Hard Candy All Lit Up Cosmetic Collection is perfect for giving or getting

Hard Candy All Lit Up Cosmetic Collection

Let’s first bow down to the price of the Hard Candy All Lit Up Cosmetic Collection! At $14.88 you are getting an amazing amount of cosmetics that you can break up into three gifts, give as one gift, or keep for yourself. Hard Candy is only available at Walmart and since this is a big time to be at Walmart I wanted you to see what you should be searching out.

Hard Candy All Lit Up Cosmetic Collection

sample

All Lit Up Cosmetic Collection contains a contour & sculpt kit, a blush & luminizer kit, a smoky eye kit, along with an eyeshadow primer, a perfecting primer, and a setting spray. This fabulous set has just about everything you need. If I were gifting it I’d add in a mascara and a fabulous lip shade. What a perfect gift or gifts.

Hard Candy All Lit Up Cosmetic Collection: Smoky Eye Kit

This is, of course, the first thing I opened when I received this set. Smoky Eye Kit is terrific with a mix of neutrals and even a drop of purple added. These 9 shades were coordinated to give you a variety of smoked looks. 7 of the 9 are lightly shimmered while two are more satiny.

Hard Candy All Lit Up Cosmetic Collection: Smoky Eye Kit

The pigmentation in Hard Candy eyeshadows is amazingly good. I have two sets from past years that I pick over my more expensive palettes often. The colors are true to what you see in the pan. They don’t change so you know what you’re getting. The All Lit Up Cosmetic Collection also includes an eyeshadow primer so you are set for beauty.

Hard Candy Eyeshadow Primer

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt Kit has what you need to take your face to new places. There are 6 pans in there so you can Prep, Brighten, Contour, Blend, and Illuminate all with one palette.

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt Kit

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt Kit

There are 4 cream products and 2 powders. It’s made to help you emphasize eyes, cheekbones, and your jawline. There’s even a tutorial guide on the back that teaches you the best placement.

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt Kit

The creams are for prepping, blending, contouring, and illuminating while the two lightly shimmered powders are for brightening and contouring. Some of the shades look too dark for me but the way they blend is perfect so that it’s not obvious at all.

Hard Candy Primer Perfecting

By adding in the Sheer Envy Primer Perfecting you’ve got all you need prior to applying foundation. This primer helps to minimize lines and pores so you have a smoother finish. If you are breaking this kit apart then this is gift two.

The Blush & Luminizer Kit is a true beauty. Housed in metallic red it’s one terrific set.

Blush & Luminizer Kit

All the products are powders: Shimmer Blush in a glorious mauve/pink, Matte blush is a flattering neutral, Matte bronzer is a light bronzer without orange. The Luminizing Bronzer sits beautifully on top of the matte bronzer for a sweep of specialness and can also be used alone. The two Luminizers top off the set with their beauty in a light cream and gold.

Blush & Luminizer Kit

For gift 3 just add in the the Sheer Envy Long Wear Setting Spray to make these products last throughout the day and evening.

Sheer Envy Long Wear Setting Spray

I’m convinced this is the best buy on the market today. You can keep it in its original box and gift it to one person who’ll squeal with delight. Or you can break it apart into 3 gifts that cost you $5 apiece and thrill the recipients.

Hard Candy All Lit Up Cosmetic Collection

I’m so impressed with the Hard Candy All Lit Up Cosmetic Collection that I think gifting it as one is the way to go but then again I didn’t do well in economics in school. Which way do you want to go? Whatever you choose, go to Walmart to find this limited edition cruelty free collection before it’s gone.  —  Marcia

Last minute gifts you can purchase today

Hard Candy, Pacifica, Masqueology last minute gifts

Hard Candy, Pacifica, Masqueology last minute gifts

You are in luck since it’s not too late to pick up gifts in your neighborhood that will be as popular as ones you’ve had stashed away for the last several weeks. It’s a blogger’s job this holiday season to pepper you with products you can buy for others but it’s important to know that you can also buy some treasures for yourself that won’t break the bank.

samples

Let’s go to Walmart first shall we?

Hard Candy has many sets that are within your budget and are available on Walmart.com as well as stores. This Eye Essentials set has 6 pieces and is only $4.99. Thrill your tween and teen with two eyeshadow palettes and a set of brushes. Order it online and then pick it up in your local store.

Hard Candy Eye Essentials Collection Blue Makeup Set, 6 pc

Hard Candy Eye Essentials Collection Blue Makeup Set

I was sent the Hard Candy Contour and Sculpt Face Kit ($9.88) as an example of what Hard Candy has for holidays. This 9 piece collection is perfect for an older teen or young adult (and you).

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt Gift Set

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt Gift Set

Stick on a bow and you’re good to go. There’s a great compact with every shade you need for bronzing, sculpting and highlighting. It comes with an adorable cover so you end up with a reusable tin.

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt Palette

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt Palette

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt palette closed

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt palette closed

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt palette helpful instructions

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt palette helpful instructions

But that’s not all. In this holiday set there’s a Contour sponge, a double sided brush, and a tube of Strobing Glow which is a cream that is for both face and body. This is a perfect party palette as well as being helpful year round.

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt holiday face collection

Hard Candy Contour & Sculpt holiday face collection

While you are at Walmart you need to find the MASQUEOLOGY facial masks. These $2.50 masks sold out quickly online although you can ask for an alert to let you know when they’ll be back in stock. It was very hard for me to believe that these are only $2.50. These sheet masks compare to much more expensive ones.

Masque*ology

Masque*ology

The 4 types are Special Care Cream Mask with amazing benefits. This one is great for dry sensitve skin because it moisturizes and hydrates. It’s going to lift and firm skin while it helps diminish the signs of fine lines. The Vita Clarifying Mask is meant for dull tired skin. It’s loaded with vitamins which helps to clarify skin and combats free radicals. My favorite is the Moisturizing Cream Mask. This lovely contains hyaluronic acid and caviar. Ooh la la. The Moisturizing Cream Mask is an excellent hydrator. There’s also Collagen Lifting Cream Mask which is one I need to find more of. This and the Moisturizing mask need to be in the stockings of all the women you know over 40. We can definitely use this revitalization and help in building collagen in our skin.

Masque*ology directions

Masque*ology directions

Masque*ology

Masque*ology

You can’t go wrong with any of these and the price is perfect for a last minute filler.

I’m a big nail polish fan so I’m sending you over to Ulta to find trio of beautiful polishes from PACIFICA. They’ve come out with a set of fall/winter polishes that will make a fabulous gift.

Pacifica Polish trio

Pacifica Polish trio

Pacifica is the brand for anyone you like that wants to use cruelty-free, vegan polishes and ones that are 7 Free. The three shades in the set are Luxe Interior, Wonderland, and London Tomboy.

Pacifica Winter Trio

Pacifica Winter Trio

Luxe Interior is a beautiful black cream with silver sparkles. With two coats it becomes a textured polish. I also tried it with one coat of a black cream polish and Luxe Interior over it and I lost most of the texture. Both are lovely ways to wear this shade. Wonderland is my favorite of the trio since it’s an off white, not quite cream shade. It has subtle shimmer within that I wish wasn’t quite so subtle. London Tomboy is a dark teal green, not quite a true green since it has a blue undertone. This is a beautiful cream polish. Be sure you apply a base coat since dark shades like this can stain.

Pacifica Luxe Interior, Wonderland and London Tomboy

Pacifica Luxe Interior, Wonderland and London Tomboy

Keep your eyes open when shopping at Ulta and Walmart for some gifts you may not have thought of before. All three of these brands will bring a smile to a beautiful face.  —  Marcia

*samples, some affiliate links used

 

Beauty Junkees love this Powder Highlighting and Contour Kit

Beauty Junkees Powder Contour Kit

Beauty Junkees Powder Contour Kit

It came as a surprise to us that Beauty Junkees has expanded their business to include cosmetics. We have been fans of their amazing brushes and makeup sponges for quite a while but didn’t expect that their next venture would take them into cosmetics. It’s a welcome addition and we’re happy to have been sent the Powder Contour Kit to wear and show you the versatility.

Beauty Junkees Powder Contour Kit

Beauty Junkees Powder Contour Kit

The kit has six shades with 3 highlighting powders and 3 contour shades. The top row contains Banana, Vanilla, and Sand. There is no shimmer to these powders, although Sand has a subtle glow, so they can be used all over your face. Use them for a touch of color or use them as your finishing powder. I have shimmery highlighters so this is a great change of pace for me.

Beauty Junkees Powder Contour Kit : Sand, Vanilla, Banana

Beauty Junkees Powder Contour Kit : Banana, Vanilla, Sand

There’s more variation in the shades than my iPhone photo shows but they are subtle differences.

Beauty Junkees Powder Contour Kit : from top Banana, Vanilla, Sand

Beauty Junkees Powder Contour Kit : from top Banana, Vanilla, Sand

The bottom row is where the contouring comes in with Fawn, Java, and Truffle. You can easily build the colors up if you want. Since my skin is so fair I like to use the Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Flat Angled Brush to get a light covering that blends easily.

Beauty Junkies Powder Contour Kit: Fawn, Java, and Truffle

Beauty Junkies Powder Contour Kit: Fawn, Java, and Truffle

Beauty Junkies Powder Contour Kit:left to right Fawn, Java, and Truffle

Beauty Junkies Powder Contour Kit:left to right Fawn, Java, and Truffle

There’s more variation in the contour powders and there’s a shade for everyone. This is the palette you want for everyday especially if you live a conservative lifestyle or work in a conservative workplace. You can always add shimmer to jazz it up but if you start with a matte palette like this you’ll be much happier.

Beauty Junkees How to Contour and Highlight

Beauty Junkees How to Contour and Highlight

Beauty Junkees Powder Contour Palette is made in the US and is cruelty free, paraben and gluten free. While this sells for $24.97 on Amazon and Beauty Junkees website we have a code for you to buy it for 25% off!! INFOZONE is the code and it’s valid through 12/23/16. At $18.75 you really can’t go wrong. While you’re at it, don’t forget about the great Beauty Junkees brushes.  —  Marcia

*sent for consideration, affiliate links used to help us earn a little money to keep the blog running

Be sure to read more about Beauty Junkees and their wonderful creations HERE.

Makeup Revolution The One Stick

makeup-revolution-one-sticks

Makeup Revolution The One Sticks are the newest revolution in town. These will add a vibrancy to your face that you won’t believe. Let’s see what $9 can get you from Ulta!

*press samples

Makeup Revolution The One Stick

Makeup Revolution The One Stick

There are 4 different The One Sticks so picking out just one is going to be a challenge. Makeup Revolution thought of everything with these sticks. First is Contour and Perfect with its counterpart Highlight and Perfect. The two Blush Sticks are both matte shades that can be used on cheeks or lips: Matte Rush (coral) and Matte Malibu (tan). With all 4 of these ONE Sticks directions say to use them dry for Hi Intensity and wet for Smooth Sheer Finish. I don’t find them efficient wet. I can’t blend them properly if I try so all my comments are about using these dry.

Makeup Revolution The ONE Stick x4

Makeup Revolution The ONE Stick x4

THE ONE SCULPT CONTOUR STICK is meant to Contour and Perfect. This stick is a matte contour that goes on intensely when applied straight from the tube. On someone super fair (aka me) I dab it on and then blend with my fingers or a beauty sponge. The color appears to be a very dark brown without any orange tint to it. But once blended it is lighter and workable. For contouring purposes apply this down the sides of your nose and blend, then under the cheekbones or jawbone and blend. A contour brush is also a great tool for this particular stick.

Makeup Revolution The One Sculpt Contour Stick

Makeup Revolution The One Sculpt Contour Stick

Makeup Revolution swatches for Highlight and Contour blended

Makeup Revolution swatches for Highlight and Contour blended

THE ONE HIGHLIGHT CONTOUR STICK is made to highlight and perfect. This stick is the only one of the four that isn’t matte. It has some sparkle to it giving it the ability to illuminate what you want illuminated. It’s very creamy, much more so than the other sticks. When you see my pictures I hope you won’t gasp. I dropped mine and made a big mess trying to put it together. I still use it but it’s not a pretty sight.

Makeup Revolution the ONE Highlight Contour Stick

Makeup Revolution the ONE Highlight Contour Stick

Makeup Revolution the ONE Highlight Contour Stick

Makeup Revolution the ONE Highlight Contour Stick

THE ONE BLUSH STICK in MATTE RUSH is a beautiful bright coral. I almost fell over the first time I used it because of the intensity of the color. But it is too pretty to ignore and I think it’s very flattering once blended properly. Some people may find that they need several strokes but if you are fair this covers beautifully in ONE. The key with these all is to blend, blend, blend. To wear as a lip product apply with a lip brush or your finger since the wideness of the top isn’t quite lip shape.

Makeup Revolution The ONE Blush Stick in Matte Rush

Makeup Revolution The ONE Blush Stick in Matte Rush

Makeup Revolution The ONE Blush Stick in Matte Malibu and Matte Rush

Makeup Revolution The ONE Blush Stick in Matte Malibu and Matte Rush

THE ONE BLUSH STICK in MATTE MALIBU is the warm tan companion. I have a lot of cream blushes but nothing in this shade. While it’s not one I’ll use often, it does come in handy for me. I think a darker skintone than mine would love using this.

Makeup Revolution The ONE Blush Stick in Matte Malibu

Makeup Revolution The ONE Blush Stick in Matte Malibu

Now you’ll see what I mean about intensity. The following is one swipe but done heavily.

Contour, Highlight, Matte Rush blush, Matte Malibu blush

Contour, Highlight, Matte Rush blush, Matte Malibu blush

I’ve found so much from Makeup Revolution to buy. The brand is affordable and Ulta often has it on special – right now it’s BOGO 1/2 for the entire line so you could get 2 of these for just $13.50 or one and something else from them. If you are always complaining that cream products get eaten by your skin then The ONE Stick in any of the iterations are the ones for you to try. They glide on easily, blend wonderfully, and are creamy as can be. Which color would you pick?  —  Marcia

*sent for consideration, affiliate links

Conceal, correct, and contour with Pixi by Petra

Pixi Beauty Contour and Conceal

Pixi by Petra Correct, Contour and Conceal

There is a saying, ‘you are only as sick as your secrets’. While in general it’s not healthy to have secrets (and goodness knows I have subjected you all to way too many photos of me wearing absolutely no makeup) I have many skin issues that I prefer to keep covered up. Lately my favorite enablers have been the products that Pixi Beauty sent me to test.

Pixi by Petra Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach and Concealing Concentrate in Adaptable Beige

Pixi by Petra Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach and Concealing Concentrate in Adaptable Beige

Pixi has a great concealer for blemishes and undereye circles, as well as a terrific color corrector that I love for covering up red areas. The Concealing Concentrate in Adaptable Beige ($12) is a small glass pot of neutral beige concealer. The concealer is indeed concentrated, with tons of pigment so you only need a small amount for complete coverag.  My problem with many concealers is they just don’t last…after a few hours, my dark circles are showing. I don’t have that problem with the Concealing Concentrate; it truly lasts all day. It’s waterproof and has a matte finish that doesn’t settle into fine lines. It also has lots of ingredients that skin loves, like vitamins A, C, and E.  My only beef is the packaging. The jar opening is very small, so it’s pretty impossible to use your fingers and even a concealer brush is a challenge. Besides that issue, I think this is a winning concealer. 

The Correction Concentrate in Peach ($12) is very similar. It’s the same formula but in a brightening soft peach shade. Petra says this is “My secret to looking like I’ve had a restful night’s sleep! This dense corrective concealer blends seamlessly into the skin while instantly erasing stubborn darkness.” This is a great option if you have red areas you want to conceal and correct.

Pixi by Petra Natural Contour Powder Shape and Shadow

Pixi by Petra Natural Contour Powder Shape and Shadow

I am also a big fan of the Natural Contour Powder ($20). This is a natural looking matte contour powder. While the color looks quite deep, I don’t worry about overdoing it since it sheers out easily and any mistakes can be quickly corrected. The ingredients are great, with peptides, multi-vitamins, aloe vera, super fruit and coffee extracts. Thanks to the aloe vera, this a nice creamy powder that blends in beautifully with skin. It’s a very impressive contour powder.

While keeping secrets isn’t always the healthiest way to go, when it comes to cosmetics I think that secrets are a girl’s best friend. Pixi has some excellent products that are really great for concealing, correcting, and contouring. Be sure to check them out next time you are at Target.  – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

Instant cheekbones with Youngblood Contour Palette

Youngblood Contour Palette

Youngblood Contour Palette

I am not really a huge fan of the Kardasian’s but one thing that I always admire about those ladies is their ability to contour.  Contour can give you instant cheekbones, a slimmer nose, a thinner face…it can completely transform your look.

A really terrific contour palette with options for all skin shades is the Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Contour Palette ($47).

Youngblood Contour Palette

Youngblood Contour Palette

pr sample

This sturdy palette has 3 powder highlighter shades and 3 powder contour shades. The shades go from lightest to darkest, so this palette is extremely versatile.  All the shades are matte, making it different from the usual contour collection.

Highlighters typically have shimmer to bounce light off skin, increasing the effect. The problem with shimmer is that it doesn’t look natural. These shades are all matte so the contour/highlighting effect is definitely natural. The powders are also on the creamy side, not super dry, so they really meld into the skin.

Youngblood Contour Palette swatched

Youngblood Contour Palette swatched

My skin is a little lighter than medium and I find I can use all the shades in this palette. Youngblood also includes a very helpful booklet with illustrations for contouring and highlighting. My favorite trick is to use the lightest shade right down the center of my nose, then use the darkest shade on sides. This makes my nose look straight and far more narrow.

As far as application, I use whatever works – a brush, a sponge, my fingers. Get a Youngblood Contour Palette for yourself and have fun playing – you will be amazed at how much you can truly transform your look!  – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio defines beyond belief

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

When you know nothing about contouring but you do know that it’s the hottest game in Beautyworld, then you need to find out how to contour so you can be part of the in-crowd. Smashbox sent the Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio probably to test me out and see if I could step by step my game up.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

The set consists of 3 creamy pencils and a pencil sharpener to fit the larger size. Earlier today I wrote about contouring and highlighting and I gave a small hint to this product. I like it so much that I wanted to elaborate on it.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio - Contour, Bronze, Highlight

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio – Contour, Bronze, Highlight

•    Contour: A darker shade that sculpts by creating shadows
•    Highlight: A light shade that pulls features forward
•    Bronze: A transition shade that eliminates harsh lines by blending the contour and highlight shades

One way Smashbox really helps is with an informational pamphlet inside that shows 5 different face shapes and where to place each of the three sticks to get a look that will contour and highlight without looking like you did. The finished look isn’t obvious; it makes a subtle difference that makes me feel so polished.

Smashbox Stick Trio direction pamphlet

Smashbox Stick Trio direction pamphlet

Not only do they show the face charts but they explain how to determine which shape is yours. For example on a round face they’ve written “Your cheekbones are the widest part of your face. Your jawline is round and curved.” Directions always start with the contour shade with a diagram to show exactly where to apply that pencil. Next they want to give your face some warmth with the bronze shade. The highlight shade is to help you change the shape every so slightly. Since my face is round they suggest using the highlight to help give an illusion of length by applying it to the center of my face. Of course after you use each of the three crayons you need to blend and for me that’s best done with a facial sponge.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio swatches

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio swatches

The colors are basically universal because the key to this is not seeing the crayons, just to create the illusion, blend well, and then apply your foundation without rubbing it. I like a liquid foundation that I can apply with my Beauty Blender sponge. It takes practice, or it did for me, but it’s worth it to finally understand contouring and highlighting.

CONTOUR
•    Sides of nose
•    Under cheekbones

BRONZE
•    Above contour shade on cheekbones

HIGHLIGHT
•    Bridge of nose
•    Middle of forehead
•    Under eyes
•    Chin

While the Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio isn’t going to be for my everyday look, it’s fun to use these when I’m going out for the evening and want to look my best.

What do you do for contouring? Or do you skip it like I used to? — Marcia

*sent for editorial consideration