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 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

Starbox by Starlooks – a true cosmetic subscription box at last


Whenever I talk about subscription boxes I hear complaints that people don’t need or want more fragrance or skincare samples. They are inundated with them and plain old tired of them. Yes if the boxes had one of those samples and included cosmetics then people would be happy. Instead they are loaded with samples that will probably never get used. But Starbox by Starlooks  is different – they are just what you have been asking for: COSMETICS!! Just about everything in the box will be cosmetic. What a dream come true.

Starlooks for October

I have the latest box from Starbox and it’s what I’ve been hoping for all along. Full size cosmetics and lots of them. Each month you’ll receive 3-4 FULL SIZED pieces of makeup, hair product, or accessories by STARLOOKS. Each month will include a different mix of product types including colors, styles, formulas, etc.

A box costs $15 a month and there is a small charge for shipping (usually $1.98). Starbox cosmetics are created by the company. They have a very complete FAQ section, much better than any I’ve seen.

Let’s get to what was in my October box and why I’m so happy. There were 3 full size cosmetics that create a beautiful look plus a fun extra.

Gold Dust eyeliner pencil

Gold Dust swatch

  1. Starlooks Eye Pencil in Gold Dust. This is one of 20 shades that Starlooks makes. The shade is perfect for holidays especially. It’s a beautiful gold that isn’t brassy or too yellow. It applies smoothly and evenly. I find if I warm up the tip with my fingers that I can even use it as an eyeshadow. You can buy the pencils at the Starlooks store for $8.

    Starlooks Posh pigment

    Pigment jar opening

    Posh pigment swatched

  2. Starlooks Pigment in Posh. If you love pigments and you love purple then this is for you. It’s a beautiful slightly iridescent shade of purple that isn’t glittery. It applies like a dream. A little goes a long way. What’s so amazing about this pigment is that it lasts so well. I like using a tacky base with a pigment (lately it’s Mally Beauty Eye Primer) and Starlooks Posh pigment is easy to blend over it and lasted me the entire day. You can buy one of the 21 shades for $12.



  3. Starlooks Lipstick in Masquerade. This lipstick surprised me in a few ways. First I opened it and wondered why they’d send a red brown lipstick with purple eyes. Boy was I wrong. Masquerade is a beautiful red with a slight brown undertone that doesn’t show up that way on my lips. I’ve worn it straight from the tube and also applied with a lipbrush. I prefer the lipbrush because I like a softer look if I’m going to wear red lipstick. The other way it surprised me is that it doesn’t have fragrance. Anyone who has read Beauty Info Zone knows that I’m very fussy about fragrance. When I smelled it (I always smell products, one of my idiosyncrasies) I noticed nothing. When I applied it I noticed no fragrance but lots of moisture. Starlooks has me in their lipstick corner now. The online swatch is very accurate for Masquerade so I’m sure that the others are too.

    Online swatch for Masquerade

    Starlooks carries a whooping 89 lipstick shades at $11 each.

    Gold Dust pencil, Posh pigment, Masquerade lipstick

  4. Now for the surprise in the box. It’s called Eye Rock and it’s a set of Eye Tattoos.

    Eye Rock Eye Tattoo

    To use them you start with clean skin without any makeup or creams on. Play around with them to figure the right placement and see if they need to be trimmed. Wet the paper back thoroughly and then let the water soak in for about 40 seconds before you remove the paper. Now wet the area around your eyes liberally and smooth on the tattoo. Wait about 5 minutes for them to dry and seal. Eye Rock has dozens of designs and they cost $5.99 at

If you’ve been doing the math you’ll see the box would cost $36 if bought separately but it sells for $15 total, no hidden costs. As with all subscription boxes, you take a chance because you don’t know what you’ll get but I can assure you that this is an amazing box for a great price. While it will be my 18 year old niece who ends up with Eye Rock tattoos, I’m happily using all the other products.

Starbook December teaser

Starbox December special

Now here’s the best part, Starlooks sells eyeshadow palettes for $99 but if you pre-order the December Starbox subscription you’ll be getting one for $15.  If that doesn’t persuade you to pre-order the December box I don’t know what will. It would make a fabulous gift too for any cosmetic lover on your list.

I see Starboxes in my future, do you? — Marcia

*sent for an honest review

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows review and swatches

I love the Aqua products from Make Up For Ever because they are designed to be truly waterproof.  In fact, the original products were made for use by professional swimmers.  So how do the new Aqua Shadow Pencils ($20) hold up?

For me, it’s a mixed bag, although with more pros than cons.  Keep in mind that I have oily eyelids, so those of you with dry eyelids might have a different take on these.  If I don’t use a primer, pretty much any sort of eye product is going to crease and migrate.  With a good primer, though, many eyeshadows and liners last 15+ hours for me.  I found that the Aqua Shadow shimmery shades lasted forever on me, and the matte shades lasted for about five hours before showing creases.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow Pencils

While I don’t typically like ‘fat’ pencils, I do like these, even for lining.  I am able to get a sharp enough point to cover that irritating ‘shelf’ I have by my eyelashes, and the pencils give a semi-thick line that I can smudge up if I work quickly.  Don’t wait too long or the shadow will set so smudging nicely won’t be possible.  The matte shades apply easily and smoothly.  If I put eyeshadow over them I had no problems with smudges.  Used alone, however, they did smudge a bit about half way through the day.

I really like using the shimmer shades as an all over wash, eyeshadow base, and highlighter shade.  The shimmers really stay and are very pretty.  I found that the matte shades went on a little easier, the shimmer shades had a tendency to catch and skip during application.  They are very easy to smooth out though, and they make a fabulous base for other shades.

I tried four shades, two of the matte and two of the shimmer.  Here are some pics and swatches:

Matte Green #8E

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow 8E

This is a beautiful hunter green.  It looks fantastic as a smudged out eyeliner.

8E swatched, indirect outdoor lighting

While I love this color, I had the most migration problems with it.  It’s not horrible, but after a few hours I needed to check every so often to make sure I didn’t have green smudge under my eyes.

8E swatched, direct outdoor lighting

Matte Black #OE

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow OE

I found this to be a softer black, almost a brown black.

OE swatched, indirect outdoor lighting

It’s nicely wearable for daytime without looking too harsh.

OE swatched, outdoor direct lighting

Pearly Taupe #20E

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow 20E

I love this shimmery champagne beige.  It looks great on its own or as a base color.

20E indirect outdoor lighting

I think this one has the least smooth application of them all, but it’s nothing that a quick pat of the finger can’t easily fix.

20E swatched in direct outdoor lighting

Pearly Pink Beige #30

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow 30E

This is a very pretty, shimmery pink beige that makes a great wash.

30E swatched, indirect outdoor lighting

It’s not frosty, so it also works great as a brow highlighter.

30E swatched in direct outdoor lighting

#OE as liner and #30E as a wash

Here are a few eye looks – first, I used #30E (pink beige) as a wash, and lined with #OE (matte black).

#OE and #30E again

Next, I have on #20E (champagne beige) as a wash, and #8E (hunter green) as a liner.

#8 as a liner and #20E as a wash

I found I could use these on the waterline with no irritation.

#8 and #20E again

If you like the ease and convenience of a fatter pencil, you will like these.  Just remember that if you use the matte shades, they work best under another shadow.  – Lisa

*pr samples

Make Up For Ever’s La Boheme Gypsy Aqua Eyes Pencil review and swatches

I love it when a ‘concept’ collection like Make Up For Ever’s La Boheme has a super practical item.  I think the standout ‘gotta have it’ item in this collection is the Gypsy Aqua Eyes Pencil ($18).  Sure, it’s not as impressive looking as the La Boheme Baked Eyeshadow Palette:

And it’s not as eye-catching at first as the La Boheme Rouge Artist Natural lipsticks:

But it’s one of those items you will want to buy back-ups of before it’s not available anymore, because you are going to use this pencil constantly.

I love the Aqua Eyes pencils in general – they go on super smooth, with rich pigment that really lasts.  They are like a cross between a gel liner and a regular eye pencil.  I love my gel liners, but when I am in a hurry I grab a pencil for lining because it’s quick and I don’t need to clean a brush afterwards.  So I was pretty geeked for this pencil to begin with…and then I saw the color.

It looks rather ordinary, like a deep matte brown.  And it IS a deep matte brown, which doesn’t seem like much to get excited about.  But I have used this every single day in the past two weeks and I am totally loving it.

I can’t figure out why, but it works with both cool and warm colors equally well.  It’s dark enough to look rather dramatic, but because it’s brown it’s more natural looking than black eyeliner.   I’ve worn it on both my upper lid and my waterline for 15 hours straight without experiencing a single smudge or smear.

Gypsy is limited edition, and available online only at Sephora.  I truly love this color, and I think this is a fantastic basic pencil to have in your collection.  Believe me, this is a staple product, so don’t order just one – get three.  And you can thank me later.  – Lisa

*pr sample

Youngblood Spring 2012 preview with review and swatches!

Youngblood Spring 2012 Collection

Youngblood Cosmetics is really on our radar lately, they have wonderful products with truly gorgeous colors.  A new collection is coming out for Spring 2012 that we are totally jazzed about.

Youngblood says: Spring is coming and this season it’s all about bright,bold, and beautiful pops of color that will make people stop and stare! (In a good way, of course).  As always, Youngblood has come up with an elegant Spring collection that not only highlights and subtly enhances your own natural beauty, but also gives you that perfect dose of gorgeous color that will make you stand out in a crowd.

Try our Luminous Crème Blush for a sheer wash of color, available in four shades: Champagne Life (a bubbly taupe with a shimmery sheen),Taffeta (a lustrous bubblegum pink), Rose Quartz (a silvery petal-pink), Tropical Glow (a peachy-pink tone with golden shimmer).

Youngblood Spring 2012 cream blushes

Lisa says:  Stay tuned, Beauty Info Zone readers – Marcia will have a great review with swatches coming soon!

Eye Illuminating Duo

Youngblood says:  Highlight your best features with our Eye-lluminating Duo, a dual-ended pencil with two neutral tones (Matte, a pink-nude; and Shimmer, an iridescent champagne-beige).

Lisa says:  What a fabulous pencil.  As my dear friend and awesome makeup artist Ulrike says, any makeup product that can be used in more than one way is worth its weight in gold.  There are tons of ways to use this pencil – you can highlight your brow, brighten the dark areas next to your eyes, cover blemishes, line the lips so lipstick doesn’t bleed, use on the waterline to brighten and widen the eyes, put color at the top and bottom center of the lip to make them look larger…and that’s just a few ideas.  One side of this chubby stick is a matte pinkish nude:

Matte side

The other side is shimmery beige:

Shimmer side

The texture of both is creamy, the color glides on easily and blends very nicely.  It’s not chalky at all, and it is emolliant enough that the shimmer side could even be used as an eyeshadow.

Swatches - matte on top, shimmer on bottom

The staying power is good for this type of product.  Because of the creamy consistency, it’s not going to last all day, but it does lend itself nicely to touch ups and does a great job of highlighting and brightening any area of the face.

eyes with Eye Illuminating Duo on waterline - shimmer on right, matte on left

Youngblood says:  or you can go bold and try our lipstick in Tangelo! A sheer, creamy coral-orange.

Lisa says:  Youngblood is right on the mark in terms of makeup trends.  Pantone, the world authority on color, has declared ‘Tangerine Tango’ to be the color of the year.

Tangerine Tango, Color of the Year for 2012

Besides being the latest trend, I personally think that nothing says ‘here comes warm weather!’ better than a great coral lipstick.


Youngblood’s Spring 2012 Tangelo is just perfect – it couldn’t be more in style, and while coral can be a difficult color to pull off (especially if you have fair skin) this lipstick is easy to wear.  Yes, it’s a bold color, but it’s sheer.

The sheerness makes it appropriate for both day and night, and it gives you that great color without being too bright.  Tangelo has a nice, creamy consistency, which makes it far easier to wear than a dry matte formula.  It also looks gorgeous with a light pink or a sheer beige shimmer gloss.  Try Youngblood Champagne Ice or Forever Pink lip gloss with it.

And remember, if you are going with a bright lip, keep your blush and eyeshadow softer and more neutral.  I always wear cream blush with some powder blush over it, and while Marcia is going to tell you all about the cream blushes, a Youngblood powder blush I have that goes PERFECT with this collection is the Sherbet Crushed Mineral Blush.  Check it out:

Sherbet Crushed Mineral Blush

It comes in screw-top container that has a cover with holes, so there is less chance of a major spillage disaster.

Sherbet on the inside

Here’s what you find inside.  I like to turn the container over (with the top on, of course!) then tap it a few times with the end of my brush.  Turn it back over, take off the top, and here’s what you have:

The perfect amount for your cheeks.  Below is a swatch:

Sherbet swatch

It’s such a gorgeous, slightly shimmery peachy-pink.  It reminds me of Nars Orgasm, but even better.  Here’s my face of the day using my Eye Illuminating Duo, Tangelo Lipstick, and Sherbet Crushed Mineral Blush:

 Love the colors, they are just perfect for spring.  And I can’t wait to find out what Marcia thinks about those beautiful cream blushes.  Stay tuned for her review!!  – Lisa

*pr samples


Make Up For Ever new Smoky Couleur: Fall 2011

Make Up For Ever has a fabulous fall collection out called Smoky Couleur.  The focus is on jewel toned, dramatic smoky eyes.  Available in the collection are:

Smoky Couleur Mascaras($22)– jewel tone mascaras in emerald-green, chocolate-brown, plum and dark blue.  They are the same formula as the original Smoky Lash Mascara, known for thickening and lengthening the lashes. 

I tested #5, dark blue.  One would think that colored mascaras are for the younger crowd, but these are deep, subtle colors that really play off your eye color and are appropriate for any age. 

Smoky Lash Couleur #5 - deep blue

I like the original Smoky Lash Mascara, so having the extra color options with these  pretty jewel tones is lots of fun for fall.

Smoky Lash #5 dark blue brush

Khol Pencils ($17) – these are soft pencils that are tremendously blendable, and are perfect for lining the waterline.  Colors include pearly deep blue, matte mocha brown and pearly black purple.

Keeping with the mascara, I tried the dark blue pencil.  I love the look of dark blue with brown eyes, I think it’s stunning.

Smoky Lash Khol Pencil #8K pearly deep blue

This pencil is soft and creamy, it is easy to smudge but then sets to a nice, secure line.  I love it on the waterline, it has very nice lasting power and doesn’t smudge.

Smoky Lash Khol Pencil #8K close up

You can see it has a pearlesence to it.  Here is a swatch with flash:

Smoky Lash Khol Pencil #8K swatch with flash

You can really see the pearl in the shade in sunlight.  In darker lighting, it looks like this:

Smoky Lash Khol Pencil #8K swatch - no flash

It’s a pretty, deep blackened blue.  Here are eyes with the mascara and the eye liner, which I used for the top lid and the waterline:

Smoky Lash dark blue mascara, deep blue Kohl liner, eyes open

Smoky Lash eyes - deep blue mascara and khol liner

Smoky Lash eyes, dark blue mascara and khol liner

Smoky Lash eyes, deep blue mascara and khol liner

Smoky Palette ($45) – this is limited edition.  The palette has eight different shades for creating five different smoky looks in brown, blue, purple, green and classic black. Included with the palette are application instructions, a mirror, and two brushes. 

The palette looks fabulous, although I haven’t been able to get my mitts on one yet.  In the meantime, here’s the illustration for the full blue smoky eye look, along with more info on the collection.  Time to get to Sephora to check this out!!  – Lisa

Eyeshadow and eyeliners from Dan Read Cosmetics

By now, you have read many times how much Marcia and I adore Dan Read foundation.  Recently I branched out and tried the eyeshadows and eye pencils, and my love affair with this line continues.  The eyeshadows are super silky, highly pigmented, and they wear like a dream.   I tend to go for more neutral colors, and here are some of my favorite neutrals from Dan Read.

Dan has 22 different matte shades ($16.25) and 26 different pearl shadows ($16.25).  Some of my favorite lighter shades are:

Opal Pearl, which is VERY difficult to photograph well.  It looks almost white with a slight pink cast in real life, and when applied it has a gorgeous purple opalescence.  You can see it better in the swatch below.  It is, obviously, a pearl shade.

Powder Pink is another favorite of mine.  It’s a matte shade, and it’s a pretty, delicate pink that doesn’t go on chalky.

Cream is another of my favorite matte shades.  It leans more yellow, and makes a fantastic base shade.

Here are the three colors swatched, bottom to top:  Opal Pearl (see the purple opalescence?  Gorgeous!!), Powder Pink, and Cream.

Probably my most favorite Dan Read eyeshadow is Cameo.  This is a pearl eyeshadow, and it is FABULOUS.  It looks darker in the pan, it goes on as a lighter, shimmery taupe.  Here it is swatched:

I love this as a lid color, it really brightens up my eyes and makes them pop.

Some of the darker colors that I typically wear as crease colors are:

Golden Sunset, which is a gorgeous, wearable pearl orange, it’s a few shades deeper than MAC’s Straw Harvest;

Mink, a fabulous deep brown shimmer;

and Taupe, a perfect matte mid-tone grayish brown.

Swatched bottom to top are Golden Sunset, Mink, and then Taupe.

The pans are larger than MAC eyeshadows (over twice the amount of product at 0.10 oz vs. 0.04 oz), and the pots remind me of the old MAC pots with a see-through screw-on top. 

I also really like the eye pencils ($12.75).  They give a very precise line, and you can smudge them out if you wish.  They really have great staying power.  Here are some of my favorites:

Plum, a deep blue-purple;

Violet, a lighter lavender purple;

and Mica, a deep gun-metal grey.

From top to bottom are Plum, Violet, and Mica.  All of them are favorites of mine because they give a less harsh look than straight black, and they are amazing for making brown eyes really stand out.  My favorite look is to use Mica along my top lash line, and then use either Plum or Violet on the bottom waterline and lash line.

In these pics I am wearing Cameo on the mobile lid, Mink in the crease, Opal Pearl on the brow.  I lined the upper lid with Mica and the lower waterline and lash line with Plum.

And below is the whole look, complete with Dan Read foundation in Natural 2.  My love affair with Dan Read continues…I think my husband is getting jealous!!!  – Lisa