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


Makeup Wars loves Nude lippies

Makeup Wars and Top Ten Tuesdays have tempted you with pink lips, peach and coral lips, red lips but never true nudes. Now’s the time though and I was ready for this challenge. Most of my collection is nude lips. It got to the point that I had so many that I had to force myself not to buy new ones unless I was absolutely desperate for them. I was once a MACaholic and I’d buy every rendition of nude they had – and then I’d wear them twice and put them aside. I haven’t chosen any MAC to share with you since I don’t seem to grab for them anymore so instead you’ll see some of my favorites from other brands.

Makeup Wars Nude Lip favorites

Makeup Wars Nude Lip favorites

Nude lips are interesting because they all have different undertones plus what I consider nude might be too light for you depending on your skintone.

Makeup Wars lip crayons: Ardency Inn, Tarte (x2), Hourglass

Makeup Wars lip crayons: Ardency Inn, Tarte (x2), Hourglass

I’m a big fan of lip crayons but nude ones don’t overpopulate my collection. Ardency Inn Bowery, tarte exposed and Hourglass Nude No 3 are the ones I usually crave.

Hourglass Nude No3 and Ardency Inn Bowery

Hourglass Nude No3 and Ardency Inn Bowery

I bought Hourglass Femme Nude Stylo No3 because everyone was raving about these. Hourglass has an amazing reputation and these Nude lip crayons made beauty lovers so excited. No3 is described as “medium rose nude with hint of pink”. This has a pink undertone but it’s very light once on my lips, not medium to my eyes.

top Hourglass, bottom Ardency Inn

top Hourglass, bottom Ardency Inn

ARDENCY INN AMERICANA Natural Lip Color Pencil in Bowery was my next buy. These are $23 compared to the $30 of Hourglass so that made me happy. ARDENCY INN lip crayons seem to be truer nude shades too. Bowery is a light peach on my lips even though Sephora tells me that it’s a “light nude with pink undertones”. It just isn’t pink on me but it is pretty and I’m very comfortable in it. The consistency is smoother and a little more glossy than Hourglass.

tarte exposed - old vs new versions

tarte exposed – old vs new versions

Tarte Exposed was one of the colors saved when tarte revamped all their lip crayons. Tarte still sells LipSurgence but I didn’t find Exposed. The original fat crayon has a matte finish while the new tarte exposed is a glossier finish. The new pencils are called Power Pigments and Exposed is described as “nude with pink undertones”.

tarte exposed original version and new Power Pigment

tarte exposed original version and new Power Pigment

Power Pigment in exposed is glossier and slightly more pink while the original is definitely a matte on me and a little darker. Can’t go wrong with either but there is a slight difference between the two.

Makeup Wars Nude Lipsticks: Tom Ford, Lunasol, Armani, Gosh, Armani, Shiseido

Makeup Wars Nude Lipsticks: Tom Ford, Lunasol, Armani, Gosh, Armani, Shiseido

6 lipsticks made the cut for Makeup Wars: Tom Ford Pink Dune, Lunasol 25, Armani Shine 17, Gosh Darling, Armani 103, Shiseido RS701

GOSH Darling

GOSH Darling

GOSH Darling was a lipstick that everyone had to have. It was so hot on boards like Makeup Alley that you felt like you didn’t belong there if you didn’t own it.

Gosh Darling

Gosh Darling

I finally got it and was shocked at how much it looks like concealer. It’s so light and so beige that I couldn’t get it to show in a single swatch photo. I couldn’t resist putting this in even though it’s not a favorite, I’m including it for shock value.

Armani Shine 17, Lunasol 25, Armani 103

Armani Shine 17, Lunasol 25, Armani 103

These are the lipsticks that I reach for when I want moisturized lips with beautiful nude shades. Armani in particular makes outstanding nude colors for lips and I think they are among the finest lipsticks available. I get a little overwhelmed at an Armani counter because I want too much. All of these lipsticks were bought long ago.

from left: Armani 103, Lunasol 25, Armani Shine 17

from left: Armani 103, Lunasol 25, Armani Shine 17

Rouge d’Armani in 103 is my newest Armani and still available. 103 is the pink nude that I love to wear. It looks beige in the tube but once on it picks up pink.

Rouge d'Armani 103 (nordstrom.com)

Rouge d’Armani 103 (nordstrom.com)

Armani Shine 17 is an oldie but goodie. It’s more sheer than 103 but just as glossy.

LUNASOL 25 is also an older lipstick and I doubt it’s still for sale. Lunasol lipsticks were introduced to me by an old friend. I’d go nuts cosmetic shopping in Japan or Singapore! I have 2 LUNASOL lipsticks and they are so wonderfully creamy. They have a very similar consistency and look to the Armani ones I love.

Tom Ford Pink Dune, Shiseido RS701

Tom Ford Pink Dune, Shiseido RS701

Tom Ford Pink Dune barely has any color on my lips but that doesn’t stop me from loving it. It was a limited edition shade that I bought in the early winter but didn’t really wear at first. It felt too nude for winter but I can wear it now. Sometimes I’ll put it over another lipstick to ‘nude’ it up a bit.

Tom Ford Pink Dune, Shiseido RS701

Tom Ford Pink Dune, Shiseido RS701

I had to include Shiseido RS701 even though it’s not available. This was my first Shiseido lipstick and it reminds me of shopping with my blog partner Lisa. It’s one of my favorite lipstick buys. It’s a pink nude (RS stands for Rose) that has the perfect depth for me.

from top: TF Pink Dune, Lunasol 25, Armani 17, Gosh Darling, Rouge d'Armani 103, Shiseido RS701

from top: TF Pink Dune, Lunasol 25, Armani 17, Gosh Darling, Rouge d’Armani 103, Shiseido RS701

I’m sure these swatches all look alike but as a true beauty afficionado knows they are different as different can be.

What’s your favorite nude lipstick? There’s always room for one more! — Marcia

Join my Makeup War friends and see what they’ve chosen to delight and tempt us with.