Favorite highlighters & contouring products

Top Ten Tuesday is into highlighting and contouring. I’m just learning about contouring and it’s a slow but interesting process. But it’s slowly coming along because, as they say, practice makes (almost) perfect. Now highlighting is something I love so it was easy to find what I wanted to share with you. Though my college shows 9 products, it’s actually 10 which I’ll mention below. What highlight & contour products do you like?? — Marcia
1429474283_luxlight-revitalizing-foundation1-315x315EDDIE FUNKHOUSER LUXLIGHT HYDRATING PRIMER * ($14.99) is what I often start with when I want a more glowy look. I have other illuminating highlighters but this is the one I grab. The price is right, as is the Candlelight shade which gives a peachy radiance.
1429474197_mi-01-2tDEX COSMETICS MINERAL ILLUMINATOR ($33) is the unknown brand. No one talks about DEX, it’s more of a cult brand. When Lisa and I went to IMATS once she fell for the line, therefore I bought several items. This mineral illuminator is the one to find if you love a soft beautiful glow wherever you’d highlight. It brightens up the undereye area and looks great at the cupid’s bow to help your pout.
1429473863__82371DIOR SKINFLASH RADIANCE BOOSTER PEN ($38) is available in 6 shades. I bought 002, Candle Light, during a makeover. The makeup artist aka my sister loves this more than my favorite Touche Eclat. I still prefer TE but Dior did a great job on this pen. I mostly use it to soften the look under my eyes.
1429473386_luxlight-illuminator-315x315EDDIE FUNKHOUSER LUXLIGHT ILLUMINATOR PEN* ($11.99) has the best price and it’s very close to the original Touche Eclat, Luminous Radiance, shade. Mine is in Candlelight for cool skintones and it’s also available Arclight for warm skintones. This stands out from the crowded field because of its excellence and price.
1429473252__9457300CHARLOTTE TILBURY THE RETOUCHER ($35) is the first CT product I bought when it came to Nordstrom. I’m still deciding what else to buy from the brand but I wanted to see if I could find something better than Touche Eclat. I bought it in shade 1, Fair, which is lighter than my TE so it works great as a highlighting concealer.
1429473050__5813776YSL TOUCHE ECLAT, RADIANCE ECLAT ($42) is the first highlighter that I ever bought. Since then I’ve bought dozens of other brands but this remains my favorite. It is now available in 10 shades but I’m still in love with the original, Luminous Radiance. There’s just something about this that I can’t describe.

highlighting pens

highlighting pens

highlighting swatches - YSL Touche Eclat, Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, Eddie Funkhouser Candlelight, Dior Skinflash, Dex Minerals Illuminator

highlighting swatches – YSL Touche Eclat, Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, Eddie Funkhouser Candlelight, Dior Skinflash, Dex Minerals Illuminator

1429472802_2264104__detail_?1429472802IT COSMETICS HELLO LIGHT ANTI-AGING CREME ILLUMINIZER (and Hello Light Anti-Aging Illuminizer, the powder version*) ($24) is aaaamazing. I love creme products so that’s why this is the one in the collage. I can get this exactly where I want it to be and blend it with my fingers. As with all IT Cosmetics products for me, it’s the cat’s meow.
1429472649_2264092__detail_?1429472649IT COSMETICS MY SCULPTURED FACE ($38) has been in my collection for a long time. After I bought it though, I was afraid to use it. When I see dark colors for contouring I run. Once I started using it, I saw that IT Cosmetics only had my best interests in mind. The tones in this give you everything you need for highlighting, concealing, contouring and bronzing. It’s the perfect travel companion.

It Cosmetics The Sculptured Face

It Cosmetics The Sculptured Face

1429472501_smashbox-step-by-step-contour-stick-trioSMASHBOX STEP BY STEP CONTOURING TRIO *($45) is the best concept of all of these items. Three separate crayons that Contour, Highlight and Bronze

•    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

A full review is coming up tonight.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Now that you’ve seen my mostly highlighting choices, which of these 9-1o products would you want to try? And what others would you recommend? I know my other blogger friends have some ideas for us all and I’m ready to check them out.  — Marcia
*products were pr samples

Further reviews on these can be found on Beauty Info Zone
IT Cosmetics Hello Light Anti-Aging Creme Illuminator

Eddie Funkhouser Hydrating Primer and Illuminator Pen

Top 10 Tuesday shares spring and summer nail polish

Top 10 Tuesdays picked a topic that’s close to my heart for this go around. I’m a nail polish junkie even if I have no artistic skills and can’t even apply well. I love having a collection of the prettiest and newest nail polishes but I rarely forget about my previous ones. I didn’t quite narrow it down to 10 but I forced myself to stop adding new ones. It’s easy to see what my favorite colors are in my pictures but I’m always willing to experiment. I hope you enjoy what you see. Let me know if any of these are favorites of yours too. — Marcia

1. TRIND Caring Color in SURF’S UP – this is the prettiest teal I own. I’m crazy about metallic polishes and Surf’s Up is an outstanding one. The wear was great. Toes will cry out for this shade but so do my nails.*

2. FORMULA X in A LITTLE SEXY - I feel a whole lot sexy with this denim blue almost lavender polish. This set me off on a light blue craze but this is my favorite of the ones I used. Pick this up at Sephora before it’s gone since it’s a limited edition.

3. ROCOCCO in SANDRINE CREAM – I love this blue too. It’s deeper and less denim than the FormulaX but it’s a stunning light blue that is perfect now and will remain so in the summer. I bought this online but it’s harder to find now.

Rococco Sandrine Cream polish

Rococco Sandrine Cream polish

4. COLOR ME MONTHLY – CHIFFON – Whenever Color Me Monthly sends a polish I swoon. The surprise of this subscription box is what makes it so much fun. Chiffon is a beautiful lavender that I hope will be in their Vault so you can pick it up if you don’t subscribe.*

5. FACE STOCKHOLM #168 - Not an original name but this purple is just too pretty for me to care!*

6. FACE STOCKHOLM AURA – Last summer Face Stockholm came out with holographic nail polishes and Aura blew me away. Imagine sitting in the sun and being able to look at this beauty. It shines and so will you.*

7. butter LONDON MOLLY CODDLED – This is the first Radiant Orchid item I bought once the color was announced by Pantone. It’s still my favorite Radiant Orchid cosmetic. This will always be in style, no matter what the color of the year is.

8. FORMULA X in FIERY – I do love my red polish. Fiery is a flaming red metallic that you’ll love all year long. This is truly seasonless – wear it on your toes this summer and your nails any time.

9. DIOR in FRONT ROW – I obviously didn’t need another red polish but this is more of a pinky red and it’s Dior’s new gel formula so I was justified in buying this. The wear and application are terrific and I’ll be back for more new Dior now.

10. butter LONDON in KERFUFFLE – The best peach I’ve ever tried. I normally don’t look good in peach but this is a pinky peach that is perfection. I hope Ulta does more BOGO so I can buy more colors like this.

11. and 12. butter LONDON LOLLY BRIGHTS in Lolly and Stroppy – These two polishes got compliments galore and will continue to do so all spring and summer. They are metallics with shimmer embedded in them. The colors are bright and happy.*

Top 10 Tuesdays spring & summer nail polish favorites

Top 10 Tuesdays spring & summer nail polish favorites

Visit the other Top 10 nail lovers to find the delights they have to share. I have my trigger finger ready for fun.

*items were sent for consideration

Let’s talk Front Row with Dior’s new polish formula

Dior Front Row Gel Shine

Dior Front Row Gel Shine

Do you ever make a promise to yourself that you just can’t keep? I do and I did. I promised myself no more high end polish buys. I wear a nail polish about two times, maybe 3, so it seems a waste to buy an expensive polish when there are gorgeous ones for less money out there.

But I saw Dior Front Row Nail Lacquer, knew it was a new formula, and instantly caved. How could I not?  YOU needed to know about this new nail lacquer so I was forced to do it for you. You can thank me later.

Dior Front Row

Dior Front Row

How can someone resist a pinky red polish with microscopic shimmer? How can someone resist a polish that flashes blue and purple in bright light? How can someone resist a polish that’s almost neon but not in your face neon? If that someone is named Marcia then they can’t resist.

Front Row - look at the blue iridescence popping

Front Row – look at the blue iridescence popping

I first saw the polish on The Beauty Look Book. That girl could sell me anything and has. Her photography is so stunning and she has amazing taste. I always want the lipsticks and polishes she reviews. She caught me with Front Row and I didn’t forget about it.

Dior Front Row

Dior Front Row

Dior created a new formula and named it Couture Colour Gel Shine and Long Wear Nail Lacquer. The brush is different than on my other Dior polishes. The stem seems shorter and the brush wider. It picks up a lot of polish at one time so be sure to watch that or take off the excess. My nail tech told me she loved the brush and loved the application. It never pooled into my cuticles and it was beautifully opaque in two coats.

Dior Front Row - near a window but not sun

Dior Front Row – near a window but not sun

I’m not a photographer and I know smart phones don’t take the best pictures but I loved how the color popped in the picture below. My car is a true red and in comparison you can see the fuchsia that’s in Front Row.

Dior Front Row next to my red car in sunlight

Dior Front Row next to my red car in sunlight

There are two problems with this nail polish – 1) It’s $25 and 2) I want more of the new Dior formula. Simply gorgeous, easy to work with and a killer color. I’m taking a bow from the Front Row right now! — Marcia



Top Ten Tuesdays returns with palettes we love

Top Ten Beauty always brings a bit of anxiety. What if I leave something out? What if I put something in and then change my mind? What if when I read all the other posts I see something that makes me slap my face and wonder why I haven’t use that in so long?
I’ve picked 9 palettes that I use all the the time and rely on plus one major wishlist palette.
1. Marc Jacobs The Starlet – I’m sure this surprises absolutely no one who has read Beauty Info Zone. I’m crazy about The Starlet (and The Vamp) and think this line was a great addition to the makeup world. Marc Jacobs takes me from my typical staid and brings out the makeup artist I used to be.
2. Sephora+Pantone Universal Precious Metals Shadow Palette – this wasn’t a very popular palette but I love it and pull it out all the time. The shadows are a mix of quality but in general they are well pigmented. There are so many shades I can count on when I need a certain “something”. Unfortunately it’s discontinued but things do pop up occasionally.
3. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette – this is new to me and it’s so wonderful. I resisted the individual Ambient Light singles because I just couldn’t decide. Now I have three so I’m glad I waited before purchasing any.
4. Le Metier de Beaute Blush Kaleidoscope – this is the only blush palette that I use. I use blush every day but the only palette. I usually wear one or two shades at a time with it. It’s great for travel since I’ve got enough variety to keep me happy.
5. Kat Von D True Romance palette in Saint – If you notice I didn’t put any of my Urban Decay Naked palettes even though I have them all. When I want those types of shades I pull out the Kat Von D instead. Of the 8 shades, I wear 6 of them often.
6. TheBalm Shady Lady Volume Three – I could just as easily have picked Volume Two or Balm Jovi or Nude ‘tude since I like all of them. Watch out on Hautelook for TheBalm sales since they have outstanding prices on this brand. It’s the green shade in Volume Three that gets me going.
7.  Dior Bonne Etoile – This is almost too pretty to use. I hate that this was a limited edition because it sold out quickly. I bought both Constellation (purples) and Bonne Etoile (green and brown) but never got around to reviewing them, now it’s too late. But if you can get your hands on either, go for it. Beautifully pigmented, great combinations, stellar design and quality.
8. Too Faced Boudoir Eyes – Too Faced is an eyeshadow lover’s dream and nightmare. They keep coming out with beautiful palettes that I think I can’t live without. Boudoir Eyes is a great neutral palette that I reviewed on Blushing Beauty if you care to read about it.
9.  Bare Minerals The Scenic Route – This is technically not a palette since it just has two shadows but oh what shadows they are. This is my favorite green eyeshadow and I really needed to include it in this post. I don’t wear white shadow often but it just works with the green.
10. Serge Lutens Nude Lip Palette – My wishlist item. I labored over buying this during Barney’s last Beauty Event but the $140 price stopped me in my tracks. I’m still lusting over it but I just don’t imagine myself using it enough to justify that kind of money. Now if my husband gets me mad enough some day —- you never know!!
Thank you for reading my Top Ten Palettes. I’d recommend every one of these. I bought all of these (except Serge) and don’t regret these purchases at all. Any you like or own? — Marcia
Please read what my fellow bloggers have chosen.

[inlinkz_linkup id=318166]

Makeup Wars shows a favorite holiday look

It’s holiday time and some of the Makeup Wars bloggers are ready to celebrate. Today’s Makeup Wars is all about our holiday looks. Everyone loves looking extraordinary on special days and December is filled with those. Since I’m babysitting on New Year’s Eve (yes!! our first sleepover!!) my holiday look took place at a recent party.

As usual I started with my eyes and for this party I pulled out an eyeshadow that I don’t wear that often Makeup Geek Envy. This isn’t an everyday color for me but I so love this blue-green that I was excited to have an occasion to wear it.makeup geek  envy panmakeup geek envy finger panI applied it very heavily along my upper lashline and it was very intense so out came my MAC 219 brush and I started smudging. I blended upwards so that I had the darkness along my lashes and an ombre look as it went up. My favorite browbone shade is the (unfortunately discontinued) Rock & Republic Skintone because it’s absolutely my skintone. I lined with MAC Dark Envy Fluidline and used Diorshow Iconic mascara. I absolutely loved this eye look and felt sexy – a rarity for me! makeup geek teal eye lookmakeup geek teal eyes
After applying my eyes and cleaning up all these little blips of black you see, I applied Tarte Waterproof Maracuja Waterproof Concealer along with an eye cream. My foundation of the evening was one I need to review still, Sunday Riley Creme Radiance Breathable Ageless Foundation. I then used my beloved Mally Evercolor Poreless Face Defender to set my foundation and keep the oilies at bay. sunday riley foundation jarMy blush and lips had to be subtle since my eyes were dramatic. Subtle lips aren’t a problem for me – I can go eeny, meeny, miny, moe with my eyes closed and pick out a YLLB lipstick. For this look though it was important that my blush and lips were in sync. I recently bought my first ever Dior lipstick. I had resisted them for so long because of fragrance but I went to a Dior counter and the amazing makeup artist introduced me to Dior Addict Lipstick. A Dior lipstick with no fragrance. Now I can be a part of the ‘ladies club’. The shade she picked for me is 535 Talleur Bar. This is a sheer mauve that is only slightly darker than my lips. It’s extremely moisturizing but because it’s sheer it wears off quickly. For blush I combined two Youngblood cream blushes – Taffeta (rose iridescence) and Pink Champagne (warm pink).

dior lip open3

dior lip swatch2

Last but not least I applied It Cosmetics Hello Light, the most amazing illuminating powder I’ve ever tried. I feel magical when wearing this. A true review is upcoming by I love that this powder gives my face a luminosity that isn’t glittery or shimmery, that looks natural while illuminating my face so that I glow. it cosmetics hello light powder qvcit hello light back

My nails are an important part of my cosmetic life and I had fun with this. I was wearing a beautiful emerald polish from Color Me Monthly: Emerald City (review upcoming). To spice it up I wore Color Club’s Snow Flakes polish over it. My nails looked like twinkling Christmas lights on a tree.  colormemonthly green and colorclub nails2

So there you have my Holiday Face and Nails without my face. Every product used is a favorite and will continue to be in 2013. I hope you find some inspiration for New Year’s Eve from this version of Makeup Wars. Click on these icons to see what the other warriors have chosen to do for their Holiday Look. If you have one to share, I’m ready, willing and able to hear what you’ve used. — Marcia


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 (qvc.com)

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 sephora.com)

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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Visiting the Golden Jungle with Dior’s Golden Savannah

Dior Golden Savannah palette from nordstrom.com

I’m back in the jungle, the mighty jungle, with Dior Cosmetics. I’ve shown you Golden Light nail polish and told you I doubted I’d be able to resist more. I wasn’t!! So  Golden Savannah 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow palette (774) is now mine. When I was reading up about Golden Savannah I kept finding references to the limited edition Iridescent Leather palette (539) so I decided that it would be helpful to compare these two as well. Both of these are 5 Couleurs aka Couture Colour Eyeshadow Palettes from Dior.

left: Dior Iridescent Leather; right: Dior Golden Savannah

Golden Savannah has 5 colors though only 4 will be used by me. The center diamond is an extremely glittery light gold that is gorgeous but way too much for me, even as an accent. The glitter runs through the shadow as far as I can tell by swatching it over and over. I think on someone younger though it would be absolutely stunning either alone or over another color in the palette. Golden Savannah is a combination of browns and brownish green. Of the 4 color shades 3 are a satiny finish while 1 is a matte. The colors clockwise from top left are:

–Matte light brown, sort of a Hershey milk chocolate with a little cream added in. This applies very lightly on me.

–Golden medium brown, this has some sparkle but no glitter. There’s a lot of gold but it’s not brassy gold. Love this shade!! The texture is divine. The gold is tempered by the brown. I feel twinkly with this on my lid.

–Dark brown satin finish with a cool undertone. It’s not a very unusual shade but it’s great for the palette and is the type of brown I enjoy wearing.

–Khaki brown, another favorite. I love the little bit of green that comes through on this.

Iridescent Leather in the same order:

why is Iridescent Leather squished??

–Peach/gold satin

–Golden brown that’s more brown than gold

–Gold but not like the gold in Golden Savannah, this is lighter and slightly more yellow

–Dark satin finish brown that’s similar to GS but warmer

–The diamond on Iridescent Leather is much more useful for me since it isn’t glittery, it’s a cream satin.

Left Golden Savannah, right Iridescent Leather

You can see that there are some similarities but not enough that I didn’t need both. Actually they work together quite well. Iridescent Leather was a big time favorite when I bought it and I’m sure that Golden Savannah will become another favorite. What I like about both of these are how usable all the shades are. In too many of my Dior palettes I’ll find that the shades are gorgeous in the palette but then look alike on my eyes. With Golden Savannah the colors are distinct and unique. The quality of the eyeshadows in this palette is superb. The colors apply beautifully with amazing pigmentation (other than the glittery center which is light and on the dry side) and they last well with an eyeshadow primer.

To see some fabulous photos of Golden Savannah check out Temptalia. (I want her to adopt me for a while so I can learn to take those pictures!!)

I’m enjoying my time in the jungle and am thinking about a return visit for Khaki Design. This collection unfortunately is limited edition and while Nordstrom (where I bought mine) has it online I heard it was a hot seller. — Marcia