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Stila’s new Holiday Collection 2010 is, in one word, spectacular. For one, the value in the Color Wheel Eye Shadow Palette ($38), is insane. It comes with 37 colors in a case the size of a small dinner plate. Two brushes with four different tips sit on each side of the wheel, and they come in super handy to accomplish one of the 12 looks included in the step-by-step, color-by-number book. Our favorite was the lavender look, that gave us numerous “Omg, where’s your eyeshadow from?” comments on our first night out. Really, the options and color combinations are almost endless. 

Taking up a little less room in our makeup drawers was the Eye for Color Eye Shadow Palette ($18). It’s all the fun of its larger sister, but in about half the size, and a third of the colors. No love is lost, though. It has some seriously beautiful metallic hues, and a great mix of neutrals and vibrant. All colors work wonderfully wet or dry (just like in the larger wheel), and last all night. We didn’t even use an eyeshadow primer, and we got no creasing. Success, right? Right. 

And we can’t leave this post without thanking the Brush Set Essentials ($28). The bristles are super soft (some synthetic, some pony hair), and there’s one for every area of your face. We have taken to using the concealer brush every day (it does an amazing job at blending!), and love the #9 all over blend brush for highlighting our brow bones and the inner corners of our eyes. 

Bottom Line: The value, color options and fun of Stila’s new Holiday Collection 2010 are endless. Don’t pass these up! You won’t regret it. 

If there is a starlet that rocks the winged eyeliner look fabulously again and again and again…and again, it’s Lauren Conrad. It’s her signature, and she does it so well. If you’re anything like us, the winged eyeliner has been attempted several times with many, many failures. Most times, we end up looking like Amy Winehouse, minus the beehive and the pink satin ballet slippers. But it doesn’t have to be that way! 

On several Fall Fashion Week runways, the winged eye was sported (at times completely out-of-this-world exaggerated, but winged, nonetheless). Plus, with the uber popularity of retro TV series Mad Men, this swooped eye look is everywhere. 

The key to achieving this mod, ladylike look is a good liquid liner (like Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner Pen for $22), a steady hand, and keeping the rest of your eye makeup very light (or non-existent). 

For the rest, follow these quick (and we promise, easy) steps:

1. Apply your base/foundation/powder as usual.

2. Curl your lashes and apply mascara, focusing on your top lashes. 

3. Take your liquid liner and create pin-sized dots between your lashes on your lash line, and then connect them (this will help prevent the normal gap between your liner, and your eyelid that usually looks amateur.)

4. Steady your arm, and create a thin line with your liquid eyeliner at the base of your lashes (this should bring the line you already created between your lashes up onto your eyelid.)

5. On the outer half of your eyelid, create a slightly thicker line with your eyeliner, and in one swoop, slightly curve outward as soon as you get to the end of your eyelid. (Try to get it in one go, because once you start building it up, it’s hard to keep it clean.) 

6. Finish your face off with some slight bronzer or blush, and keep your lips neutral. 
This September, celebrated makeup brand Bobbi Brown released its new collection for fall: Black Velvet (cue Allanah Myles’ gritty, throaty rendition of the namesake song replaying in your mind.) 

As per the norm, fall tends to evoke a need for the sultry eye - smokey, smudgy and sexy. Now, we know we mentioned earlier that minimalism is a huge trend in makeup this fall, but like every season, there is a trend for just about everyone. 

The collection consists of metallic, sparkle and matte eye shadows, creamy eyeliners, and bold, powerful lip colors and glosses. 

From the metallic shadows, we tested Black Charcoal, which is an ebony, translucent shadow with a slight, chic glitter. Even more translucent is the sparkle eye shadow (we tried the purple-ish Black Velvet). We think this would be best for topping off your eye, adding a finishing sparkle that catches the light beautifully (note, it’s incredibly light, but can be built upon to create a slightly darker shade.) From the matte shadows, we tried on Black Chocolate, which is silky and pigment rich, so a little goes a very long way (it’s also great wet as an eyeliner.)


From the powerful lip collection, we tested Black Maple - a brownish, plummy hue that is definitely not for the faint of heart. The metallic lip color in Black Garnet and the Black Chocolate gloss would work best for the more conservative lip type. 

Overall, we had a lot of fun smudging and blending and smoking up our eyes. And our favorite part was, because of the translucent characteristics of the shadows, it was our choice how light or how dark we wanted to go. $20 - $24,

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil

Very rarely is there a beauty product that makes us want to jump up and down….well, at least for under $5. NYX’s top-selling (for a reason, mind you) Jumbo Eye Pencil comes in 20 different vibrant, creamy colors for less than a normal combo meal at a fast food joint - $4.19. 

Yes, we said $4.19. The unassuming white pencils have quickly become a phenomenon on and with budget beauty junkies everywhere. 

What we love the most about these fat eye crayons is their versatility. You can use them as an eyeliner and as an eyeshadow. Usually, an eyeshadow can double as an eyeliner, but rarely is it the other way around. 

The creamy, non-creasing consistency blends seamlessly with the warmth of your finger tip to smudge your liner, or create a full eye. Plus, you can buy six different colors for the price of one similar high-end brand pencil.

The only thing NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil left us wanting, was to try their lip pencils. $4.19, 
If there is an eyeshadow shade that is universally pretty on every skin tone and with every hair color, it’s purple. Any variety of it - lavender, plum, violet - is the perfect accent for a feminine dress or night look. Pop stars Demi Lovato and Katy Perry are just a small sampling of the starlets that rock purple hues. Whether you are barely daring enough to supplement a shadow for your eyeliner, or bold enough to don a full lid, you really can’t go wrong with this violet pigment. Check out some of our favorites below.


The Eurydice duo eyeshadow palette from NARS is by far one of our favorite purple shadows. It has just the right amount of intensity, and goes on very evenly. It’s also great when used wet as a liner, and seems more resistant to caking than lower-end shadows. $32,

We loved the versatility of the Kat Von D True Romance eye palette, especially the range of plum to almost lavender hues that makes for the perfect purple smokey eye. But it’s also good for everyday use with the earthy, neutral colors like the brown and gold. $24,

If there is an eyeshadow that has the perfect amount of shimmer, iridescence and pigment, its Dior’s 5-colour in Extase Pinks. With a range in color that can take any chic lady from day to night, the shadows are velvety soft. Though it’s definitely on the pricier side, it lasts and lasts…and lasts (we’ve had a Dior palette for over 5 years now and it’s still going strong.) $58,

Since Illamasqua’s release stateside a little over a year ago, we’ve been a smidge obsessed with their pure pigments and wide range of intense colors. Their powder eye shadow in Fatal is great when worn alone, as a shadow, or paired with shimmery whites and pinks for a dimensional eye. It starts pretty sheer, but can be quickly built up into a deep, vibrant purple. $20,

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