IT Cosmetics makes me happy AND confident. Confidence in a Cream, Confidence in a Compact, and Skin Soothing Complexion Brush

It CosmeticsLately I have been using a great combination of products that have made my skin super happy…which then helps my confidence in general.  My trio includes IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream, Confidence in a Compact, and the Skin Smoothing Complexion Brush.

IT Cosmetics 2IT Cosmetics sent me a whole slew of shades of the Confidence in a Compact, as well as the cream and brush, which is what got me onto my quest for confidence.  Here’s some general info and what I find works so well for me.

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a CreamIT Cosmetics Confidence in a CreamConfidence in a Cream™ is a day and night moisturizer that seems to do everything. It moisturizes thirsty skin, giving it a nice glow; it tackles skin texture and leaves it feeling smooth; it evens out skin tone; it reduces the look of pores.

What’s inside to help create all of these skin miracles is a little something IT Cosmetics calls their Anti-Aging Armour Regenerative Concentrate.Anti-Aging Armour Regenerative Concentrate, which includes collagen, hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, antioxidants and colloidal oatmeal. I love the texture of this incredible mix of ingredients. It’s thick and fluffy and it feels decadent when applied. It does have a scent that I can’t quite put my finger on…I don’t particularly like it, but it’s light and it dissipates quickly.

I find that when I use this in the morning (and I never forget to also apply this liberally to my décolleté) I don’t need a primer, especially when I use the Confidence in a Compact as my foundation.

Confidence in a Compact™ with SPF 50+

Confidence in a Compact™ with SPF 50+ in Fair

Confidence in a Compact™ with SPF 50+ in Fair

Confidence in a Compact™ with SPF 50+ in Medium

Confidence in a Compact™ with SPF 50+ in Medium

Confidence in a Compact™ with SPF 50+ in Medium

Confidence in a Compact™ with SPF 50+ in Medium

Confidence in a Compact™ with SPF 50+ is a solid serum foundation that provides all the benefits of the Confidence in a Cream Moisturizer with a full coverage foundation. Plus, it has full sun protections with SPF 50+ UVA/UVB physical sunscreen.

This serum/foundation comes in seven different shades:
  • Fair: porcelain skin; fairest of the fair
  • Light: if you have a bit more warmth to your skin
  • Medium: light to medium skintones
  • Medium Tan: if you have a warm or golden-medium skintone
  • Tan: tan skintones
  • Rich: tan to rich skin with golden tones
  • Deep: rich to deep skin with a warmer tones

There is a learning curve with this foundation.  At first I was using way too much, and it settled into my fine lines and wrinkles.  This is such a rich foundation that you only need a small amount.  Start with a tiny bit and then build from there.  The right amount buffed in properly gives me incredibly glowy skin with an even skin tone.  To buff it in, I use my third find from IT Cosmetics – the Skin-Smoothing Complexion Brush.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Skin Skin-Smoothing Complexion Brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Skin Skin-Smoothing Complexion Brush

IT Cosmetics Skin Smoothing Complexion Brush

This brush is wonderfully soft, but it has enough density to keep it firm.  The cut is excellent – it buffs the foundation into every nook and cranny, hugging the contours of your face so the end result is darn close to an airbrushed look.  The foundation compact comes with a sponge, but I recommend using the Skin-Smoothing Complexion Brush for the absolute best results.

I am loving these three complexion confidence boosters from IT Cosmetics — what are some of your favorites?  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

I got lucky with the Beautylish Lucky Bag 2017

Beautylish Lucky Bag 2017

Beautylish Lucky Bag 2017

Once a year the webstore Beautylish has a secret sale for Lucky Bags. This is my third year buying this and it keeps getting better. The Lucky Bag is different for everyone lucky enough to be able to buy one. The typical bag is $75 and the only clue you get when buying is that the items are brands that Beautylish sells. Considering the quality that they cover, you can’t go wrong! This year they offered a $150 bag with the same amount of items but ones with a higher value. That went in a flash. I was on an early access list, went to buy the second I saw the bags were available but no luck with that. I’m not the least big unhappy though as you’ll see from my amazing bag.beautylish lucky bag 2017 tag

6 items, 6 top notch brands! $75 plus shipping = $198 in products that I’m so excited about.

my Beautylish Lucky Bag 2017

my Beautylish Lucky Bag 2017

BIODERMA MICELLAR WATER: ($6.90) I believe that everyone received the small size of Bioderma Micellar. Happily for me the one I received is Sensiblo H20 which is the one I use all the time. It never hurts to have a spare of this. 5 stars!!

Bioderma Micellar Water Sensiblo H20

Bioderma Micellar Water Sensiblo H20

JOEUR LONG WEAR LIP CREME in DULCE DE LECHE ($18): There are 26 shades of this liquid lipstick available at Beautylish so I consider myself extra lucky that I received a shade that I love. I’m always receiving dark lipsticks yet I really only wear MLBB or light shades. This matte pink (which I consider warm but they say is cool) is a perfect shade for me. It also gives me the chance to try this at last to see what I think.

Joeur Long Wear Liquid Lipstick - Dulce de Leche

Joeur Long Wear Liquid Lipstick – Dulce de Leche

I have always admired the Joeur matte lipsticks on others but never was sure if I should buy one. This has a caramel fragrance that lasts for a short while and doesn’t annoy me. My lips have to be well exfoliated to wear this but that’s not a problem. 4 stars! (fragrance removed one)beautylish lucky bag 2017 joeur lip collage

ORIBE DRY TEXTURING SPRAY ($22) – Believe it or not I’ve never used a product like this. I occasionally will use a dry shampoo and always like having one in the house. Ditto with a hair spray. But it’s rare that they get used. I saw this and thought of Lisa since she’d love this (“Bigger, better, full-on glamorous hair. This invisible dry hair spray builds in incredible volume and sexy texture. Patented polymers absorb oil at the roots, leaving you with just-styled hair for days (and nights).”). I’ll try it but I bet I end up giving it to my blog partner. 3 stars from me and surely 5 stars from Lisa.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

SMITH & CULT NAILED LACQUER in LOVERS CREEP ($18): I can’t tell you how much I’ve wanted a Smith & Cult polish. I just never remembered to buy plus I couldn’t decide what color. Lovers Creep is a beautiful opaque bordeaux shade. I have a lot of polish to test but I just can’t wait to have the time to wear this.  Smith & Cult is “8-Free, Long Wear, High Shine & Smooth Coverage.” Definitely 5 stars.

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Lovers Creep

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Lovers Creep

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Lovers Creep

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Lovers Creep

NATASHA DENOUNA EYESHADOW PALETTE 5, PALETTE 13: ($48)  Well my heart skipped a beat when I saw the Natasha Denouna box. While palette 13 wouldn’t be one I’d pick to buy, it gives me the chance to try out her eyeshadows to see if I like them as much as her blush. Happily this doesn’t have the fragrance that the blush has. What it has is a duochrome green, a shimmery copper, and 3 matte shades that apply like butter.

Natasha Denoune palette 13

Natasha Denouna palette 13

Natasha Denoune palette 13

Natasha Denouna palette 13

I’m anxious to play around more with these shades. Flamingo is a great base shade with its touch of warm pink that doesn’t make me look like a flamingo. Sand Storm is very warm so I don’t think that it will get much use. Arizona is an easy to wear brown that can be built up. The prettiest shades are Pinja which looks green but reminds me of MAC Club with its green brown tone but with more oomph and Umber is an amazing golden copper. It’s a metallic shadow without visible shimmer. 4 Stars –  NO 5 stars, after all it is Natasha Denouna.

Natasha Denoune palette 13

Natasha Denouna palette 13

WAYNE GOSS OO BRUSH ($85): This originally was a limited edition brush but now it’s a permanent brush in the Wayne Goss Beautylish collection. It’s so magnificent that I don’t want to use it and get it dirty. How many times do I have the opportunity to have an $85 brush? Totally soft and luxurious. I’m overjoyed to have another Wayne Goss brush. I need to gather all the ones I have to review them for you.

Designed for a quick application with the softest finish. The large size is ideal for applying mineral or powder foundations—or any powder, bronzer, or blush—across the face. The tapered point lets you go into the eye area and do detailed highlighting work.The bristles measure 50mm in length, with a width of 20mm at it’s widest point. Hair Type: Goat. 100% cruelty free

Wayne Goss OO brush

Wayne Goss OO brush

Wayne Goss OO brush

Wayne Goss OO brush

I’m thrilled with my Lucky Bag and absolutely will be purchasing the 2018 bag. It’s been one of my favorite buys in a long time (and I’ve bought a lot). Have I tempted you? Would you spend $75 on a surprise bag?  —  Marcia

Is mom crazy for cosmetics? Get her the Artis Elite Collection Linear 1 Brush for Mother’s Day.

Artis Linear 1 BrushI think some addictions are handed down, or even genetic. If you read this blog you are probably a bit of a cosmetics junkie, which means your mom just might be too…and if that’s the case, you’ll want to get her something really cool from the cosmetics world for Mother’s Day. My suggestion? An Artis makeup brush.

                                                                                                                                         *pr sample                                                  

Artis Linear 1 Brush

Artis Linear 1 Brush

Artis Linear 1 Brush

I was definitely intimidated by the Artis brushes at first. I didn’t even want to try them because they looked so professional, so arty, so cool…way too cool for me. But then I read Olivia’s posts about these brushes on The Unknown Beauty Blog and my curiosity grew larger than my insecurities.

Artis Linear 1 Brush

Artis Linear 1 Brush

Artis Linear 1 Brush

Artis Linear 1 Brush

I’ve only tried one of the brushes, the Elite Collection Smoke Finish Linear 1 Brush ($35). All I have to say is OH EM GEE. This is a freaking fantastic brush! The rubberized handle is substantial and is ergonomically perfect for your hand. The brush is firm but soft, so it creates a PERFECT smokey line with no drag and no painful friction. It lines upper and lower lids with ease. I also love it for my brows – I just use an eyeshadow that is one shade lighter than my brows, and the brush gives such a beautiful blend while also brushing brows upward. If that isn’t awesome enough, it’s a fantastic lip brush too.  This brush does everything but wash windows.

Artis Linear 1 Brush

Artis Linear 1 Brush

I am asking for every single other Artis brush for Mother’s Day now. I know your mom will love this one, and you will too, so do a ‘one for you, one for me’ thing and you will be thanking me for years to come.  – Lisa

*sample sent for editorial consideration

Read about the Artis Oval 10, a luxurious foundation and powder brush HERE

Gimmick or essential? The Doll 10 BlendSmart Rotating Foundation Brush

Doll 10 Rotating Foundation BrushA rotating foundation brush? Sounds pretty gimmicky to me. I am low maintenance when it comes to foundation application. I mean, isn’t that what fingers are for??  So I was very doubtful when Doll 10 Beauty sent me the BlendSMART Rotating Foundation Brush to test. Did it turn out to be a happy surprise, or did it turn out to be just another unused brush collecting dust on my vanity?

Doll 10 blendSMART Brush

Doll 10 blendSMART Brush

The BlendSMART Rotating Makeup Starter Kit comes with everything you need to get this brush spinning:

  • BlendSMART Rotating Foundation Brush
  • Universal Foundation Brush Head
  • CR123A 3V lithium battery
  • Measures approximately 5-1/2″L x 1″W; weighs approximately 3.7 oz
Inside the Doll 10 blendSMART Brush box

Inside the Doll 10 blendSMART Brush box

You can put foundation on the brush head then apply – the on/off switch makes it pretty easy to toggle back and forth between spinning and not spinning. Or, you can use it after foundation application to buff.

Doll 10 blendSMART Brush

Doll 10 blendSMART Brush

There are definitely pros and cons to this brush.  Let’s start with the cons.

What I don’t particularly like:

The brush head spins 360 degrees and it spins pretty fast – 190 times a minute. In fact, this is not something you want to use close to your eyes or hair-line. When I tried to use it under my eyes the brush got away from me and while it didn’t hurt, it was an odd, unpleasant feeling. I just avoid the undereye area. The flat brush head doesn’t quite fit into tighter spots like around the nose.

Doll 10 blendSMART Brush

What I definitely like:

The brush head spins 360 degrees and it spins pretty fast – 3 times per second. It really and truly smooths out foundation and gives a beautiful finish. It takes ‘buffing out’ to a whole other level. I tend to overestimate the amount of foundation I need and this smooths out and corrects any application mistakes in seconds.

The flat brush head is easy to maneuver around most areas on the face and it works great with all types of foundation from powder to cream. I find that while I can use this brush to apply foundation, I actually like it even more as a finishing touch. I can put my foundation on using my hands (I like the way foundation melds with my skin with the additional body heat) and then buff using the brush for a really awesome finish. It smooths out foundation so it doesn’t settle into pores or wrinkles. I also find it’s a great way to correct those times I am a little over-enthusiastic with my blush application.

I am totally shocked by this, but the BlendSMART Rotating Foundation Brush is something I reach for almost every day! It may seem like a gimmick, but this brush is truly useful and well worth the price. You can find it on QVC, normally it’s $66 but right now it’s listed for $59.98.  – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

Doll 10 brush head

Elizabeth Arden Rose Aurora Spring/Summer 2012 Collection: highlighter and bronzers review and swatches

Elizabeth Arden has the prettiest spring collection I have seen so far.  The colors are all beautiful rosy shades, and together they give a truly wonderful, glowy look. This post is all about the highlighter and bronzers, a separate post will focus on the lips, cheeks, and eyes.

Probably my most favorite item in the collection is the Pure Finish Highlighter in Rose Illumination ($34).

Elizabeth Arden Rose Illumination

I am not kidding, this beautiful powder gives the best glowy look EVER.  It’s a golden rose shade that makes your skin look almost incandescent.

Rose Illumination

Pictured above is in direct sunlight, below is in indirect sunlight.

Rose Illumination, slightly different lighting

The shimmer is super fine, and the finish is absolutely stunning!

Rose Illumination swatch - indirect outdoor lighting

Above is a heavy swatch in indirect sunlight, below is in direct sunlight.  Obviously you don’t put that much on your face, just a light swish over the powder with a big fluffy brush, then sweep  over your face and you look amazing.

Rose Illumination swatch - direct outdoor lighting

This powder is so good I can even wear it without foundation and my skin looks great.  You have to check this out.

While you are at it, be sure to give the bronzers a try too:

Elizabeth Arden Spring Collection Pure Finish Bronzer Powders

The collection has several Pure Finish Bronzer Powders ($38).  There are three different colors:  Warm Radiance, Soft Radiance, and Deep Radiance.

bronzer packaging - isn't it adorable?

I absolutely love the packaging, an embossed rose gold metal collectible compact.

another view - Elizabeth Arden Spring Collection Bronzers

The bronzers are a soft, finely milled powder that doesn’t look dry and powdery on.  I had no problems with that streaky look you can get from bronzers, even with Deep Radiance, the darkest shade.  The bronzers have an ingredient in them called Zin’cite, which is there to help protect skin cells.  They also have a slew of other antioxidant ingredients like green tea, white tea and minerals.

Soft Radiance Bronzer

The Soft Radiance Bronzer is indeed a soft color that would work even for light complexions.  It’s a slightly shimmery golden-toned bronze.

Soft Radiance swatch

The shimmers are golden and very fine, so you don’t look sparkly – just glowy.  If you want to liven up your complexion without looking too tan, this is the color for you.

Warm Radiance Bronzer

Warm Radiance is the medium shade of the three bronzers.  I have neutral skin that falls somewhere between fair and medium, and this one is the best color for me as an overall bronzer.

Warm Radiance swatch

It’s obviously deeper than Soft Radiance, and this one leans more toward red than golden.  I really love the color, it’s fabulous on and looks very natural.

Deep Radiance Bronzer

Deep Radiance is – surprise! – the deepest of the three colors.  If you have medium to dark skin, this is for you.  Any lighter than medium and you can easily use this for contouring or for blush.

Deep Radiance swatch

I love the color, it’s extremely pretty – I’ve used this as my blush for the last week or so and it gives a terrific pop of color.

Elizabeth Arden 2012 Spring Collection Brush

And if you need a big fluffy brush for your highlighter and bronzer, the collection includes the All Over Face Powder Brush ($22).  It can be used to apply powder products to your face, neck, or body.  It’s good for contouring and for blending in your products, too.

gotta love a big, fluffy brush!

This is the perfect size for powder highlighter and bronzers.  It’s not the softest brush I’ve tried, but the size is great and the price is terrific.

My Elizabeth Arden Spring Collection FOD

In the picture above, I used the highlighter as an all over powder, Warm Radiance as a bronzer, and Deep Radiance as a powder blush.  (My eyeliner and lipstick are also from this collection.)  I love the powder products in this collection – stay tuned for my review of the color products!  – Lisa

*pr samples


Lisa’s Top Picks of 2011 Part One

I believe it is important to celebrate and give thanks for everything that brings joy to my life.  2011 was a great year, so many things to celebrate!  Not only did Marcia and I get a beautiful new look for our website in 2011, I also discovered many beauty products that I truly love.  I already wrote about the top five cosmetics lines that were brand new for me in 2011 here.

Illuminare Beyond Black Everlasting Eyeliner

In this post, I am detailing my favorite color items for the year, as well as recognizing some of my favorite people.  I tried to be a good girl like Marcia and do a ‘top ten’…or even a ‘top eleven’ for 2011.  But I just wasn’t able to pare it down that far.  “Restraint” has rarely been a word used to describe me, in fact my reputation is a little more along the lines of ‘excess’.  So this is a long post, with lots of pictures…and tons of great recommendations.  (Geez, it was so long I had to break it into two different posts. There’s just so much to celebrate!)  My next post on Saturday will list my favorite skin care, body care, and miscellaneous items.

Here goes, let’s start with my favorite color products of 2011.

Favorite foundation:

My favorite foundation discovery of 2011 is the Dan Read Cosmetics Silver Screen Shimmer Foundation, and my favorite foundation of all time is the matte version.

dan read foundation

Dan Read Cosmetics FOD

To put it simply, nothing else makes my skin look as good.

Favorite blush:

My most favorite blushes of 2011 are the It Cosmetics Vitality Cheek Flush Powder Blush Stains.  The colors are gorgeous and have more pigment than I have EVER encountered, even blowing Nars blush out of the water.

Favorite loose powder:

Once again, It Cosmetics stole my heart with their Bye Bye Pores loose powder.  It’s the very first jar of loose powder I have actually finished!

Favorite concealer:

Wow, I guess 2011 was an It Cosmetics year for me.  The Bye Bye Undereye Concealer continued to be a fabulous choice for covering those pesky blue shades under my very tired eyes.

And I also found that the Full Cover Concealer by Make Up For Ever was perfect for me.  Great coverage, easy to apply, and no mineral oil to dry out the delicate under eye area.

Favorite eyeshadows:

My most favorite Dan Read Cosmetics eyeshadow – Cameo

I love many things from the Dan Read Cosmetics line, and this year I really got into their eyeshadows.  These are real finds – bigger pans than MAC, with terrific pigmentation, texture, and colors.

Ellis Faas eyes

I also loved my Ellis Faas eyeshadows.  The different textures are so much fun to play with, and the colors are amazing.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Eyeshadow eyes

The new Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Eyeshadows impressed the heck out me – finally, cream eyeshadows that don’t fade or crease on my oily eyelids!!

Vasanti eyes

My favorite loose pigment eyeshadow was by far the Vasanti Shimmer Powder, pictured above in Moon Dust.  Isn’t it a gorgeous color??  I never even put the jar away, it’s always front and center on my vanity because I use it so often.

Inglot eyeshadow look

I can’t neglect to mention Inglot eyeshadows.  Super affordable, amazing array of colors, fabulous pigmentation…what more could a girl ask for, except for maybe even more Inglot eyeshadows for my stash???

Favorite eyeshadow palettes

I definitely found some fantastic eyeshadow palettes this past year, but the one I reach for most is my Kryolan Variety 3 Compact Eyeshadow Palette.  It has everything I need to create a perfect neutral eye look.

Favorite eye liners:

Liquid eyeliners can be tricky, but this past year I discovered Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners and now I use them all the time.  The sturdy brush makes them so easy to apply, and the color is extremely rich and complex.  I love #6 (iridescent navy blue) the most.

My favorite pencils liners are the Tarte emphasEYES aqua gel eyeliner pencils.  They need no sharpening, and they have wonderful color and staying power, even on the waterline.

My favorite cake eyeliner was by far the Face Stockholm Cake Eyeliner in Navy.

Eyes with Face Stockholm Navy Cake Eyeliner

Cake eyeliner is fantastic for tightlining, and the Face Stockholm Navy is a true navy blue that works equally well on the waterline.

Favorite mascara:

I tried lots of great mascaras last year, but the winner was Dior Extase.

Dior Extase Mascara applied

It makes my lashes super long, super thick, and doesn’t smudge.  Plus you gotta love a mascara wand that looks like a medieval torture device.

Favorite lips:

Kryolan Sunrise lip gloss swatch

My favorite lip gloss was the Kryolan High Gloss Brilliant Lip Shine in Sunrise.  It’s just the perfect color for me, and I love the texture and feel of it.

Favorite Brows:

Youngblood Cosmetics Brow Artiste has everything I need for beautifully groomed brows in just seconds.

Youngblood Cosmetics Brow Artiste

I love this set.

Favorite Brush:

My favorite brush this past year was Cargo’s Magic Brush.

Cargo Magic Brush

I felt just like Goldilocks when I realized this brush was not too big, and not too small, but JUST RIGHT.  If I had to choose just one brush, this would be it.

Favorite makeup artist:

It was such a treat to meet Ulrike Bege at the Kryolan City Store in Chicago, and even more of a treat to get a mini-makeover and color advice from her.

She knows her stuff and is just the nicest, sweetest person ever.

Favorite web designer:

As I am sure you have noticed, Beauty Info Zone has a gorgeous new look.  It’s totally thanks to the amazing custom blog design by Cynthia, owner of NW Designs.  Marcia and I saw Cynthia’s designs when we were in Chicago and knew immediately she was the one for us.

She designed our new logo, redid our blog, vastly improved our Facebook and Twitter pages, and put up with a million questions and our general helplessness regarding computer matters.  If you are looking for a website design or redesign, or need a logo or business cards, trust me you want Cynthia!!!

Favorite writing partner:

Why, Marcia of course!  I wish I had the words to really describe Marcia and give you the full picture of just how amazing she is.  Whatever I write seems to fall short, but I am going to give it a shot anyway.

Marcia has the biggest heart of anyone I know.  She always thinks of everyone else, her kindness and thoughtfulness is pretty amazing.  She quietly and bravely suffered through me driving in Chicago, even when I stopped dead in the middle of a five-way intersection and yelled, ‘What the &*%#@!!!!”  She is extremely patient with me and my bazillion activities that leave me way overextended.  She has the best sense of humor, just about every day she says something that has me doubled over with laughter.  Marcia truly defines the word ‘friend’.  Thank you Marcia for yet another year of fabulous fun, I love being your blogging partner and I love you dearly!!!   – Lisa