Yearly Archives: 2010

How to Spot Fake MAC Cosmetics Products

If you are looking to save a bit of money on your MAC makeup addiction, you might be tempted to take advantage of some of the deals you can find online. While it is possible to find some good bargains on MAC on places like eBay, counterfeit MAC is becoming increasingly more common. Here are a few tips on how to identify counterfeit MAC Cosmetics and avoid buying fake MAC items.

First, trust your instincts. If a price sounds good to be true, you should look at the item with a very skeptical eye. It’s extremely difficult to find true bargains on MAC Cosmetics products these days. If it’s just a few dollars off of retail, it is more likely to be legitimate. If it’s a limited edition pigment from 1999 being sold for $2 new in box, you can rule it out right away.

Train Case
Creative Commons License photo credit: iferneinez

In order to determine the validity of the item in question, you need to examine it closely. If buying online, you should request pictures from the seller of the item from several angles including the top, bottom, side view, inside of lid, and the box. You need to compare these with original items either from your own collection or using pictures found online. There are a lot of subtle differences that fake MAC makeup products carry.

The packaging is one area where fakes tend to stand out if you know what to look for. For example, many counterfeit MAC eyeshadows come in a pot that looks suspiciously like the real thing… until you notice the compartment with the mirror and applicator underneath. MAC pot shadows never come with applicators or mirrors yet somehow this is very common on fakes. Also, the lid on many fake MAC shadows has a higher dome and opens at a smaller angle than real MAC shadows.

The packaging can offer several clues as well. Often counterfeit MAC boxes will have a very convincing MAC logo but the font on the rest of the box is very different from that of legitimate MAC boxes. Because many of these fakes are manufactured in other countries, you can often spot misspellings on the packaging as well. In some cases, the dimensions of the boxes might be different than real boxes too. If you suspect an item is not real MAC, pore over it very carefully before committing to buy it. Compare the item in question with one that you know is real and scrutinize the size, shape, writing, color and finish of the lid, weight, and scent.

Another tip-off to potentially fake MAC items is the source. Legitimate MAC products can be purchased from MAC counters, MAC stores, MAC’s official website, and Cosmetics Company Outlet stores. Sometimes individuals will sell their MAC items secondhand for extra cash online. eBay is a overrun with MAC items but the sad truth is that many of these are counterfeit. When shopping for MAC on eBay, look at the seller’s history. Check their feedback carefully for complaints of counterfeits. Look at the other items they are selling. If they have hundreds of new MAC items up for sale, especially without boxes, there is a good chance what they are selling isn’t MAC at all.

Unfortunately, you have to do a bit of detective work when you are buying MAC from unofficial sources. Counterfeit MAC makeup items are not just poor quality imitations of the real thing. Some of these items might even contain ingredients that can irritate your skin or eyes. Truly good deals on MAC are few and far between but if you look very carefully, you can still find a few bargains.

Smashbox: Free Waterproof Eye Shadow Palette and Free Express Shipping!

smashbox @Fashion Days Zurich 2010
Creative Commons License photo credit: yago1.com

Smashbox is running a couple of splendid limited time makeup offers. The first is a FREE Waterproof Eye Shadow Palette ($40 value) with any $25 purchase. This offer is valid 12/12-12/19 or while supplies last. Also, if you end up spending $50 or more, you will receive FREE Express Shipping with your order. This offer is good from 12/12-12/19. Simply enter coupon code SHIPFAST at checkout!

Illumibrite Trial Offer

Update 12/12/10: This offer is now expired!

Try a sample of the newest teeth whitening offer – Illumibrite. This trial offer will help you fend off the darkening effects of dark fruit juices, food, coffee, smoking and natural aging. This product features a pen style whitener. Pens allow for more precise whitening and less irritation to the gums while whitening. It also features 35% carbimide peroxide for a faster acting product so you don’t have to wait as long for results. Use coupon code BRITE500 and get $5 off shipping.

How to Create Your Own Eyeshadow Palette

For a lot of makeup fans, eyeshadows can be hard to resist. You might go to a cosmetics counter to pick up something else but while you’re standing there waiting for the sales associate to ring you up, there they are… dozens of pretty, fresh eyeshadows begging you to buy them. The next thing you know, you’re at home trying to find a place in your already-overflowing makeup drawer for your newest five shadows. If this sounds like you, it’s time to make your own eyeshadow palette.

Making your own eyeshadow palette makes sense for a lot of reasons. First of all, it’s very practical because it frees up space in your cosmetics drawers. Even if you end up using this newly empty space to justify future makeup purchases, you still have to admit it’s handy. If a lot of your eyeshadows are from MAC, this is also a good idea from an economic standpoint because once you take the eyeshadow pans out of the pots, you can return the empty pots to MAC and get a free lipstick as part of their recycling program.

makeup & breakup {007/365}
Creative Commons License photo credit: Melissa Gray

Perhaps the best reason to make an eyeshadow palette is because this enables you to group colors that go together well all in one place so you can apply them more easily. It can actually take a fair amount of time to shuffle through your makeup drawers and dig out different colors to see if they look good together every day. When you make a palette, you do all the matching work beforehand and then you have everything laid out together for the future. This also helps you use up those colors that you always seem to forget about. Depending on the size of your collection, you could make a few palettes of different color families such as a warm, cool or neutral eyeshadow palette, a summer vs. winter eyeshadow palette, as well a few others like a neon, bright, shimmer, cream or matte eyeshadow palette.

This task will be easiest if most of your shadows are the same size. Many cosmetics brands sell empty palettes that their shadows can fit into. If your shadows are various sizes or from different manufacturers, or if you want to include blushes or other products, you can always make a homemade palette. This is also a great way to save some money. All you need is an empty CD case and some magnetic sheets, which you can pick up from craft or office stores for a few dollars. Take out the plastic piece that holds the CD (this is usually black) and trace it onto the magnetic sheet. Then cut out the piece of magnet and glue it into the CD case. Some eyeshadow pans will stick to the magnet on their own. If not, you will need to cut out some magnetic strips and stick them to the bottom of the shadow pans.

If the shadow comes in some type of compact or other packaging, it will be necessary to remove the shadow from the pot first. This can usually be accomplished by carefully melting the glue underneath the pan. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to de-pot eyeshadows by MAC and other brands. Alternatively, you can often buy shadows in simple pan format. Pan eye shadows are available from MAC on their main maccosmetics.com website as well as their macpro.com website.

It’s always a good idea to label your shadows when you make a palette. It might not seem important now but once you hit the pan and need to replace a shade, you may not be able to remember the name of the color. When you make your palette, create a color guide on a sheet of paper. Make swatches of each color in the same order that they appear in your eye palette and write the name of the shade underneath. Use a piece of paper the same size as a CD booklet and simply insert it into the cover of the CD case. Then close the CD case and there you have it: your very own homemade custom color eyeshadow palette!

MAC: False Lashes Mascara Collection

Release Date: December 26, 2010

False Lashes Mascara adds dramatic volume, the rich, creamy, volumizing formula magnifies and multiplies the look of each lash, creating dramatically thick, long, curled, exaggerated lashes. The lush brush applies a deluxe dose of heavy pigment to the lashes and works in combination with the product to create incredible volume, length and density. The pigments in the formula are treated to allow for maximum colour payoff that remains true, deep, uniform and wears all day long. It’s flake- and smudge-resistant, ophth-tested and safe for contact wearers.

The MAC False Lashes Mascara collection marks the release of the latest in a string of new mascaras released by MAC. Despite all the success MAC Cosmetics has had in the realm of lip and eye products, they are still chasing that elusive wonder formula that will truly put their name on the mascara road map. MAC’s mascara history is mostly full of misses, although their most recent effort, Opulash, showed some big steps in the right direction.

With False Lashes mascara, it looks like MAC is continuing an upward trend when it comes to mascara. This mascara aims to give you the look of false lashes without the hassle of applying them and keeping them in place. It boasts the typical mascara claims- namely fuller and longer lashes. A special formula and brush are designed to work together to give the illusion of lashes that are so thick and long they almost seem fake.

One good thing about False Lashes mascara is that it doesn’t dry out your lashes the way lots of lengthening mascaras can. Despite its creamy texture, it manages to stay put all day. The brush is similar to the Opulash brush which was specially engineered to deliver mascara to each lash. The brush may take some getting used to at first but it actually does a great job of delivering mascara to your lashes.

As usual, MAC has put a lot of effort into engineering this mascara. It has been tested by ophthalmologists and it’s safe for contact lens wearers. Best of all, it doesn’t flake, which means no annoying pieces of mascara falling into your eyes. It’s not drying or irritating, which is a big plus.

So far it’s only available in black but if this formula really takes off, we might be lucky enough to see some fun shades of purple, blue, and green. The black version is highly pigmented, which adds to the effect of full, thick lashes. It’s a great starting point and definitely one of MAC’s better mascaras so hopefully they will branch out and expand their False Lashes Mascara range beyond just the basic black.

False Lashes Mascara – $18.00 US/$21.00 CDN

* False Black – Black

MAC Coupon Code: MACSAMPLE | Get a Free Sample of MAC’s Pro Eye Makeup Remover

Enter promo code MACSAMPLE when checking out at maccosmetics.com and get free shipping on your order plus a free sample of MAC’s Pro Eye Makeup Remover. Good until Novermber 14, 2010 or while supplies last.

How to De-Pot MAC Eyeshadows and Blushes

Many people prefer having an eyeshadow palette so they can see all their shadows at once and keep them organized and in one place. Depotting MAC eyeshadows will allow you to create your own customized eyeshadow palette. Even better, you can return the empty shadow pots to MAC to get a free lipstick once you accumulate six of them under their Back to MAC recycling program. The same de-potting process can also be used on MAC powder blushes.

Taking the shadow pans out of the black pots that case them can be a bit tricky at first, but it’s quite simple once you get the hang of it. The hardest part is not breaking or shattering the shadow itself, but this is easy enough to avoid if you work slowly with a soft towel underneath to cushion any accidental falls. There are many different methods to depot MAC Cosmetics shadows. Many people use a flame to melt the plastic on the bottom of the pot but this can be downright dangerous. Some people use an iron, which is an improvement on the flame method. However, I find that the easiest and least risky method is using a hair straightening iron.

To get started, you only need a few items that most people already have on hand. You will need a sharp knife, a bit of wax paper, a soft towel, and a flat iron. You can use any type of flat iron as long as the plates are flat. Finally, if you are super organized, you might want to get some round sticky labels so you can label your shadows. The ¾ inch size works well on MAC shadow pans.

Color Week: Purple Eyes
Creative Commons License photo credit: wine me up

1. Lay the towel down on your working space to avoid any eyeshadow breakage disasters.

2. Open up the shadow pot and look for the line near the clasp where the shroud for the pan sits in the pot. Insert the knife into this line and gently wiggle it back and forth until you are able to pop out the shroud. You may be surprised at how easily the shroud pops out so work over the towel just in case! Set the pot aside and use it for Back to MAC.

3. Turn on your flat iron and rest it on one side, so that one of the plates is facing up and the other is facing down. Cut a piece of wax paper about four inches by four inches and place it on the plate that is facing up.

4. Set the shroud on top of the waxed paper, ensuring that it is positioned over the plate of the flat iron. You should leave it on top of there for several minutes so the heat can melt the bottom of the shroud and the glue a bit. How long this takes depends on your iron, but around five minutes should do the trick. Carefully check the bottom of the shroud and look for an indent in the middle. This signifies that it’s ready for the next step.

5. Stick your knife into the melted indent on the bottom of the shroud and push up gently. The plastic should be soft and the knife should slide right in. The pan should lift out easily. If not, let it cook a little more on the flat iron. You don’t want to push it out all the way- just lift it out a little.

6. Turn the shroud over and place the blade of your knife underneath the pan. Use the blade to lift the pan out and set it on the towel to cool. The metal of the pan will be extremely hot so don’t touch it! Once it cools, it’s ready to be placed into your palette. You can use cotton swabs dipped in alcohol to remove any extra glue that remains stuck to the pan. You can also attach a magnet or sticker if desired.

Now you’re all set to create your own custom MAC eyeshadow palettes!

MAC: Cham Pale Collection

Release Date: December 26, 2010

MAC’s new Cham Pale collection draws on flutes of crisp, bubbly champagne for its inspiration. Think of shimmering shades of beige, gold, lavender and pink and you won’t be too far off. After the bold, dark colors of the holidays, this collection- to be released December 26- offers a welcome contrast with its muted colors.

Perhaps the most coveted item in this collection is the Caviar Dreams Eyeshadow Quad. This quad features some colors we’ve seen before such as Et Tu, Bouquet? from A Rose Romance and the MAC classics Brule and Retrospeck. These shades are combined with the new frosted silver Caviar Dreams to create a palette of complementary shades that work together to create subtle beauty on your eyelids.

MAC is listening to the demands of their loyal fans and releasing some new lipgelees with this collection. Lipgelees are popular for their light consistency and squeeze tube application. Of the three sparkly shades, Bubble Lounge is a real standout for its peachy-pink shimmer as well as its fun name. Luxure is a pink-white gloss that gives lips a pearlized look rather than relying on shimmer. Frosty lipsticks like the soft bronze shade Flustered are perfect alone for a muted look or for sheering out deeper shades.

There is a new product called Special Reserve Highlight Powder that adds a noticeable shimmer to skin that’s not too over-the-top. There is also a new skincare product called Complete Comfort Creme that uses botanical ingredients to help even out skin tone and add moisture. Kukui nut oil, wheat germ, and algae extracts are just a few of the ingredients in this dermatologist-tested lotion geared toward reducing redness and softening skin.

MAC is also adding lavender to some of its more popular products such as Fix+ and Lip Conditioner for Cham Pale. They are also releasing a limited edition lavender tinted lip conditioner for the occasion. The beige Calm Mode tinted lip conditioner is sure to satisfy fans of neutral lips. And it’s certainly worth mentioning that there are several very muted paint pots in this collection as well as a repromote of the ever-popular true black Feline Kohl Power. Cham Pale gives makeup fans something to look forward to after Christmas.

Neutrogena Mineral Sheer Blush Samples

Update 12/6/2010: This offer is now expired!

Click Here!

Try Neutrogena’s new Mineral Sheer Blush. This product is a great one to use if you like a natural, healthy glow – a perfect look for summer. You can choose between four shades: Natural Apricot, Silky Sable, Precious Pink and Pure Plum. The blush comes in a dispenser that ensures you have just the right amount of product on the attached blush brush. The blush contains antioxidants and conditions your skin as you use it!

MAC: Stylishly Yours Collection

Release Date: December 26, 2010

Just in time for New Year’s, MAC is coming out with a colorful collection called Stylishly Yours. The bright and deep shades in this collection are a stark contrast to the muted pale colors in Cham Pale, also released on the same day. This collection is anything but timid with a bright orange lipstick and a magenta cream colour base.

Finally MAC has come out with some Fluidlines that fans can really get excited about. Fluidline gel eyeliners are a great product because you can wear them so many different ways and they stay in place very well in the eye area. However, MAC hasn’t been releasing a lot of new shades for some reason. Fluidline fans can breathe a sigh of relief with the advent of Dark Diversion. This is a plummy black shade that is universally flattering but it is especially nice on green eyes.

Several new pigments have made their way into Stylishly Yours. These shades are not for the faint of heart. New Fixation is a frosty fuschia red. It’s more the sort of shade you would expect in a nail polish. Follow Your Fancy is a pearly bright coral color that seems to work best on the cheeks. Perhaps the most accessible of the three new pigments is Madly Personal. It’s a very bright pink but it could easily be made more wearable by blending in a bit of Fairylite or another neutral pigment.

The lipsticks in this collection are the real headline-grabbers here because they are colors that definitely get noticed. Neon Orange Amplified Cream certainly lives up to its name. The bright violet Style Curve has a commanding presence that is only slightly tamed by its soft Cremesheen texture. The blue-based bright pink Something New is like the new pigment Madly Personal for the lips. These bright pink shades are particularly fun at the time of year this collection is being released- New Year’s.

Two new limited edition Cream Colour Bases are also part of Stylishly Yours. Keeping up the bright pink theme is Tickle Me Pink, which is as fun to wear as the name implies. The blue-red Movie Star isn’t a color that suits everyone but if you can pull it off, it’s absolutely stunning. If the muted shades of Cham Pale aren’t for you, you are certain to find something more suitable in this collection.

MAC: A Tartan Tale Collection

Release Date: October 28, 2010

A Tartan Tale is part of MAC’s upcoming holiday collection. MAC is keeping the details under tight wraps but it looks like it’s going to be a pretty memorable release. The theme here is tartan plaid and the promotional materials feature a redheaded model decked out in red, green, and blue plaid. Hopefully MAC will incorporate this theme into the packaging since MAC tends to get creative with holiday packaging.

This collection will be divided into two mini-collections called Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. Some of the product names have already been released. You can see the Scottish influence as you peruse the list. For example, a lipstick called Faerie Glen and a blush named My Highland Honey both call to mind the Scottish countryside.

The two blushes in this collection will complement fair skin nicely. Her Blooming Cheek is a very bright pink that gives a healthy flush to cheeks. My Highland Honey is a more subtle choice for those who want a honey-toned glow.

MAC Pigment fans will be thrilled to learn that MAC is also planning to release some new pigments with this collection. The Family Crest is a dark grey pigment packed with duochrome gold shimmer and Moonlight Night is a shimmery blackened green. There will also be a re-release of the Later pigment from Alice + Olivia.

There will be a few new Dazzleglass Creams released with this collection. Radiant Jewels and Passing Fancy are just a few of the new Dazzleglass Creams in store for A Tartan Tale. There will also be several new lipsticks. Details are still unknown but it’s fun to imagine the possibilities with names like Courting Lilac, Full Fuchsia, Deepest Wish, and Cut a Caper.

There is plenty of inspiration for makeup when you consider the emerald green countryside and the colorful tartan plaid kilts that are such an identifiable part of Scottish culture. This should be a fun collection and there is a good chance there will be plenty of offerings to suit fair-complected girls.

How to Get Longer Eyelashes

Want longer eyelashes? Join the club. There are a few different options you will want to consider.

Most women simply wear a lengthening formula of mascara to give the appearance of longer eyelashes. Others even opt to get their eyelashes tinted if they have blonde or lighter eyelashes.

Some of the more noticeable options include getting actual lash extensions applied by an aesthetician or getting a prescription for a pharmaceutical drug that actually promotes eyelash growth in a matter of a few weeks. Read on for more details:

Applied Eyelash Extensions

Eyelash extensions have come a long way over the past decade. Unlike the fake lashes of yesterday, which had to be applied with a stick on glue, today’s eyelash extensions range from extensions that are semi-permanent and applied lash by lash by a trained technician.


Creative Commons License photo credit: Navy Blue StripesIf you’re heading to your favorite salon to have eyelash extensions applied, make sure the person applying them is trained and licensed. There’s a technique to applying extensions that look naturally thick and full, and it takes training to know how to properly apply eyelashes to achieve that natural look and last for a month or more.

Eyelash extensions are available in a variety of colors, thickness and lengths and a consultation with your stylist should determine the right combination for your eye color and shape. Some colors are uniquely designed to match or enhance the color of your eyes including beautiful hints of blues, violets, greens and purple. People cannot tell the difference between your lashes and extensions, because these synthetically applied extensions blend evenly with your natural lashes. On close examination, you can actually see what looks like roots. How natural is that?

Applying eyelash extensions by a licensed technician takes about an hour and a half, because approximately 30 or more eyelashes are bonded individually in various lengths to enhance your natural lashes. Prices for extension lashes run approximately $250 to $500. Lash fills (the touch up appointments you’ll have every three to four weeks after you get your initial lashes done) are much more affordable, ranging from about $20 to $60 depending upon which salon you visit.

Eyelash Extension Drug

New to the market, a pharmaceutical drug for those who are looking for longer lashes is becoming a popular solution. FDA approved LATISSE is fast becoming the eyelash extension of choice for women looking to speed up or replace eyelashes that are thinning or limp. It is also a fantastic solution for those women who may be undergoing chemotherapy and lost their lashes or women who have damaged tissue around the eyelid. This prescription is a gel, which is applied daily on the eyelids with the expectation that you will see results in about eight weeks. Lashes will grow for four months or so, and are then maintained with further applications. The topical gel is applied to the upper eyelid only and is only applied once a day. If you notice any side effects like redness or swelling, you should stop use and contact your physician. Treatments are sold in kits at about $120 per kit.

If you want to get longer eyelashes, you have plenty of options. Many salons offer free consultations. If you’re not sure which direction to go, find a salon you trust and go in for an appointment to determine which lash option is right for you.

Have You Tried: MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Permaplum?

MAC Powerpoint Eyeliner in Permaplum is a very versatile shade that is perfect for everyday use. When you wake up in the morning and want to throw on some makeup quickly without thinking about coordination, it is a very safe bet because it goes with almost everything and will last all day.

Permaplum is a dark purple shade with a very subtle hint of pink shimmer. The shimmer is so subtle that you probably won’t even notice it. It is just enough to make the color look a bit more “awake” rather than flat and dull but not enough to see the individual shimmer particles. The purple is so dark that it can almost pass for black, which means it goes with almost everything. Permaplum has just enough purple in it to help green, hazel, and brown eye colors stand out.

Like all of the MAC Powerpoint eyeliner, Permaplum has excellent staying power. Pencils tend to wear off throughout the day, but the Powerpoints stay in place all day with only minimal smudging. It does not last through swimming as well as the Liquidlast liners do but it is perfect for a long day at work. It is also very easy to apply on the go so you can bring it in your bag and touch it up in even the tiniest bathroom mirrors to take your look from day into night.

To get the best look with a Powerpoint eye pencil, begin with a very sharp tip and apply to the top lash lines first. This gives you the most control over the thickness of the line. You can get a deeper color by going over the outer third of the line twice with the pencil. After applying the liner to the top of the lids, the point will have softened a little. This leaves it in the perfect condition for giving the lower lash line a softer look. One very light swipe across the bottom lash line, working from the outside corner to the inside, is enough to define the eyes. If it looks too heavy, a quick trace with a cotton swab will help smudge it a bit. You need to make a decision about smudging quickly though. You only have a few seconds before the liner sets and then it will be much more difficult (although not impossible) to smudge nicely.

MAC’s Permaplum liner scores high points all around. It’s a great color that is flattering but not too daring. For ease of application, portability, lasting power, and economy, it is an excellent choice. It’s easy to throw it on even when you’re half-awake and you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day.