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

Tarte Rainforest After Dark review and swatches

Tarte Cosmetics has an exciting new, limited edition palette out called the Rainforest After Dark Eye and Cheek Palette ($38).  This is a wonderful palette with a beautiful range of shades inspired by dusk in the rainforest.  I had high expectations when Tarte sent this to us, and I was not disappointed!

tarte rainforest after dark...the box is even textured like snake skin

tarte rainforest after dark…the box is even textured like snake-skin

tarte rainforest after dark

tarte rainforest after dark

The packaging is gorgeous, with a golden snake design and a purple snake-skin textured box.  Inside, the palette is a round, CD size palette emblazoned with the snake and a purple jeweled eye.  It has a large round mirror that is big enough to reflect your entire face.  Nice!

one blush, one bronzer, one highlighter, and six eyeshadows

one blush, one bronzer, one highlighter, and six eyeshadows

tarte rainforest 5tarte rainforest 3

The products inside include one blush, one highlighter, one bronzer, and six eyeshadows.  The unique thing about Tarte powder products is color-correcting colored clay.  The rose clay helps to soothe skin, vanilla clay controls oil, and gold clay moisturizes.

unleashed blush

unleashed blush

champagne highlighter

champagne highlighter

park ave princess bronzer

park ave princess bronzer

left to right:  champagne, unleased, park ave princess

left to right: champagne, unleased, park ave princess

The Unleashed blush is a pretty plum matte pink.  It has terrific staying power and is such a flattering shade.  Champagne is a gorgeous highlighter, just be sure to buff it well – that’s what turns it into a flattering glow.  I actually use this on my eyes as a brow shade, too.  And Park Avenue Princess is a perfect bronzer, a buttery satin warm gold brown that looks terrific on almost everyone.

The eyeshadows are just to die for.  The texture is buttery soft, the pigmentation is wonderful, and the shades are beautiful. Three are golden browns, and three are pinky purples.

left to right:  don't turn a-brown, tan-gled up in you, up to no gold

left to right: don’t turn a-brown, tan-gled up in you, up to no gold

left to right:  up to no gold, tan-gled up in you, don't turn a-brown

left to right: up to no gold, tan-gled up in you, don’t turn a-brown

First up, the golden brown shades.  up to no gold is a shimmery gold with a velvet texture.  I think this is my favorite of them all, it really makes my brown eyes POP. tan-gled up in you is a matte tan that goes on so smooth, I almost can’t believe it’s a matte eyeshadow.  don’t turn a-brown is a dark brown with tiny golden shimmer.

left to right:  bare to explore, make a mauve, plum away with me

left to right: bare to explore, make a mauve, plum away with me

left to right:  bare to explore, make a mauve, plum away with me

left to right: bare to explore, make a mauve, plum away with me

Next, the pinky purples.  bare to explore is a matte pink beige that has a silky texture and is a great base shade.  On busy mornings, I throw this on as a wash with some black eyeliner and I am good to go.  make a mauve is a satin plum mauve that is even prettier in person.  plum away with me  is a shimmery dark plum with silver sparkle.  Gorgeous.

Included with the palette is a card with instructions for two different eye looks, the Afterhours Adventure, ‘inspired by the deep orchid hues of dusk, this spellbinding evening look will unleash your inner bombshell as you flawlessly take on the night‘; and Seductive Sunrise, ‘ignite your wild side anytime with this sultry, yet subtle everyday look.

Rainforest After Dark definitely give you everything you need for day or night, subtle or sultry.  Pick it up before it’s sold out!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème brings a summery glow

This is the time of summer when everyone I know is looking golden — except for me that is. I don’t sit in the sun and I don’t faux tan. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to have a special glow like everyone else. That’s where BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème from Gerard Cosmetics by Whitening Lighting comes in. They offered to send this for review and the pale BIZ partner said ok.

BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème

BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème

Last year when Makeup Wars reviewed bronzing products I really didn’t have much to share since I hadn’t really paid much attention to this category of the cosmetic world. They made me feel a little behind times though and since then I’ve branched out a bit to fit in a little more, especially on special evenings.

BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème

BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème

BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème ($36) is a luminous cream product that adds a glow to my skin with light reflecting particles. This is a one shade product that will do different things for different skintones. For me it adds in radiance and some color. I wear it in several ways but it can also be used alone if you are careful not to overdo the amount you use.

1) I mix it in with foundation to add an all over glow and a touch more color than I’d normally have. The key is to use a tiny bit since a little goes a long way.

2) I also use it as a highlighter on specific areas like my cheekbones.

BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème swatch

BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème swatch

BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème will help blur imperfections and we all want that. The latest Makeup Wars was all about what I do to blur pores. The best thing about this gluten free, hydrating creme is the pretty golden glow it gives.

BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème blended in

BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème blended in

BB+ Illumination Facial Creme reminds me of sunshine in a tube. It’s going to be different things for different people. If you have darker skin or tan/faux tan then you’ll end up with a gorgeous radiance. If you are Snow White pale you’ll also end up with that radiance but also a little extra color.

I may not be a bronze goddess but I am a glowing one when I wear BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème. — Marcia
*sent for review consideration