Makeup Wars wants to know what your favorite mascara is

Makeup Wars Favortie Mascara 1 Makeup Wars Favortie Mascara Last Makeup Wars Favortie Mascara Next
If only all wars were like Makeup Wars! Life would be so civilized. The bloggers involved in this series of Makeup War articles are as excited to see and buy each others choices as they are to pick and share their own.
This week’s version is our favorite mascara. You’ve got to know that for me, and most likely my comrades in this, that means “of the moment”. Fickle is my middle name. I have a mascara that I love but that doesn’t mean I can’t love more than one (or two or three or ten).  I finally narrowed my favorites down to Armani Eyes To Kill and IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes. I was so excited to have an easy war to take part in. Two fabulous mascaras that I love wearing.

Armani Eyes to Kill

Armani Eyes to Kill Wand

It Cosmetics Hello Lashes (

It Cosmetics Hello Lashes wand

But ….. Cue the music….. Along comes Mary. And as a woman’s prerogative the situation changes. Mary aka Dior Iconic Mascara is now on my lashes and I like it, I really like it. But do I like it enough to win this challenge?

Dior Iconic (from

Dior Iconic wand

Dior Iconic is the newest addition to their line of mascaras. Just about everyone knows of DiorShow since that’s their most famous. One of my favorites is Dior Extase but I don’t have one at the moment so it didn’t make the cut. Iconic gives me lashes that stay curled all day long. I don’t find a lot of volume from it but I do find I get definition and curl. Plus I can layer it and it never smudges or flakes. I put a few coats on in the morning and then if I’m going out at night, I comb through my lashes and add a few more coats for some va-va voom.

Wearing Dior Iconic Mascara

Here’s what Dior has to say about this brush: “the Iconic brush features soft silicone bristles that spiral around the stem to lift, curl, and separate every lash.” The brush is plastic and comb like. The formula makes this mascara very long lasting.

the winner

So here’s the dilemma after all – do I go for definition with Armani Eyes to Kill or do I go for volume and definition with It Cosmetics Hello Lashes or do I go for curl and definition with Dior Iconic? Which would you pick? Would you pick It Cosmetics Hello Lashes like I’m picking? When I look at current pictures of my eyes and put on my memory cap I realize that the most striking lashes are It Cosmetics Hello Lashes. — Marcia

Come see what my fellow warriors are wearing – either click through with “previous” or “next” or click on their icons. Which is your favorite?


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Dior Golden Light polish – get ready to pounce

image of Dior Golden Light from

The theme that Dior has chosen for Fall 2012 is Golden Jungle. The pieces are beautiful and I crave them all but I’m trying to be judicious in choosing. The predominant colors are gold, brown and khaki and there are also shades like nude, ivory, bronze, and copper in the collection.

The first piece I just had to get was the nail polish in Golden Light aka Or Lumière aka Golden Era (I’ve seen all three names!). I’ve been craving a Dior polish ($23) for a long time but I always seem to get to the counters just a little too late. Therefore I pounced on this one the minute I saw it.

It’s hard to imagine a gold polish that would be office appropriate but this defies gold as a description. It’s a very subtle gold with gorgeous sparkle. The base of it is light, almost a champagne, so you won’t find a true metallic tone like many golds. The polish went on beautifully but sheerly. I needed three coats to get good coverage. When I look at my nails I see more than just gold. You have to look carefully but you can see small flecks of copper and red in it too.

Since this was my first Dior polish getting used to the brush was a bit of a challenge. I knew it had a rounded edge to it but the brush often became almost triangular when applying. The trick was getting just the right amount of polish on it and how you take it out of the bottle. The finished product is beautiful though so it was worth the extra effort to learn how to use the brush and using an extra coat.

The best pictures and descriptions come from The Beauty Look Book’s post on this amazing shade (her review calls it Golden Era but it’s the same polish). I can’t top her but I can enjoy wearing the polish and getting a ton of compliments on it. If only life in the jungle were really this beautiful. — Marcia

p.s. According to Temptalia this polish could also be called Golden Era so if you can’t find Golden Light try that name instead. The number is 207 for all three names.

Mystery Make Up Bag: What’s inside Lisa’s bag?

I must admit, my makeup bag never stays the same.  I always have waaaay too much stuff in it, and I am constantly changing things out and rotating colors.  Here’s my latest bag, and it’s filled with most of the ‘regulars’ as well as a few ‘guest stars’ for the week.

Lisa's Mystery Make Up Bag

I love my make up bag, I think it’s so pretty with that sweet flower.  This was a special from Sephora, although I got this one as a gift from an amazing friend.  And you would not believe how much stuff I can cram in there:

I never realized how much I had jammed in there until I put it all together for the family photo!!

I always have some primers, loose powder, and concealer with me.  Here I have my favorite primer, Reviva Makeup Primer.  It’s perfect under any type of foundation.  I also have Eye Rescue, an eyelid primer from Make Me SmoothMMS quit carrying this a few years ago, but I totally stocked up before that happened.  It’s the best eyelid primer there is.  I also have a pot of concealer by Cinema Secrets for quick touch ups, and a little jar of Make Up For Ever HD Finishing Powder.

I always carry these two foundations with me, because both last forever and conceal any flaw without looking fake.  On the left is my trusty Dan Read Silver Screen Series Foundation, the best cream foundation ever.  On the right is a can of ERA everyday foundation by Classified Cosmetics.  This is a spray on foundation, remember how Carmindy used to use this on What Not to Wear?  It’s fantastic, quick, and easy.

For blush, I have my trusty Paula Dorf applicator which smooths out both foundation and blush.  I also have two Origins Pinch Your Cheeks liquid blushes, one in Raspberry and one in Coralberry.  These are flipping amazing – the best natural color that just doesn’t fade.  I also have a Suqqu powder blush in 02, which is a super pretty peachy/pink (I think was a gift from Lydia!).

Lately I have been using Dior Extase mascara, although this tube is just about ready for the trash.  I also always have one pencil liner and one brow liner with me.  In this bag, I have Make Up For Ever’s Gypsy Aqua Eyes pencil, the perfect matte brown, and a new addition to my bag, Senna’s Sketch-A-Brow.

I always have two eyeshadow palettes with me, one with cool colors and one with warm.  In this bag I have Kevyn Aucoin’s Palette #2, which never lets me down for an amazing cool eye look.  The black eyeshadow works as a great black eyeliner, and as you can see this is one palette where the applicators are actually fabulous and get a lot of use from me.  Next to it is a Shu Uemura Holiday Palette in Dignified Grace, with a gorgeous selection of warm colors plus a pretty peach blush.

And finally, my lip products.  These probably get the most rotation, I grab different lippies almost every day.  Here I have Armani Lipstick Mania 14, a sweet peachy-pink, then Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball in Goodbye, a deep shimmery mauve, and then Armani Shine/Brilliant 13, a sheer medium pink.  My lip gloss is Le Metier Sweet Cream, which makes every color look even better.

Whew, that’s it!  I hope you enjoyed this quick peek into my make up bag – well, this week’s version anyway!  – Lisa

Lisa’s Top Picks of 2011 Part One

I believe it is important to celebrate and give thanks for everything that brings joy to my life.  2011 was a great year, so many things to celebrate!  Not only did Marcia and I get a beautiful new look for our website in 2011, I also discovered many beauty products that I truly love.  I already wrote about the top five cosmetics lines that were brand new for me in 2011 here.

Illuminare Beyond Black Everlasting Eyeliner

In this post, I am detailing my favorite color items for the year, as well as recognizing some of my favorite people.  I tried to be a good girl like Marcia and do a ‘top ten’…or even a ‘top eleven’ for 2011.  But I just wasn’t able to pare it down that far.  “Restraint” has rarely been a word used to describe me, in fact my reputation is a little more along the lines of ‘excess’.  So this is a long post, with lots of pictures…and tons of great recommendations.  (Geez, it was so long I had to break it into two different posts. There’s just so much to celebrate!)  My next post on Saturday will list my favorite skin care, body care, and miscellaneous items.

Here goes, let’s start with my favorite color products of 2011.

Favorite foundation:

My favorite foundation discovery of 2011 is the Dan Read Cosmetics Silver Screen Shimmer Foundation, and my favorite foundation of all time is the matte version.

dan read foundation

Dan Read Cosmetics FOD

To put it simply, nothing else makes my skin look as good.

Favorite blush:

My most favorite blushes of 2011 are the It Cosmetics Vitality Cheek Flush Powder Blush Stains.  The colors are gorgeous and have more pigment than I have EVER encountered, even blowing Nars blush out of the water.

Favorite loose powder:

Once again, It Cosmetics stole my heart with their Bye Bye Pores loose powder.  It’s the very first jar of loose powder I have actually finished!

Favorite concealer:

Wow, I guess 2011 was an It Cosmetics year for me.  The Bye Bye Undereye Concealer continued to be a fabulous choice for covering those pesky blue shades under my very tired eyes.

And I also found that the Full Cover Concealer by Make Up For Ever was perfect for me.  Great coverage, easy to apply, and no mineral oil to dry out the delicate under eye area.

Favorite eyeshadows:

My most favorite Dan Read Cosmetics eyeshadow – Cameo

I love many things from the Dan Read Cosmetics line, and this year I really got into their eyeshadows.  These are real finds – bigger pans than MAC, with terrific pigmentation, texture, and colors.

Ellis Faas eyes

I also loved my Ellis Faas eyeshadows.  The different textures are so much fun to play with, and the colors are amazing.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Eyeshadow eyes

The new Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Eyeshadows impressed the heck out me – finally, cream eyeshadows that don’t fade or crease on my oily eyelids!!

Vasanti eyes

My favorite loose pigment eyeshadow was by far the Vasanti Shimmer Powder, pictured above in Moon Dust.  Isn’t it a gorgeous color??  I never even put the jar away, it’s always front and center on my vanity because I use it so often.

Inglot eyeshadow look

I can’t neglect to mention Inglot eyeshadows.  Super affordable, amazing array of colors, fabulous pigmentation…what more could a girl ask for, except for maybe even more Inglot eyeshadows for my stash???

Favorite eyeshadow palettes

I definitely found some fantastic eyeshadow palettes this past year, but the one I reach for most is my Kryolan Variety 3 Compact Eyeshadow Palette.  It has everything I need to create a perfect neutral eye look.

Favorite eye liners:

Liquid eyeliners can be tricky, but this past year I discovered Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners and now I use them all the time.  The sturdy brush makes them so easy to apply, and the color is extremely rich and complex.  I love #6 (iridescent navy blue) the most.

My favorite pencils liners are the Tarte emphasEYES aqua gel eyeliner pencils.  They need no sharpening, and they have wonderful color and staying power, even on the waterline.

My favorite cake eyeliner was by far the Face Stockholm Cake Eyeliner in Navy.

Eyes with Face Stockholm Navy Cake Eyeliner

Cake eyeliner is fantastic for tightlining, and the Face Stockholm Navy is a true navy blue that works equally well on the waterline.

Favorite mascara:

I tried lots of great mascaras last year, but the winner was Dior Extase.

Dior Extase Mascara applied

It makes my lashes super long, super thick, and doesn’t smudge.  Plus you gotta love a mascara wand that looks like a medieval torture device.

Favorite lips:

Kryolan Sunrise lip gloss swatch

My favorite lip gloss was the Kryolan High Gloss Brilliant Lip Shine in Sunrise.  It’s just the perfect color for me, and I love the texture and feel of it.

Favorite Brows:

Youngblood Cosmetics Brow Artiste has everything I need for beautifully groomed brows in just seconds.

Youngblood Cosmetics Brow Artiste

I love this set.

Favorite Brush:

My favorite brush this past year was Cargo’s Magic Brush.

Cargo Magic Brush

I felt just like Goldilocks when I realized this brush was not too big, and not too small, but JUST RIGHT.  If I had to choose just one brush, this would be it.

Favorite makeup artist:

It was such a treat to meet Ulrike Bege at the Kryolan City Store in Chicago, and even more of a treat to get a mini-makeover and color advice from her.

She knows her stuff and is just the nicest, sweetest person ever.

Favorite web designer:

As I am sure you have noticed, Beauty Info Zone has a gorgeous new look.  It’s totally thanks to the amazing custom blog design by Cynthia, owner of NW Designs.  Marcia and I saw Cynthia’s designs when we were in Chicago and knew immediately she was the one for us.

She designed our new logo, redid our blog, vastly improved our Facebook and Twitter pages, and put up with a million questions and our general helplessness regarding computer matters.  If you are looking for a website design or redesign, or need a logo or business cards, trust me you want Cynthia!!!

Favorite writing partner:

Why, Marcia of course!  I wish I had the words to really describe Marcia and give you the full picture of just how amazing she is.  Whatever I write seems to fall short, but I am going to give it a shot anyway.

Marcia has the biggest heart of anyone I know.  She always thinks of everyone else, her kindness and thoughtfulness is pretty amazing.  She quietly and bravely suffered through me driving in Chicago, even when I stopped dead in the middle of a five-way intersection and yelled, ‘What the &*%#@!!!!”  She is extremely patient with me and my bazillion activities that leave me way overextended.  She has the best sense of humor, just about every day she says something that has me doubled over with laughter.  Marcia truly defines the word ‘friend’.  Thank you Marcia for yet another year of fabulous fun, I love being your blogging partner and I love you dearly!!!   – Lisa

Look Good, Feel Good with Christian Dior

Here’s some information from Dior cosmetics that the BIZ thought you might like to know about. Once we learned that 100% of the proceeds from the following auction would be used to help cancer patients, we knew we had to share. The BIZ is not affiliated with Dior, we are just impressed with this.

This month, Dior will host the 4th Annual Dior Online Auction to benefit Look Good Feel Better, an organization dedicated to helping women cope with  the appearance-related effects of cancer. The Dior Auction is an online charity auction offering the opportunity to bid on elite experiences and luxury items available exclusively through Dior and select partners.  100% of the proceeds benefit Look Good…Feel Better, an organization dedicated to helping women deal with the appearance related effects of cancer and its treatment.

Beginning October 17th through October 31st, Dior fans can go to to bid on items in three categories: Luxe Trips, Elite Experiences and Lavish Products as well as a “Shop Now” section, where customers can purchase items like a Christian Dior book or an engraved Dior Blue Tie palette, all available exclusively through Dior and select partners.

Auction items include:

Luxe Trips:
  ·  PARIS to tour the Dior Atelier, Perfumery Lab and a day trip to
  ·  NEW YORK to attend the NYC Ballet and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  ·  LOS ANGELES to attend the MTV Video Music Awards.
  ·  ST. MAARTEN to visit the Dior Institute.

Elite Experiences:
  ·  DIOR BEAUTY one month internship at LVMH headquarters in New York.
  ·  AN INTIMATE LUNCH with Pamela Baxter, Dior’s CEO.
  ·  BEHIND THE SCENES with Marie Claire magazine.
  ·  SHOPPING SPREE with Lucky magazine.

Lavish Products:
  ·  LADY DIOR Handbag with limited edition Lady Dior makeup palette.
  ·  CHRISTIAN DIOR Christal diamond watch.
  ·  PARTICULAR FRAGRANCE NO. 9 signed by Dior Perfumer-Creator Francois Demachy.
  ·  DIOR FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS by Bil Donovan, Dior’s

100% of auction proceeds will go to Look Good Feel Better. In 2010, the
auction raised over $50,000 for the charity and Dior expects the 2011
auction to top last year’s impressive results.

Minis with a major impact

I love getting gift with purchase mascaras especially when it’s a new mascara on the market or one I’ve never tried before. For the most part I find that the mascaras are identical to the full size ones. I also find that they usually last at least a month and sometimes longer. I’ve even bought this size on ebay if I’ve found a mascara I like a lot.

I know that mascara is one of those items that’s different for all people. What I may love you may hate but I might be able to help you a little with my experiences. Here’s some impressions of gwp sizes that I’ve recently tried.

First up is Lancome Hypnose Drama. I was excited with this the first few times I used this. Then I realized that even though the initial look was terrific I was soon dealing with smudges and flaking. As you can see by the brush the bristles are different sizes which probably is what helps the mascara give both volume and length. The wand is an S shape which helps grab all your lashes. It does give a dramatic look so the name is appropriate but the inconsistency of the mascara makes me not want to purchase a full size one.  From Lancome: “Lancome’s luxurious new texturizing complex features highly saturated waxes and intense black pigments for maximum lash volume.” The full size retails for $25 but won’t be in my shopping cart.

An old stand-by for me is Estee Lauder MagnaScopic. I don’t often use EL products but I really like this particular mascara. Even when my lashes were shorter it came through for me. I never have smudging with this mascara. With shorter lashes I noticed that it was mostly definition that I saw but it held the curl well too. With lusher lashes I notice more volume which is what it’s advertised to be (maximum volume mascara).  The brush on MagnaScopic is a full traditional one like the ones I used for years. This costs $21 and I have bought it in full size in the past as well as used many gwp ones. It’s not necessarily an exciting mascara but it comes through in a pinch and that’s why I like it.

Another Estee Lauder one I’ve tried is More than Mascara and that was a thumbs down for me. I don’t have it to compare now but when I got this sample it smudged terribly on me, didn’t enhance my lashes and ended up getting tossed within days. (Also $21.)

Chanel Inimitable is a mascara that I’ve had a love/hate relationship with. The first time I bought it I hated it. I let it “age” for about a month and found that I liked it so much better after that. It became a staple for me but I needed to always make it age. With the gwp version I didn’t have to let it age but I did find that the tubes didn’t last a long time before I felt it was too dry to continue using. My results with Inimitable are mostly length and great definition without any smudging at all. Not everyone is crazy about a plastic brush like this but Inimitable has inimitably worked great for me. At $30 for the full size I’m happy that I have a few minis in my collection.

Stila GlamourEyes is the newest one I tried ($22 for full size). I received it in a Birchbox and was quite eager to try it out. At first it was a total bust. I put it on and it looked great but within a very short time the curl was totally gone and there was nothing special about the mascara anymore. I decided it was aging time and let it sit for about a week. I tried again and it was a no go. I didn’t have smudging but I had wilting. Now though I’m using it successfully since it needed time to cure (just like a fine wine). Stila states that “a single stroke instantly lengthens, volumizes and curls for long, luscious lashes.” I can’t say this curls my lashes since I already said it wilted them but it does do a nice job of lengthening and volumizing plus I’m not finding I have raccoon eyes with this. The sample size I received was quite fresh so it’s lasting me a long time without drying out. I like the full brush and would consider purchasing this.

Last but not least is Dior Extase which I’ve reviewed previously. This is one of my very favorite mascaras and the smaller size one doesn’t disappoint me at all. Even the mini has the same “tiered” brush that makes the mascara special to me. Extase has fibers in it that help with volume and length. A full size is $28 so when a nice MA gave me a mini when I was shopping I was thrilled. Extase does it all for me: length, volume, curl and no smudging or flaking.

Even though these gwp sizes didn’t necessarily cost me money, they can cost since companies haven’t been as generous with their gifts with purchase as they used to be. Your best bet to get these is either when a mascara is newly launched like the Stila one or during a brand’s GWP Event. Lancome seems to be one of the most generous brands with mini mascaras in their gifts with purchase and so is Clinique which I didn’t mention since so far I haven’t found a Clinique mascara I really like.

Have you gotten a mini mascara that you’ve really enjoyed? — Marcia

Marcia vs Lisa: Dior

I’ve decided it’s time we talk about Dior. We’ve spent a lot of time in front of the Dior displays at Saks, Neiman and Sephora yet we are usually attracted to different things. My radar sends me directly to eyes, yours Lisa sends you directly to anything with bronzing potential it seems to me. So let’s discuss this like the ladies (ahem) that we are and decide what’s the best of Christian Dior.

I’ve already said that I start at the eyes and that’s what I’m going to fight for. I am magnetically attracted to Dior’s stunning eyeshadow palettes. I’ve had some triumphs and failures with those though so I’m sometimes leery of them. I love my Iridescent Leather quint yet when I bought Moonlight it was a total failure other than one color. And of course there’s that whole LE thing. SO I’m picking Dior Extase Mascara as my choice. You can hit me on the head if you want since I already posted about it but I love the stuff. I bought the full size from Sephora and then I had a mini from an order too. Both performed wonderfully and gave me incredible eyelashes. I remember trying Dior Show mascara and it smelled. I couldn’t understand why I needed a fragranced mascara. Happily that’s not the case with Extase. The curl doesn’t wilt with this mascara, the flakes don’t appear and even with eye cream under my eyes there’s no smudging. So my vote for the best of Dior is Extase. That is until the next Dior I fall in love with of course.  – Marcia

Well, I can’t really argue about Extase since, unbelievably,  I still haven’t tried it.  I have to admit, you make a compelling argument, and now Extase is the top of my wish list!! For my choice I am going to go a little off the beaten path for Dior and say my most favorite item is the Dior Bronze Self-Tanner Natural Glow Body ($33).  I know, I know, I seem to love ANYTHING that will bronze me up…but this big tube of tan has a very special place in my body bronzer collection.

I have loads of body self tanners, and I reach for this one over and over.  What makes it different is the glow factor.  This is not for your face – they have a separate one that is more suited for that part of the body.  This one gives your chest, arms, and legs the best glow out there.  It has teeny tiny gold flecks in it, which kind of mush together when you apply the lotion, so it leaves a great sheen as opposed to sparkles.  The lotion is tinted, making it easy to apply.  I find it’s a ‘wet’ application, you do need to take about five or ten minutes to let it dry properly before putting clothes on.  In my opinion, the wait is worth it.  The color it leaves on the skin is a very natural brown, and it deepens after an hour.  Put this one on three times a week, and you have a great, believable tan with a gorgeous glow.  The older version had a very strong scent, which was a deal breaker for many, although it didn’t bother me.  Dior relaunched these products in 2008, and it no longer has the fragrance.  I know, you think of Dior and you think lip gloss…eye shadow…mascara…but I encourage everyone to now think bronzer, too! – Lisa