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?

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]