Get it while you can – the Lisa Hoffman Serenity Trio

Lisa Hoffman Serenity Trio

I posted about the gorgeous Lisa Hoffman Serenity Trio set a few weeks ago, and I just have to highlight this one more time because it’s available for a limited time and is such a great value.

Lisa Hoffman Serenity Trio

Lisa Hoffman Serenity Trio

The beautiful Lisa Hoffman Serenity Trio ($49) is truly perfect for the traveler. I just went to Chicago and I brought these three tall, thin spray fragrances with me. They were exactly what I needed to keep me calm with all the crowds, and I carried them in my purse with no problem at all. I am not really one who experiments with fragrance layering, but these three work amazingly well together: French Clary Sage, which is a clean and refreshing watery linen;  Tuscan Fig, which is a combination of Vanilla Bean, Honeysuckle, Coconut Wood and Gardenia; and Japanese Agarwood, which is unique and spicy woody zest. The trio comes gift-giving ready inside a wrapped white gift box complete with a pretty ribbon.

Lisa Hoffman Holiday Floral Travel Trio

Lisa Hoffman Holiday Floral Travel Trio

There is another trio set available as well, the Floral Trio which has the ‘romantic and exotic scent of Madagascar Orchid, sensuous and glamorous Tunisian Neroli, and sultry, intoxicating Brazilian Begonia‘. It sounds beautiful – I put this on my wish list and I hope my husband took the hint. Get your set while they are still available!  – Lisa

*item reviewed sent for editorial consideration, affiliate links

Two TSA-friendly products you want in your carry on!

The most difficult part of getting ready for a trip? Packing personal products that will make it through airport security without being confiscated or causing a pat down reminiscent of walking through a raging college fraternity party. I have two discoveries, one for you and one for your guy, that are TSA-friendly and total must-haves for any trip.

Gentlemen's Tonic Moisturizing Hand Balm

Gentlemen’s Tonic Moisturizing Hand Balm

The first product is one that Gentlemen’s Tonic, a London-based luxury grooming and style line, sent me in anticipation of their product launch into the US. Gentlemen’s Tonic is ‘simple sophistication and self-confidence for men’ with everything a man needs, from classic shaving products to unique Eau de Toilettes. All of their products are made with naturally based plant-derived materials from sustained and renewable resources.

Gentlemen's Tonic Moisturizing Hand Balm

Gentlemen’s Tonic Moisturizing Hand Balm

I am head over heels for their Moisturizing Hand Balm ($18), which is a hand cream that your guy will love. It is intensely moisturizing without greasiness. I am not kidding, this balm will soothe even the roughest, most callused hands.  Check out these ingredients:

  • Almond Oil: light and quickly absorbed providing an excellent moisture barrier.
  • Manuka Honey: increases skin repair and is a natural anti-bacterial.
  • Sunflower Oil: rich in Vitamin E, a natural anti-oxidant.
  • Babassu Oil: melts at body temperature drawing heat from the skin producing a cooling effect. Also forms a protective, soothing coat providing a luxurious, velvety feeling.
  • Bergamot Oil: an essential oil renowned for its uplifting and tension-relieving properties.

The Babassu and Bergamot scent is fabulous. It smells fresh and clean and manly and it’s the perfect size for travel.

Travalo Milano

Travalo Milano

For yourself, definitely check out the Travalo Milano ($49.99). It’s a beautiful way to decant your favorite fragrance so you can travel with your favorite scent without fear of spillage or a TSA nightmare.

Travalo Milano -- it's so easy to fill!

Travalo Milano — it’s so easy to fill!

Travalo Milano

Travalo Milano

Filling it is easy and it holds 65 sprays. It has a ‘pump to fill’ system that doesn’t expose your fragrance to the air, which can change the scent. The spray is super fine and the decant is air tight. I love the beautiful leatherette bottle which feels substantial – it has all metal parts, no glass so it is totally TSA perfect. Plus there are nine different colors available.  If you do any air travel, you will truly appreciate this awesome find.

You can find Gentlemen’s Tonic at gentlemenstonic.com and the Travalo Milano at us.travalo.com.  Happy travels!  – Lisa

*products received for editorial consideration

Pack Up with Pixi Beauty

PIXI BEAUTY is becoming one of my favorite treats. The brand is the brainchild of Petra Strand, a mom and a makeup artist. She has created cosmetics, skincare, nail polish and tools that are high quality yet don’t hit the wallet hard. When I was sent a few travel size small items to test I decided to pick out things I’d choose for travel. (Items with a * were sent, the rest are wishes or self purchases.)

Pixi Beauty can be found at Target stores, some on target.com and all on the Pixi Beauty website. I think their website is the best place to shop personally. I’m spotlighting products I have or want from Pixi today.

1.  PIXI PRIMERS – Pixi Beauty has 3 different primers so any kind of skin worries you have can be covered completely. I’ve been using Flawless & Poreless* – they named this baby well. It’s a cream color primer that helps with fine lines and pores. The texture is creamy but it dries down quickly leaving my skin smooth. Flawless & Poreless has no shine plus it helps control shine. There is also Flawless Beauty Primer which I have from one of the subscription boxes I purchase. This one adds a little golden glow without sparkle. It might be too light for a lot of people but for us fair ones it’s just right. The mini is $9 on Pixi’s site. Another mini that you can find on their site is the Redness Reducing Primer which is tinted green and will help mask any redness you have. If I owned the Redness Reducing I’d use that on my red cheeks and nose with one of the others elsewhere for a perfecto complexion!

mini Flawless & Poreless Primer

mini Flawless & Poreless Primer

2.  CREAM TO POWDER FOUNDATION, FLAWLESS VITAMIN VEIL  *-  I love that Pixi has this in a mini size. First of all you can try this for just $9 to see if it’s right for you. Second, it’s a double duty product. Third it’s tiny enough for travel and for touch up. It comes in three shades (Fair, Medium, Tanned). I have the Fair and it’s very fair. All you pale ladies might want to check this shade out. It has a very light coverage – almost a no makeup look – but it does even out skintone and hide imperfection. If you need something heavy duty then this isn’t for you but if you want your your skin to be protected with vitamins, minerals and skin-enhancing ingredients with a light coverage this might just be the right product. I’ve been using this as a concealer too (double duty) depending on the day.

minis of Flawless Vitamin Veil and Flawless & Poreless Primer

minis of Flawless Vitamin Veil and Flawless & Poreless Primer

3. MESMERIZING MINERAL EYESHADOW PALETTES * – I have two of Pixi’s eyeshadow palettes and the pigmentation in them is amazing. You’d never believe that these are $12 each. I’ve reviewed Emerald Glow which is one of 5 current palettes. The rich colors that play well for day or night are beautiful. The colors remind me of sand and surf. I’ve got my eye on Rich Gold with its gold, khaki and moss green shades, that has me craving more Pixi Beauty.

Pixi Beauty Emerald Glow mineral eyeshadow palette

Pixi Beauty Emerald Glow mineral eyeshadow palette

4. SHEA BUTTER LIP BALM – While I don’t have any of these (yet) Lisa does (review here) and she raves at how wonderful they feel on her lips and the color it adds. I’ve got my eye on Pixi Pink which is described as a “fresh vivid pink”. I don’t like heavy lips in summer so this would give me color, hydration and only cost $8.

Ripe Raspberry Lip Balm

Ripe Raspberry Lip Balm

5. ENDLESS SILKY EYE PEN – The first time I bought from Pixi Beauty it was due to the raves for their eye pencils. People go nuts for these and rightly so. The colors are beautiful, they glide on and they last so well on my eyes. Right now there’s an Endless Silky Eye Kit that’s LE and you really really want it. For $18 you will get pencils in BlackNoir, DeepPlum, BlackCocoa, SageGold, OysterGlow and a Custom Sharpener. A single Pixi Silky Eye Pen is $12 so getting these 5 is excellent. And the small size is great for your travel plans even if they are just out for dinner!

Pixi Endless Silky Eye Kit

Pixi Endless Silky Eye Kit

6.  SHEER CHEEK GEL – As a blogger who adores cream and gel stains, these are up my alley. Petra says “I love this gel blush dabbed on cheeks and lips, it creates a translucent, soft and coordinated flush.” I know I’d love Rosy which is a berry-rose. The swatch makes me drool.

7. PIXI NAIL POLISH * – I’m having a ball with Pixi Polish. These small $8 bottles apply beautifully and really last. I’ve previously reviewed the spring collection of Oh So Orange (my husband’s favorite), Lime Lustre and Sizzling Sunshine.

Sizzling Sunshine, Oh So Orange, Lime Lustre by Pixi

Sizzling Sunshine, Oh So Orange, Lime Lustre by Pixi

Today I’m going to share the July color of the month: Fuchsia Dew. This stunner is a fuchsia pink with gold glitter. It isn’t a textured polish though it almost looks like one. On me it looked very neon and very attention getting. While my pictures are on my nails, not my horrible toes, this makes the perfect pedicure. I’m dying for their new Olive Gold. It shall be mine.

Pixi Beauty Fuchsia Dew

Pixi Beauty Fuchsia Dew

Pixi Fuchsia Dew

Pixi Fuchsia Dew

There you go – what I have and what I want. The more I look at the Pixi Beauty website, the more I know I’m going to be ordering a few things and you should be joining me! What are your favorites from Pixi? Will you be packing with Pixi? — Marcia

p.s. If you spend $30 by August 4th you’ll get a free Mini Flawless Beauty Primer.

*some items sent for review consideration

Makeup Wars goes traveling

A year ago the Makeup Wars bloggers took on Travel and we decided to do it again this year. Knowing what to pack and how much to pack is something that always drives us crazy. The men in our lives mostly throw a few things in a Dopp kit and don’t think twice. But women worry and fret over what we can or can not live without for however many days we are gone.

My needs haven’t changed much in the last year but there are a few things that I talked about back then that I’m totally grateful to have for travel and a few that I’ve added. Places like 3floz.com are wonderful to find travel size items and even Sephora has value sets and some travel size products. I love using my Sephora points for deluxe samples that I’ve wanted to try or love enough to take traveling.

My favorite makeup bag is the one I have from Hold Me. I don’t use it on an everyday basis because I’m the type that “saves” things. Instead this is going on a trip with me. They now make it in 3 sizes instead of just the ‘baby’ and full size. They added in Mama Bear too. These are sturdy, elegant, and hold an amazing amount of products and brushes. All my makeup is stored in my Hold Me bag now when I travel.

Hold Me bag brush section

Hold Me bag brush section

Hold Me center barely filled yet holding 6 palettes

Hold Me center barely filled yet holding 6 palettes

I collect skincare in travel sizes, most of which I’ve gotten through subscriptions like Glossybox and IPSY. I don’t always love the samples in these but I’m a subscription box junkie and I always find something I love in each box.

Balance Me Body Wash

Balance Me Body Wash

I also have bought a lot from Algenist during their site’s sales. If you subscribe to their website you’ll get offers from them for special sets or discounts. My best buy was when they had 40% off and free shipping. That’s when I really shopped and bought cleanser, mini eye creams, and moisturizers. I know that Algenist agrees with my skin so it’s a great travel choice.

Algenist SPF, cleanser, moisturizers and DHC soap

Algenist SPF, cleanser, moisturizers and DHC soap

I like to take some wipes with me and the Ole Henriksen Truth to Go Wipes are small and perfect for a short trip.

Ole Henriksen Truth to Go Vitamin C Wipes

Ole Henriksen Truth to Go Vitamin C Wipes

The hardest thing to pack is for my hair. What if it frizzes? What if it falls totally flat? What if a million things that can go wrong. I’m counting on two things seen in my collage – an Aquis hair towel, GoToob containers and John Frieda’s Hot Air brush.

I like to bring the shampoo and conditioner that I’m using at the time of my trip so containers like these cute GoToob’s are excellent. I fill them with whatever I’m using, use them on the trip and then finish up what’s left when I get home. Then they are ready for to be refilled. These happen to be very sturdy and so far I haven’t had spillage like I’ve had with less expensive plastic containers. These have a large opening so it’s easy for me to pour in my product.

Go Toob 3 oz

Go Toob 3 oz

My hair dries super slow. It retains water therefore a normal towel does nothing. I know not to rub my hair so I like to make a turban out of my Aquis hair towel and give it some drying time. There are other brands of this kind of towel but I’ve had mine for a dozen years and I take it on every trip and use it whenever I wash my hair.

Last on this long list is my John Frieda Hot Air Brush. I never used to be able to travel without a big heavy duty hair dryer, several brushes and my flat iron. The hotel dryers didn’t work on my hair. Now though I can travel with just the Aquis towel, a comb and this Hot Air Brush. The wimpy hotel dryers are enough to get the moisture out and I can finish with John Frieda. This has been one of my best buys.

If I wrote about what makeup I take we’d be here forever. But maybe I’ve given you some ideas on how to travel a little more lightly so you have room in your suitcase for all the things you want to buy! Bon Voyage.  — Marcia

Join my friends on their travels too.

 

Hold Me! Could it be the perfect makeup bag?? Side by Side

hold me

 

If you are anything like us at the BIZ, you probably have about 10 different makeup bags. They all have good points and bad points, but none of them is ‘perfect’. We all fantasize about the perfect makeup bag, the one you can have packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice, the one you can store in a bathroom drawer easily, the one that looks classy and always fits exactly what you need. And how about one constructed from fabric that is easily cleaned and is crush-proof? Read on, friends, because Hold Me sent the BIZ two sizes of their makeup bags to be put to the test – are they, in fact, the PERFECT makeup bag??  Let’s see what Lisa and Marcia think.

Lisa’s Side: 

HOLD ME BABY BAG

I tested the Hold Me Baby Bag ($55). No, it’s not a bag for babies – but it’s much smaller than the version Marcia has to tell you about.

Hold Me Baby Bag

Hold Me Baby Bag

This is a perfect bag for weekend travel or for those of you who don’t have an entire room dedicated to cosmetics (not mentioning any names….Marcia….ahem!).  I was amazed at how much I could fit into this baby…I packed makeup for a five-day trip and had room  left over.  The Baby Bag measures 7″H x 5″W x 2″D closed; and it extends to 16.5″ fully opened.

open

Hold Me Baby Bag open

The material is Knew Suede, which is easy to clean and crush-proof. All the Hold Me bags have the black exterior with contrasting stitching, but there are 12 different design options for the inside of the bag. Our bags have the Little DeDe pattern, Endochine kitten dolls on a  Tiffany blue background.  

open

the washable flap covers the brush storage area

The covered brush area has six different sleeves, and I could fit several brushes in one sleeve. The largest size brush it holds is 6″.  The cover keeps your brushes safe and in perfect shape.   

open

close up of the brush storage area

I really appreciate that the center compartment is zippered, plus it comes with a separate liner that you can take out to lay your cosmetics on while using them.

zippered side

the zippered compartment side

liner

Isn’t the liner just too cute??

The colorful liners are made from laminated cotton print and they wipe down perfectly.

zippered open

zippered compartment open, the extra liner is on the bottom

The center section expands and holds quite a bit. When I went on my trip, I had two foundations, one concealer, a loose powder, two cream blushes, two powder blushes, three eyeliners, brow powder, and my small Z Palette.

love the pockets

love the pockets

The Baby Bag is perfect for so many things – you can fill it with your essentials and keep it in your vanity or bathroom drawer. It’s a perfect size for keeping at your desk at work for daytime touch-ups. It’s even small enough to fit into a medium size purse. And of course it’s fantastic for travel.  Do you need this bag?  YES.

Marcia’s Side:

THE HOLD ME BAG ORIGINAL

Once upon a time there was a Makeup Wars about traveling. In that Makeup Wars Pammy Blogs Beauty showed us what she had to hold her cosmetics and personal items when she traveled. The swoons started and all the Makeup Warrior Women were entranced. Imagine my surprise when Hold Me offered to send these bags to Beauty Info Zone. While I like my Clinique PWP bag since it holds a lot, it isn’t something to be proud of plus I had to supplement it with lots of other items. Well, Hold Me has come to the rescue with the Original ($85) size of their bag.

Hold Me bag center

Hold Me bag center

Hold Me bag brush section

Hold Me bag brush section

 

The Hold Me Bags come in 2 sizes (original and baby) and lots of great patterns inside. It brings a smile just to open this bag. This particular size measures 10″H x 7″W x 2″D closed and extends to 22″ fully opened. It has room for 15 brushes (though you can get even more in if you have some super skinny ones). The big pocket area holds an amazing amount of cosmetics. My picture shows just a fraction of what I could take.

Hold Me center barely filled yet holding 6 palettes

Hold Me center barely filled yet holding 6 palettes

Hold Me bag brush section

Hold Me bag brush section

What makes this so versatile is that the bag is closed with a wrap around self tie which Hold Me patterned after a vintage schoolgirl’s book-bag. The center section (aka the heart of the bag) can be filled as much as you want. You tie it afterwards so you are in charge of the depth. There’s even a removable liner that you can use to separate items or to take out to lay products on when you reach your destination.

Hold Me bag tie

Hold Me bag tie

If we haven’t convinced you by now that these are the perfect makeup bags then let me add that the fabric “Knew Suede” is vegan, is easy to clean, holds its shape no matter how much you cram in there plus you can pick from those all of those great wipe-clean laminated cotton print interiors. These are bags that are going to last and last. Now do you see why we were drooling during Makeup Wars? And we didn’t even ruin Pammy’s bag with the drool!

*sent for review purposes