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A wonder-ful value!

Oh dear, I’ve caught it.  I’ve caught new bling-itis!  It’s a terrible illness, where one has to have all the pretty sparkles.

My most recent haul included the Smashbox Wondervision mega palette.  When I first saw this gem, I thought, wow that’s pretty but it looks like many of the colors that I have in the Photo Op Mega Palette that I still have (and sadly, rarely use), so I didn’t jump up and buy it at full retail ($49).  I wanted to see what others were saying, and how the quality was.  Have you noticed, like I have, that so many of the holiday palettes tend to be inferior quality to the regular line?  I continuously am disappointing by sets from other manufacturers that just aren’t up to par.

Smashbox Wonder VisionSo, time passed, and I kept looking at the pretty sparkles.  Then one day, the ULTA flyer came in the mail offering the palate at a sale price of $39.  Well, that made me think. Then a beauty sister offered me her coupon code.  That made it $32.  Well, I could no longer resist the pull of the gorgeous set, which comes with 30 shadows, 3 blushes and a bronzer as well as clear plastic look cards that can be placed over the colors of your choice for easy gorgeousness.

With everything from matte neutral, glimmer neutral, purple, pink, green and blue hues, there is something fro everyone here.  I have been experimenting with the looks and the colors, and going outside of my matte neutral zone with some awesome results.  The Wonder Vision line is Smashbox’s limited edition Holiday 2013 product line, and the mega palette includes

These colors are in Smashbox’s creamy, richly pigmented formula that glides on like a dream.  I was a bit worried about these being the same delicious formula as the Photo Op Mega Palette, and fortunately they are.  They are easy to work with, and can be light and sheer, or deep and rich depending on how you apply them.  What I really love about this palette is that the look cards lay over 4 colors at a time, so you have infinite possibilities and ideas to get you started.  While giant palates can be a bit scary, which WONDERVISION MEGA PALETTEfrankly is why I don’t use the Photo Op one much, these cards make it easy to create looks and play.

I won’t swatch the colors here since I know you all can google.  While this is sold out at ULTA, it is still available at for the $39 price, and if you get a chance to get your hands on this gorgeous palate do it!  You won’t be sorry!



Clearly Correct is IT!

First of all, what is a CC Cream?  You’ve heard me talk about BB Creams, and they are fantastic, all purpose wonder products (though some are better than other).  The same is true for CC Creams, there are great, horrible, and meh products.  But with all the hype out there for BB, CC, DD and what the heck creams, let’s do a little background.

CC, in this case, is used for Color Correcting or Color Control cream.  Just like BB creams, the first versions came out of Korea and the Asian market, where a CC cream is a BB cream with more features and benefits like redness reducing, light diffusing and correcting pigments.  Another critical factor in a good CC cream is a powerful SPF, which is critical for all of us i we’re out in the sun for more than 5 minutes.  SPF is one of the best anti aging tools out there!

As a kid, I spent a lot of time in the sun – skiing, swimming, playing.  Unfortunately, my Irish & German coloring didn’t like it when my Sea & Ski sunblock wore off – or when the Coppertone Tanning Oil did nothing but help me sizzle at the beach.  So, here I am in my early 40s paying the price.  From discoloration to sunspots, I am pretty damn lucky that I have no signs of skin cancer.  This Irish & German lass turns pink after sitting in the sun for an hour so I’m always looking for products that are multi taskers.

The IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream does just that.  As with all other IT products, it’s packed full of anti aging benefits and good for you ingredients.  But this product is different because it’s one product that does all of this:

  • Anti aging serum
  • SPF 50+ in a non chemical form, which is important if you have sensativity to anything other than physical sunscreen (Titanium Dioxide)
  • Anti aging moisturizer
  • Foundation
  • skin brightener
  • pore correcotr
  • concealer/corrector

I admit, I was skeptical when I first got this product after trying many BB creams that just didn’t do anything for me.  But the IT CC Cream is different.  Because it’s many products in one, unless I’m having a really dry day, I can jump from the shower and put CC cream on after, skipping the moisturizer, primer, foundation and setting powder.

This medium-full coverage product is highly pigmented, but doesn’t look fake or masky.  I’ve played with a few application techniques and found that if I want lighter coverage, a flat paddle brush is wonderful for application, using a buffing brush to even out the application.  Other days, I use my fingers to swirl on the CC cream in circular motions; the warmth of your fingers will melt the product in to your skin, giving a smooth and even finish that dries with a soft matte finish   If you really have some problem areas, you can post conceal to cover and stubborn spots.  I do find that less is more with the IT CC cream, so start small and build coverage until you find the right amount for your skin.  The first time I used it, I was rubbing off all over the place and no one wants that!

There is a lemon scent to this product, so if you are sensitive to smells –  be warned.

So, how does it work?  I personally wore the IT CC Cream for two weeks, forgoing any other foundation or skin care, to see how my skin responded.  What I found was that my skin was smoother, silkier, and more even toned.  NOw, I am a die hard IT fan, so to skip the 50 Primer and my regular routine was pretty tough – but I seriously noticed a difference after the first few days.

The CC Cream is very moisturizing, so if you have oily skin or an oily T zone like me, I use a touch of Bye Bye Pores over those areas to lock in the cream and calm down any oily spots.  If I’m having a day where I need more coverage or feel like I do, I pop my Celebration Foundation in my bag for touch ups during the day.  

I wear Light this time of year, but could get away with Medium in the summer.  The shades are quite forgiving as it’s primarily skin care, with adjusting pigments.  I will be repurchasing this product for sure!  The best part?  It’s skin care so you don’t have to worry about washing it off at night!  Stay tuned, because next up is my review of the Tarte BB Primer, also something I love!

Grade:  A- – the scent is rather strong and I wish it was a bit less but it dissipates.



Are you Ready for READY foundation?

Bare Minerals Ready FoundationAre you Ready?  I know I was.  I love my foundation.  I especially love a solid foundation, that I can tuck in my bag and carry with me for quick touch ups or post office makeup-ing.  So, when Bare Escentuals came out with a pressed version of their mineral foundation, I was ready to check it out and jump on it.

The Bare Minerals READY SPF Foundation promises a natural, long wearing formula that beautifully covers everything but feels like nothing is on.  It also claims to keep skin smooth, fresh, and younger looking.

This solid mineral technology claims to have invisible long wearing coverage.  Interestingly, it runs very light.  In loose, I wear Golden Fair or Fairly Medium.  In Ready, the best match was Medium Beige, which is a tinge too dark so I need to apply it carefully.

One important thing about Ready Foundation is you really need to apply it sparingly.  You cannot buff this foundation on, or sweep heavy layers.  My first experience with the Ready foundation was after a a makeunder event.  While I loved the coverage when I looked in the mirror, I quickly noticed that it both looked cakey and tended to pool in the crinkled of my nose.  This concerned me, as I have an oily t-zone that I need to cover.

I have found the best way to apply this was with an Everyday Minerals mini kabuki brush.  This is a fairly fluffy brush, that is not so densely packed with bristles.  What works best is to tap the brush in the foundation, and sweep it over my face, repeating as necessary.  Using the flat-topped IT Cosmetics foundation brush applied too much product and immediately made it look cakey, accentuating my pores, which was the same result when I used the BE Ready Foundation brush.

This technique gave me light to medium coverage,, but it did not stand the test of time.  I look for foundations that absorb the oil on my t-zone, and last all day.  The Ready, while it was a nice finished look in general, lasted only a few hours, and needed to be reapplied.  Reapplying, even sparingly, resulted in build up.  I also noticed that from a distance it tends to accentuate my wrinkles and fine lines.

I do not recommend wearing a primer with this product.  Although I love the Neutralizing Primer, it doesn’t play well with the Ready.  I also wore the new Ready Creamy Concealer underneath the Ready Foundation, and the combination, provided good coverage, however the foundation tended to pool and crinkle near the areas that I used concealer.

I can see this product being great for someone with dry skin, but for my sensitive combo skin, it didn’t do the trick, and it certainly did not last 12 hours.  That said, I am in love with all the other Ready products so don’t let this dissuade you!

Final grade:  B+ There is a learning curve in applying this product, and the color selection should be broader.  I like the overall feeling of the product, but I think it would use a bit of improvement to switch me over.


Too naked, too naked for my face!

How do I love a soft, neutral eye?  Let me count the ways!  A soft brown eye has always been my go to day look, and I can’t tell you how many shadows and palettes I have that fall in to this category at my house, but I love them!

The Too Faced Naked Eye Soft & Sexy Eye Shadow Collection has 9 shadows in all, with 3 large ( i mean LARGE!) pans of all over lid color.  They are a mix of matte and softly shimmering colors, and you also get 3 how to look cards to help you make your peepers perfect.  That said, I’ve been wanting to try Too Faced shadows for a while, and these palettes are WAY to adorable!  I had a coupon pop in to my mailbox, so I thought I’d take advantage and snap this baby up.

You get, in that cute little box that you can put on your vanity the following:
Three large pans of all over lid colors in: In the Buff, a matte ivory perfect for every day; Birthday Suit, a beige shimmer, and Pink Cheeks, a pale whisper pink.

To accent these base colors, you also get: Pillow Talk, a light taupe with a bit of sheen; Like a Virgin, a matte medium brown; Satin Sheets, a shimmering pink champagne; Unmentionables, a grey shimmer; Lap Dance, a silvery, grey, blue, interesting shiny number; and, Stiletto, a matte blacck that can double as a liner.

You also get a teesy brush in a little pull out drawer.

The kit retails for $36, and for 9 shadows, that makes it about $4 each.  Considering the three larger pans are significatnly more product than the rest that’s a really good deal.  If you get it at Sephora’s VIB sale coming up, you can do even better!  I really like the way these shadows lay down, and if you want a small collection for travelling or for your dresser top, this is perfect.

The shadows are very soft and blend nicely.  The darker shades are very well pigmented and stay on.  I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a primer, and my natural eye lasted all day.  My only disappointing is that upon reading the ingredients, they do indeed, like so many shadows – contain parabens.  Parabens are used as a preservative in cosmetics, and can be of particular concern to women because they can impact estrogen, which may increase your risk of breast cancer.  Now, mind you, I am not a doctor, and the studies are lacking some critical formation - like naturally occurring parabens in your body, and how MUCH paraben will impact you negatively, but if I can avoid them, I try to.  Since parabens are absorbed through the skin, and mimic estrogen, excessive paraben can really monkey up your system.

Parabens are found in breast cancer tissue; whether or not these are a side effect of the tumors or a cause of the tumors are unknown.  Bottom line, will I throw away my makeup that contains parabens?  No.  Will I try to educate myself better before buying additional products?  You bet.  I don’t think it’s possible to avoid them entirely, nor do I think it’s necessarily, but I do think there are other options out there, and I can chose to purchase products without an ingreident that is questionsable.

Bottom line, I love this kit and I’m glad I bought it!  If you are are a neutral holic, this one is for you!  Available at, Sephora, and Ulta as well as Too Faced directly.  Don’t forget your ebates (affiliate link)!



Holy Newness Batman! Just the Bare Escentuals…

Remember how I told you to hold on to your wallets for Sephora’s Friends and Family Sale coming up October 20 – November 2?  Well you might want to continue to hold them for the Bare Essentials Friends and Family Sales, set to be sometime in December.

Why should do do this you ask?

Well, my sources have informed me that there is a LOT.  I mean a MACK truckload lot of holiday sparkle this year!

To date we know of:

Now, the rumors of a Gems kit and a Months of the year have proven to be true!  I am beyond excited about these kits, and already nabbed a Box of Gems on Easy Pay.  Heck it’s the only way!
  • Box of Gems, exclusive to QVC with 10 eyecolors, 5 Buxoms and much much more!
  • A Year of Beauty, another boutique / exclusive, with 12 shades to go from month to month.

Also at boutiques and online, we will have:

  • The Golden Touch Mini Brush Collection
  • Flawless and Fearless Mascara duo
  • We also know that the RSVP kit will be another boutique exclusive, with 9 pieces for the full face.

On QVC we have:

    • Transformational Treatment Collection
    • Brush with Fame, an eye brush set
    • Out Of This World Eyeliner Trip

For Ulta there are two holiday kits:

  • The Gamourous Life Collection
  • a new High Shine Trio.
Good luck shopping and I’ll share more info as soon as I can!




but wait! There’s more!

I almost forgot, that the Glow Your Way to Gorgeous auto delivery actually ships the same month as the equally amazing tarte 8th World Wonder AD.  This will be the final of three shipments for the 8th World Wonder, and I will be sorry to see it end because I really love the tarte kits.  That said, since it’s coming up on holiday, I know I will need to make room for more yumminess!

Here’s what we get in the final 8th World Wonder kit:

  • Amazonian Clay Full Coverage balancing foundation
  • Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Deep Bronze
  • Sheer Optic lipgloss in simmering Raspberry
  • Amazonian Clay 12 hour blush in Passion
  • Eyeshadow Quad with Shimmering Buff, Shimmering Sable, Shimmering Cocoa, and Matte Coffee Bean (oops.  It appears I just purchased this quad from Ulta in the Soft & Smokey Kit, which I need to review.    I love it to death, but if you want to buy it…I’ll have a dupe!)
  • Lights Camera Lashes Mascara
  • Dual ended smudge and shadow brush
  • Quilted Bag

I have a lot of kits coming in October, so be prepared for a lot of swatching!


Happy shopping!

Dare to go Naked! **GIVEAWAY OPEN UNTIL AUGUST 31st**

Naked, nude, natural, neutral.  Any way you look at it, the naked look is in, and it’s hear to stay.  The classic every day looks you can get from any neutral palette, and the vampy evening looks they can morph in to make these all in one kits fabulous ways to carry you makeup counter with you.

I personally have and am madly in love with the Urban Decay Naked Palette.  I really love it.  Really.  That little 12 pan palette doesn’t look like much when you spy it on the Sephora shelves, but it packs a mighty punch.  These shadows have excellent coverage and pigmentation, and go on creamy and smooth.  The addition of a super high quality brush, that doubles as a crease brush when on it’s side, plus a little UDPP makes this a great value.  I purchased this from Sephora and is my go to kit for travelling because I can make so many looks out of it.  I pack my favorite UD 24/7 liner (Corrupt) with me, and bit of mascara and I’m off!  With a dozen colors but limitless combinations, you can be mild and meek or vampy and vivacious!

That doesn’t. however, stop me from coveting some of the competitors:

Too Faced Naked Eye Soft & Sexy (9 pans) - $36

NYX Nude on Nude (20 pans plus 10 lipcolors) - $25

Stila Natural Eyes (10 pans) - $39

NYX Nude on Nude (20 pans plus 10 lipcolors) - $25

Giveaway time!

So, tell me.   how do YOU get naked?  What Is your favorite nude look combo?  What is your favorite nude palette?  How do you get a soft and neutral look?

Leave your faves in the comments below and enter to win a special neutral treat! (sorry, no…I can’t afford to donate a Naked Palette lol but you never know what you might get!)


  1. You can not have won a giveaway in the last 6 months
  2. Management reserves the right to substitute giveaway prizes in the event the item is no longer available.
  3. You must comment on this blog post to win
  4. For a bonus entry:
    • Comment on the Facebook post about this giveaway!
    • Share this on your own Facebook post and tag me with a link to this giveaway!
    • Follow me on TWITTER and RT:  @thinking_beauty dares to go bare and I do too!
    • Giveaway open until August 31st!  Must be 25 entries to be eligible to win.


Good luck!

Here’s one Saturday look I created with the Naked Palette:


  • Mally Poreless Prep Primer
  • Laura Gellar B&B in Regular
  • Laura Gellar Real Deal Concealer in Medium
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Glisten
  • Finishing off with IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Powder on the t-zone


  • UDPP in Eden
  • UD Naked lash to crease
  • UD Hustle in Crease
  • UD Virgin to highligh
  • UD 24/7 pencil in Corrupt smudged out
  • Mally everycolor shadow pencil in Chestnut
  • Benefit Real Deal Mascara


  • Bare Escentuals Pretty Amazing Vivacious

Enjoy and can’t wait to read about your dare to go bare!

ULTA is the Ultimate!

So, I get about a zillion emails everyday, and several are from makeup companies with the latest trends.

Today, I received this from ULTA, as a part of their 21 Days fo Beauty campaign:



I already use the skincare from Bare Escentuals, and LOVE it, but I’m tempted to order a backup stash, to get my free lippie!  PS if you sign up for the emails you periodically get discounts, and mine came with a $10 off coupon.