Thursday, March 31, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Nail Lacquer Swatches and Review: Ice Cream Cake and Mischievous Mint



Here are some swatches of the new MAC nail lacquers from the Quite Cute collection. They are indeed cute shades that are perfect for spring. If you like pastels and girly shades, these are for you.


Ice Cream Cake





Ice Cream Cake is a creamy blue pink that I like because it doesn't look so pasty on my skin. It is a nice light pink; reminds me of strawberry milk. Creme is my favorite formula, so this is definitely up my alley. Application is a lot better than Mischievous Mint, but it was still a bit streaky, which happens to me sometimes with pastels. Three coats evened things out quite a bit.


Mischievous Mint



Mischievous Mint is a creamy pale blue mint. It was quite streaky to apply. I had to really be careful in the application, and I made sure I applied three coats to even out the finish. It is a nice creamy blue, though. Very spring-y. Here are some comparison swatches:


L-R: Mischievous Mint, Orly Ancient Jade, Mischievous Mint, MAC Peppermint Patti (holding the latter)



So obviously, Peppermint Patti pulls green and Mischievous Mint is on the bluer side of the spectrum. These new Quite Cute nail lacquers are paler pastels compared to other spring collection polishes I own.

All in all, these colors are not very unique, but if you don't have these shades in your nail polish stash yet, well, you can definitely snag these. They are perfect for spring and summer, but I recommend Ice Cream Cake over Mischievous Mint, just because the latter was quite streaky to apply. Ice Cream Cake was more obedient, but maybe that's because MM is paler, so streaks are more obvious? Anyways, these nail lacquers will be available at all MAC locations on April 7, 2011 for $14 each.

Note: Media samples were provided by a representative of the company for consideration. All opinions are completely mine.

NARS Spring 2011: Tainted Love and Forever Yours Gift Sets

For Spring’s bright, playful look, NARS introduces two gift sets that boast limited-edition products. Both include pops of pink for a sexy, yet always sophisticated, look. In true NARS fashion, the sets are housed in vibrant packaging that makes them as exciting on the outside as they are on the inside.



TAINTED LOVE
Following the success of Angelika Lip Gloss, the cotton candy hue with gold particles makes its debut as an iconic Multiple for the first time. For the girl who can’t get enough of shocking pink, the Tainted Love Gift Set includes Angelika Lip Gloss, Angelika Multiple and Schiap Nail Polish.

Price: $59.00

Available: narscosmetics.com



FOREVER YOURS
A more subtle approach to makeup lends its way to the Forever Yours Gift Set. Available for the first time is a medium-sized Deep Throat Lip Gloss, accommodated by an Orgasm Illuminator – two products perfect for a girly, daytime look. Instantly refresh for evening with an effortless swipe of the gold-infused smoky Aigle Noir Soft Touch Shadow Pencil.

Price: $49.00

Available: exclusively at Sephora.com

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nail Stamp Art Using China Glaze OMG Nail Polish in 2Nite











Here's another one of my purple holos that I snagged a few weeks ago- 2nite. It is from the much-coveted OMG collection of China Glaze. I snagged a number of OMGs from 2009, but I found this particular one at my neighborhood nail supply store a few weeks ago, and it's amazing that it was still available as the price for this is quite steep on eBay. Say no to those ebay scalpers! Just scour your neighborhood dusties and you will get your hard-to-find polishes.

Look at my awesome find at one of my neighborhood nail supply stores:


The OMG 2BHOT collection!!
L-R: QT, TMI, TTYL, FYI, GR8, L8R G8R

I am amazed with my lucky find because it was tucked along with some really dusty collections on a top shelf, languishing all alone as it was the last one available. It was waiting for me all this time!! And I paid dirt-cheap for this set. I really love the thrill of the hunt.

Anyways, I adorned the beautiful 2nite with a delicate flower image from the m4 image plate using the Konad special polish in White. I also added a cobalt rhinestone for some oomph. One of my favorite manicures; spring-y, light and airy.

13 Fabulous Products for Curly Hair

TotalBeauty.com
13 Fabulous Products for Curly Hair

Stock up on these reader-approved curly hair products to have a good hair day every day


13 Fabulous Products for Curly Hair

This is a TotalBeauty.com curly hair article

We took it upon ourselves to sift through legions of reviews on conditioners and styling aids to find out which ones Total Beauty readers deem worthy of their precious curls.

See products

No. 13: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Creme, $11.99

TotalBeauty.com rating: 8.0


"The effect is moisture and subtle shine. After too many days of heat styling, I rely on this infusion of avocado oil to rehab some damage."

No. 12: Goldwell Dynamic Loop Curl Spray, $13.99

TotalBeauty.com rating: 8.0


"The bamboo proteins in this spray work some sort of voodoo magic to make curls into perfectly shaped … spirals."

No. 11: Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Curl Creme, $26.63

TotalBeauty.com rating: 8.0


This "is excellent at coaxing curls out of slightly wavy hair while leaving strands soft, not crunchy…"

Want to see which product is No.1? Click here!

7 Tools You Need to Create Any Makeup Look

TotalBeauty.com
7 Tools You Need to Create Any Makeup Look

See which brushes pro makeup artists say are the only ones you actually need


7 Tools You Need to Create Any Makeup Look

This is a TotalBeauty.com makeup brushes article

Investing in and using the right makeup brushes and tools will not only help give you a flawless makeup look, but you'll also save money in the long run. Find out which tools you need now.

See brushes

How to Know When Your Beauty Products are Expired

TotalBeauty.com
How to Know When Your Beauty Products are Expired

You wouldn't eat a granola bar six months past the expiration date, so why use beauty products way past their time? See what to throw out -- stat


How to Know When Your Beauty Products are Expired

This is a TotalBeauty.com beauty products article

It's easy with food, for the most part, to know when it's better in the bin than on your plate, but with beauty products, which rarely boast a written expiration date, it's a different story. See how to tell if your products have "gone bad" without you knowing.

See advice

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Collection Swatches and Review Part 2: CUTiE Eyeshadow Quad and Mineralize Blushes







Here is the continuation of my swatches and review of the MAC Quite Cute collection. In this entry, I will be reviewing the CUTiE eyeshadow quad and the mineralize blushes, as well as my initial thoughts on the nail lacquers.

For Part 1: MAC Quite Cute Collection Lip Swatches and Review: Lipstick, Plushglass and Lip Pencil, CLICK HERE.

MAC Quite Cute Collection Lip Swatches and Review Part 1: Lipstick and Plushglass







Here is the anticipated spring collection from MAC called the Quite Cute collection. This is the 2011 counterpart of the candy/pastel-themed collections from years past, like the Sugar Sweet collection. It gives us different choices of candy-colored lipsticks, shadows, plushglasses, and mineralize blushes to herald the coming of spring.

Swatches and review after the jump

Monday, March 28, 2011

Introducing Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Foundation SPF 25




This foundation is a miracle – in one product you get SPF, moisture and perfect coverage. It’s easy to apply and instantly makes skin look smooth and even.”
-Bobbi Brown

Finally, a serious moisturizing treatment foundation that combines the intensive skin nourishing benefits of Extra skincare with daily sun protection and Bobbi’s signature skin tone correct coverage. Super emollient and luxurious, Extra Repair Foundation SPF 25 instantly gives skin a fresh, dewy and healthy looking glow. Over time, it also helps undo the visible signs of aging, smoothing out lines while firming and lifting skin’s appearance. Consider it your little secret to perfect skin.

Ingredient & Benefits

A powerful peptide boosts natural collagen levels in skin while Carrot Extract helps reduce the look of fine lines and winkles. Over time, skin looks smoother, firmer, plumper.

A water-in-oil emulsion packed with Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Willowherb and Evening Primrose Oils deeply moisturizes, conditions and replenishes skin.

Shea and Muru Muru Butters strengthen skin’s natural barrier, improving its ability to lock in moisture and prevent future damage.

Angelica and Chamomile Extracts calm and soothe skin.

SPF 25 offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection while Vitamin E protects skin against damaging free radicals.

Treated pigments deliver natural-looking, medium to full coverage and stay-true color that lasts all day without settling into lines or pores.

How to Use

Apply to clean, dry skin, with fingertips, brush or sponge.
Depending on your skin type, you may or may not need moisturizer.

Available in 20 shades:

Alabaster, Porcelain, Warm Ivory, Sand, Warm Sand, Beige, Cool Beige, Warm Beige, Natural, Warm Natural, Natural Tan, Honey, Warm Honey, Golden, Warm Almond, Almond, Walnut, Warm Walnut, Chestnut, Espresso

Available April 2011 from Bobbi Brown counters and http://www.bobbibrown.com/

Price: $55.00 each

Giveaway! The Lexli Skincare Starter Kit Giveaway For Followers



Here is a chance for one TSOU follower (who is a U.S. resident) to win a Lexli skincare starter kit worth $84!


The Lexli 30-Day Starter Kit

Lexli's 30-Day Starter Kit is an easy, inexpensive way to try our skincare line and make sure it's right for you. Each kit provides a month’s supply of products featured as a part of Lexli’s Simple 4-Step System. Included in the travel-friendly kit is: Aloe-Based Cleansing Lotion (2 oz.), Aloe-Based AloeGlyC® Renewing Exfoliant (0.50 oz.), Aloe-Based Day Moisturizer with SPF 15 for Normal to Dry Skin (0.50 oz.), Aloe-Based Tone and Balance (2 oz), Aloe-Based Night Moisturizer (0.5 oz).Starter Kit Price: $84

About Lexli International, Inc.

Lexli International, Inc. skincare company provides pharmaceutical-grade, potent Aloe-based skincare products to international skincare professionals and consumers. Founded in 1996 by Dr. Ahmed Abdullah, a board-certified plastic surgeon and nationally recognized aloe researcher, Lexli® offers a line of professional skin care products created to achieve healthier, younger-looking skin. All Lexli product formulations, including AloeGlyC®, the brand’s patented and celebrated daily exfoliant, and the Lexli Acne Kit, the most potent and focused over-the counter acne treatment available, are developed with certified organic, pharmaceutical-grade aloe vera as their principal ingredient. Formulations incorporate additional natural ingredients, including pH-balanced humectants, masking agents, protectants and botanicals. For more information, please visit http://www.lexli.com/.


CONTEST MECHANICS (please read carefully!):

1. This contest is open only to The Shades Of U subscribers in the United States. U.S.-only please!

2. You must be a subscriber to become eligible to win. Subscribe to The Shades Of U via one of the following: the RSS Feed, e-mail subscription, Twitter, or Blogger/Google Friend Connect or Facebook. If you are currently a subscriber, you are automatically eligible to join and you do not need to re-subscribe.

3. In the Comment Box below, write your e-mail address for notification purposes. You also need to answer the question, "How are you subscribed to The Shades Of U?". Your answer should be one of these:

a. RSS Feed
b. Twitter (include Twitter ID)
c. E-mail subscription (include email address)
d. Blogger/Google (include Blogger name)
e. Facebook (include Facebook name)

This would earn you one entry.

4. HOW TO SUBMIT EXTRA ENTRIES:

You can enter again by posting a link to this blog giveaway on your blogs (either as an entry itself or on your sidebar), forums you visit, or social networks (Facebook, Twitter etc.), or by re-tweeting the original contest tweet on Twitter.

5. Submit another entry by posting on the Comment Box the link to your forum, blog or Facebook/Twitter post about this contest, or mention the fact that you re-tweeted the contest. This will earn you one extra entry (take note: you need to be a follower or subscriber of this blog first and your initial entry should state that). Remember, the more entries you send, the more chances of winning!

6. You can submit an entry every time you re-tweet or post another link on your blog or social networks, but you can only submit an entry once a day. However, you can submit your initial entry and your first link or retweet in one day, but subsequent entries with links or retweets should only be submitted once a day. Let me repeat, please: You can only re-enter ONCE A DAY.

7. The contest runs starting today, March 28, 2011 and ends on Monday, April 4, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. Timeliness of submission shall be based on the timestamp of each entry.

8. The Shades Of U shall randomly pick one winner, announce the name of the winner on this blog, and shall contact the winner via the e-mail address provided in the Comment Box.

9. The winner 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.

10. The Shades Of U will then forward the information to the sponsor, which shall then ship the prize to the winner. As such, The Shades Of U does not have any control as to when the prize will be shipped out, but the sponsor has committed to ship the products to the recipient as soon as The Shades Of U determines the winner.

Goodluck to everyone! Remember: This is a US-only contest. For my international readers, watch out for more giveaways from The Shades Of U.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nail Stamp Art Using China Glaze Nail Polish in L8R G8R







Holo polishes are all the rage nowadays. L8R G8R is from the OMG collection of late 2008, but this kind of holo is one of the very few ones that are linear holos - those that form lines vertically and give a rainbow effect along those lines. You can see the lines and the rainbow quite clearly in my photos. It is a beautiful lime green holo, and this kind of holo is the last of a dying breed - unless brands wake up and see how profitable it would be to come up with a collection of these vertical rainbow holos.

I used m69 image plate and Konad princess polish in Green. I added a small pearl in the middle of each nail as an accent. I really like this mani, one of my favorites. The holo is very distracting, it gets my attention every time. :D

How to Pack Your Beauty Stash Like a Pro

TotalBeauty.com
How to Pack Your Beauty Stash Like a Pro

Want to avoid having another product explosion in your bag? Read these tips


How to Pack Your Beauty Stash Like a Pro

This is a TotalBeauty.com beauty products article

We went to in-the-know experts to help us figure out which beauty products you actually need to pack -- and how to effectively store them to avoid bursting, spilling or leakage -- yikes.

See packing tips

8 Budget-Friendly Fixes for Hair Color Emergencies

TotalBeauty.com
8 Budget-Friendly Fixes for Hair Color Emergencies

When you're in a pinch, these pro tips will help tide you over until your next salon visit


8 Budget-Friendly Fixes for Hair Color Emergencies

This is a TotalBeauty.com hair color article

We had a chat with Clairol Color Director, Marie Robinson to discuss the industry's best tricks for slyly covering up unsightly roots and fixing hair color disasters -- quickly and on the cheap.

See her solutions

How to Get Sexy, Giselle Bundchen-Like Waves

TotalBeauty.com
How to Get Sexy, Giselle Bundchen-Like Waves

With this easy six-step tutorial, you too can have gorgeous tousled waves


How to Get Sexy, Giselle Bundchen-Like Waves

This is a TotalBeauty.com wavy hair article

Who doesn't want to have effortless-looking bouncy hair like a certain top model? Well, thanks to Kattia Solano of Butterfly Studio Salon in New York City, we've mastered the steps to copying Giselle's waves -- now we just have to work the whole perfect-body part.

See how-to

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rock & Republic Eye Shadows Swatches and Review





I got these eye shadows from Hautelook.com at less than half the retail price, so I'm not complaining at all! These are my first R&R eyeshadows, and they are as gaudy and outlandish in packaging as the blushes, but obviously these are smaller.

 Swatches and review after the jump

Thursday, March 24, 2011

MAC Primed for Perfection and Q&A with Nick Gavrelis






Primed For Perfection
M∙A∙C owns the primers category. Now we’re taking Prep + Prime further than ever. Use it under, over, during, after makeup application, and marvel at the ease with which it can accept concealer, cooperate with colour. And now, with NEW PREP + PRIME VIBRANCY EYE, P + P advances eyes, focuses potential. A lightweight, quick fix AND long-term solution for puffy, tired-looking creases and bags that targets the three main causes for dark under eye circles – pigmentation, visibly weakened capillaries and shadowing – while illuminating the eye area with optical effects for instant luminosity. Vibrancy Eye provides pick-me-up power and moisturization. One step and you’re prepped for makeup magic. A wonderful NEW shaded highlighter debuts with this collection – PREP + PRIME HIGHLIGHTER is lush and cushiony, yet lightweight – in wonderful hues that provide a sheer wash of colour to highlight, brighten and perfect. The click “pen” allows for exact application.

M·A·C Primed For Perfection Available April 7, 2011 in the permanent collection


PREP + PRIME VIBRANCY EYESuggested Retail Price $30.00 U.S./$36.50 CDN

PREP + PRIME HIGHLIGHTER
Light Boost
Soft yellow cream
Bright Forecast Mid-tone peachy coral
Radiant Rose Light shell pink
Suggested Retail Price $23.00 U.S./$27.50 CDN

Available
North America April 7, 2011 at all M·A·C locations, 1.800.588.0070 and www.maccosmetics.com
International April 2011 at all M·A·C locations, 1.800.588.0070 and
www.maccosmetics.com

Q&A WITH NICK GAVRELIS

What is the strategy behind launching Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye and Prep + Prime Highlighter? What void do they fill in M·A·C’s primer category?
We launched Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye and Prep + Prime Highlighter to add diversity to our Prep + Prime Eye formulas. We have our original Prep + Prime Eye formula which evens out the skintone and texture on the eyelid, but we felt that we needed a primer to perfect the skin for concealer application. This formula was created to be used specifically for the delicate eye area.

The Prep + Prime Highlighter allows for precise application and more targeted luminosity to add light and radiance to the eye or any area of the face in one easy step. The difference between Prep + Prime Highlighter and Prep + Prime Skin is that this new formula provides a more targeted luminosity and it can be used under and over foundation for touch-ups.

How does Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye work? What are its main ingredients?
Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye immediately improves radiance and clarity around the eye area with the following main ingredients: Vitamin C Complex with Melannite (K3 aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate and 2CME ascorbyl tocopheryl maleate) serves as a brightening agent and antioxidant. The anti-angiogenics phytosphingosine, glycosaminoglycans and gingko biloba help strengthen skin. For optics, a cocktail of light reflective pearls in multiple colours renders the maximum skin-enhancing effect. A range of
peptides – sweet orange extract, red algae extract, caffeine and sucrose – soothes and depuffs the eye area, while glycerin, trehalose, sodium hyaluronate and shea butter add up to a powerful combination of moisturizers and emollients. Over time, this combination of ingredients can brighten the appearance of dark circles, reduce puffiness and add moisture around the delicate eye area.

How should Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye be applied? Should it be worn above or below foundation/concealer?
Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye should be applied gently with your fingertip, patted gently around eye area until blended. It should be worn under concealer.

What are the benefits of the click pen applicator on Prep + Prime Highlighter? Where and how should it be applied?
The Prep + Prime Highlighter click pen allows for precise, easy application and provides just the right amount of product. Prep + Prime Highlighter should be applied with the brush tip directly to the high place of the face to help brighten. Additionally, it can applied over bare moisturized skin, or over concealer/foundation. Blend well with fingertips.

MAC Bronze Everyday Collection





BRONZE EVERYDAY
The all-bronze, all-the-time trend is ascending. High and low, Jersey Shore to Jakarta, it’s always sunny somewhere, and “orange” is officially over! M∙A∙C BRONZE EVERYDAY is reflecting the trend to be tan in all seasons, and it’s no accident that our Bronzing innovations are making it all that much more attractive…and easy. Great news: It’s back, for goodSkinsheen Leg Spray the long-wear gel/mousse body makeup that sheers on legs, arms, d├ęcolletage for a subtle golden glow. Water resistant three times over. Love your Lustre Drops? They’re back too, for that touch of chic luminosity, an ethereal glow wherever applied. Two new golden shades of Mineralize Skinfinish/Natural plus Mineralize Skinfinish and Bronzing Powders complete the collection, making M∙A∙C all about one-stop Bronzing.

M·A·C Bronze Everyday On counter April 7, 2011 in the permanent line.





BRONZING POWDER
Refined Golden
Finely spun golden with soft pearl
Golden Muted golden tan-beige with shimmer
Bronze Soft bronze with shimmer
Matte Bronze Bare-shouldered bronze
Suggested Retail Price $23.00 U.S./$27.50 CDN

SKINSHEEN LEG SPRAY
Medium Dark
Sheer soft bronze with golden tan-pearl
Dark Golden-bronze
Suggested Retail Price $26.50 U.S./$32.00 CDN

LUSTRE DROPS
Pink Rebel
Blue pink with gold pearl
Sun Rush Peachy bronze with gold pearl
Suggested Retail Price $19.50 U.S./$23.50 CDN

MINERALIZE SKINFINISH NATURAL
Give Me Sun!
Light summer peachy tan
Sun Power Deep terracotta bronze
Suggested Retail Price $27.00 U.S./$32.50 CDN

MINERALIZE SKINFINISH
Soft and Gentle
Gilded peach bronze
Gold Deposit Soft reflective golden-bronze
Suggested Retail Price $28.00 U.S./$33.50 CDN

AvailableNorth America April 7, 2011 at all M·A·C locations, 1.800.588.0070 and www.maccosmetics.com
International April 2011 at all M·A·C locations, 1.800.588.0070 and www.maccosmetics.com