Konad Nail Art: Essie Nail Polish in Sew Psyched

I love Essie polish in Sew Psyched. It's an unusual green in my nail polish collection, like a moss green with grey undertones. It has subtle silver shimmer that is also very attractive. I am glad Essie is more accessible now that it is available at drugstores and other retailers like Target and Walmart. It makes salon-grade polishes more available to people. I am also glad Essie is becoming popular because of this move.

I love the very dainty image I used from the Konad m71 image plate. I used Konad special polish in White for the image, and I added some miniature pearls to complete the look.  Hope you're having a great Sunday evening/Monday morning!

The Perfect Highlights For Your Hair

The Perfect Highlights for Your Hair

Confused about what highlights, lowlights, and all the lights in between really mean? Here's what you need to know to choose the best option for you

The Perfect Highlights for Your Hair

This is a TotalBeauty.com hair color article

Whether your hair is jet black or blonde, there are highlights perfect for your hair color -- you just have to know what to ask for. Here, Marco Pelusi, hair colorist to Hollywood's A-list, explains the ins and outs of getting highlights so you can get the ones that'll be most flattering on you.

See tips

Illamasqua Magenta Muse Collection Part 4: Nail Varnish Swatches and Review

Here is the last installment of my Illamasqua Magenta Muse Collection series. This time, we're focusing on the nail varnishes. I have a ton of nail polishes, but like I've said in the past, Illamasqua holds a special place in my stash. Their nail varnishes are creamy, applies well, and the colors are perfectly saturated and vibrant. Here are six polishes that are part of the Magenta Muse collection - from pastels to bright neons to dark, foreboding fall colors. Here they are:



This is a very pretty bright coral pink cream. Very glossy finish and this looks more summery than fall-ish. I like that it is a bordering on being a neon but is softer than a true neon. Very fun and feminine.



DWS is a cement grey cream. It also has that glossy finish that's quite mesmerizing. This is not a very unique shade but I think it's still lovely.



This is a refreshing pastel lilac cream. Again, not very unique, but I love purples and lilacs, so this is right up my alley. The formula is also the reason why this is one of my favorite lavenders.



Poke is a bright violet purple shimmer. If you're a purple fan like me, you'll love this. I would've liked it more if it were a cream or with a glossy finish instead of a shimmery one, but this is okay. It has a sheer curtain of silver shimmer that adds character to it.



This is my absolute favorite. When I saw all the varnishes from this collection, I was immediately drawn to Muse and had to wear it that day. It is a deap teal blue, or peacock blue with a glossy cream finish. The formula was a bit thicker than I expected, but it was surprisingly easy to control with the said consistency.



A matte black. I am not a fan of matte polishes, nor am I a fan of black polish. But it is admittedly mesmerizing. Looks like shiny black leather on my nails. I will not be wearing this on its own. I am thinking of using a silver Konad image on this.

All in all, this group of nail varnishes has something for everyone - for those who like bright, daring colors and others who prefer muted pastels, as well as for those rocker chicks that like matte dark polish. Quality of the product is very good, colors are varied, saturated and vivid. The price is a bit steep at $14 a pop, but you do get what you pay for.

The Shades Of U Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Magenta Muse collection is available June 14, 2011 in the U.S. at select Sephora stores and on Sephora.com

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

How to Get Your Legs Summer Skirt Ready

How to Get Your Legs Summer Skirt Ready

Follow these 6 simple steps and your legs will be ready for show-and-tell in a week

How to Get Your Legs Summer Skirt Ready

This is a TotalBeauty.com workouts for women article

It's no secret that the miniskirt is making a comeback. So, when it's time for your pasty white legs to see the light of day, here are the tips you'll need to get your gams in shape.

See steps

Bare Escentuals Glowing Skin Collection for Combination Skin Review

Top: Purifying Facial Cleanser, Purely Nourishing Moisturizer Combination Skin
Bottom: Healthy Radiance All-Over Face Color, Feather Light Brush

Cindy Sherman for MAC Promo Images and Product Description

M·A·C is forever asking “Why not?” when it comes to the miracles of makeup – our medium for transformation – always exploring new ideas about the many ways we long to look and feel different for a day, a night, a lifetime. With the help of props, makeup, prosthetics, wigs and sets, artist Cindy Sherman embodies this Power of Transformation – from off-kilter Hitchcock heroine to fresh corpse, Caravaggio Portrait to Park Avenue Plastic Surgery Maven – all elaborate exercises in trying on different personas.

In the campaign we've longed forever to conceive, Cindy Sherman for M·A·C created three characters using three different colour stories. We're living in a time when people of all persuasions have become bolder than ever about the ways they choose to express themselves: with a colourful palette of possibilities, You are the Artist, You are your own Subject, and no matter how fearfully you begin, you become fearless in the process. We can't wait to see what you (and the genius that is Cindy Sherman) do next!

Cindy Sherman for M·A·C
Available September 29th, 2011 through October 27th, 2011.

Best Toners & Astringents for Your Skin

Best Toners & Astringents for Your Skin

There are derms who say that you need to tone your skin and those who argue that you don't. Find out whether you really need it now

Best Toners & Astringents for Your Skin

This is a TotalBeauty.com skin care article

Confused by the conflicting messages about whether or not you need a toner or astringent? We got to the bottom of the opposing arguments to get a final verdict and rounded up the absolute best products in the category. Find out what we discovered now.

See answer

No. 22 Sea Breeze Deep-Clean Astringent Actives, $4.99

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8

"It removes grime that doesn't come off with any makeup remover, soap, or cleanser I've tried and keeps skin smooth, glowing, and dewy."

No. 21: Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner, $7.99

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.1

"This gentle toner works with my complicated skin like a seasoned therapist."

No. 20: Biore Triple Action Astringent, $7.49

TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.3

"I have unbalanced skin, and this [astringent] moisturizes the dry spots and dries the oily spots."

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

MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF35 Swatches, Look and Review

I have reviewed a series of Korean/Taiwanese BB creams a couple of years ago; check them out here. Now that MAC came up with their own version of the BB cream, it's inevitable that they be compared to each other. First of all, the Korean BB creams are actually "blemish balm creams", whereas MAC calls their BB cream "beauty balm cream". Also, asian BB creams tend to have lofty claims about their products; they claim to be tinted moisturizers, skin soothers (for those who underwent laser peeling and acneic skin), skin whiteners, makeup base, sunscreen and foundation rolled into one. As for MAC's, though, it doesn't claim to be all these, but it just touts itself as a makeup primer with SPF35. MAC claims that their Beauty Balm is "lightly tinted in a nearly sheer beige tone to work on an array of complexions, it creamily re-texturizes the skin and then goes on to excel at being a face primer with high everyday UVA/UVB SPF 35 defense."

Review after the jump

MAC Bloggers' Obsessions Sonoran Rain Lipglass Now Available

Good news! MAC Sonoran Rain lipglass is now back in stock at maccosmetics.com, available while supplies last.

Here's a look using Sonoran Rain lipglass by one of my favorite makeup artists, Lauren Clark:

Doesn't she look stunning? You can visit her blog, Lauren Clark Makeup, for more information on the products she used for this look.

Below is a little video MAC put up on their website and Facebook page to showcase the inspirations for our creations, and also some sneak peek shots of the MAC production lab in Ontario, Canada. It was a once in a lifetime experience and you can see the excitement in all of our faces!

Note: Media sample was provided by a representative of the company for consideration.  The Shades Of U did not receive monetary compensation for the creation of Sonoran Rain lipglass.

Pink and Purple Look and Tutorial Using Illamasqua Magenta Muse and MAC Colourizations Collections

Here is a pink and purple look using some of the items I got lately, mostly from the Illamasqua Magenta Muse and MAC Colourizations collections. I love the burst of lilac, orchid and magenta shades in these products. I also love how they all blended well and came up with this eye look although they're from different brands and they all have different textures. Here are the items I used:

Konad Nail Art: Flowers and China Glaze in Make An Entrance

Okay, let me say that I found this bottle of China Glaze polish under the bathroom sink. I have two helmers so I keep my stash in their place meticulously, so I realized that this particular polish must be the oldest one I own, just because it was under the sink and was given to me by a friend when I wasn't into nail polish yet. That was on my birthday in 2004. This China Glaze polish in Make an Entrance is seven years old. Turning eight. And yet it is probably one of the best China Glaze I own because the formula is a dream to work with. Even after seven years, it never thickened up and is as smooth and creamy as the first time I used it a long time ago. I guess this amazing formula is gone now that China Glaze is now Big 3 Free? Yes, this is probably the old formula, but I am mourning the loss of the thin, opaque-in-one-coat China Glaze formula of yesteryears.

Make an Entrance is a bright medium blue pink cream that is such a dream to apply. It also dried pretty quickly too. I used Konad special polish in White for the flowers. I forget the image plate number I used, but it was also from Konad. I like the delicate white pink flowers against the bright pink base - very summery.

Wet N Wild Color Icon Eye Shadow Trio Swatches and Review

L-R: Walking on Eggshells, Don't Steal My Thunder, Silent Treatment, I'm Getting Sunburned

Walking on Eggshells, Don't Steal My Thunder

Silent Treatment, I'm Getting Sunburned

Okay, I finally caved in and bought these Wet N Wild Color Icon trios. I've heard so much about these that my interest got piqued big time. Each trio has three coordinating shades for the lid, browbone and crease. In fact, each shade is imprinted with one of the following words: "browbone", "lid", "crease", so that each application is foolproof. I saw a variety of these trios at my local Walgreens, but I only got those that are the prettiest in my opinion.