What’s behind the scenes for a makeup blogger?

Makeup Wars small but necessary

I love the fun of Makeup Wars. The group brainstorms ideas to share together but since we are so diverse in our taste we all have different thoughts on how to execute the idea. This week we’ve chosen to share what makes our beauty world spin. The items we don’t routinely talk about but we can’t live without. No makeup allowed today but where would I be without these?

some samples*affiliate links

Let me start with Tweezerman. I’m obviously a Tweezerman junkie though I admit to loving other tweezers too but where would I be without my Tweezerman I-Lashcomb and slanted tweezers? A hairy unkempt mess if you want to know the truth.

My partial Tweezerman collection

Next I’m onto eyelash curlers. Having short stubby lashes that are stick straight isn’t the most fun. I love mascara and feel unmade up without it. Therefore one of my most necessary tools is an eyelash curler. My favorites are Tweezerman’s Rose Gold Classic*, Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler, and Shiseido’s Eyelash Curler. These are the ones that fit my eye shape best. I hate when I pinch myself with an eyelash curler which is why some days I need to stay away from one of these.

eyelash curlers: Shiseido, Tweezerman, Kevyn Aucoin

Since we’re still on eyes I need to talk about eye makeup remover and everyone who reads this blog knows I’m a huge fan of the Mary Kay one. I buy two at a time even though it lasts forever. But I don’t want to be without.

Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

That leads me into other makeup removers which makes me think of Micellar Water. (I feel like I’m writing the makeup version of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”.) My number one pick for years has been Bioderma Sensiblo H2O Micellar Water. To save money I started buying Simple Micellar and now I’m into Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water in the pink all skin version.

Bioderma Sensiblo H2O Micellar Water, Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

So if you give a mouse woman a micellar water she needs something to use it with and I have 3 I use. I’ve talked about the DHC Silky Cotton Pads forever so you are probably sick of that but I also like the ones from Kleenex and Shiseido for different reasons. The DHC Silky Cotton are both absorbent and sturdy. The Kleenex Soft Cotton Pads (not moistened) are big and are great for your whole face as well as eyes. But it’s not the most absorbent so sometimes I have to use more water than I prefer. Now that Amazon has them though I’ve bought them again since it made it easier than their website. Shiseido Facial Cotton is so soft that it sets the standard for makeup wipes. For really stubborn mascara I prefer the DHC but for soft effective eye makeup removal Shiseido feels the most luxurious.

Shiseido Facial Cotton, DHC Silky Cotton Pads, Kleenex Soft Cotton Pads

I can’t forget about makeup brush cleaner. We all get lazy and forget to clean our brushes often enough but it really is essential. I have a stash of MAC Brush Cleaner because I stocked up before I lost my discount. I am loving my new PUREbrush* cleaner since it’s easy to clean a brush instantly with it even if I’m not near a sink.

PUREbrush Cleaner, MAC Brush Cleaner

One more item that I don’t want to be without is Invisibobble*. I remember hearing my friends talk about Invisibobble Traceless Hair Rings and wondering what the heck it was. Now that I know I have them all over – drawers, purse, cosmetic bag. I love these little things and love the variety of color and sizes they have. They come in sets of 3 which at first I thought was overload. I gave one to my sister and instantly wanted it back. These phone cord rings stretch and hold, then they bounce back into shape. My granddaughter with her silky hair looks so adorable when I put the Nano Invisibobble in for a little pony on the top.

Invisibobble regular and Nano

Invisibobble regular and Nano

There are so many more but these are the ones that this mouse blogger uses all the time. What’s behind the scenes for you?

Check out what the team has chosen as their necessities.  —  Marcia


Another charming box for Boxycharm and another charming giveaway

September 2017 Boxycharm

I think I get more excited about receiving my Boxycharm each month than just about anything. I’ve purchased this now for about 2 years and I’m even on a 6 month prepurchase. After I moved my box never got forwarded and they were terrific about getting me a box so their CS is top notch.

The variety of items in Boxycharm makes me happy plus just about every month there’s a full size eyeshadow palette and you know I’m all about eyeshadows. This month’s box is great for those of us who love eye makeup.

Pur Cosmetics Soiree Diaries eyeshadow palette

I was most excited to learn about this Pur Cosmetics Soiree Diaries eyeshadow palette? Is the Pope Catholic? Darn tootin’ I was and this shows why:

Pur Cosmetics Soiree Diaries eyeshadow palette

8 beautiful matte shadows and 4 shimmers and all in colors I love to wear.

Pur Cosmetics Soiree Dairies (from purcosmetics.com)

This $34 palette will be getting a lot of use from me and Boxycharm has more than paid for itself with just this one item.

Bodyography eyeshadow and angled liner brushes

This Brush Duo from Bodyography (value $20) is a great accompaniment to this palette. The flat shader is the style brush that I use for my lids every day.  It’s a goat hair brush that is soft yet dense. The angled liner is soft and easy to use with the matte shadows or gel liners for lining.

MAC Lingering Eyebrow Pencil

Not only has Boxycharm added brands like Pur and ColourPop but now there’s MAC. MAC Lingering Eye Brow Pencil is a self-propelling, self-sharpening brow definer. Great for travel. Subscribers received either Lingering or Spiked. ($18)

Studio Makeup HD Powder

Studio Makeup HD Powder ($35) is also in the box. I don’t know about you but a jar this size will last me for years. Since it’s a translucent powder it should work on just about everyone. Some people received a loose blush from Studio Makeup in their box.

Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip in Strut

Each month brings us a lip from Boxy and this month they again sent the popular Colourpop our way. I received Strut which is a pretty fall shade in their Ultra Satin Lip formula.

Colourpop Sturt Ultra Satin Lip (from colourpop.com)

Colourpop describes this as a cool toned taupe. Even with the name “ultra satin” it’s a matte liquid lip but it’s not as drying as their Ultra Matte.

Brigeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

Boxycharm seems to be putting in a non-cosmetic item each month too and this month it’s Brigeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask (2 oz, value $9). Brigeo is very popular and this mask is one of their top sellers. It’s to be left in your hair for 5-10 minutes before rinsing out. This isn’t a good mask for me since it’s so highly fragranced (my opinion) but one of my good friends love it so she’ll receive it in the next package I send her.

The total value for my $21 Boxycharm subscription is $123 so I’d say I’m ahead of the game. And since my last Boxycharm giveaway was such a success I have another one for you today.In this particular giveaway you’ll receive two items from Studio Makeup plus the MAC Lingering Eye Brow Pencil and lots of surprises. The palette is from a previous Boxycharm and has been knocking around in my drawer so it looks a little under the weather but it’s brand new.

Studio Makeup On-The-Go palette

To enter you need to be an email Beauty Info Zone subscriber and comment. Those two are mandatory although you wouldn’t believe how many entries I get that people don’t do these (bye bye kiddo). All other Rafflecopter entries are there to help you get more chances to win. The giveaway is open through 9/30 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. If comments close early email me at [email protected] with your comment. This is open for US and Canada only.

If I’ve convinced you to become a Boxycharm subscriber then I hope you’ll use my affliate link. — Marcia

Affiliate disclosure

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Makeup Wars – favorite brushes

Each time Makeup Wars comes together to share posts a topic is decided. While we all don’t post on every one, this week’s is definitely going to be a popular one. MAKEUP BRUSHES!!! We are all beauty enthusiasts so favorite brushes is done with ease. For me though it’s narrowing down my huge collection to just the ones I use all the time. I love luv crave brushes and even though I have over 100 the ones I’m sharing today are the ones I use every week if not daily. A few were sent for review but the majority are ones I’ve purchased and would gladly do again.

Favorite makeup brushes

Favorite makeup brushes

ARTIS ELITE MIRROR OVAL 10

Artis Oval 10

Artis Oval 10

When I first reviewed Artis Oval 10 I didn’t realize that it would eventually become my all time favorite face brush. I am madly in lust over this brush. At the time I was using it for powder but I soon learned that it was ideal for foundation. It gives me the smoothest visage ever and makes my skin look airbrushed. With over 250,00 soft bristles it marries the best of two worlds with its softness and refined blending application.

Artis Oval 10 Brush

Artis Oval 10 Brush

At $77 it’s expensive but the cost is small in proportion to my use and adoration. (Available at Saks and the Artis website)

MAC EYESHADOW BRUSHES

MAC eye brushes 239, 272, 219, 217

MAC eye brushes 239, 272, 219, 217

My first cosmetic job was as a freelancer for MAC Cosmetics. I lived and breathed MAC and that’s when my brush collection really grew. I had (past tense) a pro discount and knew that what I used on clients was what I wanted to use on myself. They are still the eyeshadow brushes that get the most use. It might have something to do with owning duplicates of them – ahem. MAC’s eye brushes all start with the number 2 in their numbering system.

MAC 242 is my favorite since it does just about everything – lays down color, blends shadows, the tip can be used with liner, and is great with both soft colors and more intense ones.

MAC 239

MAC 239

MAC 272 sadly has been discontinued – I don’t know why though since the curve makes it great for the browbone area as well as the lid. It works the same as the 239 but it has the great angle to it.

MAC 217 was always my favorite blending brush but unfortunately the newer ones are bigger and not up to the original. I still love it though and use mine constantly. I’m sure I’ll wear them out at some point.

MAC 217

MAC 217

MAC 219 is my favorite pencil brush. Shockingly I only own 1 of these but I’d happily buy another.

MAC 219

MAC 219

The MAC brushes aren’t enough to keep me satisfied, sort of like Lay’s Potato Chips, I can’t stop at one.

BEAUTY JUNKEES MINI KABUKI SET are brushes that you just can’t beat. Fabulous for eyeshadows and even better for concealer. I pretty much use these interchangeably. At $14.97 this is affordable luxury.

Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Set (Eye Makeup Brushes: 5 pc Precision Brush Set)

Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Set (Eye Makeup Brushes: 5 pc Precision Brush Set)

Favorite eye brushes: Shu Umera 10, Make Up For Ever 218, Anastasia A6, Cinema Secrets 12, Smashbox 4

Favorite eye brushes: Shu Uemera 10, Make Up For Ever 218, Anastasia A6, Cinema Secrets 12, Smashbox 4

5 other brushes that get a lot of use include the Shu Uemera 10, made of Kolinsky/Sable. It’s an extreme luxury at $95 but it’s worth it if you have the money.

Make Up For Ever 218 Medium Blender Brush ($25) is great with powder and cream shadows. I use it for blending as well as application.

Make Up For Ever 218

Make Up For Ever 218

Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro A6 is my newest brush (reviewed here) and it’s quickly became one of my favorites. Of the three brushes I received from them I notice that I’m reaching for A6 the most. I love it as a firm blending brush.

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

Smashbox 4 was one of my first highend cosmetic brush purchases. I don’t think you can find this anymore which is a shame. It was called a concealer brush but I love it as a cream eyeshadow brush. Why do brands discontinue their best products?

Eyebrow brushes are my newest obsession and my two favorites are from IT Cosmetics and Full Brow. IT Cosmetics Build a Brow Brush 12 is unique because of the bristles. They are of different lengths so they really reach into your brows to deposit color. It works especially well with a cream brow product. Full Brow is perfect for powders. It just seems to apply the powder more easily and evenly.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

MAC CHEEK BRUSHES: There are two MAC Cheek brushes that I use all the time. For blush I like the large angled MAC 168. Some blush brushes are so big that I’d end up with blush all over so a smaller size is my jam. The other is MAC 165, I’ll use it for blush and it’s wonderful for highlighting and contour. Sadly it was an LE brush but the Tapered Face Brush 138 would do the same job though it’s bigger.

MAC 168 and 165

MAC 168 and 165

Even though I could go on forever I’ll stop with 3 of my favorite face brushes.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder No. 8, Japonesque Kabuki, Wayne Goss 00

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder No. 8, Japonesque Kabuki, Wayne Goss 00

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush is the softest, fluffiest brush. I think mine was part of a TSV (which is why you should always pay attention to the TSV!!). I love IT’s brushes and this one is a great example of what cruelty free brushes are all about.

Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush

Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush

The Japonesque Kabuki is long discontinued. It’s similar to Nars Yachiyo Kabuki though it was less expensive. It’s not the softest brush but it’s wonderful still for cream blush. It picks up the color well and diffuses it so my cheeks are softly blushing. japonesqueWayne Goss 00 is now only available as a duo – one black, one white. I bought it in a preorder and was able to buy just the one. Go find a friend to split this duo with! This is what I expected of all my Wayne Goss brushes. This is perfection in the way it applies any powders as it just hugs my face and feels like a baby bunny. I’d use it for foundation if I didn’t have the Artis.

While I really haven’t given you many wallet friendly brushes I personally think that brushes are an investment and that they are often worth the extra money. I’m sure if I were first beginning I’d look at ELF, EcoTools, Beauty Junkees, and Real Techniques to shore up my collection. But my shares today are my best and brightest.  What brushes make you stand up and applaud?  —  Marcia

Let’s go brush shopping with Makeup Wars!


*some affiliate links in use

Lisa from Beauty Info Zone visits her fantasy Desert Island

My fellow Beauty Spotlight bloggers have banished me to a desert island, and I can only bring 12 products (with sunscreen and lip balm already generously provided).  Ok, it’s my fantasy so I am going to let you know up front I am NOT going alone. Nope, on my trip to a deserted island I am accompanied by JOE.

One sniff of Lavanila Vanilla Coconut and I am here.  With Joe.

Here’s my deserted island. And here is Joe.

Joe and I are going to be spending a LOT of time together so I kept that in mind when selecting my twelve items.  Here’s what I am packing for my romantic retreat… I mean desert island experience.

1. Beautisol Dark Self Tanner ($39):  I’m not going to tan in the sun, but a tan makes you look thinner, healthier, and it covers so many flaws!!  Before hanging out with Joe, I am first going to slather myself from head to toe with self tanner. Beautisol Dark Self Tanner is my go-to for a full body tan.

Beautisol Summer Glow Dark Tan

2. MAC Blot Powder ($24):  I live in fear of walking around with a shiny nose so I always have this with me.  It’s the perfect pressed powder.

MAC Blot Powder

MAC Blot Powder

3. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer  ($24):  It’s full coverage, it’s waterproof, and it covers my dark undereye circles beautifully.  Joe and I may be staying up REALLY late at night, but it won’t show under my eyes!

Bye Bye Under Eye

Bye Bye Under Eye

4. MAC Paint Pot in Painterly ($18.50):  I am quite sure I’m not going to be doing full eye makeup on a desert island, but MAC’s Paint Pot in Painterly is my go-to for a clean, finished eye look in seconds.  This creamy eyeshadow dries down quickly and stays all day, and it never creases or cakes on me.

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly

5. Paula’s Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover ($12.95):  I need a cleanser, cause there is no way I am going to get stuck with a blemish on this trip! This is the very best makeup remover I have ever found. It’s super gentle so it doesn’t irritate the eyes, but at the same time it removes even the most stubborn makeup. Another plus – it has anti-irritants that help reduce puffiness.

Paula's Choice Gentle Makeup Remover

Paula’s Choice Gentle Makeup Remover

6. VENNeffect Anti-Aging Lip Treatment ($85):  I have issues with hereditary vertical wrinkle lines around my lips – and this stuff truly reduces their appearance. I’m not going anywhere without it.

VENNeffect Anti-Aging Lip Treatment

VENNeffect Anti-Aging Lip Treatment

7. Besame Sweetheart Balm in Cherry ($18):  I can’t believe I am picking a lip gloss that’s in a pot – sticking sandy fingers into lip gloss doesn’t sound good at all. But I just adore the unbelievable slip and texture of this gloss and the color is simply perfect with tanned skin.

Besame Sweetheart Balm

Besame Sweetheart Balm – Cherry is second from the left

8. Sugar Works Body Gloss in Tybee Island Beach Cottage ($12.95):  I love their body oil, it leaves skin super moist but not wet, and the scent really becomes one with your body so it seems like you just naturally smell that way. This scent is described as “Sun, the ocean, warm sand, beach grass, wild beach flowers, a touch of suntan oil.” For sure Joe won’t be able to keep his hands off me.

Sugar Works Body Gloss

Sugar Works Body Gloss

9. Beach Day Spray by Unite ($29.95):  This is the best spray for that wavy, beachy look because it smells amazing and doesn’t leave your air-dried hair crunchy.

Life's a Beach Day

Life’s a Beach Day

10. Whatever Lola Wants from the Lippmann Collection ($17):  This is my most favorite summer nail color of all time. It’s a beautiful shimmery lilac/lavender/pink and it looks especially amazing in the sun. This color makes me feel cute and sexy all at the same time.

Whatever Lola Wants

Whatever Lola Wants

11.  Body Glide from Athleta ($8):  This is a terrific way to prevent blisters on your feet and chafing around sports bras, plus it does extra duty moisturizing dry, cracked skin. You can insert your own joke about how with Body Glide I won’t have to worry about chafed thighs.

Body Glide

Body Glide

12.  My Poipu hat from Athleta:  I LOVE this sun hat. It has a nice foldable brim that is perfect for shading your eyes, but isn’t so big you bump into things as you walk. Squish it into your beach bag, and it pops right back into shape when you put it on.  It’s on sale now too for only $29.99 – sheesh, I paid $54 for mine!! You can find the hat HERE.

Poipu Hat

Poipu Hat

There’s my list! I’d invite you along, but Joe and I are in some serious need of ‘alone time’.  Aloha!  – Lisa

What do you say, Joe...are you ready to go to that deserted island with me??

What do you say, Joe…are you ready to go to that deserted island with me?

*several items were PR samples, others were personally purchased