How to Get Tousled Wavy Hair
How to Get Tousled Wavy Hair

Is there a better style for summer than sexy, beachy hair? Get how-tos for your own tousled look now

How to Get Tousled Wavy Hair

This is a wavy hair article

We believe every woman is entitled to three things: The right to pursue happiness, the license to engage in retail therapy when necessary, and the ability to score gorgeous, tousled hair on her own. If you're having trouble with that last one, we're here to give you a step-by-step tutorial on getting the sexy, tousled hair of your dreams.

Get how-tos

MAC Semi Precious: Lipsticks and Cremesheen Glass Swatches and Review

L-R: Gem of Roses, Musky Amethyst, One of A Kind

Swatches and review after the jump

12 Fun Exercise Fads
12 Fun Exercise Fads

Don't dread working out with these fun new fitness programs

12 Fun Exercise Fads

This is a fitness article

Exercising is a pain in the behind if we can be frank, and the motivation to put down the ice cream bucket and get off the couch is slim to none. But, with these 12 new fitness fads, we (and you) will be a bit more excited about working out the muscles we never knew we had.

Check 'em out

Bobbi Brown Tortoise Shell Collection

Tarte Glow Your Way to Gorgeous: 8-Piece Maracuja and Clay Set Swatches and Review

Tarte Cosmetics has something very special for you this summer! Tarte's waterproof formula and high performance natural ingredients combine to present a exclusive called Glow Your Way to Gorgeous Waterproof Essentials Collection.  Did I also mention that the eye products are waterproof??

Swatches and review after the jump

The Shielo Hair Care Series Part 2: Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner Review

I was provided some products from Shielo, a hair care line that is being talked about in salons in NYC, and about to go national. This is obviously an asian brand and I am very excited to feature a series of reviews on these products. I chose the Volumizing products because I have straight, fine hair, so I would need all the help I can get to create some volume to my tresses.

I already did a review on the Shielo Volume Flexible Hair Spray and Smoothing Complexion Scrub. This time, it is all about the Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner.

What Goes Behind Those Close-up Eye Shots

You've probably seen my closeup eye shots before, but here is a photo bomb courtesy of my husband that was taken exactly a year ago. Just wanted to post it again. It's just priceless!

Hope you're having a fabulous Monday! :D

Guerlain Fall 2011 Collection

MAC Bloggers' Obsessions Collection Look: Jealousy Wakes and Hocus Pocus Shadows With All Lipglasses

I know, I know, the posts on this topic are one after another, but I promise this is one of the last! Here are some looks using the MAC Bloggers' Obsession Collection. I know I have posted swatches but not complete looks yet!

Swatches after the jump

MAC Semi-Precious: Mineralize Eye Shadows Initial Swatches and Review

Clockwise from top: Hint of Sapphire, Jade's Fortune, Quartz Fusion x2, Golden Gaze, Clarity, Unsurpassable, Faux Gold, Rare Find

Sorry for the delay in posting this. For the first time in my life, I slept like a log for 14 straight hours last night. That ought to mean something since I only sleep for 6-7 hours on average. Jet lag, working right after my long haul flight and pure exhaustion took their toll on me. I hope to be back on my feet next week to churn out more posts!

For Semi-Precious Mineralize Skin Finish and Blush Initial Swatches and Review, click here!

Here are some initial swatches and reviews of the MAC Semi Precious mineralize eye shadows.

Swatches and review after the jump

MAC Sonoran Rain and Wonder Woman Lipglass Comparison Swatches and Submit a Sonoran Rain Swatch to Win One for a Friend!

I have been seeing some amazing swatches of MAC Sonoran Rain lipglass online, so I'd thought I'd share them with you. I also thought of making comparison swatches of Sonoran Rain and Wonder Woman lipglasses because there are talks saying that they are quite similar. I will also announce a cool contest that can let you win one of three Sonoran Rain lipglasses for a friend! But first, here are some amazing Sonoran Rain swatches from bloggers who are not part of the Bloggers' Obsessions collection:

More Like Space created a beautiful look using some of the shadows from the MAC Bloggers Collection. She used Sonoran Rain and I was blown away by how beautiful it looked on her. I knew that this shade would look great on all skintones, but to see it look amazing on such fair, porcelain skin was such a treat! Her review was quite thorough, informative and the way she writes is also quite charming.

Karla Sugar is a popular blogger who is known for her amazing swatches. I liked how she not only posted skin swatches but also lip swatches of the products. She looked great wearing each one of the lipglasses!

Beauty Gala also posted a look using Sonoran Rain and I am amazed at how sexy and luscious it looked on her lips.

If you want to be featured on this blog wearing Sonoran Rain lipglass, leave the link to your look in the Comment Box below with your e-mail address for notification purposes. I will pick three winners who shall be featured in a separate entry, and shall win one Sonoran Rain lipglass each for them to give away to a friend or loved one. Don't forget to leave your e-mail address for notification purposes!

This contest shall start today and ends July 15, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. Arizona time.  Timeliness of the submission of entries shall be determined by the timestamp of each entry. And yes, this contest is open to all The Shades Of U readers worldwide!!

Finally, here are some comparison swatches of Sonoran Rain and Wonder Woman. There are some comments saying that these two are dupes. They can look similar in hand or skin swatches, but they are not similar at all when applied on the lips, as you can see below.

See swatches after the jump

MAC Semi Precious: Mineralize Blushes and Skinfinishes Initial Swatches and Review

Here are initial swatches and first thoughts on some of the products from the MAC Semi Precious collection. I will swatch the rest when the collection launches in stores on July 7, 2011.

For Semi-Precious Mineralize Eye Shadows Swatches and Review click here!

Mineralize Skinfinishes:

Semi Precious Rose Quartz

Swatches and review after the jump

5 Best Summer Hairstyles
5 Best Summer Hairstyles

Hair extraordinaire Charles Baker Strahan answers reader questions on styling hair in the summer

5 Best Summer Hairstyles

This is a hairstyles article

As temperatures start to rise, it gets harder to keep hair cool and coiffed. So Strahan gives us tips to beat the heat while still looking great.

Get tips

MAC Sonoran Rain Lipglass Giveaway For Followers

MAC Sonoran Rain lipglass

MAC Sonoran Rain lipglass (third from left)

Sonoran Rain

As many of you probably know, I created a MAC lipglass called Sonoran Rain which is now available for purchase on the MAC Cosmetics website (U.S. and Canada only). I know that many of my international readers are bummed that they cannot get their hands on this product, so I am holding this giveaway for all The Shades Of U followers worldwide.

This is your chance to win one of three brand-new Sonoran Rain lipglasses that are up for grabs. All you need to do is follow the Contest Mechanics below and submit your entry using the Contest Machine Entry Form at the bottom of this post.

Again, this contest is for all The Shades Of U subscribers and followers, but please, PLEASE READ THE CONTEST MECHANICS CAREFULLY. If you do not follow the contest rules, your entries will be disqualified. Goodluck to all :)

All entries must be entered using the Contest Machine entry form found at the end of this post. Please do NOT leave comments in the comment box; instead, all entries must be filled out using the Contest Machine entry form.


1. This contest is open to all The Shades Of U Subscribers/Followers 18 years old and older worldwide. International subscribers (outside of the U.S.) are welcome to join. Subscribe to or follow The Shades Of U via one of the following: the RSS Feed, e-mail subscription, Twitter, 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.

2. Fill up the Contest Machine entry form below, include your name and e-mail address. You should state in the entry form that you are a subscriber or follower of The Shades Of U via one of the following:

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 earns you one entry.


You can enter again by posting a link to this blog contest 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.

Submit another entry by posting on the Contest Machine form 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!

4. 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.

5. The sweepstakes shall run starting today, June 22, 2011 and ends on Monday, July 4, 2011 at 11:55 p.m. EDT.

6. Contest Machine and The Shades Of U shall randomly pick three winners who shall win one MAC Sonoran Rain lipglass each, announce the names of the winners on this blog, and shall contact the winner via the e-mail address provided in the entry form.

7. 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. Thus, this is also the reason why entrants should subscribe to this blog to be promptly notified of the winner's name just in case the notification e-mail does not go through or goes to the spam inbox.

8. The Shades Of U will ship the prize package 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 prize has been mailed, nor shall it be responsible for customs duties or fees.

Goodluck to everyone! Don't forget to subscribe or follow, fill up the entry form below (NOT the Comment box), and click "Submit". Don't forget to state how you are subscribed to The Shades Of U, and that to earn an extra entry, include this in the form: mention you re-tweeted, the link to the post you created on your blog, forum you visited, or social network about this contest.

If you can't see the entry form below, here is the link to the hosted page.

MAC Bloggers' Obsessions Collection: Eye Shadow Swatches

This entry features eye shadow swatches of the Bloggers' Obsessions collection. As I had mentioned in a previous post, I created a MAC lipglass called Sonoran Rain which is part of this collection.

I posted entries about my inspiration behind Sonoran Rain lipglass, and a step-by-step account of the Sonoran Rain lipglass creation. I also posted some skin and lip swatches of Sonoran Rain.

For skin and lip swatches of all the lipglasses from the MAC Bloggers' Obsessions collection, CLICK HERE.

This entry however is all about the collection's eye shadows. I will inhibit myself from reviewing these products as I truly respect my co-bloggers, and I refuse to review a collection which I am a part of.

MAC Bloggers' Obsessions Eye Shadows:

Sparkle, Neely, Sparkle! - A deep rusty brown with champagne-colored sparkle
Beauty Blogging Junkie – Amber Katz

Jealousy Wakes - Seething emerald green with teal and gold pearl
Temptalia – Christine Mielke

Parisian Skies - A muted grey-blue
Lipstick Powder N Paint – Lesley Ellen Mirza

Hocus Pocus - Dark Sooty grey with silver pearl
The Makeup Girl – Lianne Farbes

Hocus Pocus, Parisian Skies
Jealousy Wakes, Sparkle Neely, Sparkle!

See swatches after the jump

MAC Bloggers' Obsessions Collection: Lipglass Skin and Lip Swatches

I am back home from a three-week vacation in the Philippines! That said, I am still battling jet lag, and I just got my package from MAC containing the products from the MAC Bloggers' Obsessions collection. As I had mentioned in a previous post, I created a MAC lipglass called Sonoran Rain which is part of the Bloggers' Obsessions collection.  I posted entries about my inspiration behind Sonoran Rain lipglass, and a step-by-step account of the Sonoran Rain lipglass creation. I also posted some skin and lip swatches of Sonoran Rain.

This entry however will feature skin and lip swatches of all the MAC Bloggers' Obsessions lipglasses. I will inhibit myself from reviewing these products as I truly respect my co-bloggers, and I refuse to review a collection in which I am a part of.

Here are some product photos, and lip and skin swatches for your perusal and reference (on NC30 skintone). After seeing the swatches, I hope you can make an informed decision and purchase these products on the MAC cosmetics website.

MAC Bloggers' Obsessions Lipglasses:

Evolution Revolution - A warm peachy pink with subtle purple, green and blue micro glitter
Makeup and Beauty Blog –Karen Monterichard

All Of My Purple Life - Deep purple/grape with subtle sparkle
Afrobella–Patrice Yursik

Caqui - Persimmon orange
Beauty Maverick–Lily Nima

Sonoran Rain - Deep coral-red with gold and silver pearl
The Shades of U –Aileen De Los Angeles

Nitro:licious 2046 - Intense shiny red
Nitrolicious–Wendy Lam

L-R: Evolution Revolution, Caqui, Sonoran Rain, Nitro:licious 2046, All of My Purple Life

Product images, skin and lip swatches after the jump

7 Worst Self-Tanners for Summer
7 Worst Self-Tanners for Summer

Readers would rather be pasty than use these self-tanners that leave skin streaky and Snooki-orange

7 Worst Self-Tanners for Summer

This is a tanning article

While self-tanners are the safest way to get a faux-tan, our readers discovered that not all self-tanners are created equal. Make sure to avoid these seven worst self-tanners.

Get products

No. 7: Banana Boat EveryDay Glow SunDial Face Self-Tanning Lotion -- All Skin Tones, $9.99 average reader rating: 7.1

"This is nasty. It reeks of chemicals, it has no accuracy whatsoever on the dial, and it takes MANY applications to work."

No. 6: L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Luminous Bronzer, $8.97 average reader rating: 6.9

"This product resulted in a streaky mess in my hands … I rubbed and rubbed and rubbed and still could not get it to look uniform."

No. 5: Jergens Natural Glow Healthy Complexion Daily Facial Moisturizer, $8.99 average reader rating: 6.9

"It took so long to dry and left my skin feeling sticky. The smell is horrible too."

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

Bikini Zone Creme Hair Remover Review

I have been given the chance to try out a number of products from Bikini Zone. Summer is here and we are trying our darnest best to fit into our swimsuits. We are also making sure that we are fuzz-free down there to look our best in our bikinis, right? (*wink-wink*)

Review after the jump

MAC Semi Precious Collection

We can all admire a girl with a 30 – carat diamond. But the NEW dazzle is SEMI PRECIOUS. Gems that are rare in spirit, rich in substance and worn fluidly, on the skin. In M·A·C SEMI PRECIOUS, four finely milled gems- bronzite, black tourmaline, gold pyrite and lilac lepidolite – bring their own earthly and spiritual affluence to three key elements of the mineralize collection: Eye Shadows, Skinfinish and Blush. Setting them off: a collection of colour, two mineralize skincare formulas and four NEW LIMITED-LIFE split fibre brushes. Like everything this precious, these elements start off rare and tend to get rarer… get rich while you can!

M·A·C SEMI PRECIOUS Available July 7, 2011 through August, 2011

Mineral Mode
Mélange White Base with Copper and Gray
Unsurpassable Mélange Green, Teal, Purple and Copper
Jade’s Fortune Mélange Bright Yellow, Blue, Lime and Black
Hint of Sapphire Mélange Pink, Violet, Teal, Copper and Blue
Clarity Mélange Light Pink, Off White Green, Gold and Black
Golden Gaze Mélange Gold and Black
Faux Gold Mélange Coral, Gold, Lime and Bronze
Quartz Fusion Mélange Soft Pink, Silver, Deep Pink
Rare Find Mélange Violet, Brown and Gold
Blue Sheen Mélange Navy, Black and Peach
Dark Indulgence Mélange Forest Green and Black
Smoked Ruby Mélange Burgundy and Black
$19.50 U.S./$23.50 CDN

Pressed Amber Mélange Nude, Beige, Brown
Warmth of Coral Mélange Coral, Peach
Feeling Flush Mélange Pink, Deep Blue, Pink, Soft Brown
$23.00 U.S./$27.50 CDN

Semi Precious Pearl Base–Beige Champagne, Inner circle–White, Plum, Bronze
Semi Precious Crystal Pink Base–Pink Champagne, Inner circlePink, Dirty Green, Bronze
Semi Precious Rose Quartz Base–Rosy Pink, Inner circle–Silver, Lime, White Pink, Copper
Semi Precious Goldstone Base–Brown, Inner circle–Rosy Pink,White, Gold
$28.00 U.S./$33.50 CDN

Lush Amber Light Nude Beige
Gem of Roses Mid-tone Strawberry Pink
One of a Kind Mid-tone Rosy Neutral
Musky Amethyst Deep Plum
$14.50 U.S./$17.50 CDN

Pure Magnificence Light Grey Pink
Natural Flare Light Caramel Nude
Geo Pink Strawberry Pink
Looks Like Sin Mid-tone Reddish Plum
Richly Revered Deep Brown Plum
$18.50 U.S./$22.00 CDN

Zoom Fast Black Lash Deepest Black
$14.00 U.S./$17.00 CDN

$29.50 U.S./$35.50 CDN
Revitalizing Energy
$22.00 U.S./$27.00 CDN
$29.50 U.S./$38.00 CDN

234 Split Fibre Eye Blending Brush
$22.50 U.S./$27.00 CDN
235 Split Fibre All Over Eye Brush
$30.0 0 U.S./$36.50 CDN
128 Split Fibre Cheek Brush
$32.00 U.S./$38.50 CDN
179 Angled Split Fibre Buffer Brush
$47.00 U.S./$56.50 CDN

North America July 7, 2011 International July 2011 at all M·A·C locations, 1.800.588.0070 and