Mascara Monday: Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber mascara

Well, well, welllll….what do we have here? Looks like Maybelline is starting the year off with a new fiber mascara. Considering I find fiber mascaras to be one of my favorite kind of mascaras (after volumizing mascaras, of course), I could not have been more happy. And Maybelline rarely disappoints me when it comes to mascaras. Let’s hope this one won me over…

The packaging looks a bit like Lash Stiletto, uh?

Price: $8.95 in drugstores. Of course you can probably get it cheaper with a coupon.
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims:  “Defy the rules with new Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara. A Maybelline New York first, this new mascara features fiber-extension technology for longer-looking lashes – 4mm visibly longer looking lashes to be exact!

How does it work? Maybelline New York incorporates 4mm black fibers into our formula. These elongated, dark fibers provide a dramatic, almost illegal length to lashes. Our exclusive Fiber Fix formula actually seals the fibers to each lash while the Fiber Fix Brush catches each lash for optimal fiber placement. Lashes extend to their fullest, most traffic stopping lengths! No flaking – no breaking.” (via press release)

The Truth: This wand is the best at defining, y’all. The best!

What I Loved About It: The wand. It’s just amaziiiiing!

What I Didn’t Like: When I think of something, I’ll let you know.

Overall: Maybelline does it again! *does the cabbage patch* I’m so excited! Okay, let’s get back at square one. You know what a fiber mascara is, don’t you? Essentially these little fibers give you dramatic length by attaching themselves on the tips of your lashes. You know how some women wear hair extensions to make their hair longer and fuller? Fiber mascaras do the same thing for eyelashes. I’ve discovered that there are 2 kinds of fiber mascaras; ones that promise volume and others that promise length. Both types of mascaras have to have great wands to be effective. Illegal Length Fiber is winning in that department.

Because of the wand’s slimness, I was able to apply the mascara on the tiny tips of my lashes. This can be challenging with a larger mascara wand but ILF was perfect. Like most fiber lengthening mascaras, the consistency of the formula was far from thick. Which is another good thing. A thick formula would make it difficult for you see the bristles on the wand and applying would be a wee bit of a hazard. Another plus of the wand (can you tell that I’m obsessed with it?) is that because the bristles are so stiff and tiny, applying on the lower lashes are super easy. Woot! Oh and even if length isn’t what you’re going for, the wand does an amazing job at helping you comb your lashes.

ILF lasted all day (most fiber mascaras do) without any smudging or flaking. This mascara also comes in a waterproof formula and I’m interested to see the differences between that and the non-waterproof one.

The best way to apply a fiber mascara for optimum results? Apply it on top of your favorite volumizing mascara. A coat of Maybelline The Falsies + Illegal Length Fiber, I imagine would be an amazing combination. I don’t mind wearing ILF solo though. And like all fiber mascaras, removal is easy peasy. Simply wet your fingers and gently massage your lashes. It’s off  faaaaaast.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 3 coats




Do I recommend it?: Oh yeahhhh. If you’re one of those guys or gals with super tiny lashes and REALLY want them to stand out, go for Illegal Length Fiber.

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

Palette Lovin': Black Opal Hana’s Pot of Gold

Is it just me or do you think of leprechauns when you think of a pot of gold too? Leprechauns freak me out, y’all. Seriously. Somehow, I’ve managed to not get freaked out over this darling little palette of wondrous eyeshadow. This is an online exclusive so if you find yourself heavily lusting over it, you may need to go ahead and get your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone ready.

Pretty, uh?

Palettes that are trios are always my favorite because I feel that’s just the right amount of colors you’ll need to crank out a decent look. Sometimes those palettes with 10+ shades leave you all confused with deciding what goes where, but this palette is easy.


And don’t you adore how they’ve embellished with shadows with the letter B?


I’m so honored that Black Opal thought so much of me that they put my initial on the shadows. Oh wait. The B stands for Black Opal. Oh yeah.

I knew that.

Each shadow is silky and pops nicely on my skin.

But you know me. If I plan on wearing eyeshadow, I HAVE to wear an eyeshadow base. The thing about these is — you don’t have to wear a colored base. If you’re like me and love Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Shadow Insurance, a dab of one of those on each lid is really all you need. The shadow has produced a nice intense look while not being too over the top.

Which I did a bit sloppily but you get the idea. Another darling attribute about this palette? It’s so slim and portable. It’s smaller than my phone…

…which means if I do need to touch up for Happy Hour (lol – like I’m a drinker…), it won’t take up too much space in my purse. Win, win, win. A pretty hot deal for only $7.95. Grab it with the quickness on Black Opal’s website.

And in food news, last week Esposo made the most delectable batch of Thai coconut curry soup.

It was so good, y’all. Sooooo good. This was his first time making it and he blew it out of the park. Normally when I go to Thai restaurants, I order Tom Kha Gai with tofu and his version was much better. I found the recipe on Pinterest – where I find most of our recipe ideas. That’s how it works in our house. I find the recipes and Esposo cooks. I mean yeahhhh, I can cook but Esposo is like a culinary wiz in the kitchen yo.

Meanwhile in Tile Land, I can scrub the MESS out of  bathtub. Yeah boi!

 

Mascara Monday: COVERGIRL LashBlast 24HR mascara

Ohhhhh, check it out. COVERGIRL is hittin’ us with a new mascara in 2012. Well, technically this mascara came out in 2011 but still….a lot of y’all have sent me emails letting me know that you are just now seeing it in your neck of the woods. Gosh. It’s been FOREVER since I’ve reviewed a COVERGIRL mascara. They’ve been a bit quiet on the mascara scene so I was really excited to review this one.

Even if was another Lash Blast one. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I loved Lash Blast. But we’ve seen the original, Lash Blast Length, Luxe AND Fusion. They are kinda doing that whole Maybelline Falsies thing. Same mascara with different attributes. It bugs me but hey…if the mascaras work then I’ll take it.


Price: $8.95 in drugstores. Of course you can probably get it cheaper with a coupon.
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: “Combines a longwear formula and an incredible volumizing brush for full, captivating lashes that last up to 24 hours.”

The Truth: Dang. This bad boy certainly lasts.

What I Loved About It: It certainly lived up to its claims.

What I Didn’t Like: Removing can be difficult.

Overall: Okay, here’s the thing: I don’t need a mascara to last 24 hours. Not even 10 hours. I get where COVERGIRL is going with this but come on, y’all. Use your better judgment. I don’t think anyone should wear any kind of makeup for hours and hours at a time. Mascara included. But because I really wanted to see how long this mascara could last, I actually rocked it for an entire 24 hours. Don’t worry. I still bathed and washed my face. I just didn’t do any mascara removing. And I must say…it stayed put. Seriously. It didn’t move at all.

Because it’s a Lash Blast mascara, it has the exact same wand we’ve seen in the other kids…

Yep, I’m still a fan of this wand. You either love it or hate it. There really isn’t an in between. Is it tough to control because it’s so big? Yep. Does it make sweeping through the little lashes challenging? Yep. But does it do a darn good job at bringing out the lashes and coating with them mascara? Oh yeah. I will always love this wand. The formula for this mascara, however, was just okay. While the consistency seems to be just like the original Lash Blast, I felt like I had a tough time getting it on the lashes. But when I did, I got a good amount of volume and was so so in lengthening department.

In terms of longevity, the mascara will last. It’s almost TOO good at lasting. It took a dozen or so swipes of my ol’ faithful Lancome Bi-Fail to finally get rid of the mascara. Yikes! The good news is, while it does take some time to get off, once you apply this mascara, you can rest assure that you won’t endure any smudging or flaking.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 3 coats


Do I recommend it?: I suppose. If you’re a die hard fan of Lash Blast, you’ll like this mascara. Is it difficult to remove? Yep. Is the volume and lengthening as GREAT as the original Lash Blast? Sure. And if it’s longevity you’re looking for in a mascara, this baby has it.

It was great, COVERGIRL. Now give me somethin’ else grand. Just not another Lash Blast. Kthanx.

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

A Sweaty Betty Approved Brow Gel.

Got crazy brows? Me too. I’ve complained enough about them so I’ll save the ranting for another post. While I’ve admitted to just letting them be and do their own thang, I do groom them a bit. It’s very rare that I leave the house without smoothing a brow gel over them. I mean…I kinda have to. For if I don’t, I’ll look like 2 fuzzy caterpillars attacked my face. Don’t know what I would do without my beloved Anastasia Brow Gel.

I scooped this up at Sephora a few moons ago and ohmigoodness, I LOVE it. I’m not gonna lie…it’s not the cheapest product in the world. At $21, I did quite the side eye when I spotted it.

And I’m not lyin’ when I say this brow gel was worth every penny. And here’s the thing about brow gels…when you use them reguarly, there are certain things you have to look for.

  • Non tackiness. Because honestly…who wants to deal with sticky product that will eventually make brows sticky?
  • Nice sized wand. Too big and you may end up getting brow gel everywhere and too tiny and you’ll have to do a ton of strokes.
  • Nice packaging. I’ve come across brow gels where the tops don’t close tightly enough. This, of course, will result in the gel drying out sooner rather than later.
  • Long lasting formula. Because what’s the point of wearing a brow gel if it’s just going to dissipate after a few hours? That’s wack yo.

This brow gel has it all, y’all. And a cute little wand to match.

Considering I’m a Sweaty Betty (and that’s putting it nicely) I am in love at how long this brow gel lasts. It stays put alllllllll day. And it doesn’t flake up and get all nasty either. Yes girl. This brow gel is the bomb dot com and is totally worth the 20+ dollars I spent on it.

Do you use brow gels? Or not so much?

Mascara Monday: Black Opal Lash Defining mascara

Woo hoo! This is the first time ever that I’m reviewing a Black Opal mascara. I always feel like throwing a party when I review a brand’s mascara for the first time. I love me some Black Opal. This drugstore brand is most popular among women of color simply because their drugstore foundations selection is phenomenal! Quite the rarity for many brands and especially drugstore brands. While I love their eyeshdaows, lippies and brow products, could I possibly be a fan of the mascara too?

Price: $4.95 at Black Opal Beauty
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: Give yourself luscious lashes with this hypoallergenic formula infused with Vitamin E and Panthenol, which help condition lashes while a unique spiral brush works to separate and lengthen.
 (source)

The Truth: Hmm , not too shabby.

What I Loved About It: What a cool lookin’ wand!

 

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t do much and the fragrance was just waaaaay too much.

Overall: Off hand I can only think of 2 other mascaras that have strong smells. Somehow the fragrances of those mascaras didn’t bother me as much as this one did. For a gal who wears fragrance-free oils and lotions and runs away from bottled perfumes, to have my mascara smell this strongly was just…interesting. While the scent disappeared after application, it was just way too much for me to handle while sweeping the wand through my lashes. And don’t get me wrong. It didn’t stink. It had a clean smell…like a shampoo. It wasn’t horrible but if fragrances aren’t your thing when it comes to cosmetics, you may have some trouble with this guy.

The good news is – the wand is pretty cool. It’s great for sweeping through the brows with ease. And call me loco, but I find it to be aesthetically pleasing too. I didn’t have any problems with using it. In fact, it was quite the honor. *bows down to thee mascara wand*

The formula was a little on the thick side. This wouldn’t be a problem if this was a volume mascara but considering it’s a lengthening mascara, I was expecting it to be a little thinner. Application wasn’t a problem and instead of giving me a great deal of length, I found the mascara gave me volume! Not bad. But still…that wasn’t what it was supposed to be. I know it sounds silly complaining about volume but when a mascara promises length, then dang it, length is what I want .

Lengthening was minimal and volume was decent though. Nothing to write home about but it was good.

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats


Do I recommend it?: The mascara is less than $5 so it’s definitely worth a try. If you can handle the smell, of course.

Are you a fan of Black Opal?

Make Up For Ever’s Wild & Chic palette – Rawrrrr!

Ooooh Make Up For Ever lovers…where are youuuu? I’ve been in love with Make Up For Ever for many years now. They do everything perfectly. I’m even in love with their foundation and that says a lot considering I don’t like many foundations. This season, Make Up For Ever’s Wild & Chic palette is stealing hearts and pulling out wallets. One of the babes from that collection happens to be the uber adorable Wild & Chic Eye Shadow Palette.

Exclusive to Sephora’s inside JCPenney’s, the palette gives you 6 gorgeous shades and a mini AquaEyes pencil for $39. Considering one MUFE shadow goes for $19. Sure the shadows are a lot smaller than a full size shadow but I think it’s a great value for the MUFE lover. Plus, I think the color selection is bangin’.

(L-R)
#84 – Bronze
#123 – Khaki
#152 – Pearly Light Pink
#17 – Brown Black
#122 – Metallic Copper
#126 – Beige
Aqua Eyes #0L – Matte Black

I can count a good 5-6 color combinations I can do with those. Like all Make Up For Ever shadows, these look phenomenal. Of course you’ll need a base but they look amazing when swatched solo.


From day looks to night looks, I think you’ll be able to do A LOT with this palette. And don’t even get me started on how cute the packaging is.

 

Oh! And the AquaEyes liner is so teeny tiny.

I love it. Perfect for grabbin’ and travelin’. Well done Make Up For Ever. Well done.

Whatcha think about this palette? Aren’t the colors goooorgeous?

Mascara Monday: Sephora Atomic Volume mascara

Oh wow. It’s been forever and I day since I’ve reviewed a mascara from the Sephora collection. I’m a little ashamed because Sephora has quite a few what look to be pretty groovy mascaras. Buuut, if you’ve ever been to a Sephora store, you know what it’s like to walk in there and be completely distracted by the rows and rows of brands screaming your name and asking to be purchased. So, I don’t mean to step over the Sephora collection goodies, but hey *shrugs* it happens. I was super excited to get my hands on this mascara and with a name like Atomic, I just knew it would give me the volumized lashes that I was looking for!

Price: $15 from Sephora and Sephora.com
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: Sephora Brand Atomic Volume Mascara – Ultra Black blows all other mascaras away. The dramatically dark color formula conditions lashes, keeping them pretty, healthy, and seriously stunning.
 (source)

The Truth: I don’t know if it’s all atomic-like, but it’s not bad.

What I Loved About It: The wand was a cinch to use. It really got through those lashes.

 

What I Didn’t Like: It left my lashes really really hard.

Overall: Here’s my belief about Sephora brand products. In order for us consumers to be swayed away from the glitter and glitz that are other brands in Sephora, Sephora’s products have to be impeccable. I know, I know…it seems a little unfair, but such is the world of beauty. Sephora collection brand products have to compete with so many different brands and I reckon that is anything but easy. That said, I kinda wish the packaging of the mascara was a little more unique and out there. It is simple at best, but us die hard mascara lovers can easily fall in love with a mascara having not even tried it yet if the packaging is all that and more. So while the packaging wasn’t there, the wand’s performance was. You can’t go wrong with a wand like this. It does a phenomenal job at catching and lengthening those super small lashes. If you’ve got curly lashes that hate to be straightened out, you will adore this wand. But, on the down side, the wand can be a little tricky when attempting to apply the inner lashes and lower lashes. The tip of the wand doesn’t have any bristles so unless you’re a mascara applyin’ pro, you may struggle with getting those teeny tiny lashes.

Formula-wise, I wasn’t insanely impressed with Atomic Volume. I found the formula to be a little too hard. It wasn’t as fluid as most mascaras. My mascara had a seal on it so I knew it wasn’t previously opened but it gave the same kind of performance of a mascara that had it over-extended its shelf life. Application took a little longer than I liked as I had to struggle to really bring those lashes out. The good news is, applying a second was easier and I was really able to see the volumizing that the mascara did. Still. It wasn’t enough to appease the volume monster than lives at the base of my lashes. I wanted more — more — more and Atomic Volume, well, it gave me some at best.

I also found that the mascara left my lashes hard and brittle. This, of course, resulted in flakes if I happened to rub my eyes. So not cool yo.

Oh and weather changes have my eyes a little puffy. Also so not cool. Sorries!

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats


Do I recommend it?: Only if you’re just itching to try it. If it’s not a mascara that you’ve never considered buying before, you won’t miss anything.

I’ve got another Sephora mascara to review and I’m wishing on a star in hopes that it’s better than Atomic Volume. Have you tried any of Sephora’s mascaras?

Gettin’ down with the brows: Black Opal’s Brow Shaper

Let’s talk about something that I hardly EVER discuss on Clumps of Mascara. Brows. I am a simple brow girl. I get these bad boys threaded every 2-3 weeks, brush ’em daily and keep on moving. Even when they start growing out of control the hairs start looking unruly, I don’t bother with trying to tame them. Less is more for me and I don’t have the time or patience to do a ton of sculpting, trimming, drawing and fancy-ing when it comes to my brows. Plus, believe it or not, I really appreciate my thicker brows. Even if they are nuts. Nothing like a waxing incident gone bad to help you appreciate what you’ve got. I got my brows destroyed by this waxer in Los Angeles over 4 years ago. Twas the worst of times.

Imagine my surprise when I ran into an eyebrow product that I actually really like. Say hello to Black Opal’s Brow Shaper.

This online exclusive $7 brow palette promises to “Achieve the look of professionally styled brows with this powder in a natural-looking shade, ideal for shaping, contouring and defining brows effortlessly. It’s the perfect quick-fix to sculpt, accentuate arches and supplement areas where brow hair is sparse.” (source)

Well, that doesn’t sound so bad. I’ll leave the conturing thing to the brow kings and queens of the world, though. The most use I will get from a product like this is filling in those sparse hairs. Because no one really has perfect eyebrows. Except blogger Saimese but we digress. 8)

I think that this product only comes in one shade and that’s “Medium”. The website didn’t show any other options but I do think they should have at least one lighter shade. Medium, however, works good for me.

It isn’t perfect but it conceals well on my brows. I will probably be using this baby as an eyeshadow too because it is one intense matte with a nice and long-lasting finish.

The angled brush that comes with the set isn’t really worth much so do yourself a favor and use your favorite angled brush. I have one from Crown Brushes and used it to only fill in and slightly define my brows. Take one of my brows before…

Not too much of a tragedy, right? I did some dipping and dabbing…


Not too bad, uh? Adding some of the powder made my arch stand-out a little better.

I topped the brows off with some brow gel and was happy to see it last all day. Not bad for a smooth 7-bucks. You can snag this from BlackOpalBeauty.com.

Are you a low-maintenance brow gal or do you like to go all out and spruce yours up?