What’s behind the scenes for a makeup blogger?

Makeup Wars small but necessary

I love the fun of Makeup Wars. The group brainstorms ideas to share together but since we are so diverse in our taste we all have different thoughts on how to execute the idea. This week we’ve chosen to share what makes our beauty world spin. The items we don’t routinely talk about but we can’t live without. No makeup allowed today but where would I be without these?

some samples*affiliate links

Let me start with Tweezerman. I’m obviously a Tweezerman junkie though I admit to loving other tweezers too but where would I be without my Tweezerman I-Lashcomb and slanted tweezers? A hairy unkempt mess if you want to know the truth.

My partial Tweezerman collection

Next I’m onto eyelash curlers. Having short stubby lashes that are stick straight isn’t the most fun. I love mascara and feel unmade up without it. Therefore one of my most necessary tools is an eyelash curler. My favorites are Tweezerman’s Rose Gold Classic*, Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler, and Shiseido’s Eyelash Curler. These are the ones that fit my eye shape best. I hate when I pinch myself with an eyelash curler which is why some days I need to stay away from one of these.

eyelash curlers: Shiseido, Tweezerman, Kevyn Aucoin

Since we’re still on eyes I need to talk about eye makeup remover and everyone who reads this blog knows I’m a huge fan of the Mary Kay one. I buy two at a time even though it lasts forever. But I don’t want to be without.

Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

That leads me into other makeup removers which makes me think of Micellar Water. (I feel like I’m writing the makeup version of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”.) My number one pick for years has been Bioderma Sensiblo H2O Micellar Water. To save money I started buying Simple Micellar and now I’m into Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water in the pink all skin version.

Bioderma Sensiblo H2O Micellar Water, Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

So if you give a mouse woman a micellar water she needs something to use it with and I have 3 I use. I’ve talked about the DHC Silky Cotton Pads forever so you are probably sick of that but I also like the ones from Kleenex and Shiseido for different reasons. The DHC Silky Cotton are both absorbent and sturdy. The Kleenex Soft Cotton Pads (not moistened) are big and are great for your whole face as well as eyes. But it’s not the most absorbent so sometimes I have to use more water than I prefer. Now that Amazon has them though I’ve bought them again since it made it easier than their website. Shiseido Facial Cotton is so soft that it sets the standard for makeup wipes. For really stubborn mascara I prefer the DHC but for soft effective eye makeup removal Shiseido feels the most luxurious.

Shiseido Facial Cotton, DHC Silky Cotton Pads, Kleenex Soft Cotton Pads

I can’t forget about makeup brush cleaner. We all get lazy and forget to clean our brushes often enough but it really is essential. I have a stash of MAC Brush Cleaner because I stocked up before I lost my discount. I am loving my new PUREbrush* cleaner since it’s easy to clean a brush instantly with it even if I’m not near a sink.

PUREbrush Cleaner, MAC Brush Cleaner

One more item that I don’t want to be without is Invisibobble*. I remember hearing my friends talk about Invisibobble Traceless Hair Rings and wondering what the heck it was. Now that I know I have them all over – drawers, purse, cosmetic bag. I love these little things and love the variety of color and sizes they have. They come in sets of 3 which at first I thought was overload. I gave one to my sister and instantly wanted it back. These phone cord rings stretch and hold, then they bounce back into shape. My granddaughter with her silky hair looks so adorable when I put the Nano Invisibobble in for a little pony on the top.

Invisibobble regular and Nano

Invisibobble regular and Nano

There are so many more but these are the ones that this mouse blogger uses all the time. What’s behind the scenes for you?

Check out what the team has chosen as their necessities.  —  Marcia


Thumbs up or down for e.l.f. Brush Shampoo?

woman shows signs yes and no, hand fingers

When I get in the mood to buy something I’ll often look to E.L.F. Cosmetics since I can get my fix for very little money and I’ve learned that their products are great quality. I bought the e.l.f. Brush Shampoo ($3) online when I needed another product to reach free shipping. Which would you rather do? Own something or pay the post office?

E.L.F. Brush Shampoo

E.L.F. Brush Shampoo

e.l.f. has two different products for brush cleansing so it was an eeny meeny kind of situation. Both the Brush Shampoo and Daily Brush Cleaner are anti-bacterial cleansers. They both disinfect brushes and wash away the makeup and oils on your brushes. The main difference as far as I can tell is that this Brush Shampoo also conditions the fibers on your brush.

So how did this fare compared to the MAC Brush Cleanser that I use most often? First is price: $3 for 4.1 fl oz of e.l.f. compared to $16 for 7.9 fl oz of MAC. That’s an impressive savings.

E.L.F. Brush Shampoo

E.L.F. Brush Shampoo

Second is how to use these two. With the e.l.f. it is recommended that you massage a small amount of the shampoo with water and work it through the bristles from the base of the brush; rinse thoroughly; squeeze out the excess water; and lay flat on a clean cloth or surface to dry. With the MAC water isn’t really recommended. Instead apply the cleanser directly to the brush or a towel; then rub the brush along the towel until no color remains. What I actually do though with the MAC is pour a small amount over my brushes which are in a plastic cup; I swish it around trying to get color out of the brush, then add water and do it over again until the water runs clean.

Third is texture. E.L.F. Brush Shampoo has a thick texture like a shampoo. It’s hard to squeeze out of the bottle since it’s thick so I usually just pour it. MAC Brush Cleaner is a watery pink liquid.

ELF and MAC and two dirty brushes

ELF and MAC and two dirty brushes

Fourth is fragrance which is very important to me. I’ve given away many brush cleaners if they make my brushes smell. Surprisingly e.l.f. has no fragrance. I was a bit worried about that. With MAC I don’t notice a fragrance but then again I’ve been using it for over a dozen years so I’m used to it.

Last is performance. In order to compare apples to apples I used the e.l.f. in the way I always do with MAC but I did use my hands more with the e.l.f. the first time I used it. Now I pretty much just use the side of the cup.

before brushes

before brushes

The top brush was washed in E.L.F. for this picture and the bottom in MAC. I used the same exact method. The top kabuki brush is used more with cream blush so the color is pretty set in there.

after pictures - ELF on top, MAC on bottom

after pictures – ELF on top, MAC on bottom

I think the performance is about the same. Both cleansers removed the amount of color from the brushes that I expected. I no longer care if my brushes come out perfectly white every time. I just want them clean with no product left behind, the staining happens.

After all this the E.L.F. Brush Shampoo gets a Businesswoman with thumbs up, on whiteHave you tried this? How would you rate it?  — Marcia

Water(Aqua), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Sodium Chloride, Methylparaben.

*affiliate links

Lisa from Beauty Info Zone visits her fantasy Desert Island

My fellow Beauty Spotlight bloggers have banished me to a desert island, and I can only bring 12 products (with sunscreen and lip balm already generously provided).  Ok, it’s my fantasy so I am going to let you know up front I am NOT going alone. Nope, on my trip to a deserted island I am accompanied by JOE.

One sniff of Lavanila Vanilla Coconut and I am here.  With Joe.

Here’s my deserted island. And here is Joe.

Joe and I are going to be spending a LOT of time together so I kept that in mind when selecting my twelve items.  Here’s what I am packing for my romantic retreat… I mean desert island experience.

1. Beautisol Dark Self Tanner ($39):  I’m not going to tan in the sun, but a tan makes you look thinner, healthier, and it covers so many flaws!!  Before hanging out with Joe, I am first going to slather myself from head to toe with self tanner. Beautisol Dark Self Tanner is my go-to for a full body tan.

Beautisol Summer Glow Dark Tan

2. MAC Blot Powder ($24):  I live in fear of walking around with a shiny nose so I always have this with me.  It’s the perfect pressed powder.

MAC Blot Powder

MAC Blot Powder

3. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer  ($24):  It’s full coverage, it’s waterproof, and it covers my dark undereye circles beautifully.  Joe and I may be staying up REALLY late at night, but it won’t show under my eyes!

Bye Bye Under Eye

Bye Bye Under Eye

4. MAC Paint Pot in Painterly ($18.50):  I am quite sure I’m not going to be doing full eye makeup on a desert island, but MAC’s Paint Pot in Painterly is my go-to for a clean, finished eye look in seconds.  This creamy eyeshadow dries down quickly and stays all day, and it never creases or cakes on me.

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly

5. Paula’s Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover ($12.95):  I need a cleanser, cause there is no way I am going to get stuck with a blemish on this trip! This is the very best makeup remover I have ever found. It’s super gentle so it doesn’t irritate the eyes, but at the same time it removes even the most stubborn makeup. Another plus – it has anti-irritants that help reduce puffiness.

Paula's Choice Gentle Makeup Remover

Paula’s Choice Gentle Makeup Remover

6. VENNeffect Anti-Aging Lip Treatment ($85):  I have issues with hereditary vertical wrinkle lines around my lips – and this stuff truly reduces their appearance. I’m not going anywhere without it.

VENNeffect Anti-Aging Lip Treatment

VENNeffect Anti-Aging Lip Treatment

7. Besame Sweetheart Balm in Cherry ($18):  I can’t believe I am picking a lip gloss that’s in a pot – sticking sandy fingers into lip gloss doesn’t sound good at all. But I just adore the unbelievable slip and texture of this gloss and the color is simply perfect with tanned skin.

Besame Sweetheart Balm

Besame Sweetheart Balm – Cherry is second from the left

8. Sugar Works Body Gloss in Tybee Island Beach Cottage ($12.95):  I love their body oil, it leaves skin super moist but not wet, and the scent really becomes one with your body so it seems like you just naturally smell that way. This scent is described as “Sun, the ocean, warm sand, beach grass, wild beach flowers, a touch of suntan oil.” For sure Joe won’t be able to keep his hands off me.

Sugar Works Body Gloss

Sugar Works Body Gloss

9. Beach Day Spray by Unite ($29.95):  This is the best spray for that wavy, beachy look because it smells amazing and doesn’t leave your air-dried hair crunchy.

Life's a Beach Day

Life’s a Beach Day

10. Whatever Lola Wants from the Lippmann Collection ($17):  This is my most favorite summer nail color of all time. It’s a beautiful shimmery lilac/lavender/pink and it looks especially amazing in the sun. This color makes me feel cute and sexy all at the same time.

Whatever Lola Wants

Whatever Lola Wants

11.  Body Glide from Athleta ($8):  This is a terrific way to prevent blisters on your feet and chafing around sports bras, plus it does extra duty moisturizing dry, cracked skin. You can insert your own joke about how with Body Glide I won’t have to worry about chafed thighs.

Body Glide

Body Glide

12.  My Poipu hat from Athleta:  I LOVE this sun hat. It has a nice foldable brim that is perfect for shading your eyes, but isn’t so big you bump into things as you walk. Squish it into your beach bag, and it pops right back into shape when you put it on.  It’s on sale now too for only $29.99 – sheesh, I paid $54 for mine!! You can find the hat HERE.

Poipu Hat

Poipu Hat

There’s my list! I’d invite you along, but Joe and I are in some serious need of ‘alone time’.  Aloha!  – Lisa

What do you say, Joe...are you ready to go to that deserted island with me??

What do you say, Joe…are you ready to go to that deserted island with me?

*several items were PR samples, others were personally purchased