Five essential tips for transitioning into fall – with a little help from Meijer

Everything you need to transition into fall from Meijer!

Everything you need to transition into fall from Meijer!

I guess it is officially fall…I saw my first Christmas display at the store today!! I also saw my first red and orange leaves on the trees in my yard. I’m breaking out my heavy jeans, sweaters, and jackets – so much fun to rediscover a whole new season’s wardrobe. Meijer sent me a fabulous box of goodies with everything needed to also change my skin care and cosmetics wardrobe and it reminded me of the five essential tips for transitioning into fall.

Rethink your skin care

Rethink your skin care

1.  Rethink your skin care.  With the weather turning cooler, the air inside gets drier which changes your skin care needs.

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

A terrific option for makeup removal and toner is Simple Cleansing Micellar Water ($6.29). It’s all the rage right now and for good reason. This is gentle and easy to use, and most importantly it doesn’t dry out skin. In fact, the micellar water boosts skin hydration 90%. The price is right too, making it a no-brainer for fall.

Switch your hair products

Switch your hair products

2.  Switch your hair products to compensate for dry indoor air.  Just like skin, hair changes with the seasons, and fall brings dry, frizzy, static-filled hair. Go for moisturizing hair products, like Pantene Expert Collection Dry Defy Shampoo and Conditioner ($8.39). This ultra-moisturizing duo tackles even the most parched hair, taking care of frizz, split ends, and static.

Try going natural for toothpaste and deodorant

Try going natural for toothpaste and deodorant

3.  Try going natural for toothpaste and deodorant. My daughters have completely switched to Tom’s of Maine products and swear by the AntiPlaque and Whitening Toothpaste ($4.49) and Natural Deodorant ($4.49). The toothpaste is flouride-free and fights both cavities and plaque, and the deodorant is aluminum-free with 24 hour odor protection that really works. Not only do these natural products truly perform, Tom’s of Maine walks the talk as a planet friendly line that is truly natural, sustainable, and responsible.

Update and invest in new fall colors

Update and invest in new fall colors

4.  Update old products and invest in some fun fall colors.  It’s a great time to invest in some new makeup brushes, and definitely time to throw out your old mascara, lip gloss, and foundation and get some fresh new shades.

Fun fall shades and products to update

Fun fall shades and products to update

I am so happy to see that the Real Techniques Travel Essentials Makeup Brush Collection ($12.59) is available at Meijer. Marcia first introduced me to these brushes several years ago and they are absolutely fantastic. This set comes with a cool travel case and it includes my favorite brush of all time – the Domed Shadow Brush.

Mascara needs to be replaced every 2 months or so, and there are great sales at Meijer for the fall season so take advantage! Two picks for long and lush lashes include Covergirl The Super Sizer ($6.99) and Maybelline Volum’ Express the Colossal Chaotic Lash ($6.99). Why not go big this fall?  The Super Sizer makes lashes as long as they can get.  Don’t give up on the Colossal Chaotic Lash…once I figured out how to use the brush both vertically and horizontally my lashes went from ok to incredible.

Lippies need to be updated too…throw out those gross old lip glosses and sticky lipsticks and try something a little different. I can’t stop raving about the Covergirl Outlast Lipstick in Into the Fuchsia  This is a bright, bold shade with a hint of shimmer and the opaque coverage really lasts. It’s a cross between a lipstick and a gel-based balm and it feels divine on the lips.

And how perfect is that Revlon Colorstay 16 Hour Eyeshadow Palette in Surreal ($6.59)? Interestingly, this was part of the Summer 2015 Collection, but I think the gold and green shades are truly perfect for fall.

New season, new scents!

New season, new scents!

5.  Switch to new scents for the new season.  It’s time to say goodbye to soft summer scents and go a bit bolder. For women, I love Versace Bright Crystal ($73). The top notes are pomegranate, Yuzu and frosted accord. Mid-notes include peony and magnolia, and base notes include amber extracted from plants, musk and red woods. I think of this as a ‘frozen flower’ scent…great for transitioning into colder months!

For the man in your life, I am totally gaga for Hugo Man by Hugo Boss ($19.99). The top note is green apple, with aromatic notes and a base of fir balsam. Makes me picture a buff guy in flannel, riding a horse, stopping to pick me an apple as we ride through an orchard…ah, you get the idea. It’s fabulous and you want your guy to smell like this.

If you need an excuse to go shopping, you’ve got two here – you need new things for the new season and Meijer has great sales going on right now. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get ready for fall!  – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

It’s always a happy dance day with Wantable

When I began teaching Snoopy was popular with the kids. I’d buy stickers to put on their papers that showed his Happy Dance. All these years later I love Snoopy so this is what I look like when my Wantable box arrives:snoopy dance

Wantable makes me do that happy dance month after month. For May 2014 my box from the company contained 4 full size products that are already in use and will remain so. Wantable only sends you want you want (per your profile) and never things you don’t care for. You don’t get to pick the products per se, that’s the surprise you get each month. Your profile is the key to what you’ll receive. If you do a search for Wantable you’ll find that every box is different.

Here’s the box I received for May

May 2014 Wantable products

May 2014 Wantable products

Considering how much I love eyeshadow I was especially thrilled to find two in the box this month along with a gorgeous cool toned blush and a Real Techniques brush. I was definitely doing a happy dance.

To aid in my dance Wantable sent me a Dirty Martini. I think that was very nice of them. This martini is made by Eyetini and is a beautiful olive green cream eyeshadow. Two favorite items in one handy package – I love this shade of green and I love cream eyeshadows. The eyeshadow can be worn alone or used as a cream base. Whenever I need to do a fast face I go into my cream eyeshadow box and this beauty is a welcome edition to the box.

Eyetini in Dirty Martini

Eyetini in Dirty Martini

Eyetini in Dirty Martini

Eyetini in Dirty Martini

To make me dance more I was sent a MiA BelleZZa eyeshadow trio in Mauvy. This trio is a beautiful combination of shades that coordinate well together. There’s a light cream shade with a teeny touch of pink; a milk chocolate with a slight plum undertone and a deep chocolate with miniscule sparkle. Everything is there to create a great look for day or night.

MiA BelleZZa in Mauvy

MiA BelleZZa in Mauvy

MiA BelleZZa in Mauvy

MiA BelleZZa in Mauvy

The blush that was in my package is an ideal color for my skintone. My profile states that I’m fair and cool toned so this (Pla)Beauty blush in Pink Ribbon was made for me. Pink Ribbon is one of 7 matte blushes that (Pla)Beauty has on their website. Pink Ribbon has excellent pigmentation plus it’s soft to the touch.

(Pl?)Beauty blush in Pink Ribbon

(Pla)Beauty blush in Pink Ribbon

(Pl?)Beauty blush in Pink Ribbon

(Pla)Beauty blush in Pink Ribbon

Last but certainly not least is a Retractable Kabuki Brush from Real Techniques. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about Real Techniques since these brushes are well known for quality and great prices. I have several kabuki brushes but I don’t have a retractable one – well I do now. This is the softest brush and is perfect for my (Pla)Beauty blush as well as the myriad of blush and powder that I own.

Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush

Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush

Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush

Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush

Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush

Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush

Now there’s something for you to do if you want to try to win a free box from Wantable. Every week they are giving away a free box of your choice to subscribers. You take a picture of your Wantable goodies and then share that picture on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #Wantable. You could get a new box (maybe the Intimates or Accessories) or get the next month’s box free. It’s worth a shot especially since they make it so easy to enter. may wantable card front

may wantable card 1

If you haven’t subscribed to Wantable then this is the perfect time. You’ll get a fabulous box of products and a chance each week to win.

Snoopy and I are off to go dancing but if you decide to do yourself a favor (or do your mom a favor for Mother’s Day) then please use our affiliate link. I hope you are off dancing too. — Marcia

*sent for editorial consideration

Best of the Year 2012: Lisa’s picks



It’s the new year, so you know what that means – a bunch of people with hangovers and a ton of ‘Best of 2012′ lists!  Beauty Info Zone is jumping right into the pool with our own lists.  Here are my personal picks for Best of the Year 2012, stay tuned for Marcia’s choices tomorrow. 

Shimmer, color, extensions, scents…it’s all here!  I have much to be grateful for, much to be thankful for, and here is my big virtual hug to all the products and product lines that brought me so much joy in 2012.


Best new (to me anyway) cosmetics lines



Christina Choi lipgloss

Christina Choi – beautiful lip glosses, gorgeous eye shadows (love the duo with a coordinating cake liner), plus so much more.  I am very, very excited about this line.

in my Z Palette

My gorgeous Makeup Geek eyeshadows in my Z Palette

Makeup Geek – love the lipsticks, and the eyeshadows are truly the bomb.  If you don’t have any yet, they should be first on your list of new purchases for 2013.

Best old (to me anyway) cosmetics lines


Le Metier

Le Metier eyes

Le Metier de Beaute – 2012 was a Le Metier year for me, from fantastic makeovers to awesome facials to workhorse products that I can’t do without. 

Bye Bye Pores powder and puff

Bye Bye Pores powder and puff

It Cosmetics - I am constantly amazed by this line.  There hasn’t been ONE thing that I didn’t love.  I think I look forward to new products from It Cosmetics more than from any other line because they never, ever disappoint.

Dan Read Icy Lilac eyeshadow

Dan Read Icy Lilac eyeshadow

Dan Read Cosmetics –  another line that never lets me down.  I always have my Dan Read Silver Screen Series foundation with me – in fact, on Christmas Day I bought myself another one as a Christmas gift to myself.  I also love the eyeshadows, they are fantastic.   Dan Read is on my ‘best of’ list every single year.  He rocks – and so does his cosmetics line.

Make Up For Ever Iconic Red

Make Up For Ever Iconic Red

Make Up For Ever – did you watch Syfy’s Face Off this past season?  I think it was the best ever thanks to Make Up For Ever.  Dany Sanz is brilliant, and I love all of her creations, particularly the Aqua Rouge lip colors.

Best skin care


reviva-primerReviva Labs – I have probably tried 15 different things from this line and I love everything. I think that is amazing. My absolute favorites are the Makeup Primer, Hyalauronic Acid Serum, and the Willard Water.

cooling metal tip applicator

Love the StriVectin cooling metal tip applicator – and if you look closely, you can see my camera reflected in it!!

 StriVectin – oh boy do I love the 360 Tightening Eye Serum - it’s a great serum with the best applicator ever.

Jewelweed Topical Mist close upCreation Pharm – this is a terrific organic line with intriguing products. I still use the Jewelweed Topical Mist every day. I am probably on my 20th bottle.  If you look close, I do believe that is my photo of my fingers holding the Jewelweed bottle on their website!!!

Love my Kleraderm

Love my Kleraderm

Kleraderm – one of the very best skin care lines there is.  I have used it for years and will always be a ‘Kleranet’.  I have an appointment for a facial with Joanne Recchia-Kallabat in a few days and I am so geeked.  She gives a $200 facial for just $20, plus I will be finding out about the latest new products – and I will be sure to share!

Best brushes


Domed Shadow Brush

Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush

Real Techniques (Pixie Woo) Domed Shadow Brush – this is by far the very best eyeshadow crease brush I have ever used.  I say thank you for this every day.

212 up close and personal

212 up close and personal

Hakuhodo 212 – the supreme brush for blending eyeshadow.  If you don’t have this — you need it.

Best hair care


I will never be without this hairspray

I will never be without this hairspray

Unite – the Go365 Hairspray is the primo hairspray ever. Period.

Cristopher Glossing Shampoo

Cristophe Glossing Shampoo

Cristophe  – the Glossing Shampoo and Conditioner never fail to make my hair super soft, shiny, and bouncy.

Leonor Greyl makes for a good hair day!!

Leonor Greyl makes for a good hair day!!

Leonor Greyl – gorgeous products that smell amazing.  So many of her hair products are cult favorites, and for good reason!

Biggest personal influences in 2012


soft waves

Soft waves?  No problem!

Verge One – I would say that two lines dramatically changed my daily appearance in 2012.  The first is Verge One.  Their ‘texture wands’ have completely changed the way I wear my hair.  Now pretty much every day I am curly or wavy, and I love it.  The texture wands are truly fabulous finds for which I am extremely grateful!

More lashes = love!

More lashes = love!

Novalash – the second line that dramatically changed my daily appearance in 2012 is Novalash.  I had what I thought were nicely dramatic eyelashes thanks to Latisse…and then I found Novalash.  WOW.  My lashes are huge and beautiful and easy to care for every single day.  This is a ‘get down on my knees and say THANK YOU‘ find!!

Most fun


Everything is better on a stick!

Everything is better on a stick!

Lush – Reflecting back on 2012, I remember so many awesome, entertaining products from Lush.  Seriously, everything they make is not only useful and practical, it’s also a blast. 


Who knew blue hair could be so fun?

HairUWear – another surprising super fun discovery for me this year were hair extensions.  I adore the ones I have tried from HairUWear, whether they are lively and funky bright colors or seriously hair-enhancing extensions.  Absolute enjoyment that reminded me I need to step outside my comfort zone to make new discoveries.

My top product picks


OCC Skin:  Conceal Y series

OCC Skin: Conceal Y series

OCC Airbrush Foundation and Conceal Concealer – two of the best finds of 2012.  The foundation is a fantastic water-based foundation that works with every application technique, it looks totally natural and wears like iron.  And the concealer is nothing short of amazing – it’s the perfect concealer times twenty. 


Tarte Magic blush really is magic!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushfirst-rate blushes with lots of different shades and perfect pigment.  This is a blush that will keep you blushing all day long.

Lisa Hoffman bracelet2

Lisa Hoffman Fragrance Jewelry – so gorgeous, clever and unique!  One of my favorite fragrances of all time is Lisa’s Tuscan Fig, and to be able to have that inside beautiful jewelry?  Fantastic.

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara – this is the best mascara I have ever found for my lower lashes.  It’s pretty amazing.

Tarte concealer top

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Waterproof Concealer – another pick from Tarte.  This concealer is creamy long-lasting goodness that saved my eyes this fall when they were going crazy with allergies.  It’s a total winner.

My perfect tube of 3Lab Perfect BB Cream

My perfect tube of 3Lab Perfect BB Cream

3lab Perfect BB Cream – my very first BB cream and the best one out there.  Yes, it’s expensive – but it’s also worth every single penny.

CV Skinlabs bottle

CV Skinlabs – sunburns, bug bites, hives, rashes, it’s all so much easier to live through with Rescue + Relief Spray.  I have a bottle of this in my refrigerator at all times.

Skin Chemists Wrinkle Killer

Skin Chemists Wrinkle Killer

Skin Chemists Wrinkle Killer – the snake serum is far more than a marketing ploy. This stuff works. If you want less wrinkles in 2013, get yourself some Wrinkle Killer.

If 2013 is even close to as good as 2012 was, then we have a LOT to look forward to.  2012 was chock full of great discoveries, wonderful ‘old faithfuls’, tons of joy and nothing to complain about.  Life is good!  – Lisa

Real Techniques (Pixi Woo) Travel Set brush review

Sometimes I am just late to the party.  There will be a huge discovery, like the Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows, that somehow get past me while I live in oblivion about the amazing discovery I am missing.  PixiWoo (Samantha Chapman) and her brushes are another perfect example.  I rarely watch YouTube, and I had no idea who she was or what she did.  And then my bestest friend Marcia gave me the Real Techniques Travel Set ($17.99) for my birthday.  (She also got me a few other uh-mazing items that will be in future reviews…she is a great shopper!!!)

Little did Marcia know she was both enlightening me and creating a monster at the same time.  I am now officially obsessed with PixiWoo videos.  I adore her – she is beautiful, humble, and amazingly talented.  I watch her YouTube videos and take furious notes, then run to my makeup vanity to try to duplicate the looks.

My fascination doesn’t stop with her videos.  Thanks to Miss Marcia, I have PixiWoo’s brushes to obsess over and play with for hours.  The set has a Panoramic Case and three makeup brushes.  Do I love this set?  Yes.  Do I love some brushes more than others?  For sure.  Here are my thoughts:

one way to store the brushes...

One of the best parts of this set is the case.  It’s truly versatile, and lets you store brushes in your own particular favorite way.  Pictured above is my personal preference – with the brushes set like this, it’s easy to pull them out and put them back in, and the long side down keeps the set very stable so it doesn’t fall over.

and another way to store them...

Of course, there is also this way, which is nice because it’s easy to see the tops so there’s no fumbling for the right one.  Notice how there’s space for more brushes?  I like to add other brushes to make up my ‘arsenal’ for the day, and usually also include a flat eyeshadow brush, a highlighter brush, and a liner brush.

and yet another way to store them!!

And there’s also this way, which is my least favorite because it’s easy to knock over – but it’s great if your space is limited.

This is a travel set, so PixiWoo included what she felt were ‘essentials’.  I prefer a set of fewer full size brushes to a wider selection of smaller size brushes.  Some travel sets, especially some past sets from MAC and Trish McEvoy, have small brushes of less quality than the regular ones.  Plus I just feel like I can’t do as good of a job with mini-brushes.

Essential Foundation Brush

Pictured above is the Essential Foundation Brush.  It’s a flat brush with taklon bristles, so it handles liquid and cream products with ease.

Essential Foundation Brush side view

Here is a side view.  This is my least favorite of the three, not because it doesn’t work well, but because I prefer to buff my foundation and concealer in with a thicker, kabuki-style brush for an airbrushed look.  However, for a flat foundation brush it’s pretty sweet.  It blends foundation in very nicely, and the tapered shape makes it good for getting concealer into harder to reach areas like right under the eyelashes.

Domed Shadow Brush

Pictured above is the Domed Shadow Brush.  Oh my goodness, do I love this brush!!!   It is a perfect crease brush.  It’s just right amount of softness, and the domed top makes it fit exactly right in the crease.

Domed Shadow Brush side view

In the picture above, you can see how the side is just a bit thinner so it doesn’t have a perfectly round circumference.  This means you can easily use the sides to also lay down color on your lids and/or brow.  Somehow it seems to pick up exactly the right amount of color, and it blends like a dream.  I use this brush pretty much every day, and I think it’s worth more than the price of the entire set.

Multi-Task Brush

The last (and largest) brush in the set is the Multi-Task Brush.  This is a beautifully soft brush that is perfect for powder application – loose or pressed powder, bronzer, or blush.

Multi-Task Brush side view

Again, you can see it’s slightly flat so you can use the top for blending and the sides for application.  At first I was really excited because I thought it was dense enough for liquid and cream foundations — but it’s not.  It’s really just for powder products and it does a wonderful job with them.

Overall, this is a great set at an unbelievable price.  I’ve paid way more for one crap brush than it costs for these three brushes plus the case.  Are the three brushes all you need for a trip?  Um…not the way I do my makeup!!  But as noted above, there are extra spaces to store other brushes, so it’s easy to make up a perfect travel set inside the carrying case.  It’s a great set that is totally worth every penny…so thank you again Marcia!!  – Lisa

We’ve been tagged – Seven Links!

Not too long ago the lovely Cindy from Prime Beauty tagged Beauty Info Zone in a chain letter. How dare she? Actually she’s doing us some good because the purpose of this is to review articles we’ve written to reshare with you. So even though Cindy is causing a sleepless night or two, we do thank her. We also thank her for giving us many lemmings especially through her Monday Mascara posts. Please check out her blog to show her the love. Of course we’re going to tag others and hopefully they’ll enjoy this trip down memory lane too.

Link 1: Our Most Popular Post:  We’re not positive if this was our most popular post but it certainly gave us a lot of readers for the day. The Beauty Spotlight Team started spotlighting a Mystery Makeup Bag twice a month. Marcia was first and a lot of people were curious about what she carries around on a daily basis.

Link 2: Our Most Beautiful Post: This was a tie between two different candle companies. Lisa loves her candles and her pictures of the Skeem candles  and the aglow Eco Living candles need to be seen. If you like beauty and you like the fragrance a candle provides your home then find out more about these two brands. We apologize that the contests in these posts are no longer available but keep your eye on Beauty Info Zone since we love having giveaways!

Link 3: Our most controversial post: We’re not sure if the Drysol deodorant review was controversial but the original name (Let’s Talk Armpits, sweaty smelly ones) seemed to be a little offputting to some people. Lisa loves Drysol though and recommends it if you do have that kind of armpit!

Link 4: Our most helpful post: Actually we can only hope that this was our most helpful post. Every summer Aveeno pairs up with Rite Aid to provide the Road to Healthy Skin Tour to teach people about skin cancer. What we hope was helpful about this post and Aveeno’s initiative is the awareness about skin cancer and what can be done to prevent it. We hope that starting next spring more people look into this opportunity to get a free skin cancer check.Here’s some information we just learned from Aveeno about this tour: As of September 17, our dedicated volunteer dermatologists have found more than 1,500 suspected skin precancers and cancers, including 40 suspected melanomas.

Link 5: Our Surprise Success Post: There’s been a ton of attention given to the two reviews about the Real Techniques brushes. These were designed by Suzanne Chapman of PixiWoo who has a huge YouTube following. Her brushes were welcomed by many and are extremely popular not only at Ulta but by Marcia of the BIZ. Read the first review about the Travel Essentials set and then go to check out the Eyeshadow Starter Set (sorry that giveaway is over too).

Link 6: Post that didn’t get enough attention:  Lisa wrote about Dex Cosmetics. It’s a brand that you may not know about but really should. The products are beautiful and Dex himself is terrific at picking out just the right products.

Link 7: Post we’re most proud of: Again we’ll be selfish and give you two but they go together. First is one that involves a charity that Marcia is involved with, Queen for a Day. She was sent a product called Hair by RevitaLash but chose to send it on to a teen in need of this because of hair loss associated with cancer. When RevitaLash was told about this they kindly donated more product to Queen for a Day. That’s something to be proud of.


Blogs we’re tagging:

Glitter.Gloss.Garbage – We get a little bit of everything from this Glitter Queen. So far we haven’t noticed any garbage though.

Polish Galore- the name says it all. We love polish but probably not as much as she does.

Jenn Staz – Jenn has a little bit of everything – reviews, information and guest posts (including some from Marcia).

The Stepford Witch – anyone with a name that cool has got to have a fun blog

Visionary Beauty – a little bit of European beauty to get the juices going.

PS Beauty Blog: PS is a newer blog that delivers fashion, beauty and fun.

Perilously Pale – how she does her FOTD pictures so beautifully is astounding plus she loves Le Metier as much as we do.

Now it’s time for our “taggies” to share!

Side by Side – Top Ten products for 2011

We recently enthralled you with our Top Ten products in the color department and today we’ll do the same but with products in other categories. These are all items we’ve reviewed in the first 6 months of 2011 and have fallen in love with. It’s always hard to narrow down lists like this since there are so many others that we can recommend but we beat our heads against the wall and this is what we came up with. They aren’t listed in any particular order.


1.  YBF Skincare – I love everything I’ve tried from the line but I’ve only reviewed Boost and Hydrate B Concentrate. Both make any other products I use work better so they had to be part of my top 10.
2.  Skin 2 Skin Care – the Photoaging Repair Cream has become a staple for me.  I am saying goodbye to hyperpigmentation with regular use of this fabulous, elegant product.

3.  Makeup for Ageless Beauty by Linda Mason – I learned so much from this wonderful book. It’s the perfect book for those of us 40 and above. Linda Mason uses older models and realistic makeup as well as helps us solve problems. Highly recommended.
4.  Argan Magic hair products – What a fabulous line and it’s so affordable. I adore all 3 of the products I’ve used and I hope you’ll not only go read about them in my review but buy them too. You’ll be just as thrilled as I am.
5.  Beautisol Self Tanner – I’m obsessed with self tanners and Beautisol is one of the absolute best products on the market. One of these days I’ll even convince the pale Marcia that she’ll be safe with Beautisol.
6.  Sweet Grass Farms – Where to begin? I can’t pick out a favorite so you’ll just have to believe me that everything I’ve tried from Sweet Grass Farms is wonderful.
7.  Artisan Naturals – This is another brand I can’t get enough of. I’ve used Artisan Naturals for several years and every product is amazing. Good for you and good for the environment.
8.  Tarte Celebutante – I call this the unsung hero of Tarte’s line because you never hear about it but you should. Reread my review to see why.
9.  Xen-Tan – This is the most clever self-tanner on the market. The dial makes for perfect color no matter what shade you’d like your tan to be. 

10.  Whish Shave Savour Hair Inhibitor – It’s summer and I hate shaving. Whish to the rescue.


  1. Sirius Skincare machine – This wonderful, affordable skincare machine is perfect for cleansing, hydrating, exfoliating and just making my skin glow.
  2. Stages of Beauty – Stages of Beauty Grace Cream comes to bed with me every night. They’ve perfected a brand for each age group and I appreciate this greatly. 
  3. DNA EGF sunscreen  – This is the sunscreen that I use most days, no fragrance, moisturizing and gentle on my skin. Plus it’s got all this science behind it!
  4. Aveeno sun tour – the Aveeno Sunscreen Cancer tour is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself this summer. I learned so much about skin cancer and I’m grateful that Aveeno is providing this free service.
  5. Evan Healy – it’s unusual that a skincare company sells a trial kit so that you don’t have to shell out big bucks to make sure that a line works for you. Evan Healy has 3 kits and I’ve tried the Rose kit. It’s a line that I highly recommend.
  6. Enzo Skin Pure Vitamin E Oil - By far my favorite skincare product of the year. I love my Pure Vitamin E Oil. You’d think with summer that an oil would be too rich for your skin but you’d be thinking wrong. I still get dry patches and I know that Enzo Skin works for me each and every time.
  7. Exuviance Age Reversal eye cream – Oh I love eye creams and I have a ton (just bought a few more too!!) Exuviance though has been the one I’ve been reaching for most nights. It’s not too rich and it’s not too light, it’s just right. 
  8. Real Techniques brushes (Pixiwoo) – Love, love, love. These brushes are worth every penny (and that’s about all they cost). I am constantly using the face brushes especially. The quality is amazing.
  9. YBF Skincare Define and Quench  – Lisa and I agree wholeheartedly about the YBF brand. Absolutely everything I’ve tried is wonderful. For my top ten I’m picking Define and Quench for lips since both have helped me since I tend to ignore my lips when doing skincare. Whenever I use these YBF products I’m reminded of how great they are.
  10. Sebastian Color Ignite - Sebastian Color Ignite Shampoo and Conditioner are products I recommend over and over. Whenever I’m asked about my hair (and it’s pretty often actually) I mention these. They are easy to find, reasonably priced and make my hair beautiful. Thanks for rereading our top 10. These are the standouts among other standouts.

Real Techniques (Pixiwoo) Eyeshadow Starter Set plus a giveaway

You didn’t think I’d last long without getting Real Techniques eyeshadow brushes did you? I knew it was just a matter of time (and a short one) until I had my hands on the Starter Set that contains the eye brushes from Samantha Chapman of PixiWoo fame.  I’ve previously reviewed the Travel Essentials and the Core Collection  and told you how impressed I am with these brushes. The sets are all $15.99 and worth a lot more than that.

The Starter Set contains 5 brushes

  • Base Shadow Brush – “applies a smooth, flawless foundation of color”
  • Deluxe Crease Brush – “soft, oversized design for effortless contouring”
  • Accent Brush – “designed for precision detailing, spotlighting, highlighting and smudging
  • Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush – “tapered cut is ideal for dense or fine eyeliner application”
  • Brow Brush – “distinctive shape easily defines eyebrows”
  • Panaramic Case – “dual carrier and stand keeps brushes organized on your counter or on the go”

If you didn’t know the price of these brushes you could easily tell someone they cost at least double or more. The pretty purple ferrule and the soft yet firm taklon make these brushes special.

My opinions:

I have switched around the use of the Base Shadow brush and the Deluxe Crease brush. For my eyes and the techniques I usually use, I find that the Base Shadow brush is much better for my crease. I can use the brushes as indicated obviously but I find myself picking up the crease brush to start my eyes and then the base brush next.

The Base Shadow Brush above is a tapered brush that fits the area of my crease perfectly. It’s not too big or too small Goldilocks.

The Deluxe Crease Brush (above) has a more rounded tip and is similar to the Domed Shadow Brush in the Travel Essentials set except it’s wider across. Both of these are great for applying and blending eyeshadow colors. I find the Deluxe Crease brush too big for crease and for any subtle work but I think it’s perfect for blending.

The Accent Brush has a little bitty brush head. It’s perfect for the inner corner of my eyes especially since it doesn’t overstep its boundaries. I can get into the deep nook there to apply color without changing what I put on my lids. It’s good for lining under your eyes and getting a smudged look there.

The Brow Brush was my biggest surprise. It didn’t appear to be firm enough to do my brows. I’m used to a very stiff brush so I was afraid this was useless. Instead it’s extremely useful. It’s got enough firmness to do the job and enough softness to blend with a soft unharsh look.

My only disappointment in the set is the Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush. For my taste it’s too wide and too loose. I’m a die hard fan of Paula Dorf’s eyeliner brush though so it would be extremely hard for any brush to beat that out in my world. I didn’t have trouble lining with it but it gave me a broader look than I am comfortable with. On the other hand the Angled Brow Brush makes a great liner brush especially at the outer corners of the eye with powder shadow.

I discussed the Panaromic Case in my previous review.  It’s a great addition to the set.

These are brushes that I’d feel comfortable traveling with. I could get my entire look done easily, they are extremely lightweight and they aren’t expensive. Once you’ve had your luggage lost by an airline you are very hesitant to put expensive tools in your suitcase (or at least I am). The brushes are color coded: purple for eyes, orange for a flawless base and red for the “perfect finish”. Because the brushes are taklon you can use them with cream or powder products with equally great results. Real Techniques makes things so easy. Watching the videos of Sam Chapman using these brushes make you realize that you too can make things pretty easy.  — Marcia

Now for the good news – I purchased 2 fabulous brushes for our Anniversary Contest from Real Techniques; the Stippler Brush and the Eye Shadow Shading Brush, plus I’m adding in a Panoramic Case. 
This way our winner can see why I’ve been raving so much. To enter this contest you need to do the following:

  1. Be a Beauty Info Zone subscriber.
  2. Comment on this post telling us what your favorite eyeshadow brush currently is.
  3. Email us at with the title PIXIWOO BRUSHES; identify the name you use on your comment.
  4. For extra entries either copy the link to this post and post it on Facebook and/or Tweet “@beautyinfozone Enter the Real Techniques/Pixiwoo brush contest”
  5. Be sure to email us again with the title Pixiwoo brushes with your information for FB and/or Twitter.
  6. This contest is open to any of our subscribers anywhere. Enter by Friday, April 22nd at 11:59 p.m. EST.