*some items received for review
It’s that time again. Makeup Wars! If you haven’t been keeping up with us, Makeup Wars is a series with over a dozen amazing bloggers on a variety of topics. Today we have decided it show you the items we buy over and over. I’ve chosen to call them Holy Grails since I prefer these to similar products. These are products I consistently purchase and assume I’ll continue to do so for years to come.
So what has Marcia chosen and why?
Mary Kay Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover has been a constant for at least 10 years when I unwittingly ended up at an MK party. Actually I enjoyed the experience especially because I bought my first eye makeup remover there. Now I try to buy two or three at a time. The two items that I find the hardest to remove are gel eyeliner and mascara. No matter how stubborn those two are the Mary Kay works. I shake, squeeze it on my cotton square, hold it to my eye for a few seconds and wipe gently. I rarely need to add more since it’s so effective. Plus it’s not oily so if I’m redoing makeup I only have to pat on a little water and I’m set. The MK leads to the next item…
DHC Silky Cotton squares. I’ve used other brands of pads but this is what I stockpile. Since I hate paying shipping I always buy enough to avoid that charge and I’m set for a year. I like these because they are soft yet sturdy and they never shed fibers. I also buy Shiseido’s version because those are super soft. But DHC stands up to eye makeup remover better. I usually only need one square for both eyes. I also use these for toner and other light liquids. These cost $5.50 for 80 pads and I now see that DermStore carries them.
Another type of cleanser I love having on hand all the time is J.R. Watkins Hand Soap aka Natural Home Care Liquid Hand Soap. This comes in about 5 fragrances and is my favorite item to wash my hands with. I keep these in all my bathrooms. It’s natural earth-friendly formula that is moisturizing without being sticky. It washes off cleanly without a residue. It’s only $4.99 at drugstore.com or Rite Aid and lasts me about 6 weeks. I buy the yummy citrus scents of lemon, orange and grapefruit.
YSL Touché Éclat Another product I buy again and again. I buy this kind of concealer/highlighter from other brands all the time. I probably have half a dozen similar products in my stash. But when it’s all said and done, this is my favorite. It’s not the best concealer but it brightens under my eyes making me feel more alive. I’ve got a few new brands of this type of concealer/highlighter I will be using to review, but they’ll always be compared to YSL TE.
Last in this list is the BeautyBlender sponge aka Beautyblender Makeup Sponge- accept no substitutes. I’ve got this type of sponge from Sonia Kashuk and MAC and they don’t compare. Other brands will tell you that they are as soft but they aren’t. I love my “Pink Egg” and have gone through quite a few. Mine almost always stains but it’s not entered in a beauty pageant – its job is to make my foundation look perfect and it succeeds. They now produce this in black and in white so if you choose those colors just make sure they are genuine. I’m a bouncer ladies but only with my Beautyblender.
Now that you’ve read my 5 choices let me know what you’ve been buying over and over again. Then when you are done do some clicking (bouncing) yourself to see what my fellow warriors have selected. — Marcia
I used a combination of mostly Le Metier and Christina Choi products one day last week and I loved the results. Here’s what I used:
For this face of the day, I used Le Metier de Beaute Classic Finish Foundation in V applied with a Beauty Blender. Next, I smoothed It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer under my eyes and on any dark or red areas. After that, I applied Inglot Cream Blush in 81, followed by It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores loose powder and It Cosmetics Hello Light Powder Illumizer, plus a little bit of Le Metier Sun Kissed Bronzer.
On my eyes, I used Christina Choi Glitz and Glamour which I reviewed HERE. I used Chandelier on the lid, then I used the Glamour cake liner dry on the crease. I followed with Glitz on the crease and down onto the lid. Then I wet the cake liner with Face Atelier Transforming Gel and lined my upper lid. I used Make Up For Ever Kohl Liner in black on my waterline.
I used my Joey Healy Brow Architect Stylo in Molasses for my eyebrows.
Lips were Clarins 01 Bay Rose Lip Definer, Guerlain Levres Lips 02 gloss, and I used my Verge One Spiral Wand on my hair. Wow, sounds like a lot of products, but it didn’t take long to apply and I was totally ready for my day. I loved my combination of favorite go-to products, it’s always great when things turn out even better than you had hoped! – Lisa
*some items received from PR
MAC comes out with new collections all the time but there hasn’t been much lately that’s made me want to go into the store. When I read that they were coming out with their BIG BOUNCE eyeshadows I was really excited since I love cream products. Then the reviews started coming out and they really weren’t favorable. I asked several MAC employees though and they all seemed to like them. The color that was most recommended to me was Trophy so eventually a shoppin’ I did go.
Trophy is a beautiful peach with some gold pearl to it. Big Bounce ($16.50) are in the same containers that MAC Paint Pots come in. The texture is very soft, almost like the texture of sour cream (what an image!). It’s more of a mousse texture. The most important thing to remember with Big Bounce shadows is that LESS IS MORE. If you put too much on these will crease but if you apply a light layer I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with these.
I’ve worn Trophy with and without eyeshadow primer. I prefer using it with a primer and think it lasts a lot longer that way. I’ve also worn it alone with just black eyeliner and also with eyeshadows. Powder eyeshadows blend easily over Big Bounce though I find that when I waited too long before applying eyeshadow that it was a little harder to blend them well. With testing I’ve found that the best brush to get the right amount on has been the MAC 217. Now that I have Trophy and know that it works well I’ll be checking out one of the other 15 shades. Top eye is Trophy alone, generously applied. Bottom eye is Trophy as a light base with Le Metier de Beaute‘ Rose Champagne on the lid and Le Metier de Beaute’ Corinthian in the crease. That turned out to be a stunning combination.
When I was at the MAC store I saw another product that also bounces. It’s called the PRO PERFORMANCE SPONGE and it too had to come home with me.This is MAC’s version of the “Original Beauty Blender Sponge”. It costs $18 and is available at MAC stores and online only, not counters. I’ve written before about the Beauty Blender Sponge and said many times that it’s a Holy Grail item for me. I use mine just about every day. (On the right is a new but creased BB sponge, on the left is a new MAC sponge.)
These two sponges aren’t the same. There are several differences. MAC has a very wide head with a pointy bottom to get into the crevices of your face. Beauty Blender is an egg shape and there’s not the big difference in size from top to bottom. The MAC Pro Performance Sponge is bigger and when it’s wet it doesn’t expand in the same way. Both though work well with foundation and concealer.
Beside the fact that they look different the texture of them is different. What makes me prefer the BB sponge though is the softness of it. The BB is more flexible and smoother. The texture of the MAC sponge reminds me more of the ones I bought from Sonia Kashuk at Target.
I can’t speak to the longevity of the MAC since I’ve only been using it about 2 weeks. I do know that with proper care that the Beauty Blender will last me a full year. Both of them stain for me in the same way so if you are fussy about keeping it pink then you probably should be using throwaways.
I think Bounce is a good name for these products since I bounce around in my feelings for them. Sometimes I like them a lot, sometimes I’m on the fence. I’ve got to say though that I like both of these but I’m not sure that I’ve fallen in love with either one. — Marcia
Since it’s a new month and we’ve been blogging for close to 5 months I’ve decided to list my top ten favorites from the items I’ve blogged about. I apologize to all the items I’m not picking and don’t want any of my posts to feel like Cinderella, but certain items just cry out to be mentioned again. Some are items I’ve only recently discovered, others are ones I’ve used for a long time.
- It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer: I love concealer and have a lot of concealers in my collection. But if I start the day without my Bye Bye Under Eye I really notice a difference. I don’t mind touching up each day and that’s where my other concealers play a part but this one is a must have for me. I’m on my second tube of this since I discovered it.
- It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores powder: When I first starting using this it was late fall, early winter. I really liked the powder a lot but didn’t truly appreciate it until spring and definitely summer. This finely milled powder is what I use almost every day. My pores don’t look as pronounced and it helps give me a polished look.
- Dior Extase mascara: This is the first mascara that has wowed me in a long time. I have only bought it once but plan to buy it again when my huge unused stash gets dwindled down. I’ve mentioned quite a few mascaras on here and I do like them but Dior Extase has stood out. I finally felt like I had a false eyelash look with this. It was sad for me when it started drying out and I no longer had that look.
- Le Metier de Beaute Devotion Kaleidoscope for eyes: This brand has become my favorite brand very quickly and I’m becoming quite devoted to the line. This particular Kaleidoscope is a favorite, not only because of the colors, but because it taught me about the beauty of layering Le Metier’s eyeshadows.
- Beauty Blender Sponge: I love my Beauty Blender sponge. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t use my pretty pink egg in some way. I use it for foundation, concealer, cream blush and for powder. It’s so versatile. I never was athletic but I can sure bounce with this!
- Jane Iredale Perfectly Nude eyeshadow palette : I was instantly impressed by this and continue to be impressed. It’s the palette that I think belongs in every makeup artist’s kit and if it’s good enough for them, then it’s even better for the rest of us. Long lasting, beautifully pigmented shadows that you can do a variety of combinations with.
- Gerda Spillman Bio-Fond Foundation: What a lifesaver this has been in the summer of 2010. Not only are there record high temperatures but I had to spend weeks moving my mother out of her condo into an apartment. I run hot, my mother runs cold. So being in her condo with her ‘version’ of air conditioning I really needed something that lasted. Thank you to Gerda Spillman for coming through this summer.
- Touchback temporary hair color: My hair grows very quickly, especially in the summer, it’s sort of weedlike lately. Touchback has been wonderful to have and to hold (sorry, I get sappy sometimes). I love how easy it is to use and how quickly it covers my gray. It makes me look better on those days before I can get in for fresh color.
- Senna Mineral Mix Foundation: This is the first powder mineral foundation that I’ve liked and continue to use. I stopped using powder minerals when I would see these huge pores after an hour’s wear but this doesn’t happen with Senna’s. It lasts and is perfect for a summer foundation for me.
- Aromafloria’s Double Action Spa Foot Scrub and Intense Repair Spa Butter: I’m enjoying the look and feel of my feet since I was introduced to these. They’ve kept my feet smooth and sandal ready this summer. This sugar scrub is wonderful and easy to use plus it doesn’t grease up the shower floor.
- Beaute’ Luminous Volume Glosses: This is cheating since it was Lisa that blogged about it but I love Beaute’ glosses and have raved about them for years. It’s also cheating because it’s number 11 out of 10! She’s the one that won the draw on who got to review these but I’m still putting in my two cents about this line I am crazy about. Paramour is my most favorite but I love all the ones I own!
If you haven’t read any of these reviews please check them out and see if you can find a favorite among these too. — Marcia
Disclosure: Some items in this post were received for review consideration and will be listed in the original article. See our disclosure statement for more information.
I love my pink egg. I really, really love it. I use the Beauty Blender sponge 9 days out of 10, that’s how much I love it. I believe that good tools really are a help in perfecting the way you look each day and the pink Beauty Blender sponge rocks my world.
I remember when I first heard about it from Kellie, a friend on a beauty board. She posted a picture of it and the price ($20) and we all sort of looked askew. $20 for a sponge?? Why would we spend that kind of money on something we can buy in the drugstore for a whole lot less? Seemed pretty silly to me. I bought one and put it in a cupboard and forgot about it. But my luck changed the instant I received it from another friend on the beauty board. From that point on I’ve continued to buy and cherish this sponge.
There are now a whole world of imitators out there. Stores like Sephora and Ulta copied this, companies like Sonia Kashuk and Trish McEvoy came out with their own versions. But for me the pink egg is the one to own. The others truly don’t compare. I’ve written reviews on http://www.emakemeup.com of the two versions that Target carries for the Sonia Kashuk line, they weren’t glowing like this is. I’ve also previously reviewed this on emakmeup.com in January, 2007 and I love it more now than I did then.
How to use it? One word: BOUNCE!! I lightly dampen my beauty blender (I use Evian but plain water or a liquid like MAC Fix + can also be used). I dot my liquid foundation on my face and then I take my sponge and just bounce it around on my face. That’s all there is to it. It magically blends without any lines or seams. With a cream foundation, I put the sponge into the foundation to pick it up and then bounce it on my face. With a spray-on foundation I spray it onto the back of my hand, pick up the color with the sponge and then BOUNCE. Easy as can be for a seamless look. It works great for cream blushes and for concealer. The pointy end gets in smaller areas like around your nose and eyes.
You can buy this in a variety of packaging. You can buy a single for $19.95, a single with a full size cleanser for $34.95, a double for $25.95 or a double with a full size cleanser for $39.95. Sometimes you can find these one sale for 20% off too. I purchased this without the cleanser. Each sponge has lasted me a year before I’ve decided that it either looks too grungy or it’s not working as well as it used to for me. I don’t use the cleanser they sell but it is fabulous. It really gets the sponge clean but I’m not a fan of the lavender fragrance in it. The Beauty Blender company even has a recycling program that‘s listed on their website (http://www.beautyblender.net).
If you are going to make one new purchase to improve your tool collection, make it the Beauty Blender sponge. You won’t regret it. — Marcia