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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*products and prize provided by Pixi

Makeup Wars starring Senna Cosmetics

Senna Cosmetics Nude Eyes, eyebrows, bronzer and cream foundation

Senna Cosmetics Nude Eyes, eyebrows, bronzer and cream foundation

This week the Makeup Wars bloggers each picked a favorite high end brand to share and maybe even convince you that their brand is the best. I chose Senna and the lovely ladies at Senna Cosmetics were kind enough to share some of the latest items. Lisa and I have reviewed a lot of Senna over the 5 years of our blog for several reasons.

1) We’ve been charmed by Senna for a dozen years. We started using it way before we began blogging. One of our biggest thrills was to meet and talk with Eugenia Weston at IMATS and have her personally recommend items for us.

2) Senna is an indie company owned by Eugenia Weston. She actually creates the products and doesn’t just put her name on something she’s bought.

3) Senna is cruelty free. Plus Senna Cosmetics are reasonably priced compared to so many of the higher end companies.

Senna matte nude eyeshadows

Senna matte nude eyeshadows

I’m going to share some of Senna Cosmetics newest products as well as long time favorites. For spring Senna is all about nude shades with their In the Mood for Nudes collection. The 5 main items in this collection are 4 matte eyeshadows and their Baja Matte Bronzer.

The Nude Matte eyeshadows are available in 4 shades. The difference in 3 of the shades is the undertone of them. All 3 of these are beautiful nudes to wear over your entire eye or in strategic places. What I love best about these is that my favorite under the brow shade was discontinued a few years ago and I’ve never found a replacement until now. It thrills me to have these 3 and these are getting daily use.

Senna Blend matte eyeshadow

Senna Blend matte eyeshadow

Senna Blend matte eyeshadow

Senna Blend matte eyeshadow

BLEND is the most neutral and is considered a neutral skin tone shade.

Senna Moonlight matte eyeshadow

Senna Moonlight matte eyeshadow

Senna Moonlight matte eyeshadow

Senna Moonlight matte eyeshadow

MOONLIGHT is a warm beige, it’s ivory on me with warmer slightly peach undertones.

Senna Essence matte eyeshadow

Senna Essence matte eyeshadow

Senna Essence matte eyeshadow

Senna Essence matte eyeshadow

ESSENCE is a creamy pastel peach.

Senna Nudist matte eyeshadow

Senna Nudist matte eyeshadow

Senna Nudist matte eyeshadow

Senna Nudist matte eyeshadow

NUDIST is a neutral brown that’s great for lids or crease.

Blend, Moonlight, Essence and Nudist

Blend, Moonlight, Essence and Nudist

Using these gives you a beautiful neutral eye or you can add in a darker shade for more definition or glitz. While these are matte eyeshadows they apply like a satin, they don’t look chalky, they just look smooth.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore your eyebrows. If anyone knows eyebrows it’s Senna since Eugenia Weston created one of the first and most famous eyebrow kits, the Form-A-Brow Kit. I have both a Brow Gel and a Brow Shaper Duo in use.

Senna Brow Fix, Brow Shaper Duo and Brow Pro 40

Senna Brow Fix, Brow Shaper Duo and Brow Pro 40

Brow Fix in Golden Brown

Brow Fix in Golden Brown

Senna Brow Fix in Golden Brown

Senna Brow Fix in Golden Brown

SENNA BROW FIX is available in 3 shades (clear, golden brown, taupe) to set your brow shape, color your brows and control them. It has tiny texturizing fibers in it to make your brows look fuller. If you have full enough brows then use this to set them and add a little more color. Or if you are like me, then use them over a pencil or brow powder to lock in the color and shape.

Senna Brow Duo in Brunette

Senna Shaping Brow Duo in Brunette

Senna Brow Shaping Duo in Brunette

Senna Brow Shaping Duo in Brunette

The Brow Shaping Duo also comes in 3 shades (Blonde, Brunette, Ebony) and is my preference. I’ve lost a lot of hair in my brows since my fall and I need the fullness and coverage this provides. The powder side is a micro fiber infused pressed powder and the pomade is a conditioning one. Brunette is a great match for me. My modus operandi is to apply the powder with the Brow Pro 40 brush, then apply the pomade over it. The combination of the two products intensifies the color as well as sets it in place. My brows last the entire day with this.

Senna Slipcover foundation in Buff with Foundation 39 and Multi 24 brushes

Senna Slipcover foundation in Buff with Foundation 39 and Multi 24 brushes

Senna Slipcover in Buff

Senna Slipcover in Buff

I raved before about Senna foundation since Lasting Illusion Foundation in Alabaster is one of my very favorite liquid foundations. Along comes Slipcover Foundation and it’s right up there with the best. Slipcover is a cream to powder foundation that comes in an amazing 18 different shades plus 3 duos if you change shades in different seasons or if you want to do some contouring. This oil free foundation applies like a dream with a foundation brush like Senna’s Foundation 39 or the wonderful Multi 24 brush. It then transforms into a semi-matte powder. So it’s one and done. I don’t need to set with a powder but it doesn’t look like a powder finish. It stays flawless and looks good all day on me. I love that Buff (porcelain) is so light and a color that blends perfectly on my skin.

Senna HD Eye Lift with Deluxe Fluff 600, Concealer 12 and Baby Face 21 brushes

Senna HD Eye Lift with Deluxe Fluff 600, Concealer 12 and Baby Face 21 brushes

Now that we have our eyes done, what about under our eyes? That’s where Senna’s HD Eye Lift comes into play. This used to be called Mineral Eye Lift which I’ve used before down to the pan. It’s been revamped and it’s still as great as ever. Now it contains HD light diffusing mineral pigments that help brighten your under eye area. It’s a subtle lift that helps brighten under eye darkness, set your concealer and it can also highlight any areas of your face. It contains Golden Seaweed to help stimulate collagen repair while you are wearing it. Call me sold.

Senna Baja Bronzer with Airbrush Face 24 and Angle Blush 506

Senna Baja Bronzer with Airbrush Face 24 and Angle Blush 506

Senna Baja Matte Bronzer swatch

Senna Baja Matte Bronzer swatch

Senna’s Baja Matte Bronzer is a sheer bronzer which is especially good for people who are very fair toned. It’s neutral enough that it will look good on most skin tones. I’ve used it half a dozen times and it’s never turned orangey on me. It’s recommended to use a powder brush with it but depending on how much color I want I prefer my Angled Blush brush or my Airbrush Face brush. This contains light-reflecting pigments which are said to diminish the look of imperfections. If I can wear this comfortably than anyone can! I love that there’s no sparkle in it.

I’m sure you can tell why Senna was my choice as soon as Makeup Wars decided on this topic. It’s a wonderful cruelty free, independent line created by a strong woman who is famous for being one of the top makeup artists in the world. I’m proud to share Senna Cosmetics with you. Because this review is so long, I’m continuing it later today to share some more products. — Marcia

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*some products sent for review

5 Limited Edition holiday gifts to put on your list!

Limited Edition Holiday Gifts

Yes, I know.  The holidays are about giving.  But let’s be honest…receiving is pretty nice, too!  This is the time to take full  advantage of the wonderful deals and special sets that are only available for the holiday season.  Here are five limited edition gifts sent to the BIZ that are worthy of your personal holiday wish list.

1.  Pur Minerals 3-pc. Let It Glow Bronzer, Blush, and Brighten Cheek Trio ($24)  Already on my wish list, I was sooo happy when Pur Minerals sent us this set!  It has three mini twist-up makeup sticks: a bronzer in Naughty & Nice, a blush in Sugar & Spice and a highlighter in Glisten & Glow. Together, these three give you everything you need to contour and create a rosy glow.

Pur Minerals Let It Glow Set up close

2.  Meijer Bath Collection Gift Sets #MeijerBeauty:  these super cute sets are fantastic gifts for Secret Santa exchanges or for last minute presents – pick some up to have on hand, and get a few for yourself.  The Winter White Vanilla scent is especially yummy.

Meijer holiday sets

3.  BECCA Holiday Collection One Perfecting Brush in Limited Edition Gold ($49 at Sephora and Ulta)  I have been jonesing for this multi-purpose brush ever since Marcia did her fabulous review of it last year (read it HERE).  Why not get the limited edition gold version?  This beautiful brush works for liquids, creams, powders…whatever you want to throw at it.  Gotta love the fashion/function combo.

Becca Holiday Collection LE One Perfection Brush in Gold

4.  Whish Body Vanilla Spice, Sugar Plum and Vanilla Mint Holiday Sets ($24 at Nordstrom.com)  I have loved the fabulously retro Whish for years, and this holiday set is just too good to pass up.  The three scent choices (Vanilla Spice, Sugar Plum, and Vanilla Mint) are seasonal limited edition, so ask for each set to stock up for the winter months!  Each set has a 3 oz Body Wash, Body Butter and Body Scrub – travel friendly and TSA approved sizes.

Whish Sugar Plum Holiday Set

5.  Soap & Paper Factory Roland Pine Soy Candle & Soap Set ($36)  The fragrance of this full-size pure soy candle and bar of shea butter soap is pure holiday.  The mix of Siberian Fir, pine, and Cedar wood is truly transporting.  It makes a great gift, but believe me you will want this set for yourself.

The Soap and Paper Factory Roland Pine Set

Put these limited edition items on your own Christmas wish list, or do a ‘one for you, one for me’.  You’ve been a good girl all year and now it’s time for some rewards!  – Lisa

*items reviewed sent for editiorial consideration, opinions all mine