Mascara Monday: Laura Mercier Long Lash mascara

No one and I mean no one makes a foundation like my girl Laura Mercier. And I know this post isn’t about foundation. It’s about a mascara. I know,  I know. I just had to say it. Everything about her cream foundation makes me just…ecstatic. Okay. And that’s all I’ll say about that. I promise. But honestly – with a foundation that good, I just knew the mascara would be just as awesome. That’s the thing about having awesome products in a brand. In your head, you kinda want everything else in the brand to be just as awesome. I can’t be the only one that thinks that. Come ooooon. I know I’m not!

Price: $24 at Sephora stores and Sephora.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: “Laura Mercier Long Lash Mascara extends and precisely separates the thinnest, shortest, hard-to-reach lashes by expertly scooping up and lengthening each one—while delivering just the right amount of product. The perfectly engineered brush, designed to meet Laura’s specifications, dramatically lengthens and defines each lash. An innovative stretch formula lengthens, separates and curls each lash making lashes appear longer in just two strokes. The long-wearing, water-resistant and smudge-proof formula contains rich dark pigments to enhance lash color.” (source)

The Truth: Hmmm…I’m impressed.

What I Loved About It: It lengthens well.

What I Didn’t Like: It had the tendency to get a wee clumpy.

Overall: Well now – this is a lengthening mascara that I can get used to. And I don’t say that often. I find lengthening mascaras a bit tricky to work with. And here’s why – a lot of times, brands give you the “wrong” brushes. Some brushes are too plush. Others have bristles that are too far apart making lengthening and separating difficult. But every now and then, a brand will get it right. Kudos to Laura Mercier! Perhaps my favorite thing about this mascara is the wand. And it’s a no frills wand. There isn’t anything particularly special about it but it goes great with the mascara’s formula..

This wand makes it easy to wiggle though the lashes while separating the lashes with ease. Because the bristles are tinier than I’d like, it may take some time reallllly wiggling from root to tip. But patience is a virtue, darling and I found that with some elbow grease and a spoon full of sugar (I’m in a Mary Poppins kind of mood – don’t mind me), you’ll end up with nice long lashes.

Now. When it comes to lengthening mascaras, people expect the most. Myself included. I’m in the mindset of “Lengthen my lashes, you say? Well then…I want my lashes 3 feet long.” Um no. It doesn’t work like that. To really get your lengthening mascara to perform better, I recommend combing your lashes first. Untangle them and separate them as much as you can. I also recommend curling your lashes if yours are like mine and happen to be all over the place. I found that I had better results with this mascara when I curled my lashes before using it. Of course if you already have naturally curly lashes, you may need to omit this step.

3 coats of mascara seemed to do well with this mascara. I tried it with just one coat and two coats but I find it to really pop with  three good coats. Also, keep in mind that it’s a lengthening mascara so if you’re desirous of volume, you won’t be getting it from this mascara. But for lengthening? I say yay! It does a darn good job. The formula is lightweight so I’m not sure how we’ll it would do in terms of wearing allllll day but it doesn’t smudge or flake and that’s always a plus for me.

 

Bare Lashes


 


Lashes after 3 coats



Do I recommend it?: Absolutely. Especially if you’re a Laura Mercier fan!

Are you a fan of lengthening mascaras or would you rather roll with the volumizing ones?


Eucerin Skincare Challenge giveaway – 5 winners!

OMG! OMG! It stopped raining here in Orlando! This is indeed breaking news because it’s been monsoon-ing in Central Florida for a good 5 days now. I’m not complaining because a) we need the rain and b) it’s summertime in Florida and it ALWAYS rains. So yeah.

In non-rain news, I recently had the opportunity to have a skin consultation via Skype with the beautiful and talented Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton of Ingleton Dermatology in New York City. My consultation with her was the official kick-off to my Eucerin Skincare Challenge and I could not have been more excited.

I rambled on and on about my skincare issues (hyperpigmentation, mild acne, eczema, dryness – need I go on?) and she was so patient and kind. She gave me some suggestions and product recommendations. Two of ‘em are here!

Eucerin Daily Protection Face Lotion with SPF 30 and Eucerin Daily Protection Body Lotion with SPF 15.

Both are Fragrance Free and can I be honest? I much prefer skincare products that don’t have strong fragrances. And I know I’m the minority in that regard but I love that a great deal of Eucerin’s products are free of dyes and fragrances.

I’ve been slacking on slathering sunscreen on my face. I know, I know. I still haven’t found the BEST everyday wear sunscreen for my skin type and hue but I’ve been giving Eucerin Daily Protection Face Lotion a whirl and it hasn’t been too shabby.

A little goes a looooong way. And by little, I mean you probably need less than a pump. One pump gives you quite a bit of product.

And even after rubbing…

And rubbing…

…it takes sometime before it sinks into my skin. Many brown girls have issues with sunscreens leaving a white film on their faces and I’m no stranger to that issue. Luckily, it took nothing more than some elbow grease to really get this to sink into the skin. Unfortunately the face lotion isn’t without the sunscreen-y smell. It’s something I’ve become used to because I know I HAVE to wear it no matter what.

And when it comes to the zee body, the Eucerin Daily Protection Body Lotion does great at moisturizing even the ashiest skin (ahem…mine) while giving the added protection of SPF 15.

I love that the formula is on the thicker side because nothing sucks more than a watery lotion.

In honor of my Eucerin Skin Challenge, I’ll be hosting a giveaway! FIVE lucky ladies (or guys) will each score 1 bottle of Eucerin Daily Protection Face Lotion and 1 bottle of Eucerin Daily Protection Body Lotion with SPF 15. Yup!

Enter the Rafflecopter to be eligible to win.
Giveaway is for U.S. residents only.
If you’d rather email me your entry, please do so at Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ooooh – pretty Clarisonics! Must haul all!

Any time one of my girlfriends asks me about a must have skincare product, I recommend the Clarisonic. And I do this a lot. I could very well be a spokesperson for lé Clarisonic because I am always quick to go down the list of perks this skincare gadget has done for me and soooooo many other users.

Yeah. I am that in love with mis Clarisonics.

How gorgeous are these new Clarisonic Mia 2’s?

Just precious. I want them all. I want to place them on a shelf in my beauty room just to marvel at. Crazy yes but I am just enamored with these pretty shades.

Oh, and just in case you thought you couldn’t afford a Clarisonic – check again, mamacita. The Mia is only $119 and Mia 2 is $149. Not bad, uh? And can I be honest? I actually prefer the Mia over the Classic and PLUS. The Mia is perfect for traveling and I find it easier to move around the face.

Put that Clarisonic lemming to an end and get you one this summer. You deserve it, don’t you?

Check out my in-depth Clarisonic Mia review here.

Mascara Monday: NYX Faux Lashes mascara

I’ve been reviewing my fair share of NYX Cosmetics mascaras this year, uh? Not that I’m complaining. I mean, I’ll never get annoyed at makeup brands shooting me a crap ton of mascaras to review. The more the merrier! I am just now hitting the mid way point of reviewing half of NYX’s Boudoir Mascara Collection. I’ve tackled Pin Up Tease and Provocateur and the fiber mascara kid called Faux Lashes is up next to bat.

Price: $6.00 at NYX.com and Ulta stores nationwide.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Infused with fibers to volumize and extend lashes. Short bristle brush for dark and heavy application.  Ideal for bottom lashes.” (source)

The Truth: It certainly is a “different” kind of fiber mascara.

What I Loved About It: NYX is dead on about this mascara being great for bottom lashes. It rocks in that department!

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t give me nearly as much volume as I would have liked.

Overall: I guess I should just come right out and say it – I’m a fiber mascara snob. I am. I don’t wear them regularly (primarily because I’m lazy and it can take a good little while to apply a fiber mascara) but when I do, I’m serious about ‘em. There are only about 2 brands that I feel have done fiber mascaras beautifully. Mind you, I’ve tried more than a dozen fiber mascaras; drugstore and higher-end. That said, while NYX’s Faux Lashes does a decent job, it’s just so so when it comes to fiber mascaras.

But not because the wand sucks. Because it doesn’t…

 (photo credit)

Y’all know I am also a photo snob so please excuse this press photo. I usually take my own but my camera was on the fritz this weekend. Boo. This is actually one of better fiber mascara wands. Especially if you’re looking for a fiber mascara that does more lengthening than volumizing. No need to ask what my preference is. Y’all know I LIVE for volumized lashes. If if you’re a fan of lengthening and separating the lashes, this wand makes it so easy to do so. It is also great on the lower lashes. I tend to ignore my lower lashes most of the time (again – laziness strikes when getting ready in the morning) but when I want some added va va voom-ness to zee bottom lashes, this is the ideal want to give me that length.

Formula-wise, the mascara is great. It is chockfull of fiber thingies and applying them to the lashes couldn’t be easier. But again, because of the wand’s slim design, you aren’t really able to coat and paint the fibers on your lashes efficiently to get a fuller effect. And like I said, if your goal isn’t volumized lashes – no lost love there. But considering the claims said this mascara would give us volume, I just don’t think it delivered in that department.

But is it still a good mascara? It’s okay. I found application to be fine except throughout the day, it seemed to disappear a bit. I would even push it to the limit with 3 coats and the overall look just looked so so. If ladies with shorter and smaller lashes are looking for a fiber mascara that is easy to apply, this would be a great start. Just don’t expect to have crazy Drag Queen lashes with this kid.

 

Bare Lashes

 


Lashes after 3 coats



 

Do I recommend it?: It’s only $6 so if it doesn’t rock your world, you haven’t broken the bank. I do think there are better fiber mascaras out there so you can probably pass on this one.

Whatcha think? Are you a fan of fiber mascaras? Have you tried this one yet?


Mascara Monday: Anastasia Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat

I love getting the opportunity to review mascara-like products that aren’t really mascaras. I mean granted this topcoat goes on the lashes LIKE a mascara but it isn’t exactly a mascara. It’s cool stuff and the Anastasia team should feel like geniuses for created something like this. Because it makes sense. And us mascara lovers have been needing something like this forever. Why spend the money buying waterproof mascaras when you can just use your favorite mascara and top it off with THIS waterproof topcoat?

Genius!

Price: $21 at Sephora.com 
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: “A clear topcoat that instantly waterproofs, refreshes, and protects any mascara all day, without drying or clumping. This advanced, lightweight formula glides on smooth, dries quickly, and gives your lashes a touchable, soft lacquer finish that lasts all day. ” (source)

The Truth: Man. I’m not the type that NEEDS a waterproof mascara but for those that do, this is the perfect choice.

What I Loved About It: I like how it doesn’t change the look of your mascara. Nor does it change the consistency of the mascara in any way.

What I Didn’t Like: The wand is a bit Plain Jane. I would have loved for the bristles to be a bit more plush.

Overall: Whoa! Anastasia gets major props from me. Even if this topcoat sucked, I’d still have to get the brand an A for effort. Many many mascara users desire the waterproof effect in their mascaras. In fact, I’ve heard many gals say that they WON’T even think about wearing a mascara unless it’s waterproof. And I can see why – waterproof mascaras are perfect for those who like longterm use, have allergies, rub their eyes a lot or tend to sweat. And many makeup artists prefer to use waterproof mascaras on their clients. Personally, I don’t need a waterproof mascara. My favorite mascaras work well with lasting all day and that’s primarily because I don’t wear my mascaras longer than 9 hours or so. And it’s not like I’m doing anything more than doing computer work most days so I’m okay with regular mascaras.

Still, this topcoat surprised me and I’ve been enjoying using it with my favorite mascaras. It’s pretty awesome because it doesn’t do anything but make your mascara even more functional. So who can complain about that, uh?

The wand is just okay…


It could definitely be worse so I won’t complain about it too much. I do wish it were a bit more plush but short lashes, long lashes, thick lashes or thin – it’ll work just fine. The key is to apply a good amount after your mascara has dried. But not “It’s been on for an hour and super dry” kind of dried. So yeah, while I wish it had a bit more frills to it, it gets the job done and that’s all that matters. Oh! And the bristles are nice and stiff and that realllly helps with application.

Consistency-wise, this paraben-free topcoat reminds me a lot of Shiseido’s Mascara Primer. It has a jelly-ish look and feel to it. If you rub it in between your fingers, it feels a lot like a gel you’d put in your hair. When applying it on the lashes, I found it was best to apply after the mascara dried a bit. One coat does the trick and I love that it doesn’t shrink the mascara or make it too soft. Nor does the previously applied mascara lose its length or volume. It doesn’t get weighed down either. It’s as if you didn’t even do anything. Which I can appreciate.

This topcoat is definitely a luxury and not a must-have for those who have already found their ideal waterproof mascara. But, if you’re looking to give your favorite mascaras that extra fix of waterproof-ness, you’ll definitely need this.

It was hard to actually SHOW the topcoat on the lashes so I didn’t feel the need to post pics of zee lashes this week.

 

Do I recommend it?: Yep! Only if you think you’ll need it. It’s a pretty dope product.

Whatcha think? Would you find any use out of a waterproof topcat?


Mascara Monday: Maybelline Volum’ Express MEGA PLUSH mascara

Well, well, welllllll….look who has a new mascara. It’s Maybelline! Are you surprised? I’m not, darling. When it comes to mascaras, you can always depend on Maybelline for hitting us with the latest and sometimes greatest. Looks like we’ve got another sibling of the Volum’ Express crew. I’m wondering how this one can beat The Falsies. But we’ll see, won’t we?

Price: $6.29 on Target.com
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Innovative formula and precision brush design lengthen and separate each lash for high-definition, all-day wear. Wheat protein strengthens and defines without clumping or flaking. Vitamin E conditions and nourishes for soft, flexible lashes. Panthenol prevents your lashes from becoming dry and brittle.” (source)

The Truth: Man. I think I like many of the other Volum’ Express mascaras better.

What I Loved About It: I can see how many will really like the lightweight formula. It’s perfect for those with sensitive eyes.

What I Didn’t Like: The flexible wand just isn’t cutting it, bro.

Overall: If I didn’t have a blog that was based on mascara I would have stopped reviewing Maybelline mascaras a looong time ago. Why? Because The Falsies and Great Lash LOL are two of my favorite mascaras EVER. And I think I’ve had enough mascaras from the Volum’ Express line. Me thinks Maybelline should go ahead and retire that, ya know? BUT at least this mascara comes with something new to the table. According to Maybelline, this is the first ‘gel mousse’ mascara to hit the market. At first I was all, “Nah uuuuh, Maybelline! COVERGIRL NatureLuxe was first!” But after further research, I’ve discovered that COVERGIRL calls NatureLuxe a ‘mousse’ mascara. Not gel mousse. Okay whatever. Tomato tah-mah-to.

I’ll go ahead and say it, I’m not a fan of this formula. And not because it isn’t effective but because it’s almost impossible to get insanely volumized lashes from these mousse-y formulas. And I get it: not everyone needs insanely volumized lashes. But honey, I do. And mascaras that give me less than that make me cry. True story.

The good news is, despite this mascara not being ideal for me and my needs, it works well if you’re a fan of separation and soft lashes.

The wand…


The wand looks a lot like The Falsies except there’s a bend in it that makes it flexible. No me gusta. I prefer my wands to be sturdy and stiff because I find that they give me greater control when applying. Maybelline says the flexible head shock helps with lifting the lashes. Do I agree? Meh. I get its purpose but I’d much prefer a sturdier wand. It’s definitely a preference thing though, ya know?

Despite it not being my favorite, there are several great things about this kind of formula. The consistency looks a lot like most mascara formulas so it’s likely that you won’t notice any difference until you begin applying it to your lashes. For one, the consistency is nice. It isn’t goopy, super thick or watery. It’s nice and makes applying to the lashes easy. I had a hard time noticing much of anything after just 1 coat. It took THREE coats for me to really see a difference in my lashes. That’s the thing about this gel mousse formula; because it isn’t heavy, you may find yourself staring in mirror wondering where the mascara you just applied went. It’s there! It’s just soft and faint. This kind of mascara is a makeup minimalist’s best friend. I also found it to be an ideal mascara for those who have sensitive and watery eyes. Because the formula is so lightweight, I didn’t have to worry about any flaking. Which is a huge plus. I could rub my eyes and not have to worry about any mascara particles droppin’ in ‘em.

I typically wear 2 coats of mascara with this one but pushed it to the limit with 3 just to see where I could take it. It thickens up a bit but still not where I’d want it to be.

It’s not a bad mascara. Not in the least.

 

Bare Lashes

 


Lashes after 3 coats



 

 

Do I recommend it?: Sure! While it doesn’t fit my needs, if you really like lightweight mascaras whose wands give great separation, you’ll love this mascara.

Okay Maybelline mascara lovers….whatcha think about this one? Yay or nay?


Nail Art with Q-tips

Sooooo remember when I did that post about moving? Yeah well, before and after said move, 6 out of 10 of my nails broke off. 6, y’all. And I mourned each lost. I love me some nail polish and took great pride in my long and pointy nails. But all things must come to an end and I’ve been learning how to love my nubs. Especially since I’ve learned how to make them all fancy using Q-tips Precision Tips.

Yeah noooo. My obsession with these Q-tips have yet to cease. But thanks for asking. If you are a no frills kind of gal when it comes to nail art, you’ll love this look. It’s simple, don’t require a Ph.D. and it takes very little time to do.

If you’ve got some nail jewels layin’ around and want to fancy up a bit using ‘em, Q-tips can help.

I’ve always struggled with applying these little jewels. Tweezers do a great job at picking them up but then I struggle with placing them on the nails. Orange wood sticks work OK but it takes forever getting the jewels to stick to them. Q-tips Precision Tips, however? They work wonderfully…

Simply wet the Q-tip with just a bit of water…

Pick up your jewel…

And slowly apply it to desired location.

The Q-tip leaves behind your jewel without any lint. Pretty cool, uh?

This is a sponsored post. Q-tips® product was  provided by Unilever, the makers of Q-tips®; my tips and usage suggestions are my own.

 

[CONTEST ENDED] 

Mascara Monday: LORAC Special Effects mascara

Dang. It’s been forever since I’ve reviewed a mascara. Probably a good 3 weeks. And to be honest,  me and my lashes needed the break. My lashes are stronger and a bit longer and I’m glad to break my hiatus with a mascara like this. Because, let’s face it – when it comes to mascaras, LORAC can’t do any wrong in my book. And here’s why…

Price: $23 at Sephora and Sephora.com
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: “LORAC Special Effects Mascara delivers a double dose of lash beauty. One side is a primer containing natural oils, DL-Panthenol, and plant extracts to revitalize your lashes, making them stronger and softer. The other side features a carbon black Defining and Lengthening Mascara that is formulated with unique polymers to stretch and hold lash shape for clump and flake-free lashes. Both formulas are infused with mother-of-pearl to keep lashes supple, healthy, and shiny.” (source)

The Truth: These wands are epically amazing. Wait. Is epically a word?

What I Loved About It: I’m in love with the wands. They are great for separation and really help elongate the lashes.

What I Didn’t Like: I think the primer has too much of a gel consistency and so it makes the mascara not as long-lasting as I’d like it to be.

Overall: I love everything about the brand LORAC. If you haven’t heard about this brand and you’re in the mood to try somethin’ new, hop to it, girlfriend. I’ve tried everything from their eyeshadow palettes to their Multiplex 3D Lashes mascara. That mascara is effing awesome and so I was wishing on a star that Special Effects would woo me too. And it did! Here’s the thing – it’s one of those dual wands-type mascaras. I ain’t gonna lie….these kind of mascaras are a bit annoying. I’m not always in the mood to apply a mascara primer AND then mascara. I know…it’s not like this insanely laborious task so I really should even complain about it.

Luckily, these beautiful wands make it easier….


 

Gorgeous right? Both wands are exactly the same and they are quite exceptional. Ideal for those with short and sparse lashes, these wands were easy to wiggle right through my lashes while coating each lash with mascara. However, because the bristles are plastic and not like “brushes”, you won’t get much volume. Which is okay. Sometimes a darn good lengthening mascara can make me forget about the desire for volume.

The primer: Like most primers, this one is white and the gel-y consistency mimics most primers. It’s okay. Not spectacular. In fact, I actually prefer using this mascara WITHOUT the primer. The primer tends to make my lashes soft thus resulting in limited wear time.

When I don’t wear the primer, I find that the mascara lasts a lot longer and my lashes are a lot sturdier and harder. I suppose it’s a preference thing. I’m a gal that prefers lashes on the harder side. Granted, I don’t want them like bricks but if they’re semi-stiff without being damaging, I don’t mind it.

So yeah – this mascara sans the primer gives darn good length and separation with longevity. Score! Gotta love a mascara whose results actually live up to their claims. I can’t tell you how many times this DOESN’T happen. Oh! And this mascara is free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, petrochemicals and phthalates. But it’s not free from parabens. Which is…kinda weird.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 1 coat of primer

Lashes after 2 coats of mascara

 

Do I recommend it?: Absolutely! Especially if you’ve got the pennies to spend on something fancy. Just know that you may like the mascara better without the primer.

Any LORAC fans in the house? What do you think about mascaras that come with primers attached? Do you ever use ‘em?