Mascara Monday: Maybelline Volum’ Express the Colossal Cat Eyes mascara

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Yuuuuuuup! You guessed it. Maybelline has another mascara for us and it’s in the ‘Volum Express family. Okay, even if you have no intentions in trying out this mascara, you can’t deny how adorable that packaging is. Ca-ute, right?

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

What It Claims: “Maybelline colossal volume gets a feline edge. Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Cat Eyes Washable Mascara’s collagen formula and claw brush plump and spike out lashes at the corners for a wild cat-eye look. Colossal volume with cat-like corners” (source)

The Truth: The truth is that as much as I love Maybelline (and I loooove Maybelline), I’m a bit over the Volum’ Express bit.

What I Loved About It: That wand is dynamic, yo.

What I Didn’t Like: It’s a great lengthening mascara but if you’re looking for volume, keep a lookin’, sista.

Overall: For once I’ll keep my mouth shut about how annoyed I am that I keep seeing 23,000 different versions of ‘Volum Express. Please realize that this whole “not complaining” thing is so tough for me because I really do get annoyed at…okay, wait. Look at me. I’m complaining. Eek! Let’s move on.

The wand. Yes! The wand!

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The wand is something special. I love everything about this wand. I could do without its curvy nature but I love how nice and stiff the bristles are. This is the perfect mascara wand for people like me. My lashes go alllll over the place and this wand is great for helping to straighten them out. Wands like these are also perfect for those with super itty bitty lashes. You can coat lashes easily and don’t have to worry about poking yourself in the eye because of the huge wand. WIN!

Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty, if I was super over-ambitious, I would try to compare this mascara with some of the other recent ‘Volum Express mascaras. But quite honestly, y’all…I don’t own any of ’em anymore and I’m too lazy to even think of doing something like that. But hey – at least I’m honest, right? The best thing for mascara reviews is to just review them as if other mascaras didn’t exist. And so for now, we’ll forget about the other 98,000 ‘Volum Express babies out there, okay?

Formula-wise, Cat Eyes impressed me. It’s got a nice and workable formula but after a few strokes on the lashes, I realized that its goal was to lengthen my lashes and not bring about volume. Okay. No biggie. The claims on the packaging are a bit confusing so we’re not really sure WHAT this mascara is supposed to do but yeah, I’m pretty sure its main goal is to help elongate the lashes. Which is does so beautifully. Between the formula not clumping up on me and the stiff bristles of the wand, bringing those lashes out there was easy. And impressive! 1 coat was okay but 2 coats of this mascara really brought my lashes out there and helped to achieve that “wild cat-eye look”. Whatever that means. So yeah, it’s not a bad lengthening mascara. Keep in mind that it ISN’T a waterproof mascara so it does have some issues with lasting for a while. Especially if you have allergies.

And stick with just 2 coats. I found that the formula thickened up a bit too much and brought on some clumping when I attempted a 3rd coat.

 

Bare Lashes




Lashes after 2 coats




Do I recommend it?: The Falsies ‘Volum Express is hands down my favorite because it’s an intense volume mascara but if you’re looking for something lengthening (or a really cute mascara), I don’t think Cat Eyes will disappoint.

 

Okay y’all…who has tried this mascara? Whatcha think?


Urban Decay Smoked 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil set

Oh snitty-aaaaap! Urban Decay has another eyeliner set and of course eye am alllll over it. Hehe! See what I did there?

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First of all, if you haven’t tried any of Urban Decay’s eyeliners, you don’t know what you’re missin’. I’m not even exaggerating. Everything about their liners are awesome and they are definitely worth the $16 price tag. And this is coming from a cheap gal like myself. Yeah, I’ll testdrive drugstore eyeliners but for everyday use, I am always returning to Urban Decay’s Zero eyeliner. I can’t help it. I find it to be the blackest, most long-lasting awesomeness eyeliner everrrrrr. Oh, and they are paraben-free too which I know is important to a lot of folx.

This set is the newest UD eyeliner set on the block and it’s pretty rad. Mostly because a great deal of the shades are wearable for all makeup lovers. Now before you get too excited, these are the travel version of the eyeliners but whatever because if you’re like me, you’ll get good use out of ’em nonetheless.

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Urban Decay has a set of eyeliners with bolder colors but I like how every shade in this collection is wearable and practical. For $38, you’ll get 6 eyeliners that are perfect for use on the lower lashline, as an eyeshadow base and my favorite, on the waterline. As a gal with insanely sensitive eyes, I find Urban Decay’s liners to be the BEST when it comes to all day wear. I can apply a liner on my waterline at 7am and I can always guarantee that by 7pm, it’ll still be there. Even if I’ve sweated, cried or dunk my face in a bucket of water. Yep.

Say hello to the sexy 6.

DSC_0902(L-R)Uzi, Zero, Demolotion, Smog, Empore, Mainline

Pretty stuff. uh? The fantastic gunmetal shimmer that is Uzi will be gorgeous with a smokey eye. Zero and Demolotion are both black and brown mattes and Smog is the bronze-y version of Uzi. The last two are my favorite. Obviously, right?

Empore is some kind of awesome.

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…and it’s really hard to explain what color it is because there are so many colors intertwined. It’s a bluey purple. It probably looks different on different eye colors but on me it looks a bit more purple, uh?

And then there’s Mainline…

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Such a rich and beautiful teal. Corporate America or not, I will most certainly rock these shades to work. They’re that pretty but also that unassuming. So yeah. If you’re a typical black or brown eyeliner gal but want to step outside of the box a bit, this collection is totally up your alley.

And it should also be up your alley because it’s Urban Decay. Nuff said. These are currently available on both Sephora.com and UrbanDecay.com. If you find the price to be a little too steep, keep your eyes peeled for deals and sales at both Sephora and on UrbanDecay’s website. They come around pretty frequently and it’s the best time to stock up on your beauty lemmings.

Now tell me…which shade is your fave?

 

Mascara Monday: Prestige My Longest Lashes Pro Lengthening mascara

First things first, beauty gals and girls…this review makes Clumps of Mascara’s 176th mascara review to date. Crazy, right? Yes, I’m patting myself on the back because I do feel it to be quite the accomplishment. And hopefully my parents are proud.

“What is your daughter doing now?”

“Oh well, you know….she reviews mascaras. Exactly 176 to date. Bet your daughter hasn’t done that.”

Okay, I’m being silly but if weren’t for you great folx, I would have stopped reviewing mascaras a looooong time ago. But since the Clumps fam is so great at keeping me up on my toes about which mascaras I should try, just know that I could never leave you. Well…unless I become a millionaire and then I may have to find an editor. Ha!

Anywhoovers, let’s check out this Prestige mascara…

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Price: $7.50 at Ulta.com and you may spot it at Ulta stores.
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “No clumps or flakes, just your thickest, longest, biggest lashes ever!” (source)

The Truth: What a nice looking wand. It looks ideal for separating!

What I Loved About It: It really did give me some decent length.

What I Didn’t Like: Meh. The length wasn’t THAT dymanic.

Overall: It’s unlikely that you’ll ever see me willingly purchase a lengthening mascara. The truth is, I don’t really care about length. Volume is my shtick and I’m sticking with it. But I get it – some folx have super tiny lashes and want nothing more than to elongate them a bit so what better way to do that than with a lengthening mascara? I’m so not hatin’ because it makes so much sense to me. Even if I don’t prefer to wear a lengthening mascara regularly. Anyway, the wand on this guy was very niiiiiice.

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That’s the thing about about most lengthening mascaras. The wands are typically nice and slim and have bristles that make it easy to do separate the lashes. This wand was a pleasure to work with. I was able to gently coat the the lashes with mascara with ease. Getting the lashes to look a little longer is always a challenge with lengthening mascaras. I find that you have to go from root to tip and slowly bring the lashes upward. And once you sweep the brush up to the tip of the lashes, I like to HOLD the wand there for a few seconds.

Formula-wise, this mascara was easy to work with. Application was easy and so was removal. I didn’t experience any flaking or smudging and like most GOOD lengthening mascaras, it didn’t clump up on me. I find clumping to be a problem in volumizing mascaras but not so much with lengthening mascaras.

As far as lengthening effectively, it does so pretty well. It’s nothing groundbreaking but it works good enough. I would have loved to see more length but little oomph I saw in my lashes was decent enough. Because the formula was so lightweight, throughout the day my longer lashes seemed to disappear a bit. I HATE when that happens. But still – it’s not a terrible lengthening mascara. Especially if you don’t have crazy expectations and just want a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ without overdoing it.

Bare Lashes


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Lashes after 2 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Sure. Especially if you are already a fan of Prestige mascaras.

Do you prefer lengthening mascaras or volumizing mascaras?

Mascara Monday: Essence Get BIG Lashes Volume Boost Waterproof mascara

Oooh baby baby! It’s an Essence mascara. I love me some Essence products. Have you seen their new swoon-worthy nail polishes? Girl. GIRL! They are hot stuff. I’ve played around with some of their mascaras before too haven’t been too impressed. But the other week I was in Ulta (for no real reason, of course) and came across this mascara. I’m always getting requests to review waterproof mascaras so I decided to give this baby a whirl.

Price: $3.99 at Ulta.com and you may spot it at Ulta stores.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5

What It Claims: “Essence Get Big! Lashes Mascara. Good things may come in small packages, but bigger is always better when it comes to lashes. Available in the original and waterproof formulas, with the option of two different brushes, this mascara from Essence will make batting your lashes a breeze.” (source)

The Truth: Oh no. I hate to say it but it sucked. Not just a little bit but a lot.

What I Loved About It: Well. Um. It’s affordable!

What I Didn’t Like: It was a hot and flaky mess. To make matters worse, I barely got any noticeable volume. Fail!

Overall: Oh geez. I really do hate writing mascara reviews about mascaras that sucked. But I’ve got to be honest with y’all. It comes with the territory. *sigh* But yeah..this mascara’s performance certainly wasn’t up to par. And it’s a shame really because I find that most of Essence’s products perform really well despite their affordable price tags. I mean, where else can you get decent products for your entire face for under like $10? Yeah. Essence rocks and I’ll continue loving them as a brand but when it comes to this mascara, it’s unlikely that you’ll hear me recommending it.

The wand…

The wand isn’t THAT terrible. I mean, yeah…it’s huge and uncomfortable for those of us who prefer smaller wands. Because the bristles are so large, it’s really hard to comb through the lashes. A wand like this is best suited for guys and gals who have long and thick lashes or those who don’t need to do much separating. My lashes, however….they ALWAYS need some form of separating. It’s difficult to get it with this wand. But it’s not the wand’s fault that I have special needs lashes.

Now let’s rap on the formula. WOW. And not a good WOW either. In first glance and with the first stroke of application, the wand doesn’t appear to be all that bad. It’s got a nice consistency. But with the the huge wand, the formula doesn’t seem to thicken up as well on the lashes. Even after a second coat, I didn’t really notice anything. A third coat showed a bit of omph but still not enough to appease me.

Hours later, I would notice this mascara flaking down my cheek. No bueno. I HATE when this happens. I can tolerate a lot of mascara woes but flaking is just a no no in my book. Flaking also means that the waterproof-ness of the mascara isn’t even that effective. What a waste! With the ginormous wand, flaking formula and ineffective waterproof properties, I’m thinking this isn’t one of Essence’s greatest hits. No worries. I still love you, E. But let’s step that mascara game up a bit, eh?

[NOTE: Okay now, check this out – the camera I used to use for eye close mascara pics has decided to leap to its death. I’m in the process of learning how to take pictures with my DSLR. Sooooooo bare with me, okay? ]

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats



Do I recommend it?: Nopers. Grab one of their awesome polishes instead.

Okay Essence lovers…have you tried this mascara? Or any of Essence’s mascaras? What do you think?


Mascara Monday: Revlon Colorstay Overtime Lengthening mascara

Oh boy. It’s a Revlon mascara. And y’all know how I feel about Revlon mascaras. How can I say this nicely without appearing to be too harsh? Hmm. I don’t think that I can. I hate them. There. I said it. And it’s true. I don’t like to attach the word “hate” to much of anything but I’ve had more bad experiences with Revlon mascaras than good. And it’s not just me. Several beauty guys and girls can attest to the consistently eff’d up quality of Revlon mascaras. Which is such a shame really. Especially when they have so many other great products.

*sigh* Here we go….

Price: $7.99 at drugstores and at Drugstore.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5

What It Claims: “Long, intensely dark lashes, wears for 24 hours, no flakes, smears, or smudges. Tear-proof, sweat-proof, humidity-proof” (source)

The Truth: This sucker flakes worse than a freshly baked croissant.

What I Loved About It: The wand is actually some kind of awesome.

What I Didn’t Like: See “The Truth”.

Overall: Okay, soooo…let’s just jump on it with this one, uh? First of all, I didn’t even know Revlon launched this mascara. I didn’t hear anything about it on the beauty streets and I didn’t see any commercials or ads for it either. For a second, I thought that maybe the Target I got it from had “old” products up. But no. A glance at the Revlon website proved that this mascara coincides with Revlon’s “Colorstay” theme. Okay fine. And its a lengthening mascara. Awesome! While I’m a lover of volume mascaras, many folx love being able to elongate their lashes with one simple swoop. And it’s SO hard finding a mascara that makes this easy to do. For one, you’ll need a good wand.

Image Source: http://walgreens.com

I hate to use a stock photo but after testing and taking pictures of this mascara, I totally forgot to take a picture of the wand. And unfortunately, I trashed it. This wand isn’t too bad at all, is it? It’s a slim wand but the bristles are nice and firm, making it easy to apply mascara to wispy and short lashes. It’s also a great mascara to use on the lower lashes too. But unfortunately, that’s where my love for this mascara ends. And why? The formula, y’all. The formula.

The formula sucks. It’s a hot and flaky mess. At first glance and while applying to the lashes, it seemed to do okay. I didn’t have any issues with applying to the lashes. One coat elongated my lashes a bit. Nothing spectacular but I did notice a bit of a difference in length. After a second coat, I found the mascara harder to apply. My lashes dried quicker than I thought they would. Which was no bueno. I struggled to get through to a second coat and while the lashes looked so so, they weren’t as lengthened as I would have liked.

Within hours of wearing, this mascara managed to flake on me without me even rubbing my eyes. In fact, in the week that I wore this, I didn’t even need to use an eye makeup remover to get rid of it, I could just rub my eyes and bam – I would be flaking away. I had the same issues when I’d wear just one coat of mascara. Just…ugh. This is one of Revlon’s biggest issues when it comes to their mascaras and I find it frustrating that it hasn’t been resolved yet.

Grr!

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats



Do I recommend it?: Absolutely not. I’d before to rock my bare lashes than rock this stuff.

 

Am I being too dramatic or do you also have bad experiences with Revlon mascaras? Anyone?


Mascara Monday: Make Up For Ever Lash Fibers

Well hot dang! When was the last time you saw me review a mascara primer? It’s been a minute, uh? I sit on a thin line with these things. Sometimes I feel they can be super influential in the outcome of your lashes and sometimes I feel they are gimmicky products that don’t too much but taunt your wallet.

But Make Up For Ever’s primer is just a weeee bit different. This baby has FIBERS in it. Ooooooh!!!

Price: $21 at Sephora.com and Sephora stores nationwide.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “MAKE UP FOR EVER Lash Fibers are the perfect way to add length and volume to your lashes. A Sephora exclusive, these lashes are a great base to mascara.” (source)

The Truth: The fibers! I can actually see them.

What I Loved About It: Well, I love the fact that it’s a fiber primer. Wait…does that rhyme? Fiber primer, fiber primer…teheheee!

What I Didn’t Like: Despite it’s coolness, I’m not sure it dramatically changed the look of my lashes.

Overall: Welp. It’s a mascara primer. As I’ve mentioned, some have been epic and some of been a waste of money. Harsh, I know but hey…I’m being honest. How do you determine if you need a primer? Well. That’s a tough question. Do you have a mascara that works beautifully? Chances are you may not desire a primer. Do you chronically purchase mascaras and have yet to find one that REALLY gives you the results that you’re looking for? Well then. You may be an ideal mascara primer purchaser.

I find MUFE’s Lash Fibers to be on the up and up in terms of primers. Yes, it’s all because of the fibers. I’m a ginormous fan of fiber mascaras so to see a fiber primer is pretty exciting. Application of this primer is just like how you’d apply a fiber mascara. If you’re desirous of more length, focus on applying the primer to the tips of the lashes. If you’re a lover of volume, sweep the brush to the base of the lashes and wiggle up. It really is that simple. Especially if you’re used to regularly applying fiber mascaras.

The formula of this stuff is just like most primers. It’s white in color, has a bit of a creamy consistency and dries quickly on the lashes if left unattended. I found that applying one coat did the trick and immediately after applying that one coat, I’d apply to the other lash and then follow up with a mascara. Easy, right?

Well folx – I didn’t really see any major differences. I tested this for over a week and would apply the primer and 2 coats of mascara to just one eye and wear my regular mascara on the other. I wore a mascara that I’m already in love and so I was looking for added length and volume. But I didn’t see much. Or any! Hmph. I tried again and again with other brands of mascara and still didn’t note much of a difference. Ah well. That’s the thing with fiber mascaras. Sometimes they work. And sometimes they don’t. I’m not disappointed. I still think this primer is worth a try if you love mascara primers though. Have I mentioned that it’s a fiber primer? 😎

Oh! The wand…

Meh. Not amazing and not horrible but it does a good job at application.

 

Lashes with 1 coat of primer



Lashes with 1 coat of mascara


The eye to the left is the one with primer and 1 coat of mascara.

The eye to the right just has 1 coat of mascara.

I don’t see much of a difference. You?


Do I recommend it?: Only if you love mascara primers AND fiber mascaras. This is a nice blend of the two.

Whatcha think? Is this a mascara primer that you’d try?


Mascara Monday: NYX Za Za Zu mascara

I’m just truckin’ right along with NYX’s Boudoir Mascara collection. You’ve heard of this collection, right? It showcases 7 mascaras with 7 different functions. Yup. Each mascara claims to give you the lashes that you desire. I don’t know why I waited this long to review Za Za Zu but alas…here she is!

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

What It Claims: “Motherof all mascaras. Fiber infused to darken, lengthen, and volumize.Soft, bristle brush large enough to cover all lashes in one swipe.” (source)

The Truth: Meh. I’ve used better fiber mascaras.

What I Loved About It: I love to see a fiber mascara where you can actually SEE the fibers. Yas!

What I Didn’t Like: Despite seeing those fiber thingies, I didn’t really experience much volume overall.

Overall: I am so so excited to see a fiber mascara in this Boudoir Mascara collection. I am a huge fan of fiber mascaras as I find them to be super duper effective for those wanted plumper and longer lashes. They also remove easier than most mascaras and tend to last longer than non-waterproof mascaras too. Of course it takes some time to learn how to effectively use a fiber mascara but once you’ve passed that learning curve…you’re in there!

Za Za Zu has a massive wand but ironically that wasn’t my main problem with this mascara…

Yep, it’s a hefty wand alright but the bristles are nice and and long enough to allow easy root to tip application. But even after several coats, I didn’t notice much of a different volume-wise in my lashes. Fiber mascaras almost always guarantee added length and I got some of that but the volume? It just wasn’t there for me. I think a lot of it has to do with the formula.

While it wasn’t a pain, the formula was just…so so. I’m used to seeing fiber mascaras on the thicker side and that wasn’t the case with this one. Lots of fiber thingies but I didn’t get the darkness and thickness that I would have expected from a fiber mascara. It’s not a total lost though. I was able to get some good use out of it. I didn’t experience any flaking or smudging and it lasted throughout the day with no problems. This mascara made my lashes super wispy and I’m just not a fan of wispy lashes.

Not a total bust but I would have loved to see more added volume from this kid.

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats



Do I recommend it?: Only if you realllllly want to try a fiber mascara. I think NYX has better picks in the Boudoir Mascara line-up.

Okay fiber mascara lovers…have any of y’all tried this mascara yet?


EcoTools 5 piece brush set + giveaway!

I’m back with another quick review of one of my favorite brush brands everrrr….EcoTools! I’m still a bit upset at myself for shelling out a crap ton of money on those higher-end brushes back in my makeup newbie days. Someone should have knocked me on my head and told me about EcoTools.

But hey…you live and learn, right? And when you’re a beauty blogger, you try to help fellow beauty lovers not make the same expensive mistakes you did. Aaaaand that’s why I’ll always be bragging about EcoTools. Check out this Bamboo 5 piece brush set…

These are some itty bitty babies, uh? While ideal for everyday use, I think these may be a better fit for those wanting to test out EcoTools’ products or for travelin’ mamas who need brushes that get the job done.

Lé Specs…
-Durable handles of each brush is made from bamboo.
-Cosmetic case is from natural cotton and hemp.
-Brushes are 100% cruelty-free.
-The aluminum on the brushes are recycled aluminum ferrules.
-Affordable at only $9.99.

The cosmetic case is the perfect size. It fits comfortably in the hand which means it’s the perfect fit for purses, bookbags and carry-on luggage.

The brushes, despite their small handles, are actually really good at makeup application. I usually carry normal size brushes with me when I travel, but toting these along will definitely save space. And I just love the beautifully etched handles.

Quick intro of the kids…

 

Mineral Powder Brush

Ideal for applying powder or mineral foundation. Also works great with blush application. This brush, like all of them, is SUPER soft.

 

Concealer brush

Great for liquid or mineral powder concealer. It’s a pretty stiff brush so it’s also great for applying concealer to blemishes.

 

Eye Shading Brush

I’m not sure how great this is for eyeshadow application but I love it for blending and applying eyeshadow to the browbone.

 

Baby Kabuki

An itty bitty kabuki brush that helps buff powder. Don’t judge her small size – she fits nicely in the hand.

 

It’s another stellar EcoTools set that is not only available in drugstores and at Ulta but on EcoTools’ new e-store! But wait…if you feel like you’ve GOT to get it now, why not press your luck and try to win it?

One lucky Clumps of Mascara reader will score this 5 piece brush set. That includes my guy ‘n gals livin’ outside of the U.S. too. That’s right! It’s an International-friendly giveaway.

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Enter your information in the Rafflecopter below. If the Rafflecopter does not load immediately, give it a few seconds. If you’re still having trouble entering your information, shoot me an email with the subject EcoTools 5 piece brush set giveaway. Otherwise…good luuuuuck!

 

[Winner has been selected. Congrats to Sejal K!!!]