Mascara Monday: Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer

This is the first time I’ve reviewed such an amazing product. Y’all know I love mascara but let’s face it…mascara can get old. From the exaggerated claims to the same 3-4 brushes, there isn’t much originality in the mascara world these days. I know lash lacquers aren’t new either. But considering this is my first time trying one, I was through the roof yo.

Price: $28 at Sephora and Sephora.com
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Formulated for application on top of mascara, Film Noir Lash Lacquer transitions your eyes from work day to cocktail hour, or vamps up your look for an extra kick of drama any time you desire. It features a unique brush applicator and latex-like formula that fans lashes out to sensational proportions.” (source)

The Truth: Well. This is interesting…

What I Loved About It: If you’ve got some time to spare, it can really help lengthen lashes.

What I Didn’t Like: If you aren’t careful enough you can clump your lashes up somethin’ serious.

Overall: Okay, simply put: if you don’t have the time to invest in putting on this lacquer, don’t even think about getting it. And I don’t mean “time” as in a minute or so. Applying this takes precision and time; two things that a lot of us getting ready for work at 7am don’t have much of. I love mascara and consider it a staple in my makeup routine. I’ve managed to apply it within 2 minutes. I thought I could apply the lacquer within that 2 minute span and uh….no. It’s just not that simple.

Take a look see at the brush…


Looks like it belongs in a nail polish bottle, uh? It is shorter and stiffer than your average nail polish bottle. I can’t say if it’s “good” or “bad” since I’ve never used any other lash lacquer. Since I have nothing to compare it with, I can only go off what the claims say it should do. That said, I ran into some trouble applying this lacquer.

Formula-wise, the consistency is much reminiscent of a nail polish. It isn’t watery but isn’t thick like your average mascara either. The brush works well with the formula and you are able to pick up a liberal amount and apply to your lashes. Applying is the tricky part. You are supposed to apply to the tips of your already coated with mascara lashes. Sounds easy in theory, right? Welllll, it’s tough in this thing called real life.

If you apply too much lacquer, the lashes clump up immediately. If you don’t apply enough, you don’t see any results. It’s hard to get comfortably in the middle and it took me several runs to get a handle on things. But when I did, I noticed a good amount of added length. But to be honest, I’d rather save the trouble and just apply a fiber mascara if I’m in need of extra length.

Even so, I do love how this lacquer is without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes and synthetic fragrances. Now THAT I can appreciate. Is it a necessity? Only if you really like to push it to the limit when it comes to lengthening. The price point is up there but it’ll last you for quite some time. Removal is easy too. Simply wet your fingers and gently massage away and off it comes.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 1 coat of mascara

 


 

Lash Lacquer added to lashes


Do I recommend it?: Only if you’re really in the mood to try something different. It’s a pricey mascara product and unless you can dedicate the time to learn how to use it, you’ll be wasting your money. But it does work. I just wish it didn’t clump so easily.

Have you ever seen anything like this? Whatcha think?

 


Maybelline’s Color Tattoo Cream Gel Shadows: For Rockstars Only

I love tattoos, y’all. A lot. I call myself a tattoo rockstar because even though I have 5 tats, I want more. And I could care less about how “unprofessional” people may see them. Tattoos, like makeup, are accessories. It’s self-expression. Granted getting a tattoo is 10x more painful than applying mascara but still….if I didn’t already run out of “un-wrinkable” areas on my skin, I’d be saving my pennies for another tattoo.

But anyway…

My love for tattoos sooooo doesn’t have anything to do with Maybelline’s Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadows. Don’t you love how random I can be? 8)

Have you gals seen these? I only snagged 3 but there are a total of 10 shades. They range from beautiful neutral shades to poppin’ “in yo face” shades. If you’re a fan of eyeshadow primers, you’ll like these. They mimic the oh so popular gel eyeliners that L’Oreal HIP had some time ago. Only these are better.

Much better. What Maybelline says about ‘em:

“Dare to get inked with a super long lasting eye shadow. Maybelline New York has combined their intense pigment technology with flexible film formers to create a shadow that packs our most intense, saturated color. The semi-permanent gel-cream smoothes on for vibrant, crease- resistant color that doesn’t fade away– wears for 24 hours.”

Okay…for the record, I don’t recommend wearing anything for 24 hours. I know they weren’t being literal with that claim, but still…wash your face, dolls. I really like the consistency of these. They aren’t super emollient and gel-like but they aren’t hard to work with either. In fact, I don’t even use a brush to apply them. I use my fingers. The three I have do a darn good job at showing up beautifully on my skin.

Tough as Taupe…

I like this one. The color was a little off though. In the pot it looked to be a “lighter” putty but when I dapped my finger in it, it darkened up a bit. Not a total deal breaker as I still think it works nicely as a neutral base. I dug the lighter putty more shade more though.

Painted Purple is actual a little less blue and more purple. My camera is being a butt and not showing you how awesome this shade is in real life.

It’s my favorite of all of the Color Tattoos but mainly because I LOVE rich purple-almost-violet kind of shades.

And then there’s Fierce & Tangy.

Orange is another one of my favorite eyeshadow shades because it’s so unexpected. I wish more brown girls wore orange.

I loved this baby so much that I cranked out a look with it.


Who knew orange eyeshadow could actually be work-appropriate, right?

Pro’s
-Lasts ALL day.
-Priced relatively well at $6.99.
-Comes in myriad of gorgeous colors.
-Easy to find in drugstores in the U.S.
-Buildable.

Con’s
-May be tough to apply as some of the shades are a little tougher to get on your fingers or brush.
-If you have SUPER oily lids, you may still have to wear a primer under these.
-Dries out quickly if you leave top off. Even for a few minutes.
-They don’t always dry with an even finish. When packing on, you have to be sure to do so with precision.

I’m lovin these and if I didn’t already have enough color bases, I’d be hauling them all. I do have my eyes on Pomegrante Punk, though. That cranberry shade has been calling my name since I left her stranded at Walgreens. Whatcha think? Have you tried these babies yet?

 

P.S.

Happy Valentine’s Daaaaaay!! 

Mascara Monday: NYX Pin Up Tease macara

So. Check this out…NYX has recently released an entire collection of mascaras. And by “entire collection”, I mean SEVEN! How cool is that? Even awesome-r is that each mascara has a special function. Some brands don’t even release 7 mascaras in a year and they are hittin’ us with lucky 7 in one collection. Very very cool of you, NYX. I’ve got my hands on all of them and will incorporate them individually in Mascara Monday posts. I won’t review them back to back but I will sprinkle them around. While some peoples’ professions require them to read thesis papers, perform heart surgeries or chase down criminals, part of my profession requires that I select which mascara (of 7) I will review first.

I know. Such a daunting task, right? Considering I’m down with the curves, I selected the curvaceous Pin Up Tease mascara.

Price: $6 at Ulta stores and NYXCosmetics.com
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: “To darken and curl lashes. Hard bristle combs to separate and curl lashes.” (source)

The Truth: Niiiiiiiiiiiiice!

What I Loved About It: It gave me really nice separation.

What I Didn’t Like: I found it a little difficult to remove.

Overall: This mascara reminds me so much of myself. Okay, wait…before you call me nutty, hear me out. I look at mascaras with packagings like this and always shake my head. I assume, “Large Tube, Huge Wand”. And most times I am dead on with that assumption. But Pin Up Tease surprised me. Her wand is surprisingly slender. And it curls too!


I mean, that is SO me. I’m like a size 12 14 (do I get a cookie for being honest?) and while you would think that my girth means I’m sluggish or anything but athletic, I am actually a freaking beast in the gym. So yes, Pin Up Tease. I identify with you. You are my mascara soul sister. But anyway…

Yeah. The wand totally surprised me. And in a good way. I mean, just look at it. It’s got a nice sturdy shape and the bristles are long enough to breeze right through the lashes. I never find much use out of wands that do that loop-y U thing. I don’t find them to be particularly helpful. But they aren’t bad either. My theory is that brands make the wands look like this to encourage you to curl and HOLD your wand to give your lashes added curl. Do I think it works? Sure. But I do the same thing with regular mascara wands too.

Formula-wise, this baby was a beaut. She went on with ease and lasted throughout the entire day. If you’re looking for a mascara that just won’t budge,  consider this one. As far as curl, though…I’m a bit of skeptic when it comes to curling mascaras. I really don’t think there is an ingredient that can lift your lashes into a curl. My belief is that the only way to really curl lashes is by using a lash curler and rolling the mascara and holding it in place. So no, I can’t say Pin Up Tease gave me any extra curl alone.

But did she give me separation? Oooooh yeah! I love mascaras that separate well. I’ve got those crazy and wonky-kind of lashes so this is the ideal mascara for me. She separated the lashes beautifully and with ease. I didn’t get a mess load of length or volume but sometimes I need just a darn good separating mascara and Pin Up Tease did it for me.

Removal was tricky. She didn’t come off with a makeup remover. So I tried the same method I use for removing fiber mascaras. I wet my finger tips and gently massaged the mascara off. It worked! Pin Up Tease didn’t “appear” to apply like a fiber mascara but considering removal was much like one, maybe there are some fiber speck thingies in there. You won’t hear me complaining about that though.

Two coats should do it. Any more than that and Pin Up Tease starts clumping up. And as promised, it realllly darkens the lashes. So while I didn’t get a ton of curl or length, I was impressed with how dark it looked on the lashes and how well it separated.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats


 

Do I recommend it?: Fo sheezy!  If you are looking for a dynamic separating mascara that will last allllll day, check this baby out.

Have you tried this mascara yet? What do you think?

 


Guest Post: How to Effectively Apply Fiber Mascara

It’s Ishah here, from over at Beauty Mamas – a blog for women who live life to the fullest and still want to look beautiful ;) My all time favourite type of mascara formulas is the fiber mascara. It builds up on your natural lashes to lengthen and volumise like no other. There is a trick to applying it, however, that can really make a big difference in the end result of your lashes!

For today’s post I am using Dolly Wink Long Mascara, but the concept is the same for other fiber mascaras. I have used this method with Maybelline The Falsies as well.


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Here is the video tutorial, but if you prefer text & pictures just keep on scrollin’.

                                                       Source: IshahBeautyMamas 

As you can see on the brush and on my hand, the mascara has a bunch of little fibers that are supposed to grip onto your lashes as you swipe.


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The traditional method of applying mascara isn’t the most effective with this type of formula. Firstly, we focus on lengthening: to really get the most fibers on your lashes and lengthen them as much as possible, use the tip of the wand first and swipe the brush up vertically, . This way, you are placing the fibers right where they need to go, on the ends of your lashes.


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Swipe each section, all the way from your inner, to your outer lashes. Using the tip ensures that you can catch every single lash and build them up. You will be able to see the fibers attaching to the ends of your lashes and making them beautifully looong! I do two coats, just to ensure I’m building the length up as much as possible.


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Once you have gone over the lashes with the tip of the wand, it’s time to go back to more familiar territory. To build volume and separate, swipe the wand in a ‘zig zag’ fashion at the roots of your lashes, then sweep upwards to the tips.


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Make sure you get every lash! I give them 2 coats, but make sure you’re loading your lashes with as much of the mascara that’s on that brush. I feel like many women do too many coats and cause clumping, when what you should really be doing is using one or two coats and going over and over your lashes thoroughly with each coat. Did I explain that right? If you’re confused, see the video.
The top lashes

L: no mascara R: 2 coats of mascara applied vertically, 2 coats applied horizontally.


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Although I wouldn’t recommend doing any more coats than that, you can continue to build as much as you want with the mascara and fibers that are on the brush. With each coat I literally go over and over my lashes until they are as long and lush as I want them. If you have a good mascara (like Dolly Wink or Fiberwig) you wont get any clumping or flaking. In the video I actually went over the eye I used for the tutorial more thoroughly than the eye I had done beforehand, so it ended up looking a little more dramatic.

Oh, and don’t forget those bottom lashes! They can really pull a look together (like this one!)


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Fiber mascaras can do wonders for your eyelashes if applied right! Maximise the potential of this great formula by taking the little bit of extra time to do it right ;)

What are your thoughts on fiber mascara? Worth the extra time and effort?

Thanks for reading, beauties!

Ishah xx

The amazing Wet n Wild Coloricon I Heart Matte Eyeshadow palette

Wanna hear a sad/embarrassing story? Back when I was first getting into makeup (you know…like a few years ago) I  walked into a MAC store for the first time and was totally mesmerized by their eyeshadow looks. No surprise there, right? Every artist’s eyes were flawlessly painted – almost airbrush like. Someone comes up to me and asks if they can help me and do you know what I say?

“I’d love to buy some of those airbrush eyeshadows.”

The look I received in return was something along the lines of  eek and rolleyes The “airbrush eyeshadows” I was referring to were matte eyeshadows. Duh. I didn’t even know. That said – every time I think of matte eyeshadows, I think of that totally awkward moment. Anywhoovers, how beautiful is this matte palette?

I know, right? I know! This baby isn’t new. Wet ‘n Wild released this Fall of 2011 and I am just now getting my hands on it. Good drugstore matte eyeshadows are so hard to find. The ones I’ve found have been chalky or lack the pigment good matte shadows have. But this palette? It’s alllllll that.

Sorry. I had to do it. The show comes on Teen Nick late at night and it has me all nostalgic. Gotta love growin’ up in the 90’s. Yes. Another diversion. I can’t stay focused to save my life. Bring on the swatches!

 

Why my camera sucks at focusing on more than one swatch at a time is beyond me. But how intense are those swatches? Retailing at $4.99, this I Love Mattes palette has everything good matte eyeshadows should have.

-Intensity
-Longevity
-Silky texture
-Build-ability (I made that work up)

These shadows feel like buttah. They apply effortlessly but of course you’ll need a nice sturdy primer to prevent them from creasing throughout the day. In fact, when I wear matte eyeshadows, I double up on bases. I use Urban Decay Primer Potion and and NYX’s Milk jumbo pencil. Between those two, the matte shadows last forevs.

I love the color selection in this palette too. You’ve got the nice neutral shades and then you’ve got some shades that will add some nice pop. I loves it. I loves it a lot. So much so that I’ve been wearing the neutral mattes allllllll week.

 

I don’t know what it is with me and this “allllll” thing. I’m in such a silly mood. But what else is new, uh? I did spot this palette in my neighborhood Walgreens a few days ago so while it’s a few months old, you may still be able to get your hands on it.

Do matte eyeshadows not rock or what?

Mascara Monday: Revlon PhotoReady 3D Volume mascara

Well, well, well…what do we have here? A mascara from Revlon. It’s been a long time and I do mean a LONG time since a mascara from Revlon has impressed me. If ever. And I know that sounds harsh, but I’ve got to be honest. So yah. Like all Revlon mascaras, I didn’t have high hopes for this one….

Price: $9.99 in drugstores.
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: Per the packaging…

The Truth: Wow. This isn’t bad. I’m serious. This is actually pretty good.

What I Loved About It: Dude, the length is REALLY good. I was impressed.

What I Didn’t Like: It’s okay with 2 coats but 3 coats of mascara sent me straight to  Clumps City. Not an epic fail, really. I didn’t HAVE to use 3 coats, ya know?

Overall: Well, well, welllll. Look who has it goin’ on. Simply put, I surprisingly liked this mascara. I’ll stop the “Revlon’s mascaras suck” bit for awhile and give you a sturdy review. The mascara promises big and bold volume and honey, it delivers. My lashes look phenomenal when I wear this. So much so that I’ve been wearing it for a week straight.

The wand….

The wand is niiiiice. The bristles aren’t super stiff so you are able to not only untangle unruly lashes, but you can also get a good handle on wiggling from root to tip. There is a bit of a “dagger” at the end of the wand but it’s hard to use. When you pull the wand from the tube, the tip of the wand is coated in mascara. No bueno. Sure, you can wipe it off on the side a bit but it’s hard to get enough off to use the dagger end. Still. Despite that, I was able to effectively use this wand with no problem. Oooooh yeah!

Yes, it’s a volume mascara but it still does a great job with lengthening too.  As far as volume, you will get it. And in a major way. This is fantastic mascara for when you really want your lashes to stand out. Most days I’m too lazy to put on eyeshadow, but I always wear liner and mascara. This is the kind of mascara I’d wear for some real pop. The one thing that prevented this mascara from getting a perfect score is how wonky it gets throughout the day. Some mascaras flake. Others just disappear but this mascara  made my lashes feel gel-like. If I went to rub my eyes, my lashes would lean whichever way. And they’d stay that way. It was easy to remove with water so while the formula gets all weird ‘n stuff, I just can’t knock how great the volume and lengthening power of this baby is.

Could it be? Did Revlon win me over? If their next mascara is so so, I’ll put them back on my good side.

Who am I kidding? I am already having a love affair with Revlon’s Lip Butters. I want to marry those things. But I digress…

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats


Oh! I forgot to mention something. You know how Revlon is notorious for those HUGE holes that the mascara wand comes out of it?

Yeah well, this mascara has it. There is a stopper that prevents you from taking out a whole heap of mascara but I don’t understand why they have to manufacture the hole so large in the first place. I don’t get it. Every other brand seems to get it except Revlon. *shrugs* It isn’t a big deal but still..the hole can make wiping off excess mascara a bit messy.

Do I recommend it?: Yep! It’s pretty good.

Have you tried this mascara yet? What do you think?

 

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Nordstrom Rack’s Beauty Buys. Must Haul All.

O.M.G….if you knew this and didn’t tell me, I’m taking away one of our friendship stars. Did y’all know that Nordstrom Rack had beauty products? How did I NOT know this? I mean, yeah….I’ve been to Nordstrom Rack several times and have been mesmerized by their affordable prices for shoes. So yeah. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice the beauty section. But still. I would have a saved a penny or two if it meant racking up (hehe, get it?) on some beauty stuffs. Like THIS kind of beauty stuff…

One can only expect the best from Nordie’s baby sister. I love love LOVE Stila and was excited to know that they have a ton of Stila options. Just how cute-sy are these little books?

Each one retails for, wait for it….$10. Ten bucks. Diez dólares. That’s it, yo! Each palette comes with 4 shadows and one of Stila’s convertible colors. These convertible colors can double as lippies and creamy blushes. It’s up to you. I love how the the eyeshadow selection for each palette can make a complete look. Ya know: there’s a shadow that can work for a lid color, crease color and browbone. Brands are becoming a little more conscious about eyeshadow placement when it comes to their palettes and I couldn’t be happier.

Majestic on Michigan Avenue palette

This palette is my favorite out of the bunch. It has the most wearable shades that are suitable for a brown gal like myself.

Ravishing on Rodeo Drive palette

Perfect for my gals with cooler complexions, I am in love with the blue/teal in this palette. Look at it. It just POPS, uh? Quick story about Rodeo Drive. This tells you how much I DON’T know about pop culture: When I first moved to L.A. (back in 2007), my cousin took me down Rodeo Drive and was telling me about how she’s run into so many many celebrities just by walking the strip. My response: “So is Rodeo Drive popular or something?” I know. I know.

Moving on…

Fashionable on 5th Avenue palette

This is the one palette that I think can work beautifully on everyone. My swatches may not be so convincing (still trying to work out this new lens….be patient with me!) but I love the variation and how this palette can easily be used for day and night looks.

These are the kind of books we should have had in school.

I’m just sayin’….

Have you ever been around the beauty selection in Nordstrom Rack? Find any deals?

Palette Lovin': e.l.f.’s 24K eyeshadow palette collections. How fancy!

Okay, promise you won’t hate me too much for this one, okay? There are a handful of posts that I meant to draft and publish before the holiday season but totally forgot to do so. Because of that, this particular palette is no longer available. And normally I wouldn’t even feature it BUT the good news is, there are several other palettes like this one.

So all isn’t lost. Instead of focusing on the aspects of this palette, I’m going to rap on the quality of the shadows and if they’d be a good investment for you or not. Sound good?

For starters, E.L.F.’s 24K line is so special that it has its own link on E.L.F.’s main page. There are a dozen or so 24K products. The packaging is in a plastic-y gold setting hence why they call the collection 24K. It’s pretty but isn’t the most durable material as the casing feels hollow and scuffs easily. The 100-piece eyeshadow palette goes for $24 and the 15-piece eyeshadow collection is priced at $15. Obviously, I think the 100-piece set is a better value but if you’re the type that loves taking eyeshadow palettes around with you, then the 15-piece set may be more up your alley. There is also a 32-piece collection but its packaging is a lot like the 100-piece in that it won’t be the best for traveling or toting around. It retails at $14.

In addition to eyeshadows, the holiday clutch that I had also had lipglosses, face powders and an eyeshadow powder.

The other palettes stick to just eyeshadows. Mine has 32 eyeshadows but the shades aren’t identical to the 32 eyeshadow palette. But…swatches are swatches. Here we go!

Light shades…

Blues/greens…

Blacks/Silvers…

While some of the shades are chunky, most do a great job at going on pigmented with the initial swatch. I didn’t use any bases for these swatches but having done looks with them, I can say that they do well when layered on top of your favorite base.

That said, if you’re looking for some decent shadow palettes, at a low price point, I think you’ll like the palettes from E.L.F.’s 24K collection. While they are some of the cheapest products on the market, I don’t have a problem with E.L.F. I think their shadows are up to par and great for those both new to makeup and makeup connoisseurs.

You can see some of the other 24K goodies here. I think I’ll have to grab those glosses. They are just darliiiiing!