Perfectly petite stocking stuffers from Pixi Beauty

Stocking stuffers from Pixi!

Stocking stuffers from Pixi!

No trip to Target is complete without a major cosmetics aisle haul of Pixi Beauty.  I love that Target has testers, and the super cute size of the new items and kits that Pixi sent us make them absolutely perfect stocking stuffers!

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm Trio

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm Trio

I am a huge, huge fan of the Pixi Beauty Shea Butter Lip Balms.  I keep the Comfort Clear next to my bed, and I have one of the tinted balms in my purse at all times.  I let my mom use my Ripe Raspberry when her lips felt dry, and she wouldn’t even give it back to me!  The Shea Butter Lip Balm Trio ($16) includes three shades:  Comfort Clear, Honey Nectar, and Ripe Raspberry.  Be sure to pick up one of these shea butter and vitamin E infused lip balm trios for yourself, too.

Pixi Concealing Concentrate in Adaptable Beige

Pixi Concealing Concentrate in Adaptable Beige

Pixi Concealing Concentrate ($12) may look tiny, but it packs a big concealing punch!  This waterproof concealer is highly pigmented so it covers all sorts of skin sins.  The jar opening is small, but it keeps me from the temptation of using my finger.  A concealer brush easily grabs all you need – and you don’t need much – to conceal the after-effects of all that holiday partying.

Pixi Quick Fix Powder in Translucid

Pixi Quick Fix Powder in Translucid

Isn’t this loose powder absolutely adorable??  The Pixi Quick Fix Powder in Translucid ($20) works for all but the darkest skin tones to finish makeup and buff away shine.  The application sponge and the mirror on the top of the lid make this a fantastic way to powder your nose on the go.

Pixi Nail Polish, left to right:  Almond Glow, Crystal Champagne, Nude Dazzle

Pixi Nail Polish, left to right: Almond Glow, Crystal Champagne, Nude Dazzle

Marcia raves about Pixi nail polishes and for good reason.  These $8 polishes are the perfect size, not so big they go bad before you have a chance to use all the polish.  They come in fabulous shades and are chip resistant so manicures and pedicures last. The 3-free polishes even have built-in UV protection to prevent discoloration. Three great shades to put in any stocking are Almond Glow, a nude with subtle pink shimmer; Crystal Champagne, a festive multi-faceted rose gold shimmer; and Nude Dazzle, a light metallic nude.

Pixi Fairy Dust Favourites

Pixi Fairy Dust Favourites

Pixi Fairy Dust Favourites ($12) is a single stack of five loose powder highlighter/eyeshadows.  Each screw top lid is also the container for the color above, so it’s not something you can separate into five different gifts.  No worries, the colors are complimentary and all work great together.  They are beautiful eyeshadows that can be deepened with a mixing medium.  Fairy Dust also makes an awesome cheek highlighter.  The lighter shades give skin a beautiful glow when mixed with body lotion, and they make lips look lush when patted over lipstick.  The stack contains Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle, a glimmering white; Gold Dust, a candlelit gold-nude shimmer; Brightening Bare, a medium nude sheen; Mocha Magic, a warm tan shimmer; and Copper Sheen, a rich metallic copper.

Any one of these petite pretties will perk up a stocking…get them all for a truly sublime stocking experience!  You can find them at Target or online at Pixi Beauty. – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

5 Limited Edition holiday gifts to put on your list!

Limited Edition Holiday Gifts

Yes, I know.  The holidays are about giving.  But let’s be honest…receiving is pretty nice, too!  This is the time to take full  advantage of the wonderful deals and special sets that are only available for the holiday season.  Here are five limited edition gifts sent to the BIZ that are worthy of your personal holiday wish list.

1.  Pur Minerals 3-pc. Let It Glow Bronzer, Blush, and Brighten Cheek Trio ($24)  Already on my wish list, I was sooo happy when Pur Minerals sent us this set!  It has three mini twist-up makeup sticks: a bronzer in Naughty & Nice, a blush in Sugar & Spice and a highlighter in Glisten & Glow. Together, these three give you everything you need to contour and create a rosy glow.

Pur Minerals Let It Glow Set up close

2.  Meijer Bath Collection Gift Sets #MeijerBeauty:  these super cute sets are fantastic gifts for Secret Santa exchanges or for last minute presents – pick some up to have on hand, and get a few for yourself.  The Winter White Vanilla scent is especially yummy.

Meijer holiday sets

3.  BECCA Holiday Collection One Perfecting Brush in Limited Edition Gold ($49 at Sephora and Ulta)  I have been jonesing for this multi-purpose brush ever since Marcia did her fabulous review of it last year (read it HERE).  Why not get the limited edition gold version?  This beautiful brush works for liquids, creams, powders…whatever you want to throw at it.  Gotta love the fashion/function combo.

Becca Holiday Collection LE One Perfection Brush in Gold

4.  Whish Body Vanilla Spice, Sugar Plum and Vanilla Mint Holiday Sets ($24 at Nordstrom.com)  I have loved the fabulously retro Whish for years, and this holiday set is just too good to pass up.  The three scent choices (Vanilla Spice, Sugar Plum, and Vanilla Mint) are seasonal limited edition, so ask for each set to stock up for the winter months!  Each set has a 3 oz Body Wash, Body Butter and Body Scrub – travel friendly and TSA approved sizes.

Whish Sugar Plum Holiday Set

5.  Soap & Paper Factory Roland Pine Soy Candle & Soap Set ($36)  The fragrance of this full-size pure soy candle and bar of shea butter soap is pure holiday.  The mix of Siberian Fir, pine, and Cedar wood is truly transporting.  It makes a great gift, but believe me you will want this set for yourself.

The Soap and Paper Factory Roland Pine Set

Put these limited edition items on your own Christmas wish list, or do a ‘one for you, one for me’.  You’ve been a good girl all year and now it’s time for some rewards!  – Lisa

*items reviewed sent for editiorial consideration, opinions all mine

Pixi Beauty for October gives you reasons to be creative

October is really the most magical month of the year because you can make it the way you want it. It can be sweet and sassy, it can be monstrous, it can be spooky or it can be a perfectly beautiful fall month. You make it be what you want it to be. Pixi Beauty sent over some of their October offerings and I find a little of everything in these selections – sweet, spooky, and fallish.

Pixi Beauty

Pixi Beauty

First is a Pixi Beauty Super Smoky Crayon Combo. This is a double ended pencil with one side meant for lining and the other defining. The Line end is thinner and pointier. If you’ve never tried Pixi Beauty pencils you are totally missing out on something fabulous in the world of pencil eyeliners. I’ve bought many including sets of them. This is my first one that’s double ended and meant to be worn two ways. The Line end, a matte black, is for your upper lash line while the thicker charcoal Define end is for blending into your lower lashline as well as into the crease to contour.It’s a great charcoal with a luminous finish. Using the pencil this way would be for my spooky aka Smoky eye. The pencil is waterproof, hypoallergenic and like most Pixi products has no preservatives or mineral oil.

Pixi Beauty Super Smoky Crayon Combo

Pixi Beauty Super Smoky Crayon Combo

Pixi Beauty Super Smoky Crayon Combo

Pixi Beauty Super Smoky Crayon Combo

Keeping on the Spooky track for October, or any month, chose the Pixi Beauty Polish in Matte Black. What’s great about a matte black polish is that it can be used in many ways – nail art, matte polish, or top it with a shiny top coat and have a shiny black. A gorgeous manicure is to use this Matte Black polish on your nails and then do the tips only (like a French manicure) with a shiny clear top coat. It’s both dressy like a black tie party and attention getting for daily wear. The polish is thick and you could get away with one coat if you wanted. Pixi polishes wear well on me since I find them to be chip resistant. Plus there’s a built in UV protection to prevent discoloration. Pixi makes their polishes 3 Free (Toluene, Formaldehyde and DBP free) ($8).

Pixi Matte Black Nail Color

Pixi Matte Black Nail Color

For the sweet and sassy I’d look into Pixi’s Fairy Dust. For October they are featuring Snow Sparkle Fairy Dust ($10). This has a luminous glow to it. It looks like there’s a touch of lavender in the bottle but what appears on the eye or cheeks is a subtle platinum. It isn’t glitter but it is pure shimmer. Use this on the inner corners of your eyes and/or on the lid. You can also dust this along your browbone for an uplift to your eyes or even over your lips to create a glow. Since it’s not glitter it feels smooth on your lips, not crunchy.

Pixi Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle

Pixi Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle

Pixi Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle

Pixi Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle

Pixi Beauty Snow Sparkle Fairy Dust

Pixi Beauty Snow Sparkle Fairy Dust

A fabulous choice for your lips is a true fall shade – Tinted Brilliance Balm in Soft Sienna. I’m a huge fan of crayon lip products and Pixi Beauty knows how to do them right. Their lip balm crayons ($14) are glossy, moisturizing and hydrating. Soft Sienna is a beautiful shade for the season since it has a touch of brown, a touch of red and a touch of coral. But it’s not too much of any of those shades, it’s just a brilliant combination that makes an easy to wear and unique color. This has a slight fragrance that reminds me of peaches. I like a subtle shade on my lips so Soft Sienna hits the jackpot for me.

Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Soft Sienna

Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Soft Sienna

swatch of Pixi Soft Sienna

swatch of Pixi Soft Sienna

Pixi Beauty used these products on the runway in a spring 2015 look they called their Futuristic Fall Face. Eyes used both the Super Smoky Crayon Combo and Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle – black and white and luminous glow. The lips in Soft Sienna added a perfect pop of color for the white items that were featured with the look.

Make October your month to be whatever you want to be. Don’t be stuck in orange and black – change those up to sienna and charcoal to lead the way. — Marcia

*items sent for editorial consideration, products can be found at some Target stores and on Pixi’s website

Please excuse unedited pictures, at the moment I only have an old iPhone to get photographs

Happy birthday Glossybox! August 2014 Glossybox review

Happy birthday and happy third anniversary, Glossybox!  I can’t believe it’s been that long.  Glossybox has mastered the art of delivering full and sample-sized surprise collections of goodies from unique and interesting lines.  $21 a month is a wonderfully affordable way to treat yourself, especially when the value is always well over that – the retail value of the Glossybox they sent us for August is $64.

Happy birthday or happy anniversary?  I guess it's both!  August 2014 Glossybox

Happy birthday or happy anniversary? I guess it’s both! August 2014 Glossybox

a peek inside August 2014 Glossybox

a peek inside August 2014 Glossybox

The August box has four sample sized products and two full-sized products.

deluxe sample of Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream

deluxe sample of Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream

Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream (deluxe sample, retail value $17)  This is the first I’ve heard of this line, and this moisturizer sounds intriguing.  Ginseng has wound healing properties, collagen supports elasticity, avocado is an emollient and a terrific antioxidant, and wheat germ and sesame oils are great emollients.

deluxe samples of Uberliss Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner

deluxe samples of Uberliss Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner

Uberliss Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner (deluxe samples, combined retail value $8) These two hair care products should be extremely hydrating for hair with ingredients like royal jelly and keratin – plus these are sulfate-free.  I am excited to try them out, and they are the perfect size for my upcoming trip out of town.

Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner

Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner

Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner

Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner

Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner (mini size, retail value $8)  I absolutely adore my Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner, so I literally squealed when I saw this cute mini liquid liner.  I find Skinny Mini is a softer black than the Eye Do Liner, so it’s great to have the choice of dark black or charcoal black.  The applicator is the same, though, and this is and incredibly easy liquid liner to apply.

SpaRitual Nail Polish

SpaRitual Nail Polish

SpaRitual Nail Polish

SpaRitual Nail Polish

SpaRitual Nail Polish (full size, retails for $12)  Each box has a different shade, and I got Uncharted, a fuchsia shimmer.  This is a pretty, perky pink that is total fun.  I love pink shades so it’s perfect for me.

Kryolan Highlighter in Cashmere

Kryolan Highlighter in Cashmere

Kryolan Highlighter in Cashmere swatched

Kryolan Highlighter in Cashmere swatched

Kryolan Highlighter in Cashmere (full size, retail value $18.95)  What a gorgeous, glowy cream highlighter – I love this!  It’s a small jar, but it’s so concentrated it will last forever.  The jar was created specially for Glossybox’s third anniversary, and it’s worth the price of the box all by itself.  A little Cashmere tapped onto cheekbones gives a perfect amount of glow.

For me, the stand out items are the Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner and the Kryolan Highlighter in Cashmere.  However, everything in the August box is going to get play from me!  If you are considering subscribing, I have some codes for extra goodies for you.  Happy birthday and happy anniversary, Glossybox!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

GLOSSYBDAY will get you 20% off a monthly beauty box (through 10/21).  MAGIC will get you a full size Eyeko Black Magic Mascara with your first Glossybox (through 9/26).  HIPGLOSSY will get you a free Boscia BB Cream with any new subscription (through 9/30).

Dare to bare arms with Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

kate somerville body-glow_carton_tubeHow many of you avoid tank tops because they show your arms?  I used to have such great arms…but a few months ago I caught a glimpse in the mirror while wearing a tank top and thought, are you kidding?  That can’t be me!!  I decided no more tank tops in public.  Just forget it.  Soon after, Kate Somerville sent her Body Glow Sunscreen ($45) and suddenly tank tops in public became possible again.

Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

So everyone knows that sunscreen is a must, and this lightweight body lotion has stabilized avobenzone so it has all the broad spectrum protection I need.  This means it’s anti-aging, and it has some terrific antioxidant ingredients that fight free radicals and keep skin looking younger.  The really effective antioxidants include vitamin E, algae extract, and rosemary extract.  Body Glow Sunscreen also has caffeine for firming and improved texture with regular use.

swatch of Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

swatch of Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

The Body Glow Sunscreen has a beautifully smooth and light texture that soaks in quickly and doesn’t leave a heavy, tacky feel.  It still is a serious moisturizer, though, with mango and shea butter doing the heavy-duty dry skin repair.   The broad spectrum protection, antioxidants, lightweight texture and excellent moisturizing ability are enough to convince me…but it’s the light reflective pearls that truly sell me on this sunscreen moisturizer.  Body Glow Sunscreen gives skin a golden shimmery gleam that makes saggy, wrinkled, and unattractive and imperfect skin suddenly look fantastic.  The glow isn’t exactly natural, but it certainly isn’t overdone to disco ball proportions.

Glowing hands from my Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

Glowing hands from my Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

The only issues with Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen are the fragrance, which is a very light floral that could be an issue for those with sensitivity, and the price which is on the expensive side.  But let me assure you, you get what you pay for with this first-rate sunscreen glowtion.

If you want to keep the right to bare arms (or legs or chest or whatever you dare to bare), I highly suggest picking up this nifty body lotion that protects the skin from the sun, fights free-radicals, moisturizes and adds a beautiful glow.  – Lisa

 *sent for editorial consideration

Kate Somerville Body Glow 5

Active Ingredients:
Avobenzone, 3%; Homosalate, 7.5%; Octisalate, 5%; Octocrylene, 2.5%; Oxybenzone, 4%
Inactive Ingredients:
Water/Aqua/Eau, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Diisopropyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Propanediol, Undecylcrylene Dimethicone, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Bis-PEG/PPG-20/5 PEG/PPG-20/5 Dimethicone, Methoxy PEG/PPG-25/4 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Ethyl Methicone, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ethyl Ferulate, Polyglyceryl-5 Trioleate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Disodium Uridine Phosphate, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Silica, Caffeine, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Carbomer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Phospholipids, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Hydrolyzed Chondrus Crispus Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (77491)

10 Budget Friendly Back-to-School Beauty Essentials

Whether you or your kids are going back to school or off to college, it’s the perfect time of year to find deals on essential beauty products.  The Meijer Beauty team challenged me to find my top back-to-school picks, and it was gratifying to see my must-have bath, body and color items with wonderful prices.  Considering I work in a high school and have kids in both college and middle school, I am all about finding the best products at the right price.  Drumroll please…my top ten recommendations for essential (and budget friendly) back-to-school products.

Soap for school:  J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap and I love...Coconut & Cream Shower Gel

Soap for school: J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap and I love…Coconut & Cream Bubble Bath and Shower Cream

1.  J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap ($4.99, I got it at Meijer for $4.49)  The reason I first bought this hand soap was for the awesome vintage label.  The reason I keep buying it?  It’s excellent foaming hand soap, especially for the price.  The soap in public buildings like schools is usually pretty rough stuff, I wash my hands all the time.  My solution is to bring my own.  I keep this soap in my office, and it would fit nicely into a locker.  I like the Aloe and Green Tea scent as a real mood enhancer to help get the school year off right.

2.  I love…Coconut & Cream Bubble Bath and Shower Cream ($7.29)  This British brand is soooo good…doesn’t the packaging look like the Philosophy bottles?  I actually prefer the I love… brand, and it is so much more affordable.  I start my day with a shower then end it with a bubble bath, and the Coconut & Cream scent takes me right back onto vacation.

Necessities for school

Necessities for school

3.  Goody 50 piece Ouchless No Metal Elastics ($2.19, but I got mine at Meijer for $1.10!)  The perfect way to hide morning bedhead is with a ponytail or bun…and these Ouchless Elastics don’t snag, pull, or break hair strands.

4.  Nivea Lip Butter in Caramel Cream Kiss ($3.99)  This super cute lip butter has only been available in the U.S. for about a year, and I am so happy it’s easily found now!  It has great slip and keeps lips soft and moist, plus it tastes like caramel toffee.  Yum.

5.  Meijer Hand Sanitizer ($1.19)  This is simply a must-have for purses and backpacks.  You never know who was sitting in that desk or what nose they were picking…eewwwwww.

Perfect colors for back to school!

Perfect colors for back to school!

Nudes and deep pinks

Nudes and berries

6.  Cover Girl Bombshell Volume by Lashblast Mascara ($9.39)  I think this is the best drugstore mascara out there.  One end is the base coat, which gives definition and length perfect for casual days.  When I want more oomph – and I mean fantastic oomph – I use the other end, the intensifying top coat.  This side darkens lashes and provides mega-drama without any flakes or smearing.

Physician's Formula Nude Eyes

Physician’s Formula Nude Eyes

Nude Eyes - gorgeous.

Nude Eyes – gorgeous.

7.  Physician’s Formula Nude Eyes ($9.99, but I got mine at Meijer for an incredible $6.99)  I am loving neutral, nude eyes with berry cheeks for the fall, and this nude eyeshadow palette is to die for.  Is it reminding you of the Urban Decay Naked2 palette?  Yup, me too, but this is way cheaper with the same quality.  Use these shadows dry or wet for more intensity, and keep the palette sitting out because the packaging is stunning.

Maybelline Hi-Lighting Blush in Pink Rose

Maybelline Hi-Lighting Blush in Pink Rose

8.  Maybelline Hi-Lighting Blush in Pink Rose ($8.29)  Just check out the gorgeousness of this mosaic highlighter/blush.  The soft, creamy shades can be used alone, but I like to swirl a big brush over the whole thing for a beautiful berry glow on my cheeks.

Nicole by OPI mani and pedi shades for school

Nicole by OPI mani and pedi shades for school

9 and 10.  Nicole by OPI Nail Polish in Sing You Like a Bee and Cocoa a Gogo ($5.99 each)  Going back to school is an awesome reason to treat yourself to a manicure and a pedicure, and these two shades are perfect for a nude and berry combo.

Sing You Like a Bee

Sing You Like a Bee

Sing You Like a Bee is from the Carrie Underwood collection.  This is a gorgeous sheer white with golden shimmers.  It is a beautiful shimmery nude look by itself, and it makes a perfect top layer over pretty much any color.

Cocoa a Gogo

Cocoa a Gogo

Cocoa a Gogo is a shimmery chocolate-brown that I love for pedicures…and it is the perfect color for transitioning into cool days and cozy nights by the fire.  Even better, it smells like cinnamon!

Not only are these ten products essentials, it also costs less than $55 to purchase them all at Meijer.  Get your style on for back to school and save money too!

Be sure to check out MeijerStyle.com the last week in August for a post with links to lots of blogger Back-to-School articles – one lucky person who comments on the MeijerStyle.com post will receive a gift basket of Back-to-School/Back-to-College products.  – Lisa

*products reviewed courtesty of Meijer, opinions and selection of items all my own!

Let’s get Cheeky with butter London

butter London is making life so cheeky now that they have a cosmetics line as well as their incredible nail lacquer line. They’ve created so many products that have a twist to them than most cosmetic companies. You don’t find many brands whose first venture into cosmetics is with magenta eyeliners, cornflower blue and neon green mascara or bright yellow eyeliner. That’s cheeky.

butter London eye promo

butter London eye promo

Adding to their cheekiness is the CHEEKY TINTED HIGHLIGHTER. ($24) There are 3 shades of highlighter available and we received one in Dishy, a sheer rose gold shimmer. I’m all for creamy products and butter London is making them fun for me.

Cheeky in Dishy from butter London.com

Cheeky in Dishy from butter London.com

Dishy isn’t a cream blush though you can use it that way, it’s really a tinted highlighter. It’s gorgeous for summer and will be an added delight during the winter holidays with it’s subtle glow. I’ve always loved rose gold products so this is a wonderful addition to my cosmetic collection.

butter London Cheeky Tinted Highlighter

butter London Cheeky Tinted Highlighter

Dishy is very lightweight and surprisingly it dries down quickly. It looks beautiful over another blush or wherever you want to highlight with a glimmer. I personally love it on my browbone. butter London also suggests mixing it with your moisturizer to get an all over glow.

butter London Cheeky Highlighter in Dishy

butter London Cheeky Highlighter in Dishy

butter London has two more of these Cheeky Tinted Highlighters – Pence which golden and Twit which is a bronze highlighter. For my fair complexion and the colors I love to wear I think it’s just dishy how DISHY looks on me.

butter London Cheeky Highlighter in Dishy

butter London Cheeky Highlighter in Dishy

The Cheeky Tinted Highlighters will add to your cosmetic delights year round. It’s a seasonless product that will add a little more fun and glam to your radiant you. — Marcia

*sent for editorial consideration

available at Ulta and butter London’s website