The LookBag’s Goodies: March 2012

Soooo, I got my second LookBag and I wanted to share with y’all some of the goodies this go ’round. I did a complete review of how The LookBag works a few weeks ago. For some reason, I didn’t get a little flyer giving me information of what each product is this time. The good news is, every brand that is thrown into The LookBag is also listed on the LookStore website. AND, you can purchase directly from the website too. Pretty cool, uh?

Let’s see what we got this month…

First up is a pair of Shadow Shields.

These are pretty good at catching the fall-out from eye shadow looks. I wouldn’t get much use out of these because I don’t do a ton of eye shadow looks but these are pretty nifty for makeup artists and those who do a ton of looks. The sample should give you an idea if you’d like to purchase more of these. A box of 30 on The LookBag site will run you $7.99 (normally $9.99). Not too steep.

Then there’s Damone Robert’s Brow Highlighter in Bling Bling.

Considering Damone handpicks a lot of these goodies, I was wondering when they were going to throw one of his products in. I was most excited to try this. This is a product that I’d actually use regularly and would consider purchasing if I liked it enough. Sample size is large enough and I’ll probably get a few months of regular use out of this one. It goes for $20 but member’s price is $16.00. That’s a lot of money for a brow highlighter but it’s the norm. And they last forever. Anastasia Beverly Hill’s brow highlighters are around the same price, if not more expensive. Those who know the value in quality brow highlighters don’t mind shelling out the money.

The Cailyn Gel Eyeliner set was probably the best value in this month’s subscription.

You get a nice amount of gel liner and a dual-pot of loose silver glitter and a mineral shadow. Per the instructions, you can mix the gel liner with the glitter and shadow to create different looks. Nice! Aaaand, the top of the gel liner has a built in brush. Would I use this? YES! I am a gel liner fanatic and I never need a reason to need glitter. Member’s price for this is $16.80 but it regularly retails for $21. So yes. This is definitely a deal.

Indie Lee’s Squalane Facial Oil came next…

Packaging gets an A+ for me because even if I don’t end up liking the product, I can reuse that bottle. Product-wise, this is an anti-aging oil that I probably won’t use because I don’t use anti-aging products. The sample size is enough to give you a feel for if you’d like it or not. I’ve never heard of this brand but the beauty blogger in me can appreciate coming across brands I’ve never heard of it. Member’s price for this is $21.60 while is regularly retails for $24. I can’t say if this is a good value or not because I dont know how large the full-sized bottle would be.

SHEATERRA ORGANICS Rose Hips Black Soap

I have to give it to the brands of The LookBag. Most of the skincare products come in such reallllly nice packagings. Lovin’ this one. And considering this is a preservative-free product, the chances of my using it and purchasing it if I liked it are high. And I LOVE black soap. I’m using a cleanser similar to this so I will definitely be giving this one a whirl. Member’s price is $14.40 from the regularly priced $18.00. Again – I wish the site listed the ounces the full-sized bottle comes in.

Aaanad, I saved the best for last. This Franchè lipgloss in Ice Crystal is amazing!

Inglot has a gloss that is similar to this and oh man….it blows me away. Sample size gave me enough to experiment with putting this gloss over different lipsticks to change their colors and dimensions. I had so much fun using this! However, the price is a little too steep for me in that I probably won’t be purchasing the full-sized because the member’s price is a whopping $28.80. Yeah, that’s a deal considering the regular price is $38 but sheesh….c’mon-that’s A LOT of money for a lipgloss. So yeah. This sample was just a big tease.

Overall: This month’s The LookBag was nice. I loved the inclusion of cosmetic products and I loved that most of the skincare products were paraben-free. Two months in and The LookBag is still impressing me. If you’re still not sure if beauty subscriptions are for you, give The LookBag at chance. If all else fails, you can cancel with no penalty and at the very lease, you’ll end up with SOMETHING that you can use from day-to-day.

Like that brow highlighter. Hollersssss!!!

Get a subscription here.

Mascara Monday: Urban Decay Lush Lash mascara

Huge news, y’all! This mascara review makes the 150th mascara review added to the Clumps of Mascara Mascara Bin. It’s hard to believe that I’ve tested over 150 mascaras AND wrote reviews for them. Is there a Guinness World Records section for something like this? Seriously. In honor of the 150th mascara review, I’ll be giving away UD’s Lush Lash. Aaaaand, it’s an International-friendly giveaway! Details after review!

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

What It Claims: “A thickening and lengthening mascara formulated to help lashes actually grow longer. ” (source)

The Truth: The wand is a dream!

What I Loved About It: This mascara lengthens nicely.

What I Didn’t Like: You probably won’t get the complete benefits of this mascara unless you use it in conjunction with Urban Decay’s Lush Lash System (Growth Accelerating Serum and Conditioning Mask). And that goes for $42.

Overall: Here’s the dealio, because I can’t spend weeks reviewing a mascara, I won’t be able to say much about this mascara’s ability to make the lashes healthier over time. What I will do is rap on the awesomeness that is the wand, the formula and whether or not the mascara’s overall performance is up to par.

Let’s take a look see at the wand.


Nice, uh? This is the perfect wand for maneuvering through wonky lashes. The bristles are smaller than I’d like but at least they are sturdy.

Formula-wise, I think this one’s formula is nice. It plops itself on the wand easily and distributing it on the lashes is easy. It flaked a bit on me throughout the days I wore it but this can be alleviated but applying a coat of your favorite mascara primer before applying the mascara.

This baby promises to thicken and lengthen and I think it does a darn good job. Like I think it does better lengthening than thickening, I love that I can apply 2-3 coats without it clumping up on me. I didn’t get insanely longer lashes with Lush Lash, but I find it be the perfect everyday mascara. Aaaand, if I weren’t too busy reviewing so many other mascaras, I would definitely use this for days and weeks at a time to see if helped lead me to healthier lashes. It’s been such a long time since I’ve reviewed an Urban Decay mascara and it’s a plum shame because Urban Decay is one of my favorite brands.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 3 coats



Do I recommend it?: Sure do. Especially if you need a good separating mascara.

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

 


No Longer Walking Dead with Maybelline’s Eye Studio Ink Pen Eyeliner

Mascara? Yeah, whatever. Eyeliner? Can’t leave home without it. I know, I’m pathetic. I never wanted to be one of those gals who couldn’t leave the house without makeup but I look like The Walking Dead without eyeliner. And I’m not even kidding. A little bit of black eyeliner gives my eyes definition and makes me look more awake. But liquid liner?

Liquid liner is the bee’s knees and butterfly’s wings if you know how to use it correctly. Don’t even think about asking me for tips, dude. I am still struggling with applying it. Maybelline is hitting us with a new one and by George, I think I like it!

The tip has a darn good point.

Which is a good thing. A liquid eyeliner with a dull point or a point that collapses too easily can make for ineffective application. And ineffective application will have you looking like a 2nd grader did your makeup. Which is no bueno. This black liner looks really black. Which I love.

It lasts throughout the day without many problems. It did flake on me after I rubbed my eye a bit, but I’m used to that happening with most eyeliners.

Pro’s
-Affordable. Depending on where you go, it’s between $6.99-$7.99.
-It has a nice and intense black color.
-Nice point-y tip that makes it easy to draw both thin and thick strokes.
-Long lasting.

Con’s
-Can flake if you rub your eyes.
-Dries out if you leave the top off for a few minutes.

 

Have you seen this eyeliner around? Whatcha think?

Mascara Monday: Eyeko Skinny Brush mascara

One of the reasons why I love beauty blogging is because it allows me to connect with so many people allll over the world. I feel like blogging is one huge portal of pen pal-ing and I love it. I first heard about Eyeko from a UK blogger and since then I’ve checked out their polishes and have been crossing my fingers they’d bring their skinny brush mascara to the States.

The mascara angels were on my side, y’all. The mascara has hit Sephora stores nationwide on February 23, 2012 and will formally launch online at Sephora.com on February 26, 2012. Wooo hoooo!

Price: $19 at Sephora stores and soon on Sephora.com
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara Long & Tall creates dramatic lash looks, while it’s conditioning formula locks in jet-black colour with incredible staying power and creates a gravity defying hold–leaving lashes flawless, yet soft and supple.” (per press release I’ve received)

The Truth: Whoa! The wand really is skinny.

What I Loved About It: This mascara gives super volumized lashes with only one coat.

What I Didn’t Like: Buuuuut because the bristles aren’t elongated enough, separating is tough and the formula clumps up quickly.

Overall: Okay, first things first…how adorable is the packaging? This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a mascara in a tube like this. Some time ago (or maybe they still have them…), Victoria’s Secret had mascaras like this and I remember going bananas over them then. Packaging is A LOT for us beauty aficados and those looking to try something new will definitely be scooping this baby up.

Let’s take a look at the wand…


It’s REALLY skinny, uh? And skinny wands aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I prefer them to large wands. Skinnier wands allow you to really get into those teeny tiny lashes and elongate them. Skinnier wands are perfect folx with crazy lashes like me. And as much as I love the width of this wand, it’s the bristles that are a little weird. Long bristles would be better suited for a mascara like this but since it has reallllly small circular bristles that go around the wand, it makes it tough to really wiggle and bring out the lashes. And since the bristles are soooo close together, it makes clumping too inevitable.

Formula-wise, it’s average but appears to be thick when applying on the lashes. Again, I think that has a lot to do with the wand. It’s a long-lasting formula that doesn’t smudge or flake throughout the day so that’s awesome. Also, because of the packaging, you will definitely get your $19 worth. It looks like this mascara holds more than the average mascara wand does so yay for that! Doesn’t mean you should hold on to it for more than 3 months, but hey, it is a perk, uh?

Also – along with this mascara comes a mascara shield and according to Eyeko it’s a simple tool to help lengthen lashes and maximize curl without smudges.

Image Source: http://www.eyeko.com/eyeko-skinny-brush-mascara-p-187.html

Nice little addition! This work really well. But only if you’ve got the time to mess around with it. I like to use it to help lengthen the lashes. And hey, if you’ve got a guitar, this works as a fantastic guitar pick. 8) I grabbed a picture from Eyeko’s site that demonstrates how to use the shield.

Overall? It’s not a bad mascara. In fact, I think it would be better if the wand had longer bristles. I recommend only applying ONE coat and using the shield for added length. The mascara does pretty well with providing volume and while lengthening is so-so, the shield will help you push it to the limit a bit.

Oh. And and the mascara smells like a bottle of bubbles. You know…the bubbles that come with wands that kids and grown kids play with. Not a bad smell but it definitely brought me back to being 4 years old. Ha!

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 1 coat


Do I recommend it?: Yep, I do! Especially if you have smaller lashes.

Any Eyeko fans in the house? Whatcha think about this mascara?

 


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