Milani Instant Eye Makeup Remover = Move Over Lancôme BI-FACIL!

Eye makeup removers. It’s a sensitive topic. Really, it is. I’m open to trying anyyyyy kind of eyeliner pencil, eyeshadow brand, blush or lipgloss. But when it comes to makeup removers, I like to stick with what I know.

Unless Milani has a new makeup remover in which case a sista will make some exceptions.

This is a brand new Milani product and this baby comes with quite a few perks. Let’s seeee….

-Silicone and oil-free
-Fragrance-free
-Claims to remove waterproof makeup
-Leaves no oily residue
-Affordable. Only $5.99 in stores and online

Girl. $5.99? I currently regularly use a makeup remover that is almost $12 MORE than Milani’s. I know. I know. I haven’t had any good experiences with drugstore eye makeup removers as I find them to not really REMOVE. Smooth across my face and get a good 40% of my waterproof mascara off? Yes. But completely remove? Nah. I was ready to believe that Milani’s would fall in line with everyone else’s.

No ma’am. No sir. This eye makeup remover actually surpasses my expensive and beloved Lancôme BI-FACIL. I’m not even kidding. To give you a photo example of how AWESOME Milani’s Instant Eye Makeup Remover is, I swatched a dark and heavy line of black (‘n waterproof) eyeliner on my hand. This eyeliner usually doesn’t even think about budging unless I’m using a sturdy makeup remover.

I took a cotton swap and swiped right on down.

To the left is Lancôme BI-FACIL  and to the right is Milani Instant Eye Makeup Remover.

Go Milani go! Milani removed more eyeliner in one swipe than Lancôme did. I’ve politely put ole’ Lancôme to the side and have Milani’s remover in rotation. I should also note that Lancôme BI-FACIL has a convenient little stopper in the top whereas Milani  Instant Eye Makeup Remover does not. I may have ended up with more remover on the Milani swap than on the Lancôme swap, but  since this test and several other eyeshadow removal tests, Milani has come out on top.

So yeah. If you’re in the market for a new eye makeup remover, stroll on down to your drugstore or online and scoop this baby up.

Have you tried this eye makeup remover yet? What brand do you usually stick to?

Mascara Monday: Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume mascara

 

Excuse me while I throw a party but Clinique has a new mascara. Weeeee!!! Clinique is most known for their amazing skincare products (word up to that Even Better Skin Tone Corrector!) but their mascaras are their biggest secret, I think. I’ve reviewed 7 of their mascaras and have been impressed with most of ‘em. It’s really hard to be disappointed with Clinique mascaras. Or so I thought.

 

Price: $19.50 at Clinique counters and on Clinique.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 4.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “With every stroke, the over-the-top brush wraps lashes in instant, jaw-dropping drama. This larger-than-life formula is also safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Ophthalmologist tested, too.” (source)

The Truth: OMG, the insane volume that this mascara provides is awesome!!

What I Loved About It: The volume is just…wow.

What I Didn’t Like: The packaging sucks. And this part makes me really sad.

Overall: I am always really excited to review Clinique mascaras. And I can’t say this about all brands. Clinique’s new mascaras don’t promise 198% more length and introduce these new ingredients that claim to really volumize your lashes. The claims are always simple and believable. Back in 2008, I reviewed Clinique’s High Impact mascara. I’ll be honest – that review sucks. That was back in my “new to reviewing mascaras” days and I didn’t review them to the best of my ability. How I managed to give that mascara such a low rating is beyond me. High Impact Extreme has made up for it.

Let’s check out the wand…

It’s scary, uh? Clinique isn’t the first to the do the small bristles, dagger ball on the end wand thingie. It’s a cool little feature as it makes applying to the outer lashes and bottom lashes a breeze. In fact, I usually only apply mascara to my bottom lashes when I have a wand like this. But using this wand is far from easy.

One HUGE downfall with the packaging though – we’ve got what I call “The Black Abyss Effect”. Pulling the wand out of the tube will reveal a huge gap in the tube.

I haaaate when this happens. It pretty much means that you have to spend a ton of time wiping the mascara residue on the inside of the tube. And it sucks. This problem can be easily alleviated if there was a stopper in the tube but that doesn’t seem to be the case with this mascara. Boo.

But once I was able to remove as much mascara from the wand as I could, applying was easy. And the outcome…whoa!! With only 2 coats of mascara, I got a ton of volume. Extreme volume is the best name for this mascara. As with all mascaras that provide great volume, it did have the tendency to clump up a bit on me. The best way to prevent that is to slooooowly move from root to tip. I didn’t have any issues with flaking and it did a darn good job at lasting throughout the day. I am beyond impressed! Except for the lack of a stopper.

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats



Do I recommend it?: Sure do!! It’s an awesome volumizing mascara. Do know that you may have to do some extra work in cleaning up the wand but if you don’t mind, you’ll love love LOVE this mascara.

Any other Clinique mascara lovers out there?


Amor de Lacquer: Maybelline Color Show nail polishes – they rock!

Ohhhhhh, check out Maybelline. They’ve got new nail lacquers on the market. 40 to be exact. And of course I’m all giddy about it because well, what’s NOT to get excited about? Affordable nail polish is SO hot right now. I’ve been spying Maybelline Color Show stands at CVS, Walgreens and Walmart and most are retailing for less than $3.99. And if you wait for a sale, you may be able to snag them for Buy 1, get 1 50%. Yeeeeep!

The 40 polishes range in color (obviously) and finishes. In fact, I’m pretty sure Maybelline has covered quite a wide spectrum of popular and trendy nail polish shades. You’ll definitely find something you like. I’ve got 6 of ‘em here to show off…

Iced Queen is a creamy lavender with cool undertones. It definitely reads as a Spring shade but you know me…I’ll wear any shade of polish at any time of year. This was the only polish of the few that I own that required only 2 coats. It gave a beautiful opaque finish.

Pinkalicious is a bubble gum pink and if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. This one isn’t terribly unique but Maybelline would catch an inane amount of heat if at least one of the Color Show polishes wasn’t a traditional pink cream. Not my style but I know lots of ladies love pink polishes.

Impeccable Greys is flippin’ fabulous. It’s grey, yes, but it’s a smokey grey and it looks like there a few drops of navy blue dropped in the bottle. This is definitely one of my favorite greys. It is creamy cool perfection.

Pink Shock photographs funky but that’s only because it’s a neon and we know how weird neons can be. This baby is a hot pink that dries to a semi-matte finish. To get it to really pop, it’s best to use it under white. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a visible nail line and a dull finish. So glad to see neons in the mix!

 Shocking Seas is a gooooorgeous blue but like most blues like this, it has the tendency to stain the nails a bit. Sometimes even if you wear a base coat. Which sucks but a blue nail polish like this is almost worth the hassle.

Blue Freeze is a dark blue/purple with various shades of micro shimmer. I spy a bit of red, blue and gold glittery specs. They are tiny and hard to see once on the nail but the shimmer really really makes this polish shine.

Overall: Having played around with a few of ‘em, I kinda dig Maybelline Color Show polishes. The consistency of some of these (particularly the creams) are a bit wonky. I found some to be a bit on the watery side which made application tricky. But not impossible. I just found that I plop only a small amount on the nail each time I was ready to polish. The shimmers seem to apply better. Dry time is decent but I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Color Show top coat. It didn’t give my nails that sparkly shine that I yearn for after I apply a top coat. There are also crackle polishes too!

Still – if you’re yearning for some new polishes and don’t feel like breaking the bank, try these out. I mean, just look at this gorgeous rainbow of shades that exist…

Have you tried any of these babies yet? Whatcha think?

Mascara Monday: Essence All Eyes On Me mascara

Essence rocks. And of course y’all know this because I am forever bragging about this insanely affordable brand. From their cheap (and awesome!) gel liners, their metallic eyeliners, $3 blush and world glass glosses, Essence is hands down one of my favorite drugstore brands everrrrr.

Fellow Essence lover Anne reached out to me to see if she could do a mascara review on an Essence mascara and I was like “Um…yeahhhhh!”

Take it away, Annie!

Essence all Eyes on me, with my new Amika hair bow (haha, a joke kinda, cuz it’s a bow…made to look like hair…that you wear…in your hair). Both available in Ulta stores and Ulta.com.

Price: $1.99 at Ulta.
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5

What It Claims: “The all eyes on me multi-effect mascara has it all! the innovative brush and the unique texture of the mascara provide your lashes with extra volume and breathtaking length. Each lash is perfectly separated making your eyes pop!” (source)

The Truth: Amazing length and definition add awesome drama to any eye look.

What I Loved About It: This is a fabulous mascara, for less than the price of a soda and bag of chips.

What I Didn’t Like: Ummm…… It would be nice if this mascara would do the dishes and switch the wash for me, but I don’t have any real complaints.

Overall: This is a superdupertotallyawaesome mascara, Like f’real. The spiraled brush really helps the smooth formula glide over lashes to provide mega-long, dark, defined lashes.

I would pay 5-10 times the original price for a mascara of this quality, so the fact that you can get it for under two bucks makes it all the better. Color me impressed because not only is this the cheapest mascara I own, but also one of my favorites. I own most of the Essence mascaras and use them on a daily basis. I know this is probably really terrible, but I sleep in mascara from time to time (yeah yeah I know, “you’re gunna mascara your eye out, kid!”)

There is a reason behind my madness though, several of the essence mascaras claim to dye the lashes, and I find this true. I have very fine blonde lashes, and letting a mascara really set in leaves me with darker, more noticeable lashes for the many times I am too busy/lazy to put on makeup. I have yet to test the longevity of All Eyes on Me, but the formula is smooth and flexible and did not flake in the time frame I wore it. I don’t say this often, but this may be too much of a good thing. I mean it would be very hard to achieve a subtle eye look using this mascara, because it definitely gives that rimmed in black, look at me lashes with just two thin coats.

I don’t know if this mascara would give the same results to someone starting off with darker, thicker lashes, but at two bucks, I am recommending it to just about everyone.

 

Bare Lashes

Lashes after 2 coats

 

Do I recommend it?: In a word? Yeah. I mean really. Come on. For two bucks? I mean if you don’t want big lashes (who doesn’t want big lashes???) then take your eight quarters and buy yourself something really nice like a bottle of water and a candy bar. Oh, wait, you cant have a bottle of water and a candy bar for two dollars. But you can have these lashes! FTW!

What do you think? Have you tried any Essence products? Is there a cheap brand you love?

Could this be? I’m in love with a coral polish?

Sooooo I used to obsessed with Instagram. I’m talkin’ I was one of those “can’t eat until I snap a pic of my food” kind of Instagram’ers. But something happened and by the start of the summer I was done with photographing every random aspect of my life.

Welllllls, I’m back. And I’m kinda excited about it t00. That happens to me sometimes. I’m either ALL or nothing. In or out. Obsessed or could care less. I’m obsessed again and Instagram’d my first photo in a looooong time. It was this baby…

Will you look at that coral? Look at it! Oh, and let’s pretend that you don’t that green polish smudgey. I’ve actually reviewed Deborah Lippman’s Girls Just Want To Have Fun before and thought it was just okay then. But now – I’m allll over this. I’ve never been the biggest fan of coral nail polishes but this one WINS.

As my nails get longer I’ve been trying to transition from almond nails to dagger nails. I’m talkin’ super pointy and outrageous. The dagger nails tag on Tumblr is totally my inspiration. I am finally starting to appreciate these freaky long nail beds of mine.

RANDOM FACT: Since we moved, I’ve had to take 90% of my beauty photos in Esposo’s studio. His music cave gets this amazing natural light. Plus when he’s not looking I can bang on keyboards and strum on the guitar.

Meanwhile, that beauty cave of mine is dark as night. At 3pm. HAAAA!!!

Have a fabulous weekend, gals. My energy is starting to roll through again and so posts will resume as normal. I know, you’re so happy. Teheheeeee!

XOXO

Mascara Monday: NYX La Amoureux mascara

Yeesh. I’m more than halfway through with reviewing the mascaras in NYX’s Boudoir Mascara collection. Each mascara focuses on giving us mascara lovers what we desire most; volume, length, curl, separation, dark and lush lashes, etc. Next up on the list is the baby that promises to give you some cuuuuuurl.

Price: $6 where ever NYX products are sold and on NYXCosmestics.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “To curl and lengthen lashes. Curved spiral wand maneuvers lashes expertly” (source)

The Truth: I think curl mascaras are a bit gimmicky, but this one actually does a decent job.

What I Loved About It: It’s a sturdy mascara. It lasts all day without flaking.

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t help curl. But then again, I don’t think any mascaras do.

Overall: Curl mascaras. *sigh* They kind of annoy me. Only because I know there’s no REAL way for a mascara formula (or wand) to “curl” your lashes. I mean, think about it: lashes are hair. And if you’re looking for noticeable curl in your hair, you usually have to use a curling iron or something like that, right? That said, my belief is that the best way to get your lashes to be a bit curlier is to use an eyelash curler. Yep, I said it. I don’t use my often but when I do I find that they curl my lashes WAY better than any mascara.

But let’s rap about this mascara anyway. La wand….

Now I’ve got to give it up to the wand. It actually does a decent job at lengthening the lashes. And it’s study too. The curl in the wand also makes it easy for you to apply mascara to your lashes and then hold the wand in place for a few seconds. Of course you can do this with any type of wand, but it’s always easier with the wands that have the little loops.

Performance-wise, I found application to be easy. The mascara has a nice formula and so I didn’t run into any problems with that. In fact, I’m having a difficult time finding anything horrible about this mascara. Yes, I do think curl mascaras are pretty ineffective but I will prop the mascara up on what it DOES do well; and that’s lengthen and last for hours at a time. If I could find a downfall, it would be that while it does a great time at lasting, it definitely isn’t the kind of mascara that works well if you’re spending a considerable amount of time outside. It isn’t a waterproof mascara so you’ll definitely want to think twice about wearing this one to the beach.

I’ll admit, I didn’t see much of a difference on my lashes after applying this mascara. Maybe it’s just me though. What do you think?

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats



Do I recommend it?: It isn’t my favorite mascara from the NYX Boudoir collection but it does well. Just don’t expect to see much curl action unless you manually curl those lashes ahead of time.

Whatcha think? Do you think curl mascaras actually get the job done?


Luax Cosmetics – vegan cosmetics with bling!

Indie brands represent! It’s no surprise that I have my love for drugstore and the big chain brands. But when I’m presented with the chance to play around with products of lesser known brands, I always jump to the opportunity. It’s in my nature. I’m the type that would much rather shop for her fruits and veggies at a farmer’s market than a grocer, ya know?

I was recently introduced to the baby brand Luax Cosmetics and whoa – I’m impressed!

The brand was founded just 3 months ago and already founders Benni and Tiffany are making waves in the beauty industry! These 2 driven ladies had a passion for cosmetics but wanted to design a brand that not only included vegan and eco-friendly products but also had a bit of a high fashion touch to it. And I can see why. Many times, when you think of vegan brands, you picture organic and nature-esque products and packing. But these ladies have done something completely different and I’m absolutely lovin’ it!

Let’s start with the nail polishes. So far they’ve got 14 nail polishes ($8.99 a bottle) listed on their website and I’m anxious for them to start cranking out some more. I’ve got Royalty…

…and Welcome To the Big Apple.

Both applied beautifully and have a semi-jelly finish to them. The formula was good for both and while I got more of an opaque finish with Royalty, I don’t mind the visible nail line showin’ through on Welcome To The Big Apple.  And the tops of the bottles are just so luxurious, darling!

The tops are topped off with SWAROVSKI crystals. And they’re not budging either. Those crystals are glued on  and not moving an inch. Which is great. Because if I’ve got nail polish bottles that look this pretty, I would act a fool if one of those crystals took off. I’m just sayin’…

Luax Cosmetics is also givin’ us lip lacquers at $13.99 a pop! I spied 8 colors on their website and when asked which shade I wanted to review, of course I had to give Bossy a whirl. But of course. It’s red!

And I mean, RED!

I found this blue-toned red to compliment my hue beautifully. Which is no easy feat as some reds make me look scary. Formula wise, I found it to be interesting because while it looks and applies like a gloss, it feels like a moisturizing and highly pigmented lipstick once on the lips. At the same time, it lasts like a stain. Word?!  I’ve never seen such a gloss with so many characteristics. I literally had to scrub my lips to get the gloss off. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’d much rather have a lipgloss that requires some work to get off than have one that disappears 20 minutes after application.

Just like its sisters, the lip lacquers have the pretty crystals secured and chillin’ on the tops of the wands.

And lastly, there was the lip scrub.

Ah yesss, lip scrubs. Lip scrubs are essential to life. I know that sounds out there but girlfriend, they are. And everyone should have a good lip scrub in their lives. This sugar-based lip scrub retails for $9.99, which is perhaps the one product that I believe may be a bit overpriced. But does it scrub? Um yeah….

It has a nice scent to it. Especially if you like peppermint. It goes on easily and rinses off thoroughly. There is a bit of a film left behind which I found great for moisturizing the lips. But if you’re ready to top your lips off with a lipstick or gloss, you’d have to wipe le lips with a hand towel or tissue.

Overall? I think Luax Cosmetics is doing a darn good job for having only been around for 3 months. I’m impressed and I love the uniqueness of the product packaging. It’s memorable, fun and classy. It’s a super girly brand that I can’t wait to see go to the top. I’d love to see an Ingredients tab on their website and that’s only because I’m a blogger who loves reading her ingredients. Plus, when you’ve got allergies and skin issues, you want to know what you’re getting when you play around with a new products.

If you’re in the mood to try some new brands – check out Luax Cosmetics! Visit their website here.

Amor de Lacquer: Zoya Gloss Collection

So despite the fact that I still have some summer nail polish collections to show you, I’m going to skip over a few of them and debut this awesome Fall collection. I really should have waited, but shoot – I couldn’t wait. Jelly nail polishes happen to be one of my favorite finishes (after holographic and creme, of course) and I just couldn’t NOT show y’all this collection right there.

There are only 3 polishes in this collection. But that’s okay, because Zoya has 2 other Fall collections and each one of those has 6 polishes. So we’re covered!

Katherine is a sheer eggplant jelly gloss and I must say…I wasn’t too excited about this one. And not because I’m not a fan of eggplant/burgundy shades but because getting this to cover the nail completely was quite the task. I did 3 coats here and still wasn’t able to get an uneven application. Oh boo, Katherine. Boo.

Frida is a sheer teal blue jelly gloss but I would definitely put it more in the hunter green department in terms of shade. Maybe light hunter green? Like all of these polishes, I found that my nail line is quite visible which doesn’t bug me. I didn’t try but I suppose with 4-5 coats (gah!), I have achieved more of an opaque finish. Maybe?

Paloma is a sheer berry red jelly gloss and this is my absolute favorite of the bunch. Formula-wise, she is just like her sisters but I really appreciate the berry shade. It looks far more friendly on my nails than the other shades. AND – my nail lines weren’t as visible with this shade as they were with the others.

Such a cool collection, uh? While Katherine and Frida were on the “interesting” side, I was still happy to see Zoya push it to the limit. Jelly polishes were once super popular (like back in the 90’s) and I’m glad to see them come back via a major nail polish brand. So yes. I’m happy! Many nail polish fanatics are into the jelly sandwich bit. It’s where you apply glitter nail polish and then layer a jelly polish over it for a squishy muted glitter look. Not really my style but the jelly sandwiches I’ve been seeing look fantastic!

Oh! And this collection is currently available on Zoya.com. You can buy the entire collection or buy them individually at $8 a pop.

Whatcha think about jelly nail polishes? Yay or nay?