Mascara Monday: Pop Beauty Peak Performance mascara

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Ooooh yesssss. Finally. A NEW kind of mascara. I am always looking for innovative mascaras and they are so hard to find. I mean, I get the whole “Don’t fix what ain’t broke concept” but when you review dozens of mascaras a year, you kinda want something new every now and then. Enter THIS kid…

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Price: $20 at Ulta and Ulta.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “Mascara with advanced lash comb separates, coats, lifts & fans out every lash, resulting in immense lash volume & dramatically maximized eyes.Lash-protecting formula conditions & nourishes lashes. Hygienic twist-up wand prevents bacteria build up & formula dry out, ensuring fresh new mascara every time.” (source)

The Truth: There are very few lash comb mascaras on the market and I was so excited to try this one out.

What I Loved About It: It is fantastic for separating and lengthening those lashes.

What I Didn’t Like: It has a bit of learning curve and takes some time to get used to. Also, this isn’t the kind of mascara I’d use if I were in a rush.

Overall: If you’ve strolled Ulta Beauty stores enough times, you may have run into the brand Pop Beauty. This is my first time trying one of their products and it’s a plum shame because they have a lot of really groovy products. So yeah – you should definitely look forward to seeing more reviews of this brand. But first things first – let’s talk about this super cool mascara.

The wand – er, comb thingie…

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Unlike traditional mascaras, this kid is toting a lash comb. Someone out there is jumping for joy. Lash combs are pretty awesome – especially for those who have all over the place lashes like myself. Lash combs have the ability to tame the craziness and help lashes elongate in the same direction. Of course this can be achieved with a regular mascara wand but I find the comb to be more effective because you have more control. According to Pop Beauty, the lash comb not only separates lashes but lifts and fans out every lash which is supposed to result in more volume.

Formula-wise, this mascara has a nice consistency. I didn’t find it to be overly heavy when applying it it does a darn good job with lasting for hours at a time with zero smudging and flaking.

Now as far as getting more volume with this baby, wellllll…I’m not sure about all of that. If anything, I think it’s a great mascara to prep your lashes. I found it much more effective when I used it in conjunction with another mascara that had a fluffy brush. The lash comb helped separate lashes and the fluffy brush helped with volume. In fact, two coats of this stuff made my lashes just a wee bit clumpy. Well…not clumpy but my lashes seemed to stick together a bit and once that happened there was no tweaking it.

Ah well – despite it not resulting in the volume that I was expecting, I still think this is a must have mascara for those with smaller and super frazzled lashes. If anything, you can use it BEFORE your favorite mascara and end up getting the results you want. So see…not all is lost. Plus, the lengthening it provides is pretty cool!

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Yep! It’s only $20 so it’s not the cheapest mascara but if you are desperate to tame your lashes, I think you’ll like this kid.

 

Any lash comb lovers in the house? And what else should I try from that awesome Pop Beauty?


The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 76

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Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Lipglossiping – brings out the brights with a lip colour so packed with pigment, you’ll be hard pressed not to pout with envy.

Gouldylox Reviews – I’m obsessed with this glorious waffle of creamy goodness.

Nouveau Cheap – Does the beautiful packaging of the new Flower by Drew Barrymore Color Play Créme Eyeshadows match what’s inside? Come see for yourself!

Prime Beauty – has a riddle for you. What’s pink and peach, heart shaped and imparts a glowy natural flush? Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush! Get the deets!

Phyrra – brings you a sneak peek of Jesse’s Girl Julie G Gumdrop Nail Polish!

we heart this – If you’re like us, you love a good haul post! And we’ve got one right here – check out Stef’s IMATS haul.

Beauty Junkies Unite – Check out the review & swatches for the five new Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal shades, Amber loves these cream eyeshadows because they’re great multi-taskers!

Clumps of Mascara – reminisces about the good ole’ college days and talks about that time she went to Philadelphia to volunteer for a week.

 

Question of the Week:

Is there anything in your beauty arsenal that
you like to bring out for springtime (that you don’t
use much during the colder months)?

 

B says, “Not really. I pretty much use what I like whenever. No matter the season! “

What about you? Anything you’ve been itchin’ to use?

 

Urban Decay’s The Fun Palette and The Feminine Palette

Oh hai more Urban Decay palettes.

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Hey you sexy thangs.

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I’ve been dabbling in these for quite some time but I am just NOW getting around to posting my review of ‘em. Beauty blogger, fail. I know. And since these aren’t exactly the newest palettes on the block, chances are you’ve seen them before. And if you have, just pretend that you haven’t and ooh and ahh over these palettes with me, will ya? Oh, and both are limited edition so if you like either one or both, you better sang ‘em with the quickness.

Let’s rock ‘n roll with The Fun Palette first.

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What Sephora says about The Fun Palette…

In a playful mood? Bring it out with the Fun Palette’s bright, bold hues, like Deep End, a bright teal shimmer that was a standout in the 15-Year Palette, and Freakshow, a deep royal purple pearl that was briefly available as a limited-edition Deluxe Eyeshadow. True to its name, this fun set comes in a bright, sparkly teal case decked out with a gold octopus design. (source)

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My first impressions about this palette? It’s well…fun! The shades are all vibrant and shimmery and perfect for day and night time looks. This is definitely a palette for the more adventurous makeup wearer. Oh, and that almond eyeshadow with subtle shimmer called Sellout? Well that’s just the BEST browbone color I’ve seen on this side of river. What river? I dunno. Some river.

Then there’s The Feminine Palette…

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What Sephora says about her…

For the days when you feel like playing up your girly side, there’s the Feminine Palette. Featuring a soft yet sultry mix of shimmering neutrals and smokier shadows, this set features a comeback by Skimp—a light, peachy pearl shade from the Book of Shadows IV Palette that was also briefly available as a limited-edition Eyeshadow. Each Eyeshadow features Urban Decay’s Pigment Infusion System™, the proprietary blend of ingredients that gives every shade its velvety texture, rich color, serious staying power, and blendability. The coordinating Lip Junkie Lipgloss gives lips that super shiny look without the gummy, gooey feel that many glosses have. (source)

Of the two, I think I like this one more. The shades are just as shimmery but I find that they are more work-safe and useful for the everyday makeup wearer. Plus, if you wanted to take the look from day to night, that bangin’ Gunmetal adds a nice touch of smokiness. This would be the palette that I tote along on vacays because I could quickly crank out looks without much thought.

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Both palettes are beautiiiiful from the inside and out. And I love the zipper!

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I wish more palettes were zip-able. You don’t have to worry about them coming undone in suitcases and purses and whatnot. Retailed at $38 a pop, I think these are reasonable little palettes for palette-lovers and Urban Decay fans alike.

Have y’all seen these UD palettes? Whatcha think?

Giving Back Is Awesome

 

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I miss college sometimes, y’all. I really do. I graduated from the University of South Florida in 2007 and while I spent most of my college career stressing over money or grades (pshhhtt, or both), I had a lot of fun too. And I’m not talkin’ drunken kind of fun. Girl no. When I wasn’t in class, working, hanging out with friends or trying to catch some Z’s, I was involved in some volunteer organization on campus. From the moment I stepped on campus until the day I graduated, I made it my duty to “help” in some way. I focused on different organizations each year but one of the most influential events that shaped me into the person I am today was that time I went to Philadelphia to volunteer at a school.

Alternative Spring Break is what they called it. Instead of jetting to Cancun, Mexico or taking up a weeklong stay on their sofas, college students involved in Alternative Spring Break jetted to another city and volunteered their vacations away. I joined a group of 15 fellow students and we bused our way from Tampa, Florida to Philadelphia. We bunked on the floors of a church in an area of North Philly called the Badlands. Each day we worked on various projects. From street clean-up to volunteering at the neighborhood school, we not only got to help out a community in need but we had a great time doing it.

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Coca-Cola is launching a Pay It Forward campaign that’s all about giving back and experiences like mine in Philly have totally convinced me to continue to pay it forward. Since that trip I’ve been volunteering as much as a I can through various organizations.

Because a great mentor can make all the difference, Coca-Cola has teamed up with Magic Johnson, Common and Debra Lee of BET Networks to give four young people the apprenticeship experience of a lifetime. Visit MCR.com/PayItForward to nominate an aspiring youth and help pay it forward to the next generation. You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win $5,000 for
each nomination you make (up to five nominations per person).

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Coca-Cola via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Coca-Cola.

 

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Mascara Monday: Hard Candy Flat to Fab Lash Building mascara

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Soooo, I’m just a wee embarrassed at how few Hard Candy mascaras I’ve reviewed. There is really no excuse for this because not only do they have quite a bit to choose from but they are freakin’ cheap too. Ahhhh well. Better late than never, I suppose.

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Price: $7 at Walmart and Walmart.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “Flat, lifeless lashes need a lift? Create dramatic volume and curl with Hard Candy Flat To Fab Lash Building Mascara. Lashes will immediately be taken from flat to flab with this long wear instant curling and volumizing mascara.” (source)

The Truth: I’ll tell you one thing…Hard  Candy knows how to make some eye popping mascara wands.

What I Loved About It: Yeah, I’m still head over heels in love with this packaging yo. And the lengthening is pretty nice.

What I Didn’t Like: It had the potential to be an awesome mascara but it fell short somewhere.

Overall: Well hellllloooo Hard Candy. I get so many emails to review their mascaras and I just forget to do so. I don’t do much shopping in Walmart and to my knowledge, that is about the only place where you can physically purchase their mascaras. But I’m on my A-game and got a few of their mascaras to review so I’m on it now! Let’s rap about the wand…

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Preggo brain (which has morphed into mommy brain) has me forgetting what popular mascara has a wand like this. I’ll give an e-star to anyone who can figure it out. We’ve definitely seen wands like this before and as funky and unique as they look, I don’t find that they are particularly useful with applying the mascara. Which isn’t a good or bad thing. Good news is you can still effectively go from root to tip with this wand without many problems. Surprisingly, the tip of the wand did a great job at getting those inner corners. Usually wands like this have big nasty globs of mascara at the end but nope, this one was great at only distributing a bit of mascara at the top of the wand. Woot!

Performance-wise, the mascara says that it’s going to give us curl and volume. Well, you know how I feel about mascaras that say they can help with curl. I believe the only way to see true curl in your lashes is to actually curl your lashes first. That is, if you aren’t one of those lucky kids who was already born with naturally curly lashes. So yeah, volume…the volume is just so so. Not good. Not bad. Not groundbreaking. Not horrible. This was a bit of a surprise because the formula was nice and thick. I applied 3 coats and by the 3rd coat, I still wasn’t impressed. I had a bit of lengthening and it was pretty impressive.

But what did impress me about this mascara was its ability to hold up throughout the day with zero flaking and smudging. Yasssss. That’ll win me every time. So yeah…so so volume and length but longevity rocks!

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 3 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Meh. I’ve seen better Hard Candy mascaras but if you’re big on lengthening mascaras, this one isn’t too bad.

Have you tried any Hard Candy mascaras?


The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 75

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Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

If you’re in So. California, join Lipstick League members we heart this on February 10th at Beauty for The Beasts; an event they’re co-hosting at Cristophe’s Salon that benefits animal rescue. Book a service (like a $40 blow-out) or just come for the gift bag – they’re worth $200! It’s going to be a good time for a great cause.

Question of the Week – What is your favorite face cleanser – foaming, creamy, soap, whatever – and why?

Clumps of Mascara – hasn’t been on the MAC Cosmetics bandwagon in a while and this mascara didn’t help her regain her love for the brand either.

EauMG – It’s happy hour! Pull a stool up to the bar and read this perfume review of Vince Camuto for Women.

Lipglossiping – continues exploring the brighter side of lipstick with the latest in her red lip series featuring a beautiful cherry red from Clarins.

Gouldylox Reviews – Pictures don’t lie! You won’t believe the before and after this mascara gave me. And it’s under $10!

Nouveau Cheap – The new Nivea Lip Butters have finally landed in the US! Warning: you may be tempted to eat these with a spoon (but please don’t).

Pink Sith – Has a review of the taupest taupe taupe that ever tauped taupe or as normal people call it, Sephora Collection Outrageous Prisma Chrome Metallic Eyeshadow in Taupe #6.

Prime Beauty – found a drugstore BB cream worthy of praise in Lumene’s Vitamin C+ Illuminating Anti-Age BB Cream!

Phyrra – Are you a Good Witch or a Bad Witch? Phyrra decides to be Good with the Urban Decay Disney Oz, the Great and Powerful, Glinda Palette.

Vampy Varnish – Urban Decay’s new Oz The Great and Powerful Collection is fabulous. Check out lots of photos and swatches of The Glinda Palette and The Theodora Palette!

we heart this – We’re co-hosting Beauty for The Beasts at Cristophe’s on Feb. 10, beauty to benefit animal rescue. Salon services, champagne, gift bags – we’ll see you there!

Beauty Junkies Unite – See why Amber absolutely loves MAC Party Parrot Lipstick, you won’t want to miss this hot hue!

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Clumps of Mascara – Fellow beauty girl and mommy friend of mine is loving those Maybelline Vivids lipsticks as much as I am. Ishah Beauty has be wanting to haul that vibrant orange lipstick.

 

Question of the Week:

What is your favorite face cleanser –
foaming, creamy, soap, whatever – and why?

B says, “I love creamy cleansers.”

What about you?

 

Elle’s Birth Story

[NOTE: I omitted a lot of the squeamish parts of labor and delivery but if you have any particular questions, I am so okay with answering them in the comments. Like, did I really encapsulate my placenta? Sure did!]

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I feared a lot throughout my pregnancy. It was ridiculous, really. I am naturally a very anxious person and pregnancy only heightened that for me. My decision to go with a midwife instead of an OB/GYN didn’t help the situation either. The midwifery philosophy means trusting the woman’s body to do what it needs to do to nurture baby in-utero without much intervention. While some women may get ultrasounds at every prenatal appointment, I had one at 20 weeks. I was in the dark throughout most of my pregnancy. Instead of trusting my body, I questioned if everything was okay. If she didn’t move, I’d freak out. If she moved too much, I’d freak out. I was in panic mode 24/7. The crazy thing is, the only time I really trusted my body was when I was going through labor.

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My water broke when I was polishing my nails. But of course, right? I flew out of the beauty room to Esposo. My pants were to my ankles and I was running back and forth like some maniac. We decided to call the midwife and they recommended that I come in ASAP so they could test me to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. I just knew I was wasting my time. Because obviouslyyyyy, my water didn’t break. I just peed on myself. That’s it.

But we hopped in the car and drove the midwife and within 20 minutes I had my legs spread all open for the world to see.

“You’re having a baby today.” said the midwife.

I tossed myself in Denial River again.

“Wait, wha?…no. No. Like..not today. How do you know? Is this real life?”

We were told to go back home so that I could labor there and to come back in 4 hours. I tested positive for Group B Strep and had to have an antibiotic. Which also ruled me out of that glorified water birth that I wanted. Womp. We got home and I threw myself in the nook of the sofa and then labored on my labor ball. Esposo kept glancing at me and was steadily asking me if I needed anything. He was so calm. So so calm. I was fine. I couldn’t understand why people said labor was sooo hard. If these were contractions (mind you, that hadn’t started yet), I was doing amaziiiing.

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10 minutes later I was on the floor on all fours moaning and groaning. I’d go from the floor to rolling on my yoga ball. The contractions were in, ladies and gentlemen. And those mofos hurt. The only respite I got was the few minutes between contractions. Those minutes were glorious. I timed my contractions. 3-4 minutes apart. I got so uncomfortable that I crawled up to the bed. The contractions got worse. And worse. And worse. I hummed throughout them. I focused on my breathing. I got that from reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. That book spoke to my hippie soul. It is chock full of birth stories where the women were having babies in cabins and in the woods and all of that craziness. That’s so me. I’d have a baby in a cabin. Yep.

Esposo began packing up the car. He told me I should try to eat something before we left. Good idea. Each step I took killed me. I winced in pain. I continued to hum. Being upright was the worst. I somehow made it to the car and we took the 15 minute trek to the birthing center. Each bump made me want to hurl. I kept timing my contractions. 2 minutes apart and there weren’t many breaks in between.

We made it to the birthing center and they got us settled in the room. The midwife checked me and I was already 5 centimeters dilated. This baby was coming. And I was dying. My Mom was nowhere to be found because earlier that day she told me that she had gotten dreadfully ill and that I simply couldn’t have the baby today. How could my Mom not be there through this? My doula was on her way but I just knew she wouldn’t make it either.

In my head I was cursing up a storm. Out of my mouth, all I could do was hum and say, “Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouuuuuuch.” Over and over again. The sweet nurse brought me ice cold water.

“I’m going to throw up.” I told her.

She brought me a pan and I threw up. I knew I was probably going through transition and that shortly after barfing, the pain would only intensify. I tried to stay calm. I asked Esposo to rub my back.

“Get off of me.” I tell him seconds later.

I was loosing it. The pain was out of control. Now that I look back at it, the contractions were painful but manageable. I suffered from painful menstrual cramps my entire life and so my pain tolerance is pretty up there. The real pain came from the perineal massage that my midwife gave me during those contractions. I wanted to kick her in her chin each time she told me to relax as she tried to massage the nether regions. I knew that she was only doing this to help prevent me from tearing but I was an animal at that point. I just wanted that baby out and I didn’t want anyone touching me.

If you’re not familiar with childbirth, when a baby is ready to come out, you push as if you have to take a poop. It’s the weirdest feeling because not only are you dealing with the pressure from baby bearing down, but you’ve also got those contractions kicking. It’s hard to focus and stay calm but I pushed and pushed and pushed and Baby Elle was born into the world at 5: 27pm. I was in active labor for 5 hours and I pushed for 17 minutes. My labor went so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to rip my shirt and bra off.

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My labor and delivery is considered speedy for a first time mom and quite frankly, after everything was said and done, I felt like I deserved an effing award. Soooo many people told me I was crazy for having a baby in a birthing center without the option of an epidural and pain meds. If I had to do it all over again, I would not have changed anything. Because Elle was considered small at 5 lbs, the birthing center recommended that we go to the hospital (uggghhhh) to have her fully examined. We were hesitant to do this because her Apgar scores were already high at a 9 and 10 and we just knew the hospital would give us a bunch of run around. And we were right. We spent hoursssss at the hospital. Just for them to tell us what we already knew. Our baby was healthy. Just small with a touch of jaundice. This detour to the hospital prevented Elle and I from really practicing her latch when it came to breastfeeding. It also resulted in two overwhelmed and fatigued first time parents who wanted nothing more than to just take their baby home.

So yes, while my labor and delivery was “perfect”, the events that followed were not. But it doesn’t matter. Baby Elle is here and she’s happy and healthy.

I always considered myself to be a strong woman, both physically and mentally. Giving birth to my daughter gave me a new badge of honor. I left that birthing center so so soooo proud of myself. Yes, I was terrified that my baby decided to come 3 weeks early and I was soooo sad that family members and friends couldn’t make it but the pride I had in myself trumped the sadness and fear that enveloped me during labor.

And not to sound like some superwoman, but pregnancy, labor and delivery are all easy compared to the struggle that came with breastfeeding and dealing with those postpartum hormones. THAT’S the part that people don’t tell you about. Stay tuned for more posts on life with baby. I know Clumps is a beauty blog but I think it’s important to normalize conversations like breastfeeding and the not so bubbly parts about being a first time mom. And if you could care less about that kind of stuff and would rather read about cosmetics, then hey, it’s all good too. I promise not to overload the blog with baby stuff. Maybe once a week or so. :wink: