Oh snap..it’s the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette!

Many things make me happy. Paydays, surprise visits from friends, sales, Esposo’s good cookin’, glitter…you know things like that. But honey, nothing really gets me all giddy more than a new Urban Decay palette. I mean, honestly… No one makes a bangin’ eyeshadow palette like UD. Nobody. The Vice and Smoked palettes are still sleeping next to me. They’re going to have to scoot over because there’s a new palette in town.

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POW! Do you see that? If you’re hip to beauty news, you have likely already heard about this one. It launched about a week and a half ago and it had us beauty guys and gals in quite the frenzy. Some of us were all like “WTF…who needs another Naked palette?”

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And then there were others who were like, “Crap. I’ve already got both Naked palettes but I must.get.this.one.” And then there’s me. I was just drooling over the images of it online because that’s what I do. Drool over beauty products. Don’t be judgin’ me. Say hiya to the Naked Basics palette.

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She fine, ain’t she? I will not compare her to the other palettes. We will just talk about her awesome features. Fair enough, right?

These shadows are ALL mattes. I freaking loooooove matte eyeshadows. I mean, adore. I got several emails from my brown girls questioning if these mattes were rich enough to pop up on darker skin, and yep…they are!

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Venus is considered a demi-matte. It has very subtle shimmer but still applies just as well as the other shadows. It’s not exactly a white shadow. It leans more on the pearl side to me.

Foxy is a beige/faint almond shade. It is probably the least pigmented of the bunch.

Walk Of Shame is a pale pink. The 3 of these, I’m thinking will best work under the browbone. It seemed to have more chalkiness than any of the other colors.

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Naked2 is taupe. It’s super pigmented so this is the shade that I would likely use on my lid every time I use this palette.

Faint is a rich milk chocolate and it works beautifully in the crease. It is super super pigmented.

Crave is a matte black. And what’s not to love about those?

The last 3 eyeshadows seem to be more pigmented but I’m okay with that as I would only use Venus, Foxy and S.O.S. under my browbone anyway. I prefer not to have super pigmented colors under the brow. A quick look I cranked out… The looks was far more vibrant in person but also note that I had gotten 9-10 hours out of wear time before I snapped this photo.

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OVERALL: Considering I don’t own any of the Naked palettes (I know…how lame), I am really loving this one. This price point is significantly less as it only costs $27. It’s the perfect little palette for quick trips. I love that it doesn’t take up much space yet I’ve got 6 great shades that I can easily work with to crank out a decent work-appropriate look. Would I be THIS excited over this palette if I already owned the first 2 Naked palettes? Yes. Because this palette still contains 6 mattes and I find matte shadows the easiest to work with when I have very little time.

How much and where to get it?: This palette is $27 (original Naked and Naked 2 palettes are $50) and it is currently available at Sephora, ULTA, select Macy’s stores and UrbanDecay.com.

Whatcha think? Are you impressed with Naked Basics? 

Mascara Monday: NYX Le Frou Frou mascara

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Soooo by now you may be sick of seeing NYX mascara reviews but hey – don’t blame me. They’re the cool kids who decided to release an entire collection of mascaras. And I’m the crazed woman that decided to have a blog alllll about mascaras. So it was inevitable. This is my 2nd to last mascara review of the Boudoir Collection. I had high hopes for this one because I consider it to be my ideal mascara. Volume AND length? Yes please!

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Price: $6 at Ulta and at Ulta.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “Volumize and lengthen lashes. Dense dome brush to reach each lash.” (source)

The Truth: Well…it isn’t half bad.

What I Loved About It: The wand is nice and I’m loving the volumizing.

What I Didn’t Like: It doesn’t seem to be as long-lasting as I’d like it to be.

Overall: Of all of the mascaras from the Boudoir collection, this one is the one that I’d tango with the most. And why? It’s an ideal mascara in that it promises to give me both length and volume. I think if you were to poll most mascara wearers, many would say they’d want the same thing. So I wonder if this mascara is the most popular out of all of them. I’m not sure. But still…this baby came with a ton of expectations. And for the most part, she did okay. The wand is pretty good.

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It’s nothing amazing and it’s nothing terrible. Which I’m okay with. Sometimes you just need short and sweet when it comes to wands. The bristles are tight enough to help with elongating the lashes and providing the length. I also found the bristles to be plush enough to help with sweeping from the base of the lashes to the tips to help with volume. It is also thin enough to get into those inner corners pretty well. So yeah…it’s definitely a full functioning mascara wand that will work beautifully for all eyes.

Formula-wise, it’s got a nice in-between formula. NYX’s mascara formulas are always pretty consistent with me. I never have many complaints about them and this one is no different. Application is easy and I found that I got more length than volume. The lengthening was REALLY nice where the volume was just so so. Well, so so for me. Y’all know how much I need to have those super crazy out there lashes. 😎 But, I found what volume it did give a good enough amount for the average mascara wearer. It isn’t by any means the kind of volume that you’d want if you were out on the town, but it’s do-able.

So while the mascara functioned well, I was little thrown off at its longevity. It didn’t seem to want to stick around long enough for me. I’m not the type to keep re-applying mascara throughout the day. I apply it once and expect it to last ALL day. That wasn’t the case with Frou Frou. Midday after wearing it, I’d notice that my lashes weren’t as WOW-y. I found that to be weird because I didn’t have any issues with flaking. After 3 coats of application, I would not have expected it to disappear on me. Oh boo.

Grr!

 

Bare Lashes




Lashes after 2 coats




Do I recommend it?: It’s a great everyday mascara if you aren’t looking for too much drama but if you are a fan of longwear mascaras, this one may not be up your alley.

 

Have any of you NYX lovers tried this mascara yet?


Smokey Eyes with Urban Decay’s Smoked Eyeshadow Palette

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Look at me! Look at me! I’m wearing eyeshadow again. Are you proud of me? This is becoming a regular occurrence and I have no one to thank other than Urban Decay. Nothing says, “Put me on your eyes NOW!” like one of their palettes. You can’t ignore the temptation. There’s only so much swatchin’ and starin’ you can do when you see those palettes. It’s like they force you to actually apply the shadows on your eyes too.

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I featured the awesomeness that was the Vice palette (still in love with that one, by the way) but when I can’t decide between so many colors, this Smoked palette has been my saving grace. I don’t own any of the Naked palettes but I think I like this one better than Naked 1 and Naked 2.

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I mean, what’s not to like? You get 10 velvety smooth shadows and you can create natural work-appropriate looks and fancy shmancy Happy Hour looks and everything in between. It’s the perfect travel palette because it has such a lovely variety of colors. And the palette is cute and compact.

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I love how it’s zip up-able. I can’t tell y’all how many eyeshadow palettes of mine have been wrecked because a palette somehow flipped open. That’s so not happenin’ with this baby. Let’s take a closer look at these pretty shadows…

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I’ll do a quick run-through of the color descriptions just so you can get an idea of what we’re workin’ with. 5 of these shadows are new to the Urban Decay line-up and we’re working with 5 shadows that we’ve seen before from UD.

Kinky: soft ivory peach with matte finish (newbie)
Freestyle: light pantyhose nude with matte finish (newbie)
Mushroom: warm grey with shimmery finish
Backdoor: true dark brown with matte finish (newbie)
Blackout: blackest black with matte finish

Barlust: dark golden brown with metallic finish (newbie)
Rockstar: deep aubergine with shimmery finish
Evidence: deep navy blue with shimmery finish
Loaded: deep emerald shimmer with metallic base
Asphalt: deep gunmetal with silver micro glitter and metallic base (newbie)

Swatches…

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Also in the kit (that I forgot to take pictures of – because I’m nutty like that) is a full-sized version of the eyeliner in Perversion (blackest black) and a mini Primer Potion in Original. We all know how epic Urban Decay Primer Potion is and I adore everything about the mini travel-friendly size. Perversion, on the other hand, as much as I love it, for some reason it really irritates my eyes. My eyes get all watery and red and it’s just a mess. So no Perversion for me. Which sucks because it’s such an amazing dark dark dark black eyeliner.

I love how diverse the color selection is. The top row is great for creating neutral looks and then you’ve got the bottom row with its shimmery goodness. I’m a neutral girl by nature (just because I really prefer myself with subtle eyeshadow) but I wanted to push it to the limit with this palette.

I used:
LID: Evidence
OUTER-V: Rockstar
CREASE: Backdoor
BROWBONE: Freestyle

…aaaaand

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I’ve been playing around with the neutrals too and I’m lovin ‘them. I just adore everything about this palette.

OVERALL: For $49, I think this is such a great eyeshadow palette for basic and advanced eyeshadow looks. And if you’re an Urban Decay lover, you pretty much HAVE to get it. Even if you already have some of these shadows in other palettes or singles. I love how everything is housed and I think it’s such a great nifty travel palette and everyday palette. And if you think that the price is too steep, keep in mind that the Perversion eyeliner alone is $19. That’s almost half of the value of the palette. So yeah, you’re getting MORE than your money’s worth. I’d snag it.

Get more deets about this palette here.

 

My Le Métier de Beauté Cosmetics makeover

Part of being a beauty blogger means educating thyself. I mean, yeah…I could only showcase the saaaaaame products and brands year after year but what fun is that? I like sharing new innovations and new products and brands that you may not have ever heard of. Like the brand Le Métier de Beauté Cosmetics.

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I know, I know. You’re probably like, “Seriously B…is this a French brand or something?” Actually no, it’s not. This brand sits stateside at the counters of Neiman Marcus and online for those who don’t have a Neiman in their area. I first heard about this brand when I attended that fabulous Beauty Blogger Bunch a few months back. Le Métier de Beauté and I have gotten more acquainted and I am so excited to share my findings (and makeover) with you guys and gals.

Le Métier de Beauté (which in French translates to to “the craft of beauty”) is a luxurious skincare and makeup brand that has found its place in the beauty world for a good 5 years or so. The brand was founded on 3 core principles: craft, design and quality. It’s a brand that if you see at a counter, you are instantly drawn too because their products are not only eye-catching but diverse as well. And by diverse, I mean you’ll see color, color and more color. This is such a rarity in higher-end brands. And call me nutty, but I didn’t know that Le Métier de Beauté did spa treatments.

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Yes darling, special masks and peels can be done in right in a nice and secluded section of the mall. I was actually going to get a peel but when my specialist noticed my baby bump, she thought that a makeover would be a better fit. And you know I wasn’t complaining about that. Speaking of my specialist…Irina was wonderful. She talked about each product in depth as she applied it to my face. Le Métier de Beauté didn’t appear to have a wide selection of brown-girl friendly foundations available, but Irina did a grand job at mixing up a lil’ somethin’.

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She told me about the beautiful liners…

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…and makeup remover.

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The kaleidoscope eyeshadows (love these!).

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And the mascara…

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The mascara, by the way, has a clear tube so you can actually see when you’re running out of product. Now why didn’t I think of this?

I’ll be a giving a closer look at some of these products later but I can say that their performances lasted beautifully in that 80 degree weather we had the other day. And the finished look?

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I look like a straight up news reporter with wonky hair in that last pic, uh? Either way, Irina impressed me and that is hard to do with a beauty blogger. I’m not always a fan of people doing my makeup but I could totally go back to Irina any day. Her and fellow counter-mate Melissa were wonderful.

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Stay tuned for more information about this brand! Have any of y’all heard about Le Métier de Beauté Cosmetics?

ETA: Although I wasn’t able to experience the CHEM60 Pro-Peel & GLOW10ai Mask Set due to my being pregnant, many of my fellow beauty blogger sisters and had raving reviews about it. It is finally available for purchase at Neiman Marcus counters and at NeimanMarcus.com. It’s a bit pricey at $265 but it lasts for quite some times and hey, skincare is worth the investment, isn’t it? 😎

Mascara Monday: Sephora Outrageous Volume mascara

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I get so embarrassed sometimes. Like, why don’t I review more Sephora mascaras? It makes no sense. I think sometimes I get so caught up with the bigger and more popular brands that I forget about Sephora’s products. I suck, I know. I’ll be stepping my game up in 2013. Don’t worry. In the meantime, I’m excited to show off this adorable little Bewitching Eye Kit.

The kit itself includes the Sephora Outrageous Volume mascara and also a mini-versions of glitter eyeliner/mascara and a black eyeliner.

An adorable little kit for only $20. Not too shabby.

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Price: $15 for mascara alone and $22 for the kit at Sephora and Sephora.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 2 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: “This mascara’s unique triple load brush intensely coats lashes in one easy stroke for a full, luscious look. The thick, Ultra Black formula is enriched with hyaluronic acid—an ingredient recognized for its moisturizing properties. Use the brush’s reservoirs to intensify lashes from root to tip, separate lashes with the “spiked” areas, or achieve a curved effect by pressing the brush lightly against the tips of the upper lashes.” (source)

The Truth: Whoa whoa whoa! My lashes are nice and looooong!

What I Loved About It: I love the richness of the mascara and I love the volumizing aspects.

What I Didn’t Like: It found it to be a bit flaky and I really hate the wand.

Overall: The holiday season is a brewin’ and so I am all up in the spirit. Hence why you see candy cane-related backdrops ‘n such. Anyway, I’m not sure if this kit is a staple for Sephora or if it’s just around for the holidays but either way, I think it’s a good value. The mascara is reasonably priced at $15 and for an extra $7 you can get some additional eye trinkets. Way to go, Sephora!

But of course, most of what I’ll be talking about will be about the mascara itself.And to start off, I just wasn’t a fan of the wand.

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The wand really sucks and it’s unfortunate because the mascara is really a good mascara. What’s not to like about the wand? There’s no stopper in the tube so I have to deal with the excess mascara that ends up being wiped away. I ended up with far too much mascara on the wand each time I pulled it out. It would take me 2-3 minutes just to remove the gunk and get started on my lashes. Yeah. Hate when that happens. Once I’d remove the gunk, the plastic bristles didn’t seem to be long enough. But they were workable. I also appreciated the little round ball at the end of the mascara. I find those particularly useful for applying mascara to the lower lashes. When, of course, they aren’t covered with 3 feet of mascara gunk. I’m exaggerating, of course but that’s what it feels like each time I remove the wand from the tube.

So yeah, if you can get past the gunk on the mascara wand, everything else is pretty pleasant. The mascara has a thicker formula but it’s easy to apply on the lashes. In fact, it’s the kind of formula that really makes the lashes look beautiful after only 1 coat. I love when this happens! I’ve been curling my lashes lately and this mascara has done a really good job at holding the curl.

Length-wise, the mascara delivers and it does darn good with volume too. In  fact, it’s SO good that I think you can get away with applying 2 coats tops. I tried to push it to the limit with 3 coats but I ended up with clumps…of mascara. 😎 And while the mascara does a good job at lasting on the lashes, it did flake on me a bit after 8 hours or so. Which is almost expected but still something to not. Overall, I was super impressed. How many other Sephora mascaras have I been sleeping on?

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Yep. It’s a pretty awesome mascara.

 

Have you ever tried any of Sephora’s mascaras? Are they all this kind of awesome?


Gettin’ my tango on with Make Up For Ever’s Black Tango palette

Make Up For Ever is always coming out with products that make you go, “How did I live without this before?” And yeah, I know that sounds soooooo dramatic, but it’s so true. Take their aqua creams for example. As fantastic as they are, they are quite bulky sitting on my beauty table or travel tote. When I carry them, I usually only limit myself to 2 because they are heavy little pods. But this palette…

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Well, it makes toting those aqua creams so much easier. And the color selection is right on. If you aren’t familiar with Make Up For Ever’s aqua cream, um…where have you been, ma’am? Aqua Creams are smudge-proof cream eye shadows and they don’t budge, fade or flake. And by don’t budge, I mean these things are practically like temporary tattoos. The durability is insane. And they aren’t just ideal for cream eye shadows. In fact, I like using them more as eyeliners on the lower lashline. But I’m gettin’ carried away. Back to the palette…

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Make Up For Ever has given us 4 aqua creams: Black with Red Highlights, Black with Green Highlights, Black with Blue Highlights and Ivory. A high-quality double ended brush comes with the set as well. The compact is pretty, dainty and durable.

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The thing about aqua creams is they tend to dry out quickly if you don’t keep the top on them. And I mean, their tops have to be secured tightly. One of my favorite aqua creams recently dried out because I didn’t close the top well enough. It broke my heart. But Make Up For Ever thought about this and so each aqua cream has its own little top.

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It’s a genius idea, really. You can use one cream without exposing all of the others. And just like the aqua creams that are housed in regular packaging, these are just as wonderful. They are super creamy but dry almost instantly. In fact, if you intend to use these on the eyes, you have to work quickly. I’m talkin’ within seconds. I also find that not just any makeup remover can remove these kids. I usually have to pull out my heavy duty oil-based removers. But they’re fantastic nonetheless and these are so much fun to work with.

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Pretty, aren’t they? I think Make Up For Ever did a great job at providing us beauty junkies with shades that we could actually use. This is a Sephora-exclusive product and I’m pretty sure this won’t last forever so if you’re swooning, you may want to job on it with the ASAP-ness. You can grab it at Sephora and Sephora.com for $45.

Any aqua cream lovers in the house?

Mascara Monday: Physicians Formula Organic wear 100% Natural Lash Boosting mascara

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It’s been a very long time since I’ve reviewed something from Physicians Formula. I think the last thing I featured was their amaziiiiiing and super cool lipgloss that lights up. And I am still using it. I’m serious. It is currently taking up residency in my makeup bag. I know how to be a faithful makeup user. Hmm mmmm. Anywho, they’ve got a a new mascara on the scene and I’ve had my up’s and down’s with PF’s mascara’s. Let’s see where this one stands…

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Price: $9.95 at drugstores and at PhysiciansFormula.com
Packaging (brush wand): 2 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5

What It Claims: Per packaging…

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The Truth: It kinda sucks. I know, I know. I hate to say it but y’all want me to be honest, don’t you?

What I Loved About It: I also adore PF’s packaging. Especially their mascaras. So cute, right?

What I Didn’t Like: It’s like a lot of PF mascaras in that a few hours after you apply it, it just disappears. Freaky.

Overall: Oh boy. Let’s go ahead and get this over with. Reviewing this mascara will be like quickly ripping a band-aid off. I just want it to be quick. First, let’s talk about about some of the awesome qualities and claims about this mascara. Ready? According to PhysiciansFormula.com, this mascara rocks because of the following reasons:

-Hypoallergenic. Fragrance free. Ophthalmologist approved. Gluten Free.
-100% of the Total Ingredients are from Natural Origin.
-44% of the Total Ingredients are from Organic Farming.
-100% saw enhanced lashes INSTANLY!
-1st Ever 100% Natural Lash Boosting formula enhances the appearance of lash length, thickness and volume for dramatic lashes instantly and long-term.

100% out of how many? These are the questions I have when I see percentages. But anyway…those are some serious claims, uh? I’ve got to give it up to Physicians Formula because when it comes to omitting a ton of yucky stuff from their products, they’re good at that. If, of course, you care about that sort of thing. But when it comes to performance this mascara sucks and that makes me sad. I can blame part of the suck-age on the wand.

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No, it’s not horrible and yes, I’ve seen worse and it’s not its size that bothers me. It’s those super itty bitty teeny tiny bristles. They are SO small. Ridiculously small. Even if you’ve got super long lashes, getting this wand to the base of your lashes will be quite the challenge. And it’s a time-consuming challenge that many of us who like to spend no more than 10 minutes on their makeup have no time for. If you can manage to coat those lashes with mascara, you’re left with a wee of thickness to the lashes. And just a wee bit. Lengthening was meh and I saw a little more volumizing. Enough volumizing to make me nod me head and say, “Hmm. Not bad.”

Hours later, though, I’d glance in the mirror and notice that I didn’t have no any mascara. None. The mascara simply did a disappearing act. This doesn’t surprise me. It has happened before with many natural mascaras. They aren’t always the best with longevity. I’m not sure what ingredient(s) it is that helps mascaras stay around longer but without it, wearing a mascara is almost point-less. I’ve experienced natural mascaras that actually stick around longer than a few hours without flaking or smudging away but I can’t say the same about this baby.

It’s a shame too because gosh…ain’t it cute?

 

Bare Lashes

 

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Lashes after 2 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Nope. It simply won’t stick around. And I’m pretty sure it would do worse in super hot and sticky environments.

 

Any natural mascara lovers in the house? Have you ever experienced this before?


Mascara Monday: CoverGirl LashBlast Clump Crusher mascara

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Guess who’s back in the hizooooouse? LashBlast! If I went around polling 10 of my friends, at least half of them are going to say they LOVE this mascara. And of course I agree. I’ve been a Lash Blast lover for quite some time. And I don’t even have to tango with LashBlast Length or Lash Blast 24HR or LashBlast Fusion. I’m okay rollin’ with the original. But in case you needed something new to your beauty boudoir, CoverGirl is gracing us with another Lash Blast, baby. And this one is totally made for me. It’s like THEE Clumps of Mascara anti-clumps mascara. Get it? Get it? I’m so weak from excitement yo.

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Price: $8.99 at drugstores
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 4.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “COVERGIRL Clump Crusher Mascara by LashBlast features an innovative curved brush that builds 200% more volume with zero clumps, even after 30 strokes. The Clump Crusher brush custom fits to the curve of the eye allowing for root to tip volume while tight spacing between the bristles stops clump formation before it can start.” (per press release)

The Truth: It really didn’t give me any clumps. I’m serious. Not even one!

What I Loved About It: This mascara’s formula is incredibly build-able. So much so that if caught me by surprise.

What I Didn’t Like: A super build-able formula means that your lashes may be be a bit heavy and may flake a little too.

Overall: Hey there LashBlast! So nice to see you again. I usually complain when brands come out with multiple versions of the same mascara but I don’t know, there’s something wonderful about LashBlast. It’s kinda like that Aunt who is a bit obnoxious but always comes by bearing gifts. Like…how can you hate her? Auntie LashBlast shocked me with this formula. Simply because I didn’t think there would be any more LashBlast formulas. We’ve seen Volume, 24HR, Length and Fusion. How can you make better better? Wellll, you create an awesome clump-free formula and give it a captivating wand to boot. Duh!!!

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Okay, so pleaseeeee don’t ask me to compare THIS LashBlast to the other LashBlast kids. I am going to review this one as if the others don’t exist. Each mascara totes its own claim and since this one promises to volumizes without ANY clumping, well then….that’s what I’m going to judge this baby on. First off, formula-wise, the formula has a nice consistency. I didn’t find it to be too thick and getting a nice even coat was easy peasy. One of the aspects about the LashBlast mascaras that people seem to love so much is the wand. Despite its girth, it has always performed really well for me. I never like to recommend this mascara for those with smaller lids and lashes (as they may find application to be a bit tricky and daunting) but the truth is, if you can handle the challenge, this wand does a great job at at grabbing those tiny lashes and coating them evenly with mascara. This wand differs from the other LashBlast wands because it has a bit of a curve to it but I didn’t notice it making or breaking my experience.

Now for the formula and its claim to be clump-free…first of all, how crazy is a claim is that? Pretty ambitious of ya, uh, CoverGirl? But if anyone can do it, it’s them so I was so excited to push this mascara to the limit. For the record, most mascara wearers seem to be okay with 1, 2 and maybe 3 coats. In real life circumstances, you’ll probably never need to apply more than 3 coats. But I’m a crazed mascara lover so my attempting to apply 10 coats of mascara shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Surprisingly, the mascara holds up REALLY well after 3 coats. The trick to get added volume is to make sure that your lashes don’t dry in between coats. That means you apply. Wait a few seconds. Apply again. Wait a few seconds. And repeat. If you try to apply and give breaks in between those coats, you’ll end up with dry lashes, a wet wand and a bit of a disaster when it comes to flakiness. Trust me on this. I applied up to 10 coats of this mascara and around the 10th coat, it STILL didn’t clump. A few of my lashes melded together a bit. And by 10 coats they felt heavier than I would have liked but the point is…no major clumps. AND decent length and awesome volume. I say that’s a win!

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 3 coats


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Lashes after 10 coats

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Do I recommend it?: Um yesss!! Granted, I’m sure you won’t ever be applying 10 coats of mascara like me but if you like buildable formulas (and you’ve been a fan of previous LashBlast mascaras) you are going to love this one.

 

What do you think LashBlast lovers? Is this one a hit or do you prefer some of the other versions?


*This is a sponsored post by CoverGirl. As always, all mascara reviews are my own opinion. I keeps it reeeal. 😎