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?


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?


My Top 6 Favorite Mascaras

This should really be a hard post for me considering I’ve reviewed well over 150 mascaras but it’s not. Most of the mascaras that I review are decent but only a handful are amazing. And I know that sounds pretty lame but let’s face it, many brands make all of these claims about how amazing their mascaras are when in reality…they’re just okay. But these babies here? Oh man. If I didn’t have to regularly review mascaras, I’d just stick to these. And because I could write even MORE about these beloved mascaras, I’ll just give you 3 of my favorite details about them.

Ultraflesh Panthera

  • Coolest packaging EVER!
  • It’s a higher-end and preservative-free mascara. You rarely see that.
  • Has a wonderful and light but longwear formula.
  • Super easy to use. Even for the insanely clumsy folx like me.
  • Removal is a breeze.
  • Long lasting and eye popping. This mascara REALLY opens up the eyes.
  • Flawless fiber mascara with thickening and lengthening properties
  • An “interesting” wand that doesn’t affect application but it’s still cool to look at.
  • Like most fiber mascara, it removes with ease.

Nuance Salma Hayek Ultra-Defining

  • The perfect wand. I mean, perfect!
  • Gentle formula.
  • Awesome awesome lengthening power.

Rimmel Lash Accelerator

  • Thick formula but still allows you to lengthen beautifully.
  • Long lasting!
  • It’s memorable because it was my 100th mascara review.

Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes

  • Incredible heart shaped wand.
  • 10x more effective than the original Great Lash mascara
  • Gives volumized lashes with only 1 coat.

 

Have you tried any of these mascaras? What is your absolute favorite mascara eeeeever?

Mascara Monday: Nuance Salma Hayek Ultra-Defining mascara

Celebrity-endorsed cosmetics is one thing but celebrities who endorse cosmetics that actually rock is something else. Such is the case with the CVS-exclusive Nuance Salma Hayek line. If you haven’t seen these products in your drugstores, girl, run and check ‘em out now. I haven’t been so impressed with a cosmetics and skincare line like this in a looooong time. Oh, and guess what? This mascara is pretty awesome too!

Price: $9.79 on CVS.com
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 5 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: This is the smallest wand ever but I absolutely LOVE it.

What I Loved About It: I love everything about this mascara. The wand, the performance, the lack of parabens, the wand…yessss.

What I Didn’t Like: I suppose it could be on the cheaper side but that’s not anything a coupon can’t solve. ;)

Overall: I think Salma Hayek is one of the most beautiful women I’ve never met. She just radiates elegance. She’s a Mexican-American actress and beauty babe. Her line contains every thing from cosmetics to hair products. The Nuance line is exclusive to CVS. Which is cool with me since I practically live in CVS anyway.

Let’s take a look at this awesome wand…


Look how slim it is!! I love it! Why don’t more so-called lengthening mascaras have wands like this? This is perfect for elongating the lases from the base. The bristles are short but I think this a great advantage. A gentle sweep is all it takes to coat the lashes with mascara and it’s just one of the most effortless mascaras I’ve ever played with.

My favorite aspect about this mascara? Why its paraben-free formula, of course. I will always salute brands that attempt to remove harmful ingredients from their products. However, sometimes the removal of those ingredients can produce subar performance on the mascara’s behalf. Not the case with this one. The formula applies easily and doesn’t get too clumpy. That is, if you don’t try to push it to the limit with a 4th coat or so. It’s not a waterproof mascara but I didn’t experience any smudging or flaking. Will it last all day? Well…meh. I found it disappeared a bit after an 8-hour work day but that’s not too much of a deal breaker for me. This is still the best non-fiber lengthening mascara that I’ve come across in a looooong time.

 

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats


 

Do I recommend it?: If you like simple wands, this is the mascara for you!

Worry not! I’ve got more fabulous products from the Nuance Salma Hayek line to review. Have you tried any thing from there yet?


Mascara Monday: Milani Total Lash Cover mascara

One of my beauty BFFs has two new mascaras hitting the scene and I’ll be reviewin’ both of ‘em. First up is this gal. And oh my words…the wand on this mascara may just have you gasping in horror. Or gasping in ________ (insert a great antonym for horror). Which sounds insanely dramatic, I know, but come on…what’s a mascara review without some dramatics? Yeeeeuuuuuh!

Price: $7.79 on CherryCulture.com 
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Mascara with 3 zone brush. 3 Zoned Brush applicator provides multi-performance zones: Zone 1: DEFINE inner & outer lashes, Zone 2: BUILD center lashes, Zone 3: CURL comb applicator, Non-clumping. Long-lasting, comfortable wear.” (source)

The Truth: ZOMG! This wand is scary!

What I Loved About It: It’s a rich and super black mascara. If you can avoid it the clumping, one coat should be just fine.

What I Didn’t Like: The wand is too large and in charge and it makes applying difficult.

Overall: I can’t believe this is my first Milani mascara review. Lame, uh? What a way to start the day because I am actually really in love with the packaging of this kid. And despite its curves, I can actually appreciate the hefty wand….


Until it makes its way to my lashes. I’ve used several (okay, more like 150+) mascaras and this one is definitely one of the most interesting. I kinda dig how pretty the wand is when their isn’t mascara on it.

But man is it somethin’ else WITH mascara. The concept makes sense to me. Define, Build and Curl. Cool. But execution is something else and if you don’t have a stead hand, you may run into some problems with this bad boy. For one, because the wand is so large and gets coated with so much mascara, application gets tricky. Especially if you have super short lashes like me. While I managed to coat my lashes evenly, it was no easy feat. Attempting to not get mascara on the lower lashline was tough. But once I got the mascara on the lashes, it gave me a good amount of volume and length. Curl? Meh. But you know how I feel about mascaras that say they “curl” lashes. I think the curling action comes more from technique than actual formula. But of course, that’s just my theory. What do I know?

I managed to push it to the limit and get a good 3 coats on my lashes, but it was time-consuming. The large wand and my short lashes don’t work well together. Formula-wise, the formula is a bit on the thicker side. Ya gotta be careful with those thick mascaras as they tend to flake throughout the day. Such was the case with this baby. The flaking wasn’t horrible but if I went to rub my eyes, I’d rub away a bit of the mascara away too. Womp.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 3 coats


 

Do I recommend it?: If you can get past the weird wand and semi-flaky formula, this isn’t a half bad mascara. It just didn’t work well with my special needs lashes. :(

Yo Milani lovers?! Have you tried this mascara yet?


Mascara Monday: YBF Beauty Xtreme mascara

Haven’t heard of the brand YBF? Well, up until a few months ago, I hadn’t either. This brand has launched on Ulta’s website and I just had to check out their mascara. But of courseeee. Oh, and what does YBF mean? It stands for “your best friend”. Cute, uh? And yes, cheesy too. :D

Price:$14 at Ulta.com
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5

What It Claims: “Xtreme Mascara builds the lashes to create super sexy, sultry irresistible looking peepers in an instant with dramatic definition! The patented, half-moon shaped, thick mascara brush hugs and separates each lash for precise application for high definition, curl and volume! Water resistant formula helps keep lashes pliant, glossy and flake free! It will last all day and night!! For flirtatious lashes, you’ll love two coats!” (source)

The Truth: What an interestiiiiing formula.

What I Loved About It: Whoa! This mascara gives a great amount of length!

What I Didn’t Like: The formula is weird and it starts removing itself from the lashes throughout the day.

Overall: Oh man, this mascara is so wonky. What a way to start a review, uh? I wanted to like this but it’s just…strange. Let’s talk about the wand first. It isn’t the worst.


In fact, it isn’t bad at all. I don’t have  anything negative to say about it. It’s the perfect wand for a mascara with this kind of formula. And what kind of formula is that you ask? This is a matte mascara. I’m not of friend of these kids and for several reasons. Matte mascaras, are the absolute worse when it comes to lasting all day. In fact, within a few hours of applying this one, it virtually disappeared. I don’t know how or why but it did. If I happened to rub my eyes, instead of flaking away ,the mascara smeared away. Which means it definitely isn’t an ideal mascara for those with sensitive eyes. So no, I’m definitely not a fan of this mascara because the formula and longevity just aren’t up to par. The good news? Some of the other products from YBF Beauty look pretty awesome so I’ll definitely be trying some of those. Have you seen the packaging of their lipsticks? They are goooorgeous!

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats


 

Do I recommend it?: It pains to say it but no. But if you’re partial to matte mascaras, you may like it.

Have you tried anything from YBF Beauty? And what’s your take on matte mascaras?