Face Stockholm’s Summer Overture look

Summertime reminds people of sandy beaches, beautiful blue skies with soft white clouds rolling in, colorful flowers fragrant in the air and outdoor fun. It reminds me of hot flashes 24/7. That means toning down my cosmetics and the look I can wear on hot days. Face Stockholm understands that and has come out with a beautiful summer collection called Summer Overture. The collection consists of 7 amazing items that you can buy and wear together or separately:

Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15

Sun Kissed Blush

Dignity Highlighter

Kiki eye pencil

Angel Pink Matte Eyeshadow

Clear Volumizing mascara

Nypon Ros lip gloss

Combined they create a beautiful soft look. I’ve worn these together, especially when I know I’ll be outside during the daytime and I’ve worn them all separately.

The Mineral Powder Foundation ($38) comes in 7 shades. It is a hypoallergenic, paraben and fragrance free formula. It contains SPF 15 and combines the added benefits of antioxidant protection from Vitamin A, C & E with Dermat Complex to reduce shine. What I like about this foundation is that it’s extremely lightweight yet it covers completely. I don’t have break through oils with it either and it lasts well through my hot flashes. Since it’s a pressed powder there’s no mess with it yet it gives the benefits of the minerals. It contains Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to give that natural sun protection.

The eye look is extremely simple though you can easily liven it up if you want more or if you are changing from a day to night look. Face Stockholm carries an amazing amount of matte eyeshadows, 70 to be exact. It’s rare to find a brand with that many mattes. A matte eyeshadow looks especially appropriate when you are outside on a summer day since there’s no added shine to make you look “made up”. The color chosen for this look is Angel Pink ($20) and it’s a soft yet visible pink that glides on beautifully.

Kiki Eye Pencil ($17) works for me as both an eyeliner and as a brow pencil. In spite of how it looks on Face Stockholm’s website it’s actually a midtone taupe brown. It applies easily and doesn’t melt away. If Kiki doesn’t please you (but it should because it’s a beautiful shade) there are 25 pencils that work as eyeliner and/or brow pencils that they carry.

My biggest surprise in the eye look is the Clear Mascara. I’ll admit to being a silly goose when I opened it. I usually take pictures before I try anything. I noticed that it said “volumizing mascara” on the side but when I opened it I thought I got a dud. I kept testing it on my hand and no color came out. A big DUH for me! It’s the perfect solution for me for summer since I don’t want to wear waterproof mascara. This gives me definition without having color end up under my eyes.

There are two new colors that Face Stockholm added to their collection especially for this look. One of them is Sun Kissed Blush (the other is Nypon Ros gloss). This blush is a soft peach that is beautiful. It works well as an eyeshadow too. Face Stockholm’s blushes are $20 and come in 34 shades. Their blushes have now won a place in my heart. I’ve already raved about the wonderful Rio Cream blush and now I see how amazingly smooth and long wearing their powder blushes are too.

To highlight your blush or your eyes there’s Dignity Highlighter ($25).  This is a fabulous pearly off white highlighter that doesn’t appear off white. It just gives a dewy look wherever you apply it. It’s beautiful on your eyes over the eyeshadow or just on your browbone; it’s beautiful on cheeks to add some light that the sun will catch; and if you don’t feel like putting color on your lips, add a little there to give you some radiance. It’s not sticky and wears beautifully.

Last but not least is the absolutely fabulous Nypon Ros Nektar ($20). This is a great shimmery pinky peach gloss that wears so well. It starts off sticky but then sort of melds into your lips. The color is perfect for this look yet will work all year round. Face Stockholm carries 11 of their Nektar glosses and I’d love to try more if they are half as beautiful as Nypon Ros is.

Even though I’ll never be a Baroque beauty like Face Stockholm’s model, I can still confidently wear their Summer 2011 look with delight. — Marcia

Go Blue with Elizabeth Arden

Once upon a time there was a cosmetic doyenne who told us that ‘blue eyeshadow should be illegal’. She scared legions of women away from any shade of blue while others held on for dear life. I have a feeling that if the book were to be rewritten the title would be changed because blue eyeshadow has come a long way baby.

 A lot of women are afraid to wear any shade of blue on their eyes but that’s not the case with me. I happen to love blue in everything – clothes, accessories, home furnishings and eye makeup. You can easily do beautiful eyes using the right shades of blue. The blue association is normally one that is garish but follow my lead and you’ll find gorgeous ways to add beauty to your peepers.

One way is an eyeshadow palette from Elizabeth Arden called Blue Breeze ($30). This is a limited edition palette but EA doesn’t phase products out quickly. The palette contains 4 shades, only 2 of which are blue. The truest blue is a very light blue that is opalescent in quality and there’s a dark blackish blue that can be used as shadow or eyeliner. There’s also a creamy off white and a simply beautiful light taupe. I’ve yet to create a “blue” eye look using this quad. I’ve used the quad in a variety of ways and no one has ever even recognized that I was wearing blue eyeshadow. Elizabeth Arden eyeshadows glide on, they are silky soft with absolutely no fall out. They are a satin finish so they aren’t flat. 

If I want to brighten up the blue look the way to do that is with the Smoky Eyes Powder Pencil in Sky Blue ($16). This is a bright shade as you can see by my swatch. While it’s a great eyeliner that can be smudged with the smudger on the end of the pencil, the way I like to use it is as an eyeshadow base. I apply it to my lid and then with the smudger end I’ll blend that down before applying the eyeshadows. This brightens the light blue in the palette and gives it a more vivid look for a sunny day. This is my second EA pencil and these are wonderful since they can give you a sharp line or you can smudge the line without a problem. Then once it’s set, it’s really set. 

I’m not the only one that believes in the power of blue. Just when I got my Blue Breeze quad I also received an issue of People magazine. There it was – an article extolling blue for the summer and presenting this Elizabeth Arden palette.

Some different looks using the palette – more emphasis on the taupe on the first two, more emphasis on the blue in the bottom two:

Even if I haven’t convinced you to “go blue” (a wave to my alma mater, University of Michigan) then Elizabeth Arden has other choices for you. There are 5 Color Intrigue Eyeshadow  Quads in total and I’m sure there’s one with your name on it. — Marcia

Be a Metro Girl with China Glaze polishes



China Glaze is getting ready for Fall 2011 and Beauty Info Zone is right there with them. The fall collection is called the METRO collection and is for the city loving lady. Of course they don’t mean to leave the rest of us out which is why they are offering 12 amazing new polishes. The finishes are varied with shimmers, creams and glitters. Here are the first 6 and they are stunners! Lisa will soon be reviewing the rest of the collection.

Urban Night is a very fall shade. It’s a deep plum crème. Very rich and striking on.

Traffic Jam is a vibrant raspberry shade that works great on cool skintones especially. It’s particularly nice in the warmer months on toes and takes us from summer to fall with ease.

City Siren is a beautiful red crème, very rich, very sophisticated looking on. Not only did I get a lot of compliments on this but I can picture myself wearing it summer, fall, winter, spring (waves to the Howdy Doody show).

Lofty Ambitions is a burgundy crème that I fell in love with. It’s very refined looking. I can picture myself wearing this again and again especially in fall and winter.

Skyscraper is a beautiful medium blue glitter. I adore it on. Nails or toes, it grabs attention on. Two coats is perfect and is opaque enough to use on its own. It also wears unbelievably well.

CG in the City is actually a gray glitter polish which is pretty darn unusual in the world of polishes. Since I wanted to wear it in the summer I changed up the look and started with China Glaze Light as Air, a summery lavender. One coat of Light as Air with two coats of CG in the City created a perfect summery purple glitter polish. This lasted on me for two solid weeks.

Top picture without a base color first, then over a pinkish base second. Bottom picture Light as Air base coat with CG in the City on top.

CG in the City would need about 3 – 4 coats to be opaque but you can use just 1 coat of it if you put it over another polish. In the swatches below I tried it over a solid black and it’s fabulous.

All China Glaze polishes are free of DBP, toluene, and added formaldehyde so you know they are safe to wear. If I do my nails myself I get at least 5 days wear out of these, if I have my nail tech do my nails I get 7 to 14 days wear from them. The Metro collection will be available in July so it’s time to start saving up so that you too can be ready for fall with this sophisticated yet edgy collection. Be a Metro Girl with China Glaze — Marcia

Tarte Waterproof Cream Eyeshadows really are waterproof


Tarte has done it again. Impressed me that is. I’ve been wearing their new Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream eyeshadows lately and loving them. Maureen Kelly, the owner of tarte has created so many amazing products using Amazonian Clay and this new formula of eyeshadow is no exception to that rule. The wear on these is phenomenol. While I haven’t gone swimming in them and never will, I am the perfect candidate for these. When Mother Nature decides to hit me with my own personal shower very little is safe. Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream eyeshadows keep me safe though. They do not disappear, they do not fade, they do not rub away, they do not drip. What they do do is stay on as true as they started the day.

Currently these are a QVC exclusive and come with a cream eyeshadow brush for $22.80 (I believe they’ll sell for $25 each without the brush when they are on other sites). The number is A212019. I need the brush to apply these. The pot is the same small size as their mousse, eyebrow gel and their gel eyeliners. Some people might be able to get their fingers into the pot to get the shadow out, but I can’t with my longish nails. Plus I like the way the brush applies these. They go on smoothly and evenly using a brush. I find that the first coat is quite sheer so I apply about 3 coats, waiting about 10 seconds in between.

These work beautifully on their own but they also work with powder eyeshadows so they are quite versatile. If you are in a hurry in the morning just apply these with a little liner and mascara and you are set. If you want a more artistic look then it’s easy to find complimentary eyeshadows that work well with them. Some cream eyeshadows aren’t compatible with powder shadows and it’s almost impossible to blend them once the cream is on. But tarte works beautifully with any brand I’ve tried with them. While you don’t need an eyeshadow primer with these to get long wear, I prefer using one. I found that they lasted even longer when I wore the primer and the color stayed truer.

QVC currently has 5 available shades: Moss, Seashell Pink, Slate Burnt Bronze and Soft Plum.


Usually you’ll find the word ‘slate’ in cosmetics referring to a grayed shade so don’t be surprised when you see Slate since it’s a true taupe eyeshadow. If you are a taupe ho, like hordes of women are, this is for you. It’s a beautiful light brown taupe. A lot of taupe lovers don’t want any purple undertones to their shadows so this will suit those people perfectly. This is the easiest one for me to wear.

Seashell Pink is the sweetest pink. It is a warm pink so it doesn’t give me rabbit eyes. I like this alone with eyeliner since it makes my eyes glow. It’s a beautiful simple look. It isn’t shimmery but it’s frosty looking but not in a 60’s way. It would be great to wear at a daytime pool party with its lovely shine.

Burnt Bronze is a very golden light bronze. With almost all my bronze shades I expect to see a darker color than this. It’s a warm shade and my least favorite on my skintone. This is the only one I had a problem with staying power but I realize that I put too much on the first time since I wanted the color to be darker. When I wore it again and looked at it as more of a golden tone then it was a better fit for me.

Moss has turned into my favorite of these. On me it is a taupe with green tones to it. It doesn’t appear like a light green which is exactly what I expected when I read the name and even when I first looked at it. Instead it has enough brown in it to make a person normally afraid of green like it (that person is me). It’s a gorgeous color that works well with so many powder eyeshadows that I can see this getting a lot of wear from me.

Soft Plum is the newest addition and isn’t like other plums. The word soft applies well. My first picture shows it more pink than it actually applies. It is a light very summery plum shade. I’ve always loved purple eyeshadows and this is no exception.


Here’s the scoop direct from tarte and qvc.com: “Why is it different: Micronized Amazonian clay intensifies color pigments while working to nourish skin, reduce surface oil, and improve overall texture for smooth application. Thanks to a botanical blend of natural plant waxes, the shadow glides on smooth and forms an impermeable layer that protects against sweat, tears, and creasing for hours of wear time. Not only is it super long-wearing, it works to infuse delicate eyelids with Amazonian clay, aloe leaf extract, beeswax, and vitamins A and E. The richly pigmented shadow is formulated without parabens, sodium laurel sulfate, mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic fragrance, or phthalates.”

I would describe all of these as metallic looking, not shimmery or glittery. That’s what makes them such a nice touch for summer. For some gorgeous pictures of these shadows check out the artistic Prime Beauty.

I’ll soon be going to California for the IMATS show. I’ve been there once before and I looked like a wet noodle within a short time. All my makeup was gone. That will not happen this year. These lovelies will be coming with me and I have confidence that if nothing else, my eyes will look great. I’ll bring my tarte Waterproof Eyebrow Mousse, my tarte Waterproof Cream Eyeshadows and my tarte Gel Eyeliner and be set to rock with the umpteen million other cosmetic lovers there. My hair will still make me look like a wet noodle but at least my eyes will rock! — Marcia

Side by Side – Bikini Zone

Side by Side is going to try hard to keep this clean. No obscene jokes even though we really would love to but we are ladies first and jokesters second. At least we’d like to convince you of that. We were given the opportunity to test out some products from Bikini Zone and we’d like to share our opinions of these. There will be no pictures of Marcia or Lisa in a bikini and you won’t be seeing our bikini zone. We hate scaring people that way. You’ll just have to trust us on this review.

First we’re going to give you a little shaving lesson. WHY DO WE GET BUMPS?  There are a few reasons. It could be ingrown hairs, irritation, or razor burn. Any of those can cause those uncomfortable bumps that sometimes become inflamed or pimple-like. BIKINI ZONE has been formulated to “put the brakes” on those reasons. It contains an analgesic to soothe any pain or irritation. It helps dry out any blemishes while exfoliating the skin. Ingrown hairs are caused by the hair curling back into the skin. If you can prevent this, via Bikini Zone of course, then you’ve helped thwart the problem. Bikini Zone also improves any healing necessary by speeding the new skin cells along.

When you shave you need to remember a few things:

  1. Make sure the area you are shaving is thoroughly wet. Don’t do your shaving as soon as you get in the shower or bath, let your skin soften first.
  2. If you are shaving your bikini area it’s recommended that you exfoliate first.
  3. Using the proper shaving gel (aka Bikini Zone) allows your razor to just glide over your skin.
  4. For best results, use a fresh razor when shaving your bikini area. First shave in a downward motion in the direction of hair growth, as opposed to against the hair (as you might do when shaving your legs). This will help prevent irritation to the area. Once you have removed as much hair as possible shaving in that direction, firmly hold skin and shave in the opposite direction for a close shave. Try to avoid going over the same area too many times as this can also cause irritation.

Now on to results!!

Marcia’s Side:

Yes this is called Bikini Zone and yes I can read. But if you think I’d ever wear a bikini then I have a bridge in Manhattan to talk to you about. I haven’t bought a bathing suit in about 25 years. I am the only person that goes on a cruise ship with 2000 other people and doesn’t bring a bathing suit. So why would I want Bikini Zone Anti-Bumps Shave Gel ($4.99)? I do shave, just not there. I shave my legs and my pits and both of those can get ingrown hairs and irritation. I’ve been using Anti-Bumps Shave Gel  for the last month and really appreciate how smooth it makes my legs and my underarm area.  It contains botanicals, moisturizing microbeads, emollients and Vitamins A and E. It lubricates my skin and makes it easier to shave. The gel is on the thick side so it doesn’t run off. It stays where it belongs until I take it off. It has an antiseptic smell to it which I notice in the shower and maybe for a few minutes afterwards but then it’s gone. I don’t want to jinx myself but I’ve had no nicks, no cuts and absolutely no irritation since I’ve been using this.

Lisa’s Side:  Well, I am a ‘bikini zone’ kind of girl.  I am actually somewhat obsessive about it, ever since I had a trip to the emergency room about 10 years ago and the only thing I could think was, “Are my legs shaved?  Do I have holes in my underwear?? Did I take care of my bikini line this morning???”  Luckily, I was fine.  But I have been sure to always be totally groomed ever since then.

I tried the BikiniZone Medicated Gel ($7.99 for 1 oz.).  This product gives you relief from any sort of irritation that can come from shaving.  While it is marketed for the bikini zone, it can be used anywhere that you shave.  The primary ingredient is Lidocaine, which numbs the skin and relieves pain.

Does it work?  You bet.  Irritation, bumps, itchiness – all things of the past when you use this.   Because it’s a lightweight gel, it absorbs super quick, so there’s no wait before putting on your undies.  And it doesn’t stain clothing.  If you are proactive and use it every day, none of the bad side effects of shaving will ever happen in the first place.

The prices are amazingly reasonable. It’s found in most of the grocery stores and drugstores that you frequent too.  And the bonus is a coupon online right HERE. Bikini Zone has a slew of products that you’ll want to look into whether you wear a bikini, thong or snowsuit. — Marcia and Lisa

Side by Side – Stages of Beauty

If you are looking for an amazing moisturizer then look no farther than Stages of Beauty. Stages of Beauty started their brand by developing their moisturizers. They have 4 versions because they know that each age group has different needs. We love that about them.

If you are in your twenties you’ll want RADIANCE TREATMENT CREAM which is the cornerstone of this line. This lightweight cream will protect your skin 24/7. You want your skin to be radiant yet protected from the environment. You want your skin rejuvenated each day and Radiance Treatment Cream will do that for you.

If you are in your thirties you want a step up so you’d get HARMONY TREATMENT CREAM. Your fine lines are starting in your 30’s and you might be concerned with some wrinkles. This is the beginning of their anti-aging line and will help promote natural regeneration of the skin.

Once you get into your forties (meaning Lisa!) you need to help retain elasticity, tone and firmness so ELEGANCE TREATMENT CREAM is for you. This lovely hydrating cream will help counter the effects of photo-aging.

And then there’s those of us (meaning me Marcia) that are in our fifties or above and for us there is GRACE TREATMENT CREAM. At this age your hormones are rapidly changing and your skin is definitely changing. Grace provides the intense hydration needed while helping to restore the skin’s surface immunity.

All Stages of Beauty moisturizers are dermatologist tested, fragrance free, formulated without parabens and sulfates. The cost is $52.99 for 30 ml or $74.99 for 50 ml but you can get a risk free sample. Check out this page from Stages of Beauty to see their amazing before and after pictures as well as finding out how you can try this out.

LISA’S SIDE:

I am smack in the middle of my forties, and it’s starting to show.  I am losing elasticity in my skin, and some of my fine lines are becoming full-fledged wrinkles.  I tried the Elegance Treatment Cream from Stages of Beauty.  It’s fragrance-free, which is a bonus, and highly moisturizing.  It comes in this pretty box, which is elegant itself.

Inside the box is a glass jar of the Elegance Treatment Cream.

The moisturizer is a thick, snow white cream that spreads easily and soaks in quickly.  It leaves the skin feeling very plumped up and hydrated.  Tetra-peptides help to stimulate collagen production as well as elastin, which firms the skin.  Monks Pepper Berry helps combat wrinkles, and amino acids and Resveratol provide antioxidents and help the skin repair itself. 

To get the full effect, Stages of Beauty recommends using the cream for 8 to 12 weeks morning and night.  Because it doesn’t have any SPF, you need to be sure to add sun protection every morning.  I am not good about using a ton of skin products, so I used this only at night.  My skin loved it, especially as I was also using Retinol which is very drying to the skin.  I think it’s a very clever idea to target these products at the problems associated with different age ranges, although you should probably go by the description first rather than the age.  I know some people my age who could use the 30’s Harmony Treatment Cream, and I know some other people my age who would be better off with the 50’s Grace Treatment Cream. 

I can say that the Elegance Treatment Cream is indeed an elegant cream, and my skin absolutely loves it.  Lisa

MARCIA’S SIDE:

When I was learning about Stages of Beauty I was quite impressed with their 4 regimens. I can easily find a recommendation for my daughter-in-laws as well as for myself and know that we are all getting the product that’s best for our needs. Since I’m in the 50+ group I have been using GRACE TREATMENT CREAM and loving it. For the 50+ group there are two products: the moisturizer and the Intensive Wrinkle Serum. Lisa and I were able to test their moisturizers. Stages of Beauty has formulated a moisturizer for my post menopause skin and I really appreciate that. The ingredients they use are terrific and work to protect my skin with Sorghum Extract, Chinese Botanical blend, Amino Acids Complex, Monk’s Pepper Berry Extract, Resveratol, Sodium Hyaluronate and Tetrapeptide-17. I can even pronounce these which is reassuring.

I haven’t seen the dramatic results that the site pictures but I didn’t expect to.  What I do find is beautifully moisturized skin. It’s giving me the perfect amount of moisturizing without any greasy feeling. I too also use this every night.I love that there’s absolutely no fragrance too. This light creamy moisturizer has been a pleasure to use and will remain in my arsenal. — Marcia

No matter your age, we believe that you’ll find products that suit you with Stages of Beauty. — Lisa and Marcia

Summer is just a sniff away with Clean Perfume

My grandfather used to have a saying.  Every time he got out of the shower, put on some cologne, and got all cleaned up, he would say, “I stink pretty!”  That used to just crack us up.  And every time I wear either of these two perfumes, that phrase goes through my head.

Summer is my favorite season, and if it isn’t summer, I want to be wearing something that reminds me of it.  One of my latest ways to ‘stink pretty’ and smell like summer is to wear Clean Cotton T-Shirt Eau de Parfum (60 mL/2.14 Fl. Oz. size for $69 and a 30mL/1 Fl. Oz. size for $38).  Just looking at the bright blue box makes me think of sunny skies and beautiful warm weather.  Just like the name implies, it smells like a super comfy cotton tee that’s been washed and dried on a clothes line in the sun.

The top note is Bergamot, which gives it a crisp clean edge.  Cotton Flower and Dewy Freesia help make it fresh with a little floral scent, and Rosewood, Warm Musk, and Sheer Amber give it some warmth.

It doesn’t smell like laundry, it smells like a fresh, warm summers day, as the musk cuts the citrus and the floral notes also come through.  I adore this.

Looking for something a little more tropical?  Then check out Clean Summer Escape (EDP 60 mL $49 US/$53 CAD).  This is limited edition, so it’s something you are going to want to try out soon.

Isn’t it a gorgeous color??  This one is definitely more tropical than fresh, and reminds me of sitting on a sunny beach with a refreshing frozen drink in my hand.  The top notes are citrusy, with Crisp Bergamot, Beach Grass, and Mandarin Orange.  Mid notes are Water Lily, Summer Peony, Beach Honeysuckle, and Orange Flower for a mellow floral addition, and the base notes are Cotton Blossom, White Sand Accord, Driftwood, and Coconut Water.   The overall effect is simply outstanding, on me it starts out more citrusy and dries down to a beautiful mellow floral.  You don’t want to miss this!  Both of these perfumes are currently available at Sephora, Ulta, and Clean Perfume.  ‘Stink pretty’ this summer with either of these awesome fragrances.  – Lisa