Lisa’s Top Twelve Picks for 2013

The older I get, the faster times flies…I just can’t believe another year has gone by already!

goodbye-2013-and-hello-2014-32013 was a great year for fantastic finds that I now use almost every day.  Here, in no particular order, are my favorite products that have brought me constant joy.

1.  Verge Ribbon Wand ($120)


The Ribbon Wand


a Ribbon Wand curl…


and then the Ribbon Wand curl combed through with my fingers…swoon!

The Verge Ribbon Wand is like a curling iron and a flat iron got together and had a baby. It makes extravagant, sort of retro curls.

2.  Wantable Accessories Subscription Box ($40 for one box)


Wantable Ellen Necklace

I adore subscription boxes and none continually delighted me as much in 2013 as my Wantable Accessories Subscription Box. My jewelry wardrobe now has far more depth and interest than ever before.

3.  Bronze Buffer (2 sponges for $10)

Bronze Buffer sponges

Bronze Buffer sponges

Ah, sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. These little sponges (they always make me think of Lisa from The Simpsons!) ensure that my every faux tan is perfection.

4.  HTY Gold


HTY Gold

This wonderful line was new to me in 2013 and I adored everything I tested…the Face and Neck Serum is unquestionably worth its weight in gold.

5.  Lanikai Bath and Body

Lanikai Loofah Soap

Lanikai Loofah Soap

Lanikai is such a gorgeous bath and body line, and I am always up for some Hawaiian daydreaming. I adore, adore, adore the Loofah Soap, it is amazing.

6.  Zuca Artist Backpack ($139)

Zuca Artist Backpack filled (

Zuca Artist Backpack filled (

I use this backpack at least six days a week. I love it. Zuca has tons of amazing travel items and organizational things for makeup artists but this is my favorite. I rarely go anywhere without it.

7.  Make Up For Ever 102 Small Foundation Kabuki Brush ($36)

102 Small Foundation Kabuki

102 Small Foundation Kabuki

I use this every single day. It is the best buffing brush for concealer I have ever found.

8.  Bango Hair Cutting Kit ($15.99)


Bango Hair Cutting Kit

If you have bangs…or if your kids have bangs…you need this. I am a total klutz with scissors and I get perfect results every time. It saved me a ton of money in 2013.

9.  Cailyn Gelux Eyebrow ($22)

the top conceals the brush

Cailyn Gelux Eyebrow – the top conceals the brush

I love the ingenious packaging, and I love the eyebrow gel even more. It makes great looking eyebrows a very easy thing to accomplish.

10.  Ellis Faas Hot Lips ($35)


Ellis Faas Hot Lips

Without fail, one of these liquid lip gloss/stains is always in my purse. I dig everything about them – the texture, the shades, the packaging…and especially how great they make my not-so-great lips look.

11.  Savvy Sleeper Satin Pillowcases (from $36)


Savvy Sleeper Satin Pillowcase

Not only does this satin pillowcase prevent those awful morning face creases, it also has a secret pocket for my hubby to slip me a love note. It is awesome.

12.  Senna Voluptulash Mascara ($22)

Senna Voluptulash Mascara

Senna Voluptulash Mascara

This is the best mascara I tried in 2013. The super cool helix-shaped brush gives me great big, soft, long lashes with just one coat.  It’s a winner!

2013 was a great year for beauty items…what fabulous finds made your list??


Makeup Wars and hair tool favorites

Beauty Info Zone is happy to share our favorite hair beauty tools and as a bonus you get a picture of Lisa with her gorgeous Verge Bubble Wand hair style. I’ve chosen several tools by Verge, a H2Pro flat iron and various brushes that have been reviewed on Beauty Info Zone (pr samples) for this round of Makeup Wars. Even though I don’t have the head of hair of my blog partner, I’ve seen what these tools can do.
1. Verge Bubble Wand – this pink beauty gives Lisa my favorite look of all the tools she uses. It’s full yet soft.
2. Verge Ribbon Wand – this is the one in the box and shown below. This gives more of a wave to hair.

Verge Ribbon Wand

Verge Ribbon Wand

3. Verge Spiral Wand – is for the S look that’s so trendy right now.

4. H2Pro Flat Iron – I wear my hair straight and this is the flat iron that keeps me from walking around with cowlicks and bumps that I don’t appreciate.

After our hair is washed, curled or straightened we need to keep it looking great and these are the brushes we love using.

5. At the very top is the Marilyn New Yorker Uptown Bristle Brush. This is similar to a Mason Pearson brush but at half the price.

6. Under that is the Spornette 854 Italian Basic Boar Bristles Wood Handle Rounder Hair Brush which is great for blow drying. I use mine for my bangs and the front of my hair and a larger one for the back.

7. Lisa uses the The Marilyn Brush- Tuxedo Pro Boar Bristle Brush- 3 inch to give her hair an amazing amount of shine and body.
We love a lot of other hair tools but these were the ones that came to mind when Makeup Wars decided to concentrate on hair. All of these will help you get a beautiful head of shiny, healthy hair.
Click on the links of my fellow hair blogger lovers to see what wonderful tools they have come up with. After every Makeup Wars I have a long list of what I need to buy and I’m sure today is no different. — Marcia

Beautiful soft vintage curls with Verge Ribbon Wand

I recently reviewed the Verge One Bubble Wand – loved how it gave me beautiful round curls.

Bubble Wand hair

Bubble Wand hair

And then I reviewed the Spiral Wand, a magnificent option for ‘S’ waves:

Spiral Wand hair

Spiral Wand hair

One more excellent texture wand possibility is the Ribbon Wand ($120) for looser, vintage-looking curls.  I know there is a Verge One Wand for you, read on to find out which one(s) you need.


Ribbon curls

The Ribbon Wand has the same great features as the other texture wands by Verge One.


The Ribbon Wand

It has Ceramic NB Technology that heats the hair evenly and leaves it healthy and manageable. It instantly heats to 410 degrees, and has the same ‘cool tip’ that makes the wand easy to use. Plus it has the same tangle-free 360° swivel cord.


The unique shape of the Ribbon Wand

What makes it different is the shape of the barrel.  The Bubble Wand has a series of ‘bubbles’ that give the hair a rounder curl. The Spiral Wand has spirals through the barrel that give the hair an S-shaped wave.  And the Ribbon Wand has a distinctive flatter barrel, giving hair a ribbon-shaped wave.


same clip, different shaped barrel

See how the barrel is sort of flat?  It creates an interesting, flatter-shaped curl than the other wands, so it can either be a curl or else it can be brushed out into more of a wave.


and another view for you

The clip on the bottom looks the same as the other Verge texture wands. It’s a short clip, you put the end of the hair section into it then roll the hair away from the face. The only difference I found was that the Ribbon Wand seems to clip a little looser, which isn’t a big deal unless you have thin or extremely fine hair. If you have either of those issues, then go for the Spiral Wand. Any of the three wands work well for shorter hair, although those with very short layers wouldn’t be happy. You need to be able to wind your hair around the wands to get the effects.



After waiting about 30 seconds, you release the clip and get a curl that looks like this:


the Ribbon curl right after curling with the iron

You can leave the curl as is, or you can run your fingers through the curl for a more dramatic, piecey look.


and the curl after finger combing through it

Sometimes I like to run my brush through the curls, which really gives a rather vintage looking wave that is soft and pretty.

soft waves

soft waves

It probably takes me about 10 to 15 minutes to style my hair with the Ribbon Wand. I separate out sections and pin them up, then curl working from the bottom sections up.

ribbon hair

Ribbon hair

While the other two texture wand options give a tighter curl, I love the looser, more casual wave from the Ribbon Wand.


I love my Ribbon Wand!

So which one is my favorite, the Bubble Wand, Spiral Wand, or Ribbon Wand? That is like asking which one of my children is my favorite. They are all unique, and they all get the same amount of love from me. It’s truly fantastic to have such a wonderful variety from which to choose. I feel very lucky to have all three texture wands, and if it fits your budget, investing in all three would be something to consider.   – Lisa

*pr sample

Christina Choi and Le Metier de Beaute Face of the Day

christina choi FOD2

I used a combination of mostly Le Metier and Christina Choi products one day last week and I loved the results.  Here’s what I used:

For this face of the day, I used Le Metier de Beaute Classic Finish Foundation in V applied with a Beauty Blender. Next, I smoothed It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer under my eyes and on any dark or red areas.  After that, I applied Inglot Cream Blush in 81, followed by It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores loose powder and It Cosmetics Hello Light Powder Illumizer, plus a little bit of Le Metier Sun Kissed Bronzer.

CC eyes

Christina Choi Glitz & Glamour eyes

cc eyes

On my eyes, I used Christina Choi Glitz and Glamour which I reviewed HERE.  I used Chandelier on the lid, then I used the Glamour cake liner dry on the crease.  I followed with Glitz on the crease and down onto the lid.  Then I wet the cake liner with Face Atelier Transforming Gel and lined my upper lid.  I used Make Up For Ever Kohl Liner in black on my waterline.

cc eye

I used the cake liner as an eyeshadow – love multitaskers!

I used my Joey Healy Brow Architect Stylo in Molasses for my eyebrows.



My LM/CC FOD…love acronyms!

Lips were Clarins 01 Bay Rose Lip Definer, Guerlain Levres Lips 02 gloss, and I used my Verge One Spiral Wand on my hair.  Wow, sounds like a lot of products, but it didn’t take long to apply and I was totally ready for my day.  I loved my combination of favorite go-to products, it’s always great when things turn out even better than you had hoped!  – Lisa

*some items received from PR

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

The perfect “S” wave with Verge Spiral Wand

Every once in a while, something comes along that is a total game changer for me. I wore my mid-back length hair perfectly straight for a long time – I would blow it dry straight, and if I wanted to really get serious I would follow that with a flat-iron. Well, Verge One has given me a new outlook with their ‘texture’ wands.  I previously reviewed the Bubble Wand, which you can read HERE, and I will be reviewing the Ribbon Wand in a future post. But today I want to tell you all about my current love, the VERGE™ Spiral Wand™.



The latest craze in hair styles is the ‘S Wave’.  I’m not talking about these S waves:

PSWAVESI am talking about THESE S waves:

s wave

The S wave is the latest trend that you will find all kinds of celebrities embracing, like Sarah Jessica Parker –

Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker

or Taylor Swift –

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

or Emma Stone.

Emma Stone

Emma Stone

You certainly don’t need a stylist to get fabulous S waves like these stars.  All you need is a Verge One Spiral Wand ($120). All of Verge’s texture wands have Ceramic NG™ (Nano Gold) Technology, which means perfect, even heat every time that really locks in the curl.  When I use a Verge texture wand, the curls last for three days with no problem. It also means that hair moisture is ‘locked’ in, so there’s no heat damage like with other styling tools.


The Verge Spiral Wand

What else is great about the Spiral Wand? It heats up instantly to 410 degrees. It has a ‘cool tip’ at the top of the curler that stays cooler so it’s easy to use. And it has a tangle-free 360° swivel cord.


looks complicated but it’s so easy!

It could not be easier to use this wand. In fact, I think it’s even easier than using a regular curling iron. The clip is small and at the bottom of the wand:


See the clip?

You put the end of a section of hair into the clip, the roll the wand away from your face. Your hair automatically curls around the wand and goes in between the spirals.

Verge Spiral

The Spiral Wand in action

Then, just hold the wand for a minute or so. I find the longer I hold the wand, the stronger the curl, although you never need more than about 45 seconds even for very thick coarse hair.

Verge Spiral

And right after curling.

Then, release the clip, and voila – a gorgeous, perfect curl. To get that S wave, just run your fingers through the curl and here’s what you get:

Verge spiral


It works perfectly every time.  Here is my daughter Marina’s hair before we use the Spiral Wand:

Verge before

before the Spiral Wand

And here she is after:


after the Spiral Wand

Absolutely perfect, gorgeous S wave curls – and it was so easy it’s unreal.


waaaay better than a spiral perm!!

I can’t even tell you how much I love my texture wands from Verge, and the Spiral Wand is exactly on trend right now.  Is it worth the $120? YES.  Yes, yes, yes, and about a thousand more affirmatives.

me spiral

Not exactly Sarah, Taylor, or Emma…but it still gives me great hair!

I absolutely love my Spiral Wand and I can’t recommend it highly enough.  You need one of these!!!  – Lisa

*pr sample

Finally!! Perfect curls with the Verge One Bubble Wand


Verge Bubble Wand

Remember spiral perms?  Or any sort of perm?  We all dreamt of beautiful, perfectly imperfect curls that looked ever so bouncy and wavy and effortless.  And we all ended up with this.

Image from Have fun.

Yup, I had about ten straight years of this look myself.  I never gave up on my quest for the perfect curls, as unattainable as it seemed I kept my dream alive.  And every once in a while, dreams do come true.  The Verge Bubble Wand ($120) has been a life changing answer to a dream for me.   I cannot rave enough for this amazing innovation in hair styling tools, and I hope you take my advice and buy one of these.  It will change your life too!

Verge Bubble Wand in the packaging

The Bubble Wand is a texture curling iron that is designed to give you imperfect curls that look natural.

I know, it looks weird…but it’s awesome

This is a ceramic wand that doesn’t do heat damage like other types of curling wands.  Ceramic wands are better because they minimize heat damage by producing the least amount of heat necessary for curls, at the same time releasing negative ions that fight heat damage.  The ions don’t strip moisture from the hair, so hair is left looking healthy without split ends and frizz.

Check out the super small clamp at the bottom

The wand instantly heats up to 410 degrees, and the heat is even throughout the wand.  There is a ‘cool tip’ at  the end of the wand, but you don’t want to touch it without a glove on because it does still get hot.  It also has a counter rester, and a swivel cord that doesn’t get all tangled up.

Styling, believe it or not, is really easy.  I will do my best to describe it, but there is also a wonderful short how-to video you can watch right here.

Close up of the clamp

First, section your hair and, with the clamp facing your mirror, clip the very bottom of the section.  Then roll the hair around the wand, rolling away from the mirror.  I tried it both going towards and going away from, and I got the best, most natural looking results rolling the hair away from the face.  Although I have to say curling under is a fun change every so often, too.

Puffy allergy eyes but I am loving my curls

For each section, once the hair is wound around the wand and the wand is close to your head, you just leave it there for about 30 seconds.  Release the clamp, and you have what initially looks like a perfect barrel curl.  I leave it alone to cool, moving on to the next section, until I have them all done.  It takes me about 10 to 15 minutes to do my whole head.

I use the Comare Bacti-Ban Comb from Sally Beauty Supply

After all the curls are done, I take a small pick and separate the curls.  They look spectacular!!!

Curls in the back

Here’s the back of my head – not an easy thing to photograph by yourself!  Normally I can style the front sides, and the back is always a pretty poorly executed semi-attempt at a style.  But with the Bubble Wand, the back of my hair looks just as great as the front of it.

This is what I wanted all of those perms to do…but they never did!

What I can’t get over is how long the curls stay.  Right after I pick out the curls, I spray on a little hair spray and a little frizz control.  Then I never even have to brush my hair again all day.  The second day, I brush it out with a paddle brush, and I get the most beautiful wave, almost like a 1930’s wave.  And I can even get away with 3rd day hair, it still looks so good.

Yay for curls!!

I get comments on my hair every single day.  My husband raves about it all the time and is constantly trying to take my picture.  I have had total strangers stop me and actually write down the information about the Bubble Wand.  I went to a dermatologist appointment, and the moment my doctor walked in she immediately asked how I did my hair like that, and had her assistant write down the information for her.

half and half

I think a lot of people shy away from a bubble wand because it looks tricky.  But here is what my 13-year-old did with her hair.  I showed her how to do the first section, and then let her go to town.  Above is a picture when she was half way through.

back of hair

And here is the back of her hair after – can you believe it??   Pictured below is her hair after she finished.  She was pretty ecstatic and now all she wants for her birthday is The Bubble Wand.

So easy a 13-year-old can do this!

I don’t know how this would work for someone with shorter hair, and I would say it’s also probably not great for those with seriously layered looks.  But if you have shoulder length or longer hair with long layers, you need a Bubble Wand.  Trust me on this one.  Get yourself a Verge by One Bubble Wand.  It is an A+++++ hair tool and you NEED this!  – Lisa

*pr sample

Other info:

Voltage:  110VAC – 240VAC, 50Hz, 60Hz

Weight:  370g, 0.82