Mascara Monday: Revlon PhotoReady 3D Volume mascara

Well, well, well…what do we have here? A mascara from Revlon. It’s been a long time and I do mean a LONG time since a mascara from Revlon has impressed me. If ever. And I know that sounds harsh, but I’ve got to be honest. So yah. Like all Revlon mascaras, I didn’t have high hopes for this one….

Price: $9.99 in drugstores.
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: Per the packaging…

The Truth: Wow. This isn’t bad. I’m serious. This is actually pretty good.

What I Loved About It: Dude, the length is REALLY good. I was impressed.

What I Didn’t Like: It’s okay with 2 coats but 3 coats of mascara sent me straight to  Clumps City. Not an epic fail, really. I didn’t HAVE to use 3 coats, ya know?

Overall: Well, well, welllll. Look who has it goin’ on. Simply put, I surprisingly liked this mascara. I’ll stop the “Revlon’s mascaras suck” bit for awhile and give you a sturdy review. The mascara promises big and bold volume and honey, it delivers. My lashes look phenomenal when I wear this. So much so that I’ve been wearing it for a week straight.

The wand….

The wand is niiiiice. The bristles aren’t super stiff so you are able to not only untangle unruly lashes, but you can also get a good handle on wiggling from root to tip. There is a bit of a “dagger” at the end of the wand but it’s hard to use. When you pull the wand from the tube, the tip of the wand is coated in mascara. No bueno. Sure, you can wipe it off on the side a bit but it’s hard to get enough off to use the dagger end. Still. Despite that, I was able to effectively use this wand with no problem. Oooooh yeah!

Yes, it’s a volume mascara but it still does a great job with lengthening too.  As far as volume, you will get it. And in a major way. This is fantastic mascara for when you really want your lashes to stand out. Most days I’m too lazy to put on eyeshadow, but I always wear liner and mascara. This is the kind of mascara I’d wear for some real pop. The one thing that prevented this mascara from getting a perfect score is how wonky it gets throughout the day. Some mascaras flake. Others just disappear but this mascara  made my lashes feel gel-like. If I went to rub my eyes, my lashes would lean whichever way. And they’d stay that way. It was easy to remove with water so while the formula gets all weird ‘n stuff, I just can’t knock how great the volume and lengthening power of this baby is.

Could it be? Did Revlon win me over? If their next mascara is so so, I’ll put them back on my good side.

Who am I kidding? I am already having a love affair with Revlon’s Lip Butters. I want to marry those things. But I digress…

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats


Oh! I forgot to mention something. You know how Revlon is notorious for those HUGE holes that the mascara wand comes out of it?

Yeah well, this mascara has it. There is a stopper that prevents you from taking out a whole heap of mascara but I don’t understand why they have to manufacture the hole so large in the first place. I don’t get it. Every other brand seems to get it except Revlon. *shrugs* It isn’t a big deal but still..the hole can make wiping off excess mascara a bit messy.

Do I recommend it?: Yep! It’s pretty good.

Have you tried this mascara yet? What do you think?

 

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Nordstrom Rack’s Beauty Buys. Must Haul All.

O.M.G….if you knew this and didn’t tell me, I’m taking away one of our friendship stars. Did y’all know that Nordstrom Rack had beauty products? How did I NOT know this? I mean, yeah….I’ve been to Nordstrom Rack several times and have been mesmerized by their affordable prices for shoes. So yeah. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice the beauty section. But still. I would have a saved a penny or two if it meant racking up (hehe, get it?) on some beauty stuffs. Like THIS kind of beauty stuff…

One can only expect the best from Nordie’s baby sister. I love love LOVE Stila and was excited to know that they have a ton of Stila options. Just how cute-sy are these little books?

Each one retails for, wait for it….$10. Ten bucks. Diez dólares. That’s it, yo! Each palette comes with 4 shadows and one of Stila’s convertible colors. These convertible colors can double as lippies and creamy blushes. It’s up to you. I love how the the eyeshadow selection for each palette can make a complete look. Ya know: there’s a shadow that can work for a lid color, crease color and browbone. Brands are becoming a little more conscious about eyeshadow placement when it comes to their palettes and I couldn’t be happier.

Majestic on Michigan Avenue palette

This palette is my favorite out of the bunch. It has the most wearable shades that are suitable for a brown gal like myself.

Ravishing on Rodeo Drive palette

Perfect for my gals with cooler complexions, I am in love with the blue/teal in this palette. Look at it. It just POPS, uh? Quick story about Rodeo Drive. This tells you how much I DON’T know about pop culture: When I first moved to L.A. (back in 2007), my cousin took me down Rodeo Drive and was telling me about how she’s run into so many many celebrities just by walking the strip. My response: “So is Rodeo Drive popular or something?” I know. I know.

Moving on…

Fashionable on 5th Avenue palette

This is the one palette that I think can work beautifully on everyone. My swatches may not be so convincing (still trying to work out this new lens….be patient with me!) but I love the variation and how this palette can easily be used for day and night looks.

These are the kind of books we should have had in school.

I’m just sayin’….

Have you ever been around the beauty selection in Nordstrom Rack? Find any deals?

Mascara Monday: Rimmel ScandalEyes mascara

POW! If there was ever a mascara whose packaging could literally knock you in the face, it would be this kid. I mean yeah, I thought COVERGIRL Lash Blast’s bright orange tube was bright. But man – that has nothing on ScandalEyes. It’s neon orange yo. Aside from that, it’s a pretty massive tube which means one thing: a large wand.

Brace yourself for this one, gals…

Price: $8.99 in drugstores. Of course you can probably get it cheaper with a coupon.
Packaging (brush wand): 2 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “The new MaxDensity brush, that’s 50% larger* and thicker, covers your lashes with attention – from corner to corner. With scandalous eye opening volume, this mascara should need a license. Watch false lashes become a thing of the past, as ScandalEyes mascara becomes the ultimate beauty weapon in your make-up bag. This Rimmel revolution has 3x the collagen* for plumper, sculpted lashes, 3x the keratin* for strong and healthy lashes and… 3x the attitude to guarantee scandalous behaviour!” (source)

The Truth: This wand is just…way too big.

What I Loved About It: I love obnoxious colors like neon orange so the packaging was definitely up my alley.

What I Didn’t Like: Because of the wand’s size, it makes separating and lengthening the lashes difficult.

Overall: Wow Rimmel. Some way to start the year, uh? With a massive neon orange mascara. Talk about showing some presence! While the packaging blew me away (in a good way), I wasn’t terribly excited about trying out this mascara. How can I put this gently?

Okay. I can’t.

I hate mascaras with huge wands. They just don’t make any sense to me. I suppose these brands want YOU to think that a larger wand = larger and more voluminous lashes, but come on….you don’t have to have an enormous wand to achieve voluminous lashes. If anything, I find wands this large to be quite the nuisance. Especially if you’re new to applying mascara. And especially if you have smaller lashes or lids. Wands this large can be intimidating. Oh. I guess it would help if you got a peek at the wand in question, uh?

It’s massive, uh? Another downer? It makes applying mascara to the lashes tricky. If your lashes aren’t long, you’ll have a tough time wiggling the mascara through your lashes. And by tough, it’s almost impossible. I struggled with applying this mascara. The funny thing is, if the wand was slimmer or at least had bristles that were stiffer, I’d do just fine . The formula was nice and thick and lasted throughout the day. So really this mascara gets lower ratings from me because of the wand. Everything else was up to par.

And since I’m a member of the Small Lashes Club, this wand was tough to maneuver thus resulted in mediocrity. *sigh* Did it deliver volume? Not for me. Lengthening was decent. On a good note, this mascara didn’t weigh my lashes down. They were wispy and light.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats


Do I recommend it?: I think this mascara will work better for ladies and already have long and voluminous lashes. For the rest of us, we should just stick to slimmer wands.

Have you tried this mascara yet? What do you think?

 

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Palette Lovin': e.l.f.’s 24K eyeshadow palette collections. How fancy!

Okay, promise you won’t hate me too much for this one, okay? There are a handful of posts that I meant to draft and publish before the holiday season but totally forgot to do so. Because of that, this particular palette is no longer available. And normally I wouldn’t even feature it BUT the good news is, there are several other palettes like this one.

So all isn’t lost. Instead of focusing on the aspects of this palette, I’m going to rap on the quality of the shadows and if they’d be a good investment for you or not. Sound good?

For starters, E.L.F.’s 24K line is so special that it has its own link on E.L.F.’s main page. There are a dozen or so 24K products. The packaging is in a plastic-y gold setting hence why they call the collection 24K. It’s pretty but isn’t the most durable material as the casing feels hollow and scuffs easily. The 100-piece eyeshadow palette goes for $24 and the 15-piece eyeshadow collection is priced at $15. Obviously, I think the 100-piece set is a better value but if you’re the type that loves taking eyeshadow palettes around with you, then the 15-piece set may be more up your alley. There is also a 32-piece collection but its packaging is a lot like the 100-piece in that it won’t be the best for traveling or toting around. It retails at $14.

In addition to eyeshadows, the holiday clutch that I had also had lipglosses, face powders and an eyeshadow powder.

The other palettes stick to just eyeshadows. Mine has 32 eyeshadows but the shades aren’t identical to the 32 eyeshadow palette. But…swatches are swatches. Here we go!

Light shades…

Blues/greens…

Blacks/Silvers…

While some of the shades are chunky, most do a great job at going on pigmented with the initial swatch. I didn’t use any bases for these swatches but having done looks with them, I can say that they do well when layered on top of your favorite base.

That said, if you’re looking for some decent shadow palettes, at a low price point, I think you’ll like the palettes from E.L.F.’s 24K collection. While they are some of the cheapest products on the market, I don’t have a problem with E.L.F. I think their shadows are up to par and great for those both new to makeup and makeup connoisseurs.

You can see some of the other 24K goodies here. I think I’ll have to grab those glosses. They are just darliiiiing!

Mascara Monday: Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber mascara

Well, well, welllll….what do we have here? Looks like Maybelline is starting the year off with a new fiber mascara. Considering I find fiber mascaras to be one of my favorite kind of mascaras (after volumizing mascaras, of course), I could not have been more happy. And Maybelline rarely disappoints me when it comes to mascaras. Let’s hope this one won me over…

The packaging looks a bit like Lash Stiletto, uh?

Price: $8.95 in drugstores. Of course you can probably get it cheaper with a coupon.
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims:  “Defy the rules with new Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara. A Maybelline New York first, this new mascara features fiber-extension technology for longer-looking lashes – 4mm visibly longer looking lashes to be exact!

How does it work? Maybelline New York incorporates 4mm black fibers into our formula. These elongated, dark fibers provide a dramatic, almost illegal length to lashes. Our exclusive Fiber Fix formula actually seals the fibers to each lash while the Fiber Fix Brush catches each lash for optimal fiber placement. Lashes extend to their fullest, most traffic stopping lengths! No flaking – no breaking.” (via press release)

The Truth: This wand is the best at defining, y’all. The best!

What I Loved About It: The wand. It’s just amaziiiiing!

What I Didn’t Like: When I think of something, I’ll let you know.

Overall: Maybelline does it again! *does the cabbage patch* I’m so excited! Okay, let’s get back at square one. You know what a fiber mascara is, don’t you? Essentially these little fibers give you dramatic length by attaching themselves on the tips of your lashes. You know how some women wear hair extensions to make their hair longer and fuller? Fiber mascaras do the same thing for eyelashes. I’ve discovered that there are 2 kinds of fiber mascaras; ones that promise volume and others that promise length. Both types of mascaras have to have great wands to be effective. Illegal Length Fiber is winning in that department.

Because of the wand’s slimness, I was able to apply the mascara on the tiny tips of my lashes. This can be challenging with a larger mascara wand but ILF was perfect. Like most fiber lengthening mascaras, the consistency of the formula was far from thick. Which is another good thing. A thick formula would make it difficult for you see the bristles on the wand and applying would be a wee bit of a hazard. Another plus of the wand (can you tell that I’m obsessed with it?) is that because the bristles are so stiff and tiny, applying on the lower lashes are super easy. Woot! Oh and even if length isn’t what you’re going for, the wand does an amazing job at helping you comb your lashes.

ILF lasted all day (most fiber mascaras do) without any smudging or flaking. This mascara also comes in a waterproof formula and I’m interested to see the differences between that and the non-waterproof one.

The best way to apply a fiber mascara for optimum results? Apply it on top of your favorite volumizing mascara. A coat of Maybelline The Falsies + Illegal Length Fiber, I imagine would be an amazing combination. I don’t mind wearing ILF solo though. And like all fiber mascaras, removal is easy peasy. Simply wet your fingers and gently massage your lashes. It’s off  faaaaaast.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 3 coats




Do I recommend it?: Oh yeahhhh. If you’re one of those guys or gals with super tiny lashes and REALLY want them to stand out, go for Illegal Length Fiber.

Have you tried this mascara yet? What do you think?

Palette Lovin': Black Opal Hana’s Pot of Gold

Is it just me or do you think of leprechauns when you think of a pot of gold too? Leprechauns freak me out, y’all. Seriously. Somehow, I’ve managed to not get freaked out over this darling little palette of wondrous eyeshadow. This is an online exclusive so if you find yourself heavily lusting over it, you may need to go ahead and get your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone ready.

Pretty, uh?

Palettes that are trios are always my favorite because I feel that’s just the right amount of colors you’ll need to crank out a decent look. Sometimes those palettes with 10+ shades leave you all confused with deciding what goes where, but this palette is easy.


And don’t you adore how they’ve embellished with shadows with the letter B?


I’m so honored that Black Opal thought so much of me that they put my initial on the shadows. Oh wait. The B stands for Black Opal. Oh yeah.

I knew that.

Each shadow is silky and pops nicely on my skin.

But you know me. If I plan on wearing eyeshadow, I HAVE to wear an eyeshadow base. The thing about these is — you don’t have to wear a colored base. If you’re like me and love Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Shadow Insurance, a dab of one of those on each lid is really all you need. The shadow has produced a nice intense look while not being too over the top.

Which I did a bit sloppily but you get the idea. Another darling attribute about this palette? It’s so slim and portable. It’s smaller than my phone…

…which means if I do need to touch up for Happy Hour (lol – like I’m a drinker…), it won’t take up too much space in my purse. Win, win, win. A pretty hot deal for only $7.95. Grab it with the quickness on Black Opal’s website.

And in food news, last week Esposo made the most delectable batch of Thai coconut curry soup.

It was so good, y’all. Sooooo good. This was his first time making it and he blew it out of the park. Normally when I go to Thai restaurants, I order Tom Kha Gai with tofu and his version was much better. I found the recipe on Pinterest – where I find most of our recipe ideas. That’s how it works in our house. I find the recipes and Esposo cooks. I mean yeahhhh, I can cook but Esposo is like a culinary wiz in the kitchen yo.

Meanwhile in Tile Land, I can scrub the MESS out of  bathtub. Yeah boi!

 

My Top 4 Favorite mascaras of 2011

I hope no one noticed that I didn’t do a “My Top Favorite Products of 2011” -type list. Why DIDN’T I do one? I was too busy working on a top secret project. Okay, I’m lying. I got lazy and forgot to do one. But what I do have is a list of my Top 4 Favorite mascaras of 2011.

This wasn’t easy, y’all. I came across A LOT of amazing mascaras last year. These kids happened to be the ones that made the cut.

FAIRYDROPS Scandal
Queen mascara

This mascara was everything. Everything! From the packaging to the wand, formula and results, this fiber mascara could have very easily been the only mascara I wore all year. You know…if I didn’t have a mascara blog.

 

Maybelline Great Lash Lots
of Lashes (LOL) mascara

You knew it was coming, right? I raved about how much I loved this mascara the first time I tried it. Aside from it being a FANTASTIC mascara, it has a really groovy wand (it’s heart shaped!) and was 10x better than the original Great Lash mascara. Go Maybelline go!

 

Clinique Bottom Lash mascara

I loved this mascara so much that I used it all. I don’t think I’ve ever hit the bottom of any mascara tube. This teeny tiny wonder of a mascara makes bringing out those bottom lashes super easy. And it’s just soooo cute.

 

LORAC Multiplex 3D Lashes mascara

This one may have come as a surprise because I didn’t brag about it as much as I did the others. But considering it’s a preservative-free mascara, it is fantastic! It has a buildable and long lasting formula that really helps lengthen those eyelashes.

 

Honorable Mentions:

What were some of your favorite mascaras from last year?

Mascara Monday: COVERGIRL LashBlast 24HR mascara

Ohhhhh, check it out. COVERGIRL is hittin’ us with a new mascara in 2012. Well, technically this mascara came out in 2011 but still….a lot of y’all have sent me emails letting me know that you are just now seeing it in your neck of the woods. Gosh. It’s been FOREVER since I’ve reviewed a COVERGIRL mascara. They’ve been a bit quiet on the mascara scene so I was really excited to review this one.

Even if was another Lash Blast one. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I loved Lash Blast. But we’ve seen the original, Lash Blast Length, Luxe AND Fusion. They are kinda doing that whole Maybelline Falsies thing. Same mascara with different attributes. It bugs me but hey…if the mascaras work then I’ll take it.


Price: $8.95 in drugstores. Of course you can probably get it cheaper with a coupon.
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: “Combines a longwear formula and an incredible volumizing brush for full, captivating lashes that last up to 24 hours.”

The Truth: Dang. This bad boy certainly lasts.

What I Loved About It: It certainly lived up to its claims.

What I Didn’t Like: Removing can be difficult.

Overall: Okay, here’s the thing: I don’t need a mascara to last 24 hours. Not even 10 hours. I get where COVERGIRL is going with this but come on, y’all. Use your better judgment. I don’t think anyone should wear any kind of makeup for hours and hours at a time. Mascara included. But because I really wanted to see how long this mascara could last, I actually rocked it for an entire 24 hours. Don’t worry. I still bathed and washed my face. I just didn’t do any mascara removing. And I must say…it stayed put. Seriously. It didn’t move at all.

Because it’s a Lash Blast mascara, it has the exact same wand we’ve seen in the other kids…

Yep, I’m still a fan of this wand. You either love it or hate it. There really isn’t an in between. Is it tough to control because it’s so big? Yep. Does it make sweeping through the little lashes challenging? Yep. But does it do a darn good job at bringing out the lashes and coating with them mascara? Oh yeah. I will always love this wand. The formula for this mascara, however, was just okay. While the consistency seems to be just like the original Lash Blast, I felt like I had a tough time getting it on the lashes. But when I did, I got a good amount of volume and was so so in lengthening department.

In terms of longevity, the mascara will last. It’s almost TOO good at lasting. It took a dozen or so swipes of my ol’ faithful Lancome Bi-Fail to finally get rid of the mascara. Yikes! The good news is, while it does take some time to get off, once you apply this mascara, you can rest assure that you won’t endure any smudging or flaking.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 3 coats


Do I recommend it?: I suppose. If you’re a die hard fan of Lash Blast, you’ll like this mascara. Is it difficult to remove? Yep. Is the volume and lengthening as GREAT as the original Lash Blast? Sure. And if it’s longevity you’re looking for in a mascara, this baby has it.

It was great, COVERGIRL. Now give me somethin’ else grand. Just not another Lash Blast. Kthanx.

Have you tried this mascara yet? What do you think?