big disappointments

High- and Low-Rated Lip and Cheek Stains

This is a TotalBeauty.com make up tips article

Our readers weigh in on which lip and cheek stains are the best and which ones are the worst in their makeup bags.

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The Worst: No. 3: Laura Mercier Lip Stain, $20

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 6.1

"The product simply does not do what it promises …"

No. 2: CoverGirl Outlast Lip Stain, $7.29

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 6

"They dry up SO FAST!"

The Best: No. 8: Stila Cherry Crush Lip & Cheek Stain, $24

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 7.8

"Not only does it look natural on my cheeks and lips it makes me look younger …"

Want to see what other products made the list? Click here!

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MAC Nail Lacquer in Vintage Vamp Swatches and Review

In my entry MAC A Tartan Tale Chapter 2 Sneak Peek: Lipglass, Pigments and Nail Lacquer Mini Sets Swatches and Review, I had posted tape swatches of these mini lacquers that are really cute. I had thought that it would be difficult to apply the lacquer on the nail given the itty bitty size, but I was wrong. I hate other mini-bottles but MAC's didn't give me a hard time applying on the nail. The brush is just the same size, I believe, as that of the original bottle, because I didn't feel anything different while applying.

This time, I am showing nail swatches of Vintage Vamp, a blood red that looks jelly instead of cream to me. This is a bit sheer in application so I had to use at least three coats to make it completely opaque.

I like the dark red color because it is very fall-ish. I really like blood reds, it is not too in-your-face red and yet it is attractive and just perfect for the season.  I also am beginning to like the mini-lacquers maybe because the brush and the not-too-small cap gave me enough control in applying the polish, and besides, they are too cute in their tin canisters.  I will be swatching the other mini-lacquers soon.

MAC Launches Its First iPad Application: A Tartan Tale For iPad


Free App Now Available on iTunes

Seattle, WA, October 26, 2010 – M•A•C Cosmetics, the global beauty authority, in collaboration with Smashing Ideas (www.smashingideas.com), the leading digital media agency providing immersive and interactive entertainment, announced today their M∙A∙C : A Tartan Tale for iPad is now available in Apple’s iTunes store (itms://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id397448388?mt=8). Posh, punk, ancestral, anarchic, noble, naughty and glorious, M∙A∙C : A Tartan Tale celebrates Holiday 2010 through this free, radical and revolutionary iPad App from M∙A∙C and Smashing Ideas.

Follow the magical fairytale of the Myfanwy through the Glamora Castle as users shake, turn and touch interactive features throughout the book.

Features include:
• The fairytale comes to life through narration and sound effects
• Fully interactive pages allow users to unlock content and share with friends via Facebook
• Ships take flight, plaid-winged bats fly from the belfry as users touch-swipe through the visually stunning story
• The chandelier shimmies through real-time physics as users move and turn the iPad
• Tap the plaid makeup tin for direct access to www.maccosmetics.com where users can shop and learn about the entire Tartan Collection
• Unlock a plaid-elicious prize at the fairytale’s conclusion
• Full audio book of M∙A∙C : A Tartan Tale is also available along with a mini-history of Tartan

The M•A•C: A Tartan Tale app is launching in conjunction with the M•A•C 2010 Holiday colour collection, also by the same name. The collection features the hottest trend shades for the holiday season in Lipsticks, Dazzleglass Cremes, Blush and specially packaged Eyeshadows with a tartan pattern.

Earlier this month, Smashing Ideas released the first original content enhanced book The War of the Worlds for iPad. In September, the company announced a partnership with Random House to develop book-based children’s Apps for mobile devices.

M•A•C (Make-up Art Cosmetics), a leading brand of professional cosmetics, was created in Toronto, Canada in 1984 and is part of The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. 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 is now sold in 75 countries worldwide. Become M•A•C fan at facebook.com/maccosmetics. View MAC Youtube and follow our MAC Artists on http://www.macartiststweets.com/. For a M•A•C location visit maccosmetics.com.

About Smashing Ideas

Smashing Ideas, founded in 1996, has become one of the leading digital media agencies for the youth market by creating immersive, interactive content that transforms consumer-driven brand experiences in a digital world. Cartoon Network, Disney, GE, Hasbro, Nickelodeon, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Verizon Wireless and more have called upon the Company to develop engaging, online, ITV and mobile experiences for their audiences. Smashing Ideas is based in Seattle, with offices in Portland and in the UK.

How Effective Is Your PM Beauty Routine?

How Effective Is Your PM Beauty Routine?

See if your skin care products are doing the work they should be while you sleep

How Effective Is Your PM Beauty Routine?

This is a TotalBeauty.com skin care article

A nighttime beauty routine is important -- take quiz to find out if you're using the best products for your skin.

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Fresh, Fun and Funky Halloween Makeup and Costume Ideas

Fresh, Fun and Funky Halloween Makeup and Costume Ideas

Get inspired by our 2010 costume ideas

Fresh, Fun and Funky Halloween Makeup and Costume Ideas

This is a TotalBeauty.com makeup tips article

For each Halloween look, we'll give you the steps for completing your makeup, hairstyle and outfit.

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Bare Escentuals The Women of B.E. 20-Piece Eye Color Collection Swatches and Review

Perhaps many of you know that I love mineral makeup, especially mineral foundations and eyeshadows. Bare Escentuals holds a special place in my makeup stash because it is my first foray into mineral makeup- whether it be foundation, blush or shadows. It introduced me to the wonderful world of crushed mica and how beautiful your lids can look with just a small amount of these. It introduced me to the fact that with a good base or maybe a sealant, mineral shadows are fun, creative, pigmented and rich, without those chemicals and preservatives that we often find in traditional makeup.

I have a number of B.E. shadows and wished that B.E. would have them in smaller jars so that I can have more colors and choices without having to pay an arm and a leg for them.

Imagine my delight when B.E. introduced a eye color kit that not only  has 6, 10 or even a dozen different-hued shadows, but a whopping 20 different shades!  All in smaller jars that I had hoped for!

Swatches and review after the jump!

Find Your Eye Makeup Soul Mate

Find Your Eye Makeup Soul Mate

Take this quiz to find the perfect makeup to accent your unique eye shape

Find Your Eye Makeup Soul Mate

This is a TotalBeauty.com eye makeup article

Makeup artist Molly Stern shares her expertise to help you find the best makeup for your eye shape, plus which products to wear and not to wear.

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MAC A Tartan Tale Chapter 1: Lip and Eye Kits Swatches and Brush Kit Review

NOTE: Check out the first installment of the MAC Holiday 2010 A Tartan Tale Chapter 1: Lip, Eye and Face Kits Swatches and Review

Here are some of the product pictures I took that I have not posted yet. Usually, I am not too impressed with MAC Holiday packaging but this time, I find the bags and the tin cases really of good quality. The bags are the kind I would really use and not tucked in a drawer to languish. The lip and eye palettes are covered in real fuzzy and soft plaid fabric that feels luxurious.

A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit

outer carton

The lip kit is covered in real soft plaid fabric.

Swatches and review after the cut

Aromaleigh Spells! Collection Swatches and Review

As promised, here are some swatches from Aromaleigh's last few limited edition eyeshadow collections before it closes shop for good. Spells! was inspired by all things Harry Potter. As I have mentioned in a previous post featuring a look using Spells! shadows, The Spells! collection is aptly named and transports me back to the time when I was reading the series. The collection reminded me of my imaginary eye shadow color story inspired by this literary and pop cultural phenomenon. I was glad that some of the colors that were brewing in my mind were brought to life by Aromaleigh.  Ravenclaw look, anyone?  What about Slytherin eye look?

Here are swatches from the collection:

The 5 Best Beauty Apps

The 5 Best Beauty Apps

See which ones I'm downloading now

The 5 Best Beauty Apps

This is a TotalBeauty.com make up article

Here are some life-changing apps that'll keep you in the beauty know.

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MAC Dazzle Lipstick Giveaway For Blogger/Google Friend Connect Followers

Yay! In celebration of this blog's reaching 1,000 followers on Blogger/Google Friend Connect, why not have a giveaway, right?

L-R: Dazzle lipsticks in Wham, Naughty You

I'll be giving away one MAC Dazzle lipstick each to two of my Blogger/Google Friend Connect followers! All you need to do is follow TSOU on Blogger/Google, leave your e-mail address in the Comment Box below, and sign in using your Google/Blogger user ID to confirm that you are indeed a TSOU follower. You should also leave a link to your blog post (or sidebar post) about this contest, with a link to this contest post.

Contest Mechanics:

1. This contest is open to all The Shades Of U Blogger and Google Friend connect followers 18 years old and older. International followers (outside of the U.S.) are welcome to join.

2. Follow The Shades Of U on Blogger/Google Friend Connect.  In the Comment Box below, sign in using your Google/Blogger ID. Then, leave your e-mail address for notification purposes.  Include a LINK to your blog post/sidebar post about this contest, with a link to this blog contest post.

3. You can only enter ONCE for every Google/Blogger ID you have (remember to include a link to your blog post about this contest).

4. The sweepstakes shall run starting today, October 24, 2010, and ends on Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. Mountain (Arizona) time.  Time is determined based on whatever time is on the timestamp of your Comment Box entry.

5. The Shades Of U shall randomly pick two winners who shall be the winners of one MAC Dazzle lipstick each, announce the name of the winners on this blog, and shall contact the winners via the e-mail addresses provided in the entry form.

6. The winners shall respond with his/her mailing address within seventy-two (72) hours of the delivery of the notification e-mail; otherwise, the entry shall be disqualified and another winner shall be chosen.

7. The Shades Of U will ship the prize packages to anywhere in the world via First Class mail. If the winner is a U.S. Resident, the prize shall be sent with delivery confirmation. If the winner resides outside of the U.S., the prize shall be sent to the international winner using First Class international mail with no tracking number. However, the postal receipt shall be kept as evidence of shipment. The Shades Of U shall not be responsible for loss or delays in the delivery of the package after the prizes has been mailed, nor shall it be responsible for customs duties or fees.

Goodluck and thank you to all TSOU subscribers!! For my Twitter and Facebook followers and friends, you will be given separate giveaways soon so don't worry. ;-)

The prizes have already been shipped to the MAC Venomous Villains Giveaway winners yesterday (sorry for the delay in the shipment as I was terribly busy the past week, and had no time to go to the P.O.). You should be getting your prizes soon!

NEW Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Shrapnel

Several months ago, Illamasqua launched a wide-reaching contest where over 6000 nail polish enthusiasts around the world submitted descriptions of their dream nail varnish colours in 50 words or less, accompanied by an image of their inspiration.

Three winners were eventually chosen to have their dream nail polish come true. Here are two of the three custom-made varnishes:

Here's how the contestants described the winning shades:

Shrapnel - “I have NEVER found my dream nail colour, a pink based metallic copper, like a shiny new penny – pure sex!” - Loren, Toronto, Canada.

Raindrops - “Inspired by a photograph I took from the monorail in Seattle, through the rain on the window you glimpse the Seattle Space Needle. I want a polish that looks like raindrops on my fingernails. A light, creamy grey with the sheerest silver glimmer, lightly reflective... like a raindrop.”– Ann, California

I have already featured Raindrops in a previous entry, so this time, I am featuring the copper penny nail polish called Shrapnel.

It is a very pretty color and it is indeed the pinkish copper you see in a shiny new penny. It is eye-catching and classy. The staying power is also very good with a base. I am impressed with the quality of Illamasqua varnishes.

Illamasqua started retailing these at illamasqua.com and at selected Selfridges stores across the UK from Monday 4th October. These will be available in the U.S. at Sephora stores; exact dates will be announced.

NOTE: Media samples were provided by a representative of the company for consideration and evaluation. All opinions are 100% mine.