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.

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?

Mascara Monday: Black Opal Lash Defining mascara

Woo hoo! This is the first time ever that I’m reviewing a Black Opal mascara. I always feel like throwing a party when I review a brand’s mascara for the first time. I love me some Black Opal. This drugstore brand is most popular among women of color simply because their drugstore foundations selection is phenomenal! Quite the rarity for many brands and especially drugstore brands. While I love their eyeshdaows, lippies and brow products, could I possibly be a fan of the mascara too?

Price: $4.95 at Black Opal Beauty
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: Give yourself luscious lashes with this hypoallergenic formula infused with Vitamin E and Panthenol, which help condition lashes while a unique spiral brush works to separate and lengthen.

The Truth: Hmm , not too shabby.

What I Loved About It: What a cool lookin’ wand!


What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t do much and the fragrance was just waaaaay too much.

Overall: Off hand I can only think of 2 other mascaras that have strong smells. Somehow the fragrances of those mascaras didn’t bother me as much as this one did. For a gal who wears fragrance-free oils and lotions and runs away from bottled perfumes, to have my mascara smell this strongly was just…interesting. While the scent disappeared after application, it was just way too much for me to handle while sweeping the wand through my lashes. And don’t get me wrong. It didn’t stink. It had a clean smell…like a shampoo. It wasn’t horrible but if fragrances aren’t your thing when it comes to cosmetics, you may have some trouble with this guy.

The good news is – the wand is pretty cool. It’s great for sweeping through the brows with ease. And call me loco, but I find it to be aesthetically pleasing too. I didn’t have any problems with using it. In fact, it was quite the honor. *bows down to thee mascara wand*

The formula was a little on the thick side. This wouldn’t be a problem if this was a volume mascara but considering it’s a lengthening mascara, I was expecting it to be a little thinner. Application wasn’t a problem and instead of giving me a great deal of length, I found the mascara gave me volume! Not bad. But still…that wasn’t what it was supposed to be. I know it sounds silly complaining about volume but when a mascara promises length, then dang it, length is what I want .

Lengthening was minimal and volume was decent though. Nothing to write home about but it was good.

Bare Lashes

Lashes after 2 coats

Do I recommend it?: The mascara is less than $5 so it’s definitely worth a try. If you can handle the smell, of course.

Are you a fan of Black Opal?

Make Up For Ever’s Wild & Chic palette – Rawrrrr!

Ooooh Make Up For Ever lovers…where are youuuu? I’ve been in love with Make Up For Ever for many years now. They do everything perfectly. I’m even in love with their foundation and that says a lot considering I don’t like many foundations. This season, Make Up For Ever’s Wild & Chic palette is stealing hearts and pulling out wallets. One of the babes from that collection happens to be the uber adorable Wild & Chic Eye Shadow Palette.

Exclusive to Sephora’s inside JCPenney’s, the palette gives you 6 gorgeous shades and a mini AquaEyes pencil for $39. Considering one MUFE shadow goes for $19. Sure the shadows are a lot smaller than a full size shadow but I think it’s a great value for the MUFE lover. Plus, I think the color selection is bangin’.

#84 – Bronze
#123 – Khaki
#152 – Pearly Light Pink
#17 – Brown Black
#122 – Metallic Copper
#126 – Beige
Aqua Eyes #0L – Matte Black

I can count a good 5-6 color combinations I can do with those. Like all Make Up For Ever shadows, these look phenomenal. Of course you’ll need a base but they look amazing when swatched solo.

From day looks to night looks, I think you’ll be able to do A LOT with this palette. And don’t even get me started on how cute the packaging is.


Oh! And the AquaEyes liner is so teeny tiny.

I love it. Perfect for grabbin’ and travelin’. Well done Make Up For Ever. Well done.

Whatcha think about this palette? Aren’t the colors goooorgeous?

Mascara Monday: Sephora Atomic Volume mascara

Oh wow. It’s been forever and I day since I’ve reviewed a mascara from the Sephora collection. I’m a little ashamed because Sephora has quite a few what look to be pretty groovy mascaras. Buuut, if you’ve ever been to a Sephora store, you know what it’s like to walk in there and be completely distracted by the rows and rows of brands screaming your name and asking to be purchased. So, I don’t mean to step over the Sephora collection goodies, but hey *shrugs* it happens. I was super excited to get my hands on this mascara and with a name like Atomic, I just knew it would give me the volumized lashes that I was looking for!

Price: $15 from Sephora and
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: Sephora Brand Atomic Volume Mascara – Ultra Black blows all other mascaras away. The dramatically dark color formula conditions lashes, keeping them pretty, healthy, and seriously stunning.

The Truth: I don’t know if it’s all atomic-like, but it’s not bad.

What I Loved About It: The wand was a cinch to use. It really got through those lashes.


What I Didn’t Like: It left my lashes really really hard.

Overall: Here’s my belief about Sephora brand products. In order for us consumers to be swayed away from the glitter and glitz that are other brands in Sephora, Sephora’s products have to be impeccable. I know, I know…it seems a little unfair, but such is the world of beauty. Sephora collection brand products have to compete with so many different brands and I reckon that is anything but easy. That said, I kinda wish the packaging of the mascara was a little more unique and out there. It is simple at best, but us die hard mascara lovers can easily fall in love with a mascara having not even tried it yet if the packaging is all that and more. So while the packaging wasn’t there, the wand’s performance was. You can’t go wrong with a wand like this. It does a phenomenal job at catching and lengthening those super small lashes. If you’ve got curly lashes that hate to be straightened out, you will adore this wand. But, on the down side, the wand can be a little tricky when attempting to apply the inner lashes and lower lashes. The tip of the wand doesn’t have any bristles so unless you’re a mascara applyin’ pro, you may struggle with getting those teeny tiny lashes.

Formula-wise, I wasn’t insanely impressed with Atomic Volume. I found the formula to be a little too hard. It wasn’t as fluid as most mascaras. My mascara had a seal on it so I knew it wasn’t previously opened but it gave the same kind of performance of a mascara that had it over-extended its shelf life. Application took a little longer than I liked as I had to struggle to really bring those lashes out. The good news is, applying a second was easier and I was really able to see the volumizing that the mascara did. Still. It wasn’t enough to appease the volume monster than lives at the base of my lashes. I wanted more — more — more and Atomic Volume, well, it gave me some at best.

I also found that the mascara left my lashes hard and brittle. This, of course, resulted in flakes if I happened to rub my eyes. So not cool yo.

Oh and weather changes have my eyes a little puffy. Also so not cool. Sorries!

Bare Lashes

Lashes after 2 coats

Do I recommend it?: Only if you’re just itching to try it. If it’s not a mascara that you’ve never considered buying before, you won’t miss anything.

I’ve got another Sephora mascara to review and I’m wishing on a star in hopes that it’s better than Atomic Volume. Have you tried any of Sephora’s mascaras?

Essence has the cheapest and bestest gel liners ever!

When it comes to gel eyeliners, very rarely do I venture off to different brands. I stick with what I know and what I’ve known for many years has been MAC’s Fluidline. Now don’t give me that look. I’m not one of those “I wear MAC everything” kind of gals. In fact, most of my makeup collection ain’t MAC Cosmetics. But let’s face it…when it comes to gel liners, MAC knows what they’re doing. I’ve tried many brands of gel liners and haven’t found one that’s comparable to my beloved Fluidline.

Until I ran into Essence’s Gel Eyeliner.

O.M.G!!!!  Why didn’t y’all tell me how fantastic this eyeliner is? And it’s only $3.49 too! Hollers!

My only gripe with these gel liners is that there are only 3 shades of them. Not pictured is a a black called Midnight in Paris and then you’ve London Baby (brown) and Berlin Rocks (purple). These are just fantastic. I found the consistency to be a little more fluid than MAC’s Fluidlines. They are creamier and because of that, applying on the lower lashline may be a little challenging. When applying with a brush or your finger, you may have to go over your lines a second time. Essence’s liners will also work beautifully as eyeshadow bases. I do, however, recommend wearing a primer first. Especially if you’re like me and have super oily lids.

Okay, this is weird – although the the packaging pictures of London Baby looked to be brown online, I found it to be more on the dark blue-ish/gray side. Which doesn’t bother me a bit considering I don’t own any eyeliners this color. Aaaand, I was surprised at how long these stayed put. I got a good 12+ hours of wear time with London Baby on and that was during a workout.

*sigh* These liners are so dreamy.

I love everything about Essence. But you already knew that, uh? Have you tried their gel liners yet?

Cost: $3.49 a piece
Where to Buy: Ulta and
Best For:
Gel eyeliner lovers.
MAC Fluidline lovers who want to try a cheaper version of gel liners

POLL: Will you get the Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette?

If anyone knows how to work beauty junkies into a massive  frenzy, it’s Urban Decay. Their legendary Naked palette was notorious for being out of stock both online and in stores. While it found its place in permanent makeup land, beauty lovers now have the Naked palette 2 to obsess over.

Considering I’ve got a mess load of similar shades, I decided not to get the original Naked palette. Vex in the City’s swatches, however, have me thinking about putting the Naked  2 on my birthday list. You know…in case Esposo asks. Then again, I’ve been a beauty lover for a good  5 years or so and I find it hard to get excited over repeat products and Naked 2 looks a lot like the original Naked.

Aside from the packaging, they could pass for twins. Not to mention – while I don’t have neutral shadows like this in ONE palette, I’m sure if I search my shadow collection enough, I could find dupes of these. Boy, I tell ya….being a beauty blogger brings about a level of discernment. No longer can I just buy products because of the hype. I be breakin’ it down yo.

What about you?

[polldaddy poll=5727223]

Mascara Monday: Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara

Nothing excites me more than getting the opportunities to test drive mascaras from brands that I’ve never tried. It’s like meeting a new friend. And hoping that they don’t stink. I always have high expectations. Did this mascara wonder from Hourglass impress me?

Price: $28 from Sephora and
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: Per

Film Noir’s signature hourglass-shaped brush is designed for optimal application, adding volume, length, lift, and separation to lashes. The intense concentration of Panthenol (ProVitamin B5) adds a reflective, jet-black sheen for dramatic impact.

The Truth: This may be one of the best paraben-free mascaras that I’ve ever tried.

What I Loved About It: Pretty groovy wand. It’s nice and stiff and breezes through the lashes with ease.

What I Didn’t Like: I wish it would have given me a little more volume.

Overall: Have you ever heard of Hourglass? This is my first time covering the paraben-free brand. Launched in 2004 by beauty guru Carisa Janes, Hourglass has the style and grace of a higher end brand without overloading the products with synthetic ingredients. While the products are steep in price, I admire the purpose behind the brand. If I’m going to spend close to $30 on a mascara, I love that it would come without the yucky ingredients. That is such a rarity in higher-end cosmetics.

In terms of the mascara, it delivers! I didn’t get as much volume as I would have liked, but it did well. The wand made for easy distribution and application. Wands like these are my absolute favorite. I wish more brands would take the hint and give us wands that work for everyone.

Despite being free of parabens, the formula for Film Noir was nice and consist. It sat comfortably between being too watery and being too thick. The mascara also did a phenomenal job at lasting throughout the day. Despite my love for natural mascaras, I also get irritated with how flaky they can. I have yet to find one that would hold up throughout the day. Film Noir was epic. I didn’t experience any flakiness and it lasted throughout my 12-hour work day.

There is one downfall though. It can be a wee bit clumpy. I applied 3 coats here but even after 2 coats, the mascara clumped up on me. Key with this kid? Slow strokes are best. You won’t get insane volume with one coat but it’s the best way to guarantee zero clumps.




Bare Lashes

Lashes after 3 coats

Do I recommend it?: Yep! Yes, I know a lot of ladies may not want to spend close to $30 on a mascara, but some don’t mind. If you’re conscious about the ingredients in your beauty products and don’t mind splurging, this is a great mascara to check out.

What do you think? Think this baby could be worth your money?