Five date night must-haves!

Five date night must-haves

Five date night must-haves

The best night of the week? Date night. Whether you are going out with your significant other or with a gang of friends, nothing beats getting a little dressed up and cutting loose. Tonight my husband and I are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary and I am prepared for a memorable night out with my five must-haves!

Market and Spruce Nic Striped Dress

Market and Spruce Nic Striped Dress from @StitchFix

Market and Spruce Nic Striped Dress

Market and Spruce Nic Striped Dress front and back from @StitchFix

Market and Spruce Nic Striped Dress

Market and Spruce Nic Striped Dress from the side @StitchFix

1.  A kick-ass dress.  Wearing a dress makes everything a little more special, as long as the dress is also as comfy as a pair of pj’s. My favorite this summer is the Market and Spruce Nic Striped Dress. It’s as soft as a favorite t-shirt and it doesn’t wrinkle. This dress looks good on almost every body shape.

I never would have picked it out at the store, though – all those stripes would have scared me away. I got mine through Stitch Fix, which is a fashion service that you really have to try. You can schedule a ‘fix’ anytime you want, and through a detailed questionnaire a stylist picks four to five items for you. Try them on, and if you don’t like them, send them back. If you keep all five, you get a killer discount. You can even create a Pinterest board of clothes you love and your stylist will look at it to help guide your picks. (If you want to check out my personal Stitch Fix board, it’s right HERE).

I am not an affiliate, but if you decide to try Stitch Fix and go through this link I’ll get credit for future boxes…and I’ll be forever grateful! Trust me on this one though…you WILL become addicted and your closet will become absolutely fabulous.

Whish Orange Cream Body Butter

Whish Orange Cream Body Butter

2.  A sweet smelling travel-size tube of hand/body lotion. I can’t stand dry hands or arms, so I always carry a small tube of hand/body cream. It’s a great way to ward of crepey skin and to also freshen up after an intense Wobble or Electric Slide session. I like Whish Body Butter in Orange Cream. It reminds me of the orange creamsicles of my youth and makes me happy every time I slather some on.

KBShimmer What Are You Wading For?

KBShimmer What Are You Wading For?

KBShimmer What Are You Wading For?

KBShimmer What Are You Wading For?

3.  An awesome manicure. I am all about holographic polishes these days. They look demure indoors, but get these babies under some lights and they are funkadelic. A favorite this season is KBShimmer What Are You Wading For?, the best blue polish I have ever had. It’s LE so get it before it’s gone!

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse – right leg after one hour of Cocoa Brown.

4.  A great faux-tan.  As soon as I apply a natural looking faux-tan I immediately feel more confident. A little color brightens me up, makes me look thinner, and people no longer shield their eyes at my glaringly white skin when I wear shorts. Cocoa Brown 1 hour Tan Mousse is the bomb. Easy to apply, doesn’t transfer to clothes, and they now have a Dark shade for when I want to really get crazy.

Kiss Safe

KissSafe

5.  A discreet breath spray.  Despite our best intentions, all kinds of chemical warfare can unknowingly explode in your mouth, leaving you with dragon breath. I always carry a small spray bottle of oral antiseptic and KissSafe is the perfect choice. I like how it assumes I am going to be kissing someone, not just blathering on whilst unknowingly invading someone’s personal space. KissSafe isn’t sharply minty, it’s gentle yet extremely effective. This little baby hides right in my purse. A quick discreet spray and no one will have to subtly offer me a breath mint.

With a great dress, soft skin, heart stopping nails, healthy tanned skin and oral antiseptic, my date night is bound to be a major success. Tonight our celebration is at an old-school Italian restaurant in downtown Detroit and I’ve got my action plan all in place. I am ready for some romance, some silliness, and some lighthearted reminiscing. What are some of your date night must-haves?  – Lisa

*except for Stitch Fix, all items received for editorial consideration

#StitchFix #KBShimmer #WhishBeauty #CocoaBrownTan  #KissSafe

5 Limited Edition holiday gifts to put on your list!

Limited Edition Holiday Gifts

Yes, I know.  The holidays are about giving.  But let’s be honest…receiving is pretty nice, too!  This is the time to take full  advantage of the wonderful deals and special sets that are only available for the holiday season.  Here are five limited edition gifts sent to the BIZ that are worthy of your personal holiday wish list.

1.  Pur Minerals 3-pc. Let It Glow Bronzer, Blush, and Brighten Cheek Trio ($24)  Already on my wish list, I was sooo happy when Pur Minerals sent us this set!  It has three mini twist-up makeup sticks: a bronzer in Naughty & Nice, a blush in Sugar & Spice and a highlighter in Glisten & Glow. Together, these three give you everything you need to contour and create a rosy glow.

Pur Minerals Let It Glow Set up close

2.  Meijer Bath Collection Gift Sets #MeijerBeauty:  these super cute sets are fantastic gifts for Secret Santa exchanges or for last minute presents – pick some up to have on hand, and get a few for yourself.  The Winter White Vanilla scent is especially yummy.

Meijer holiday sets

3.  BECCA Holiday Collection One Perfecting Brush in Limited Edition Gold ($49 at Sephora and Ulta)  I have been jonesing for this multi-purpose brush ever since Marcia did her fabulous review of it last year (read it HERE).  Why not get the limited edition gold version?  This beautiful brush works for liquids, creams, powders…whatever you want to throw at it.  Gotta love the fashion/function combo.

Becca Holiday Collection LE One Perfection Brush in Gold

4.  Whish Body Vanilla Spice, Sugar Plum and Vanilla Mint Holiday Sets ($24 at Nordstrom.com)  I have loved the fabulously retro Whish for years, and this holiday set is just too good to pass up.  The three scent choices (Vanilla Spice, Sugar Plum, and Vanilla Mint) are seasonal limited edition, so ask for each set to stock up for the winter months!  Each set has a 3 oz Body Wash, Body Butter and Body Scrub – travel friendly and TSA approved sizes.

Whish Sugar Plum Holiday Set

5.  Soap & Paper Factory Roland Pine Soy Candle & Soap Set ($36)  The fragrance of this full-size pure soy candle and bar of shea butter soap is pure holiday.  The mix of Siberian Fir, pine, and Cedar wood is truly transporting.  It makes a great gift, but believe me you will want this set for yourself.

The Soap and Paper Factory Roland Pine Set

Put these limited edition items on your own Christmas wish list, or do a ‘one for you, one for me’.  You’ve been a good girl all year and now it’s time for some rewards!  – Lisa

*items reviewed sent for editiorial consideration, opinions all mine

4 essential products to get ‘game day’ glam!

Football season is in full swing, and in Michigan people take this game very, very seriously.  Pro football is huge, and so is high school football.  My goodness, our high schools even have a class called ‘Football Advanced Training”.  Whether you are out tailgating at the stadium or hosting a game day at home, it’s far more fun when you are feeling glam.  Here are four products sent to the BIZ that will help you get your glam on.

Game Day Glam essentials!

Game Day Glam essentials!

First up, if you are going to be outside you still need protection from those UV rays.  Be sure to slather on sunscreen before cheering on the team, and what better brand for tailgating than Drunk Elephant??

This couldn't be more appropriate for the game days around here...

This couldn’t be more appropriate for the game days around here…

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense

I love Umbra Sheer Physical Defense Sunscreen ($42).  It is made with raspberry seed oil, which gives extremely effective protection from the sun without irritating the skin.  When it comes to being out in the sun, it definitely pays off to go on defense with skin protection.

You can find this awesome sunscreen at DrunkElephant.com, dermstore.com, b-glowing.com and gotbeauty.com.

eos Visibly Soft Smooth Spheres

eos Visibly Soft Smooth Spheres

You know you will be cheering on your team, so be ready with soft, smooth lips thanks to eos Visibly Soft Lip Balm Spheres ($3.29).

eos Visibly Soft Smooth Spheres

eos Visibly Soft Smooth Spheres

Looks like the aliens have landed!

Looks like the aliens have landed!

These ultra cute, super affordable lip balms have hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C so they leave lips incredibly soft and supple.  Plus they are awesome conversation starters.  Every time I use one people ask what the heck it is…and I am always happy to share!  I don’t even know which one is my favorite, the delicious tingly Vanilla Mint or the creamy, soothing Coconut Milk.  Trust me, you want to pick up one of these really neat lip balms.   They are available at Target, Walmart, Ulta, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Drugstore.com and EvolutionOfSmooth.com.

Whish Deoderant Swipes

Whish Deodorant Swipes

Whish Deodorant Swipes...super convenient!

Whish Deodorant Swipes…super convenient!

The weather can still be pretty warm, and sitting in the stands can be a rather sweaty experience.  Just pop a few Whish Deodorant Swipes ($8) in your purse, and you’ll be able to freshen up any time.  With consistent use, these also inhibit hair growth – that’s a pretty nice side effect.  You can find them at Nordstom.com.

Take the day off with Japonesque Pro Performance Makeup Wipes

Take the day off with Japonesque Pro Performance Makeup Wipes

Speaking of handy, Japonesque Pro Makeup Artist Wipes ($12.50 for 20 wipes) are the absolute definition.  Stadiums and game stands can be grimy and dirty, and these wipes dissolve away dirt, not to mention makeup.  They are great for last-minute touch-ups, and even better for wiping away the day after game time is over.  The vitamin E helps to ensure your skin is all ready to be glammed up for the next game time.  You can find these at Ulta.

With these four beauty necessities, every game day is a glam day.  It’s everything you need to start with Friday Night football and keep on going through Sunday!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Game Day Glam collage

Birchbox for March and April 2013 brought some nice surprises

I’m back with two months of Birchbox. I totally forgot to report about the Birchbox March box so when I received the April box I decided to put them together. One thing I notice often is how much they mix up the boxes. One of my Makeup Wars’ blogger friends, Brooke from Blushing Noir, never seems to get what I get. Sometimes I envy her boxes, I wonder if she ever envies mine!

For March the box was called March Madness in honor of the basketball furor going on I’m sure. Since University of Michigan made it into the final game for the first time in over 20 years, I was all about March Madness. I am happy with this box for the $10 I spent and you’ll see why as you read on.

Birchbox March Madness 2013

Birchbox March Madness 2013

birchbox march card

My box contained a Blueberry Whish Shaving Cream, Nick Chavez shampoo, 2 products from MAKE (eyeshadow and primer) and as the Lifestyle Extra a floral Madewell nail file.

Contents of Birchbox for March

Contents of Birchbox for March

Opinions:

Whish: one of my favorite brands, I discovered this long ago and especially like their shaving cream. We have several reviews for Whish up on Beauty Info Zone since it’s a brand we admire. The blueberry fragrance is a little strong for me but I put it in my “possibles” bag – the bag I scour through before packing.

Nick Chavez shampoo and Whish blueberry shaving cream

Nick Chavez shampoo and Whish blueberry shaving cream

NICK CHAVEZ Color Saver sulfate-free shampoo: not excited. I get a ton of hair samples in these subscription boxes. (Maybe that’s a hint that I should drop some!) But it is good that it’s for color treated hair and it’s sulfate free.

MAKE face primer: My picture makes this look a lot bigger than it is, it’s actually quite tiny but I’ve been very interested in MAKE products and have a review for other products coming up. This is a good way for me to test out this and I’ll report more in my MAKE review.

MAKE Concrete Eyeshadow and Face Primer

MAKE Concrete Eyeshadow and Face Primer

-MAKE eyeshadow: This is teeny weeny but that’s okay when you have 2 gazillion eyeshadows. The color is called Cement so you have a good idea of what it looks like!! Cement is a matte shadow. Unfortunately it doesn’t look quite right with my other MAKE eyeshadow so it’s going to have to “make” other friends.

Make Concrete

MAKE Concrete

MADEWELL floral emery board: it’s pretty but I have my gorgeous Mont Bleu files that I prefer.

There was also a card for a free Benefit Bad Girl Lash mini if you spent $25 at benefit.com. That went in recycling.

Birchbox April 2013

Birchbox April 2013

Now for April’s Birchbox which is themed “Tiny Tweaks, Big Results”. Sometimes I need to remind myself that Birchbox is a “sample” box. Some of the samples are a decent size, but some are so small! For April there are two products I’m very happy about. The box contains Nexxus, Youngblood, Caudalie, Weleda and Strivectin.

Inside the April 2013 Birchbox

Inside the April 2013 Birchbox

OPINIONS:

NEXXUS Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixer: More hair goodies (but luckily no fragrance!!!!) This is a shine boosting serum that helps prevent breakage. It makes me feel bad since it’s for “aging” hair. Boo hoo, even my hair ages??

Caudalie Divine Oil, Nexxus

Caudalie Divine Oil, Nexxus Elixer

CAUDALIE Divine Oil: I’m probably one of the few people who isn’t a Caudalie follower. It’s usually too fragranced for me. This oil is meant to be used on skin, hair and nails. I might give it a chance since it gets amazing raves.

Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier

Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier

YOUNGBLOOD Anti-Shine Mattifier: Now this is a product I can give great reviews for. The only bad news is that I bought the full size one when I was in LA for the IMATS show. This is the size of a MAC eyeshadow so it might be a little hard to use but it’s a great way to see if this great product works for you and for me it can be put in my travel Z Palette.

Strivectin-SD Eye Concentrate

Strivectin-SD Eye Concentrate

STRIVECTIN-SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles: I always get excited about eye creams and this is one I haven’t tried so here’s the second winner in this box. Who knows when I’ll get around to it since I have a few eye creams to review but I’m really looking forward to trying this.

This month there’s also a postcard for a totally free one year subscription to Women’s Health. The value of that is $9.99 so that’s a nice extra that I’ll take advantage of.

Weleda body lotion packets

Weleda body lotion packets

For the Lifestyle Extras there are 3 packets of body lotion from WELEDA. These are great for that “possibles” bag I told you about. They are probably one use each but I like tossing things when I travel. The one fragrance going into my bag is the Pomegranate; the other two Wild Rose and Sea Buckthorn will probably be in a giveaway contest as a hidden extra.

So there you have two months of BIRCHBOX.  I like the March box a lot and I really like the April box so these were good months for me. This is my 30th month with them which means I’ve spent $300 on samples. Am I totally crazy? Shh – don’t answer that, I know that I am. Birchbox will continue for another month – which is what I say every month. Did you get any of these in your boxes? — Marcia

Disclosure: I pay for my own Birchbox but I’ve linked to my referral code which would get me points towards possible products.

For other boxes here are the ones that Blushing Noir received so you can see how different hers are: March and April.

 

 

Lisa’s Top Picks of 2011: Skin Care, Body Care, and the rest!

A few days ago I posted my favorite color items, you can find that post here.  ‘Top picks’ posts are the ones I enjoy writing up the most, I love sharing the extra good stuff with you, and I love being able to put all this fabulousness in one review!  I was going to publish today’s post of my favorite skin care, body care, and other miscellaneous items yesterday, but boy did I get hit with the flu.  I’m all better now, so here is my list for you.

Favorite skin care:

I found several skin care items that I am constantly reaching for over and over. I love the Chella Foaming Cleanser Lavish Souffle, it the perfect cleanser and you only need a tiny bit.

Chella Foaming Cleanser

I really got into natural organic lines, like Annmarie Gianni Skin Care Neroli Toning Mist and Coconut Oil, beautiful products from a fantastic line with a great message.

I also loved the Artisan Naturals Lemon Cypress Exfoliating Mask, which is my favorite go-to for pesky breakouts.

To even out my skin tone, I have been absolutely loving the Omorfies Etenia Lightening Cream by Kleraderm.

Two other skin care lines that I adore are 3Lab (for their amazing Super Eye Treatment and Perfect Lips)

and YBF Skin Care (Hydrate B and Boost are flipping fabulous).

YBF Boost

Favorite primer:

This one is a tie for me.  I am completely impressed with Reviva Labs Makeup Primer,

it’s a great silicone based primer that actually goes on light.

And I am totally loving the Youngblood Mineral Primer,

Youngblood Mineral Primer

which has a wonderful texture and really helps my makeup stay put all day.

Favorite Facialist:

My favorite facialist this year was Joanne Kallabat, owner of Kleraderm.

Joanne Kallabat with her son, Michael

It’s such a treat to go to Nordstrom and get a $150 facial for only $20 – plus she gives the BEST face massage ever.  I love how she gives tons and tons of samples first.  She wants to figure out what works best for your skin before she will even let you buy anything!

Favorite Fragrances:

I have completely embraced the layering concept by Lisa Hoffman, and her Tuscan Fig fragrance is just to die for.

Lisa Hoffman Variations case with the Tuscan Fig fragrance

Plus, her iScentify scent finder is super fun to play with.

I also fell in love with the Juara Candlenut Fragrance.

This is a swoon-worthy coconut scent that makes everyone want to hug you.  And then hug you again.

Favorite storage solution:

Wow, this one was a life changer – the Zuca Pro Artist Case.

It has totally changed my organizational system, and has made makeup gigs so much easier, as well as travel.  Looks like we are going to be doing more contests with Zuca this year, so stay tuned!!

Favorite hand cream:

I am a hand cream addict, since I work at a school and need to wash my hands about twenty times a day.  I cannot do without my Votre Vu Duette Lux Lip Balm and Hand Cream.

Little mirror, lip balm, and then hand cream, all in one package??  Absolute genius, and the hand cream smells truly amazing.

Favorite body products:

2011 was a Whish year for me, that’s for sure. I love this retro line, every single product is a winner.

Just this morning I was thanking the Whish Gods for making their amazing Shave Crave Shaving Cream.

Tarte Cosmetics is a line better known for its great color products, but a true unsung hero is the Tarte Celebutante.

It’s a gorgeous body shimmer spray that smells unbelievably good, like fresh coconut and vanilla.  Yummy!!

Speaking of coconuts, I went pretty ‘coconutty’ for the Bodycology Island Coconut products.

The body cream, body wash, and body spray are all truly terrific, and I reach for them all the time.

Favorite sunning/self-tanner products:

I am a big fan of faux tanning, and I had some great discoveries this past year.  Hampton Sun is a go-to line for any sun products, including faux tanning.  I love the Privet Blossom products, they have a unique scent that is totally summer in a bottle.

Hampton Sun Shimmer Spray in Bronze

The spray SPF is amazing, and the faux tanning and body shimmer products are excellent.  Try this line, you won’t be disappointed.

Another great discovery that changed my faux tanning was the Beautisol Self Tanning Magic Mitt.

This $6 wonder completely changed my faux tanning experience for the better!!  No streaks, no worries, no problems.  Love it!!

I also fell in love with Tan Towels.  Such a quick, sanitary way to get a deep tan, plus the towelettes travel so well.

Miscellaneous:

Favorite cleaning products:

Dusting Fragrance

I am the first to admit that housekeeping is never a priority for me, so finding things that help make cleaning joyful is huge for me.  Sweet Grass Farm has pretty awesome cleaning products that give me extra motivation, my favorites are the Dusting fragrance and Lemon Verbena Liquid Soap.

Favorite clothing line:

I am totally digging the Sprigs clothing line.  Pictured above I am wearing my Banjee while shopping.  I love these little guys, they really do make life easier.  And I wear my infinity scarves all the time too.  So many great items, it’s a fabulous line that I am so happy I discovered this year!

That’s it for all my favorites of 2011.  And now on to an amazing year of even more terrific discoveries in 2012!!  – Lisa

The deals keep coming – more offers to share

They just keep coming…. More sales and specials from our favorite brands. Check out our reviews of these items for ideas.

It Cosmetics: 35% off any purchase. Enter code FF35 at checkout. We weren’t given an expiration date but don’t wait. Beauty Info Zone adores It Cosmetics!!

Josie Maran: 25% off any purchase. Enter code GIVEBACK at checkout. Expires November 28.

June Jacobs reminder: 40% off any purchase. Enter code BIGSALE11 at checkout. Expires November 28.

Elizabeth Arden has two specials. A) With any $40 purchase receive free shipping and a free nine piece gift valued at $122. Gift includes mini sizes of Prevage Face Serum, Prevage Day SPF 30,Prevage Night Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara in Black, Pure Finish Mineral Bronzing Powder in Medium , Ceramide Ultra Lipstick in Coral (full size), All Gone Eye and Lip Makeup Remover (1.7 oz), a Kabuki Brush, and a Signature Gold cosmetic bag. Enter code BLKFRIDAY40 at checkout. Expires November 30 or while supplies last. B) With any $55 purchase receive free shipping and a free eleven piece gift. Gift includes mini sizes of Prevage Face Serum , Prevage Day SPF 30, Prevage Night , Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara in Black,  Pure Finish Mineral Bronzing Powder in Medium , Ceramide Ultra Lipstick in Coral (full size), All Gone Eye and Lip Makeup Remover (1.7 oz), a Kabuki Brush, Ceramide Gold Capsules deluxe sample, a large red tote, and a Signature Gold cosmetic bag. Enter code BLKFRIDAY55 at checkout. Expires November 27 or while supplies last.

WHISH: 30% off any purchase. Enter code holiday11 at checkout. Expires November 27

BUTTER LONDON: 30% off any purchase. Enter code CELEBRATE11 at checkout. Expires November 30.

MURAD: $25 off any $100 purchase. Enter code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout. Expires November 30.

SUPER by DR. PERRICONE.: $25 off any $100 purchase plus you get free shipping. Enter code JOYOFGIVING at checkout. Expires November 28.

THREE CUSTOM COLORS: Cyber Monday internet only. 30% off Monday only using the code CYBER11.

SENNA COSMETICS: Through Monday, November 28th Senna is 20% off. If you spend $50 you’ll also get free shipping. No code is needed.

VAPOUR ORGANIC BEAUTY: 30% off through Monday, Nov. 28th using the code blackfriday.

ANNMARIE GIANNI SKIN CARE: We’re a little late for Black Friday but there are still discounts through November 28th. You’ll get 15% off. The bonus is that you’ll also be giving a donation through AnnMarie. What I’m also going to do – all weekend long – we are donating an additional 5% of every purchase to a cause that is very close to my heart – the GMO labeling initiative (www.LabelGMOs.org). Use the coupon code BLACK5.

I crave Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream

Whish has long been a favorite line of mine, and when they released the Lavender Shave Crave Shaving Cream ($20) this past June I was really excited to try it.

I am not one to shave with just water.  In fact, if I don’t have any shaving cream handy, I have been known to grab my husband’s shaving cream.  The problem with the hubby’s shaving cream is it’s somewhat drying and harsh, so then I resort to using my conditioner until I get my mitts on some proper shaving cream.  And Whish has totally spoiled me so now I am super picky. 

 Shaving cream just really does make a big difference for me – no shaving cream means dry, flaky skin, shaving cream means soft, flake-free skin.  I have found that with the Lavender Shave Crave I don’t even need a separate moisturizer, my skin is so soft and smooth.

Lavender Shave Crave is a lavender essential oil based shaving cream that doesn’t have any harsh chemicals, and it isn’t a foam which is good – foams can be very drying to the skin.  Ingredients include natural squalene to hydrate rough skin, organic shea butter to moisturize, organic green tea to sooth the skin, and organic coconut oil and organic jojoba seed oil which penetrate the skin tissue to protect and heal it from minor cuts from shaving. 

Lavender is known for as a great scent for stress relief, but I sometimes find lavender to be too strong and old fashioned for me.  I was happy to find that the lavender scent in this product is great, it’s not too strong and it’s just beautiful.  However, if you prefer other scents, Shave Crave also comes in Pomegrante, Almond, and Lemongrass.

The product pumps out as a rich, thick cream that makes shaving a dream.  I shave my legs every other day, and one bottle lasts me over two months.

Summer is here, and that means bare legs!!  I find that shaving is a pleasure and not such a chore with Lavender Shave Crave Shaving Cream.  You can find Whish products at Nordstrom, and online at skinstore.com , dermstore.com, and skincarerx.com.  You can also find it at the Whish website, which is worth a few minutes of just clicking around, because everything they make is retro cool.  – Lisa