The battle of the oval brushes: Artis vs PÜR vs Real Techniques

There are 3 brushes that changed my cosmetic life. They are the MAC 224, MAC 217, and Artis Oval 10. I have had a half dozen of the MAC eyeshadow brushes over the course of my life and just one of the magnificent Artis Oval 10. The MAC helps me apply eyeshadows the way I love and the Artis became a Holy Grail foundation brush for me. But then my Artis broke. The handle snapped and it just wasn’t the same. What I love about the Artis is the softness and the way it blends foundation so that it looks airbrushed.

Artis Oval 10 Brush

Artis Oval 10 Brush

In my typical way I went shopping and ended up with three brushes by Pur and Real Techniques.

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Real Techniques Blend & Blur brushes and PUR Skin Perfecting Foundation Brush

I purchased a PÜR Skin Perfecting Foundation Brush and promptly misplaced it. I knew it would eventually turn up but when my Artis decided it had had enough of me I wanted an alternative and that’s when the Real Techniques Blend & Blur brushes entered my life. All I could go by was pictures so I didn’t know which size would be the best….which meant I had to buy two sizes. The largest brush is the All Over Brush for Face, Neck + Body Application. The next largest is the Foundation Brush for Seamless Liquid Foundation. At $19.99 (and on sale when I purchased them) I decided to try them both. That’s what a true beauty junkie does after all.

Real Techniques Blend & Blur Foundation Brush and All Over Brush

The Foundation Brush is a wonderful size for my face. It’s smaller than the Artis so I was worried it would be too small but it really is perfect. Not too big, not too small, just right ala Goldilocks. The head is densely packed and so soft that you just won’t believe it. It fits well in my hand making it easy to use. It’s got a curved design whereas the Artis is flat so I had to get used to that. While I prefer the flatness the Foundation Brush is still great to work with. It’s recommended for both cream and liquid foundation though my preference is with a liquid foundation or CC Cream.

Real Techniques Blend & Blur Foundation Brush

The Real Techniques Blend & Blur All Over Brush is also recommended for your face but also for larger areas like your neck and body. It’s wonderful if you want to add some highlighter on your decollete since it just about does the job for you without any effort. I like it for my face too so when one brush is drying (they take a long time to dry) the other can be used. If I knew then what I know now though I’d have stuck with just the Foundation Brush for my needs. Don’t get me wrong, the All Over brush is terrific but I just need the one…. especially since after I bought the Real Techniques the PÜR popped up. (That’s totally typical.)

Real Techniques Blend & Blur All Over Brush

Real Techniques Blend & Blur Foundation Brush and All Over Brush


The PÜR Skin-Perfecting Foundation Brush ($28) reminds me more of the Artis brush as it’s a more refined looking and feeling brush. It’s light to hold while the Real Technique brushes are surprisingly heavy (and sturdy). It is a soft synthetic brush that is very versatile since it’s good for applying foundations, powders, highlighters and bronzers on your face or body. Of these three brushes this is my favorite.

PÜR Skin-Perfecting Foundation Brush

Both Real Techniques and  PÜR are cruelty-free and feel absolutely wonderful on my skin but the application with the PÜR brush feels smoother.

One thing to know when you use a foundation brush like these oval ones is that you should apply the foundation onto your face, not onto the brush. You save foundation that way and the product doesn’t get down deep into the bristles. You can apply powders directly from the brush but when you have a creamy product you’ll get a smoother finish without an overload of foundation and you’ll save on the amount you use.

If I could have only one I’d pick the Artis but both Real Techniques and PÜR are great alternatives, ones I’m not sorry about purchasing at all. Have you used an oval brush? Are you a fan?  —  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

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 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

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Makeup Wars and lipstick = perfect combinations

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Makeup Wars is always a fun time because you get to see what many bloggers enjoy in one topic. When you mention lipstick or liquid lipstick or lip gloss to a blogger you get some happy women. I’m sharing some of my recent acquisitions to see if there are colors or brands that will make your lips and heart go pitter patter.

Models Own, PUR Cosmetics, Jane Iredale

Not to play favorites but it’s typical to like some colors and formulas better than others and one that really has my attention is Jane Iredale PlayOn Lip Crayon in Hot. I love easy and to me lip crayons are easy personified.

Jane Iredale PlayOn Lip Crayon in Hot

Jane Iredale PlayOn Lip Crayons are available in 7 shades. They are so creamy and just glide on. There’s no fragrance or scent to these and they are cruelty free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and oil-free. I don’t normally choose a red lip but Hot can be applied with different intensities to make it look more of a pinky red.

Jane Iredale PlayOn Lip Crayon in Hot

These are moisturizing, nourished with Vitamin E, and make my lips feel comfortable. I can add a gloss over it for more fun. I may be showcasing this in summer but it’s going to be an all year round lippie for me.

Next up PUR Cosmetics has two formulas I’ve worn this summer: Velvet Matte and Chrome Glaze. They are as different as night and day but each has its special attributes.

PUR Cosmetics Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick and Chrome Glaze Lip Gloss

PUR Cosmetics Velvet Matte has a mousse like texture so it’s not as drying as I find many matte lipsticks to be. While it’s definitely a matte on my lips it feels very pliable and my lips don’t shrivel up. I have this in Obsessed which is considered a soft pink, it’s not a pastel though. Any time I wear a liquid matte I have to take my time to apply my lips since it’s not slapdash. A liner helps keep it in place so I don’t make mistakes.

PUR Cosmetics Velvet Matte in Obsessed

PUR Cosmetics also has Chrome Glaze High Shine Lip Glosses and this is more my style. I have this in Heartbreaker and it’s an amazing shade for me. I can wear this gel formula alone or even better apply it over my Velvet Matte lip for shiny beauty.

PUR Cosmetics Chrome Glaze in Heartbreaker

PUR describes Heartbreaker as “perfect pink” and it is the perfect pink for me. Not too bright, not too pale, just right! It’s a longer lasting gloss formula but like all glosses it’s going to have to be reapplied.

PUR Cosmetics Obsessed Velvet Matte and Heartbreaker Chrome Glaze

I don’t know how long PUR’s special lasts but using the code LIPSTICK can get you 3 lip products for $20 so that’s a deal you want to hop on.

As you may know ULTA has enhanced their stores and website with some amazing new brands. One of those brands is Model’s Own. This British brand has stormed the US with some innovative products. The prices are great so it’s a fun brand to explore.

Models Own LIX Matte Liquid Lipstick in Strawberry Mojito and Raspberry Mojito

Model’s Own LIX Matte Liquid Lipstick comes in 6 shades for only $7.99 each. If you love matte you’ll love Model’s Own. It’s the mattest of any matte I’ve ever tried. It has a minty fragrance to it that I find refreshing but there is a tingle with it that you’ll notice for a few minutes. Make sure your lips are exfoliated before wearing LIX since something this matte is going to show everything. The smoother your lips are, the better Models Own LIX will apply.

Models Own LIX Matte Liquid Lipstick in Strawberry Mojito and Raspberry Mojito

I love the packaging of these. It surely attracts attention. They also have some heft to them. Strawberry Mojito is a bright red on me with orange undertones, I mostly see the red once on. Raspberry Mojito is a dark berry on my lips though it swatches with more purple. LIX are very intense on me. You have to really like a bold matte lip to appreciate these two shades.

Models Own LIX Matte Liquid Lipstick in Strawberry Mojito and Raspberry Mojito

I’m going to put a plug in for Eddie Funkhouser Hyperreal Nourishing Lipsticks that I just reviewed since these are the lipsticks I’m getting a lot of use out of this summer. Plus I have a giveaway going on so you could win some!

Eddie Funkhouser Hyperreal Nourishing Lip Colors

What do you think of this very long lipstick post? Have you discovered any products that will make up your own lipstick wardrobe? If mine don’t enchant, then be sure to click on my friend’s posts to see how we can all spend money!  —  Marcia

PÜR No Filter Blurring Photography Primer is a glowy delight

PÜR No Filter Primer

PÜR No Filter Primer

The short name: PÜR No Filter Primer. The long name: PÜR No Filter Blurring Photography Primer. The long and short of it is that this is a great primer and one of the few things I left out to use over the last few weeks. I’m packing everything away and I know it will be a while until I’ve got my large collection organized and I wanted to keep using some of my favorite products. PÜR No Filter Primer made that cut.

sent for consideration

PÜR No Filter Blurring Photography Primer

PÜR No Filter Blurring Photography Primer

I have a small collection of primers but I tend to forget about them most of the time. Once I started learning about the PÜR No Filter Primer though I had a feeling that this would work well for my skin.

There are 5 reasons why I felt this way

  1. It moisturizes my face in a light, non-greasy manner.
  2. It helps with color balance since it has a slight tint.
  3. This helps prime my skin making it ready for foundation.
  4. It illuminates skin.
  5. It has a blurring aspect.
PÜR No Filter Blurring Photography Primer

PÜR No Filter Blurring Photography Primer

PÜR No Filter Blurring Photography Primer is completely different than any primer I’ve previously used. It contains prismatic blurring micro-pearls which help to color correct. For me I notice a slight gold tint to it. It’s not yellow, it’s gold and it brightens my face in such a lovely way.

 PÜR No Filter Primer

PÜR No Filter Primer

The primer is loaded with ingredients that are good for your skin. “age-defying skin care ingredients nourishes the skin and a vitamin-rich Energy Complex with moisturizing agave and essential fatty acids prep the skin for makeup application.” It contains Coconut, Olive and Shea essential oils.



Either apply a drop directly unto your skin (you don’t need a lot) or mix it with your foundation and apply together. PÜR No Filter Primer can also be used on your body to give it a moisturizing radiance.

PÜR No Filter Primer will be a great summer pick-me-up especially on the days you are toiling inside and envying the sun.  —  Marcia
New markdowns at PUR Cosmetics! Up to 50% off select items.

Ingredients: Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Bis-Stearyl Dimethicone, Mica, Polyglyceryl-10 Mono/Dioleate, Polyglyceryl-3 Oleate, Polysilicone-11, Niacinamide, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Agave Rigida (Sisal) Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ceramide AP, Retinol, Lactic Acid (L), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Extract, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil, Coco-Caprylate, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Macadamiate, Propanediol, Polyacrylate-13, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyisobutene, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Disodium EDTA, Phosphatidylglycerol, Citric Acid, Betaine, Laureth-12, Tin Oxide, Decyl Glucoside, Potassium Sorbate, Polysorbate 20, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocap (Mushroom) Extract, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).
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Wear red lips for the Lunar New Year

Chinese new year rooster

2017 is the year of the Rooster. It’s just one of the 12 animals that represent the Lunar New Year. There are 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac: the rat, the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig. Each animal has attributes that are said to be part of their year especially for newborns.

Roosters are considered to be in charge of time, i.e. crowing to greet the day, as well as being hard working and diligent. If you were born in the year of the Rooster your lucky numbers are 5,7. and 8 but avoid 1, 3, and 9. Your lucky flowers are Gladiolas, Cockscomb and Impatiens. Your colors are golden, brown, brownish yellow, and yellow but it’s best to stay away from white and green.

The holiday is celebrated with fireworks in Asian countries and in cities with large Chinese populations. Red is the lucky color for the Lunar New Year which began on January 27th in the evening and is fully celebrated on January 28th, 2017. Celebrants wear red, decorate with red, and receive red paper envelopes with money to start the year with prosperity. Red is believed to ward off bad luck and misfortune. For people born in a year of the Rooster, wearing red underwear is a must for 2017.

Chinese new year, giving red packet.

Chinese new year, giving red packet.

Now that you know about Lunar New Year let’s talk about the color red and some of the hottest cosmetics out there featuring red, which you know means lips!

PUR Cosmetics has some winners!

PUR Chromeglaze Gloss in Rebel

PUR Chromeglaze Gloss in Rebel

Pur Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick in Addiction

Pur Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick in Addiction

Pur Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Fever

Pur Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Fever

PUR Lip Gloss Stick in Game Day

PUR Lip Gloss Stick in Game Day

PUR is available on their website as well as at ULTA.

ZuZu lipsticks on Good Earth Beauty are excellent options for natural beauty lovers.

No matter what your sign is, RED is the lucky color? What’s your favorite red lip?  —  Marcia

Pur Cosmetics Miracle Mist Hydrate and Set

pur-cosmetics-miracle-mist-hydrate-and-setFive years ago I would have never thought a moisturizing makeup setting spray would have a place on my vanity. My skin was very oily and I used the driest possible foundations to counteract my constantly shiny nose and chin. But my skin is very different now so products like Pur Cosmetics Miracle Mist ($19.00) are saviors, especially with dry winter indoor heat.

Pur Cosmetics Miracle Mist Hydrate and Set

Pur Cosmetics Miracle Mist Hydrate and Set

Pur Cosmetics Miracle Mist Hydrate and Set

Miracle Mist is a hydrating spray that also helps set makeup. It has over 70 essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids to pamper your skin. I find that I prefer it for setting mineral makeup over any other type of makeup – it’s pretty impressive for giving a polished appearance, giving mineral foundation and eyeshadow a fresh appearance and extending wear time.


  • Contains over 70 essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids
  • Instantly infuses the skin with vital moisture
  • Soothes and refreshes dry skin and hair with fulvic acid
  • Locks down mineral makeup for all-day perfection

I recently had the flu and one of the not-so-lovely side effects was super dry skin to the point of actually peeling. Miracle Mist was a skin saver for me. Even when I wasn’t wearing any makeup I misted this on every couple of hours which helped my skin heal more quickly.

If you have extremely dry skin this is a great product. It’s also very helpful for those times when powder makeup looks a little too powdery. I wouldn’t say that it’s the best primer and I think there are other makeup extending mists that are better suited for that task.  However, if you need lots of hydration and love mineral makeup, Miracle Mist is effective, refreshing, and convenient to use. Click here to get 10% off sitewide with code AM10OFF at Offer expires December 31, 2017.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration; affiliate links

Ingredients:  Fulvic Acid, Purified Water (Aqua), Aromatic Oils (Parfum), (Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil.

I’m Fully Charged with Pur Cosmetics newest mascara

Pur Fully Charged Mascara

Pur Fully Charged Mascara

There are days when looking in the mirror is a pleasure. Lately those days are the ones where I’m wearing Pur Cosmetics newest mascara, Fully Charged. When this was sent for consideration I wasn’t sure how it would be for me since I was using a few mascaras that I liked a lot. Little did I know that it would become a mascara that I couldn’t wait to apply.

Like many of you, I have wimpy lashes. No curl, no length, nothing to write home about. I do use a growth serum on them to give me a little more excitement but without mascara my eyes disappear on my face. Pur Fully Charged Mascara is the magician that makes my lashes stand out.

Pur Cosmetics Fully Changed Mascara

Pur Cosmetics Fully Changed Mascara

You might have read about this mascara since it’s so unusual. It has a magnetic polymer matrix that wraps a “positively charged elastic veil around each lash to instantly lift, separate and define each lash for long-lasting performance.” While that statement isn’t one that most of us go around talking about it does make sense once you start wearing Fully Charged.

The wand is on the long side with bristles that are made of fibers, not plastic. The first time I used it I found that I had mostly well defined lashes with some great separation. As time has passed though the volume is coming through since it’s thickened up a bit.

Pur Fully Charged mascara

Pur Fully Charged mascara

No one needs smudging, clumping, or flaking and I’m lucky that those aren’t part of the game with this mascara. I wear glasses and sometimes my lashes don’t show at all – but with Fully Charged they are dynamite!

Pur Fully Charged Mascara

Pur Fully Charged Mascara

Key Ingredients and Benefits:

  • Pro-Vitamin B5: deeply nourishes and conditions broken, aging lashes
  • Tripeptides: promotes and stimulates healthy lash growth
  • Carnauba and Beeswax: maintain mascara hold and help retain moisture
  • Paraben-Free, Certified Cruelty-Free

It’s terrific to wear an anti-aging mascara that lasts through the entire day and evening. Just give me my eyelash curler and a tube of Pur Cosmetics Fully Charged Mascara and I’m set. —  Marciapur fully charged eyes

*sent for consideration, affiliate link

Ingredient list: Aqua, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Cyclopentasiloxane, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Alcohol Denat., Palmitic Acid, Nylon-12, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Acacia Senegal Gum, Glycerin, Polybutene, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Panthenol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Polyquaternium-10, Polyvinyl Alcohol, VP/VA Copolymer, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides (CI 77499)