Vanilla lips, charcoal cheeks and an ocean breeze in a jar – Thanks LUSH!

I don’t think I’ve played around with LUSH alllll year. How lame am I? Ah well. Better late than never. Since summer has rolled around these parts (Florida totally skipped Spring), I’ll be baring more of that skin. Not in a “It’s so hot, I’m just going to go nekkid.” kind of way but have I been struttin’ in my skirts, shorts, bathing suits and strappy tanks? Oooooh yeah. These LUSH goodies are perfect for scrubbin’, exfoilating and moisturizing your skin all while getting it ready for the warmer weather.

Vegan Sweet Lips Lip Scrub in Vanilla
($8.95) – get it here

Oooooh how I love these lip scrubs. Prior to using the ones from LUSH, I was scrubbing my lips with my toothbrush. Which ain’t exactly sexy. But this scrub? Oh my words!

I love that it contains only a few ingredients. Sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa absolute and organic jojoba oil. Short and sweet ingredient lists are the best. LUSH says this scrub tastes like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and I totally agree. And did I mention that it’s edible? Yes girl…if scrubbin’ on the go is your thing, you can dab some of this on your lips and lick it right off.

Oh, one thing though: be sure to close the top nice and tight. For if you don’t, the sugar will harden and become un-usable. Such was the case with my last jar of this scrub. Womp.

Dark Angels Facial Charcoal Cleanser
($11.95) – get it here

While it wouldn’t win the Sexiest Cleanser award, this cleanser is actually pretty effective. Even for those with sensitive skin like meeeee. Yeah. I get super excited when I come across cleansers that don’t make my skin go nuts. This cleanser is for those who have blocked pores and want to combat breakouts. Who knew black sugar and powdered charcoal could be so divine together?

There’s also a dose of rhassoul mud and organic avocado oil, both which do a great job and moisturizing the skin. Fragrance-wise, this stuff is…different. It’s got sandalwood and rosewood oils in it and while I’m a fan of both, the earthiness of this throws me off a bit. The fragrance dissipates after rinsing it off but still…when it’s on there, it smells funnnnyyyyy. But it works. And so I plug my nose and get to slathering.

Ocean Salt Facial and Body Scrub
($19.95 for 4.2 oz/$34.95 for 8.8 oz) – get it here

This Florida girl loves anything that attempts to capture the essence of the ocean. Of course nothing beats actually going to this beach, but this scrub isn’t half bad. Scent-wise, it is amaziiiing. Both refreshing and invigorating, I find that this coarse sea salt scrub is great for the face AND body.

It’s smooth and slick enough to go on the face but still coarse enough to be used on the body. It’s also a great unisex scrub as I find that the fragrance has a bit of a masculine whiff to it. With avocado oil, grapefruit and fresh lime infusion, this scrub gives a darn good job at giving the illusion of being at the beach.

LUSH never steers me wrong….

Amor de Lacquer: OPI New York City Ballet SoftShades

Well, well, welllll…isn’t this refreshing? While corals, neons and glitters are dominating the nail scene this spring, OPI is hookin’ us with with softer shades. I’m not hatin’ on this collection, y’all. I love loud colors like most but I also really enjoy wearing soft shades every now and then. Especially when they give me an opaque finish with no more than 3 coats. Such was the case with these. Weeee!!

According to OPI, this collection was ‘inspired by the New York City Ballet (NYCB), one of the world’s premiere dance companies’. Very cute. Oh! And this is also the debut of my newly shaped nails. Some of my older nail polish posts will sport the square look but the newer posts will be showing the oval look. This is such a big deal for me since I haven’t changed my nail shape since uh….ever. 8)

Care To Danse? is a creamy lilac. In fact, it’s so faint that it almost looks pink. It definitely looks more “lilac” in the bottle.

Barre My Soul is a sheer beige and it gives the the perfect “naked” look for nails. This is the kind of nail polish I’d wear on a job interview. 

You Callin’ Me A Lyre? is an ascending pink that would be perfect for an American manicure. Not that I’d wear one because American (and French) manicures are like soooooo 1990’s. Agree or disagree?



My Pointe Exactly is a gorgeous sheer gray that looks blue in the bottle and on my nails. It’s a strange shade for a sheer but somehow it works.

Don’t Touch My Tutu! is the one shade that I’d wear the most often. I just love how creamy this white is. It’s stunning and classy and everything I’d want from a sheer white cream.

Pirouette My Whistle is a silver sparkle that looks okay with 3 coats but is probably better layered over a polish. My nails are stained so it doesn’t look the best solo. 

Pirouette My Whistle over Care to Danse?

Must Have’s:
-You Callin’ Me A Lyre?: I could wear this one everyday.
-My Pointe Exactly: There is something so pleasantly unusual about this one….
-Don’t Touch My Tutu: Ooooh, how wonderful is this white creme?

I was a little nervous when I saw the promo for this collection. While I like sheer polishes, a lot of ‘em are a pain to deal with because it’s hard to get them to apply to an opaque finish. Soooo not the case with these kids. I applied 3 coats for each polish and they were all completely opaque. Fan-freaking-tastic. I love love looooove these.

Are you a fan of sheer polishes or not so much?

 

Amor de Lacquer….the series all about nail polish and nail care! Send your requests,
suggestions and ideas to Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.

Are Burt’s Bees’ gud products…good?

I’ve been a fan of Burt’s Bees since like….high school. Speaking of high school, I can NOT believe my 10-year class reunion is coming up. Like…just where in the world did the time go? And is it just me or does going to a high school class reunion seem like a waste? Thanks to Facebook and peoples’ over-sharing updates, there won’t be any shock values, ya know? So I doubt if I’ll go to mine.

If I had to classify gud products, they’d be Juniors. They aren’t as cool as Seniors (or Burt’s Bees) but they aren’t on the diss-levels like Freshmen and Sophomores are. There’s a whole ton of products of varying fragrances in the gud family but I’ve just just three of ‘em here for ya.

First up is the Vanilla Flame Natural Hand Cream. It comes in a 3oz bottle and retails for $7.99

The fragrance was nice and vanilla-y. A little too strong for my liking but then again I’m a gal who can proudly row in the “Unscented” boat. It’s a nice and thick hand lotion.

I was glad to see it wasn’t watery. Nothing in life sucks more than a watery lotion.

Then there’s the Natural Body Mist. You get a 3oz bottle for $5.99.

I can’t lie on this one, y’all. I don’t wear body mists. Did the girls in high school wear them after gym class instead of actually taking a shower? Yuuup. The good news is, while body mists aren’t up my alley, I can appreciate that this one doesn’t have a strong alcohol-scent to it. A lot of mists do.

The scent of Floral Cherrynova, like the hand cream, is a bit on the strong side – which for some works. But alas, like most mists, it isn’t long lasting. Your best bet is to use the coordinating body lotion with the mist to get the scent to stay around for longer.

Aaaaand lastly we’ve got the Natural Body Butter in Orange Petalooza. The 6oz tub goes for $11.99

Body butters. I love ‘em. While they are super effective at busting ash during the colder months, I actually use them year round. Especially right before bed. This butter isn’t as thick as I like ‘em.

My skin is insanely dry and requires premium ash busting agents like cocoa and shea butters. Anything outside of those usually doesn’t work. On a good note, this is perhaps my favorite fragrance of ‘em all. It’s citrus-y and isn’t AS in your face as the other fragrances are.

Pro’s
-Each product is cruelty-free and paraben-free.
-For paraben-free products, these are priced nicely and you get enough bang for your buck.
-There are several fragrances to choose from: Floral Cherrynova, Orange Petalooza, Vanilla Flame and Pearanormal Activity.
-Easy to spot in the U.S. You can get ‘em from drugstores nationwide.
-If you’re big on organic ingredients, a few of these products have some.
-Packaging-wise, the products are small enough to toss in purse or bookbag.

Con’s
-Fragrances are stroooong.
-The lotion and butter weren’t AS moisturizing as I thought they would be.
-These products don’t come off as super high quality skincare products. They get the job done but they aren’t products that I could see myself using regularly.

Overall thoughts:
If you’re a Burt’s Bees fan, I say give gud a try. I’ve come across better drugstore skincare products but I think this brand is mostly geared towards younger girls. The packaging is girly and whimsical and I could see middle and high school girls toting gud products. If you’re like me and have a dry skin, you may want to go with other products. On a good note, if you only like to use paraben-free products, these products are free of ‘em. Which is definitely a perk in my book.

Whatcha think? Have you tried any gud goodies?

 

Mascara Monday: NYX Cosmetics Provocateur mascara

I am just a breezin’ through NYX’s Boudoir mascara. I’ve already reviewed Pin Up Tease and next up on the list is this baby.

I just love saying Provocateur. It sounds all fancy… Pro-vaaaah-ca-touuurrrr. 8) Hehehee.

Price:$6 at Ulta stores and NYXCosmetics.com
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “To volumize and separate lashes. Start with level 1 for heavy application then level 2 to lighten and separate.” (source)

The Truth: It’s one of those mascaras with 2 wands. Interestiiiiing.

What I Loved About It: Both mascara wands do a really good job at giving two 2 different looks.

What I Didn’t Like: The packaging was a little wonky.

Overall: Some people don’t feel the need to have 2 wands in 1 mascara. In fact, I think I’m one of those people. When it comes to my desires, I’m pretty simple. I want the most volumized lashes everrrr. Oh, and I could do without the clumps of mascara too. ;) That said, while Provocateur may not be a necessity for me, the good news is, it’s a darn good mascara. The 1 brush, 2 styles feature may appeal to many and I’m just glad that the mascaras claims are pretty dead on.

NOTE: Unless you want to mess the mascara up, do NOT remove both wands at the same time. Trust me on this one.

First things first, formula-wise, the mascara is decent. I didn’t have problems with applying it to the lashes. I was a huge fan of the longevity. Yes, girl. This mascara lasted alllll day without flaking and smudging on me. Huge win for me.

Let’s rap about Level 1’s wand first. It’s my favorite. And according to the packaging, Level 1 has a wide wiper that is designed to grab more mascara for fuller and heavier application.

When you remove this wand from the packaging, it’ll be loaded with mascara. Almost too much, though. You see, the hole that the mascara is removed from is large (and in charge) and can put just too much mascara on the wand. You may find yourself wiping it off on the rim of the mascara. Despite that, the overall appearance of the mascara using this wand is niiiiice. I got a good 2 coats in and it made my lashes big and bold. I didn’t see much length though. But who cares. I’ll take volume over length any day.

Then there’s Level 2. It has a narrow wiper that is designed to grab a light amount of mascara for finer application. While it’s great for lower lashes, I find the wand is too big to do so.

I’ll be honest, Level 2 isn’t my style. But that doesn’t mean that it the wand isn’t effective. If you’re a fan of whispy-er (okay, I made that word up) lashes, you’ll love this one. It does do a pretty good at separating and that’s a function that I can always appreciate. The wand is decent but it doesn’t hold a ton of mascara on it and even after 2 coats of mascara, my lashes didn’t appear to be heavily coated.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats using Level 1

Lashes after 2 coats using Level 2

Do I recommend it?: If you enjoy having options in 1 mascara, I’d give this one a whirl.

 

Are you a fan of mascara options in 1 tube? Whatcha think?

 


Vegan Aftershave for the fella in your life…

Esposo isn’t the kind of man that feels the need to slather on cologne every day of the week. Which is a shame because I’m a woman that loves a man who smells good. But I get it. Esposo works in a high-energy industry where he’s liftin’, programmin’ and moving around for 12 hours a day. Cologne is so not needed.

But still. Being the husband of a beauty blogger means I can subtlety push products on him. Such was the case with Aubrey Organics’ Men’s Stock City Rhythms Aftershave.

Handsome, isn’t he? Men or their SO’s can scoop this fragrance and two others like it at natural health food stores for less than $10 for a 4oz bottle. Not too shabby. Esposo shaves almost every day so I thought he’d be a good candidate for using something like this.


Ingredients-wise, the aftershave certainly has a whoooole lot less than what many aftershaves on the market has.

INGREDIENTS INCI: Alcohol denat., aqua, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) water, aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf juice*, glycerin, cedrus atlantica (cedar) oil, santalum album (sandalwood) oil, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) oil, cananga odorata (ylang) oil, panax ginseng root extract.
*Organic (source)

I love the inclusion of sandalwood and bergamont as those are some of my favorite essential oils. Witch hazel and aloe both have cooling properties, making them perfect for men to use after shaving. And while I proudly ride the “less is better” when it comes to ingredients train, Esposo just…well, he could care less.

Scent-wise I got more of an alcohol-smell in this more than anything. To the product’s defense, it iiiiis the first ingredient on the list. The cedar and sandalwood scents were there but seemed to wear off of Esposo’s cheeks and neck within hours. Boo.

What Esposo says:
I’m not one of these guys that really cares about the whole tree hugging, anti-artifical movement. I’m not against it either, but the whole #AllNaturalEverything schtick can get wearisome. Especially when it jacks up the price of products I’d otherwise purchase.

That being said, the concept of an all natural cologne/aftershave is pretty cool , but the execution was a bit underwhelming. Don’t worry guys, it doesn’t smell like flower petals or anything remotely feminine. It does however remind me of something my dad might wear, and that is definitely not the business. It feels cool and refreshing going on, but the scent is too mellow and old school for my tastes. I prefer something a bit brighter and spicier. It’ll probably work for some guys out there, but that’s not my bag, baby.

Ah well. Packaging-wise the splash is still sophisticated and sleek and perhaps the other fragrances are up to par.

Whatcha think ladies and gents? Yay or nay vegan aftershaves?

NARS Mexican Rose

It’s anything but new but NARS Cosmetics’ Mexican Rose Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil is freaking fantastic. And I’m not just saying that because I’m slightly obsessed with NARS everything.

Okay, wait – let’s rewind. Why is this the first time I’ve ever tried a NARS lip pencil? I mean…where in the world have I been? Have they always been free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates and sulfates? Whoooa! That’s huge for me. Y’all know how much I adore the preservative-free skincare and cosmetic products. So um, yeah…before this lippie even hit my lips, I was in love with it.

But when I did apply it. Oh Lawd…

Just gorgeous. It’s one of those funny lippies in that an initial swatch just looks so so.

It appeared ultra-glossy and while it’s described as a “hot pink”, it looked to be a little subdued to me. But honey, twas a different story when I put it on the lips. I love love love love love. Oh! And the best thing about this lippie? While it acts like a moisturizing lipstick, it actually stays around like a lip stain. Even after hours of wear time, this pencil will stay put. Which of course makes its $24 price tag a lot easier to glance at. I want more. And more I will be hauling from Sephora. If you want this one, get it ASAP. It’s limited edition and may not be around much longer.

Have you ever tried any of NARS lip pencils? And uh…is a mexican rose actually a rose that is indigenous to Mexico? The geek in me needs to know these things…

Amor de Lacquer: Wet ‘n Wild Spoiled polishes – only $1.99 a pop

Have y’all seen Wet ‘n Wild’s Spoiled collection in your local Walgreens? OMGGG….as if I needed another reason to love Wet ‘n Wild polishes. I am showcasing just 8 here but there are literally like…a hundred of ‘em. And they are only $1.99. I knowwwww. Okay, I’ll shut up and get to postin’.

Did I Dye It Too Blonde? is a neon yellow. Well, obviously, right? It’s a looooot brighter than this in real life. I applied 3 coats and had such a hard time with getting an opaque finish. Such is the case with most neon polishes. Still. I really really like this. Your best bet for getting opacity from neon polishes is to use a white polish as a base.

Shrimp On the Barbie is such a Spring-y shade. It isn’t the most unique color in the world, but the gold shimmer in the salmon pink polish makes it funny and girly.

I’m Ba-roque Bahahaaaa! Funniest name ever. Very witty, Wet ‘n Wild. This polish is a brown with a ton of silver shimmer all about. I actually really like this. I’ve seen a lot of brown polishes but never one with this much personality. It’s gorge! Oh, and excuse the remnants of Did I Dye It Too Blonde?. Apparently removing neon polish is trickier than I thought.


Trust Fund Baby is a red blue and gold glitter. Well, not really glitter but more of folded hexagon specs…thingies. Yeah. I never know what to call these. It’s a tricky glitter in that if  have to apply a good 2 coats because the brush won’t pick up enough specs the first go ’round. I layered Trust Fund Baby over Shrimp On the Barbie.

Plenty of Fish In The Sea looks blue but it is more on the green side. Ya’ll already know how loco my camera is when it comes to photographing blue/green shades. It has some shimmer to it but it’s subtle.

Pet My Peacock is a teal, gold and blue chunky glitter. 

Tip Your Waitress is a hooooot neon pink. I mean, it’s a “in yo face” kind of pink. This is really the only kind of pinks I like. It dries between a matte and glossy finish. Not quite gel-like though.

Shuffle The Deck is a silver, red and gray chunky glitter.

 

 

Since there are a billion of these (haha, I’m kidding – more like a few dozen), you’ve got a nice selection to choose from. This brand reminds me a lot of Sinful Colors. They are priced the same and have great formulas. I used 3 coats for each polish and find them to be really nice to work with. My favorite thing about ‘em? The wide brush. Yep. Since I’ve got wide nail beds those bigger brushes are definitely up my alley.

See any your like? Have you spotted these polishes in your neck of the woods?

 

Amor de Lacquer….the series all about nail polish and nail care! Send your requests,
suggestions and ideas to Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.

Pretty Polishes: Pure Ice Green With Silver Crackle

Pure Ice was another one of the amaziiiiing sponsors for our March Beauty Bloggers of Central Florida meetup. It’s been forever and a day since I’ve tried anything from Pure Ice. The good news is, the formula is still as good as I remembered it.

Pretty green, uh? It’s a nice hunter green with a subtle shimmer. I applied 2 coats and whoa mama…it dried quickly. I so don’t remember Pure Ice polishes drying THAT quickly. Not that I’m complaining or anything.

Then I added a coat of silver crackle polish…


It’s definitely one of the better crackle polishes I’ve seen. I haven’t worn a crackle polish in a loooooong time (I think I wore ‘em  too much when they first came out) so this was refreshing. Glad to see Pure Ice is cranking out gorgeous polishes.

You can grab this duo from Walmart and online for less than $6. Noooot bad.

Special thanks to Pure Ice for sponsoring us beauty obsessed gals in Central Florida.

Have you tried anything from Pure Ice lately?