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?

Essence has the cheapest and bestest gel liners ever!

When it comes to gel eyeliners, very rarely do I venture off to different brands. I stick with what I know and what I’ve known for many years has been MAC’s Fluidline. Now don’t give me that look. I’m not one of those “I wear MAC everything” kind of gals. In fact, most of my makeup collection ain’t MAC Cosmetics. But let’s face it…when it comes to gel liners, MAC knows what they’re doing. I’ve tried many brands of gel liners and haven’t found one that’s comparable to my beloved Fluidline.

Until I ran into Essence’s Gel Eyeliner.

O.M.G!!!!  Why didn’t y’all tell me how fantastic this eyeliner is? And it’s only $3.49 too! Hollers!

My only gripe with these gel liners is that there are only 3 shades of them. Not pictured is a a black called Midnight in Paris and then you’ve London Baby (brown) and Berlin Rocks (purple). These are just fantastic. I found the consistency to be a little more fluid than MAC’s Fluidlines. They are creamier and because of that, applying on the lower lashline may be a little challenging. When applying with a brush or your finger, you may have to go over your lines a second time. Essence’s liners will also work beautifully as eyeshadow bases. I do, however, recommend wearing a primer first. Especially if you’re like me and have super oily lids.

Okay, this is weird – although the the packaging pictures of London Baby looked to be brown online, I found it to be more on the dark blue-ish/gray side. Which doesn’t bother me a bit considering I don’t own any eyeliners this color. Aaaand, I was surprised at how long these stayed put. I got a good 12+ hours of wear time with London Baby on and that was during a workout.

*sigh* These liners are so dreamy.

I love everything about Essence. But you already knew that, uh? Have you tried their gel liners yet?

Cost: $3.49 a piece
Where to Buy: Ulta and Ulta.com
Best For:
Gel eyeliner lovers.
MAC Fluidline lovers who want to try a cheaper version of gel liners

Mascara Monday: Rimmel Sexy Curves Full Body mascara

Okay, so it’s not Rimmel’s fault but their mascaras are starting to run in together for me. I am having a hard time setting them apart. I guess that’s a good thing because that means they have A LOT to choose from but for a beauty editor, me head gets all kinds of confused. I know, I should really just suck it up, uh? Let’s see if this mascara can leave a lasting mark…

 

Price: $7.50 from Ulta and Ulta.com
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: Per the packaging…

The Truth: This wand looks like something I’ve seen before.

What I Loved About It: It does a great job at really bringing those lashes out there.

What I Didn’t Like: It flakes within hours. Which really sucks.

Overall: The problem with reviewing so many mascaras is that I tend to forget the properties of each one. Unless a mascara was REALLY good or just terrible, I can’t always remember how the other 140-somethin’ worked for me. Sometimes people will email me and ask me “Hey, what did you think about this mascara.” and I usually have to refer to my own blog posts about said mascara. Ha!!! Is that weird? Probably.

Anywhoovers, this mascara’s wand looks like another mascara’s wand and I just can’t put my finger on which one. I’m almost positive that it’s an Asian-mascara but don’t take my word for it. But we digress….according to Rimmel, this mascara really dosen’t seem to be all that different from the original Sexy Curves. In fact, the only difference that I can note from packaging and claims alone is that Sexy Curves Full Body has a different wand. That’s it. Formula-wise, it has a nice consistency without being too thin or thick. I’ve talked with several beauty gals who said that they have issues with Rimmel’s mascara formula. I have always found it easy to apply and didn’t have any issues with it with initial application. However, hours AFTER application is a different story.

While I really liked the volume and length that this mascara, it simply flaked away after a few hours. I simply can’t with flaky mascaras. There should be signs on the highway that say “Don’t Drive and Wear Flaky Mascara”. Like fo reals. Mascaras that flake can get caught up in your eyes and cause some serious damage. That didn’t happen with me and Sexy Curves Full Body but it could have. And that would have really sucked.

Maybe I had an old tube. Maybe it would have done better over an eyelash primer? Maybe. That said, the only reason why this mascara has such an average score is because of its flakiness. Everything else was up to par and its flaking is the one thing that kept it from having a perfect score.

 

 

 

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 3 coats


 

Do I recommend it?: I’m not sure if there’s a waterproof version of but if there is, I’d give that one a try over this one.

Mascara Monday: Hard Candy Lash Tinsel glitter mascara

Well, well, wellll….what do we have here? It’s a Hard Candy mascara! I get a lot of recommendations to review these mascaras and for the longest, I didn’t think that they were even in Orlando. Until I went to Walmart one fateful day and discovered that the Walmart nearest me actually has a ginormous selection of Hard Candy mascaras, lippies, polishes and eyeshadows. Well, heyyyy! With the holidays rolling around, I wanted to review a fun mascara. You know…something that can help you stand out at that holiday party. What can be more show stopping than a glitter mascara?

 

Price: $5 from Walmart and Walmart.com
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5

What It Claims: I didn’t spot any claims on the packaging or website. Weird.

The Truth: This mascara makes your lashes rock hard.

What I Loved About It: The color is really pretty and I didn’t have to endure any glitter falling in my eyes – and I was afraid that I would.

What I Didn’t Like: The glitter didn’t look as noticeable as I wanted it to.

Overall: I think this is my first time reviewing a glitter mascara. Why yes. It is. To be quite honest, I’ve never been a fan of them. If you know me, you know that I really don’t like anything with glitter around my eyes. I’m just too paranoid that a fleck will fall in my eye while I’m driving and I’ll crash into a pole or something. That sounds ridiculously dramatic, I know, but I don’t want to take any risks. And so I usually run away from liners, mascaras and eyeshadows with large glittery specs. But in light of the season, I decided to push my fears to the side and try something new. Aren’t you proud of me?

The consistency of this mascara is on the gel side.

I think the consistency is actually better fitted for an eyeliner. It’s thin (but not too watery) and dries to a sturdy finish – just like a good glitter eyeliner. But because the glitter floats in a thin base, it makes applying it on the lashes difficult. And the mascara’s wand isn’t much help either.

It’s just so — cheap looking. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need a super top-of-the-line wand that automatically applies my mascara for me. But I would like it to have bristles that are closer together. These bristles are spread out so far apart but it takes quite some time to get the mascara on the lashes. Once I managed to apply a few coats, I couldn’t really TELL that I had on a glitter mascara. Up close, I could see a bit of the teal but far away…nothing. If I’m going to risk wearing glitter mascara, doggone it – I want it to be seen! An hour or so after applying, my lashes became hard as bricks. I haaaate stiff lashes. I always feel like stiff lashes are victims of being accidentally pulled out. Yikes!

Yeah, I don’t know about this guy. Its saving grace is the beautiful shade of teal and the fact that if you have a small enough brush, it can double as an eyeliner. But using it as  a mascara? Not a good idea.

 

 

Bare Lashes




Lashes after 3 coats


Do I recommend it?: Only if you’re okay with only getting a minimal amount of glitter on your lashes. You could of course layer it over a mascara that you already have on, but that can result in flaking. This mascara is cheap enough to be useful for some and even if you don’t think it’s hot, you didn’t spend too much money so all is good.

Have you ever tried glitter mascaras? Yay or nay?

POLL: Will you get the Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette?

If anyone knows how to work beauty junkies into a massive  frenzy, it’s Urban Decay. Their legendary Naked palette was notorious for being out of stock both online and in stores. While it found its place in permanent makeup land, beauty lovers now have the Naked palette 2 to obsess over.

Considering I’ve got a mess load of similar shades, I decided not to get the original Naked palette. Vex in the City’s swatches, however, have me thinking about putting the Naked  2 on my birthday list. You know…in case Esposo asks. Then again, I’ve been a beauty lover for a good  5 years or so and I find it hard to get excited over repeat products and Naked 2 looks a lot like the original Naked.

Aside from the packaging, they could pass for twins. Not to mention – while I don’t have neutral shadows like this in ONE palette, I’m sure if I search my shadow collection enough, I could find dupes of these. Boy, I tell ya….being a beauty blogger brings about a level of discernment. No longer can I just buy products because of the hype. I be breakin’ it down yo.

What about you?

[polldaddy poll=5727223]

Laura Mercier Limited Edition Luxe Eye Portfolio

Who wants to see another beautiful eyeshadow palette? The last time I played around with Laura Mercier was when I dabbled around in the foundation and I was in love. I’ve heard great things about the eyeshadows and haven’t had a chance to test drive them until now.

How stunning is the Limited Edition Luxe Eye Portfolio?

Okay, so as pretty as it is, it comes with a price. Literally. This baby goes for  whopping $98. While some of y’all may be gasping in horror, some guys and gals out there have no problems spending close to $100 on an eyeshadow palette. Just because you may not spend as much on a beauty product, doesn’t mean someone else won’t, ya know? The good news is, if you do spend your pennies on this palette, you won’t be disappointed.

What LauraMercier.com has to say about the palette:

Perfect for home or travel, this beautifully packaged faux snakeskin organizer includes a collection of twelve new, exclusive and top selling Eye Colour shades, plus three mini professional Brushes that allow you to mix and match shades to customize your look.

The faux snakeskin portfolio feels nice and extra luxe. No cheap material here yo! And I love how totable and small the palette is for throwing in a purse, bag or suitcase.

Y’all know how I feel about traveling with extra bulk so this palette is the perfect size for me. Aaaaand, it’s small enough to sit snuggly where ever you store your makeup at home. To the left of the eyeshadows sit 3 travel size makeup brushes.

It took me a second to figure out what their functions were until uh…I flipped ‘em over.

Each brush is stiff but I didn’t find any of them particularly useful for applying eyeshadow. The crease brush is great for applying eyeshadow on the Crease and the Ponytail brush seems to be a longer version of the Crease brush. So yeah…I can pass on the brushes. The shadows totally make up for the brushes’ disappointing marks.

The color selection and textures in this palette is superb. You’ve got good selections for highlighting the browbone, good neutral shades and shades that can create a bangin’ smokey eye. As far of textures, you’ve got mattes, shimmers and frosts. And do you see that matte black? Yes! I always jump for joy when I see matte black eyeshadows in palettes. Laura Mercier must have had beauty bloggers in mind because the shadow names are listed on the palette. I love that!

  • Rich Senna : A fantastic muted brown with subtle shimmer that will be great for work looks.
  • Morning Dew: A matte white that is great for sweeping under the browbone.
  • Black Coffee: Ahhh, the wonders you can do with a matte black. This one is silky and lovely.
  • Rosewood: Another great shimmer with a rosy touch.
  • Pink Crystal: This is the only shade that will require some packing on.
  • Sable: A gray-ish purple that isn’t as pigmented but nice.

  • Royal Gold: A muted gold great for applying right on the lid.
  • African Violent: A purple and gold wonderland of a shadow. This baby has lots of personality.
  • Mica: A pleasant glitter bomb of a silver.
  • Golden Cream: Another great shimmer to apply under the browbone.
  • Fig: A matte violet that that takes a bit of applying to really pop
  • Sparkling Night: A beauty navy blue.
These shadows really surprised me. Even the ones that were just so so at initial swatch really  came to life with a bit of packing on. I didn’t experience any fall out from these shadows either.
Perfection, I say. Perfection.
Who is this palette for?
  • Those who want an all-in-one palette.
  • Those who don’t mind spending close to $100 on a palette.
  • Super duper Laura Mercier fans.
So yes, the price point is up there but with MAC eyeshadows going for $10.50 a pan, getting these 12 shadows for under $100 isn’t a bad idea. If you just HAVE to get this palette better get it quickly. Remember, it’s limited edition! Snag it from LauraMercier.

Mascara Monday: Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara

Nothing excites me more than getting the opportunities to test drive mascaras from brands that I’ve never tried. It’s like meeting a new friend. And hoping that they don’t stink. I always have high expectations. Did this mascara wonder from Hourglass impress me?

Price: $28 from Sephora and Sephora.com
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: Per Sephora.com

Film Noir’s signature hourglass-shaped brush is designed for optimal application, adding volume, length, lift, and separation to lashes. The intense concentration of Panthenol (ProVitamin B5) adds a reflective, jet-black sheen for dramatic impact.

The Truth: This may be one of the best paraben-free mascaras that I’ve ever tried.

What I Loved About It: Pretty groovy wand. It’s nice and stiff and breezes through the lashes with ease.

What I Didn’t Like: I wish it would have given me a little more volume.

Overall: Have you ever heard of Hourglass? This is my first time covering the paraben-free brand. Launched in 2004 by beauty guru Carisa Janes, Hourglass has the style and grace of a higher end brand without overloading the products with synthetic ingredients. While the products are steep in price, I admire the purpose behind the brand. If I’m going to spend close to $30 on a mascara, I love that it would come without the yucky ingredients. That is such a rarity in higher-end cosmetics.

In terms of the mascara, it delivers! I didn’t get as much volume as I would have liked, but it did well. The wand made for easy distribution and application. Wands like these are my absolute favorite. I wish more brands would take the hint and give us wands that work for everyone.

Despite being free of parabens, the formula for Film Noir was nice and consist. It sat comfortably between being too watery and being too thick. The mascara also did a phenomenal job at lasting throughout the day. Despite my love for natural mascaras, I also get irritated with how flaky they can. I have yet to find one that would hold up throughout the day. Film Noir was epic. I didn’t experience any flakiness and it lasted throughout my 12-hour work day.

There is one downfall though. It can be a wee bit clumpy. I applied 3 coats here but even after 2 coats, the mascara clumped up on me. Key with this kid? Slow strokes are best. You won’t get insane volume with one coat but it’s the best way to guarantee zero clumps.

 

 

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 3 coats

Do I recommend it?: Yep! Yes, I know a lot of ladies may not want to spend close to $30 on a mascara, but some don’t mind. If you’re conscious about the ingredients in your beauty products and don’t mind splurging, this is a great mascara to check out.

What do you think? Think this baby could be worth your money?