Favorite setting products – powders and sprays

Do you have products that help you finish your makeup each day? That’s what Top Ten Tuesday is about this week. There are some great products available for this job and I’ve picked the favorites that I’ve used. When I’m done I hope you’ll share some of yours with me.

I have to start with IT COSMETICS since I talk about the brand all the time. The product that I’ve used up twice is IT COSMETICS BYE BYE PORES aka Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro-Powder. Once I discovered this powder I stopped using the drawer full I had from Laura Mercier, Kevyn Aucoin, and more. I still use those occasionally but they aren’t in my top ten! Silky soft and it does blur my pores just like it says it will.

Bye Bye Pores powder and puff

Bye Bye Pores powder and puff

Once they came out with Bye Bye Pores Airbrush Silk Pressed Anti-Aging Finishing Powder I had to buy that too.  This pressed powder is great for travel and on the go.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder

Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish Powder is fabulous. I love this powder and am currently on my second one. Powder takes forever and a day for me to finish so the fact that I’ve gone through one and a half jars of this speaks for itself. Diamond Finish sets my makeup, blurs my pores, and gives me a beautiful finish that isn’t matte.

Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish Powder

Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish Powder

One more loose powder in this group: Pixi Beauty Quik Fix Powder in Translucid wins for the best packaging as well as being a great powder. This is very lightweight and invisible on my skin. It contains great ingredients like aloe vera and cucumber extract to smooth along with grape extract which acts as an antioxidant.

Pixi Quick Fix Powder in Translucid

Pixi Quick Fix Powder in Translucid

Mally Evercolor Poreless Face Defender is really a cheat since it’s not a powder or a spray but it’s a staple in my cosmetic wardrobe. It has a very unusual texture and gives a matte finish. It’s wonderful for blurring fine lines and pores. There’s no dryness like powder can give.

Mally Beauty Poreless Face Defender

Mally Beauty Poreless Face Defender

Now on to the sprays. Skindinavia has two sprays that I have to recommend: Makeup Primer Spray and the Makeup Finishing Spray are both wonderful. Other brands like Urban Decay sell these but they are made by Skindinavia. The Primer Spray is just like it sounds. Spray this one after your skincare is on and it helps deliver a smoother finish for your foundation. The Finishing Spray is to be applied after all your makeup is on and it helps keep your makeup in place for the day. It’s especially great for being outdoors. They even make this in Oil Control and a Bridal version.

Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray

Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray

A much less expensive version is  Hard Candy Fast & Fabulous Makeup Setting Spray at Walmart. This is only $6.30 compared to the $30ish prices of Skindinavia. It’s not bride proof but it’s a good way to see if a spray is for you.

Hard Candy Fast & Fabulous Makeup Setting Spray

Hard Candy Fast & Fabulous Makeup Setting Spray

When I was in the midst of hot flashes I relied on Youngblood Minerals in the Mist. I was at IMATS and I looked like someone had dropped a bucket of water on me. I was shopping at Youngblood and they recommended it in Refresh for me and it saved the trip. I carried it around with me to refresh my skin. I’ve since used it up but if I ever go through that misery again, I’d repurchase.

A few other bloggers have joined this week’s challenge. I’m interested in learning more. Are you? — Marcia

*some affiliate links used




Tarte Summer 2013: Aqualillies Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder


Tarte Aqualillies Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

Tarte has a new collection out for Summer of 2013 created around the Aqualillies, a synchronized swimming group. The BIZ was sent the Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder ($29) for review and I was thrilled for the packaging alone!  It totally makes me think of 1950’s and 1960’s Esther Williams and I have a total weakness for retro products.



Not only is the packaging beautiful, it’s also functional and practical. You know how loose powder just gets messy, with so much powder pouring out the holes? Not with this clever package.

love the stopper system

love the stopper system

It has one single hole in the middle that also has a stopper. Pop out the stopper, give the inner cover a quick press, and you have just enough loose powder for one application.

you can control the amount of loose powder

you can control the amount of loose powder

After you use the powder just plug the stopper back and in voila! Loose powder that will travel in any makeup bag…or retro pop up camper.

retro pop up camper


swatched heavy without buffing in

The powder itself is terrific. It’s translucent so it will work great for all but the darkest skin shades. It’s velvety soft and blends beautifully, taking away shine without leaving skin looking overly matte and powdery. It’s also terrific for setting concealer under the eyes and nose.

So what’s not to love?  Super cute packaging and fabulous loose powder – sign me up now. How about you, are you going to be checking out the Aqualillies Summer 2013 Tarte Collection?  – Lisa

*PR sample sent for review consideration

Powdering our noses the Painted Earth way

Painted Earth calls themselves Cosmetics from Nature for a good reason – all products are organic, non-toxic and natural. They don’t want us to trade our health for our beauty. They are especially known for their skincare but we’ve found that their cosmetics are pretty terrific and we want to share two of them with you today. You’ve hopefully already read about the Hint of Mint Lip Glosses that have Marcia smiling. Well we have more smiles for you with Magic Powder (it’s compelling just for the name!!) and a beautiful Silk Radiance Mineral High Lite Powder.


Mineral Silk Radiance Powder compact

Mineral Silk Radiance Powder compact

Mineral Silk Radiance Powder in Seychelles

Mineral Silk Radiance Powder in Seychelles

I’ve been lucky enough to use Painted Earth’s Mineral Silk Radiance Powder in the shade Seychelles ($34). Now some people like bronzer but I prefer a soft powder like this instead to give my face a healthy glow. I’m as pale as can be and in general I embrace my paleness but in the dead of winter especially there are days that I look like the dead of winter! This Mineral Silk Radiance Powder is made up of powders in shades of peach, cream, pink and a rosy lavender. These are soft shades that combine to give a beautiful soft glow on my face.

Mineral Silk Radiance Powder in Seychelles

Mineral Silk Radiance Powder in Seychelles

The powder contains great ingredients: Argan Oil to hydrate skin, Rice Silk to absorb excess shine, Multi-Mineral Complex from Painted Earth along with Vitamins A, C and E to help product skin from the environment. There is no talc in this powder and it’s mineral oil free.

After I’ve got my “face on” I love to take a big fluffy powder brush, sweep it over the powder and finish with it to set my makeup. It’s just enough to make me look alive while imparting a brightened look without ever looking powdery. This is just one of the many Painted Earth products that I’m thrilled to have.


This is one of the weirdest products I have ever tried. And I mean that in a good way!! Magic Powder ($39.95) is the strangest, neatest finishing powders ever.  It really is magical!

Magic Powder

Magic Powder

Painted Earth says, “it’s a powder that magically turns into moisture when it is applied to your face. A difference you can see and feel. The Mineral Difference drawn from natures wonders, formulated into an unparalleled line of mineral cosmetics resulting in a more natural, beautiful YOU!”

check out the magic inside

check out the magic inside

This loose powder – and it does look exactly like a loose powder – somehow turns into a cool sort of liquid when it hits your face. The powder is still there, it still absorbs oil and finishes your makeup – but it also hydrates and gives skin a pretty, youthful glow.

close up

looks like powder, feels like water!

I use this on my face and neck using a big powder fluff brush.  It’s perfect for days when I feel super dry thanks to indoor heating. I can’t wait for this summer because I know I am going to love that cool, moist feeling when it’s really hot out.

what's inside that makes it magic?

what’s inside that makes it magic?

I can’t figure out how they did it, but it really works. Magic Powder starts as a loose powder, then becomes cool hydration for your skin, then works as a finishing powder to complete your look. I keep expecting David Copperfield to pop up next to my vanity…

My Magic Powder FOD

My Magic Powder FOD – David Blaine loves this look!

Painted Earth’s products were created to give you a healthy, youthful glow, and their powders live up to our expectations.  Check out this great line for unique, interesting products that really work!

*pr samples

I welcomed back Beauty Army subscription box in October

Beauty Army

I had subscribed to Beauty Army for three months but it just didn’t thrill me so I decided to drop this subscription box and concentrate on others. Beauty Army costs $12 a month and one of the biggest differences between BA and others is that you get to choose which samples you want. They give you a choice of approximately 9 samples and you can pick up to 6. Even though I cancelled after the third box I found out that Whip Hand Cosmetics was going to be featured in the October box and that the pigments were going to be unique to the box.

When I resubscribed I got my samples to choose from and couldn’t find Whip Hand. I started playing around with my profile and realized that by narrowing down the choices in what I was interested in I could get cosmetics! So I did that and now I’m back with Beauty Army.

My Beauty Army October contents

Here’s October’s rundown

Whip Hand Cosmetics pigment sample from their exclusive Camo Collection. This shade is called Locked + Loaded and it’s TAUPE! I’m not a big pigment user so this size is actually perfect although I can (and probably will) purchase it in the full size for $14 from Beauty Army.

Whip Hand Locked + Loaded

sample size of the Whip Hand

Locked + Loaded swatch

Locked + Loaded

– sample size of Lipsi Cosmetics Aphrodite Powder. This fine finishing powder is designed to absorb the excess oil, allowing your skin to glow. Aphrodite Power sets makeup and absorbs shine while keeping your cosmetics fresh and natural all day long. This powder suits all skin types and tones.

Lipsi Aphrodite Powder

SKINN Cosmetics (Dimitri James) full size Twin Set. This gloss and lipstick duo is in the shade Coral Poppy and it’s a beautiful combination. To purchase one would cost $18.50 so that alone pays for the box.

SKINN lip set

SKINN lipgloss side in Coral Poppy

SKINN lipstick side

You Da Balm in Grapefruit – this is a very nice moisturizing balm. These retail for $3. I love the tube of this full size balm. (I forgot to take a picture so this is the set of 3 that Beauty Army sells.)

You Da Balm in Grapefruit

Skyn ICELAND Hydra Cool Firming Eye Gels. This is a single set of eye gels that I’m looking forward to testing out. A package of 8 pairs is $30.

Skyn Iceland Firming Eye Gels and Egyptian Magic

– a sample packet of Egyptian Magic. I’ve used Egyptian Magic before so having a sample for travel is terrific, it’s a jack of all trades.

I’m very happy with this month’s box and I’m glad I found my way back to Beauty Army. Just remember the trick seems to be to limit the choices of what you’d like to see in your box. While I came for Whip Hand Cosmetics, I left with a lot more. — Marcia

Fusion of Color – part 2

I’m back again with Fusion of Color.  This wonderful line has so much to offer that I needed two reviews to show you what I’m using from them. I’m going to tell you about some great lipglosses but I first need to start with a new line that Fusion of Color is creating. It’s called the Aura Line and it contains a bakers dozen of items. I’ve got the original that is the basis for the entire line:  Aura-Lusion Diamond Finish Powder.

unblended swatch

There’s something about this powder that’s slightly magical. With a name like “diamond finish” you’d expect to see some glimmer but that’s not what happens here. Instead you get a soft white (translucent) powder that magically seems to soften the lines on your face. They describe it as a look that’s almost air-brushed and I agree with that. It’s their version of a high-def powder.

image from fusionofcolor.net

“This entrapped diamond complex manipulates incident light by converting invisible UV light to blue light (photoluminescence) and selectively scattering favorable blue and green light. The particles settle in the wrinkle and subtly illuminate a blue glow which decreases the appearance of wrinkles. This leads to youthful looking skin as the appearance of shadows, wrinkles, pigmentation and discolorations are diminished.”

The size you see in my picture is $9 or you can purchase a sample for $2. Larger sizes are available and once you see how velvety your face looks, you’ll want a larger size.

The Aura collection also has products like Aura Tint which are tinted versions of the diamond finish and two versions of Lusion Finishing Powders (sheer and more opaque).

I’ve got two lipglosses to share with you too. Ice Crystals Gloss ($13.85)  and Pink Crystals Gloss.  Fusion of Color has two packaging options for most of their glosses.

Ice Crystal and Pink Crystal

Ice Crystal wand

Ice Crystals Gloss is a clear gloss with sparkles. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any lip product you own. What I like best about it is that I can add it over a lip color I find too dark and it lightens and brightens it. I don’t end up with sparkle all over though. It’s packed tightly enough into the gloss to keep it on my lips. This is only available in the glass tube.

Devotion lipgloss with Ice Crystal over it

Pink Crystals is the pink version of Ice Crystals. It’s available in either of the packaging choices (glass wanded tube $9.00, 14 ml click up tube $14). It’s a very light pink that adds a cool tone to your lipsticks while Ice Crystals is more of a neutral. With Pink Crystals you can add a plumping component to your choice.

Pink Crystal

Pink Crystal swatch

There are other choices like a beautiful red gloss called Cupid Gloss and a sparkly red called Fuji Gloss.

example of click up tube and tops

example of wand packaging

You can see from my reviews that there are so many choices for Fusion of Color – size, packaging, colors and more. If you like to control what you have, if you like to test out products in smaller versions, or if you just like to know exactly what you are getting from a company that lays it all out there for you; then Fusion of Color is a brand for you.   — Marcia

*pr samples

Loose vs. pressed face powders, featuring Ben Nye Cosmetics

Face powder is the perfect secret weapon for setting makeup, creating that ‘finished’ look, and helping your foundation and concealer last longer.  You can buy face powder in either loose or pressed form.  Many prefer loose powder, as it’s easier to control the amount used, and the finish tends to be  more natural.  Pressed powder typically has a heavier finish, although it’s more popular than loose due to its ease of use as well as the portability factor. 

I find there are pros and cons for each, and in my humble opinion,  everyone should have at least one of each type in their stash.  A line that has some of my favorite powders is Ben Nye.

For loose powder, I like the Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Buff (1.5 oz is $7, 3 oz is $10) for several reasons.  First of all, the price is right!  Loose powders come in a ridiculously  huge range of prices.  For example, one loose powder I love is from the Cle de Peau line, but it costs $105.  Insane, isn’t it?  I think the Ben Nye has a great price for a loose powder.  It comes in a plastic shaker bottle, which is common for loose powders in theatrical lines.  I love it because if you shake the bottle then open it, you get just the right amount on the top (see above).  I pick up the powder by swirling my big powder brush over it, then I swirl the brush into the container cap to work the powder into the brush.  I sweep the brush over my foundation and concealer, and it nicely finishes the look, plus sort of seals it so it lasts longer.  The Ben Nye loose powder is very fine and delicate, and gives an air brushed look that is never thick or cakey.  It comes in several colors, including the popular color-correcting Banana shade. 

But let’s face it – loose powder doesn’t really fit into your purse.  I need powder for blotting throughout the day.  I am in my forties, but that hasn’t stopped the shiny nose issues I have battled since high school.  As an obsessive blotter, I’m very picky about my pressed powders.  Many of them are too heavy, too fragranced, and too matte, giving a mask-like appearance.  Ben Nye’s Media Pro HD Compact Powder ($13) is a great choice for a pressed powder.

The compact is very sturdy and beautiful.  My only complaint is I do wish it had a mirror.

You can see from the swatch (the color is Bella, which looks very light here but goes on translucent) that the powder isn’t heavy.  It gives a surprisingly diffuse look for a pressed powder, and it’s terrific for inhibiting oiliness and getting rid of shine.

Most pressed powders come with some sort of sponge-type applicator that  sits right on the powder, but this one does not.  Compact sponges are basically condos for bacteria, so it’s far better to carry a separate applicator like a small kabuki brush.  Using a brush also gives a better application of pressed powder, you aren’t going to get the thick, powdery look that often happens with a powder puff.

I recommend having a loose powder to set your look in the morning, and a pressed powder for touch ups during the day. And if you are looking for some great, affordable options, Ben Nye is a terrific way to go!  – Lisa