Pamper yourself with this flawless sponge and Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundaton

Sponge? Brush? Fingers? What do you use to apply your foundation? If your answer is a sponge I’ve been sent a great one that you need to check out yourself. Not all sponges are created equal. I’ve tried some really lousy ones that either ended up in the kids toybox or in the garbageman’s box. But PAMPER THERAPY FLAWLESS FINISH SPONGE isn’t going anywhere other than my vanity.

Pamper Flawless Finish Sponge

Pamper Flawless Finish Sponge

If often surprises me when I find people reluctant to try out sponge like this. They are not your mother’s sponge. This new generation of sponges are unique and they keep getting better. What I like most about Pamper is the unusual shape. The flat side of the elliptical sponge is what attracted me to this initially and now that I’m using it, that was a great first impression.

Pamper Flawless Finish Sponge

Pamper Flawless Finish Sponge

You know the drill with a sponge – wet it, squeeze out excess water leaving just a tad of moisture, then pump out your foundation and dab it on your skin. With the Pamper Therapy Flawless Finish Sponge it’s great to rock it back and forth to blend. I’d never done that before and I think it’s a great method for application.

Pamper Flawless Finish Sponge

Pamper Flawless Finish Sponge

Here’s how you can use this latex-free sponge to fully take advantage of its versatility:

ROUNDED SIDE: This is great for covering large area. It blends your foundation with an even finish.

FLAT SIDE: If you want fuller coverage this is the side to use. Put on one coat and rock the sponge. Then top with another coat using this side.

POINTED TIP: This is how you can use the Pamper for concealer since using the tip is best for smaller areas like eyes and nose.

Flawless Finish Sponge from Pamper and Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation

Flawless Finish Sponge from Pamper and Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation

The foundation I first used with the Flawless Finish Sponge by Pamper is Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation. I had received this a while ago but set it aside in error. This was the perfect opportunity to try out the foundation. This lovely foundation is available in 9 shades. While it’s not the biggest range I love that they classify the colors by depth and (w)(c). I was sent the lightest shade, Pebble, which is a cool shade even though it first felt a little yellow when swatching it.

Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation shades

Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation shades

Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation is called Deep Sea Hydrating Complex. It infuses the hydrating complex and reduced salt deep-sea water, which is rich in ocean minerals and nutrients, into the formula. It’s a very hydrating foundation which will be better for me in the cooler months. Using the dampened Pamper sponge gives me a sheer application for summer.

Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation

Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation

The interesting thing about this is that I notice a fragrance when it’s on my hand but when I apply it, it’s gone in a minute. Look at these ingredients and what they do for you!

  • Rich in Minerals & Nutrients – Beautiful, radiant, well hydrated appearance
  • Calendula Extract – Healing and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Allantoin Extract – Promotes growth of healthy skin cells
  • Cucumber Extract – Imparts a cooling and soothing action
  • Green Tea Extract – Anti-aging ingredient to protect skin from free radical damage
  • Cactus Grandiflorus Extract – A healing agent to help retain moisture on the surface of the skin
    Youngblood Pebble

    Youngblood Pebble

    Youngblood Pebble

    Youngblood Pebble

    • Rich in Ocean Minerals & Nutrients – No Mineral Oil-  Superior Hydrating
    • Radiant, Healthy Look – Lightweight, Silky, Liquid Minerals
    • Perfect for Normal to Dry Skin

Two great products to add to your fall shopping list. PAMPER THERAPY is available on Amazon for only $10 which is half the price of the other pink sponge while YOUNGBLOOD is found on their website for $49 and on LovelySkin.com for 25% off right now. This is my kind of back to school list. —  Marcia

products sent for consideration, an affiliate link included

Bouncing my way to beauty with Beauty Junkees

I’ve been a devoted bouncer ever since the first pink makeup sponge became available. At the time I was the editor of a beauty forum and we’d talk at length about this sponge and wonder who would spend $20 on a sponge. I wasn’t the first to take the plunge but I was the second and it converted me to a believer. I bounce my foundation on for a perfectly smooth and blended application.

I no longer have to spend $20 for one sponge though because Beauty Junkees Pro Makeup Blending Sponge set was sent my way and I’m in bouncing heaven. Beauty Junkees sponge set gives me 4 uniquely shaped sponges to use for … hold onto your seat … $14.97. I was amazed by the price but what amazes me more is the quality of these sponges.

Beauty Junkees Pro Makeup Blending Sponge Set

Beauty Junkees Pro Makeup Blending Sponge Set

There are 4 sponges so there’s even enough for the person that “borrows” your beauty items (and doesn’t return). But you might just fight for the right to use them all.

Starting with the basics, this is the best way to use these blending sponges:

  1. Get the sponge wet by holding it under water while softly squeezing the sponge so it absorbs the water. You’ll notice that it doubles in size and becomes soft.
  2. Now gently squeeze out the excess water since you don’t want this drenched. It’s recommended to dry it with a soft towel too so that the sponge feels damp.
  3. It’s application time – apply the product onto the dampened sponge and bounce, aka stipple, the product onto your skin. Do NOT rub back and forth or you take away to specialness of using the sponge.
  4. There are so many products you can use with a sponge so having a variety is an ace in the hole. Try skincare, concealers, blush, and foundation.

Let’s start with the Pink Teardrop since that’s the standard one that everyone wants. To me this is the perfect sponge. I use the bottom for foundation on my entire face. The curve allows it to blend well along my jawline while the point is great for the area around my nose and eyes.

Beauty Junkees Pink Teardrop

Beauty Junkees Pink Teardrop

The Purple Pear can be used for all of the above areas but because it has an ergonomically designed shape it helps with grip. It’s great for the wider areas of your face.

Beauty Junkees Purple Pear

Beauty Junkees Purple Pear

The Green Oval is the slimmest one and helps with more exact application. I like to blend cream blush with it since I can erase errors when I go too wide and I can blend the edges so that there’s no harsh lines.

Beauty Junkees Green Oval

Beauty Junkees Green Oval

The Blue Sculptor is the most versatile of the 4 brushes and the one I like to use dry at times. The flat bottom works well to dip into a loose transparent powder and bounce on my skin. It doesn’t pick up too much powder and once I’m done I can go over it to soften the look even more.  It’s also a great one for applying moisturizers, SPF, neck creams, and night creams.

Beauty Junkees Blue Sculptor

Beauty Junkees Blue Sculptor

When I was reading the directions I learned how to clean these the best way. I never thought to do this but it works and you can do this with brushes too. Use olive oil along with soap and water. The rationale is that oil will clean oil. The first time I did this I was amazed at how clean my sponge came out. Use warm water to moisten the sponge, use a dime size amount of olive oil along with a gentle soap. Massage the sponge under running water until there’s no makeup residue coming out. Then squeeze out the excess water and let it air dry. I love this method.

4 sponges, 4 + uses and 4 beautifully bright colors can now make up your sponge wardrobe from now on. Beauty Junkees is sold on Amazon with free shipping if you have Prime or have the minimum Amazon order to receive free shipping. At $14.97 currently it’s a total steal ($3.74 per sponge!). The quality is excellent and the uses many.

Are you a bouncer? Beauty Junkees can make you one!! — Marcia

*sent for consideration, affiliate link

#Beauty_Junkees

Royal fun! The Disney Princess Brush Collections

Disney Princess Brush CollectionsFor today’s Side by Side, Lisa and Marcia are going all diva with the royally adorable LONDON SOHO NEW YORK Disney Princess Brush Collections that are available exclusively at Walgreen’s through December 2016. There are 5 new brush sets: Mulan, Jasmine, Tiana, Belle, and Cinderella as well as the Aurora Sponge Set brought back from last season due to popular demand. You are going to love these royal quality beauty tools that have a pauper’s price point. Adjust your tiara and take a look at what awaits you at Walgreen’s.                                                                                         PR samples

LISA’S BRUSHES

Disney Princess Collection Tiana Jazzle Dazzle Set

Disney Princess Collection Tiana Jazzle Dazzle Set

My three sets take you from prep to foundation to setting your final look. The first one is the Tiana Jazzle Dazzle Brow and Lash 3-piece set ($11.99). These are three essential tools for a very low price!  I will say that these are probably the least substantial feeling tools of the three I tried, but they work just fine and are great for travel or for your car or purse.

Disney Princess Collection Tiana Jazzle Dazzle Set

Disney Princess Collection Tiana Jazzle Dazzle Set

Disney Princess Collection Tiana Jazzle Dazzle Set

Disney Princess Collection Tiana Jazzle Dazzle Set

The three pieces include a dual-sided Brow Shaping Brush which is great for groomed brows. I dip the angled side in brow powder then fill in my brows, blending and brushing them upward with the spoolie end. The second piece is the Slant Tip Tweezer, which is a surprisingly good tweezer for getting those stray hairs. The final piece is the Lash Comb, which actually folds and becomes even smaller. I don’t really use this one much, but if you have tangled lashes it will make short work of them and put everything back in order.

Disney Aurora Fairy Sponges

Disney Aurora Fairy Sponges

Ok, so the Aurora Fairy Sponges ($12.99) isn’t a brush set, but this super cute sponge set was such a hit last year they brought it back for an encore. There are three sponges in this set:

Disney Aurora Fairy Sponges Blue Fairy Sponge

Disney Aurora Fairy Sponges Blue Fairy Sponge

Disney Aurora Fairy Sponges Green Fairy Sponge

Disney Aurora Fairy Sponges Green Fairy Sponge

Disney Aurora Fairy Sponges Pink Fairy Sponge

Disney Aurora Fairy Sponges Pink Fairy Sponge

The Blue Fairy Sponge is an egg-shaped dome that is an all-purpose applicator for foundation. It’s nice for all over application and for gradually building up coverage. The Green Fairy Sponge is for quick coverage of bigger areas, like your forehead and cheeks. Finally, the Pink Fairy sponge has a pointed tip that lets you get into tricky areas like under the eyes around the nose. It will become your concealer’s best friend.

Disney Belle Enchanted Beauty Kabuki

Disney Belle Enchanted Beauty Kabuki

My favorite of my three sets is the Belle Enchanted Beauty Kabuki ($12.99). This is a beautiful kabuki with soft but dense dome-shaped bristles. It’s fantastic for mineral foundation, bronzer, and setting powder. I can’t believe the quality for such a low price…and could the handle be any more adorable?

Disney Belle Enchanted Beauty Kabuki

Disney Belle Enchanted Beauty Kabuki

MARCIA’S BRUSHES

Soho Disney Brushes: Mulan, Cinderella, and Jasmine

Disney Brushes: Mulan, Cinderella, and Jasmine

I was lucky enough to end up with 3 sets of brushes: Mulan, Jasmine and Cinderella. I’m glad these are part of the permanent collection at Walgreens so that you can go and check them out for yourself after learning about them here.

Soho Disney Mulan set

Disney Mulan set

MULAN BRUSH SET || This set contains what I consider essential to my makeup life – eye brushes. All 3 brushes are double-sided so you have 6 tools in this set. One brush is all you’d need for eyebrows since there’s a soft slanted brush and a spoolie. This is actually double duty since they can be used on your eyes too . The slanted side is soft enough to apply eyeliner and the spoolie can be used to brush through your lashes. One of the eyeshadow brushes is my favorite (the middle one) since one side is a firm shadow brush and the other a crease and blending brush. The third brush is a soft eyeshadow brush that blends beautifully with the opposite side being a pointy eyeliner brush (this is my least favorite of the six sides since it’s not quite firm enough but will do in a pinch).

Disney Brush set: Jasmine

Disney Brush set: Jasmine

JASMINE SET || I love this set since it adds in a brush I don’t already own. The two-sided brush contains a foundation brush (I love it for blending cream blush) and a softly firm eyeshadow laydown brush. It’s the second brush that grabbed me though since it’s so different. It’s a wide flat brush that you normally wouldn’t see in this price range. You can use this in many ways especially if you have a lot of lid space but for me it’s a wonderful highlighter brush. I like to take my IT Cosmetics Highlighter Cream and apply it with this brush to the top of my cheek bones and above my browbone. It gives me a subtle strobing effect effortlessly.

Disney Cinderella Brush Set

Disney Cinderella Brush Set

CINDERELLA BRUSH SET || This is the best set for all over goodness since there’s a double-sided eye brush and a double-sided face brush. The eyeshadow crease side is great for adding in a crease shade and terrific for blending, it’s a softer brush than the one in the Mulan set. The eyeshadow side is identical to the Mulan. Having them both leaves me one for cream shadows and one for powder shadows. The larger brush has a foundation/cream blush side that’s similar to the one in Jasmine. The opposite side is for powder and blush. I also like it to use with a strobing product like Hourglass Ambient for a soft glow.

Disney brushes: Cinderella, Mulan, and Jasmine

Disney brushes: Cinderella, Mulan, and Jasmine

The Disney Princess Brush Sets are only available at Walgreens, so be sure to head to your nearest store to take a look.  The six princesses have a lot to offer and they are demanding your attention!

*sent for editorial consideration

Rush to Relax with February’s Boxycharm

Boxycharm for February 2016

Boxycharm for February 2016

The subscription that I most look forward to each month is BOXYCHARM. There’s something refreshing about Boxycharm since the brands they share are more unique than other boxes plus there’s almost always 5-6 full size products in it for just $21 a month. Since I love to have giveaways on Beauty Info Zone, nothing ever goes to waste. For February they charmed me with a heart shaped product as well as 3 other full size items and 2 deluxe minis. According to my calculations this box is worth $134 so my money was spent wisely.

Rush to Relax is the theme “From Stilettos to slippers, get ready to work hard and rest easy!”. Let’s see if there’s a bit of rushing and relaxing here.

Spongelle You Have My Heart on a String

Spongelle You Have My Heart on a String

February is the heart month and I adore anything with hearts so this instantly brought a big smile to my face. Spongelle You Have My Heart on a String ($15) is a a body wash that is infused with hydrating olive oil and a blend of energizing and toning extracts. The fragrance is peony which Songelle says is both subtle yet energetic.

Spongelle You Have My Heart on a String

Spongelle You Have My Heart on a String

It’s two sided with the red soft side to be used for cleansing and toning while the white texturized side is for exfoliating and stimulating circulation. You should be able to get 14 uses out of this. I have a suction cup with two mini clips in my shower so with the rope this can be hung up so it won’t get ruined. RELAX in your shower or RUSH through it with this moisturizing wash.

Shray Ms. Amazing Facial Mask

Shray Ms. Amazing Facial Mask

Shray full face

Shray full face

Shray Ms. Amazing Facial Mask was made especially for Boxycharm so it’s a limited edition mask ($12 but their masks on their website are $10). This is a full face mask that is made to be ultra hydrating. Shray masks are 25% off until 3.15 with the code Boxycharm25% off. While I haven’t used this one yet it appears to be like a lot of masks I use and always like. This is a RELAXING 10 minute mask.

OFRA Cosmetics Banana Powder

OFRA Cosmetics Banana Powder

OFRA COSMETICS BANANA POWDER GODET ($12) is a new product for OFRA. This is the full size but in palette form. This is definitely in the RUSH category since this is an all-in-one powder. You can use it on your eyes as a light matte shade to brighten them. You can use this under your eyes to help conceal dark circles. And you can use this as a setting of finishing powder.

Realtree Travel Sprayer

Realtree Travel Sprayer

Realtree Eau de Parfum Travel Sprayer is 10 mL in a spray which is much easier to use than a sample vial. This is sold for $12.99 on the Realtree website. “Real Tree for Her opens up with the sweet taste of pomegranate, a hint of persimmon and an exotic scent of orchids. It blends with lotus blossom and champaca flower and it’s followed by the rich scent of amber, the transient scent of violets and the depth of mahogany wood.”

Freeze 24/7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum

Freeze 24/7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum

Freeze 24/7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum is the sample size of the box. The value of this is $58 since the full size is $115. I’ve got this in my travel bag for the trip I’m on as you read this and I hope to report back to you that it’s worth that amount. The eye serum is said to work on fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness. Put it on and let it sit for 3 minutes before apply anything over it. I guess I’ll call this a RELAX but I’d still use it if I was in a RUSH.

Beauty for Real Blush + Glo in Coral Crush

Beauty for Real Blush + Glo in Coral Crush

I saved my favorite for last!! Beauty for Real Blush + Glo in Coral Crush ($24) is the winner of the box. As a huge fan of cream blushes this one is a winner. Not only is the Coral Crush side soft and pretty and peachy on me but the Hi-Beam highlighter end is subtle enough to give a radiant glow without sparkle. This is a cream to powder formula so it dries down.

Beauty for Real Blush + Glo in Coral Crush swatched

Beauty for Real Blush + Glo in Coral Crush swatched

To top it off Beauty for Real provided anti-aging benefits to this. “Featuring our patented ingredient, Luminera with a diamond core complex. As the transparent particles come into contact with the skin, the diamond core complex transforms invisible UV light and works to dramatically diminish the expression of wrinkles, discolorations, and imperfections. Vitamin E and grape-seed extracts provide anti-aging benefits and antioxidant protection. Pomegranate extracts along with organic minerals contribute to this standout formula to maintain its consistency in all climates and exceptionally long wear.” I don’t know whether this is RUSH or RELAX but I do know it’s pretty.

What do you think of BOXYCHARM? Are you as charmed by it as I am? Which items would you be most thrilled to see if you had this subscription?  — Marcia

If you aren’t a subscriber yet and wish to be please use my affiliate link which would help me earn products from Boxycharm. Thank you.

Bouncing away with MAC Cosmetics

MAC comes out with new collections all the time but there hasn’t been much lately that’s made me want to go into the store. When I read that they were coming out with their BIG BOUNCE eyeshadows I was really excited since I love cream products. Then the reviews started coming out and they really weren’t favorable. I asked several MAC employees though and they all seemed to like them. The color that was most recommended to me was Trophy so eventually a shoppin’ I did go.

Trophy is a beautiful peach with some gold pearl to it. Big Bounce ($16.50) are in the same containers that MAC Paint Pots come in. The texture is very soft, almost like the texture of sour cream (what an image!). It’s more of a mousse texture. The most important thing to remember with Big Bounce shadows is that LESS IS MORE. If you put too much on these will crease but if you apply a light layer I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with these.

I’ve worn Trophy with and without eyeshadow primer. I prefer using it with a primer and think it lasts a lot longer that way. I’ve also worn it alone with just black eyeliner and also with eyeshadows. Powder eyeshadows blend easily over Big Bounce though I find that when I waited too long before applying eyeshadow that it was a little harder to blend them well. With testing I’ve found that the best brush to get the right amount on has been the MAC 217. Now that I have Trophy and know that it works well I’ll be checking out one of the other 15 shades. Top eye is Trophy alone, generously applied. Bottom eye is Trophy as a light base with Le Metier de Beaute‘ Rose Champagne on the lid and Le Metier de Beaute’ Corinthian in the crease. That turned out to be a stunning combination.

When I was at the MAC store I saw another product that also bounces. It’s called the PRO PERFORMANCE SPONGE and it too had to come home with me.This is MAC’s version of the “Original Beauty Blender Sponge”. It costs $18 and is available at MAC stores and online only, not counters. I’ve written before about the Beauty Blender Sponge and said many times that it’s a Holy Grail item for me. I use mine just about every day. (On the right is a new but creased BB sponge, on the left is a new MAC sponge.)

These two sponges aren’t the same. There are several differences. MAC has a very wide head with a pointy bottom to get into the crevices of your face. Beauty Blender is an egg shape and there’s not the big difference in size from top to bottom. The MAC Pro Performance Sponge is bigger and when it’s wet it doesn’t expand in the same way. Both though work well with foundation and concealer.

Beside the fact that they look different the texture of them is different. What makes me prefer the BB sponge though is the softness of it. The BB is more flexible and smoother. The texture of the MAC sponge reminds me more of the ones I bought from Sonia Kashuk at Target.

I can’t speak to the longevity of the MAC since I’ve only been using it about 2 weeks. I do know that with proper care that the Beauty Blender will last me a full year. Both of them stain for me in the same way so if you are fussy about keeping it pink then you probably should be using throwaways.

I think Bounce is a good name for these products since I bounce around in my feelings for them. Sometimes I like them a lot, sometimes I’m on the fence. I’ve got to say though that I like both of these but I’m not sure that I’ve fallen in love with either one. — Marcia

Cleansing The Body Shop way

Don’t you hate it when items you love get discontinued? I’m not talking about Limited Edition items that you know you won’t be able to get in a month (or two days in some cases). I’m talking about the tried and true that you count on being there. For me the latest is/was The Body Shop Muslin Cloths. I really like those a lot but after a while they just wear out. The color fades and to my sensitive nose they start to have an odor. So off to buy some more, except that they don’t carry them anymore. After perusing The Body Shop’s site I found that they carried something called the Luxury Flannel Facial Washcloth. Even though the price was a lot more ($6.50 for one) I figured that they might be similar so I ordered a couple along with another product called Soft Facial Cleansing Sponge ($5).

To my surprise the Flannel Facial Washcloth is anything but flannel. I opened it and found a very soft rubbery feeling cloth. After it was out of the package a while though it started to harden. Color me surprised. Turns out though that it’s made out of 100% PVA. I didn’t know what that was either so I googled it. When in the wet state it is very elastic, flexible and soft like a natural sea sponge, as it is laden with water. It qualifies as one of the finest materials for cosmetic puffs, towels, bath sponges, mops and all household-cleaning materials. I read further and found out that it’s very similar to a chamois that you’d use on your car. But of course The Body Shop version is white and super soft (while wet).




This is a great soft cloth for removing your makeup. (I always remove eye makeup separately though.) It does become lightly stained though but when I wash it in the washing machine it comes out as soft and white as ever. The fascinating part is that when it dries, it dries in whatever shape you left it in. I put it over the towel rack and the next morning it was as stiff as a board and I couldn’t move it from that shape. When I needed it that night though, I just ran it under warm water and it was back to being supple again.  Now the miracle part – after I was done washing my face it was TOTALLY DRY. I didn’t need a towel. It was just dry. I get such a kick out of using this for that reason. I feel like a little magic is occurring (I’m easy to please obviously).


While I really like the Flannel Washcloth it isn’t a good exfoliating tool. It’s only good for makeup removal but that’s where the Soft Facial Cleansing Sponge comes in. This also removes makeup well but gives you some gentle exfoliation at the same time. It’s made with cellulose which has the same luxurious feel as a natural sea sponge and the good-feel factor associated with a product that protects natural sponge stocks. The sponge dries quickly. I keep it in a drawer when not in use since I don’t want anyone to mistake it for a sponge to clean the sink. It hasn’t developed any odor since I’ve had it.

For me this combination of skincare tools is great to have. I still use my Clarisonic a few times a week but these are a nice addition rather than an “instead of”. Plus I could take these on a trip without a problem.

Even though I’m still angry with The Body Shop for their betrayal I’ll forgive them a little since I really am happy with my new finds. — Marcia