Happy 4th of July!! My red, white, and blue favorites for nails, lips, and eyes

Some people make red, white, and blue desserts for the 4th of July.

photo courtesy of HGTV.com

photo courtesy of HGTV.com

Me?  I make my favorite red, white, and blue selections from my nail polish, lip gloss, and eyeshadow collections.  Here’s are my selections in celebration of our patriotic holiday!

My picks for 4th of July nail polish shades

My picks for 4th of July nail polish shades

My favorite red, white, and blue nail polishes are:  Rescue Beauty Lounge Cherry Love (popsicle red), China Glaze White Cap (sheer white with gold shimmer, I am wearing this one now!), Cult Nails Princess (light dusty blue with pink shimmer).

My July lip gloss picks

My July lip gloss picks

My holiday lip gloss picks include:  Butter London Come to Bed Red (classic cream red), Elizabeth Arden Crystal Clear Lip Gloss (sheer shiny gloss), It Cosmetics News Anchor Blue (sheer blue that makes teeth look super white).

My beautiful Z Palette holding my patriotic eyeshadows!

My beautiful Z Palette holding my patriotic eyeshadows!

My Z Palette holds my favorite red, white, and blue eyeshadow 4th of July collection.  Here are my picks:

Red, white and blue eyeshadow picks

Red, white and blue eyeshadow picks

Far left row from top to bottom:

Nars Tibet (the consummate shimmery sheer white)

MAC White Frost (a buttery white frost that is perfect for the brow and inner corner of the eye)

MAC Crystal Avalanche (fabulous pigmentation, and this works beautifully as a face highlighter too)

July whites and reds

July whites and reds

Second from left row top to bottom:

MAC Vanilla (this is a homemade pan made from the Vanilla pigment.  I prefer this to the regular MAC Vanilla eyeshadow, which I think is rather boring.  My absolute favorite for an eye-widening lid shade)

MAC Star Violet (just enough plum to keep it from being too red, and the Veluxe Pearl texture can’t be beat)

MAC Plum Dressing (gorgeous, different, and makes a great smoky eye look)

July reds and blues

July reds and blues

Far left row in picture above, top to bottom:

MAC Moon’s Reflection (stunning periwinkle blue that is totally wearable)

MAC Leisure Time (red-gold-bronze that is unique and stunning with brown eyes)

Giorgio Armani #46 (fantastic red-bronze that doubles as a beautiful blush, it applies soft but is buildable for more drama)

Second row pictured above, top to bottom:

MAC Electric Eel (not for everyone, but this is the prettiest, most dramatic blue I have ever owned)

MAC Freshwater (fantastic ocean blue, love this as a liner…and it’s got that fabulous Veluxe Pearl texture)

MAC Deep Truth (sultry true deep blue, one of my most favorite blues of all time…it is a perfect liner shade)

Far right row top to bottom:

Sue Devitt Alexandria (totally underrated brand…this is a fantastic cobalt blue)

MAC Contrast (deep violet-blue, try this over black eyeliner for some mega sultry drama)

Giorgio Armani #1 (rich,velvety navy blue that is a fabulous eyeliner)

There you have my red, white, and blue selections in celebration of patriotic makeup geekdom!!  What are yours??  - Lisa

PS – and just for fun, here are some more China Glaze White Cap pictures for you.  Happy 4th of July!  – Lisa

China Glaze White Cap

China Glaze White Cap

China Glaze White Cap

China Glaze White Cap

China Glaze White Cap and my beautiful flowers

China Glaze White Cap and my beautiful flowers

and one more just for the heck of it!!

and one more just for the heck of it!!

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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L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows – the “call it love” review!

My heart skipped a beat. My breathing became rapid. My eyes glazed over. And why is that? I found L’Oreal Color Infaillible Eyeshadows! I’ve read about them on non-US blogs but they haven’t quite made it into the US unless you are lucky enough to find them at a Harmon’s Drugs inside Bed, Bath & Beyond. Mine though came from Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart and I couldn’t wait to write about these eyeshadows.

L'Oreal Infaillible eyeshadows

If you know anything about the Infallible Eyeshadows, they are being compared to Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows. I’ve previously reviewed several of the Armani so I was eager to see the difference between a $32 Armani and a $10 L’Oreal.

Shoppers Drug Mart didn’t have all of the colors in stock when I was there and the two that I thought I wanted most weren’t available. My eye though instantly went to the green shade, Permanent Kaki (009) and I knew that I wasn’t going home without it. I also picked out All Night Blue (006) and Burning Black (013). There was no tester of Burning Black but it looked fascinating – a reddish black. BTW there seems to be two spellings for these: Color Infaillible and also Infallible without a second “I”.

When I was searching for these eyeshadows online the first site I came to was L’Oreal’s Australian site which shows 9 of these shadows but I have seen from other websites that there are more than these 9. According to a picture on Nouveau Cheap there appear to be 12 shades ($8.79) and the packaging is somewhat different than I purchased in Canada.

The description is quite similar to Armani’s though not exact. Considering that L’Oreal owns Armani I’m not surprised.

Infallible Eyeshadows contain ultra concentrated colour pigments, for an intense colour finish. Additional binders (oils) coat and magnify the colour pigments revealing beautiful shimmer and maximized colour. The colour adheres to the eyelid as durably and comfortably as a second skin and lasts for up to 24hrs.

With a formulation that lies between the comfort of a cream and the ease of application of a powder, infallible eyeshadow melts gently from the fingertips to the eye lid on application. The result is a luxurious, velvety texture.

Now let’s talk about what I’ve found!! They both have that same hybrid texture, not quite a cream, not a powder.

Permanent Kaki (Khaki on some sites) – I wouldn’t describe this as a khaki shade, it’s a much brighter green than khaki normally is. It’s the most metallic of my three when worn.

Permanent Kaki swatch

Permanent Kaki worn

All Night Blue – This is a deep navy that’s absolutely gorgeous. It can be blended down but it’s still going to be dark. I love this particular kind of navy. It works beautifully as an eyeliner.

All Night Blue

All Night Blue

Burning Black – I’ve seen this described as deep blackened plum with some red shimmer. On my eyes I see more black than plum but in certain lights (and if blended a lot) I do see a dark plum. This too makes an outstanding eyeliner.

Burning Black

Burning Black swatch

Burning Black showing more purple

How does L’Oreal Infalliable compare to Armani Eyes to Kill Intense?

-These come in a pot form with the same stopper that Armani’s have. The purpose of the stopper is to keep them fresher so don’t toss it.

-There doesn’t appear to be any dupes between the darker shades. There might with the lighter shades but I didn’t pay much attention to those.

-When you look at the Armani you see a variety of color blended together to form the shade. Actually you can’t be really sure what the Armani is going to look like on your eye by what it appears to be in the pot. But with the L’Oreal what you see is what you get. That’s not a complaint, just a comment.

-L’Oreal Permanent Kaki is green whereas Armani Khaki Pulse is a truer khaki shade.

L'Oreal Permanent Kaki vs Armani Khaki Pulse

L'Oreal Kaki vs Armani Khaki

-Both brands last and last. They are said to give 24 hour wear. While I remove eye makeup every night I have worn two of the shades for 12 hours and they looked as vibrant and true at the end of the day as at the beginning.

-Both are creaseproof on me when wearing an eyeshadow base.

-My favorite brush to apply these is the MAC 217. Mine is old and quite fluffy which works in picking up the shadows and laying them down well for me.

I’m looking forward to these showing up in US drugstores. I know I’ll buy the chocolate one for sure and probably more. My heart still skips a beat when I take these out to apply them and I’m still breathless with excitement. Keep your eye open for these beautiful bargains! — Marcia

Side by Side – 10 top color items for 2011

Beauty Info Zone hasn’t done any top 10 lists lately and we’re way overdue. It was super hard to pick out of all the reviews we’ve done and narrow it down to only 10 products each so if we cheat a little, don’t be mad. We’ve both reviewed so many products that we reach for all the time. Here’s what’s standing out to Marcia and Lisa’s Top Ten for the first half of 2011.


  1. Rouge Bunny Rouge: Oh how I love my Rouge Bunny Rouge eyeshadows. Here are two reviews that I’ve written about them. There will be more to come! Start with my first RBR post and then read this post.
  2. Illamasqua nail polish: I love my nail polishes and I have used so many that have won my heart. But Illamasqua are the ones I’m lusting after.
  3. Face Stockholm: All the Face Stockholm products I’ve tried have been absolutely wonderful but if I have to pick one to live with forever after it would be the Rio cream blush.
  4. Billion Dollar Brows: Here’s where I cheated. I know I said 10 items but I use the BDB brow powder and tweezers every single day so I have to include them both. I would be lost without these now. 
  5. Tarte Inner Rim Brightener: Another product I use every single day; I even have two since I don’t want to be without this.
  6. Le Métier de Beaute’ Fresh Creme Tints: I have all of these and I love them to pieces. I’m a cream girl/lady/woman and these are so creamy. They double as blush and lip tints.
  7. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes: Cheating again, more Tarte but I can’t help it. These are the longest lasting powder blushes I’ve ever tried. Every color is fabulous too.
  8. Armani Intense Eyes to Kill eyeshadows:  These are unique on the market and I love using them. I’m so sad I didn’t buy more which means I will be buying more!
  9. Face Atelier Lip Putty: I picked this over all the other great Face Atelier products because I use it constantly. It’s the best product I own to prime my lips.
  10. Dan Read foundation: I know Lisa is going to mention this but the more I thought about the list, the more I realized I couldn’t write my top ten without it.


  1. Dan Read eyeshadows:  Everything about Dan Read makes me happy, especially his foundation, but I’m in an eyeshadow kind of mood lately and these have won my heart.
  2. Vasanti Eye Products: Every single eye product that I use from Vasanti is wonderful. Eye Wonder is a fabulous eye cream and Vasanti’s Moon Dust Shimmer Powder is amazing.
  3. OCC pigments:  I have always loved pigments and my collection is huge. OCC pigments stand out though because they are top notch and I love them all but Artifact is the very best. 
  4. Cargo eyeshadow palettes: I’m obviously on an eyeshadow kick lately and Cargo started this kick. Once I tried their palettes I became more obsessed with eyes than ever. Cool Neutral has gotten me through many work days because I know that even if I wake up late I’ll end up with a polished eye.
  5. Unii palettes: I’m in love with the amazing colors of Unii palettes. They bring a smile to the face of this serial depotter. Anyone who likes their eyeshadows and blushes in palette form needs a collection of these.
  6. Cargo Magic Brush: This is the brush I choose if I can only have one brush. It’s so soft and does such a magical job on my face.
  7. Face Stockholm color correcting foundation: I’ve been amazed with the Matte Foundation in Lilac. I never thought something like this would work but oh my goodness, it’s a fabulous addition to your foundations.
  8. Face Stockholm blush: Shambella matte blush has been my most used blush lately. The quality is terrific, so incredibly smooth and easy to blend.
  9. Illuminare eyeliner: I never thought that I’d fall so in love with an eyeliner but Illuminare Beyond Black has stolen my heart.
  10. Illuminare foundation: Illuminare makes several formulas of foundation and I refuse to pick a favorite; I can’t help but love Extra Coverage foundation/concealer and Mattifying Mineral foundation. Add in their Fast Application Pad and you have perfection.

We hope you’ve gotten to the end of this very long article. We each could have done a list of 20 but we have to stop at some point. We will be following up with another Side by Side with our top 10 on other types of products.

Did we hit any of your favorites in this list? — Marcia and Lisa

Armani Eyes to Kill Intense eyeshadows

I’m not going down without a fight. I don’t care how old I am. When I see a beautiful eyeshadow that makes my heart go pitter patter it doesn’t matter if it’s metallic or a little frosty, it needs to be mine. This is just a warning about what you’ll see in this review: gorgeous colors but metallic and sometimes frosty and sometimes shimmery. But I don’t care. I bought them anyway.

For the 2010 holidays Armani brought out 3 new cream/powder eyeshadows. I studied the blogs looked at all the pictures and swore I wasn’t going to buy them. Of course you know if I’m writing about this it means I did buy one. Armani has recently come out with 11 more of these shadows and instead of buying just one I bought three. Now you get to see these in all their glory. The stock pictures don’t do them justice.

Armani Eyes to Kill Intense eyeshadow ($32) is a new formula. I called them a cream/powder but they are somewhere in between. They feel creamy to the touch and can be applied with your fingers but they aren’t like any cream shadow I own. They also feel powdery. While I don’t know the science behind them I do know it’s a new technology for Armani. You can wear these alone or wear them along with powder eyeshadows. I find that they last and last. They are as gorgeous at the end of a long day as they are at the beginning. Actually I think they look even better as the day goes on. Even though they don’t crease on me at all, I believe that the natural oils from my skin gives them a softer sheen throughout the day. When you look at the Armani website you can see that the colors aren’t just one straight up shade, instead they are a combination of different shades to create that perfect color.

I started with #15 which is still available on the Armani Website.  This is a beautiful metallic bronze gold shade. The shades that are visible when you open this are black and gold which blend into the bronze. The website describes this as copper/black grey but mine doesn’t appear to have grey and it’s not as light as it appears online in the pot.

#4 is named Pulp Fiction online but the names doesn’t appear on the packaging, just the numbers. My Pulp Fiction is mostly a silvery grey with a blue undertone, the color blended into it is reddish but that’s not the predominant shade. I’ve worn this shade with charcoal liner and with purple liner and both look great with it. 

#8 (Champagne) and #9 (Rock Sand) are the two light shades I bought, these are the ones I think of when I think of them being frosty. I like to wear them very close to my lashline with a darker shadow in the crease and a subtle browbone. #8 Champagne’s predominant shade is coppery with a light blue/grey variation throughout and has a pinkish cast on my lids. #9 Rock Sand has a peachy base. Mine doesn’t have a lot of tones running through it though the website shows gold swirled through. While 8 and 9 aren’t terribly different they do have enough of a difference (cool tones vs warm tones) to justify my purchase (of course I’d find a way to justify them anyway).

Number 8 Champagne

Number 9 Rock Sand:

I like to apply these eyeshadows with a sponge tip applicator. I went to Sally’s Beauty Supply and bought some containers of these and they are great for me. I don’t want to wash a sponge tip so after a use or two I just toss them without guilt. Be sure you keep the inner lid to keep these moist and close the pots tightly.

Here’s a picture of some swatches I made when I was at Nordstrom:

Top: #8, #9, #13 (black), #4, #16 (moonlight)

Bottom: #5 (Gold Blitz), #11 (White Pulse), #7 (Sweet Fire)

I didn’t see #2 Lust Red or #6 Khaki Pulse unfortunately

I’m crazy about these shadows (and crazy in general). I just wonder if I’ll end up with #6 Khaki Pulse. I wouldn’t take bets against myself. — Marcia

Last call for Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Radiance Foundation

When I reviewed Armani’s Blushing Fabric cream blush in July I mentioned that I had also bought Face Fabric Radiance Foundation but I wasn’t able to use it this past summer. We had an exceptionally hot summer with way too many 90 degree days for my taste. There were several foundations I owned that I just couldn’t wear and Armani’s Face Fabric Radiance was one of them. I was particularly disappointed about that because it was new but it just slid off my face this summer. I’m reviewing this now though because 1) now that it’s not hot and humid I’ve started using it and getting my money’s worth and 2) it’s on sale on Armani’s website so if it appeals to you then you can get this for less (was $48, now $36). The Shimmering Peach blush I reviewed is also marked down from $38 to $26.60.

Face Fabric Radiance is similar to the blush in consistency. Both have a very smooth and silky finish yet they are a little rubbery in my opinion. I’m sure this is loaded with silicones but it hasn’t affected my skin in any negative way. Even though it has the word “radiance” in the name, it’s not particularly shiny. It gives me a little bit of shine but once I powder over it the shine is gone leaving me with a soft natural look. This contains Micro Fil™ fluid pigment which gives it the radiance.

I’m finding the foundation great for fall. It wouldn’t be heavy enough for me in the winter winter and it was too slippery for summer so this will be used mostly in fall and spring. After trying different methods of application, I’ve decided that it applies best using my fingers. To get the longest wear I’m using Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Anti-Fatigue cream because I don’t want to add any more of a slippery feeling. This combination allows this foundation to last me through the day and evening.

This is only available in 3 shades: #1 Light, #2 Medium and #3 Medium Dark. I wear it in #1 Light which works fine for my very fair skin. As far as coverage goes I’d say it’s a little fuller than a good tinted moisturizer. It can be build up a little but not to a full finish.

Now that I can actually use what I’ve bought I’m quite pleased with it and the sale price makes it a great last call. — Marcia
Today is the first day of our Comment Contest! It goes thru Monday, October 25th.

A rosy outlook: Giorgio Armani blush

What can I say about Giorgio Armani Cosmetics? I love the line but sometimes I hate the line. I love the lip products but the eye products can drive me nuts. The products intrigue me but the prices feel like a conspiracy against my wallet. Yet I buy Armani. When the cosmetic line first came out I bought tons of it. My excuses were that 1) I couldn’t afford Armani clothes but I could afford his cosmetics and 2) my husband was going on several trips to Las Vegas each year so I’d make him bring me back Armani as my “gift”.

I haven’t indulged that much in Armani lately, although I did buy the Eyes to Kill Mascara that I’m eager to wear, but I was fascinated by everything I read about the new Face Radiance products. I bought Blushing Fabric Second Skin Blush in shade 1 which is called Shimmering Peach. If my photos are accurate you’ll see that a peach in Armani’s book is a rose in any other book. This is a true rosy pink shade on me. I’ve read that this isn’t the only misnamed shade of these blushes but I’m going to forgive their creative team for this error since I love the color and luckily I picked correctly.

The first thing I noticed with this blush is the texture. It’s unlike any I own. It’s almost rubbery. (I hope no one from Armani is reading this and wondering who this crazy blogger is!!) Here’s their description of it:

A micro blend of water-soluble pigments creates a luminous fabric-like finish with incredible transparency. Inspired by Armani’s finest couture fabrics, this sensuously textiled color wraps skin in weightless perfection.

This is a limited edition product available in 3 shades: 01 Shimmering Peach, 02 Sicilian Orange and 03 Pink Chiffon. They cost $38 (ouch) and are 0.6 oz.

While that price hurts, the product is really lovely and I’m enjoying using it. As you can see by my washed out picture, you need a tiny drop for both cheeks. This has been an unusually warm and damp summer and I find that the stain that this gives lasts pretty well for me in spite of that. When I first apply it I notice a nice radiance. Although the radiance doesn’t seem to last as long as I wish it would, the color does last through most of the day. The packaging gets a rave from me because I use the tiniest amount for both cheeks. I have enough control to squeeze out just what I seem to need. That might change once it’s older but even after using it often during the last three weeks I still have an easy time getting out just the right amount.

After experimenting with different ways to apply it I’ve found that my MAC 131 brush gives me the application I prefer. The 131 is a flattened “skunk” brush and the white tips seem to pick up the proper amount of color and blend it well on my cheeks.

Another positive for this Second Skin blush is that it doesn’t live in my pores. In a way it reminds me of MUFE’s new HD cream blushes (texture and color) but with those my skin just soaked them up and all I saw was colored pores. Second Skin seems to sit more ON my skin than IN my skin.

To be honest when I first used Armani’s Blushing Fabric Second Skin blush I wasn’t crazy about it. I felt that it was overpriced and something I wouldn’t use that much. But it’s grown on me and now I have a very rosy outlook about this blush for the summer. Just remember that a peach by any other name might be a rose though. — Marcia