Start November off with some affordable fun: Sally Hansen, Jesse’s Girl, and Good Earth Beauty

affordable buys: Sally Hansen, Good Earth Beauty, Jesse’s Girl

With the holidays bearing down on us we want to save money for gifts but sometimes we need a treat ourselves. Or at least I do. I have 3 brands to suggest as ways to affordably get something for yourself or as future stocking stuffers.

samples

Sally Hansen is a nail brand that we can all get behind. They have many formulas but my two favorites are Complete and Miracle Gel. Both of these have the most marvelous brush that is so easy to use that even a novice can get great coverage. For fall they’ve come out with some new beauties and I have two to show you.

Sally Hansen World Wide Red and Society Ruler

One of the newest Complete Salon Manicures polishes is Society Ruler. This deep burgundy is so perfect for November that you will want to scoop it up instantly. Complete Salon is an all in one formula that contains keratin. In one handy bottle you’ll have the base coat, strengthening treatment, salon color, the top coat and a chip resistant gel shine finish.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Society Ruler

Sally Hansen World Wide Red and Society Ruler

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is a two step polish that lasts and lasts. Step 1 is the awesome shade that you choose and Step 2 is the gel top coat that seals in the color making it shiny and lasting at least a week to two. A new shade for fall is World Wide Red which isn’t exactly red to me. It’s a bright orange with a red undertone.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in World Wide Red

World Wide Red and Salon Ruler

There are hundreds of shades so the hard part will be picking out how you want to shine, the easy part is a long lasting, easy to apply manicure from Sally Hansen.

JESSE’S GIRL provides us with some excellent affordable products. Two new ones are their Dial-A-Mascara and the latex free blending sponge.

Jesse’s Girl Latex Free Blending Sponge

I don’t know about you but I am addicted to blending sponges. I used to use them until they fell apart but I’ve since learned that they can harbor bacteria so why not have a few on hand that you won’t feel guilty tossing in a few months. Consider it like you would mascara – 3 months of use and then on to the next!

Jesse’s Girl Latex Free Blending Sponge

Jesse’s Girl Latex Free Blending Sponge is extremely affordable at $3.99 and available at Rite Aid stores as well as online. This pretty turquoise sponge is very soft and works well with foundation. But I’ve used it for other things too. I like to blend my blush after applying and this sponge does that dry or wet. Or use the end for your concealer. The word is “bounce” and that’s what you should be doing with a blending sponge. And why not have a bright shade to enhance your vanity area.

Jesse’s Girl Latex Free Blending Sponge

While we’re talking about 3 months let’s talk about the new Jesse’s Girl Dial-a-Lash mascara. This has 4 adjustable control. Leave it on #1 for a natural look that is a subtle way of separating your lashes. Enhance is #2 which amplifies the fullness and increases curl. Step up to #3 for Boost to add volume to your lashes. And, if you dare, take it to #4 for Max Volume which maximizes lash length, thickness, and curl.

Jesse’s Girl DialALash Adjustable Control Mascara (#2)

I found with this mascara that I needed it to age. I opened it and the formula was too wet so I closed it for a week and tried again. Nope too wet. Onto to the next week and it was getting better but it really took a month for it to be dry enough for my particular taste. Don’t give up though even if it takes a month for it to age. It’s just like wine that needs to breath before use. For $7.99 it’s like getting 4 mascaras depending on your mood/needs.

Jesse’s Girl DialALash Adjustable Control Mascara #1

Jesse’s Girl DialALash Adjustable Control Mascara #4

Would it be fall without the smell of pumpkin and/or pumpkin spice? No of course not and Good Earth Beauty All Natural Pumpkin Soap is here to add just a gentle smell to your cleansing needs. I’ve written about other Good Earth Beauty soaps before so you know they are favorites. I like them in my powder room for hand washing but it’s safe for face and body too.

Good Earth Beauty Pumpkin Soap

Ingredients are saponified oils of olive, coconut, palm shea butter and pumpkin seed, pumpkin puree, natural pumpkin fragrance oil. The fragrance is subdued so it doesn’t knock you out and even non-pumpkin lovers will enjoy it. (vegan, organic, cruelty-free)

Good Earth Beauty Pumpkin Soap

Does anything call your name or budget?  –  Marcia

Beauty Junkees Duo Fiber brushes, part two

Beauty Junkees Duo Fiber Makeup Brush Set

sample,affiliate link

Just yesterday my blog partner shared her Beauty Junkees Powder Makeup Brush Set and today it’s my turn to share the new Duo Fiber Makeup Brush Set from Beauty Junkees. But I have something that Lisa didn’t and that’s a discount code for you. Whatever your heart desires from Beauty Junkees at either Amazon or the Beauty Junkees website you can breathe a little easier with this code!

CODEBINFOZON
Exp: 10.31.2017
1 Redemption per customer
25% Off your order
.
Now let’s get to the good stuff. Beauty Junkees 6 brush Duo Fiber set is already a bargain at $29.97 so it’s even more of a find at $22.47. You’ll be amazed at the soft and efficient brushes in this set. Like other Beauty Junkees brush sets this comes in a cosmetic case for storage or travel. You do have to air out the case at first though because it has a small plastic odor but it’s gone within days once opened.

This 6 Piece Professional Quality Makeup Brush Set Includes: Pro Duo Fiber Eye Blending Brush, Pro Duo Fiber Blush Brush, Pro Duo Fiber Fan Highlighter Brush, Pro mini Duo Fiber Stippling Brush for Concealing, Pro Duo Fiber Large Powder Brush, Pro Duo Fiber Large Stippling Brush for Foundation, plus a large makeup brush case to protect your brushes in travel.

Beauty Junkees Duo Fiber Makeup Brush Set

Beauty Junkee brushes are synthetic brushes with solid wood handles, copper ferules, and dual crimping to make the brushes last longer. I don’t get any shedding with these brushes.

Why do you want a duo fiber brush you ask… (you did ask, didn’t you?) The short bristles hold the product, while the long bristles blend to a featherweight finish. That’s what you call the best of both worlds. They work beautifully with powders, liquids and creams.

Duo Fiber Eye Blending Brush

Pro Duo Fiber Eye Blending Brush:Best used for a sheer application and smooth blending of loose powder and cream eye shadows.” I use this brush for applying cream shadows, not for powder application. I have some new shadows from Inglot that I adore (review upcoming) that are perfect for this eye blending brush. It buffs the shadow on smoothly and evenly leaving my fingers clean.

Beauty Junkees Duo Fiber Blush

Pro Duo Fiber Blush:  Best used to apply blush to your cheekbones, evenly and lightly distributing and blending the product for a sheer flawless finish.” I like separate brushes for cream blush and powder blush but this works so well on both types that I’d love an extra of this one. It’s just the right size for my cheeks and the softness is luxurious.

Beauty Junkees Duo Fiber Fan Brush

Duo Fiber Fan Brush

Pro Duo Fiber Fan Brush: “Best used for quick and easy highlighting! Just a few easy sweeps on the top of the cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, above the lip.” Do you like to highlight? If so you need this Fan Brush. It surpasses my much more expensive Smashbox one with ease. It’s great for all over powder too. You’ll get so much more use out of this brush than you think you will.

Beauty Junkees mini stippling brush and large stippling brush

Pro Duo Fiber Large Stippling Brush: Works great to stipple liquid foundation, blends evenly and flawlessly for an airbrushed finish. Also used with BB/CC creams and tinted moisturizers. Applies cream blush like a dream.” Pro mini Duo Fiber Stippling Brush: Perfectly blends concealer and color corrector into the skin for a sheer flawless finish.” Yes you need two Stippling Brushes. You don’t think you do as you are reading this but once these brushes are in your hands you’ll wonder how you got along without two sizes. It’s the mini that gets used by me the most since it’s unlike the other brushes in my vast collection. It’s a great size with a head that’s 2.5 cm wide compared to the 3.25 cm large stippling brush and it fits in where a larger brush won’t.

Beauty Junkees mini Duo Fiber Stippling Brush

Pro Duo Fiber Large Powder Brush: Blends and diffuses powder for a softer, more natural and flawless finish.’ This is the largest brush in the set and reminds me of my first duo fiber brush from Prescriptives and later MAC. The fibers are looser on this and the Fan Brush than the others in the set. It’s wonderful for loose powders as well as pressed powders. When you want to highlight your shoulders or decolletage this or the fan brush are what you should reach for.

Beauty Junkees has so many brush sets that are just amazing. The quality vs the prices will thrill you. One of my favorites ever is the Mini Kabuki set that has brushes that are normally only found in expensive sets. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with a Beauty Junkees set. They even have a 30 day guarantee. I can guarantee though that you’ll love this set.  —  Marcia

Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Set

CODEBINFOZON
Exp: 10.31.2017
1 Redemption per customer
25% Off your order

 

Add Macy & Mia to your life for wonderful cruelty free fun!

macy and mia bag frontMacy & Mia was created by artist DJ Victory and it’s such a fun exciting brand. We were lucky enough to receive products from this cruelty-free line and we’re having a ball using them. Even better though is introducing you to the brand knowing that they donate 10% of retail sales to Pay It Forward For Pets, a 100% non-profit organization dedicated to helping animals in need. DJ Victory is a hero to us in that way.macy and mia card

MARCIA HAS A UNICORN BRUSH COLLECTION AND THE SILICONE SPONGE

Macy & Mia Silicone Sponge Makeup Applicator

Macy & Mia Silicone Sponge Makeup Applicator

I’m sure you’ve read about the new Silicone Sponges. These work to help you with your foundation application. Macy & Mia’s is the only one I’ve tried and I love the bright pink of it. The silicone sponge has a thermoplastic polyurethane outer shell and is filled with silicone. It’s soft and pliable and it’s PINK!!

Macy & Mia Silicone Sponge Applicator

Macy & Mia Silicone Sponge Applicator

There’s a learning curve with this kind of applicator that can be frustrating but once you have it down you’ll find that just a drop of foundation is enough to cover your entire face. ($7.99)

The 5 PIECE NEON BRUSH SET is the cutest item I have in my collection. These cruelty-free magical brushes have added some fun to my vanity.macyandmia unicornMacy & Mia have a variety of Unicorn brushes that would make the best graduation gift for someone in your life. They are fun, colorful, vegan, cruelty-free brushes that will bring a smile to someone’s face.

Macy & Mia Neon Unicorn Brush Set

Macy & Mia Neon Unicorn Brush Set

The 5 piece Neon Unicorn Brush Set is on sale right now for $14.99 which is a great price, regular price is $24.99. There are 4 face brushes and 1 eyeshadow brush with neon synthetic bristles. These are super soft so they are lovable!

Macy & Mia Neon Unicorn Brush Set

Macy & Mia Neon Unicorn Brush Set

In addition to this set there are others like a 5 piece Pastel collection and a 5 piece Multi-colored collection (3 face, 2 eye brushes, $14.99), a 10 piece Unicorn collection (6 face, 4 eye, $$24.99), and their 11 piece Original Brush set in a makeup pouch ($49.99)

Macy and Mia Original Brush Set

Macy and Mia Original Brush Set

The vibe I get from Macy & Mia is a “girls just wanna have fun” one and I love that fun.

Macy & Mia Lip Liner in Samantha and Tristan

Macy & Mia Lip Liner in Samantha and Tristan

LISA HAS CRUELTY-FREE LIPSTICK/LIP LINER SETS 

Ok, true confession:  when I first saw the colors of these lip sets, two words ran through my mind:  OH NO.  I never thought in a million years that these shades would work for me…plus they are matte.  That alone is usually the kiss of death for my thin, skinny lips.  My MO is to brighten my lips up as much as possible and give them all the thickness I can get without needles full of Restalyne, typically with tons of shine and shimmer and pinky/rosy/peachy shades.  But I was very happy to give the Matte Liquid Lipstick & Lip Liner Sets a whirl, especially after I read this quote from DJ Victory:

“It’s my hope that each morning when women apply their makeup that they will remember that they are beautiful with or without it. I try to be always grateful for what I have. Sometimes that is difficult when we live in a society that makes us feel less than if we don’t meet certain beauty standards. I hope these beautiful colored lipsticks and fluttery eyelashes remind women to always see the beauty within themselves and others as well as to show compassion, teach gratitude, and remain humble.”

How can you not adore her??

Macy & Mia Liquid Lipstick in Samantha and Tristan

Macy & Mia Liquid Lipstick in Samantha and Tristan

Macy & Mia Lip Liner in Samantha and Tristan

Macy & Mia Lip Liner in Samantha and Tristan

Ok, so back to the Matte Liquid Lipstick and Lip Liner Sets ($24.99).  The Lip Liner is a gel liner that glides on and creates a perfect canvas for the Matte Liquid Lipstick.  Matte lipsticks are notorious for showing every crack and wrinkle, so a matching creamy lip liner that also acts as a moisturizing balm is a total bonus.  Lucky for us, the liners come free with these!  The shades are very interesting – the two I tested are most definitely throwback shades to the 1990’s, which is a lot of fun.  If you wear them full on, they dry matte and stay on for a long time with strong opaque color.  Or, as I discovered, you can blot blot blot right after application, and they are the shy sister of the full on bold color – pretty, feminine, still unique but oh so wearable at any age.  Yay!!!!  These are sets that my 17-year-old steals when I’m not looking, but I still want them enough to refuse to give them up.  They are pretty terrific.

Macy and Misa Tristan Liquid Lipstick (macyandmia.com)

Macy and Misa Tristan Liquid Lipstick (macyandmia.com)

 


Tristan Liquid Lipstick is a cool coco brown that takes me right back to 1996. Interestingly, I see this shade on the high school girls all of the time now…it’s definitely making a comeback.  I never thought I could wear it, and when I first put it on I was like, oh hell no.

Macy & Mia Liquid Lipstick in Tristan

Macy & Mia Liquid Lipstick in Tristan

Macy & Mia Lip Liner and Liquid Lipstick swatches in Tristan

Macy & Mia Lip Liner and Liquid Lipstick swatches in Tristan

Wearing Macy and Mia Liquid Lipstick in Tristan

Wearing Macy and Mia Liquid Lipstick in Tristan

Luckily I grabbed a tissue and did the classic lip blot three times, which was the exact magic formula to make this shade work beautifully for me.

Macy and Mia Samantha Liquid Lipstick (macyandmia.com)

Macy and Mia Samantha Liquid Lipstick (macyandmia.com)

The Samantha Liquid Lipstick is a smokey lavender with grey undertones.  Again, I thought oh no way can I pull this off.  But guess what?  With the three magical blots I not only pull it off, I love it!!  It turns into a soft grey purple berry shade that is different and feminine.  So pretty and it reminds me of spring lilacs.

Macy & Mia Liquick Lipstick in Samantha

Macy & Mia Liquick Lipstick in Samantha

Macy & Mia Lip Liner and Liquid Lipstick swatches in Samantha and Tristan

Macy & Mia Lip Liner and Liquid Lipstick swatches in Samantha and Tristan

Wearing Macy and Mia Liquid Lipstick in Samantha

Wearing Macy and Mia Liquid Lipstick in Samantha

I am just shocked that I love the shades Tristan and Samantha, and I adore the moisturizing lip liner and liquid lipstick combo.  In fact, I would go so far as to say I am rather obsessed.  I really want to try Jennifer, which is a deep pink; Jessica, which is a pale peach; and Heather, which is a mauve/neutral nude.  I honestly can’t wait to try them all.

A the BIZ, we love animals as much as we love cosmetics.  So it’s no surprise that we adore the super fun Macy & Mia line and are thrilled that part of the profits go toward Pay It Forward For Pets, a 100% non-profit organization dedicated to helping animals in need.  We really hope you check out this whimsical yet practical line for yourself!!

*samples

Makeup Wars – favorite brushes

Each time Makeup Wars comes together to share posts a topic is decided. While we all don’t post on every one, this week’s is definitely going to be a popular one. MAKEUP BRUSHES!!! We are all beauty enthusiasts so favorite brushes is done with ease. For me though it’s narrowing down my huge collection to just the ones I use all the time. I love luv crave brushes and even though I have over 100 the ones I’m sharing today are the ones I use every week if not daily. A few were sent for review but the majority are ones I’ve purchased and would gladly do again.

Favorite makeup brushes

Favorite makeup brushes

ARTIS ELITE MIRROR OVAL 10

Artis Oval 10

Artis Oval 10

When I first reviewed Artis Oval 10 I didn’t realize that it would eventually become my all time favorite face brush. I am madly in lust over this brush. At the time I was using it for powder but I soon learned that it was ideal for foundation. It gives me the smoothest visage ever and makes my skin look airbrushed. With over 250,00 soft bristles it marries the best of two worlds with its softness and refined blending application.

Artis Oval 10 Brush

Artis Oval 10 Brush

At $77 it’s expensive but the cost is small in proportion to my use and adoration. (Available at Saks and the Artis website)

MAC EYESHADOW BRUSHES

MAC eye brushes 239, 272, 219, 217

MAC eye brushes 239, 272, 219, 217

My first cosmetic job was as a freelancer for MAC Cosmetics. I lived and breathed MAC and that’s when my brush collection really grew. I had (past tense) a pro discount and knew that what I used on clients was what I wanted to use on myself. They are still the eyeshadow brushes that get the most use. It might have something to do with owning duplicates of them – ahem. MAC’s eye brushes all start with the number 2 in their numbering system.

MAC 242 is my favorite since it does just about everything – lays down color, blends shadows, the tip can be used with liner, and is great with both soft colors and more intense ones.

MAC 239

MAC 239

MAC 272 sadly has been discontinued – I don’t know why though since the curve makes it great for the browbone area as well as the lid. It works the same as the 239 but it has the great angle to it.

MAC 217 was always my favorite blending brush but unfortunately the newer ones are bigger and not up to the original. I still love it though and use mine constantly. I’m sure I’ll wear them out at some point.

MAC 217

MAC 217

MAC 219 is my favorite pencil brush. Shockingly I only own 1 of these but I’d happily buy another.

MAC 219

MAC 219

The MAC brushes aren’t enough to keep me satisfied, sort of like Lay’s Potato Chips, I can’t stop at one.

BEAUTY JUNKEES MINI KABUKI SET are brushes that you just can’t beat. Fabulous for eyeshadows and even better for concealer. I pretty much use these interchangeably. At $14.97 this is affordable luxury.

Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Set (Eye Makeup Brushes: 5 pc Precision Brush Set)

Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Set (Eye Makeup Brushes: 5 pc Precision Brush Set)

Favorite eye brushes: Shu Umera 10, Make Up For Ever 218, Anastasia A6, Cinema Secrets 12, Smashbox 4

Favorite eye brushes: Shu Uemera 10, Make Up For Ever 218, Anastasia A6, Cinema Secrets 12, Smashbox 4

5 other brushes that get a lot of use include the Shu Uemera 10, made of Kolinsky/Sable. It’s an extreme luxury at $95 but it’s worth it if you have the money.

Make Up For Ever 218 Medium Blender Brush ($25) is great with powder and cream shadows. I use it for blending as well as application.

Make Up For Ever 218

Make Up For Ever 218

Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro A6 is my newest brush (reviewed here) and it’s quickly became one of my favorites. Of the three brushes I received from them I notice that I’m reaching for A6 the most. I love it as a firm blending brush.

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

Smashbox 4 was one of my first highend cosmetic brush purchases. I don’t think you can find this anymore which is a shame. It was called a concealer brush but I love it as a cream eyeshadow brush. Why do brands discontinue their best products?

Eyebrow brushes are my newest obsession and my two favorites are from IT Cosmetics and Full Brow. IT Cosmetics Build a Brow Brush 12 is unique because of the bristles. They are of different lengths so they really reach into your brows to deposit color. It works especially well with a cream brow product. Full Brow is perfect for powders. It just seems to apply the powder more easily and evenly.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

MAC CHEEK BRUSHES: There are two MAC Cheek brushes that I use all the time. For blush I like the large angled MAC 168. Some blush brushes are so big that I’d end up with blush all over so a smaller size is my jam. The other is MAC 165, I’ll use it for blush and it’s wonderful for highlighting and contour. Sadly it was an LE brush but the Tapered Face Brush 138 would do the same job though it’s bigger.

MAC 168 and 165

MAC 168 and 165

Even though I could go on forever I’ll stop with 3 of my favorite face brushes.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder No. 8, Japonesque Kabuki, Wayne Goss 00

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder No. 8, Japonesque Kabuki, Wayne Goss 00

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush is the softest, fluffiest brush. I think mine was part of a TSV (which is why you should always pay attention to the TSV!!). I love IT’s brushes and this one is a great example of what cruelty free brushes are all about.

Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush

Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush

The Japonesque Kabuki is long discontinued. It’s similar to Nars Yachiyo Kabuki though it was less expensive. It’s not the softest brush but it’s wonderful still for cream blush. It picks up the color well and diffuses it so my cheeks are softly blushing. japonesqueWayne Goss 00 is now only available as a duo – one black, one white. I bought it in a preorder and was able to buy just the one. Go find a friend to split this duo with! This is what I expected of all my Wayne Goss brushes. This is perfection in the way it applies any powders as it just hugs my face and feels like a baby bunny. I’d use it for foundation if I didn’t have the Artis.

While I really haven’t given you many wallet friendly brushes I personally think that brushes are an investment and that they are often worth the extra money. I’m sure if I were first beginning I’d look at ELF, EcoTools, Beauty Junkees, and Real Techniques to shore up my collection. But my shares today are my best and brightest.  What brushes make you stand up and applaud?  —  Marcia

Let’s go brush shopping with Makeup Wars!


*some affiliate links in use

Is it sponge-worthy? The MakeupDrop™ Silicone Makeup Applicator

Makeup Drop Silicone Sponge

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

I think that most makeup fanatics secretly wish they were artists. The varying shades of foundation prep our canvas, which we then transform into works of art with blush, contour, pencils, and eyeshadow. I’m not sure which part is more fun – the beautiful colors to play with, or the really cool tools that give different effects with the same products. For foundation alone I have tons of different tools for application – brushes, sponges, battery operated miracle tools…but a silicone applicator was new to me, so I was more than happy to try out the  MakeupDrop™ Silicone Makeup Applicator ($20).                                                                        sample

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

The reasoning behind the design is to save on makeup and skincare. Sponges and brushes soak up a lot of product, but silicone doesn’t soak up anything, so all of the foundation ends up on your face, not going down the sink when you wash your sponge. It’s not just for foundation – the MakeupDrop™ Silicone Makeup Applicator can be used with all types of cream cosmetics like concealer, blush, and highlighter, as well as with skin care like moisturizer and primer. And clean up is incredibly easy since it doesn’t absorb anything. Just a little soap and water and the MakeupDrop™ Silicone Makeup Applicator looks like new.

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

I am so used to using a brush and a sponge for foundation that I found using the MakeupDrop™ Silicone Makeup Applicator was really different. It took a few attempts to get used to it.  First, I was using way too much product because, of course, I was used to losing about a third of my foundation to the brush or sponge. It also just applied the foundation differently. It doesn’t quite meld the foundation into the skin like a sponge does, so I found I needed less product and just needed to gently tap the product on.

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

MakeupDrop Silicone Makeup Applicator

While I really appreciated the savings of product – it was truly a revelation how much product is soaked up by sponges and brushes – I found that in order to get the finish I want, I need to press my hands over my face to sort of warm up the product and get a natural look. If you don’t mind this quick extra step, the MakeupDrop™ Silicone Makeup Applicator is going to save you tons of money in product over time, making it definitely sponge-worthy.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Glamour galore with IT Cosmetic’s holiday brush sets from Ulta

it-cosmetics-logoWe’ve been fans of IT Cosmetics since the very beginning. The first product that Marcia and Lisa fell in love with was Bye Bye Under Eyes and our love has grown as the company has grown. Jamie Kern Lima from IT Cosmetics started small and now is known as one of the best cosmetic gurus around. We’ve always loved their brushes and today we have two beautiful holiday brush sets that are sold exclusively at ULTA. You don’t want to miss out on these whether you are treating yourself or a loved one. They are stunners besides being some of the best brushes available. Beauty Info Zone was sent the City Chic brush set and All That Glitters brush set. We had trouble deciding who gets the pleasure of each one but we’re both very pleased.

MARCIA has CITY CHIC

IT Cosmetics City Chic

IT Cosmetics City Chic

City Chic is a limited edition 5 piece Ultra Luxe Skin Loving Brush Set ($68) that is a perfect travel set or for everyday use. It’s one that you’ll receive accolades on if you gift it. Even better, put it on your wishlist and make sure everyone sees that you crave it.

IT Cosmetics City Chic brushes

IT Cosmetics City Chic brushes

Inside the beautiful rose gold cosmetic bag you’ll find 5 super soft brushes that your skin will love. The brushes are a rose gold ombre with duo fibers and of course are cruelty free.

IT Cosmetics City Chic Powder brush

IT Cosmetics City Chic Powder brush

The City Chic Powder brush is the softest brush you can imagine. I want to lay still and have someone just brush my face all day with this. It’s made for your favorite loose and pressed powders (which should be IT of course). It’s large, round, and fluffy.

IT Cosmetics City Chic Blush Brush

IT Cosmetics City Chic Blush Brush

City Chic Blush Brush is great for blush and for contouring. The angled head makes it easy to hug the contours of your face. It’s also a great cream blush brush as it diffuses the cream softly on your face.

City Chic Foundation Brush

City Chic Foundation Brush

City Chic Foundation Brush is a flat tapered paddle brush. Unlike the foundation brushes of yore, this one is soft and flexible so I find it easy to use with my liquid foundations, getting each nook and cranny covered. If you have a cream foundation that you like then this brush will come in very handy.

City Chic Eyeshadow Brush

City Chic Eyeshadow Brush

How I love eyeshadow brushes and this City Chic Eyeshadow Brush is terrific. Whether it’s powder eyeshadows or cream eyeshadows this medium size brush blends the colors with delight.

City Chic Crease Brush

City Chic Crease Brush

Last is a brush that gets a lot of love from me, City Chic Crease Brush. The size of this crease brush fits my crease perfectly plus I love it for blending all my shadows after I’m done to soften any harsh lines. With this narrow tapered brush I start with a dark shadow along the outer corner and blend it into my crease.

IT Cosmetics City Chic limited edition holiday brush set

IT Cosmetics City Chic limited edition holiday brush set

I think City Chic would be a hit for the women on your list. I’m sure the All That Glitters set is just as wonderful.

IT Cosmetics All That Glitters Brush SetLISA has ALL THAT GLITTERS

All That Glitters is not gold – nope, it’s silver, and this limited edition 5 piece Must-Have Luxe Skin Loving Brush Set ($58) is a truly beautiful set. All the brushes have sparkling silver handles and are housed in a silver clutch that my daughter immediately declared ‘elegant’!IT Cosmetics All That Glitters Brush Set
IT Cosmetics All That Glitters Brush Set

If you have any IT Cosmetics brushes, you know that they are fantastic. Soft, thick, and luxurious the same quality IT brushes in a great travel set.  The set includes brushes for loose and pressed powder, foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, and eye lining – pretty much all you need. The silver clutch has a magnetic closure, a satin pouch for brushes, and a zippered pocket.IT Cosmetics All That Glitters Brilliant Powder Brush

The Brilliant Powder Brush is big, fluffy, and so soft. I honestly don’t think I own a softer brush, although this is thick enough to hold onto loose or pressed powder.

IT Cosmetics All That Glitters Radiant Foundation BrushThe Radiant Foundation Brush has a flat edge that makes blending cream and liquid foundations a dream. This has that awesome softness as well…these brushes are just divine.

IT Cosmetics All That Glitters Stunning Eyeshadow BrushI love the Stunning Eyeshadow Brush. It grabs just the right amount of pigment and blends shadows beautifully. It’s just the right size too – not too big or too small.

IT Cosmetics All That Glitters Luminous Concealer BrushThe Luminous Concealer Brush blends out cream concealers like a champ. It works great with my favorite concealer, the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye, which I use every day.

IT Cosmetics All That Glitters Dazzling Liner/Brow Brush The Dazzling Liner/Brow Brush is a great multi-tasker.  It is great for lining eyes with dark eyeshadow, and then does double duty as a brow liner for powder, wax, or gel brow products.

Whatever your pleasure – City Chic or All That Glitters – either brush set doesn’t disappoint! Make someone happy and gift them a new brush set, then make yourself happy and get yourself a set too.

sent for review, affiliate links

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Kleenex has entered the beauty market. Grading two products

Kleenex Cotton Soft Pads and Moist Eye Makeup Remover Pads

Kleenex Cotton Soft Pads and Moist Eye Makeup Remover Pads

After reading a few reviews of some products that Kleenex brand has brought to the beauty market I decided I wanted to try them out. After years and years of using both DHC Silky Cotton Pads and Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover I thought that maybe there was something better out there. Did these two products convince me to change? Yes and no.

Kleenex cotton soft pads

Kleenex cotton soft pads

Let’s start with a qualified yes. KLEENEX COTTON SOFT PADS ($4.99 for 85 pads) are the ones I am enjoying and would gladly rebuy. There isn’t much I would change about these other than the fact that you can’t buy them in a store. Kleenex isn’t a company though that I want to purchase online. Shipping is free at $25 so I made sure that I spent that much but I doubt I’d do it again.

They call this a 5-in-1 beauty tool – 1) Removing makeup. 2) Applying toner. 3) Correcting makeup application. 4) Washing face instead of using hands or cloth. 5) Removing nail polish.

Kleenex cotton soft pad

Kleenex cotton soft pad

It does all of those well but so do the other cotton pads I like. I can remove every bit of my makeup, including eye makeup using just one pad which makes this cost efficient. It also easily removed two different manicures without needing another pad. One was a cream polish, one had a little shimmer to it and it held up both times.

The pad itself is really big at 4″ x 3.5″ compared to the size of DHC and Shiseido at 3″ x 2″. It’s very thin but soft and sturdy.

Kleenex soft cotton pads vs DHC Silky Cotton Square

Kleenex soft cotton pads vs DHC Silky Cotton Square

Kleenex soft cotton pad

Kleenex soft cotton pad

While I like the Cotton Soft Pads, I can’t recommend purchasing Kleenex Moist Eye Makeup Remover. The package I bought ($9.99 for 65 pads) is a refillable dispenser. Refills can be purchased for $4.99. But I’d return this if I had bought it locally, that’s how much I dislike these.

Kleenex Moist Eye Makeup Removers

Kleenex Moist Eye Makeup Removers

These are a premoistened pad created to remove your eye makeup without needing any other product or tool. I admit I have an aversion to fragrance though I’m much more tolerant than I used to be. I don’t like the sickly sweet artificial fragrance of these. I was willing to overlook that since I figured the scent would disappear but they just don’t work for me. I have better luck using just micellar water with the Kleenex soft cloth pads than I do with the formula they’ve used to remove eye makeup.

Kleenex Moist Eye Makeup Removers

Kleenex Moist Eye Makeup Removers

The formula is oil free and it doesn’t leave a film. But I have to rub so hard to take off even eyeshadow and it doesn’t remove all of my mascara. They claim it removes even long lasting makeup but if it doesn’t remove any of the neutral eyeshadows I wear with ease then I won’t trust that statement. My plan for these is to use them to remove swatches during photography but not on my eyes.

Kleenex cotton soft pad and moist eye makeup remover

Kleenex cotton soft pad and moist eye makeup remover

(Ingredient list: water, isopropol palmitate, steareth-2, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, phenoxyethonol, sodium benzoate, malic acid, potassium soyate, ppg-5-ceteth-20, panthenol, tetrasodium glutamate diacetate, fragrance, polysilicone-20, tocopheryl acetatem, sodium hydroxate)

Grades? A- and D. Can you guess which is which? Would you buy any of these? — Marcia

*nothing to disclose