Makeup Wars – favorite brushes

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

Favorite makeup brushes

Favorite makeup brushes

ARTIS ELITE MIRROR OVAL 10

Artis Oval 10

Artis Oval 10

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

Artis Oval 10 Brush

Artis Oval 10 Brush

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

MAC EYESHADOW BRUSHES

MAC eye brushes 239, 272, 219, 217

MAC eye brushes 239, 272, 219, 217

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

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

MAC 239

MAC 239

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

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

MAC 217

MAC 217

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

MAC 219

MAC 219

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make Up For Ever 218

Make Up For Ever 218

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

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAC 168 and 165

MAC 168 and 165

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

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

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

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

Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush

Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush

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

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

Let’s go brush shopping with Makeup Wars!


*some affiliate links in use

Favorite products to get holiday ready

For Makeup Wars today we are sharing our favorites for holiday beauty. For my post it’s the products I recently used to go out for a special dinner and that I’ll be replicating on Thanksgiving when someone else (hallelujah) is hosting a very elegant dinner. Come along and see what my special items are.

Surratt Eyelash Curler

Surratt Eyelash Curler

During Sephora’s F&F sale I treated myself to a Surratt Beauty Relevee Eyelash Curler ($30). I already own lash curlers and use one daily or my eyes disappear, but the hype on this was so strong that I needed to try the Surratt one. It has its pros and cons but for me it’s mostly a pro.

Surratt Beauty Relevee Lash Curler opened

Surratt Beauty Relevee Lash Curler opened

Surratt Beauty Relevee Lash Curler closed

Surratt Beauty Relevee Lash Curler closed

I feel like my lashes are curled better than ever without having any crimps in them. The curl seems to last longer too. The problem with this is that it’s black and my eyelashes are very dark so it’s sort of a game using the lash curler. I can’t see if my eyelashes are in there straight so I just wait til it feels comfortable and squeeze; move it again and squeeze. So far so good.

Wander Beauty Exquisite Eye Liquid Eyeshadow

Wander Beauty Exquisite Eye Liquid Eyeshadow Duo

As an eyeshadow base I used Wander Beauty Exquisite Eye Liquid Eyeshadow in Champagne*.  This is one of the two liquid eyeshadows sold together on QVC ($34). I love both shades and wear them when I want some gorgeous shimmer that won’t wander – ever. On my non-oily lids I don’t need an eyeshadow primer since this does the job.

Wander Beauty Liquid Eyeshadows in Champagne and Bronze

Wander Beauty Liquid Eyeshadows in Champagne and Bronze

Wander Beauty Liquid Eyeshadow in Champagne

Wander Beauty Liquid Eyeshadow in Champagne

Wander Beauty Liquid Eyeshadow in Champagne Bronze

Wander Beauty Liquid Eyeshadow in Champagne Bronze

The swatches are applied heavily but on my eyes it becomes a sheer wash of color. My powder eyeshadows become even more vibrant and long lasting when using these as a base but these cream shadows are great all by themselves too.

Lorac Pro Metal Palette

Lorac Pro Metal Palette

Right now I have a crush on Lorac Pro Metal Palette ($28). I bought this after seeing a review on Beauty Junkies Unite and knew it had to be mine. I love a high shine and these 8 shades do it right. Quartz is very white on me which is why the Wander Beauty base is better for my brow bone. I love Gilded‘s gold on my lid and Graphite‘s golden taupe in my crease. The palette in general though is fabulous with Rose Gold, Onyx (dark charcoal), Amber (copper), Clover (golden khaki), and Cobalt (navy). These shadows are like silk. This is limited edition so if you love these kinds of shadows be sure you check it out.

Youngblood Luminous Crme blush in Taffeta

Youngblood Luminous Creme blush in Taffeta

Youngblood Luminous Creme Blush in Taffeta is my favorite blush ever. I use up just about nothing cosmetic wise but I’m on my second pot of this. It’s a go-to blush for me that I feel is the perfect pink for my skin. I really didn’t think it could get better until Jennifer Bradley The Glow Stick ($28)* came into my life.

Jennifer Bradley The Glow Stick

Jennifer Bradley The Glow Stick

Jennifer Bradley The Glow Stick

Jennifer Bradley The Glow Stick

Jennifer Bradley The Glow Stick

Jennifer Bradley The Glow Stick

The Jennifer Bradley Glow Stick is a light pink cream highlighter that can be used on cheeks, face and eyes. It’s got a luminous quality without a single drop of glitter or shimmer. It feels almost magical when applied. This comes in a plastic tube with a wand ball applicator that makes it easy to apply. It doesn’t migrate on my face. I’ve used it on my browbone, over a blush and on the cupid’s bow of my mouth. While it’s subtle, it gives a twinkle when you move your head certain ways or in some lights. It’s the perfect strobing product for people who want the glow without the fuss. I store mine upside down in a lipstick holder and shake it just before use.

Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick

Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick

Smashbox’s Brow Tech Gloss Stick ($21)* brings a new dimension to my quest for good eyebrows. I follow a blog (If Makeup Could Talk) and she always has the most amazing brow look. I never could figure out how to get my brows to look glossy like hers. I didn’t want anything sticky.

Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick

Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick

Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick - taupe on top, brunette on bottom

Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick – taupe on top, brunette on bottom

Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick is the answer to my question. This wind up brow stick comes in 4 shades. I was sent both Taupe and Brunette. I can use them both but it’s Brunette that really gives me that special look. These are glossy without being over the top. They add a beautiful, non-sticky sheen to my eyebrows while filling them in well. I save these for nights out so that I can feel special when I’m trying to look my best.

Of course there’s more to it than these 6 products but this is gist of my favorite look lately. I feel it’s holiday ready and ups my everyday face to something more special. Each of these are products I can highly recommend.

What are your favorites for holiday party looks? — Marcia


*products were sent for consideration, rest are personal purchases

Cooler weather needs Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Foundation

Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Foundation

Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Foundation

The weather is bouncing around which can create havoc on your skin. One day it’s beautiful, sunny and warm and then boom you wake up to winds, cold and gloom. If you haven’t already, it’s time to change things up from skincare to makeup. As you know the summer shades you wore just don’t seem to work with the autumn weather, but does your foundation work?

SMASHBOX STUDIO SKIN 15 Hour Wear Foundation is one for you to consider switching to. What makes this unique is that it’s a long wearing and hydrating foundation that is oil free. Most oil free foundations don’t have the hydration that Studio Skin has.

Smashbox Studio Skin Foundation

Smashbox Studio Skin Foundation

I was given the opportunity to try Studio Skin and it’s all I’ve been wearing lately. It reminds me of a serum foundation in the way it applies and the way it looks on my face. But it’s easier to use than a serum foundation and is much more hydrating than the ones I’ve tried.

Smashbox Studio Skin shades

Smashbox Studio Skin shades

SMASHBOX STUDIO SKIN is available in 12 shades. I was sent 1.2 which appears very yellow on my hand and face when I first dab it on. But magically the shade matches once applied. It’s recommended to use a flat foundation brush like the Smashbox Foundation Brush 13. I’ve used this but I’ve also used other brushes with it and have been very happy with the outcome.

Smashbox Foundation Brush 13

Smashbox Foundation Brush 13

The secret to the foundation is best stated by Smashbox themselves: “This long-wearing, hydrating formula blurs imperfections using light-diffusing, encapsulated pigment spheres, and delivers natural-looking, buildable medium-to-full coverage. Its sweat-free, transfer-proof, humidity-resistant formula keeps skin hydrated and shine-free all day.”

Smashbox Studio Skin swacthed in 1.2  (warm fair)

Smashbox Studio Skin in 1.2 (warm fair)

Smashbox Studio Skin blended in 1.2  (warm fair)

Smashbox Studio Skin blended in 1.2 (warm fair)

Since the foundation is so thin I really didn’t expect the coverage to be so smooth and skin enhancing. If I apply it to one side and look at the difference, it’s pretty amazing. It’s not that my imperfections are totally covered but my skin looks so polished after that you’d never know the foundation is such a thin formula.

Smashbox Studio Skin

Smashbox Studio Skin

As far as 15 hour wear, it really does seem to last that long. Many nights we go out for a quick dinner and then I am on the computer all night. I don’t seem to wash up until after 11 p.m. and my foundation is still there. I haven’t had to touch up the Smashbox Studio Skin when going out though I will fix up the area under my eyes since I have perennial dark circles. But that’s it. Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear is a long lasting formula without being drying at all.

If you are looking for a new winter foundation that can offer you so many benefits try out Smashbox Studio Skin. Just going into a Sephora or Ulta store and testing it on your hand won’t give you enough of a clue to see how great your skin can look with this on. Get a sample or ask for an application to show off how much more even and illuminated your face can be. — Marcia

 

ingredient list for Smashbox Studio Skin

ingredient list for Smashbox Studio Skin

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Butylene Glycol, Trimethyl Pentaphenyl Trisiloxane, Silica, Phenyl Trimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Tribehenin, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Methicone, Tetramethyl Hexaphenyl Tetrasiloxane, Phenyl Methicone, Dimethicone, Laureth-7, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Cellulose Gum, Propylene Carbonate, Alumina, Xanthan Gum, Dimethicone Silylate, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin. May contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), ILN37941. PARABEN FREE

*sent for editorial consideration

 

Think Pink with Smashbox lips

Think pink

Think pink

Not enough attention is given to pink lips but I want to change that. Actually I want to give attention to all things pink therefore you’ll start seeing my THINK PINK posts with some favorite pink cosmetic items.

I’m starting with Smashbox because they’ve created my new favorite lip product and with luck they sent it to me. I really wouldn’t have known about it if Smashbox hadn’t sent today’s goodies.

Smashbox Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer in Flushed

Smashbox Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer in Flushed

SMASHBOX BE LEGENDARY LONG WEAR LIP LACQUER in FLUSHED has become my sidekick or “lip kick” lately. This liquid lipstick is with me every day. There’s something about this that has grabbed my heart. Basically I’m a lipstick girl. I like gloss and used to wear them constantly but as I’ve gotten older I’m more excited about lipstick. The Lip Lacquer has the best of both worlds. It feels like a lipstick on and yet it has a shine to it like a gloss. It’s moisturizing and not the least bit sticky.

source smashbox.com Be Legendary Lip Lacquer shades

source smashbox.com Be Legendary Lip Lacquer shades

The Be Legendary Lip Lacquers ($24) are available in 20 shades so even though I’m a pink person I’m guessing you’ll find one that’s just right for your red, coral, nude or wine passion. FLUSHED is described as a ‘soft rose gold’ on Sephora but I find it to be a cool but not cold pink that looks right with just about everything. These are long lasting and they say you’ll get 8 hours wear out of them. I don’t get 8 hours wear out of anything but I can get almost that far if I don’t eat, drink or kiss!

Smashbox Lip Lacquer in Flushed

Smashbox Lip Lacquer in Flushed

As a lipstick lover I have always loved Smashbox lipsticks. It was one of the first brands I binged on. Their lipsticks are smooth, moisturizing, don’t settle in the lines on my lips and best of all they are fragrance-free. My experience with BE LEGENDARY LIPSTICK in POUT ($20) has been wonderful. It’s a bubblegum pink which may not work for everyone but it’s the pink of my dreams. I have some natural tint to my lips and I don’t feel washed out when wearing Pout. Smashbox lipsticks contain Shea Butter for moisture and Vitamins C and E for protection.

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Pout

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Pout

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Pout

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Pout

Smashbox Flushed Lip Lacquer and Pout Lipstick

Smashbox Flushed Lip Lacquer and Pout Lipstick

To change things up and make these lipsticks and lip lacquers more versatile there’s Smashbox ALWAYS SHARP LIP LINER ($20) that comes in 16 shades. I have both Crimson (for my grown up lips) and Shocking Pink that helps deepen my bubble gum lips to something more ladylike. Crimson is a blue red while Shocking Pink is a vibrant hot pink.

Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liners in Shocking Pink and Crimson

Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liners in Shocking Pink and Crimson

Sharp Lip Liners in Crimson and Shocking Pink

Sharp Lip Liners in Crimson and Shocking Pink

I love that these twist up and I’ll never have to worry about breaking them with a sharpener. These are water resistant too. I like to line first, fill in and then blot that down. Next I’ll apply the lipstick or lip lacquer. This is how I get any longevity. When the lip color starts wearing away, I still have a stain left.

Three great lip products, four great colors and one pair of lips that love to wear pink = success. Have you treated yourself to any Smashbox lip products lately? — Marcia

Smashbox Be Delectable Lipstick in Pout

Smashbox Be Delectable Lipstick in Pout

*received for editorial consideration, worn with excitement

#Smashbox

Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio defines beyond belief

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

When you know nothing about contouring but you do know that it’s the hottest game in Beautyworld, then you need to find out how to contour so you can be part of the in-crowd. Smashbox sent the Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio probably to test me out and see if I could step by step my game up.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

The set consists of 3 creamy pencils and a pencil sharpener to fit the larger size. Earlier today I wrote about contouring and highlighting and I gave a small hint to this product. I like it so much that I wanted to elaborate on it.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio - Contour, Bronze, Highlight

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio – Contour, Bronze, Highlight

•    Contour: A darker shade that sculpts by creating shadows
•    Highlight: A light shade that pulls features forward
•    Bronze: A transition shade that eliminates harsh lines by blending the contour and highlight shades

One way Smashbox really helps is with an informational pamphlet inside that shows 5 different face shapes and where to place each of the three sticks to get a look that will contour and highlight without looking like you did. The finished look isn’t obvious; it makes a subtle difference that makes me feel so polished.

Smashbox Stick Trio direction pamphlet

Smashbox Stick Trio direction pamphlet

Not only do they show the face charts but they explain how to determine which shape is yours. For example on a round face they’ve written “Your cheekbones are the widest part of your face. Your jawline is round and curved.” Directions always start with the contour shade with a diagram to show exactly where to apply that pencil. Next they want to give your face some warmth with the bronze shade. The highlight shade is to help you change the shape every so slightly. Since my face is round they suggest using the highlight to help give an illusion of length by applying it to the center of my face. Of course after you use each of the three crayons you need to blend and for me that’s best done with a facial sponge.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio swatches

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio swatches

The colors are basically universal because the key to this is not seeing the crayons, just to create the illusion, blend well, and then apply your foundation without rubbing it. I like a liquid foundation that I can apply with my Beauty Blender sponge. It takes practice, or it did for me, but it’s worth it to finally understand contouring and highlighting.

CONTOUR
•    Sides of nose
•    Under cheekbones

BRONZE
•    Above contour shade on cheekbones

HIGHLIGHT
•    Bridge of nose
•    Middle of forehead
•    Under eyes
•    Chin

While the Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio isn’t going to be for my everyday look, it’s fun to use these when I’m going out for the evening and want to look my best.

What do you do for contouring? Or do you skip it like I used to? — Marcia

*sent for editorial consideration

Favorite highlighters & contouring products

Top Ten Tuesday is into highlighting and contouring. I’m just learning about contouring and it’s a slow but interesting process. But it’s slowly coming along because, as they say, practice makes (almost) perfect. Now highlighting is something I love so it was easy to find what I wanted to share with you. Though my college shows 9 products, it’s actually 10 which I’ll mention below. What highlight & contour products do you like?? — Marcia
1429474283_luxlight-revitalizing-foundation1-315x315EDDIE FUNKHOUSER LUXLIGHT HYDRATING PRIMER * ($14.99) is what I often start with when I want a more glowy look. I have other illuminating highlighters but this is the one I grab. The price is right, as is the Candlelight shade which gives a peachy radiance.
1429474197_mi-01-2tDEX COSMETICS MINERAL ILLUMINATOR ($33) is the unknown brand. No one talks about DEX, it’s more of a cult brand. When Lisa and I went to IMATS once she fell for the line, therefore I bought several items. This mineral illuminator is the one to find if you love a soft beautiful glow wherever you’d highlight. It brightens up the undereye area and looks great at the cupid’s bow to help your pout.
1429473863__82371DIOR SKINFLASH RADIANCE BOOSTER PEN ($38) is available in 6 shades. I bought 002, Candle Light, during a makeover. The makeup artist aka my sister loves this more than my favorite Touche Eclat. I still prefer TE but Dior did a great job on this pen. I mostly use it to soften the look under my eyes.
1429473386_luxlight-illuminator-315x315EDDIE FUNKHOUSER LUXLIGHT ILLUMINATOR PEN* ($11.99) has the best price and it’s very close to the original Touche Eclat, Luminous Radiance, shade. Mine is in Candlelight for cool skintones and it’s also available Arclight for warm skintones. This stands out from the crowded field because of its excellence and price.
1429473252__9457300CHARLOTTE TILBURY THE RETOUCHER ($35) is the first CT product I bought when it came to Nordstrom. I’m still deciding what else to buy from the brand but I wanted to see if I could find something better than Touche Eclat. I bought it in shade 1, Fair, which is lighter than my TE so it works great as a highlighting concealer.
1429473050__5813776YSL TOUCHE ECLAT, RADIANCE ECLAT ($42) is the first highlighter that I ever bought. Since then I’ve bought dozens of other brands but this remains my favorite. It is now available in 10 shades but I’m still in love with the original, Luminous Radiance. There’s just something about this that I can’t describe.

highlighting pens

highlighting pens

highlighting swatches - YSL Touche Eclat, Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, Eddie Funkhouser Candlelight, Dior Skinflash, Dex Minerals Illuminator

highlighting swatches – YSL Touche Eclat, Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, Eddie Funkhouser Candlelight, Dior Skinflash, Dex Minerals Illuminator

1429472802_2264104__detail_?1429472802IT COSMETICS HELLO LIGHT ANTI-AGING CREME ILLUMINIZER (and Hello Light Anti-Aging Illuminizer, the powder version*) ($24) is aaaamazing. I love creme products so that’s why this is the one in the collage. I can get this exactly where I want it to be and blend it with my fingers. As with all IT Cosmetics products for me, it’s the cat’s meow.
1429472649_2264092__detail_?1429472649IT COSMETICS MY SCULPTURED FACE ($38) has been in my collection for a long time. After I bought it though, I was afraid to use it. When I see dark colors for contouring I run. Once I started using it, I saw that IT Cosmetics only had my best interests in mind. The tones in this give you everything you need for highlighting, concealing, contouring and bronzing. It’s the perfect travel companion.

It Cosmetics The Sculptured Face

It Cosmetics The Sculptured Face

1429472501_smashbox-step-by-step-contour-stick-trioSMASHBOX STEP BY STEP CONTOURING TRIO *($45) is the best concept of all of these items. Three separate crayons that Contour, Highlight and Bronze

•    Contour: A darker shade that sculpts by creating shadows
•    Highlight: A light shade that pulls features forward
•    Bronze: A transition shade that eliminates harsh lines by blending the contour and highlight shades

A full review is coming up tonight.

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Smashbox Contour Stick Trio

Now that you’ve seen my mostly highlighting choices, which of these 9-1o products would you want to try? And what others would you recommend? I know my other blogger friends have some ideas for us all and I’m ready to check them out.  — Marcia
*products were pr samples

Further reviews on these can be found on Beauty Info Zone
IT Cosmetics Hello Light Anti-Aging Creme Illuminator

Eddie Funkhouser Hydrating Primer and Illuminator Pen

The Beauty Spotlight Team Smashbox palette giveaway

bst smashbox giveaway

The Beauty Spotlight Team has joined together to bring you an international giveaway. We are giving away the Smashbox Photo Op On the Rocks Luxe palette that contains 28 super blendable Photo Op eyeshadows. The shades range from naturally pretty to all out glam. Our giveaway is open through February 17, 2015 through the Rafflecopter.

Smashbox On the Rocks

Smashbox On the Rocks

Smashbox On the Rocks palette

Smashbox On the Rocks palette

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