Summer lipstick delights

Favorite summer lipsticks

Charlotte Tilbury has a motto that we should all live by: “Darlings, I always say lipstick empowers confidence. It’s happiness in a tube!” — Charlotte Tilbury

And that’s why Makeup Wars has chosen lipstick as this week’s topic. I never know how many bloggers will participate in MW until it’s published but I do know that some of us are planning on lipstick combinations and others on lipsticks they love. Either way it’s always great reading.

I’ve chosen two lipsticks that are empowering me. One I bought online after seeing it on Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog and the other was chosen for me by a makeup artist at Charlotte Tilbury. That story is interesting since I had the opportunity to get my makeup done at Nordstrom at a fabulous Charlotte Tilbury event. As soon as I walked in, knowing that my favorite makeup artist was working with me, she told me she’d already set aside the lipstick I was going to buy. She knows my interest in light lipsticks but wanted me to move a bit out of my comfort zone. And she was right.

Axiology and Charlotte Tilbury

CHARLOTTE TILBURY has 3 types of lipstick: Matte Revolution, K.I.S.S.I.N.G, and Hot Lips. All 3 are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, paraben-free, and not tested on animals. LIV IT UP, the Hot Lips lipstick that was recommended to me is a full bodied lipstick. They call it a pale pink moisturizing lipstick but it’s really not pale pink. It’s much deeper than that but doesn’t run into a bold pink or red.

LIV IT UP was created with Liv Tyler in mind.

What was so interesting and different about my Charlotte Tilbury experience is that my look was based around this lipstick. I had gone in knowing that I wanted blush from the brand but I hadn’t thought about lipstick and the M.A. was right that I probably wouldn’t have gravitated to it.

Charlotte Tilbury LIV IT UP

Charlotte Tilbury LIV IT UP

LIV IT UP is a comfortable lipstick with a satin look. It lasts longer on my lips than most lipsticks because of its ‘blend of oils and triglycerides give long-lasting, buildable color’. Charlotte’s lipstick formula is enriched with a secret antioxidant from the Lipstick Tree, a blend of special waxes and clever light-diffusing pigments. Antioxidant lipstick tree & orchid extracts soothe your lips, softening them and protecting them for a youth-boosted pout. CHARLOTTE TILBURY created a lipstick that is my grown-up lipstick and stepped me up.

AXIOLOGY Organic Natural Lipstick ($30, available at Nordstrom) is great for me for my daily wear. INTEREST is a semi-sheer lipstick that really can be changed into different shades depending on your lipliner. I like to line my lips with a lipliner and then fill in my lips with it more lightly to help the color last. INTEREST is a light peachy pink that works well with most of my liners especially the Wunder2 Berry or Nude that I recently reviewed. I wear it often with Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipliner, my most used liner.

AXIOLOGY Interest organic lipstick

AXIOLOGY INTEREST organic lipstick

“With a rich, creamy luster that conditions your lips, Axiology’s Natural Lipsticks are known for their deeply healing properties and spectrum of colors. The fusion of ultra-hydrating ingredients like organic avocado oil and organic coconut oil soften the deepest layers of your lips. Unparalleled in purity, these exquisite shades are crafted with just 10 ingredients.”

I find Axiology Interest to be one of the easiest lipsticks I own. It glides on and I never have to fuss with it. I can use it with or without a lipliner. I don’t have to prep my lips so I can put it on quickly. There’s an ease with the way it feels on my lips. And the packaging is unique – you don’t screw off the top, instead you push up from the bottom and the lipstick releases, then you pull it out. It doesn’t open in my purse!

While these are very different formulas they both look and feel wonderful on my lips so they’ve gained the honor of being my favorite summer (and probably year round) lipsticks.  —  Marcia

affiliate links, self purchased products

The revelation that is Robin McGraw Revelation Hydra Qwench Moisturizing Night Cream

When Makeup Wars chose Night Creams as our topic of the week I wanted to get behind the use of a night cream rather than just a moisturizer. I’m sharing my most recent favorite rather than going through a litany of all I’ve used. But first, why do we need a night cream?

  1. You can use a regular moisturizer but I’d avoid the ones with sunscreen for overnight.
  2. Your skin is generally more ready to absorb active ingredients at night when you’re at rest.
  3. Your skin has more power to regenerate at night when you are sleeping.
  4. Using a night cream helps keep your face better nourished as well as helping it repair damaged cells.
  5. Many areas are boosted with a night cream: collagen, elasticity, better blood circulation, and cell renewal.

Dermatologists and aestheticians usually recommend that you choose a fragrance free product and nothing that is too thick as it can clog pores. I used to think that a thicker cream was the best for night use but I find that my skin responds better to one that isn’t too thick as those often make me break out.

Robin McGraw Revelation


Now that I’ve done my lecture the product in my bathroom for the last several weeks is Robin McGraw Revelation Hydra Qwench Moisturizing Night Cream. Actually I’ve been using the 4 Robin McGraw Revelation products I was sent but concentrating today on the Hydra Qwench.

Robin McGraw Revelation Hydra Qwencch Moisturizing Night Cream

The most interesting thing about me is that I never watched the Dr. Phil show. I wasn’t home from teaching when it was on plus I’m not much of a TV watcher. I’d seen him on Oprah and I’d seen her occasionally but Robin McGraw wasn’t much on my radar. When I first learned that she had her own line I sort of wrote it off. But when asked to test the line I was eager to find out more about it. And I’m really glad I did.

Robin McGraw Revelation Hydra Qwench checks off most of the list I’m looking for. First and foremost is that it’s not fragranced. I do notice a tiny bit of fragrance if I stick my nose in it but once on my face nada, nothing, nil. Second is that the texture is perfect for my liking. It’s not too rich and I don’t have any clogged pores from it. It works for all skin types and it’s well priced at $42. Plus with your first order from Robin McGraw Revelation you can get 25% off while any time you order you get free shipping.

Hydra Qwench Moisturizing Night Cream

I love the delivery system since I get no waste. You push down the top and up comes the night cream. It’s never too much which is excellent since you don’t need to glop up your skin. A thin layer that absorbs well is the perfect amount. Hydra Qwench is meant to

  • Diminish the appearance of sagging skin
  • naturally hydrate and moisturize
  • improve the look of dull, tired skin

    Hydra Qwench Moisturizing Night Cream


    A natural plant ingredient that resembles our own skin, allowing it to penetrate easily and increase moisture. Squalane is an anti-oxidant that feeds skin cells to promote cell growth, leaving the skin smooth and silky soft.

    Hyaluronic Acid

    As we age, our skin’s collagen decreases and wrinkles become more visible. Hyaluronic Acid helps promote skin’s natural collagen levels, making skin visibly plumper and firmer.

    Caprylic Acid

    A natural fatty acid found in coconut oil. Because of it’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it is used to help fight acne and many skin conditions.


    Water/Aqua/Eau, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Teprenone, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyacrylate-13, Phenoxyethanol.

  • A formula that’s 100% free from harmful chemicals, dyes, parabens, SLS, mineral oil, and animal testing.

I’ll be sharing the other 3 products I have from the line later but Hydra Qwench Moisturizing Night Cream is my favorite out of 4 excellent products. Even if Robin McGraw Revelation wasn’t on your radar before now that it is I think you’d love it as much as I do. —  Marcia

What does your hair really really need?

If you had to pick items that you can’t be without when you are styling your hair, what would you choose? I absolutely need my hair dryer and I really want my hot air brush but before I could get that far I need to get my hair dry and ready for using my hot tools.

My two choices, ones I use every single time I wash my hair, are Daily Concepts “Your Hair Wrap Towel” and Monat Blow Out Cream. Today you’ll see the choices of the other Makeup Wars bloggers and I’m pretty darn sure that you won’t find a hair towel in their articles. But I learned my lesson on the importance of the Daily Concepts Your Hair Wrap Towel on my recent cruise.

Daily Concepts “Your Hair Wrap Towel”

samples, affiliate

Even though the cruise was a luxury cruise the towels provided for my hair just didn’t cut it. They were too small and didn’t wick the water out well so it took me much longer to dry my hair than necessary. The longer the trip lasted the more my husband and I mimicked Dorothy with “there’s no place like home”. And what was at home? My Daily Concepts “Your Hair Wrap Towel”.

Daily Concepts Your Hair Wrap Towel

This soft cotton towel works so well on my shoulder length hair. It’s easy to use and dries quickly. When it’s time to do your laundry just stick it in with your towels or clothes, no extra fuss. I put mine in the dryer but it air dries easily too.

Daily Concepts Your Hair Wrap Towel, step 1

Daily Concepts Your Hair Wrap Towel, step 2

Daily Concepts Your Hair Wrap Towel, step 3

There’s a button on one end and a loop on the opposite end so that you can easily twist, loop, and go. My hair dries so so much faster. I’ve learned a lesson too  – take Daily Concepts Your Hair Wrap Towel with its travel pouch with me whenever traveling.

Once I’m ready for dry time my styling cream of choice has been MONAT Blow Out Cream. I reviewed this 3 months ago and I’m still loving it. Nothing has taken its place. My hair goal is frizz free hair and the one-two punch of the Daily Concepts Hair Wrap Towel and Monat Blow Out Cream is perfection. I’ve had quite a few Brazilian Blowouts applied to my hair and I’d love another again but two things stop me – the price and the way I look for almost 2 weeks after. Instead I can get a similar result with Monat.

Monat Blow Out Cream

Monat is sold by independent agents and the woman I work with, Lisa Eisensmith, has been so helpful in recommending what products I need to use. Not only do I recommend working with Lisa but she knows what products you’ll need so that you aren’t floundering with what you should buy. I explained my preferred end result and that’s what I got with Monat.

Daily Concepts Your Hair Wrap Towel and MONAT Blow Out Cream

I smooth about a quarter’s worth of the cream through my hair and I’m able to wet brush it to a beautiful smoothness. It truly gives me slip so that I can dry however I want. Usually I just go a bit wild and allow my hair to dry every which way and then use my John Frieda Hot Air Brush to give myself the look I want. It makes blow drying a dream. I don’t dread it anymore since I never have a single tangle and it takes so little time.

Both of these products are ones I’m happy to recommend to you. And whatever you do, don’t leave for a vacay without these or you’ll be the one saying “there’s no place like home”.  —  Marcia

Budget buys for foundation and primer the Makeup Wars way

If you’ve been following along you know about Makeup Wars. We pick a topic and quite a few of us join in and write our posts about that. This week we’re talking foundation and primer, specifically which ones we’ve found that work well together. I’ve decided to share two favorite budget buys for this week’s Makeup Wars, ones I’ve been using the last few weeks that have been great for me. RIMMEL LASTING FINISH 25HR BREATHABLE FOUNDATION and MAKEUP REVOLUTION ULTRA ALL DAY PRIME & ANTI-SHINE BALM are my choices. And great ones they are.

REVOLUTION Ultra All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm and RIMMEL Lasting Finish 25HR Breathable Foundation

The only mass market foundation in my not so small collection is the original RIMMEL 25 HR Lasting Finish. There aren’t others that either matched my skin or that had a fragrance I could tolerate. I think it’s a great foundation but it’s a fuller coverage one than I usually wear. To the rescue: RIMMEL LASTING FINISH 25HR BREATHABLE FOUNDATION.

sample, purchased by me, affiliates

Delightfully the new Breathable foundation is a lighter finish that can be built up, has almost no fragrance, and has a shade that is perfect for me (Fair Ivory). It also has SPF18 and doesn’t clog pores.

RIMMEL Lasting Finish 25HR Breathable Foundation

I think the applicator on this new Rimmel foundation is terrific. It’s like an overgrown lip gloss applicator that I can dab on my face so my hands don’t ever have to touch the foundation unless I want them to. I typically use one of my rounded foundation brushes (Real Techniques or PUR) to blend the dots for a beautifully smooth, long lasting finish. I’ll occasionally grab a foundation sponge (Beauty Blender or MelodySusie) when I want the lightest coverage. So far I’ve been so happy with those two methods that my fingers and hands are spotless.

RIMMEL Lasting Finish 25HR Breathable Foundation in Fair Ivory

Speaking about the fragrance, I have to just about stick my nose in it to smell it. It could be that I’m used to the original but the aroma is of no concern to my picky nose. The smooth coverage makes up for any doubts I might have originally had.

RIMMEL Lasting Finish 25HR Breathable Foundation

At around $6 – $7 depending where you shop, this foundation deserves praise galore. I’m a picky shopper and as much as I love to browse Target and CVS I am cautious when buying foundation there. Not so with RIMMEL Lasting Finish 25HR Breathable Foundation, it’s a keeper.

Makeup Revolution Ultra All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm

RIMMEL Lasting Finish 25HR Breathable Foundation plays well with primers too. Mainly though I’ve been using Makeup Revolution’s Ultra All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm. The main reason is that I wanted something affordable that was similar to Mally’s Poreless Face Defender. Compare $10 for Revolution and $40 for Mally and you can see why I decided to try it (plus the gwp that Ulta had on at the time). While Mally remains my favorite, I’m quite impressed with the Makeup Revolution version.

It’s weightless on my face and helps my blush last without ending up in my pores. I don’t use powder on my face that often since my mirror tells me not to but the silky finish of a primer allows me to wear powder blush without it sticking to my foundation or burrowing into my pores. According to Ulta: “translucent, crystal finish catches and re-emits light, diffusing skin imperfections and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”

Makeup Revolution Ultra All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm

Ingredients: Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Microcrystalline Wax, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylic / Capric / Succinic Triglyceride, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate.

I just know that if I apply the Makeup Revolution’s Ultra All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm either prior to foundation or after that my blush goes on more smoothly and sticks around. This gives me a matte finish since it absorbs oils and eliminates shine. My only complaint is that the sponge that comes with it is very thin and doesn’t apply the balm as well as I’d like it to. I recommend a sturdier sponge to use at home but to keep the sponge it comes with if you put this in your cosmetic case.

All in all I’ve got a $16 face that I’m pleased about. I can use these two together or separately and still have beauty that is totally affordable. Sure I love my highend buys but I just as happy lately with these budget babes.  —  Marcia

See what the other Makeup Wars bloggers have to tempt you by clicking their icons

Milani comes in all sizes with the Makeup Wars Team

Milani Spotlight Face & Eye Strobe palette in Candle Light

The original vision for this week’s Makeup Wars was a particular palette from Milani which some of the bloggers will be sharing with you. But we couldn’t all find the palette which is my main complaint with Milani. I love what Milani has become but finding specific products is often a problem. So some of us are just going with the flow and sharing what we love. I’m one of those people.

Milani Hypnotic Lights and Stellar Lights

I previously reviewed Milani Hypnotic Lights in Luminous Lights and 2 Stellar Lights palettes in Rose Glow and Holographic Beams. Gotta tell you that I am crazy about these and find they have made a nice impact on my cosmetic life. To see more about these read my review and see the photos since you’ll want these too if you can find them. I know that the Hypnotic Lights are still available and they make a great a great alternative to Becca highlighters at a third of the cost.

Milani Hypnotic Lights Highlighter in Luminous Light

Today though I want to share a palette I found at Walgreens and have gotten a lot of use from. There are 3 different SPOTLIGHT FACE & EYE STROBE PALETTES available. I chose Candle Light because a) it wasn’t broken or used which the others were and b) these are MY colors. Plus the fact that it can be used on face and eyes sold me ($13 on and $16 on Amazon).

Milani Spotlight Face & Eye Strobe palette in Candle Light

Milani Spotlight Face & Eye Strobe palette in Candle Light

The colors in this palette have a glow to them which is why I like using this so much. There’s a cream, bronze, and pink but they aren’t the typical cream, bronze, and pink. Instead they are light reflecting and take on a glow that I find so attractive.

Milani Spotlight Face & Eye Strobe palette in Candle Light

Milani Spotlight Face & Eye Strobe palette in Candle Light – swatches and a mix of the colors

The look I get on my eyes is radiant and soft. They are the perfect antidote to winter’s darker shades. I not only wear them as is from the palette (with an eye primer first) but I also mix them to create new shades as seen above.

When I want to wear them on my face I’ve got both a blush and a highlighter that coordinate well. The middle shade is a cool pinky rose on me and I love it. I’m sure I’ll use this up first. The bronze shade in the middle adds a warmth to use for contour or a deeper blush tone. But the best is using a fluffy brush all over and lightly powdering over my entire face. There’s glow, there’s radiance but there’s not glitter. No little piece of shimmer getting into my pores to ruin my look.

If Candle Light isn’t right for your skintone how about Sunlight which is the warmer version

Milani Spotlight Face & Eye Strobe palette in Sunlight

or Golden Light, the darker version

Milani Spotlight Face & Eye Strobe palette in Golden Light

No matter which of these Milani products you are eyeing, you just can’t go wrong. The quality, depth of pigmentation, and price make these cosmetics you’ll really enjoy owning and more important, using! —  Marcia

update  –  you can get 15% off at Milani’s site now with the code WINTER15. I don’t know how long that will last.

What’s making you blush these days? How’s Viseart Theory for a suggestion?

A new season needs something new to welcome it so Makeup Wars has decided to regale you with our favorite blushes. There are a few things I never leave the house without and blush is one of them. I’m pale as can be so without blush there’s no definition to my face. I’m comfortable spending the day with a tinted moisturizer/sunscreen, curled and mascara’d lashes, and some blush. Surprisingly I’m not choosing a cream blush for this post even though I love a good cream blush. Instead I want to share one of the two Viseart Theory Cheek Palettes  –  Enamored.

Viseart Theory Cheek palette in Enamored. Picture credit: Muse Beauty

There are two Theory Cheek palettes available and before Christmas I bought both Enamored and Ablaze from Muse Beauty during a holiday special. Enamored is the cool toned palette with a light pink crystal highlighter at the top, a matte dusty rose blush in the middle, and is finished with a sheer bronzer. Separately this costs $45, I think I paid around $72 for the duo which included an extra of an Esum shadow brush. Ablaze is the warmer version of the two and has a soft gold highlighter, matte coral blush, and the same sheer bronzer. I’m happy I have both but it’s Enamored that has me, well, enamored.

Viseart Theory packaging (picture: Muse Beauty)

I love the size and packaging of these palettes. If you bought any of the Theory eyeshadow palettes it’s the same packaging. They measure just 2.5″ x 3″ and snap shut with a strong magnetic closure. While it sounds small my blush brush fits in it perfectly without picking up any of the highlighter and/or bronzer. It also has a small mirror so it’s an all-in-one palette and great for on the go. It folds into a small easel too. Grab the Theory Cheek palette of your choice and a Theory eye palette (for Enamored think about these three: Amethyst, Cashmere, or Chroma) and you’ve taken up no room but have a variety of colors to use.

Viseart Theory Cheek Palette in Enamored

Now let’s talk about quality. Actually I don’t need to do that since Viseart is one of the top makeup artist brands available. Ask a professional makeup artist what brand they most love and you’ll hear Viseart over and over again. The 3 products in the palette are a dream to blend. They are silky soft with incredible pigmentation. Most important though is that the color lasts. So many blushes fade away but Viseart knows how to create a product that is long lasting.

Viseart Enamored swatches from Muse Beauty

Viseart Theory Cheek Palette in Enamored

This is more than blush obviously but when working with it you’ll find there’s more variety than it first appears. I wear the pink highlighter over the blush or over the bronzer all the time. It softens the colors and gives it more versatility. Having three colors to use, being able to mix and match, and the sturdiness of the palette makes this easy to put in your cosmetic bag or to use for travel.

Viseart Theory Cheek Palette in Enamored

There’s a lot to admire about this brand: the products contain natural and organic ingredients, it’s cruelty free and they don’t use parabens, gluten, petrochemicals, silicone or mineral oils. But what impresses me most is the reputation of Viseart.

 Beloved by Professional Makeup artists on top film sets around the world, Viseart’s high-performance makeup formulas harness the best plant-based resources and innovative technology. The ingredients in our artisanal makeup are carefully balanced to naturally and healthfully create radiant skin and camera beauty.

There are so many blushes available and only one face per person so finding your favorite blush can be make or break your look. I find that Enamored makes my look on the days that I want a cool and sophisticated blush. Have you tried Viseart yet? With a Sephora sale coming soon you should consider adding one to your collection. The palettes are available at Sephora, Muse Beauty, and Beautylish.  —  Marcia

Now how are my favorite bloggers blushing? You’ll want to know.