Em Cosmetics Eye Primer – winner or wanna be?

EM Cosmetics Eye Primer (site)

em Cosmetics Eye Primer (site)

On Black Friday I was convinced (that’s my excuse) to purchase some EM Cosmetics since they were having a BOGO sale. I guess I was in the mood to spend a lot since I added their Eye Primer to my cart. I paid $12.76 for two although I notice that they cost $15 each now. Whether I pay $15 or under $7 this is what I consider a best buy. It turns out that I love this shadow primer. I’ve got backups of my Too Faced Shadow Insurance plus about 7 other eyeshadow primers so this is not something I needed. But now that I have it I’m in love.

em Cosmetics Eye Primer

em Cosmetics Eye Primer

The EM Cosmetics site calls this transparent which it is and it isn’t. When you first apply it you’ll see a white liquid that has a very subtle shimmer. It takes a minute or so to dry and at that point it will be transparent. It’s very lightweight even though it goes on wet at first.

em Cosmetics Eye Primer swatch

em Cosmetics Eye Primer swatch

em Cosmetics Eye Primer wand

em Cosmetics Eye Primer wand

Here’s why I love this… let me count the ways

1. The price I paid was excellent but I still don’t consider the real price of $15 to be out of line.

2. It’s totally amazing with the em Cosmetics line of eyeshadows. There’s a definite difference in the longevity of wear with their shadows.

3. It’s just as long wearing with other brands of eyeshadows.

4. While it appears shimmery it just gives a subtle brightness to shadows therefore it livens up some of those mattes that I’m not crazy about. Even those of you who are afraid of any shimmer shouldn’t find this to be anything but giving a little more lightness to your shadows.

5. I like the wand which some people may not care for. It’s easy to get the product out and I like smoothing it on my eyelid. There’s a subtle curve to the wand that helps it on your lid. In addition it gets out the right amount.

6. The website says to think of it as a magnet for your eyes and I totally agree. Shadows adhere to it beautifully and it brings out the pigmentation of them.

It’s pretty obvious by now that this is a valentine to this particular product. The Eye Primer was the winner in my Black Friday spree. Now if only I could figure out where I put that second one!!

What eyeshadow primer do you use? — Marcia


fill weight: 4.5 ml/0.15 fl oz



More double entendres from Soap and Glory

My friends returned from a recent trip to England saying they loved it – the people were friendly, and the cosmetics were naughty.
naughty EnglandThey brought me back some Soap and Glory Cosmetics, the ones with the ‘best names’.  I reviewed the lip products yesterday.  Today is all about concealing, priming, and glowing…wink, wink!
Kick Ass Concealer

Kick Ass Concealer

Kick Ass Concealer, a Three-Piece Flaw Camouflage Kit  (RRP £10.00)
soap and glory concealer out of box
Soap and Glory says, “Includes an amazing under eye brightening concealer with PUFFEASE-8™ technology, SUPERWEAR™ light scrambling ‘on the spot’ complexion concealer & a weightless transparent setting powder with INSTA-FIX™ polymer technology.”
three products is always better than one!

three products is always better than one!

 I picked up this one and said, “You gave me something to camouflage my ass??”  Well, nothing could do that, but in terms of under eye concealer I say this is pretty kick ass.  I like having two different shades in one compact, mine is in the shade Light.
Kick Ass Concealer in Light

Kick Ass Concealer in Light

I also really like having a setting powder.

Kick Ass Concealer setting powder

Kick Ass Concealer setting powder

This is a creamy concealer that gives medium coverage.  I wouldn’t say it covers super dark circles, but it definitely offers some coverage and brightens dark areas.  It does a great job on blemishes.

Swatched - setting powder is on the far right

Swatched – setting powder is on the far right

Now if it only actually camouflaged my ass, it would be perfect.

It's About Prime Eyeshadow Underbase

It’s About Prime Eyeshadow Underbase

It’s About Prime Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Underbase (RRP £8.00)

Soap and Glory says, “A first base if you want crease-free, no smudge eye colour. Contains Insta-Lift™ Firming Para Cress Flower Proteins (to help give you more flat, glossy, smooth-finished lids), anti–colour crease long wear polymers, and coffee extract to fight morning puffiness. Use BRIGHT LIGHT under everyday eyeshadow, or SILVER LINING for a shimmering layer under party eyes.

soap and glory prime applicator

soap and glory prime swatch

I say, mine is Bright Light.  It definitely brightens and helps eyeshadow last longer.  The best way to use this is to smear some on a steel palette, then pick up a small amount on your finger and pat pat pat on the eyelid.  Don’t use too much or it will crease.  Used sparingly, it does a beautiful job of priming those eyelids.

soap and glory glow packaging

Glow Job Daily Radiance Moisture Lotion (RRP £9.00)
Soap and Glory says, “A two-in-one moisturizing lotion and temporary self-tanner, Glow Job™ features micro Bronzeburst™ Beads that ‘pop’ when you massage them, leaving you looking, healthy, refreshed, and just ever so slightly sun-kissed. (For those in the nose… it smells like sweet orange peel oil & vanilla.)”
Glow Job

Glow Job

I say, wow, quite the double entendre!  Glow Job is an extremely intriguing tinted moisturizer.  Initially, it just looks like moisturer:

soap and glory glow swatch 1

But spread out, it reveals tiny little beads full of tint:

soap and glory glow swatch 2

The beads burst as you smooth in the lotion, leaving behind gentle color:

soap and glory glow swatch 3

The only problem I encounter is at times I don’t quite ‘pop’ all the beads, and am left with either a bead on my face/body or a bit of a splotch of color.  To remedy this, I now pop all the beads with my fingers first, then apply.  It’s wonderful for those low-key days when you want some color but not full-face makeup, and it’s terrific on the decolletage.

My friends loved England, and I loved my gifts.  They are just naughty enough to be fun.  Brilliant!  – Lisa

The latest and greatest from Kryolan Cosmetics

 A few weeks ago, I had dinner with Ulrike Bege, District Manager for Kryolan Cosmetics, and got the scoop on all the latest and greatest new things.  Kryolan is a fantastic line that has products for both everyday use and for theatrical use.  Did you know that the majority of Illamasqua products are actually produced by Kryolan?  I am going to the Face & Body Expo in Chicago next month where I will be stocking up on the newest things, but in the meantime here is a quick glimpse of what’s to come:


Eyeshadow Primer

 This is the new, reformulated Eyeshadow Primer.  It feels super silky on, and it really brightens up the color of eyeshadows. 

Makeup Blend

Makeup Blend

Ulrike showed me her bottle of Makeup Blend - this is not the ‘official’ packaging.  I went bananas over this!  It’s a silky liquid that thins out cream and liquid foundation.  It helps foundation last, and it gives a beautiful matte finish.  So it gives old products new life (turn liquid foundation into tinted moisturizer!  Or thin out that too-thick cream foundation!)  It also saves money as you use less product when combined with Makeup Blend.  I can’t wait to get my own bottle.


HD Micro Primer

HD Micro Primer feels so amazing on, Ulrike was laughing at me because I was simply swooning over this.  WOW it feels amazing!  As all primers do, it minimizes pores and fine lines and makes skin smooth.  This has a small amount of silicone so it feels extremely silky, but not too slick.  It is to die for. 

lip gloss

High Gloss lip gloss

 The High Gloss lip glosses are spectacular.  The amount of pigmentation is fantastic, and the mouth feel is just perfect – not sticky, and not so slick as to wear off after ten minutes.  The colors?   Amazing.

  I sat at our booth swatching away as Ulrike munched on her salad, giggling at my delight.  But hey, what can I say, shimmer makes me shiver!!


a quick view of the swatches

Everything was stunning and there is so much I am looking forward to!  I plan to get a full range of these products in March and I will share everything after I try them all for a while.  Until then, I will be dreaming of Kryolan!  – Lisa

Smokey eyes the Mally Beauty way – Citychick Plum Chelsea review and swatches

Mally Beauty Citychick Smokey Eye Kit in Plum Chelsea

Have you ever heard of being a “Mallynista”? Mallynistas are the lovely ladies that are followers of Mally Beauty. I’m learning that being a Mallynista is a really good thing. I’ve bought several of her kits from QVC and am totally addicted to her Poreless Face Defender and now I think I’m going to become addicted to her Citychick Smokey Eye Kits. I have this kit in Plum Chelsea and it’s fabulous and is going to prove to be more fabulous in the fall.

Mally Beauty palette and eyeliner pencil

Plum Chelsea

Citychick Smokey Eye Kits  are made up of three eyeshadow shades and an eyeshadow primer. The eyeshadow primer is one of the best I’ve ever tried. I will be honest and when I got it I figured I’d just use my previous ones since this looks more like a concealer than a shadow primer. What a mistake that was. The shadows last so much longer and look so much better with Mally’s eyeshadow primer that I’m sold on it. I use it with other brands too because it’s that good. The colors in Plum Chelsea are so much more vibrant and last so much longer when using the primer that I’d buy this just for the primer.

Base and lightest shade

middle and darkest shades (the middle shade isn’t this pink though)

That said, I’m really enjoying the shades in Plum Chelsea. The combination that Mally picked is perfect. The first shade is a cream with just a twinkle of peach undertones, it’s recommended as a highlighter shade but looks just as good on the lid. It blends in well on my fair skin but it also looks good on its own. The second shade is a lightly shimmered purple. I love how it glistens. The third shade is a dark violet that feels creamy to the touch. I really appreciate that there’s no red to this darkest shade since no one needs rabbit eyes except rabbits. The violet is my favorite shade in the palette. It reminds me of my all time favorite purple shadow (Chantecaille’s Tanzanite).

finger swatches of shadows (truer swatches)

my favorite shade

While all three of the shadows in Plum Chelsea have some shimmer to them, there’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s not glitter and that’s an important distinction. I don’t have fallout from the shadows or the shimmer.

Charcoal eyeliner pencil

The Citychick palettes also come with an eyeliner pencil. For Plum Chelsea it’s a charcoal mechanical pencil. I always like Mally’s pencils since they apply so easily. They are creamy and glide on effortlessly. They are very easy to smudge but do end up being long lasting. This is a true charcoal shade so it’s much softer than a black would be. With Plum Chelsea there are a lot of colors though that also look good as a liner – try green for a beautiful pop of color or go with your favorite violet. You can’t go wrong.

pencil and shadows swatched, indirect light

You can find Mally products on her website, on beauty.com, and on QVC. If she has a palette like this in a kit it’s really a bargain. Right now I have my eye on a palette there called Mally City Chick Smolders that’s in brown and has the same great base.

After recently buying her Poreless Face Defender and a QVC kit I thought I was a Mallynista but I know now I’ve only dipped my toes into Mally Beauty. After writing this review I ordered Mally’s Eyeshadow Primer from beauty.com. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how great it was with my eyeshadows and didn’t want to use up the one in the palette. When you decide to become a Mallynista be sure to put a City Chick Smokey Eye Kit on your list. You’ll love it! — Marcia

*some items in review were PR samples, some bought by reviewer

Make Up For Ever Eye Prime – it’s about time!!


Make Up For Ever has finally come out with an eye primer, Eye Prime, and I for one am thrilled. I do not put on my makeup without an eyeshadow primer. I don’t even have oily lids anymore but I find a primer to be an absolute necessity in my preparations.

Eye Prime ($22) is an incredible primer and needs to be tried by everyone who wears eyeshadow. Pretty broad statement there, but I mean it. I’ve used it with half a dozen brands now, from $1.99 WetnWild to $30 Le Metier and Chantecaille shadows, and it works perfectly with every brand.

A good eyeshadow primer should make your eyeshadows creaseproof, make the colors truer and make them last the day. In the “olden” days before primers I had to reapply often but with a product like Eye Prime I’m set for the day and into the evening. 

Eye Prime comes in a universal light beige shade that disappears when applied. It’s not meant to provide any color, it’s meant to create a flawless lid that is ready for color. It’s formulated with “a combination of waxes and fixing polymers that render eye shadow smudge-proof and long-lasting, while also intensifying their color”.  I find that it’s a very lightweight cream that dries quickly.

It might have taken Make Up For Ever a long time to create an eyeshadow primer but now that it’s here it was worth the wait. — Marcia

Eye Prime Ingredients:

Sododecane, Mica, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethicone, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Glyceryl Caprylate, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Propylene Carbonate, Tocopherol, Talc, CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides).

*pr sample


Napoleon Perdis- I Will Survive and Creme de la Creme reviews

Say the word Napoleon and I’m transported back to world history with the world’s strictest teacher, Mr. Korczynski. The memory makes me shake. Say the word Napoleon Perdis though and instead I’m sitting in front of my makeup mirror applying delightful cosmetics. My newest treasures are Napoleon Perdis’ Crème de la Crème eye shadows and they make me shake too, but with glee rather than fear.

Crème de la Crème are cream eyeshadows ($25 each) as the name implies. There are 3 beautiful colors that are perfect for summer: Wild Bronze, Quick Silver and Fool’s Gold. These come in see-through 10 oz. tubes that make it so easy to apply. I squeeze out a small amount on a taklon brush to apply to my eyes. I’m sure you can use fingers but they are sparkly and the brush contains that sparkle. You need such a small amount that these tubes will last you for an extremely long time.

You can use these shadows alone or as a base for other colors. They work beautifully under a matte shadow that you want to bring to life. In Quick Silver, Fool’s Gold and Wild Bronze, these easy-to-blend, soft cream eyeshadows deliver long-lasting color. The light-reflecting undertones work to create heavenly eyes that sparkle and captivate. By Napoleon Perdis. (info from Nordstrom.com)


Creme de la Creme eyeshadows

Fool’s Gold is actually white with gold sparkle. It’s a little stark for my fair skin on its own so I prefer it as a base under powder eyeshadows. I can see the shimmer lightly through whatever I wear over it.

Fool's Gold from napoleonperdis.com

Fool's Gold

Fool's Gold

Fool's Gold

Quick Silver is a sparkly taupe with silver shimmer. You can build up the intensity of this shade if you want. I like it with about 2 layers so that the taupe will come through. Being taupe you know it’s my favorite of the group.

Quick Silver from napoleonperdis.com

Quick Silver

Quick Silver

Quick Silver

Quick Silver

Wild Bronze is a darker shade that is best as a stand alone shadow on my lid. It’s a true bronze with gold shimmer shot throughout.

Wild Bronze from napoleonperdis.com

Wild Bronze

Wild Bronze

While these eyeshadows wear well on their own without a base, I prefer them with Napoleon’s Eye Will Survive Primer ($24). What a great eyeshadow primer this is! This has more color than some other primers so it masks any discoloration on your eyelids. Some of us have uneven skin tone on our lids or have lids that have darkened with age. Eye Will Survive conceals that and makes all shadows apply smoothly and most important LAST. Being the eyeshadow aficionado that I am, I love a great eyeshadow primer and Eye Will Survive Primer fits the bill here. It has a wand for application. I dab the wand on my eyes and then blend with my finger. It has worked with every brand I’ve tried and is especially great when I use it with Crème de la Crème. Napoleon Says: “A lid-loving primer with real staying power.” Eye Will Survive is a triple-action primer. It protects the delicate eye area, creates a smooth shadow base to prevent creasing and gives your eye makeup all-day staying power.

Eye Will Survive from napoleonperdis.com

If you are looking for a quick eye that will last all day and night and you aren’t afraid of some sparkle then I think you need to look for the cream of the crop with Napoleon. The cream shadows are available online at Napoleon’s website and on Nordstrom’s website. The primer is available on Napoleon’s website at the current time.

Eye Will Survive

Eye Will Survive

Eye Will Survive wand

Thank goodness the new Napoleon in my life doesn’t scare me, he just makes me look my best instead. — Marcia

*pr sample

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