NYX’s Color Lip Balms roooock!

Yep, it’s me again. Bragging about the awesomeness that are lip balms. I do this frequently. Probably more than I need too but honestly… What’s better than a lip balm? A drying lipstick? A sticky lipgloss? I think not. Lip balms will always run the world for because as much as I love lipsticks and glosses they just can’t moisturize my lippies as well as balms can. And even better than a lip balm is a tinted lip balm. And in this case, NYX Cosmetics’ Color Lip Balms.

Here’s what NYX has to say about these kids,

“Add color and moisturize to your lips in one application. When your lips crave hydration and you crave color, NYX Cosmetics new Color Lip Balm is the perfect option! Get the moisture, shine, and a sheer wash of color your lips desire while still looking natural. Available in 12 shades.” (source)

They ain’t lyin’ about the moisture. I find myself wearing these for hours at a time without my lips getting all dry and flaky. The color range is pretty awesome too. From neutrals to bright pinks and reds, there’s a little somethin’ for everyone. Yeeep, you read correctly. I typed “red”.

You hear that gals who think they can’t wear red lipstick? Even if you are still fearful of rockin’ red, wearing a sheer red balm like NYX’s Grazie is a great gateway color to wearing super pigmented red lippies.

Featured here I’ve got Spasibo, Grazie and Xie Xie.

And some swatches….

I love using these in the morning when I’m headed out the door for work. They give me enough “color” so that I feel polished and unlike lipsticks and glosses, they won’t leave prints all over my water bottle or whatever I’m eating for breakfast. And if it’s some EXTRA color that I’m craving, I can also use a lipliner with these.

Spasibo is the neutral kid of the bunch and it virtually disappears on the lips.

Grazie is what I would describe as a light red. It has just a bit of coral in it but it’s the kind of shade that will compliment gals of all hues.

And then there’s Xie Xie, my favorite. Xie Xie is a pinky raspberry that actually leaves a bit of a stain once it disappears from the lips. Niiiiice!

When comparing these to Revlon Lip Butters, these aren’t nearly as pigmented but just as moisturizing. They aren’t half bad and the price point is groovy too. $3.79 isn’t much and if you’re diligent enough, you can probably catch them on sale at Ulta. Hollllaaa!!!

I love you, NYX. I love these balms and I love RuPaul’s Drag Race.

That last bit was random. Kinda but not really. 8)

Amor de Lacquer: Zoya Surf collection

Summer has totally surpassed Spring here in Orlando, Florida and I couldn’t be happier. Ask me that when the sweltering weather gets here and I may renege that I ever made this statement. Ha! This collection includes 6 gorgeous polishes with foil metallic finishes.

Mryta is medium-dark orange with lighter orange shimmer that reaches an opaque finish with 2 coats. This was my favorite of the bunch. I absolutely love orange nail polishes and so one with a foil finish just brings me so much joy. And I know what you’re thinking but no, this doesn’t look like China Glaze’s Riveting. Riveting is much brighter.

Kimber is a coral-red with warm orange-gold shimmer and of course it’s my second favorite. This baby is a beaut. It’s like a silvery and bright terracotta. It looks stunning and if you don’t get any other polish from this collection, this is definitely the one you’re going to want to get. 

Meg was probably named after the daughter from Family Guy but that’s neither here nor there. 8) This warm, lightened grassy green with chartreuse shimmer photographed so funky that I had to do some editing to show you its true color – so please excuse the pink in my fingers. This polish reminds me of money, baby. So of course I like it. Woot!

Zuza is blue-based aqua with silver shimmer and it’s quite reminiscent of the waters in the Bahamas. I’d love it more if it didn’t stain the nails. This is the case with many polishes of this hue. Even with a base, they tend to stain. Which is totally unfortunate because I adore beautiful aqua shades like Zuza. The first pic is of Zuzu after some doctoring up.

Carly is a rich eggplant purple with strong magenta-red undertones and magenta-pink and violet shimmer and whoa, how refreshing is it to see shades like this in summer collections? I love, I love, I looooove!

 Rory is a a silver-shimmered cotton candy pink with strong blue undertones and she’s pretty just now my style. You know…with her being pink ‘an all. My crazy cam is giving her more “purple” but nope, she pink. 

 

Must Have’s:
-Mryta: So gorge!
-Kimber: For the ultimate pedi color this summer!
-Carly: Hot stuff!

I received an opaque finish after 2 coats for each polish. I think Zoya did an awesome job with this collection. There’s a little bit of something for everyone.

Whatcha think? See any you like? You can grab these polishes for $8 a pop or the entire collection for $48 at Zoya.com.

 

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

Real Techniques brushes is another reason why beauty bloggers rock…

There’s more to beautifying than good skincare products and awesome eye shadows. Beautiful eyeshadows and a foundation that gives your skin a flawless finish means nothing if you don’t have a dream team of brushes.

Lately I’ve been loving Real Techniques.

Okay, loving is an understatement. I’ve been obsessing over them a bit. And rightfully so. I could totally write an essay on how much I love these brushes. Buuuuuut I quit grad school for a reason. This writer HATES writing essays.

I do, however,  love me some lists yo.

5 Reasons Why I Love Real Technique Brushes:

      • They were designed by a beauty blogger. Ca-learly beauty bloggers rock.
      • They are color coordinated! Base = gold, Eyes = purple, Finish = pink.
      • You won’t break the bank buyin’ them. Unlike other brands…*cough*
      • The packaging for each brush gives great examples on HOW to use brush.
      • They are cruelty-free brushes. 

Real Techniques recently launched some new brushes and of course I just had to check ‘em out. Let’s spotlight them individually. Cool?

Expert Face Brush ($9)


Brush Description: Ultra firm and broad for application and blending of cream or liquid foundation.

My thoughts: Like every RT brush I’ve ever tried, this one is insanely soft. I much prefer using a stippling brush for when I apply cream or liquid foundations but after using this one, I can see how it works. I apply the foundation using my finger tips and then gently buff the foundation into my skin using this brush. And it works beautifully! This is also a great brush for applying a flush of bronzer or blush.

Setting Brush ($8)


Brush Description: The key to completing any look with a controlled dusting of powder or highlighter.

My thoughts: Soft just like its siblings, I couldn’t find much use out of this brush. Then again, I’m not a professional. After letting my makeup artist friend (hi Lynn!) use this brush, she fell in love. I can appreciate a brand of brushes that has brushes for beauty novices and professionals alike.

Fine Liner Brush ($6)


Brush Description: The ultimate tool for precision application of liquid or cream eyeliner

My thoughts: One can never have too many liner brushes. Especially if you’re like me and you’re too lazy to clean them after using. While I much prefer angled eye liner brushes, I like how this one is precise enough to give me a thin line of gel liner on my lower lashline. It’s perfect. The bristles are sturdy enough to give me control, but soft enough so that it’s not hurting my lids. Win!

Overall: These are 3 great additions to the RT lineup. And the prices are SO right. When I was a makeup newbie, cool brush brands like ecoTOOLS and Real Techniques weren’t around so I assumed that the best brushes were the higher-end ones. So not true. Supporting Real Techniques means you’re getting brushes worth your pennies and you’ll be showing love to beauty blogger.

Because who runs the world? Beauty bloggers!

Okay, I’m kidding. Kinda. 8) You can grab these from Ulta and online.

Have you ever tried any Real Techniques brushes?

Mascara Monday: NARS Larger Than Life Lengthening mascara

Oh boo. How have I not tried any of NARS’ mascaras? This must be some kind of beauty crime. NARS has the best blushes and eye shadows everrrr so of course I assumed that this mascara would be up to par. Let’s take a look see…

Price:$25 at Sephora.com
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “This mascara delivers length and separation with its high-performance formula. The high-tech bristles on the conical brush allows for maximum lengthening capabilities and precise lash definition that lasts all day. Nylon fibers cling to lashes for extra length, while macadamia nut oil and vitamin E help enhance their suppleness. You’ll be left with impossibly long and impossibly sexy lashes.” (source)

The Truth: Man, I expected more.

What I Loved About It: It’s a light mascara that didn’t weigh down the lashes.

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t give me enough length.

Overall: Welllll, you win some and loose some. And that’s the case with everything. Mascaras included. It’s hard to find a good lengthening mascara. In fact, I find the best the lengthening mascaras are fiber mascaras. They are easy to apply, they help elongate your lashes and they are easy to remove This mascara claims that it has nylon fibers in it but I can’t locate them with my bare eye.

The good news is, the mascara has a nice and build-able formula. Once it goes on the lashes, it feels light. Not wispy light but it doesn’t feel heavy and weigh down the lashes. Which is always a good thing. The wand is pretty groovy too.


But I don’t feel like the mascara did enough for my lashes. Due to testing out waaaay too many mascaras, my lashes have been skimpier than ever and so I was hoping that this lengthening mascara would realllly bring the lashes out there. That wasn’t the case. The wand allowed me to separate beautifully and while I got a just a bit of volume, the lengthening just wasn’t there. But considering the mascara gave me a lil’ bit of something, I gave it a 3 out of 5. Because it’s not a terrible mascara. It’s just an okay one.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats


 

Do I recommend it?: Meh. If you’re a NARS lover like I am, you’re better off spending your money on one of their fabulous polishes, lipsticks or eyeshadows.

Any NARS fans in the house? Have you tried any of their mascaras?

 


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?