Makeup Wars – Pore Relief

This week Makeup Wars has decided to focus on Skin Savers. This could be products for anything from wrinkles, blemishes, dark circles to my choice pore helpers. Even though skincare isn’t always exciting, it will be so interesting to see what the other bloggers have focused on. I can’t wait to read their posts and find ways to save my skin!

Makeup Wars - Pore Relief

Makeup Wars – Pore Relief

One of my problems is the size of my pores. Luckily no one walks around with magnifying glasses or I’d be shunned in society. As a teen I had way too many blackheads. Besides being shy as could be, I felt like this was the bane of my existence. As an adult I realize I’m lucky I had skin that oily back then because it’s kept me younger looking. But the end result is pores galore. My solution is to use products that make them look smaller and to exfoliate my skin a few times a week to keep my pores cleaner. I’ve chosen 5 of the products that I’m using to blur away this imperfection. I forgot about exfoliators so that will just have to be another time.

Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector

Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector

KIEHL’S MICRO-BLUR SKIN PERFECTOR* – This is my newest product and I’m not ready to write a full review of it. At first I thought it was only a topical skin smoother but once I started reading about it I realized that this actually a treatment too. I haven’t used it long enough to see how it works over time but I’m enjoying this as my last step before applying foundation. It’s doing a good job in blurring my pores.

Mally Poreless Pore Defender (old packaging)

Mally Poreless Pore Defender (old packaging)

MALLY EVERCOLOR PORELESS FACE DEFENDER – I’ve mentioned this many times since it’s one of my most used products ever. I’m on my third one and that’s almost gone. I first received it in a QVC kit I bought and before it was gone, I purchased another. I use this over all my face makeup to help look as poreless as possible. The sponge it comes with is wonderful, just be careful not to use too much.

Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish

Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish

PURELY COSMETICS DIAMOND PERFECT FINISH * – I use either the Mally Face Defender or Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish powder every day without fail. Not only does this very finely milled powder set my makeup for an entire day, it also helps blur imperfections. I’m in love with this powder as well as the Pre-Fixx Face Primer I talked about in my indie company review.

Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish

Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish

MIRACLE SKIN TRANSFORMER VANISH* – MST makes many great products and I love discovering them all but I think my favorite is VANISH. I didn’t realize how great this was when I first reviewed it over a year ago, but the more I use it the more I realize just how much I like it. It combines a serum with a primer to produce a gel that helps vanish fine lines and pores. In my original review I mention all the long term benefits. I’m ready for the illusion of porcelain skin with Vanish.

Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier

Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier

YOUNGBLOOD ANTI-SHINE MATTIFIER – I bought this at IMATS just before it became available to the public because I was so excited to find that one of my favorite companies had come out with a product to not only keep me shine free but also to make those pesky pores look smaller. I apply this before foundation so even though it seems similar to the Mally, it’s placement is better for me during makeup application rather than after. The packaging is great since the sponge is housed under the mattifier so it’s better for travel or taking with.

Rather than my going on for miles of more products tell me which of these you’ve used and any others that you’d recommend. Then join the other bloggers to see what Skin Savers they recommend. — Marcia

Eyeing perfection with Mally: Cancellation Conditioning Concealer and Ultimate Performance Ink Liner

What are the bare minimum products you need for beautiful eyes? A great concealer and a great eyeliner. With those two items, you can achieve a polished, sophisticated look that will take you from day to evening. Mally Beauty has some great options to consider.


Cancellation Conditioning Concealer

The Cancellation Conditioning Concealer ($35) is moisturizing, water-resistant, and has SPF 25. The ingredients include Vitamin E and glycerin, which makes for a nice, smooth texture.


cancelling out those dark circles

I find that this concealer is awesome for my oily skin – it is moisturizing but not overly so, which means I don’t have a major ‘settling into fine lines’ problem.



I love the packaging – hooray Mally!! I wish all of my jar products were in a hygienic tube like this one.


swatch in Light

This concealer has great pigmentation and the slight yellow tone helps to cover blue under eye circles. This also works great on red areas and blemishes.  I find it’s essential to PAT this on – swipe it and it doesn’t cover and conceal nearly as well.  Don’t use a brush, use your finger. Your body heat helps blend this in beautifully. You can also use this on your eyelid as a primer and to even out your skin tone.


Ultimate Performance Ink Liner

To complete a minimalistic but super chic look, you need some awesome eyeliner. Definitely check out the Ultimate Performance Ink Liner ($26).  This is available EXCLUSIVELY on


Ergonomics rule!

The Ultimate Performance Ink Liner has a really cool, definitely unique ergonomic shape that makes eyelining with precision easy. It’s actually like holding a pencil.  And the liner goes on like a fine tip marker.


love the tip, great for thin or thick lines

It’s pretty much goof-proof. The tip is stiff but has a thin point, so it’s easy to get an even line and to build it up to be thicker if you want. The ergonomics of the container are super cool – even my shaky, pre-coffee hands can line my eyes with ease.



Be sure to put the cap on tightly to avoid the tip drying out. Because of that, I wouldn’t recommend putting this in a makeup bag – keep the top on tight in a drawer and you will be very happy with this.

If you are a minimalist, you need a great concealer and a great eyeliner to get a basic but polished look. Take a look at Mally Beauty for some fabulous options!  - Lisa

Mally FOD

Nothing but my Mally Cancellation Conditioning Concealer and Ultimate Performance Ink Liner


Cancellation Conditioning Concealer ingredients


Ultimate Performance Ink Liner ingredients

*pr samples

Looking for perfection with Mally Perfect Prep Under Eye Brightener


Perfect Prep Under Eye Brightener

Probably the biggest reason I tend to be a  full coverage foundation gal is because of my eyes. No matter how much kale I eat, no matter how late I sleep in, and no matter how many thick pillows I sleep on, I have dark blue under eye circles that are always there. So I am forever looking for ways to conceal them.


Will this jar give me perfection?

Mally has an interesting product called Perfect Prep Under Eye Brightener ($35). It’s a jar of yellow gel-like cream that counteracts the blue of under eye circles. It’s meant to be used under or over makeup to brighten the under eye area and diminish the look of dark circles.


Deeper on the left, Lighter on the right

Mally sent us two shades to test. Deeper is definitely for medium to dark skin tones, and Lighter works for the lighter side of medium to very pale. I don’t love the jar, I really wish the cream was in a tube which is more sanitary.  Plus I worry about the shelf life of any cream product that is exposed to the air.  If the packaging were different, I would adore this product.  As it is, I think it’s great stuff – it would just be so easy for it to reach the ‘tremendous’ level with different packaging.


Top shade is Lighter, bottom shade is Deeper

The cream is actually quite forgiving. The colors look intense, but they blend right in and definitely brighten the under eye area. I like it best over my makeup. I find that the highlighting ability of the cream is delicate, and if I put regular concealer or foundation over it the effect is lost. But over my makeup? Love it. This is also a great product to use on any area you would like to highlight, like above your top lip or to highlight your brow. Another tip – pat, pat, pat this on. Don’t rub it on or it will basically disappear. Use a light touch to get the full benefit of this product.

I have much more success with my Perfect Prep Under Eye Brightener than I do with my YSL Touche Eclat. The yellow color truly helps counteract the blueness and the Under Eye Brightener is thicker so it covers more. I also find it to be much longer wearing than the Touche Eclat. This is a product to have at your desk for quick touch-ups throughout the day. A few dabs of yellow cream patted on with your ring finger will make you look awake and refreshed. Now if we can just convince Mally to change the packaging….  - Lisa

*pr samples



Last minute suggestions from Mally Beauty

Mally Beauty always has some beautiful gift sets and this year is no exception. Here’s a few we really like and the good news is that through 12/16/12 you can get free shipping with the code HOLIDAY on these babies!

mally kit oneMally Beauty All Night Party 9 Piece Collection ($60): Everything you need for a complete bullet proof look to last all night long! This amazing 9 piece collection has you covered!

  • City Chick So Ho Silver eye kit with 0.3 oz
  • Smokey eye compact shades and 0.01 oz liner shade
  • 0.04 oz eyeliner in Black Gold
  • 0.14 eyelining powder in Black Gold
  • 0.39 oz volumizing mascara
  • 0.044 oz Brow Fix in Taupe
  • 0.13 oz cheek color in Rosette
  • 0.12 oz Highshine Lip pen in Party Girl Pink
  • Sponge applicator
  • Double-ended brush
  • Pink pouch

mally kit twoMally Beauty Gorgois Holiday Kit ($85): From eyes to lips, this kit has everything you need to create a bulletproof, bold look this holiday season!

  • 0.13 oz eye shadow base
  • 0.18 oz eye shadow duo in Plum/Lavender
  • 0.04 oz Starlight liner in Black Velvet
  • 0.39 oz volumizing mascara in Black
  • 0.044 oz Brow Fix in Taupe
  • 0.5 oz Couture blush in Berry
  • 0.12 oz High Shine Liquid Lipstick in Starburst
  • Double-ended applicator brush
  • Sharpener
  • Mini one-nighter bag
  • Bag: 50% polyester/50% PVC
  • Brush/bag

And for the non-beauty lover:

Henri Bendel Party of Four Mug Set ($98): Snuggle up around the fire with your loves ones and enjoy a steaming hot cup of cocoa, in one of these chic mugs.

Beauty Spotlight Team takes you to a Desert Island

Packed and ready for the desert island

Welcome to the first edition of Beauty Spotlight Team On A Desert Island. The Beauty Spotlight Team has shown you our makeup bags and also a “mystery” post about things you’d never seen that we like. Now we’re deserting each of the bloggers on a “desert island” to see their interpretation of this challenge. The rules are that we can bring a bag holding only twelve items. We aren’t bringing sunscreen or lip balm because our desert island will have a stash of that. Civilization rules when it comes to beauty bloggers. We hope you will be looking forward to our future posts.

You’d think that think that this would be an easy assignment. After all finding twelve items that you love isn’t hard at all. Until you try to put it together that is. I had several dilemmas. First do I want to look glamorous? I’m not sure who I’m looking glamorous for though. Second do I need to just pamper my skin so that when the rescue ship comes to get me I won’t look like Tom Hanks or his basketball. Third this reminds me of the book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”. As soon as you pick one item you need more to go with it. Pick an eyeliner and you need a brush or sharpener. Pick eyeshadow or powder products and you need tools. The list could go on and you’d still want a cookie. I’ve decided to bend the rules a tiny bit. Some of these items are my Holy Grails and some are things I like a lot but could switch if needed. But they all are items I’d enjoy on my stay on the desert island.

12 items for my adventure

Here are the 12 in no particular order:

1. Anastasia’s Want You to Want Me Eye Shadow Palette– this is my cheat. This amazing set is all in one box though so I’m counting it as one even though in reality there are 4 items in it. There’s a beautiful e/s palette with 9 shades in the brown and purple families, a small liquid eyeliner in black, a mini clear brow gel and a small two sided brush. Plus the box has a nice size mirror so that crosses that off my list. This will be reviewed in full soon but believe me it’s “desert island” worthy.

Anastasia Want You to Want Me

Anastasia Want You to Want Me open

2. 3Lab Perfect BB Cream – this was one of my choices in the recent Makeup Wars. The reason I picked this particular BB cream is that the tube is easier to travel with than the Skin79 cylinder and I don’t notice any lingering fragrance. I figured that a BB cream is everything I need for my skin during the day and it’s light enough that it won’t be melting off in the sun.

3. Mally Evercolor Poreless Face Defender – which is a Holy Grail item for me. I use this almost every day (on the other days I’ll use powder especially IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores). The problem with the Mally is “if you give a mouse a cookie”…

Mally Poreless Face Defender

Mally Performance Sponge (just 1)

4. then you need the applicator. So number 4 is the Mally Ultimate Performance Sponge applicator which is perfect for the Pore Defender.

5. MAC 217 brush is next. I have a ton of brushes but this is the most versatile and reliable for the way I apply eyeshadow.

MAC 217 is on the right

6. Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Waterproof Concealer, another HG item. It’s perfect for my undereye area and I rely on this to hide the dark circles daily.

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Waterproof Concealer in Fair

7. Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Tint in Sweet for my lip product. I love the color and the feel plus it winds up so I don’t need to worry about sharpening this lip crayon.

8. Tweezerman Pro Curl Eyelash Curler is going with me but I don’t have room for mascara. I love the eyelash curler and if I at least curl my lashes it’s not too bad plus I’d probably cheat and use the Anastasia Clear Brow Gel on my lashes instead since my eyebrows aren’t great.

Tweezerman Pro Curl Lash Curler

9.  Youngblood Luminous Cream blush in Taffeta which is very close to being a Holy Grail blush. I wear this more than any other blush I own. The color works well too with my Tarte Lipsurgence and the Anastasia eyeshadow colors.

Youngblood Cream blush in Taffeta

10. Algenist Eye Renewal Balm- this is my current favorite. I’m a slut when it comes to eye creams and this eye balm is one of my favorite “customers”.

Algenist Eye Renewal Balm

11. Tweezerman tweezers– if I didn’t take this I’d look like Santa Claus when I was picked up. I’d have a beard! My Tweezerman tweezers are absolute HG material.

Cynthia Rowley tweezers for Tweezerman

12.  Another cheat is coming – my Adventuress Skin Care travel set. I just reviewed this and while I was debating what my 12th item would be I realized that this kit is perfect – cleanser, SPF that is good for my face, skin purifier and a moisturizer I’d use at night especially.

Adventuress Intro Offer Collection

Adventuress interior

This sounds like a lot but think of everything I left out: shampoo, conditioner, a comb or brush, eye makeup remover, body lotion, tooth brush and toothpaste etc. I just hope I have a Twistband in my hair when I’m taken away to the island since that will at least keep my hair a little tidy. I wonder if the mouse will be a stowaway in my bag! Are any of these on your Desert Island list? — Marcia

Which of these would you take?

*several items were PR samples, others were personally purchased

Makeup Wars returns with a fall look

Makeup Wars is back with thrills and chills. It’s fall and time to change colors and thankfully the weather. Personally I’m not a hot weather person. Give me a cool crisp fall day and I’m happy as can be. Fall means I no longer melt into a pool of makeup each day. Fall means I can comfortably bring out richer colors. Fall to me means brown, green, rust, deep oranges, mustardy yellows, and that special red that trees turn. Pastels take a back seat.

I tend to wear fall colors in eyeshadows year round it seems since I wear so much in the brown family. So to switch it up for Makeup Wars I decided to do green. Not wimpy greens, not bright green, but forest greens. The trees in Michigan tell the story of fall. Right now they are still lush with deep green leaves but I can see the beginnings of gold and yellow as the chlorophyll disappears. So my fall face is based around these shades.

To achieve this I used my eyeshadows from Makeup Geek Cosmetics* and then played around to find an autumn love. As my eyeshadow primer I wore Too Faced Candlelight Shadow Insurance since it acts as a primer and also adds a pretty light gold shimmer. On my eyelid just above the lashline I applied MAC Soft Force which is also a soft gold shimmer. Next came Makeup Geek Poison Ivy (shimmery medium green) brushed very lightly over Soft Force and above it up to the crease. I wanted to have a deeper green too that was close to Poison Ivy so that there could be some gradation, Makeup Geek Dirty Martini (matte olive green) was perfect for that. I used Dirty Martini in the outer crease and blended it into Poison Ivy. Sticking with green I wore Addiction NV gel liner* in Scene and then finished my eye look with Tarte gifted amazon clay smart mascara*. I went back and played with the eyeshadows to make it “just perfect” especially by pumping up the gold of Soft Force on the lower lid and adding some to the browbone.

After my eyes are done I’m ready to work on my face.

After skincare I always start with concealer. My undereye circles need help desperately. Lately I’ve been mixing just a touch of eye cream with Tarte’s Maracuja Creaseless Waterproof Cream Concealer* and applying it under my eyes as well as by my nose to cover the redness there. For foundation I wanted something that was light but had good coverage. I’m not ready yet to go into my full foundations since the weather is still unpredictable. OCC Skin Airbrush Foundation* was just the ticket. This is a water based foundation. I need just a little bit to create a flawless look. It stands up to heat and humidity. The best way for me to apply this is with the Tarte buffy bamboo face powder brush. I put a few drops on my face and then buff it in with this wonderful brush. Instead of powder to set my makeup and keep my face oil free I love using Mally Poreless Face Defender.

Last we need some color and I chose to use 1 product for both blush and lips. After trying some Lush Emotional Brilliance products I went to the store to buy a lipstick. I chose Perspective and have fallen in love with it. It’s described as a dusty rose. Because I really wanted to wear it on my lips I didn’t quite know which of my many blushes might work with it so I just gave in and use Perspective as a liquid blush. It’s long lasting on both my lips and cheeks and pulls my look together.

So there you have it – green and light golden eyes, (almost) flawless skin, and a dusty rose cheek and lip look. It’s a change of pace for me. I feel like I look like I’ve come in from a walk in the cool fall weather and got kissed by the weather.

Join my fellow Makeup War warriors to see what they like for fall by clicking their icons below or by clicking on the previous/next arrows. – Marcia

*disclosure: starred items (*) were sent by PR, rest self purchased

Mally Beauty Perfect Prep Primer Glow and Poreless Face Defender review

My husband refuses to read a map or read directions.  It drives me crazy.  But occasionally I am guilty of the same sort of thing with beauty products.  After trying so many, I sometimes think I know what I am doing and plunge right in without checking to see how to use the product properly.  That’s what happened with me and Mally Beauty.  The products I am reviewing today are terrific – when used correctly!!!

Mally Perfect Prep Primer Glow

Mally’s Perfect Prep Primer Glow ($35) is the slightly shimmery version of their regular primer.  Used correctly (ahem!), it makes a perfect canvas for your concealer and foundation by smoothing out pores and wrinkles.  This version is also for brightening your complexion.

inside the jar

This has a fantastic, mousse-like texture that feels terrific on the skin.  My problem was that the texture was so fantastic, I was overzealous and was using waaaaay too much, which overwhelmed my combination skin.  Once I realized I was overdoing it, I cut way back and found this to be a beautiful primer that really does enhance your skin’s radiance.  Those with dry skin will love this; if you have oily skin just be sure to use it sparingly on oilier areas.

This primer has a lot of wonderful ingredients that are fabulous for the skin – but because it’s in a jar, the ingredients lose their stability once the jar is opened and exposed to the air.  It’s such a pity, I really hope that Mally Beauty rethinks this and changes the packaging to a squeeze tube.  A tube design is also much more sanitary.  Use a spatula with the jar so you aren’t dipping your fingers into the primer, possibly contaminating it with bacteria.

I love that this is fragrance-free.  The primer goes on wet, and dries down to a lovely silkiness.


after smoothing it on

As you can see, it gives a healthy radiance that looks natural.  Despite the minor drawbacks, it’s a wonderful primer that really works well.

Mally Poreless Face Defender

After you apply your makeup, Mally has a truly awesome alternative to blotting powder called Poreless Face Defender ($40).  It’s a silicone-based product that gives skin a matte finish without the chalkiness and dryness that can happen with powder.  The texture solid but silky, and used correctly (ahem!) it smooths pores and gives a non-greasy finish to your skin.

I thought this was like Cle de Peau’s discontinued Translucent Corrector for Pores, which was supposed to be applied before foundation with a swipe and then smoothed out with a dry sponge.  Well, rubbing it in is EXACTLY the wrong way to apply this.  Instead, you need to DAB it on, and you do that after your makeup is applied.  And a little dab will do ya – too much and it just doesn’t work.

If it’s applied correctly, it’s a wonderful alternative to pressed powder.  It keeps the oilies away without looking dry or harsh.  And it’s colorless, so anyone can use this.

it has a lovely, silky texture

It makes pores look smaller, minimizes wrinkles, and really freshens up your makeup throughout the day.

It comes with a sponge that you use to dab on the Poreless Face Defender.

As a compulsive ‘blotter’, this product is a life saver.  I am so glad I took the time to read the directions so I discovered the right way to play with these two products.  They are both impressive, and I have now joined the ranks of the Mallynistas!  - Lisa

*pr samples

Perfect Prep Primer Glow Ingredients:  Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Silica, Polymeyhylsilsesquioxane, Cyclomethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Tribehenin, Ceramide-2, Peg-10 Rapseed Sterol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Atelocollagen, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Bismuth Oxychloride, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Benzoic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Butylene Glycol

May Contain: Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red 17 (CI 16035)

Poreless Face Defender Ingredients: Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PCA Dimethicone, Silica.