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 Ulta.com
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 Sephora.com
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: Per Sephora.com

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?

Too Faced’s has paraben-free liners? ZOMG!

It has been forever and a day since I’ve played around with products from Too Faced. Back when Clumps of Mascara was an itty bitty beauty blog, I fell head over heels in love with Too Faced. It’s been a minute since I’ve actually purchased something but I am forever keeping them on my radar. After all, they’ve got some of the most dynamic eyeshadow palettes on the markets. Like….fo real. They also have these stunning paraben-free waterproof eyeliners too.

I am picky about eyeliners. Well, I’m not. But my eyes are. Quite frankly, I’ll wear whatever. My eyes, on the other hand, demand sturdy liners. Anything less than that will result in smudging within minutes. Simply put, Too Faced’s Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliners are fantastic. Aside from actually staying put on the waterline, the formula is creamy and feels niiiiice. Because of its creamy consistency, it is perfect for smudging right on the waterline. A smudge brush conveniently sits across from the pencil making it the perfect partner for smokey eyes.

(l-r) Perfect Brown, Perfect Teal

Despite their ability to last on the waterline, I actually prefer them on the lower lashline. I am always struggling with trying to achieve an ideal cat eye and these liners make it easy because they are super duper creamy.

Perfect Brown is like any brown eyeliner. It’s perfect for gals who want a little something without looking too dramatic. I’m not the biggest fan of brown liners but this is a nice one.

And then there’s Perfect Teal, a stunning teal with a ton of personality.

But worry not. They dry quickly and remove easily with a makeup remover. The pencils go for $18 a pop which seems to be a bit steep from the Too Faced that I remember. But hey….at least you’re getting your money’s worth.

And did I mention that they were paraben-free? That totally makes the price tag a little more likable. You can get these and 4 other shades from Sephora stores and at Sephora.com.

Mascara Monday: L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes mascara

Well, well, welllll….it’s been forever and a day since we’ve seen a mascara from L’Oreal. The last one I played around with was Voluminous Million Lashes and that was LAST YEAR. Sheesh. Let’s hope that this kid was worth the wait.

Price: $8.99 from drugstores
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

What It Claims: Per the packaging…

The Truth: Well, it’s not THAT bad.

What I Loved About It: Verrrrry nice wand. Take a look at that.

What I Didn’t Like: It was beyond flaky. And the consistency was just…weird.

Overall: Okay, seriously…what’s with these brands re-using the SAME names? You’ve got L’Oreal Voluminous, Voluminous Million Lashes and now Voluminous False Fiber Lashes. It gets so confusing after awhile. And it doesn’t help that Million Lashes’ packaging looks a lot like False Fiber Lashes. Dag. Come on, L’Oreal. From a consumer and beauty editor’s point of view, me thinks you can be be a little more creative than that. I know it really shouldn’t bug me but it kinda does.

But anyway…

Simply put, this is a fiber mascara. It has tiny pieces of fiber that are supposed to attach themselves to your lashes and help elongate them. Sounds simple enough, uh? Funny thing is, I experienced more volume with this mascara than length. I’m not sure what’s up with the formula on this baby but it seemed to slowly disappear after awhile. I usually experience this with natural mascaras but have never had this problem with a L’Oreal mascara. Literally an hour after I applied 3 coats, the volume and length of my lashes just…dropped. What I was left with was flaky mascara bits oozing down my eyes. So not cool.

The crazy thing is when I applied it, I loved the outcome. I pushed it to the limit and applied 3 coats (I normally do 2) and while it was a bit clumpy dumpy, it looked great. But how could it just disappear like that? Your guess is as good as mine. Oh, and there’s one thing that I don’t like about this mascara. It’s so big!

It’s like an oversized mascara.

Such a whiny complaint, I know, but I don’t like it. It has a weird handle and can make applying a little challenging. The brush is nice to work with. It reminds me a lot of Maybelline the Falsies wand, except the bristles are stiffer and aren’t as spaced out. You won’t run into any troubles with actually applying the mascara. Whether it will last all day or not, however, is another question. The formula is on the thicker side which may be why it looks so clumpy after 3 coats. There’s a Waterproof version of this mascara too. Maybe that one is better.

 

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 3 coats

Do I recommend it?: Only if you’re itching to try something new. It’s not terrible but it certainly won’t last all day.

Yeahno. I had high hopes for this L’Oreal mascara but the formula is just not up to par.

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

Palette Lovin': LORAC Little Black Palette

Ah yesss ,darlings. Allow me to introduce another beautiful eyeshadow palette.

LORAC’s Little Black Palette is certainly a top contender for one of my favorite eyeshadow palettes for the year.

It’s so sexyyyyyy. Now y’all already know how much I looooove LORAC. Their mascaras rock my world and I absolutely adore their lipglosses. I dig their eyeshadows too. These paraben-free baked eyeshadows are also without sulfates, pthalates and synthetic fragrances and dyes. Winning!

What Sephora has to say about the palette:

“Everyone needs a Little Black Palette! Create long-lasting, hot looks for days, evenings, and after-hours in the city with this must-have palette. Shine in rich golds and bronzes with 4 color-coordinated, mineral-infused, silky-smooth, shimmering Baked Eye Shadows and a mini Behind The Scenes Eye Shadow Primer, all packed in a must-have sleek black case. Buy a little perfection with LORAC’s Little Black Palette—it’s the must-have accessory for every season!”

When it comes to eyeshadow palettes, I’m looking for convenience and quality. This baby comes with an eyeshadow primer and 4 GREAT eyeshadows and so its $33 price point is just right. Like all of LORAC’s eyeshadows, these are shimmery and feel silky smooth on the skin.

While I love the shimmer that they provide, I do kinda wish that there was a matte shadow thrown in the mix.

Definitely not a deal breaker, but what can I say? I’m a gal that loves matte shadows on her browbone. And then there’s the primer…

Cute lil’ kid, isn’t it? I am a picky eyeshadow primer user and while this one is a little too emollient to me, it actually gets the job done.

And even if I was completely against it, I wouldn’t care because the palette itself is just so fantastic. This is the perfect eyeshadow palette for gals who don’t need many options. The foil-y finishes of silver, gold, copper and brown can make for decent daytime and nighttime looks. I’m a no-fuss beauty traveler. I never really WANT to apply a bunch of makeup so this palette is perfect for me. Aaaaand, it’s only $33. I mean, come on…. That’s not bad for a bunch of paraben-free eyeshadows, uh?

So yeah. Just like every gal needs a little black dress, us makeup lovers need little black palettes too. You’ve done good, LORAC. You’ve done good. You can grab this wondrous palette at Sephora stores and Sephora.com.

Whatcha think about this palette? Yay or nay?

 

Mascara Monday: Wet ‘n Wild MegaLash Clinical mascara

I’ve been on a Wet ‘n Wild sugar high for quite some time now. Granted, I’ve AWLAYS loved their products but it’s like the brand is continually getting better and better. While some drugstore brands stay consistent and others get…lame, Wet ‘n Wild is always keeping us on the edge of our seats beauty-wise. AND, the products are still ridiculously affordable. Let’s see how this mascara does.

Price: $4.99 from drugstores
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: Per the website

Boost your batting average: Get longer, thicker, fuller-looking lashes instantly! Research shows 87% of women saw an instant improvement in the length and volume of their lashes.* Breakthrough P-Charged+™ technology delivers a peptide complex that promotes visibly longer, thicker lashes. A conditioning and activation complex provides oils, vitamins, and nutrients to condition and stimulate stronger lashes for a “wow” factor that can’t be missed. 

 

And per packaging:

The Truth: Wow…um impressed!

What I Loved About It: The wand and its curved handle makes for easy application. And the formula is really nice too.

What I Didn’t Like: I would have liked more volume.

Overall: Well, well, welllll. Check you out, Wet ‘n Wild. While this mascara isn’t one of the best ones I’ve tried, it isn’t bad. And that says A LOT considering it only costs $4.99. It’s such a relief knowing you don’t have to spend $20+ to get a good mascara. And this kid definitely proves that. Let’s take a look at the wand first…

Not a bad lookin’ wand, uh? I love how the handle curves a bit. It makes a huge difference when applying. The bristles of the wand are also nice and stiff making it easy to go right through those lashes.

Keep in mind that this mascara is supposed to be be used over a long period of time. And I don’t mean every day for a week. To achieve the results that Wet ‘n Wild claims, one would would have to use it for several weeks. That’s just my assumption but since I’m a blogger who only reserves a week to test mascaras, I wasn’t able to really take this baby for a REAL testdrive. That said, my review will be based off of the mascara’s formula performance and overall feel. I can’t attest to if it promoted any growth.

I was really impressed with the formula. It wasn’t too thick and wasn’t too thin either. In fact, if anything, it doesn’t appear to have a sturdy stopper. Stoppers help catch some of the mascara residue so that you don’t end up with globs of mascara all over your wand. The stopper on my mascara didn’t do its job too well so I had to clean up quite a bit before applying. My hope is that this is a manufacture problem in my mascara and not a problem among all of the MegaLash Clinical mascaras. I still managed to coat the lashes with a good 2 coats. This isn’t a mascara that will get insanely clumpy after a coat or two. Which is a great thing. At the same time, I wouldn’t describe it as a buildable mascara either simply because even if you apply 10 coats, you won’t get THAT much volume added on your lashes. Definition? Yes? Dark and sultry lashes? Yep. Volume? Not a lot. The mascara feels nice throughout the day and I didn’t experience any flaking.

But it’s all good in the hood. I still found it to be one of my favorite Wet ‘n Wild mascaras. If your goal is to use it for quite some time to see if can promote growth, the formula is nice enough to allow you to do so.

Oh, and can we talk about how cute the packaging is?

Niiiiice!

 

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats

See. It’s not terrible but it’s not POW either.

Do I recommend it?: Sure! It’s affordable, it does a decent job and uh…it’s affordable!

Any Wet ‘n Wild lovers in the house?

NYC New York Color’s Designer Denim palette

With the holidays coming up, I’m going to be cranking out a ton of reviews and features of eyeshadow palettes. Between traveling and searching for stocking stuffers, portable eyeshadow suffers will so come in handy. First up NYC New York Color’s IndividualEyes Designer Design palette. While this was “created for brown eyes”, it will, of course work for everyone.

Oh, and when you see brands list products being for “brown eyes” or “green eyes”, please don’t think that you can’t wear them. Certain colors make can enhance brown and green eyes by making them pop. It’s not just a marketing ploy to get you to buy palettes but also a guide to help you look your bestest.  But enough of my rambling. Let’s check out this palette…


These palettes freaking rock my world. The color payoff of each shade is always super pigmented. And whatever isn’t can easily pop over a primer or base. I wanted to go for a bit of a dramatic look with this one.


With lots of blending, these colors will mesh together beautifully. For extra drama, I angled the shadow and drew my brow out a bit. Which, um…I NEVER do.

I don’t wear it much but I really love blue eyeshadow.

 And of course you can get this palette for a smokin’ $4.99 at drugstores.

What do you think? Are you a fan of blue eyeshadows?