Mascara Monday: Essence Multi-Action Blackest Black mascara

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Soooo I’m back with an Essence mascara. I am slowly but surely making my way through these mascaras. They don’t seem to release as many mascaras as other brands and that’s totally okay with me. It gives me time to mess around with ‘em a bit. Next on the list is this kid…

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Price: $3.99 at Ulta and Ulta.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “This multi-talented lash lover offers an innovative brush and unique texture with carbon black pigments to ensure more volume, length and curve for the deepest black lashes! A must-have for dramatic eyes!!” (source)

The Truth: It is indeed a super black mascara but man, it’s a flaky son of a gun. Or daughter. I’m not sure of its gender.

What I Loved About It: I’ll always love Essence’s affordability.

What I Didn’t Like: It’s flaky and just doesn’t seem to volumize or lengthen well.

Overall: Ah well. You win some and loose some. My feelings aren’t too hurt that this mascara wasn’t all that. I’ve come across better Essence mascaras and so the disappointment in this one didn’t last too long. For one thing, I’m not a fan of this type of wand.

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I mean, it’s nothing to HATE. I just don’t love it. I find wands like these so tricky to use with my short and wonky lashes. Those with longer and plush lashes will have much better luck. Sweeping through the lashes is challenging if your lashes aren’t all that long but of course it is possible. It just takes some time and sometimes when you only have 5 minutes to do your face in the morning, you don’t really want to deal with super large wands.

But once you get past the wand, actual application is decent. The formula is nice without being too thick or too watery. In fact, I was confused as to why the formula flaked so much because I didn’t find it to be too thick. Typically thicker mascaras lead to flakiness. I’ll tell you one thing though, Essence calling this mascara Blackest Black is dead on. It is a super dark mascara that has the potential to really bring some darkness to the lashes. After 1 coat, I could really see a difference in terms of how dark my lashes looked.

But after 2 coats, I only saw minimal volume and not much length. In fact, if anything my lashes just clumped up a bit. Boo hoo. Hours later my lashes, the mascara seemed to disappear from my lashes and flake away. And nothing sucks more than a flaky mascara. *sigh* So while the mascara does have the potential to give super dark and lush lashes, its inability to last around for hours just wasn’t up my alley.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Doesn’t look like much, uh? And note the flakiness under my eyes. No bueno.

Do I recommend it?: Nope. But worry not. Essence has plenty of other awesome mascaras.

 

Have you tried any Essence mascaras?


The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 78

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Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Nouveau Cheap – ChapStick has been releasing some yummy Limited Edition flavors over the past few years, but their new Cupcake Creations Collection really takes the cake (pun intended). Grab these babies while you can!

Pink Sith – says there can be trouble with Taupe. Can that even be possible with this taupe loving fiend? Check out her comparisons of just one taupe among many bloggers.

Prime BeautyPrime Beauty has fallen head over stilettos for the Smashbox Love Me Collection for Spring 2013, but she has a dilemma. Should she stick with her old boyfriend or go for the handsome new stranger? Help her decide.

Phyrra – has fallen in love with a new indie company called Girly Bits! See her review, swatches and manis.

Vampy Varnish – completely loves the new Candy Sprinkles Nail Lacquer collection from Hard Candy exclusive to Walmart!

we heart this – you’ve tried Birchbox, but have you tried Birchbox Home? Who knew a citrus spritzer could give me such joy!

Beauty Junkies Unite – Amber has the review & swatches of the new OPI Oz The Great and Powerful Collection!

Clumps of Mascara – is lovin’ Zoya’s Lovely nail polish collection. Spring is absolutely in the air!

EauMG – shares her favorite chocolate perfume!

Gouldylox Reviews – February is a busy month for product launches. Check out my five favorite products in February. (I couldn’t choose five, but seven didn’t sound as classy.)

Lipglossiping – takes a moment to appreciate that rare wonder of makeup doing exactly what it’s supposed to!

My Beauty Bunny – goes to the Oscars! See her photos.

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Nouveau Cheap – Do you ever wonder how your favorite nail polish bloggers get those beautiful, sharp close-up shots of their manicures? One of my favorites, Jen from The Polishaholic, reveals her secrets here.

Question of the Week:

What one makeup brush do you consider
an absolute staple in your makeup kit?

 

B says, “I adore my ecoTOOLS kabuki brush. I use it almost every time I wear a powder. It feels dynamic on the face.”

What’s your favoritest makeup brush?

 

Feature: The 3 Step Foundation Routine

I’ve got a video for youuuuuu. Not of me, of course. Y’all know how badly I am with keeping up with my YouTube channel. And it’s unlikely that I’ll get back on it in 2013. Just bein’ honest. Buuuut, my girl Safia Michelle over at Lipstick Mixtapes was kind enough to do a video for me in which she shows us a 3 Step Foundation Routine.

Class is officially in session. Pay attention. Safia Michelle is one of the best makeup artists in the game!

 

 

Zoya Lovely Spring 2013 collection

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This collection has been posted up in the beauty room for many moons now and I am just now getting around to posting swatches. My baaad. The crazy thing is – it still isn’t Spring just yet so if you’re lovin’ these, you can still purchase them. Weee! I’m not a big pastel lover, but these subtle shimmers and cremes are eye-catching and just darling.

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Jacqueline is a full-coverage, perfect magnolia nude cream and I know description words like “nude” can be a bit deceiving. Because nude to you but may be different than nude for me. Anywho, I like this shade. It reminds me of a delicious icing on top of a cake.

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Neely is a spring green in a glossy creme finish and it’s a light pistachio that compliments my hand beautifully.

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Julie is a soft wisteria purple metallic and while I only applied 2 coats, I probably should have done 3 coats to get more of an opaque finish.

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Piaf is a fresh forsythia yellow metallic and I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It’s a gorgeous and shimmer yellow that applies beautifully but it’s missing brightness that I like in yellow polishes.

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GeiGei is a blushing cherry blossom pink metallic is your standard pretty pink polish. It’s dainty and girly and fits beautifully in this collection.

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Blu is a soft and delicate pale baby blue with a glossy creme finish and I think this is my favorite of the bunch. There’s just something wonderful about a creamy baby blue nail polish. Plus, it’s the kind of shade that looks good on everyone.

The Beauty Basics

Price: $48 for the collection or $8 a bottle
Availability: Online at Zoya.com and select Ulta stores.
Limited Edition?: No
Favorites in collection: Neely and Blu

Whatcha think? Lovin’ any of these?

Elle Gets Dolled Up

This work from home life with a newborn is somethin’ else, y’all. How do women do it and not go stir crazy? On the other hand, if you think stay at home moms don’t do anything all day, I challenge you to be one for a day. No lie. It is the hardest job I have ever done. Getting up and going to work is waaaaaay easier.

But if I did that, I wouldn’t have the chance to do silly things like put Elle in tutu onesies and put huge bows on her head just for fun. Baby girl clothes are the best!! Moms with boys, do you all have this much fun dressing them up? Probably not, uh? I’ve seen the boy section at stores. Trucks, superheroes, animals and cargo. That’s it. Lame.

But the baby girl clothing world has endless options…

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And lemme tell you, I never wanted my kids to be attached to the binky (aka pacifier) but some babies have a natural desire to suck. And they find it soothing. Plus, sometimes no paci results in this…

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So now which one would you choose? Yeah. I try not let her suck on it allllll the time. Pacifiers are useful but they are so unsightly and get in the way of a baby’s cuteness. And teeth. Y’all know it’s true.

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Elle’s having an up and down week.

Ups:

-She met her paternal grandparents and great-grandma!
-She’s 9 lbs! 5 lbs at birth and she’s gaining weight beautifully.
-She got a new swing that she absolutely adores.
-Baby acne is clearing up.
-We discovered that coconut oil heals and prevents diaper rashes.

Downs:
-She caught Esposo’s cold. Baby’s 1st cold. It’s miserable for all involved.
-She had tummy issues thanks to me and my love affair with sweet potatoes.
-Cradle cap is here. Coconut oil to the rescue!
-Elle’s thighs aren’t thick enough for her cloth diapers. Booooo.

How do I have a 7-week old? Wasn’t I JUST pregnant? Oh, and in other good news – my child still looks like a girl even when she wears blue.

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Yep. It’s the important things in life. :cool: Send us well wishes. Today Elle and I have an appointment with a pediatric oral motor specialist. This is our last professional attempt to try and get Elle to breastfeed directly. If it doesn’t work, I will continue to pump but only for a limited time (more about that later). If it does work, I’ll be elated and it means I’ll be able to get sleep. I’ve still only been running off of 2-3 hours a day. Whoooooooa.

Baby Question of the Week:

If you have or had a daughter, would you get her ears pierced as a baby?


-My Answer: I am so getting Elle’s ears pierced at 3 months. She won’t remember the pain and if she grows up to hate the earrings in her ears (so unlikely), she can just remove them. It’s all cosmetic and unnecessary but it’s also one of those traditional things in my family. What say you?

Send Baby Elle get well wishes!

 

If you’ve gotta pluck those pesky hairs…pluck with these!

A while back I did a post about the awesomeness that was Tweezerman’s eyelash curlers. You remember that, right? Wellllls, I’m back with a post of one of their newly released tweezers. And trust me, if anyone knows tweezers, it’s Tweezerman. And yeah, you may love your brand of tweezers that cost $3 (ahem…or $30) but chances are, they aren’t performing AS well as Tweezerman’s tweezers. I know. Such a bold statement to make, but what can I say? These tweezers are awesome, ya’ll. And if you’ve tried them, you know what I mean.

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You promise, right? Tweezerman has a TON of different tweezers to fit your needs and every now and then, they come out with beautifully designed tweezers. Like these.

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Fancy, aren’t they? They were designed by designer Cynthia Rowley and they’ve been such a nice little addition to my beauty line-up. They perform as beautifully as all Tweezerman tweezers. They’re just MORE fun because they’re so pretty.

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Don’t act like you don’t judge beauty products and tools by their cover. A lot of us beauty lovers are visual creatures so it’s the packaging that pulls us in first. Am I right? Add these to your beauty wish list. They’re $25 which I know can be a bit steep for some when it comes to purchasing tweezers. But tweezers are an investment. They’ll last forever and if you’re like me, you’ll use them daily. You will definitely get your money’s worth. You can snag these babies at Sephora and Sephora.com.

Any Tweezerman lovers in the house?

CVS Beauty Fashion Week challenge + win a $50 gift card!

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Sooooo another Fashion Week has zoomed right on by and with her she dumped a ton of beauty trends that have beauty-obsesesd folx like myeslf going gaga.

Like last season, I’ve been trying to see if I can comfortably mimic some of those trends without lookin’, ya know, too cray cray. Aaaaand with the help of CVS/pharmacy, I think I can do it. If it turns out a total disaster, at least I’ll be covered with CVS/pharmacy’s 60-day Beauty Guarantee.

Trend #1:
Strong brows.

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Considering I was born with massive brows, I’d say that I’ve been rockin’ this trend for a good 28 years now. For serious. Big brows are back and if you’re like me and yours need constant defining, check out Maybelline’s Eye Studio Master Shape brow pencil ($7.99). Even a newb like me can fill in those sparse areas with ease. But remember – less is more.

Trend #2
Insanely bold lip colors.

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Yas! Y’all know I love to rock a bold lip and will do so no matter what the season is. Maybelline’s Color Sensational Vivids lipsticks are freaking ah-mazing. I’ll be reviewing them but in the meantime, how awesome is Vivid Rose? I scooped her up for $7.39 and got Neon Red for $3.69.

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Hollerssss. It’s easy to hoard these because every shade is super pigmented and goooorgeous.

Trend #3
Blue eyeshadow

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Say whaaaat? I didn’t see this one coming. I don’t have anything against blue eyeshadow. I just don’t wear it often. This trend has me being a bit more creative when doing my makeup in the morning. I’ve been trying to find ways to comfortably wear blue. I’m lovin’ this L’Oreal Colour Riche eyeshadow palette.

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Not bad for under $8.

Trend #4
White/neutral nail polish shades

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I love white nail polish. Like, luuuuurve. I just don’t wear it often because they can be a bit of a pain to apply. But if you find a good one like Sally Hansen’s Sheer Bliss ($7.79), you better rock it, sister.

Thanks to these affordable products, I hit 4 trends and stayed under $50. But remember, for every $50 spent on beauty at CVS/pharmacy, you get $5 in ExtraBucks Rewards!

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Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win 1 $50 CVS/pharmacy gift card to snag some products that you were inspired by this past Fashion Week. Good luuuuck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Contest over: a winner has been selected]

My Josie Maran Starting Line-Up

Still obsessed.

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Those are two words that sum up how I feel about every Josie Maran product I’ve ever tried. And I really need to stay away from when Josie herself goes on QVC because I become someone I don’t even know. I get all faint and feel like I HAVE to buy something. Aaaand, I always do. Yah. JM’s products are just so freaking awesome, y’all. These two babies are my absolute favorite. If you don’t try anything else from the line, you’ve got to try the argan oil…

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Argan oil is synonymous with Josie Maran as every single one of her products has argan oil in them. It works out beautifully because argan oil is a fantastically rich oil but doesn’t feel greasy. It doesn’t have much of a scent either.

What Sephora says about the Argan Oil,

This 100% Pure Argan Oil is a legendary oil that’s rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and grown organically in Morocco. With its multitasking benefits, Argan Oil can be used for many areas including hydrating and nourishing skin, as a daily moisturizer, skin treatment, treating spilt ends, and softening cuticles. (source) 

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A little of the oil goes a long way and like most natural oils, it has many different uses for hair, skin, nails, etc. I am loving this all over on my face at night. It’s the perfect end to the day and gives my skin that hydration I need without making my pores feel all clogged up. It retails for $48 so it isn’t exactly the cheapest oil on the market but dang…argan oil is like beauty superfood.

If you really want to dabble into JM without breaking the bank and want to get a product that you KNOW you’ll get some serious use out of, check out the Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40.

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Yes. Yes! I am living for this moisturizer. First of all, it is haaaaard to find a daily moisturizer that is preservative-free AND has enough SPF but doesn’t leave my face with that white film. You know the film I’m talking about, don’t you? My brown sisters can attest to having a hard time getting products with SPF to reallllly sink into the skin. You’re left with an unsightly ‘ghost face’ even after you spent 2 minutes vigorously rubbing moisturizer in the skin. It sucks but I so don’t have that problem with this moisturizer.

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What Sephora says about it,

“Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 is your skin’s first defense against premature aging. This natural formula physically deflects UVA rays that can cause up to 80 percent of premature aging. It also shields from the harmful UVB rays that we encounter on sunny days or at the beach. Unlike traditional sunscreens, this natural formula is infused with Josie’s signature ingredient, Argan Oil. This sunscreen is extra mild and fast absorbing and it can also double as a great makeup primer. Argan Daily Moisturizer is lightweight, paba free, and suitable for all skin types.” (source)

While I don’t actively purchase products that have anti-aging properties, I do believe in preventative care. The magical argan oil is dumped in the moisturizer and despite it having SPF 40 in it, it doesn’t smell too SPF-y. I can wear it daily without feeling like I’m prepping up for a day at the beach. It’s such a divine moisturizer and I can’t wait to see how it’ll act in the warmer months. It does darn well in the cooler season.

This moisturizer is priced at $32, but honestly, I only use 1/4 of a pump of it daily. It’ll last fooooorever. JM is sold at Sephora, Sephora.com and QVC.com and if you haven’t tried anything from the brand, hop to it.

But don’t be like me and get all addicted to QVC, y’all. And if you do – so help your wallet.