Fusion of Color – part 2

I’m back again with Fusion of Color.  This wonderful line has so much to offer that I needed two reviews to show you what I’m using from them. I’m going to tell you about some great lipglosses but I first need to start with a new line that Fusion of Color is creating. It’s called the Aura Line and it contains a bakers dozen of items. I’ve got the original that is the basis for the entire line:  Aura-Lusion Diamond Finish Powder.

unblended swatch

There’s something about this powder that’s slightly magical. With a name like “diamond finish” you’d expect to see some glimmer but that’s not what happens here. Instead you get a soft white (translucent) powder that magically seems to soften the lines on your face. They describe it as a look that’s almost air-brushed and I agree with that. It’s their version of a high-def powder.

image from fusionofcolor.net

“This entrapped diamond complex manipulates incident light by converting invisible UV light to blue light (photoluminescence) and selectively scattering favorable blue and green light. The particles settle in the wrinkle and subtly illuminate a blue glow which decreases the appearance of wrinkles. This leads to youthful looking skin as the appearance of shadows, wrinkles, pigmentation and discolorations are diminished.”

The size you see in my picture is $9 or you can purchase a sample for $2. Larger sizes are available and once you see how velvety your face looks, you’ll want a larger size.

The Aura collection also has products like Aura Tint which are tinted versions of the diamond finish and two versions of Lusion Finishing Powders (sheer and more opaque).

I’ve got two lipglosses to share with you too. Ice Crystals Gloss ($13.85)  and Pink Crystals Gloss.  Fusion of Color has two packaging options for most of their glosses.

Ice Crystal and Pink Crystal

Ice Crystal wand

Ice Crystals Gloss is a clear gloss with sparkles. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any lip product you own. What I like best about it is that I can add it over a lip color I find too dark and it lightens and brightens it. I don’t end up with sparkle all over though. It’s packed tightly enough into the gloss to keep it on my lips. This is only available in the glass tube.

Devotion lipgloss with Ice Crystal over it

Pink Crystals is the pink version of Ice Crystals. It’s available in either of the packaging choices (glass wanded tube $9.00, 14 ml click up tube $14). It’s a very light pink that adds a cool tone to your lipsticks while Ice Crystals is more of a neutral. With Pink Crystals you can add a plumping component to your choice.

Pink Crystal

Pink Crystal swatch

There are other choices like a beautiful red gloss called Cupid Gloss and a sparkly red called Fuji Gloss.

example of click up tube and tops

example of wand packaging

You can see from my reviews that there are so many choices for Fusion of Color – size, packaging, colors and more. If you like to control what you have, if you like to test out products in smaller versions, or if you just like to know exactly what you are getting from a company that lays it all out there for you; then Fusion of Color is a brand for you.   — Marcia

*pr samples

Lisa’s Top Picks of 2011 Part One

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

Illuminare Beyond Black Everlasting Eyeliner

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

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

Favorite foundation:

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

dan read foundation

Dan Read Cosmetics FOD

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

Favorite blush:

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

Favorite loose powder:

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

Favorite concealer:

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

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

Favorite eyeshadows:

My most favorite Dan Read Cosmetics eyeshadow – Cameo

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

Ellis Faas eyes

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

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Eyeshadow eyes

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

Vasanti eyes

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

Inglot eyeshadow look

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

Favorite eyeshadow palettes

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

Favorite eye liners:

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

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

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

Eyes with Face Stockholm Navy Cake Eyeliner

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

Favorite mascara:

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

Dior Extase Mascara applied

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

Favorite lips:

Kryolan Sunrise lip gloss swatch

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

Favorite Brows:

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

Youngblood Cosmetics Brow Artiste

I love this set.

Favorite Brush:

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

Cargo Magic Brush

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

Favorite makeup artist:

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

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

Favorite web designer:

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

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

Favorite writing partner:

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

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

Loose vs. pressed face powders, featuring Ben Nye Cosmetics

Face powder is the perfect secret weapon for setting makeup, creating that ‘finished’ look, and helping your foundation and concealer last longer.  You can buy face powder in either loose or pressed form.  Many prefer loose powder, as it’s easier to control the amount used, and the finish tends to be  more natural.  Pressed powder typically has a heavier finish, although it’s more popular than loose due to its ease of use as well as the portability factor. 

I find there are pros and cons for each, and in my humble opinion,  everyone should have at least one of each type in their stash.  A line that has some of my favorite powders is Ben Nye.

For loose powder, I like the Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Buff (1.5 oz is $7, 3 oz is $10) for several reasons.  First of all, the price is right!  Loose powders come in a ridiculously  huge range of prices.  For example, one loose powder I love is from the Cle de Peau line, but it costs $105.  Insane, isn’t it?  I think the Ben Nye has a great price for a loose powder.  It comes in a plastic shaker bottle, which is common for loose powders in theatrical lines.  I love it because if you shake the bottle then open it, you get just the right amount on the top (see above).  I pick up the powder by swirling my big powder brush over it, then I swirl the brush into the container cap to work the powder into the brush.  I sweep the brush over my foundation and concealer, and it nicely finishes the look, plus sort of seals it so it lasts longer.  The Ben Nye loose powder is very fine and delicate, and gives an air brushed look that is never thick or cakey.  It comes in several colors, including the popular color-correcting Banana shade. 

But let’s face it – loose powder doesn’t really fit into your purse.  I need powder for blotting throughout the day.  I am in my forties, but that hasn’t stopped the shiny nose issues I have battled since high school.  As an obsessive blotter, I’m very picky about my pressed powders.  Many of them are too heavy, too fragranced, and too matte, giving a mask-like appearance.  Ben Nye’s Media Pro HD Compact Powder ($13) is a great choice for a pressed powder.

The compact is very sturdy and beautiful.  My only complaint is I do wish it had a mirror.

You can see from the swatch (the color is Bella, which looks very light here but goes on translucent) that the powder isn’t heavy.  It gives a surprisingly diffuse look for a pressed powder, and it’s terrific for inhibiting oiliness and getting rid of shine.

Most pressed powders come with some sort of sponge-type applicator that  sits right on the powder, but this one does not.  Compact sponges are basically condos for bacteria, so it’s far better to carry a separate applicator like a small kabuki brush.  Using a brush also gives a better application of pressed powder, you aren’t going to get the thick, powdery look that often happens with a powder puff.

I recommend having a loose powder to set your look in the morning, and a pressed powder for touch ups during the day. And if you are looking for some great, affordable options, Ben Nye is a terrific way to go!  – Lisa