Mascara Monday: NYX Za Za Zu mascara

I’m just truckin’ right along with NYX’s Boudoir Mascara collection. You’ve heard of this collection, right? It showcases 7 mascaras with 7 different functions. Yup. Each mascara claims to give you the lashes that you desire. I don’t know why I waited this long to review Za Za Zu but alas…here she is!

Price: $6 at NYXCosmetics.com and you may spot it at Ulta stores.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Motherof all mascaras. Fiber infused to darken, lengthen, and volumize.Soft, bristle brush large enough to cover all lashes in one swipe.” (source)

The Truth: Meh. I’ve used better fiber mascaras.

What I Loved About It: I love to see a fiber mascara where you can actually SEE the fibers. Yas!

What I Didn’t Like: Despite seeing those fiber thingies, I didn’t really experience much volume overall.

Overall: I am so so excited to see a fiber mascara in this Boudoir Mascara collection. I am a huge fan of fiber mascaras as I find them to be super duper effective for those wanted plumper and longer lashes. They also remove easier than most mascaras and tend to last longer than non-waterproof mascaras too. Of course it takes some time to learn how to effectively use a fiber mascara but once you’ve passed that learning curve…you’re in there!

Za Za Zu has a massive wand but ironically that wasn’t my main problem with this mascara…

Yep, it’s a hefty wand alright but the bristles are nice and and long enough to allow easy root to tip application. But even after several coats, I didn’t notice much of a different volume-wise in my lashes. Fiber mascaras almost always guarantee added length and I got some of that but the volume? It just wasn’t there for me. I think a lot of it has to do with the formula.

While it wasn’t a pain, the formula was just…so so. I’m used to seeing fiber mascaras on the thicker side and that wasn’t the case with this one. Lots of fiber thingies but I didn’t get the darkness and thickness that I would have expected from a fiber mascara. It’s not a total lost though. I was able to get some good use out of it. I didn’t experience any flaking or smudging and it lasted throughout the day with no problems. This mascara made my lashes super wispy and I’m just not a fan of wispy lashes.

Not a total bust but I would have loved to see more added volume from this kid.

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats



Do I recommend it?: Only if you realllllly want to try a fiber mascara. I think NYX has better picks in the Boudoir Mascara line-up.

Okay fiber mascara lovers…have any of y’all tried this mascara yet?


EcoTools 5 piece brush set + giveaway!

I’m back with another quick review of one of my favorite brush brands everrrr….EcoTools! I’m still a bit upset at myself for shelling out a crap ton of money on those higher-end brushes back in my makeup newbie days. Someone should have knocked me on my head and told me about EcoTools.

But hey…you live and learn, right? And when you’re a beauty blogger, you try to help fellow beauty lovers not make the same expensive mistakes you did. Aaaaand that’s why I’ll always be bragging about EcoTools. Check out this Bamboo 5 piece brush set…

These are some itty bitty babies, uh? While ideal for everyday use, I think these may be a better fit for those wanting to test out EcoTools’ products or for travelin’ mamas who need brushes that get the job done.

Lé Specs…
-Durable handles of each brush is made from bamboo.
-Cosmetic case is from natural cotton and hemp.
-Brushes are 100% cruelty-free.
-The aluminum on the brushes are recycled aluminum ferrules.
-Affordable at only $9.99.

The cosmetic case is the perfect size. It fits comfortably in the hand which means it’s the perfect fit for purses, bookbags and carry-on luggage.

The brushes, despite their small handles, are actually really good at makeup application. I usually carry normal size brushes with me when I travel, but toting these along will definitely save space. And I just love the beautifully etched handles.

Quick intro of the kids…

 

Mineral Powder Brush

Ideal for applying powder or mineral foundation. Also works great with blush application. This brush, like all of them, is SUPER soft.

 

Concealer brush

Great for liquid or mineral powder concealer. It’s a pretty stiff brush so it’s also great for applying concealer to blemishes.

 

Eye Shading Brush

I’m not sure how great this is for eyeshadow application but I love it for blending and applying eyeshadow to the browbone.

 

Baby Kabuki

An itty bitty kabuki brush that helps buff powder. Don’t judge her small size – she fits nicely in the hand.

 

It’s another stellar EcoTools set that is not only available in drugstores and at Ulta but on EcoTools’ new e-store! But wait…if you feel like you’ve GOT to get it now, why not press your luck and try to win it?

One lucky Clumps of Mascara reader will score this 5 piece brush set. That includes my guy ‘n gals livin’ outside of the U.S. too. That’s right! It’s an International-friendly giveaway.

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Enter your information in the Rafflecopter below. If the Rafflecopter does not load immediately, give it a few seconds. If you’re still having trouble entering your information, shoot me an email with the subject EcoTools 5 piece brush set giveaway. Otherwise…good luuuuuck!

 

[Winner has been selected. Congrats to Sejal K!!!] 

Mascara Monday: Prestige My Waterproof Lashes mascara

Lemme tell you something…want your lashes to grow longer? Stop wearing mascara. Yep, I said it. I went a week without wearing mascara and I’ve found my lashes to be far more plush. That means if I stopped reviewing mascaras, I’d have super long and amazing lashes! Whoooo knew? Buuuut, since I’ll never stop reviewing mascaras for you ladies ‘n gents, I will keep my mediocre lashes.

Aren’t I a doll? I know. Now here’s a brand that is making its first appearance on Clumps of Mascara. Say hi to Prestige Cosmetics! And say another hi to the mascara they call Prestige My Waterproof Lashes mascara.

Price: $9.95 at PrestigeCosmetics.com and you may spot it at Ulta stores.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “With all the benefits of our MY BIGGEST LASHES MASCARA Intense long lasting color NOW with WATERPROOF protection! My biggest lashes now paired with our new limited edition waterproof version for a special value.” (source)

The Truth: Well…it’s a darn good waterproof mascara.

What I Loved About It: It lasts allllll day.

What I Didn’t Like: It was just so so in the volumizing department.

Overall: So while this is my first time actually reviewing something from Prestige Cosmetics, I’ve seen the brand around for quite some time. When I go beauty stalking at Ulta, I always spot Prestige but haven’t had the nerve to buy anything from them yet. Why? I dunno know, girl. These things happen. I’ll pass over a brand without even knowing that using their products could change my life.

Or something less dramatic than that. ;)

So yes, Prestige is around and the next time you’re in Ulta, I urge you to take a peek. You may or may not see this mascara riding solo. It came in a set with its sibling My Biggest Lashes mascara. My Waterproof Lashes is actually the SAME thing as My Biggest Lashes except it’s waterproof. Confusing? Yes. But that’s why I’ve got ‘yo back in this mascara world.

Zee wand…

Not bad but nothing to write home about. I’ll tell you one thing though, I think it’s a fabulous lengthening wand which is interesting because it’s a volume mascara. I usually see volume mascaras with those plush wands that some may argue are too big. Not the case with this one. And that’s okay. You can still get away with volumizing the lashes with ease. A perk is that if you wiggle through the lashes, you won’t have any problem getting some added length too.

I wouldn’t say the volume outcome is all that spectacular. I found it to be decent at best. For those who prefer natural and the “I’ve just got a wee bit of mascara on.” looks, this will be just fine. But for those of us who look at the lashes of drag queens as inspiration…not so much. But while I wasn’t too impressed with the volume of this baby, the longevity blew me away. This mascara lasts for hours and hours without one bit of flaking or smudging. Wow! I found this to be impressive; even for a waterproof mascara.

So yeah – the wand makes application easy, the formula is nice AND it lasts all day. Not a mascara I’d grab if I wanted insane lashes but if I need my mascara to last ALLLL day and then some, I’d be pulling this out of my stash.

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats



Do I recommend it?: Sure! Especially if you’ve been looking for a great waterproof mascara.

Any Prestige fans in the house? Have you ever tried any of their mascaras?


It is an eyeshadow quad or alien spacecraft?

Remember back in the day when beauty lovers never considered getting eyeshadow from drugstores? A lipliner, lipstick and blush…maybe. But many of us beauty snobs people rigidly judged drugstores and assumed that their eyeshadow selections just weren’t on par with what the higher-end and department stores. Welp. Those days are gone, y’all. I actually find myself drawn more to drugstore cosmetics than the ‘spensive higher-end stuff. Take this Nuance Salma Hayek Beautiful Blends Eye Quad for example…

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…this CVS-exclusive alienesque piece of coolness not only has the packaging that would appeal to beauty lovers of all skill levels but its performance is stellar too. Oh! And it costs less than $9. Which rounds out to like $2 and some change per eyeshadow. Wicked.

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Packaging alone is enough to warrant a passerby to be curious enough to pick this up. And why?

  • It’s in a box.
  • It’s got an “interesting” design.
  • It’s in a box.

I’ve seen it all in the beauty world but I’ve never seen a quad in a box.

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I love when beauty brands have the little “apply by number” diagrams. It’s SO helpful for beauty newbies. It’s also helpful for people like me who look at a palette and don’t know where to start.

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When using this quad, I ended up not really paying attention to the diagram. I just applied whatever where ever. Because I’m a G like that. Ha! The quad itself is such an interesting little contraption.

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I don’t necessarily love it but I don’t hate it either. I’m not sure how travel-friendly is since it packs a bit of bulk but it looks super cool on a vanity. I don’t think it’s practical for everyday display though because it’s easy to knock down and scoot over. More than anything, it is definitely a conversational starter. While I think it may be a bit bulky for tossing in a suitcase, it fits nicely in the hand.

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Opening it up to reveal the shadows is a bit tricky but on each side of the quad, there is a little indention that makes popping it up open easy. See?

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And bam – you’ve revealed the glorious shadows.

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Pretty cool, uh? That little thingamajig in the middle is a little eyeshadow sponge.

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It’s not something I’d use but I’m not taking it out because I find it to aesthetically pleasing. I know. I’m weird like that.

Swatches-wise, I found the shadows to be amazingly buttery and smooth. It appears that each shadow has the same formula (frost?) and while I like that formula, I would have loved to see a matte thrown up in there.

DSC_3886(L-R Toasted Almond, Shimmering Bronze, Champagne Gold, Frosted Blush)

Not too shabby, uh? I found Toast Almond to be a little too frosty for my liking but I managed to crank out a quick look using all 4 shadows anyway.

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The next few times I use this quad, I’ll be sure to use a colored base underneath. I used just a simple primer and I think the look would have POPPED more if I used a gold eyeshadow base. There’s a lot of experimenting that I can do but overall, I’m pretty impressed with the quality and performance of the quad.

Way to go Nuance Salma Hayek! Another stellar product from the brand. I’ve also reviewed the Facial Cleansing Towelettes and the AMAZING Ulta-Defining mascara. I’m making my way around the Nuance goodies and I haven’t been too disappointed yet. Woot!

Where To Buy: CVS stores and CVS.com.

Cost: $8.49

 

Have you tried anything from the Nuance Salma Hayek line? How cool lookin’ is this quad?

Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair Professional Brush Set

Confession: When Esposo and I moved into our place together we fought over who would get the larger “hobby” room. He ended up winning because he had more equipment for his studio. I wanted the larger room primarily because it had a ton of beautiful natural light and I take a few hundred pics a week and I only like working with natural light.

And because I’m bossy and like to have my way. Anyway – long story short, I still crash his pad when I need to take beauty pics. Which is why until we move, you’ll always see a keyboard, vinyl record or cords and ish in my pics. I should really get Wife of the Year award for making that sacrifice, don’t you think?

Ah yes – but let’s get down to business. Looky! It’s Too Faced! I feel like it’s been forev since I’ve reviewed anything from them. Not that I haven’t been steadily stalking the brand. Because I do. I’ve tried quite a bit from them but never their brushes. Which is cray-zee because I’ve been missing out.

I’m squealing at the fact that it’s called Teddy Bear Hair. Coined by Too Faced Founder Jerrod Blandino, the idea is to give consumers a super soft brush without actually using animal hair. That’s right. These synthetic brushes are cruelty-free. Woot! The teddy bear feel is so dead on as these brushes are so incredibly soft. But let’s talk packaging first…

The 5-brushes are housed in a beautiful pink and gold cosmetic bag. It may be too small for travel purposes (you know…for beauty junkies like me who like to travel with EVERYTHING) but I think it’ll bode well for those who may want to toss it in a purse or bookbag.

It’s lightweight and perfectly portable. And what’s inside ain’t half bad either…

5 brushes with unlimited functions. I mean sure there are recommended uses for them but a true beauty rebel knows you can do anything with a good brush. These are crafted to perfection with detail everywhere. Each brush has pink chrome with Too Faced etched at the bottom.

Quick rundown of the team…

Powder Brush: This baby is super soft. While it would probably work just fine as all all over powder brush, I really like using it as a blush brush. It distributes the perfect amount of color on the cheekies.

Blending Fluff Brush: I’m a fan of stiff and dense brushes for blending in my crease but I love how this works when depositing color in the outer-V and blending it up into the crease.

Angled Eye Shadow Brush: This is another stunner that works great in the outer-V. I’ve tried using it that way a few times but I like it more for placing and blending color underneath my brow.

Small Crease Brush: I would use this for liquid and cream concealers more than anything else. But since I don’t use concealer much these days (I’m wearing foundation like a big girl!) I haven’t been getting much use out of this kid. Yet.

Angled Liner/Brow Brush: This is perfection. It isn’t as stiff as I’d like it to be but I have found that instead of using it on my lower lash line, it works REALLY well at putting a bit of color on or below the waterline. If I cared about those facial caterpillars enough, I reckon this would be a fab brush to use on the brows.

The crew altogether….

Overall: For $65, this is a pretty stellar brush set. And I know what you’re thinking…“OMG B…$65?” Not only are you getting 5 brushes, but you’re getting 5 brushes that you’ll actually use. AND you’re getting a groovy cosmetic bag to go with them. I think it’s a pretty good investment. Especially for makeup newbies or those wanting to treat themselves with some new brushes. Shedding won’t be a problem and I don’t see the paint on the handle of the brushes chipping either. These are definitely some quality brushes that will be lasting me for quite some time.

You can get this set from Sephora and Sephora.com. If you still find the price to be a little steep, maybe consider waiting to purchase these during one of Sephora’s many sales? Hmmm, think about it.

Any Too Faced lovers in the house? Or lovers of teddy bears? Anyone?

Mascara Monday: Korres Volcanic Minerals Volumizing Mascara

It’s been forever and a day since I’ve played around with Korres stuffs. And it’s a shame because Korres is one of my favorite preservative-free brands. Their Lip Butters are by far some of the best lip balms on the planet. And don’t even get me started on their Cleansing Wipes. This is my 3rd Korres mascara and it’s one of the most interesting mascaras that I’ve ever reviewed.

Price: $20 at Sephora and Sephora.com 
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: “This Obsidian black is formulated with volcanic minerals for the deepest, darkest color and an explosive increase in lash volume. These rich pigments blend with natural film formers to create a flexible yet strong coating that covers every lash. Volcanic Minerals Volumizing Mascara provides a glossy, luminous finish with a flexible conditioned feel, without any smudging or flakes for optimal, long-wearing benefits. The tapered brush head with unique cross-hatch bristles ensures smooth, clump-free application that grabs even the tiniest microlashes.” (source)

The Truth: Soooo, I’ll be reviewing a ton of mascaras in the coming weeks but THIS one will be my go to. It’s awesome!

What I Loved About It: It does such an incredible job volumizing with just 1 coat.

What I Didn’t Like: It has the tendency to clump.

Overall: Oh man, Korres. Y’all knocked this one out of the park. What a fantastic mascara! I’ve had good and fair experiences with Korres mascaras but I always review a new one with high hopes. It’s great to know that this one didn’t let me down. First of all…volcanic minerals? I question the validity of this one.

Did a makeup artist wake up one day and say, “OMG…we should go to a volcano, get some minerals and put it in a mascara. It’ll be epic. And one day a blogger who blogs about mascara every week will review it and love it.” I mean, I don’t know. Legit or gimmicky, the formula of this mascara is pretty stellar. It sits comfortably between thin ‘n thick without weighing more on one side or the other. The wand is decent too.

It’s nothing groundbreaking and I can appreciate that. Sometimes brands try way too hard to impress us consumers when it comes to mascara wands. I can appreciate what’s been working for years. There is one thing about this mascara that may throw you off though – the smell.

If you’re used to wearing natural (or preservative-free) mascaras, you are likely used to “interesting” smells. While this one isn’t as bad as some of the other scents I’ve gotten from natural mascaras, it may be a bit off putting to some. Oh. So you want to know WHAT it smells like? Woody, organic-y, green…. Horrible descriptions I know but if you try this mascara, you’ll understand what I mean.

When it comes to performance, I don’t know how these volcanic minerals do it, but they do it well. The wand makes for easy application and wiggling it through the lashes really helps elongate the lashes. My favorite thing about this mascara? How long it lasts! This isn’t the case with most natural mascara so I was really excited to know that I could wear this throughout an 8-hr workday without it flaking on me. And it removes super easily as well. Flaking is minimal and while I didn’t experience any smudging, I don’t think this is the ideal mascara for those who are looking for something waterproof. And sure it’s not the perfect volumizing mascara but it’s amazeballs nonetheless.

This baby is  2-coat wonder. I am in love.

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats



Do I recommend it?: Absolutely! It isn’t the cheapest mascara on the market but if you’re a lover of preservative-free mascaras that last for hours on end, this is the one you’ll want to holla at.

Any lovers of Korres? And what do you think…are there really volcanic minerals in that mascara?


Mascara Monday: Dear L’Oreal Voluminuous mascaras…

Dear L’Oreal Voluminous crew,

You’re starting to confuse me. I went trekking into Target one fateful Saturday. The goal was to snag a new L’Oreal mascara. Lemme tell you, if you take a look at your section in a drugstore, it’ll boggle your mind. There are SO many mascaras with similar names. Voluminous this, Voluminous that…it’s a tad bit perplexing. And frustrating. Revlon, COVERGIRL and even Maybelline with their gajillion mascaras have everything organized nicely with un-confusing names. I even had to quickly search my own beauty blog to see if I had previously reviewed this mascara. And guess, what? I DID!!! Except back in November 2011 when I first reviewed this mascara, it had different packaging with a different wand. The new packaging included new verbiage like “Black Lacquer” and that’s why I got confused. Because yeah, I have reviewed L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes before but I thought with addition of “Black Lacquer”, this mascara was something different.

It wasn’t. You have totally deceived me and I don’t appreciate it yo.

New packaging…


Old packaging…

Claims on NEW packaging…

Claims on OLD packaging…

Do you see how this can be confusing? Especially for us mascara lovers. Please do better. I know advertising is everything when it comes to selling cosmetics but confusing your consumers not the way to go.

I’m just sayin’…

Yours Truly,

B

 


Milani COLOR PLAY Felt-Tip Liquid Pen – For Eyes, Face AND Body!

Ooooh weeee, looky looky! Milani has felt tip eyeliners and they aren’t only for eyes and face, but for the body too! Look!!

Okay, first things first – I am the worst at using these felt tip eyeliners. And if you suck at using ‘em too, then join the club. When it comes to these babies, practice makes perfect. And if it takes 5+ years to get it right like yours truly…then so be it! But if you like to invest in products that you have a hard time using anyway (ahem, also like me!) you may want to take a peek at these newly launched COLOR PLAY Felt-Tip Liquid Pen by Milani Cosmetics.

They retail for $6.99 a pop which I find to be a modest and average price point for drugstore eyeliners like these. And they come all pretty colors toooo.

(L-R)
Jaded Edge, Gray Strokes, White Line, Blue Definition, Pink Point, Black Line

Each liner has nice fine points and like most felt tip liners, you can control the width of the line by turning the angle of the pens. I played around with each one of these and the color payoff for each is nice!

My Faves:
-Blue Definition: This blue is awesome! So vibrant. Will definitely be using this regularly.
-Pink Point: A pink that isn’t so pale? Nice!
-Black Line: Because you can never have too many nice and smooth black liners.

I’ve got the gift of written gab but I am so not an artist. I imagine you can do some pretty elaborate designs with these liners but all I could crank out was a wimpy design on the hand…

Buuuuut I did come up with a decent no big deal look on the lower lash line.

These liners are super smooth and precise. They’re water-resistant not water-proof so if you plan on using these on the eyes, an eyeshadow primer will help the liner last longer. If they get hit with a splash of water though…

…the liner may smudge and smear a bit. Still. For $6.99, these are awesome.

Another win from Milani! These are currently sold online and you can get them anywhere Milani products are sold.