Nail Look: MAC Nail Lacquer in Very Important Platinum

I am loving this nail lacquer from the MAC Cham Pale collection. Very Important Platinum is a greyish platinum frost that I love because it is not very silvery and garish. It is described as a dirty platinum that is right up my alley. I actually like the frost as it lends a festive touch to the nail lacquer. This would be great as a New Year's Eve manicure.

I also noticed that the MAC nail lacquer's formula improved considerably over this past year. It used to be chippy and didn't last that long on the nails, but ever since Blue India from the Liberty of London collection, the staying power seems a lot better and application is better and not streaky.

Happy New Year everyone, and all the best for this coming year and beyond!

Note: A media sample was provided by a representative of the company for consideration.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Quick Fixes for Dry, Winter Skin
Quick Fixes for Dry, Winter Skin

Fix chapped, dry lips and skin in a jiffy with these cold-weather beauty busters

Quick Fixes for Dry, Winter Skin

This is a skin care article

When the weather turns from sunny and mild to cold and blustery, our skin often turns too -- from supple and hydrated to cracked, flaky and ashy. Learn how to soothe it with these tips.

See advice

MAC Peacocky Initial Swatches and Review: Kissable Lipcolour and Mega Metal Shadows

So Vain, Exxxhibitionist, Super, Unflappable, Mating Call

Happy New Year, everyone! Here's what MAC will greet us with at the start of the year - a burst of rich, smooth colors for the eyes and lips. MAC gives us a dozen Kissable Lipcolours and fifteen Mega Metal Shadows that will satisfy our craving for intense shades. The collection aptly describes itself- Peacocky - flamboyant in color, but surprisingly wearable.

See swatches and the rest of the review after the jump

11 Top-Rated Mascaras
11 Top-Rated Mascaras

Find out which mascaras won our editors' hearts over

11 Top-Rated Mascaras

This is a eye makeup article

Mascara is one of those "desert island"-type of eye makeup products -- in short, a necessity. See the ones our editors are obsessing over -- right now, anyway.

Get mascaras

Milani Power Lash Volumizing Mascara, $5.99

TotalBeauty Editor Rating: 8

"The mascara went on smoothly and its rich, black color transferred well onto my lashes."

Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara, $22

TotalBeauty Editor Rating: 8

"Normally I'd need to re-curl my lashes if I went out at night, but with this, my curl stayed intact all day and night."

Wet n Wild Waterproof Megalength Mascara, $3

TotalBeauty Editor Rating: 8

"After applying only two coats, I noticed a marked improvement in my lashes."

Wanna see the other mascaras our editors loved? Click here!

Red Hot Lips for Your Wedding Day
Red Hot Lips for Your Wedding Day

Yes, you can wear this bold trend on your big day

Red Hot Lips for Your Wedding Day

This is a wedding makeup article

Could there be a hotter lipstick shade than red right now? Um ... not really. That's why we think you should consider pairing it with your gown.

Get tips on how to wear it

Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful Collection

The launch of the Pretty Powerful Palettes marks the first anniversary of Bobbi Brown’s iconic Pretty Powerful Campaign. Inspired by her favorite look—a fresh and healthy one—Bobbi’s palettes are designed to be universally flattering.

“I’ve always loved a natural look but that doesn’t have to mean nude color, and it certainly doesn’t mean washed out color. The Pretty Powerful Palettes are filled with pink tones that range from soft to warm and even a shot of bright to create a healthy look because nothing is more beautiful to me than a healthy complexion,” says Bobbi.

Offered in two shade ranges designed with all complexions in mind, each palette contains four neutral eye shadows and complementary pink shades for lips and cheeks.

Available January 2011 in Pretty and Powerful from Bobbi Brown counters and

Price: $60 (each)

MAC + Mickey Contractor Color Story and Biography

I can't wait for this collection - the colors are beautiful and the women in the promo images are stunning!

Who is Mickey Contractor, and why can’t about a billion people live without him? The answer involves breaking out into song and dance, because long before Glee, Mickey made the dashing heroes and exotic enchantresses of Bollywood Cinema into the famous faces throngs of fans want to look like. As M·A·C’s Director of Makeup Artistry for India, he’s more than an icon to a glamorous Eastern audience – he has mentored in-the-know Artists around the world for over three decades. These exclusive collections of Mickey’s musts are all about natural skin tonality and total performance, in addition to colour with a touch of exotic cine-magic. Foundation, Concealer, Prep + Prime Finishing Powder, goddess-gorgeous Eye shades, Lipstick, Lipglass and Blush, with his favourite brushes to star in your own big Bollywood hit.

- Deep neutral (Matte)
Mehr - Dirty blue pink (Matte)
Gulabi - Bright fuchsia (Amplified)
Mocha - Peachy yellow-brown (Satin)
Suggested Retail Price $14.50 US / $17.50 CDN

- Dirty nude brown
Lust - Soft muted pink
Suggested Retail Price $14.50 US / $17.50 CDN

Eye Shadow
- Deep coral caramel (Satin)
Rani - Bright fuchsia with soft pink pearl (Frost)
Marvel - Deep purple with soft pink pearl (Frost)
Oomph - Forest green with soft gold pearl (Veluxe Pearl)
Suggested Retail Price $14.50 US / $17.50 CDN

Eye Shadow X 4 - Athma
- Reddish-plum brown (Satin)
Carbon - Intense black (Matte)
Jaan - Light neutral with soft gold pearl (Lustre)
Vivah - Brown with gold pearl (Lustre)
Suggested Retail Price $36.00 US / $43.00 CDN

- Bright green (Frost)
Siahi - Deep turquoise blue (Frost)
Suggested Retail Price $15.00 US / $18.00 CDN

Select Moisturecover ConcealerNC23
Suggested Retail Price $16.50 US / $20.00 CDN

Select Moisturecover Concealer
Coral Corrector / Yellow Corrector
Slightly dirty coral / Yellow: Banana yellow
Suggested Retail Price $21.00 US / $25.00 CDN

Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 FoundationNC41
Suggested Retail Price $26.00 US / $31.00 CDN

Powder Blush
- Bright white gold (Frost)
Sur - Dirty rosie brown (Satin)
Suggested Retail Price $18.50 US / $22.00 CDN

- Pencil Brush
Suggested Retail Price $24.50 US / $29.50 CDN

- Eye Shader
Suggested Retail Price $24.50 US / $29.50 CDN

- Blush Brush
Suggested Retail Price $32.00 US / $38.50 CDN

Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing PowderSuggested Retail Price $22.00 US / $27.00 CDN

AvailableNorth America January 6, 2011 at all M·A·C locations,
1.800.588.0070 and
International January 2011 at all M·A·C locations,
1.800.588.0070 and

Mickey Contractor
Director of Makeup Artistry – India

He’s a makeup artist who turns heads when he walks down a Bombay street, a talent who literally changed the face of Bollywood and he’s M·A·C Director of Artistry, India. He’s Mickey Contractor whose career started in an extraordinary way – by meeting a muse.

As a young lad what came first were the movies. Watching films from age 10, he became transfixed by an actress whose onscreen persona was both cabaret dancer and vamp. At age 10 he may not have known the culture behind the looks, but he knew what fascination felt like. With eyes that flashed, hair that piled high above her head, feathers that rose cockade-like above her head, she was “awe-inspiring.” Her name was Helen Richardson Khan, Bollywood’s legendary “Helen.”

Unlike traditional Bollywood queens, she was trendy. Of exotic mixed heritage, she found her inspiration in English glossies, and took to mimicking the trends of the ’60s and ’70s. The sexy eye liner flicks, the loose bouffant, the sense of sex and liberation.

Young Mickey was drawn in. Something about the hairdo and the feather must have stuck, for upon leaving school Mickey went to work in a hairdressing salon. Amid the perms and updos of Bombay’s stylish, there was one customer in particular who he was thrilled to work on, Helen. One day, shampooing her hair, she asked him what he wanted to do with his life and suggested that he learn makeup.

Giving him some insider advice, she told him to go and assist a Bollywood makeup artist.

Mickey was hardly going to ignore his beloved muse. With no formal schools in makeup art in Bombay, apprenticing was the way to go. Unlike Western culture, makeup artistry in India was at that time a family profession and techniques were passed down father to son like family secrets. Because of this laissez-faire, no trends were created. Mickey, on the other hand, had no family connections and was an outsider. Finding a makeup artist willing to take him on, he was taught the basics in foundation.

Assisting for eight months, he began to create his own tricks; after all, he had no family secrets to be the keeper of, he was free to ad lib – and he did. His techniques became savvy and he started to develop a reputation. Stepping out, he initially worked the provincial film studios, working on C-list movies – learning but financially barely scraping by.

His kit was a mishmash of local brands of makeup and a few brushes he had bought from an art store. He was also inadvertently networking. The faces he made up in the provinces were also cast in Bollywood. Eventually he was
asked to be the makeup artist for a trio of actresses. This was getting closer to his mission, but he was learning something about Bollywood, too –makeup artists weren’t esteemed. The combination of low pay and shabby treatment made Mickey react.

A rebel with a cause, he quit and went to work in commercial advertising. There he earned more, and was allowed a different kind of creativity, one that was more receptive to trends. Finally, he had the freedom to create and develop his look. Dipping into six-month-old fashion magazines, he would look, see and reinterpret in his own style.

As his reputation grew, Bollywood’s interest in him returned. Wooed by director Rahul Rawail, Mickey dug his heels in and made unheard of contractual demands. Despite himself, he got the job. But there was no shrinking back to the status quo.

When the director screamed, he screamed back. He began to get a reputation. But if his screaming was loud, his work spoke louder. Juggling Bollywood and commercial work, he attained an unheard of celebrity status in Bollywood and around Bombay: he became a makeup superstar.

Movies meant location work and one year he found himself in Canada shooting a Bollywood film in the Rockies. On the way home he popped into a makeup store in a shopping mall in Vancouver – M·A·C! Struck by the colours, he picked up something he never thought he could find; perfect nude lipsticks – M·A·C favourites Malt, Twig, and to this spontaneously added a deep burgundy Diva. Back home he experimented and got hooked. This was just the start.

As his reputation grew and his fees increased, he built his M·A·C collection. With no source in India, he would pick it up here and there. In London he would buy a Cork Lip Pencil…Then next port of call he would dip into the browns, rusts, and coppers he would find in the eye shadow collection. He built his collection on one inspiration: the colour spectrum of the Indian complexion.

As his status rose, he began to influence a whole new generation of Bollywood makeup artists – and his fame outside the country was growing, too. Scouted by M·A·C for their first store in Bombay, Mickey had no hesitation. He still does Bollywood and commercial work, but his work with M·A·C is a passion. Between M·A·C Master Classes round the world, in-store appearances, new store openings (after Bombay, there was Bangalore), Bollywood and its Award Ceremonies, and Delhi Fashion Week, he has little time for much else. His inspiration comes from the West…from the backstages of London, Paris, Milan, New York, and from the glossies, and where he needs to, he tempers them for the Indian taste and skin. As he says, “In India – unlike Paris – you don’t do looks that are so nude you look like you just got out of bed.” He may not realize it, but when he takes a trend, and modifies it, ever so slightly for the Indian market, he’s echoing his muse, Helen who in the ’70s looked at a photo in Vogue
and copied it in her own way…And as for those art brushes, with which he learned the art of the liner, yes, he still has them – but only as keepsakes.

Conair Xtreme Instant Heat Multisized Hot Rollers Review

Sale Alert: Beauty Ticket's 50% Off Sale

It's 50% off everything at with the code NEWYEAR50 (from now until Jan 1st, and while supplies last).

MAC Stylishly Yours Swatches and Review: Cream Colour Base, Beauty Powder, Pigment, Lipsticks

I was able to play with the colors of this collection and it is a very bright group of products, probably to herald the coming year with a big bang.  The colors are definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you like to play up your lips, there are some beautiful bold lipsticks from this collection.  Cream colour bases (CCBs) also have pretty colors that coordinate with the lipstick shades (basically the same colors as the lippies).  CCBs are multi-purpose creams that can be used for the cheeks and eyes (some even use them for the lips), BUT beware, there are some that are not eye and/or lip safe, so do your research accordingly.


Neon Orange, Cockney

Swatches and the rest of the review after the jump

Winner of the MAC Holiday Giveaway For Followers: A Tartan Tale Brush Set

Brushes 129SE, 190SE, 227SE, 275SE and 212SE

Okay, the time has come to announce the winner of the Holiday Giveaway for Followers: A Tartan Tale Brush Set.  But before I do that, I want to thank a vast majority of the entrants who followed the Contest Mechanics to the letter. There were some, however, who did not follow or read the Contest Mechanics at all, and I had to manually disqualify some entries because they can be classified as spam entries. The contest mechanics specifically stated that after the initial two entries, each person can only enter ONCE A DAY. And yet, I saw one person enter FIVE times a day every day, and I don't think that is fair for the other people who entered and followed the rules. Sorry, but I had to enforce the mechanics to be fair to everybody. Please note: the more entries you send that are over the daily limit, the more I will disqualify your entries. The random choosing of the winners was entirely done by Contest Machine, however, and I did not have anything to do with choosing the lucky entrant.

So here we go!

Finally, we have a winner! All entries are in, and one winner was randomly chosen to win MAC item pictured above. Here goes!


(Winners announced below the cut)

Real Women Share Their Top 10 Beauty Resolutions
Real Women Share Their Top 10 Beauty Resolutions

Are New Year's resolutions meant to be broken? Not this year …

Real Women Share Their Top 10 Beauty Resolutions

This is a health and beauty article

As January 1st edges closer it's time to whip that willpower into shape with health and beauty resolutions. Here are the ones our readers say they plan to stick to.

See resolutions