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

Are you ready for 30 MAC eyeshadows? Enter this giveaway

Blogger-giveaway-MAC-Palette-2

Ever wonder what happens when 30 beauty & fashion bloggers and vloggers get together? They host an EPIC giveaway! We are teaming up to bring you an amazing 30-pan MAC Eye Shadow Palette filled with our favourite shades!! Enter today via the Rafflecopter form below!

Shades up for grabs!  Sketch, Vibrant Grape, Fig 1, Club, Shroom, Orb, Omega, Aquadisiac, Copperplate, Woodwinked, All That Glitters, Amber Lights, Cranberry, Steamy, Naked Lunch

Blanc Type, Nylon, Cobalt, Brule, Haux, Carbon, Phloof, Retrospeck, Stars & Rockets, Expensive Pink, Brun, Electra, Satin Taupe, Honeylust & Brown Script.

BloggerGiveaway

Brought to  you by these fab bloggers, give them a click!

Angie (Vanity Rouge)

Noelle (XO Noelle)

Dee (Liner Glitter Gloss)

Sandra (Moms Makeup Stash)

Jenelle (Nelle Creations)

Deanne (My Fash Avenue)

Michelle (A Lovely Allure)

Marcia (Beauty Info Zone)

Iva (Falling in Style)

Niki (Hello Miss Niki)

Rica (The Office Chic)

Bree (Urban Umbrella)

Amber (Canadian Fashionista)

Krystal (Beauty by Krystal)

Lauren (The Fashionista’s Diary)

Justina (Justina’s Gems)

Stacey (Stacey Brennan YT)

Elaine (Toronto Beauty Reviews)

Maria (A Mother World)

Marissa (Chic Darling)

Kelly (Glitter Diaries)

Cheryl (Beauty by Cheryl H)

Chelsea (Olive & Ivy)

Chrissy (Some Velvet Morning)

Shayna (A Pop of Colour)

Cecilia (Dearest Lou)

Janna (Gloss & Glitz)

Mina (Mina Slater)

Cindy (Prime Beauty)

Katelyn (The Skinny Blonde)


Open in the USA and Canada.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014.
 
TERMS & CONDITIONS: this giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents ages over the age of 18 and ends at 11:59pm EST on August 6th, 2014. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Only one winner will be selected. This giveaway is a group buy, which means the bloggers/vloggers pooled their money together to purchase this product for you. Winner will be chosen at random from all verified entries, contacted by email provided, and announced on this page at the end of the contest. Winner has 48 hours to respond or prize will be redrawn. No prize substitutions allowed. Bloggers in this group giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary.

Top Ten Tuesday – it’s time for pink lipstick

Top 10 Pink Lipsticks (or is this 12)

Top 10 Pink Lipsticks (or is this 12)

This week the Top Ten Tuesday group decided to share our favorite pink lips. I went through my lipstick drawer and found a lot of pinks – I mean a LOT. I narrowed it down to the 12 lipsticks I wear the most. But then something interesting happened when I photographed them together. I found that they don’t all look pink in swatches yet when they are on my lips they look pink to me. Of course I have favorites within the favorites but that’s pretty typical.

Here’s my bounty:

12 favorite pink lipsticks from Tom Ford, Make Up For Ever, Rouge Bunny Rouge, MAC, and Surratt

12 favorite pink lipsticks from Tom Ford, Make Up For Ever, Rouge Bunny Rouge, MAC, and Surratt

Tom Ford lipsticks

Tom Ford pinks: Summer Fling, Pink Dusk, Spanish Pink, Pink Dune

Tom Ford pinks: Summer Fling, Pink Dusk, Spanish Pink, Pink Dune

Summer Fling is a limited edition sheer lipstick that is my new favorite from his collection. This is a true cool pink on me, it has blue undertones so if you don’t look good in cool don’t hunt this one done.

Pink Dusk was my previous Tom Ford favorite and has gotten the most use from me. It’s a warm pink with slight coral undertones. This lipstick has great coverage and lasts long. I love that I can play around with gloss or liner and change this one up. My photo makes it look more coral but on my lips it’s really pink, I promise.

Spanish Pink is a neutral pink that color wise is almost a combo of Summer Fling and Pink Dusk. It’s the darkest of collection and a good change for me since sometimes I like super light lipsticks. This is more “adult” than my typical.

Pink Dune is also a limited edition sheer lipstick. If I’d seen it instead of ordering it online I might have skipped it. I like light lipsticks but this is extremely light. Therefore the solution is to wear a lipliner. It’s on my favorite list though so you know I’m not unhappy with it.

from top: Summer Fling, Pink Dusk, Spanish Pink, Pink Dune

from top: Summer Fling, Pink Dusk, Spanish Pink, Pink Dune

MAKE UP FOR EVER

Make Up For Ever N33 and N19

Make Up For Ever N33 and N19

Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N33 is just about the perfect pink. This is a color I crave, one that stops me dead in my tracks in a store. It’s a very cool pink with a “diamond” finish. It’s described as Diamond Fresh Pink. The finish glistens so no gloss is needed.

Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N19 is a darker rosier version of N33 but with that same glistening finish. MUFE calls it Iridescent Ice Pink. N19 is cool with maybe a touch of mauve.

Make Up For Ever N19 and N33

Make Up For Ever N19 and N33

Unfortunately I don’t see either of these two lipsticks on Sephora’s site but they are both listed on Make Up For Ever’s site so hopefully they aren’t gone. If by chance they are, take a chance on one of the available shades since these creamy moisturizing lipsticks are beautiful.

MAC

MAC lipsticks in Overture, Viva Glam Gaga, A Rose Romance, Feelright

MAC lipsticks in Overture, Viva Glam Gaga, A Rose Romance, Feelright

Pro Longwear formula in Overture  is the only MAC lipstick I have in Pro Longwear so I don’t know why I didn’t buy more of this collection. It’s a matte pinky coral. It’s a little drying because of the formula but it’s one I reach for often.

Viva Glam Gaga is the first of the Gaga lipsticks. It’s the Lustre formula which is one I happen to like. It’s a true Barbie Pink when it’s on me. I love Viva Glam’s program and this is one of the shades I’m always drawn to.

A Rose Romance  is a Lustre that I’m sure is discontinued. I liked it so much I bought two of them when I was in my MAC stage. It’s a more rose version of Viva Glam Gaga on me.

Feelright Amplified is more of a berry pink. Because it’s an Amplified it’s a full bodied lipstick.

from left MAC Feelright, A Rose Romance, Viva Glam Gaga and Overture

from left MAC Feelright, A Rose Romance, Viva Glam Gaga and Overture

SURRATT and ROUGE BUNNY ROUGE

Surratt Fie Soie and Rouge Bunny Rouge Scrumptiously Delicious

Surratt Fie Soie and Rouge Bunny Rouge Scrumptiously Delicious

Surratt Lipslique in Fie Soie is my new favorite lipstick. On my lips it’s a sheer pink with a slight touch of warmth. If I’m wearing cool toned blush though it looks like a light pink. On Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog it looks almost peach but I think the color of your lips affects this sheer lipstick. I really love it!

Rouge Bunny Rouge in Scrumptiously Delicious is one of two lipsticks I bought from RBR and my favorite. The tone is similar to the Surratt Fie Soie but the finish is very different. It’s been described as a ‘cool lavender pink satin finish’ even though it doesn’t look that way in my swatch.

If you bump into me and I’m in the PINK I’ll be wearing one of these 12 beauties. What are your favorite pink lipsticks??– Marcia

Top Ten Tuesday Pink Lipstick Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday Pink Lipstick Favorites

Please click through the blogs to find more variations of pink love.


MAC double palette eyeshadow giveaway

 

MACGiveaway

It’s giveaway time again. This time we’ve joined with a group of beautiful beauty bloggers to give one MAC double size palette to a lucky US or Canadian winner. There will be 30 shades from the permanent collection so you’ll end up with a variety of colors from neutrals to bolds, from staid to fun, from matte to shiny.

It’s like winning a box of 30 chocolates each with a different creamy center inside except the twist is this will last a lot longer. Every blogger involved picked the shadow they wanted included. I don’t know the list but I picked Satin Taupe since it’s my very favorite eyeshadow. We still needed a few more to fill the palette so my second choice was Malt since my favorite MAC artist feels everyone should have this basic in their collection. If you want more hints of shades in this you can check the other blogs to see if they shared what they picked.

To enter just use the Rafflecopter. The more of our options you choose, the more chance you have of winning. The giveaway runs through Feb. 28, 2014 and is for US and/or Canada only. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Beauty Spotlight Team spotlights Marcia of Beauty Info Zone

Every other week the Beauty Spotlight Team spotlights one of our bloggers with a special post. Well this week it’s my turn and I couldn’t be more excited. You see I’ve done a total turnaround in my cosmetic color life. I used to be the PURPLE QUEEN! I had every purple eyeshadow I could get my hands on. I lived and breathed purple for eyes. Then I started adding in browns and taupes but I still would always say that purple was “my thing”. And then this came into my life:

Rouge Bunny Rouge Abysinnian Catbird

Rouge Bunny Rouge Abysinian Catbird

Rouge Bunny Rouge Abyssinian Catbird

Rouge Bunny Rouge Abyssinian Catbird

When it arrived from Zuneta I was excited when I saw this but didn’t realize that my life was about to change. Rouge Bunny Rouge Abyssinian Catbird looked like a golden green on my eyes and totally captivated me. I wanted to wear it all day every day. I didn’t want to remove my eye makeup. But being the obsessive eyeshadow person that I am, I not only removed it but I started shopping. Since I purchased the RBR I’ve also purchased what is now making up my Top Ten Khaki/Green eyeshadow list (and it was hard to narrow it down to 10).

Beauty Spotlight Team Top 10 khaki/green eyeshadows

Beauty Spotlight Team Top 10 khaki/green eyeshadows

1. As stated above Rouge Bunny Rouge Abyssinian Catbird eyeshadow – this started the obsession

2. Bare Minerals The Scenic Route – this has more green to it but it’s still a khaki on me. I adore this when wearing Rouge Bunny Rouge Velvet Frippery cream shadow as a base.

Bare Minerals The Scenic Route

Bare Minerals The Scenic Route

Bare Minerals The Scenic Route

Bare Minerals The Scenic Route

3. and 4.  Inglot 419 and 433 – to say I’m crazy about these would be an understatement. They are beautiful on and each give me a slightly different look. They both have green and gold in them. 419 has more of a green tone while 433 is more khaki. Satiny smooth and long lasting. These are the best Inglot textures of the many I own.

Inglot 419 and 433

Inglot 419 and 433

5. and 6.  Urban Decay Snare and MAC Greensmoke – these look really similar in my pictures but they are different. Snare is more green while Greensmoke is more smokey. Snare is also more sparkly. I’m more likely to use the Urban Decay at night and the MAC during the day.

Urban Decay Snare and MAC Greensmoke

Urban Decay Snare and MAC Greensmoke

Urban Decay Snare and MAC Greensmoke

Urban Decay Snare and MAC Greensmoke

7. and 8. Makeup Geek Poison Ivy and Senna Fixation – two beautiful green shadows. Poison Ivy is light while the Senna is deep and a gorgeous green with sparkle. I saw Fixation when I was shopping at IMATS and immediately scooped it up. These two work beautifully together.

Makeup Geek Poison Ivy and Senna Fixation

Makeup Geek Poison Ivy and Senna Fixation

Makeup Geek Poison Ivy and Senna Fixation

Makeup Geek Poison Ivy and Senna Fixation

9. Whip Hand Green Beret pigment – while I’m still using my small one that I bought from Beauty Army, I want the full size one. Whip Hand did a special Camo Collection for Beauty Army. I love all of them but this one is green with gold. It’s lighter than the rest and looks great on its own or combined with other shadows or pigments.

Whip Hand Green Beret

Whip Hand Green Beret

Whip Hand Green Beret

Whip Hand Green Beret

Whip Hand Green Beret

Whip Hand Green Beret

10. Rouge Bunny Rouge Velvet Frippery – now this has a story. I was so sorry I bought this when I did and here it is on my Top 10 list. Don’t buy it if you are looking for a great green eyeshadow because it’s not. What makes me love it is that I use it as a base with different colors – especially Bare Minerals The Scenic Route and the two Inglot khakis and it makes them look 10x better. For some reason this dull sort of green brings out the best in them. I don’t use a thick layer and I use a real eyeshadow primer first but with that combination I get color that doesn’t fade or change for the entire day.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Velvet Frippery

Rouge Bunny Rouge Velvet Frippery

Rouge Bunny Rouge Velvet Frippery swatch

Rouge Bunny Rouge Velvet Frippery swatch

From top to bottom: RBR Velvet Frippery (top pic only), Senna Fixation, Makeup Geek Poison Ivy,

MAC Greensmoke, Urban Decay Snare, Whip Hand Cosmetics Green Beret,

Rouge Bunny Rouge Abyssinian Catbird, Bare Minerals The Scenic Route, Inglot 433 and 419

My Top 10 khaki/green eyeshadows

My Top 10 khaki/green eyeshadows

My Top 10 khaki/green eyeshadows

My Top 10 khaki/green eyeshadows

So there you have my Top Ten most loved and used khaki and green eyeshadows. There’s always room for more though so please tell me what you love and what I need to add to my collection. Do you see though what Rouge Bunny Rouge Absyinnian Catbird started? — Marcia

disclosure: only Makeup Geek is a PR sample, rest were purchased by me

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!!