Lisa’s top favorites of 2010

Inevitably, the looming new year sparks reflection upon the one passing…and in the world of Beauty Info Zone, that means only one thing – what were my favorite cosmetic discoveries of 2010??

I had a great year in terms of holy grails.  Normally I might find one or two, but this was a banner year – I found so many things I can’t live without that I couldn’t even limit it to my ‘top ten for 2010’.  After some heavy duty soul searching and major editing, I came up with my most favorites.

My vote for coolest cosmetics lines new to me this year:

Vanitymark – super high quality products with a really neat variety of items.

Darac Beauty – all together, lovely products that form a complete system so it’s almost one stop shopping.

Julie Hewett – gorgeous colors, wonderful items…I find myself stalking the website just to drool over the possibilities.

Covermark – amazing full coverage products, plus a whole lot more.  This is a line with surprising depth.

My vote for best overall lines I was already familiar with, and  from which I discovered more great new things this year:

Senna – love the brows, the lips, the bronzers…my list of ‘loves’ goes on and on.

Tarte Cosmetics – fabulous line with truly amazing palettes and holiday sets.

Trish McEvoy – this line is especially perfect for someone just starting their makeup collection.

Jane Iredale – this line is constantly coming out with great new products, and has some real must-haves in many categories.

Favorite skin care discoveries for this year:

Beautisol – really terrific products that work.

Simply Divine Botanicals – my favorite organic line.

Lisa Hoffman – best products for travel, in my book.

Juara Skincare – ok, a bit of a cheat, as this is one of my favorite discoveries in both skin care and body products.  My favorite loves?  The Avocado Banana Moisture Mask ($37), a fabulous hydrating mask that somehow also brightens the complexion.  Also the candlenut fragranced products, in particular the Candlenut Hydrating Shower Gel ($28), a beautiful shower gel that foams up wonderfully and smells divine, and the Candlenut Body Polish ($35), a perfect exfoliator that doesn’t scratch but still gets rid of dead skin and leave you smelling amazing.

Best hair product discoveries:

nTrance – my first encounter with argan oil, I will never be without this hair serum.

Sedu Anti-Frizz Polishing Treatment- another amazing hair serum, it’s really terrific.

Best hair tools discoveries:

Sedu hair dryer and flat irons – how did I ever live without these??

Curl-Ease hair towel – I love how it gives me frizz-free hair every single time, regardless of the weather conditions.

Coolest new electronic products:

Luminess Air Brush system – so much fun!!!  I feel like an artist when I use this.

Honeybelle Body Buffer ($325) – this is a little pricey, but take my word for it – it WORKS.  It really does reduce the appearance of cellulite.  And the Apre Contouring Creme that comes with the set is FABULOUS.

Best body product lines:

Hampton Sun – amazing sunscreen and I adore the fragrances in this line’s products.

Whish – everything is super retro cool, I want one of each!  I am especially digging the Lavender Three Whishes Body Wash ($22) – super scent, just the right amount of suds, and it leaves your skin so soft and hydrated.

Hand Perfection – hands down, best hand products of the year.  No contest.

Best beauty tools of the year:

Hollywood Fashion Tape – love, love, love every single thing.  Just check out the Hollywood Hangover Kit pictured above!!  Every item is hilarious, retro, and unbelievably useful.

Crown Brushes – amazing brushes at a super affordable price.

Best brow discovery:

Senna– sick of me talking about this yet?  I just cannot live with out my Form-A-Brow Kit.

Best eyeshadows of the year:

Tarte Cosmetics – fabulous pigmentation and the sets are amazing.

Le Metier – gorgeous, unusual colors that you can actually layer without creating a muddy mess.  See a demonstration here.

Best foundation discovery:

FACE atelier Ultra Foundation – simply amazing foundation.  True love at first wear.

Best concealer discoveries:

It Cosmetics – Marcia introduced me to this amazing concealer that really covers imperfections with the tiniest bit of product.

Covermark – particularly the Under Eye Cover Kit, which covers anything that might be wrong, and has a great loose powder for setting the concealer.

Best self-tanner:

Pur Minerals Get a Little – such a wonderful creamy self-tanner that leaves you looking thin, tan, and happy.

Tan Towels – amazing little towels that give you a super natural, streak-free tan.  I will be expounding on these gems more in my upcoming review.

Best blush discovery:

Mai Couture – I still can’t believe that fabulous blush – and bronzer, too – can be so portable.  Blush in little papers?  Ingenious!

Best mascara discovery:

Revitalash – thick, long, super black lashes that don’t fade, flake, or smear.  What else could a girl ask for?

Best lip discoveries:

Le Metier Creme de la Creme lip gloss – a fabulous neutral that makes any kind of ugly lip color look gorgeous, it’s one of my secret weapons.

Beaute Cosmetics – every single lip product is unique and genius.

FACE atelier lip glaze – I am never without Lip Glaze in Ice…and now I will never be without Lip Glaze in Dianthus, the perfect shimmery pink.

Besame Sweetheart Balm lip gloss pots – gorgeous colors, amazing slip and texture, and a red that looks terrific even on me!

Best mineral makeup line:

Purely Cosmetics – fabulous, high quality, affordable minerals.

Favorite makeup up artist:

Victoria Stiles – she is amazing, just love her work and her website!!

A variety of items I simply cannot live without:

Jane Iredale Botanical Brush Cleaner

Vanitymark Duo Brush and Ultra-Tweeze Tweezers

Urban Decay Grind House Pencil Sharpener

Hard Candy Moon Glow Pressed Powder

Z Palette palettes

The year 2010 was simply amazing for me in terms of finding new loves and favorites.  I cannot wait for what 2011 is going to bring!

Happy New Year everyone!!  Warmly, Lisa

The latest from Julie Hewett

Have you checked out the Julie Hewett line yet?  If not, take a look.  I first read about this line when reading reviews by Olivia142 on  She now has her own blog called The Unknown Beauty Blog – it’s really terrific, I read it every day.  But I digress…Julie Hewett is a truly fabulous line.  They sent us some holiday items, and here are some of my favorites:

Right now, you can get the Rose and Camelia Duo plus a free lip brush for only $28 – normally this cost $44.

The lip balm is extremely moisturizing.  The color on the left gives lips a beautiful, natural looking flush – my lips are not very pigmented, so the color shows up nicely.  It’s a super pretty peachy-pink that is not sticky at all.  The one on the right is shimmery with just a hint of peach color.  I like to wear this over the other color, right in the middle of my lower lip.

The lip brush is fabulous.

It has a metal cover, and the brush is just perfect – the right size and works beautifully.

My other favorite set is the Glamour Cat Eyes in a Bag – normally $38, right now it’s $26.  It comes with a super cute bag, a black gel eyeliner, and an eyeliner brush.

I absolutely love the gel liner.  It has a consistency I have never come across before.  It’s not as sticky as Bobbi Brown or MAC – it’s kind of more like a cream eyeshadow, I guess, but it’s super easy to apply.  And it smokes out beautifully.  The brush is fantastic – I usually prefer a pointed brush to a slant brush for eyeliner, but this a real exception for me – it creates a perfect line so easily.  Here are some pics:

I find that the eyeliner wears beautifully, even at the end of the day I still had liner on my lower lashes, with no flaking or smearing at all.

Here’s a full face with the eye products and the lip products too.

I am becoming a huge, huge fan of this line – everything I try seems to be even better than the last item.  It’s truly worth a look, and be sure to check out The Unknown Beauty Blog for some great swatches and information.  – Lisa

Disclosure:  Items were PR samples

Omit your flaws with Julie Hewett

I love multi-purpose products.  I certainly didn’t need another concealer, but I was lured into buying Julie Hewett‘s Omit Concealer Pencil by the promise of its versatility.

I already own the flesh-colored Clarifier pencil (called Light) by Three Custom Color, so I figured this would probably be a repeat and end up being a waste – thankfully I was wrong!

This pencil is a nude color, more pink that the Three Custom Color one.

I find I use it three ways:  on my waterline to brighten and make my eyes look larger, as a spot concealer for blemishes, and as a reverse lip liner.

Above, the swatch on the left is the Three Custom Color, the right is Julie Hewett – see how it’s pinker, more flesh colored?  Used on the waterline, I find my eyes really do look larger. I think this is actually a better color than the Three Custom Color, which is brighter and less natural looking. It lasts incredibly long on the waterline – for example, I put it on yesterday at 5:30 a.m. When I arrived home at 5:30 pm, the color was still there.

Used as a spot concealer, I find it to be good for me – but obviously one needs to have a fair/medium complexion for this to be of any use. If you are super fair or any darker than medium it’s not going to be a good match. I also find that the wear is pretty good, about four hours. I definitely keep it with me for touch ups.

I love to use this as a reverse lip liner. I line my lips then smudge it out, then use regular lip liner, lipstick, or gloss. It really does help keep products from bleeding. It also kind of ‘highlights’ the area, making the lips look larger.

And there are more uses: use it on the brow as a highlighter. Use it on the inner corners of the eyes to cover dark areas. Use it anywhere you want the area to ‘pop’.

I find that this is pretty affordable at $16.00 a pencil. For many people, this is a real find that is extremely versatile. – Lisa

Disclosure:  Product was purchased by the reviewer…who will definitely repurchase it again in the future!!

No surprises here: Julie Hewett

No one who knows me will be surprised that I added 7 new eyeshadows to my collection this past summer. Actually I’ve added a lot more but these 7 were from Julie Hewett. She had a 40% off sale which I couldn’t resist. I also had a pretty pink Z Palette just waiting to be filled. Several shadows that I wanted were out of stock at the time but that doesn’t mean that someday they won’t be mine!

Unfortunately it’s hard to pick out eye shadows from Julie Hewett’s site. The pictures aren’t very good and you have to know to click on the “select quantity” button to get a description. I didn’t pick out any matte formula since I’m not normally attracted to mattes, I bought shimmer, satin and frost.

Here are the ones I bought with my descriptions:

Vermeil: I bought this after seeing this post on Makeup Merriment. I don’t normally wear shadows with any green to them but I couldn’t resist after seeing Jeanie’s picture. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like that on me. I look sort of sickly actually in the shadow. It’s greatly improved when worn wet though and I think if I could find the right shade in my collection to go with it then I’d be able to wear it. JH describes it as a vintage gold with shimmer; I see a green undertone.

Barolo is a very dark purple without red to it. It doesn’t apply as dark as it appears in the pan. It actually surprised me since I had to work at it to get the intensity to show up. It applies better wet than dry. Now here’s the kicker. The main picture describes this as a satin but the description is “deep, cool amethyst, matte”. I didn’t realize that until I went to write this review so that could be my problem with the shadow. It has a different texture to it, more rough, than the others. An AHA moment has just occurred.

Java is a brown satin and my favorite of the ones I bought. It goes on me super dark but I’m able to blend it easily. I don’t wear this wet despite the fact that like all Julie Hewett eyeshadows it can be worn that way. It’s intense enough on me dry though.

Vita is a milk chocolate satin. When compared to Java they almost look similar but it doesn’t have the intensity of Java. It’s probably an easier shade for most people to wear actually. JH describes this as a matte plum brown though I see more brown than plum plus it’s marked as a satin and not a matte and appears more satiny to me.

Runway doesn’t seem to be currently available since I couldn’t get a description to show. To me it’s a pinky brown satin.

Mica is a gray with blue undertones and it’s a shimmer finish but it’s so lightly shimmered that you’d never guess it was in that category.

Black Chandelier is also a shimmer but only has a small amount of shimmer. It’s a dark charcoal and quite intense. JH describes it as a sultry anthracite.

These sell for $10 each which is a good price but even better at 40% off so watch for her lovely sales.

Top picture shows Barola, Mica and Black Chandelier. Unfortunately it also shows the excess Paula Dorf Eye Primer I used to help these show up!

Bottom picture shows Java as the top swatch and Vita as the bottom swatch.

Since we are on the topic of Julie Hewett and her lovely line let me tell you all about her fun product called Shimmy. This comes in 4 shades and can be used on your eyes, lips, cheeks and body. I have a sample of Cleo and Goldy (from a friend) and the full size of Pinkie.

Pinkie is a light rose-gold shine and my favorite. It makes my eyes glow, it looks good on my lips especially if I put it smack dab in the middle to give myself more of a pout. I’ve also used it as a highlighter along the top of my cheekbones.

Cleo is a bronze gold shine that only looks good on my eyes because of my fair skintone.

Goldy is described as a “cream puff beige gold” and another that I like on my eyes though I can also use this in the center of my lips with success.

Shimmy’s cost $22 and they’ll last forever. None of my cream products from Julie Hewett have ever dried up and I have quite a few of them and have for several years. They stay moist and creamy in the pot. You only need a little bit too to do the job. Plus they last beautifully throughout the day and evening.

There may not be any surprises here on what I like from Julie Hewett and I’m sure there will be no surprises when I buy and write about Julie Hewett again. — Marcia

Disclosure: All items mentioned were purchased by me except for Pink Shimmy which was provided for review consideration.

Julie Hewett Lips

Julie Hewett is a much-loved line here at the Biz.  I was actually introduced to this line by Marcia – she loves getting cheekie with Julie Hewett blushes – read her review here.    And you can read a whole bunch of reviews of all different products here.  My own review of her Omit Pencil is here.  But today, I want to highlight her amazing lip products.

I think my most favorite is her Lip Lush lip gloss.

Right now, I only own Mimi, which is a cool pink.  I plan to buy them all, however.  The gloss is just the perfect texture – just enough slip and not sticky at all.  It has a doe foot applicator, which is my favorite.  The gloss has enough pigment to be worn alone, but not so much that it wouldn’t work along with lipstick.  And it’s delightfully shiny, which helps to make my rather thin lips look larger.  I find it to be very moisturizing, with a very slight scent that dissipates quickly.  I reach for this lip gloss almost every day, it seems.

Another love is the Oona lipstick, from the Noir collection.

Now here is a red lipstick that almost anyone can wear!  It’s sheer, unlike most of the Noir lipsticks, and it’s the type of blue-based red that seems to make your teeth look brighter.  As I said before, I have rather thin lips, so red lippies that are flattering on me are hard to find.  This one is fabulous – one swipe and you get a sheer, cherry red stain.  Two or three swipes, and you get a bolder, full on look that is still soft enough to be flattering.  The texture is silky, and the staying power is great.

My third favorite is the Cheekie in Jami.

This is a gorgeous mauve color, and it works fabulous for both your cheeks and your lips.  It gives a great matte stain, and the Mimi Lip Lush looks amazing over it.

Julie Hewett is a terrific line that isn’t a huge corporation – I just love that.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should, it’s one of the best niche lines out there.  – Lisa

Disclosure: Some items in this review were sent for review consideration. Please see our full disclosure statement.

Eye can see you

I am eyeliner obsessed. Even when I find ones I just love I can’t resist getting others that I’ve heard raves about. Here’s the latest that I couldn’t resist.

Avon GLIMMERSTICKS Diamonds Eye Liner: These were on sale for $2.99 (regularly $6) and I had just read a blog post raving about them. Once I found a good code for free shipping I ordered them in 4 shades: Twilight Sparkle, Sugar Plum, Black Ice, and Smokey Diamond. These are skinny eyeliners that are 5 inches long so they easily fit in a cosmetic case.  Glimmersticks don’t have to be sharpened since they roll up and are retractable which is another cosmetic case plus. The one problem is if you like a very sharp point you won’t get it after a while but they are so thin that I don’t find that to be a problem. Each of these has a  bit of shimmer to them. I think they are beautiful! Twilight Sparkle is more of a cobalt blue than a navy. I like this shade the best since it’s not like other blues I own. I like wearing it when I wear browns on my eye because it makes the color really pop. Black Ice is a deep dark black with silver shimmer, Smokey Diamond is charcoal with silver shimmer, Sugar Plum is a bright plum. These glide on and they wear beautifully. They also come in Brown Sugar and Emerald Glow. This is a rave!

At the same time I bought a regular Glimmerstick  in Cosmic Brown since the site didn’t have Brown Sugar in the Diamonds Eye Liner. It goes on just as smoothly and is great for everyday since it doesn’t have the glitz of the Diamonds Eye. Watch the catalogs for sales on these.

Milani Liquif-Eye is another  I couldn’t resist after reading about them. Milani is carried at CVS and I had some CVS bucks so it was a true bargain for me. I’ll go back for more. They retail for $5.49 and CVS often has specials. Liquif-Eye comes in 5 shades. I bought it in Brown. Even though it’s called a Metallic Eye Liner Pencil I personally don’t see the metallic in the color. But it’s a beautiful rich brown that applies so smoothly. Once it’s set it lasts beautifully on me. A lot of times with pencils I’ll find that they disappear on my bottom lashline during the day but Milani’s lasts wonderfully. It’s called Liquif-Eyes but it’s not a liquid, it just applies as smoothly as a liquid would. It’s also 5 inches long so another great one to carry with you. It comes in 5 shades: Brown, Black, Silver, Gold and Aqua.

Julie Hewett “Too Good to be True” Soot eyeliner is a very dark black eyeliner. It sharpens to a very precise point so it’s easy to get a thin line with it. When it’s freshly on it’s easy to smudge this eyeliner but it sets well and lasts well on my upper lashline. Since my eyes water often I don’t find this perfect for my lower lashline but that’s not a problem since I often use a lighter shade or eyeshadow on the bottom. If you are looking for precision than this is definitely one to consider.  Her eyeliners ($15) are available in Dahlia, Smudge, Fig, Patine, Aurora (white) and Soot. When ordering from Julie Hewett if you aren’t sure about the colors of these items, just call them. They are very happy to help describe shades.

Graftobian Eye Pencils are a bargain and a half. These are longer eyeliner pencils and are only $3.49. Graftobian makes theatrical makeup so you know these are made to last. I wear this in dark brown and it’s a great basic brown eyeliner. They also make some fabulous Luster Pencils for $4.49. These are so much fun to use. The colors are gorgeous: Silver Sparkle, Gold Glimmer, Copper Class, Lovely Lilac, Azure Blue.  Both the regular line of Eye Pencils and the Luster Pencils come in lip shades for the same price.

This is just an example of the many eyeliners I have and am obsessed with. I know you’ll hear from me again about eyeliners, maybe I’ll even share my nightmares about me and eyeliner some day! — Marcia

Disclosure: Some items in this article were sent for review purposes. Please see the disclosure for our policy.

Sunday Spotlight – Julie Hewett

Julie Hewett isn’t the best known name in cosmetics but she should be. Her credentials are impeccable. According to her website: She is one of the foremost beauty makeup artists actively working in Hollywood today. and is also a member of the exclusive Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, of which there are only 150 members internationally in the Hair and Makeup Category. This honor is bestowed to those having demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in the art of Motion Pictures.

Her line is well appreciated at by a wide variety of review panelists. Marcia has already shared her Beauty Info Zone review of her love for Cheekies and the Chubby Cheekie brush and now we’d like to share some other fabulous reviews with you.

Ammie happens to be a huge fan of Julie Hewett and her collection from this line is large. We have it on good word that an order was just recently placed in May for new goodies. She has several reviews that you should read including the fabulous Petit Four Palette and Nude Noir lipliner which has been repurchased several times by Ammie.

Blizzie is another fan, most likely influenced greatly by Ammie. Blizzie loves Nude Noir lipstick.

You can also visit Blizzie, aka Jeanie, at her own blog, Makeup Merriment.

Speaking of lipstick, we have two different reviews for Thandie lipstick, Beth loves it as evidenced by her review but it’s not one of Alisa’s favorites. Please visit Alisa’s blog too.

We wish we could spotlight all the other Julie Hewett reviews but if you check out the Cosmetic Reviews on you’ll find 25 reviews of products like Omit Concealer Pencil, the red lipstick collection, Bud of Rose and other palettes and Cheekies. I bet we can sway you to put a little bit of Julie in your shopping cart.