Paula’s Choice Blush It On Contour Palette review and swatches

Paula's Choice Blush It On Contour Palette

Paula’s Choice Blush It On Contour Palette

I probably recommend the Paula’s Choice line more than any other, but honestly mostly for skin care. I have had a love/hate relationship with her color cosmetics. Cream Concealer? Not for me. Foundation? None of them are my favorites. Lip gloss? Nothing special.  Some of the color cosmetics are fantastic though – love love love the Bright & Berry Lip Collection, Brow Defining Cream, and Eyeshadow Palette.

I recently placed an order for about 10 of the Gentle Touch Makeup Remover – it’s so good I get anxious when I am down to five bottles! – and at the last-minute decided to add in the Blush It On Contour Palette. This is Limited Edition and costs $36. I was a bit uneasy spending that amount when I haven’t loved Paula’s blushes in the past, but I am happy I took the plunge and I’ll bet you might want to invest after reading my review.

Paula's Choice Blush It On Contour Palette

Paula’s Choice Blush It On Contour Palette:  top row left to right – Pearl, Delicate Coral, Peony; bottom row left to right:  Bronze, Dusty Rose, Soft Mauve

Prior incarnations of blush from Paula didn’t do much for me. They just weren’t pigmented enough and didn’t last on my blush-eating skin. However, this palette is a wonderful improvement from the previous blush formulas. The Blush It On Contour Palette has six shades for highlighting, contouring, and blushing like a school girl. The formula is silky smooth, blends in beautifully, and has a satin matte finish. The colors are long-wearing with minimal fading, and they don’t oxidize throughout the day.

Paula's Choice Blush It On Contour Palette

Paula’s Choice Blush It On Contour Palette left to right:  Pearl, Delicate Coral, Peony

The highlighting shade is Pearl, which swatches pretty dramatic but has a beautiful, glowy effect on that looks very natural. Paula is typically anti-shimmer yet pro-luminescence, and this highlighter definitely delivers. I love it on the tops of my cheekbones for a youthful glow, as well as down the center of my nose with the Bronze shade lightly brushed down the sides to give a ‘thinning out’ effect.

Delicate Coral is a very pretty coral shade that is gorgeous on warm skin tones and deeper skin shades. I love this when I have faux-tanned my skin into the medium range; it looks like summertime and sandy beaches to me.

Peony is a very pretty medium pink without shimmer. It is a perfect everyday shade for work, and it layers nicely for a more dramatic evening look.

Paula's Choice Blush It On Contour Palette

Paula’s Choice Blush It On Contour Palette left to right:  Bronze, Soft Rose, Dusty Mauve

Moving on down to the bottom row, Bronze provides the ‘contour’ in the palette name. This is a soft but versatile contour/bronzer. I like that it’s matte – I think too much sparkle and shimmer ruins some otherwise terrific contour products. I love this just underneath my blush to give my cheekbones more definition and, as I mentioned, it’s awesome paired with Pearl for thinning out the nose.

Soft Rose is a light pink that pale complexions will adore. It’s probably too light for any skin tone darker than medium, but this is a great ballerina pink that is just tad bit peachy.

Dusty Mauve is my favorite of the blush shades. It’s a deeper berry pink that might be a tad too dark for you pale princesses, but is amazing on any shade darker than porcelain. It’s the most dramatic of the shades so go easy with it and build up to the color you want.

Paula's Choice Blush It On Contour Palette

Paula’s Choice Blush It On Contour Palette

Paula's Choice Blush It On Contour Palette

Paula’s Choice Blush It On Contour Palette Pearl and Soft Mauve

If I had my druthers, I would love for Paula to add two more shades to this palette – one more highlighter with less pink tint and more sheen, and one more bronzer in a deeper shade. But that’s really nitpicking.

While none of the colors are dramatic, they all give beautiful, natural washes of color that last all day. This is a great workhorse palette that you will find yourself reaching for time and time again. If you haven’t ordered from Paula’s Choice before, I have a code for $10 off your first order, just click HERE.  If you are looking for a great new blush palette I highly recommend this one – get it before it’s gone.  – Lisa

*purchased by me

Color me GUILTY – of tanning, glowing, and sparkling!

My self tanner addiction...

My self tanner addiction…

 

Well. Now I feel a little ashamed…I mean, this amount of completely unneccessary products is basically obscene. Guess my self tanner/bronzer/shimmer addiction is now officially out of the closet!

*PR samples/purchase by me/affiliate links

I honestly had no idea how many of these types of products I had going until I gathered them all for their family pictures. These are the ones I have open…I decided to leave the second cousins (those awaiting to be christened) for another time. I think I am addicted to self tanners because they hide uneven skin tone and give the illusion of looking slightly thinner. Here are all (well, most…I found some more after the pics were done!) the self tanners I have open right now:

Self tanning lotions

Self tanning lotions

Self tanning mousse

Self tanning mousse

Self tanning sprays

Self tanning sprays

I have three different types:  lotions, sprays, and foam/mousse. I use the lotions in the winter when my skin is at its driest. The foam/mousse are great when I am in a hurry because they need a little less work to get them applied correctly. I use the sprays mainly in the summer. I have a thing about not putting on any heavy body products when it’s hot out – it makes me feel funny. Anyone else weird like that??  I especially love Xen-Tan and Vita Liberata (the latter isn’t pictured because it was shy and said no photos today, please).

My addiction doesn’t stop at self tanners…I am also addicted to body bronzers. I have sprays, lotions, mousse…I love them all.

Body bronzers

Body bronzers

No one does shimmery bronzed skin like Scott Barnes and I adore Guerlain and Red Carpet Kolour (RCK).

Also addicted to spray on shimmering bronzers…if it has a coconut scent, I can’t do without it!!

Spray on shimmer and sparkle

Spray on shimmer and sparkle

I am sad that tarte doesn’t have the Celebutant Dry Oil Spray anymore. I highly recommend the Lucy B Frangipani Bronzing Oil Spray and the Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Spray. Hampton Sun makes amazing shimmer sprays too.

Oh, and how could I forget — every day I put two drops of this Paula’s Choice Sun 365 Self-Tanning Concentrate in my moisturizer to keep a consistent color. It’s subtle but awesome.

Paula's Choice Sun 365 Self-Tanning Concentrate

Paula’s Choice Sun 365 Self-Tanning Concentrate

So there you have it. I have no more secrets. And if you really want to know why I need so much self tanner, just take a look at the classic blogger tan lines (courtesy of Tan Towels)!  – Lisa

tan-lines-and-tan-towels

*some products PR samples, some purchased by me.  Affiliate links.

Fun and affordable summer color from Hard Candy!

Summer means fun, bright, shimmery color…and Hard Candy has all that at the best prices you can find! You really can’t go wrong with such affordable cosmetics. This is the line for going out of your comfort zone and trying some things you normally wouldn’t reach for at the store.

Hard Candy sent us some items to try and these are the ones that put me right into a party mood.

Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Tropics

Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Tropics

SO BAKED BRONZER in Tropic is a huge shimmery golden baked bronzer. This works great as a highlighter, creating a perfect ‘gleam’ especially for darker skin tones. So Baked Bronzer is very long-lasting and it’s such a big pan that this $9 bronzer will probably last for years! Every summer party needs some golden shimmer and this is the perfect answer.

Hard Candy Mod Quad in Smoke and Mirrors

Hard Candy Mod Quad in Smoke and Mirrors

I still can’t get over the fact that the MOD QUAD EYE SHADOW PALETTE is just $4.50.  I mean seriously.  It comes in several shade options but the one for summer fun is Smoke & Mirrors. Again, $4.50 for a beautiful smoky eye?? And look at the kicky snake-skin packaging! Use these shadows wet for some extra drama.

Hard Candy Poppin Pigments in Land and Sea, King Me

Hard Candy Poppin Pigments in Land and Sea, King Me

POPPIN PIGMENTS are beautiful. Glitter typically scares me, but these are so gorgeous I was thrilled to make them mine. Land and Sea is a combo of shimmery silver and ocean blue; King Me is a purple-pink and a blackened silver.

I am a little too old to wear these as eyeshadows, although those who can get away with glitter will love these. The glitter isn’t too chunky or too dusty. While I am not a fan of these as eyeshadows, I love them mixed with body lotion! They give a pretty, unusual shimmer to any lotion that is lots of fun especially if you are going out to a club to dance. These run $4 for a set of two jars of pigments.

LASHAHOLIC MASCARA creates big, thick lashes although if you put this on bottom lashes, it tends to smudge. Stick with the top lashes and for $5 this is a great mascara. I especially love the small sizes for trying different formulas if you can find them.

Hard Candy is wonderfully affordable and they have some truly excellent options that are lots of fun. Next time you are at Walmart pick up a few new goodies and ramp up the fun!  – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

How to get Delectable this summer!

Delectable Sweet Cream Daily Dry Oil

Delectable Sweet Cream Daily Dry Oil

Indulgent, sassy, and affordable…those are the words that come to mind when I think of Delectable by Cake Beauty. Their body products smell amazing and I can find them so easily at Kohl’s and Target. They have two FANTASTIC newly launched summer products: Daily Dry Oil ($18) and Bronzing Body Lotion ($18).

Delectable Sweet Cream Daily Dry Oil

I am a huge advocate of body oil to begin with and Delectable Daily Dry Oil is terrific. The oil has great ingredients including argan, safflower, and grape seed oils. They leave skin hydrated without wetness or stickiness. It also absorbs immediately and gives a soft sheen to skin. I prefer spraying this onto my palms then smoothing on my legs, arms, etc., but you can certainly spray it on directly. I love the softly delicious Sweet Cream scent. It’s not too foody and it plays well with all my usual summer scents. You will want to pick this up the next time you are at Kohl’s or Target.

Delectable Bronzing Body Lotion

Delectable Bronzing Body Lotion

Delectable Bronzing Body Lotion

The other huge winner in my book is the Bronzing Body Lotion. This comes in the same pretty Sweet Cream scent.  There are so many reasons to love this bronzing lotion!

1.  I can’t seem to mess up the application no matter how hard I try. It always go on evenly and looks fabulous.

2.  It never stains my clothes.

3.  It has fantastic, skin-loving ingredients like argan oil.

4.  One application and my skin looks glowy and perfect. My legs have been described as ‘dead fish white’. Of course, the person who said that was properly maimed afterward. It may be true, but geez…it didn’t need to be  pointed out. He won’t make that mistake again!

5.  It makes my arms and legs look thin. That’s worth the price alone!!

before and after...guess which leg is sans Bronzing Body Lotion??

before and after…guess which leg is sans Bronzing Body Lotion??

This pic shows one thin application on my right leg. For deeper color, just apply more coats. It’s wonderful.

There are some products I absolutely love for summer that I refuse to be without and these two are on that list.  You have to check them out!  – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

Dry Oil Ingredients: Glycine Soja ( Soybean) Oil Cyclopentasiloxane Dimethicone Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernal Oil Vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil Parfum/Fragrance

Bronzing Body Lotion Ingredients: Water/Aqua Glycerin Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides Stearic Acid Triethanolamine Isopropyl Myristate Cetyl Alcohol Glyceryl Stearate Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii) Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernal Oil Rosa Rubiginosa (Rosehip) Oil Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Extract Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract Fragrance Cetearyl Alcohol Dehydroacetic Acid Sodium Benzoate Potassium Sorbate Trihydroxystearin Xanthan Gum Dicetyl Phosphate Ceteth-10 Phosphate Tocopherol May Contain (+/-) Mica Iron Oxide Iron Oxide Iron Oxide Titanium Dioxide

Instant gratification: Fake Bake Bronze on the Glow

Fake Bake Bronze on the GlowNot in the mood for a long-term relationship with a self tanner? Your dream date may just be Fake Bake Bronze on the Glow ($19).

all the goodies in the Fake Bake Bronze on the Glow kit

all the goodies in the Fake Bake Bronze on the Glow kit

Fake Bake sent me Bronze on the Glow to test and I am definitely happy with this instant gratification for both body and face. It has everything I need to get glowy right now:  bronzer, application mitt, gloves, and detailed instructions.

Fake Bake Bronze on the Glow - see the golden shimmer?

Fake Bake Bronze on the Glow – see the golden shimmer?

The bronzer has no self tanner in it. It sprays on and stays on until you wash it off. The spray can has a 360 degree nozzle which makes it easy to apply and the bronzer comes out in a continuous spray.

Fake Bake Bronze on the Glow before and after

I find the best place to stand while applying is in the shower so any side spray is easily washed down the drain. I use a hair shammy for my hair and then spray. There is very subtle golden shimmer that makes everything look glowy. The spray has a quick dry down so I don’t find any issues with streaks. I don’t think I have ever come across a better spray bronzer as beautiful for the face as it is for the body.

Fake Bake Bronze on the Glow is a great instant tan and definitely spruces up an existing faux or real tan. If you want some glow without a long-term commitment, this is an excellent choice!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Self tanning bronzing powder! Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals

Vita Liberata Trystal MineralsI can’t even begin to guess how many self tanners I have tried, not to mention how many bronzers. I thought I had pretty much tried it all…and then Vita Liberata sent their Trystal Minerals ($45) to test. I assumed it was a mineral bronzer, and I was right…but it’s also a self tanner. That threw me for a loop! Yes, Trystal Minerals is the world’s first self tanning bronzing mineral powder.  Pretty cool!

Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals
Trystal Minerals is a bronzing mineral powder that interacts with moisturizer or liquid foundation, turning into a faux tan. How does it do it? With  crystal technology – this makes it so the DHA in the dry crystals activates when it comes into contact with skin. The crystals also reflect light, so skin looks smooth and glowy.

I find that it really works best as a self-tanner over moisturizer. Over foundation I get more of just the bronzing effect, I think because the more moist skin is, the more the self-tanning part manifests.Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals swatched

 

The bronzing powder comes with a fabulous silky kabuki brush.Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals and brush

Just blend the bronzing powder in all over face, neck, and decolletage for an instant tan, concentrating more on the cheeks for the bronzing effect. The more mineral powder you apply, the deeper the tan. The tan lasts about five days, and reapplication keeps it going as long as you want. I find the color to be a little on the red side and it definitely deepens skin color by several shades. Also, it’s best to apply it in small amounts. Going too heavy can result in ‘dirty’ looking areas. Easy to correct with a little more powder, but even easier to just avoid the problem with small amounts of powder worked into the kabuki then buffed on.

Here I am with just moisturizer on my face:

Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals before

And here I am right after applying Trystal Minerals with the kabuki brush:

Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals after

Who needs foundation??

I love this product. It is super easy to apply and gives great results. I recently traveled by plane and liquids were such a hassle, so I totally appreciate the powder format. Plus, powder really doesn’t go bad and Trystal Minerals comes in a large enough jar to last for at least a year.

Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals can be found in the US at Sephora stores. It’s a terrific, innovative product that is definitely worth trying!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Pixi Beauty brings beauty with their Palette Bronzette (giveaway time)

Pixi Beauty Palette Bronzette

Pixi Beauty Palette Bronzette

There was excitement at my house when Pixi sent this Palette Bronzette Face Palette. As pretty as it is in this picture, it’s better in person. This is a limited edition ($28) that Pixi says will “Bring out your inner glow & add a summery sheen to your favourite features with this must-have palette!”. How right they are. Everything you need for a summer face is packaged together in one well priced palette.

There are twelve eyeshadows divided into four sections: eyeliner shades, crease shades, eyelid shades and highlighter shades. The combinations are untold.

Pixi Palette Bronzette Eyeliner Shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Eyeliner Shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Eyeliner Shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Eyeliner Shades

The Eyeliner shades are taupe, dark brown and charcoal. I’ve used these as crease shades even though they are labeled eyeliner shades.

Pixi Palette Bronzette Crease Shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Crease Shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Crease Shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Crease Shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Crease Shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Crease Shades

The Crease shades are my favorites in this palette. They aren’t really too dark so they look just as good on the lid for me as they do in the crease. These are all satiny with a touch of shimmer within.

Pixi Palette Bronzette Eyelid Hues

Pixi Palette Bronzette Eyelid Hues

Pixi Palette Bronzette Eyelid Hues

Pixi Palette Bronzette Eyelid Hues

Pixi Palette Bronzette Eyelid Hues

Pixi Palette Bronzette Eyelid Hues

The Eyelid shadows are definitely on the light side, a sponge tip applicator picks up more tint than a brush does so that probably wasn’t a good choice for me to use. The peach shade is the most vibrant and is a little too warm for my cool complexion but the other two work great for me.

Pixi Palette Bronzette Highlight shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Highlight shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Highlight shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Highlight shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Highlight shades

Pixi Palette Bronzette Highlight shades

I love the Highlight shades and I’m so happy that they are included in this palette. To have three of these makes it even more exciting. Each one gives a hint of color while highlighting to match your shadow selections.

There’s more to this palette than eyes though. There’s also a beautiful blush, a highlighter, and a bronzer. See what I mean about it being everything you need?

Pixi Palette Bronzette Bronzer

Pixi Palette Bronzette Bronzer

Pixi Palette Bronzette Bronzer

Pixi Palette Bronzette Bronzer

A warm matte bronzer that’s easy to wear. No glitter, no shimmer, glides on, lasts well. It’s a universal shade.

Pixi Palette Bronzette Highlighter/Contour

Pixi Palette Bronzette Highlighter/Contour

Pixi Palette Bronzette Highlighter/Contour

Pixi Palette Bronzette Highlighter/Contour

This Highlighter/Contour shade is lightly shimmered but not the kind of shimmer that looks inappropriate. Everyone is talking about contouring nowadays and in this palette you have that with both a bronzer and this shade. I like to take a big fluffy brush and highlight with this. It makes me feel a little glamorous.

Pixi Palette Bronzette Cheek Glow

Pixi Palette Bronzette Cheek Glow

Pixi Palette Bronzette Cheek Glow

Pixi Palette Bronzette Cheek Glow

This beautiful Cheek Glow aka blush is a flattering warm pink and the perfect complement to this palette.

I’m still not done. Pixi Beauty also sent LipLift Ice which is a lip plumper ($14) that I’m sure I’m addicted to. In the package this is a light pink as the name, Petal Ice, would infer. But once on your lips it’s transparent.

Pixi Beauty LipLift Ice

Pixi Beauty LipLift Ice

Pixi Beauty LipLift Ice

Pixi Beauty LipLift Ice

This is a “peptide-infused lip plumper that nourishes as it enhances”. This minty gloss definitely tingles so be aware of that. I can see my lips looking fuller after I apply it. I often wear this alone because I love it that much but it’s fabulous over any lipstick you choose. It gives you shine and plumping without changing the color of your lip product. It not only contains peptides that hydrate and plum but there’s aloe for healing, jojoba for moisturizing and chamomile for soothing.PIXI BRONZE PALETTE open
Pixi Beauty has kindly offered a giveaway of these two items in honor of our blog anniversary. One US subscriber will win Palette Bronzette and LipLift Ice. Our giveaway ends on April 17, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. If the comments close towards the end the solution is to email me at beautyinfozone@gmail.com with your comment. After you’ve done that you can click “I commented” and enter more with the other options. Remember that we verify the winning entry. Don’t miss out on this palette. It’s one you’ll enjoy no matter the weather. It’s the perfect palette to take on a trip too. — Marcia

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*products and prize provided by Pixi