Mascara Monday: Hard Candy Flat to Fab Lash Building mascara

DSC_4322

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.

DSC_4314

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…

DSC_4324

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



DSC_2773


Lashes after 3 coats


DSC_4303

DSC_4310.NEF

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?


Mascara Monday: MAC Cosmetics In Extreme Dimension Lash mascara

DSC_4548

I haven’t reviewed a MAC Cosmetics products in like…forever. Which is nuts because years ago, I only wore MAC everything. This is actually my 2nd purchase from them in all of 2012. Crazy, right? The brand hasn’t really had much that has impressed me and it wasn’t until a friend told me about this mascara until I realized I hadn’t reviewed one of theirs in foreveeeer. Oppsies.

DSC_4547

Price: $20 at MAC counters and at MACCosmetics.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 2 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “Lashes take on unreal scale, structure and sweep-and now in a new Carbon shade, techno-chic black. The M•A•C patented brush design holds more mascara as rows of micro fibers weave in between lashes to separate, define and enhance on a dramatic lash-by-lash level.” (source)

The Truth: Oh no. This mascara…just no. No no no.

What I Loved About It: It’s got a nice consistency. I didn’t love it but it worked.

What I Didn’t Like: The wand and the huge hole just totally ruined the mascara for me.

Overall: Welp. It beez that way sometimes. People adore MAC Cosmetics and they are always expected the best of the best of the best of the best. But they aren’t perfect. No brand is and this mascara is an example of that. Everything about it makes it appear that it’ll be a great mascara though. The packaging is adorable and the claims got me all kinds of excited. A quick unscrew of the wand and I know this mascara just wasn’t going to work for me. First, let’s look at the wand…

DSC_4554

Meh. It tried but want to know why it really failed? Because of the huge hole without a stopper.

DSC_4551

DSC_4552

Yep, even stellar brands like MAC have become a victim to this notorious problem in mascaras. It drives me up a wall and I will throw a party the day brands realize how frustrating this is. The wand has the potential to be great, of course, but when it is pulled out of the tube, it’s all gunky and nasty and it takes the user a few seconds to wipe off the excess mascara residue. Ugh. It’s frustrating and I immediately start hating a mascara every time I have to deal with this issue.

Now once you’ve wiped off the excess mascara, you’ll find that the wand itself isn’t half bad. The bristles are nice and stiff and the formula of the mascara makes it so that they coat your lashes nicely. Still, I would have likely gotten more out of the mascara if I didn’t have to spend the time removing mascara gunk.

The formula is nice and I was able to get a good 3 coats without any problems. I didn’t experience any smudging or flaking and while I got decent length, the volume was just so so. I believe a plusher wand would have resulted in more volumized lashes so I wasn’t surprised to see the lack of volume. Still, the mascara disappointed me to the n’th degree because of that wand.

 

Bare Lashes



DSC_2773


Lashes after 3 coats


DSC_4494

Do I recommend it?: Nope. MAC has better mascaras. This just isn’t one of them.

Any MAC lovers in the house? Have you tried this mascara yet?


Mascara Monday: Bobbi Brown Extreme Party mascara

Bobbi Brown Extreme Party mascara

Confession: I don’t really use many Bobbi Brown products. There’s no real reason other than I find the products to be pretty pricey and nothing really catches my eyes. And you know what? I can save up for pricey cosmetics but said cosmetics need to freaking turn my head with their packaging and performance, ya know? And I never felt that way about good ole’ BB. But it’s high time that I try one of her mascaras. I ordered this one during a Sephora sale and was all kinds of excited about trying it out.

Bobbi Brown Extreme Party mascara 2

Price: $24 at Bobbi Brown counters, Sephora and at Sephora.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “This pliable formula stays flexible even after it dries, so each coat goes on as fresh as the first—immediately or hours later—with zero dragging, clumping, or flaking. The tapered brush grabs even the smallest, hard-to-reach lashes.” (source)

The Truth: Meh. It’s just meh.

What I Loved About It: It’s a long-lasting mascara. Whether you love the outcome or not, you can pretty much guarantee that the mascara itself won’t go anywhere until you’re ready to remove it.

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t give me much of anything.

Overall: Oh man. It kinda sucks that my first experience with a Bobbi Brown mascara is pretty so so. I was expecting fireworks and instead I barely love a flame. Oh boo. The first time I tried this mascara I was WOW’d in the least but I tried it daily for a week and by the end of the week I was just very much underwhelmed. It’s just such a mediocre mascara. And I don’t really blame the wand because even though it isn’t the greatest, it isn’t terrible either.

mascara wand

Not my ideal choice for a mascara wand but it appears that it would be great for volumizing, right? Even if you’ve got baby lashes, this brush can sweep ‘em out and help elongate and plump the lashes with ease. But alas, I didn’t experience any of that greatness. And maybe it had something to do with the formula.

The formula almost seemed non-existent. I would have actually preferred a thick and obnoxious formula compared to nothing at all. It took a good 2 coats for me to really spot the mascara on my lashes. And even then, my lashes didn’t seem to do much of anything. By the 3rd coat, I gave up on trying to achieve much of anything and just assumed that the mascara wouldn’t be as “extreme” as it claimed. *sigh* I hate when this happens. But this is the mascara game yo. I’m used to it.

The good news is, if you aren’t looking for a super crazy mascara that will give you volume and length but want something long-lasting, this baby is it. I was impressed at how it didn’t flake or smudge throughout the day. Which, of course, is a total perk in my book. So yeah…so not extreme but ride or die? Yeah.

 

Bare Lashes



BB eyelashes


Lashes after 2 coats


BB eyelashes

Do I recommend it?: Nope. I plan on trying out more Bobbi Brown mascaras but this one so isn’t worth your $24.

Any Bobbi Brown lovers in the house? What do you think about this mascara?


Gettin’ down with Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette.

So ever since I did my post on Urban Decay’s Naked Basics palette, y’all screamed at me at how much of a loser I was for having not tried the other Naked palettes. And yeah, I kinda agree. What kind of blogger am I? :cry: You all deserve so much more and I just…I’ve failed.

DSC_5231

Yep, my dramaticals are all up in through 2013. Aren’t you excited about it? Ha! But seriously – I’m glad to finally be on the Naked palettes train. Naked 2 is absolutely fantastic and I should have been onboard mooons and moons ago.

DSC_5232

DSC_5261

 

Details about this palette –

Cost: $50
Availability: Currently available.
Where to Buy: Sephora.com, UrbanDecay.com, Ulta.com, Sephora and Ulta stores nationwide.
Palette contains: 12 eye shadows, Good Karma Shadow/Crease Brush & 0.11 oz Lip Junkie Lipgloss in Naked.

And now let’s get some close-up’s and swatches of these shadows.

DSC_5264

DSC_5287
(L-R)
Foxy, Half Baked, Bootycall, Chopper, Tease, Snakebite

DSC_5282

DSC_5299
(L-R)
Suspect, Pistol, Verve, YDK, Busted, Blackout

The palette has a nice range of glittery shades, mattes and shimmers. I would have loved to see more mattes but then again, that’s why I am so head over heels in love with Urban Decay’s Naked Basics palette. It complements Naked 2 beautifully. If you’re familiar with UD’s shadows, then these won’t disappoint as I found them all to apply with ease with little to no fall-out. But come on…would you expect anything less from this brand? Also with the palette comes a nice and useful dual-ended shadow/crease brush.

DSC_5239

DSC_5242

DSC_5241

Urban Decay’s brushes are always phenomenal and you may expect this one to be of lesser quality since it’s coming in a palette but no, it’s pretty stellar. And then there’s the mini Lip Junkie.

DSC_5252

It’s a nice sized gloss – perfect for throwing in your purse. It doesn’t carry much pigmentation although it does have a enough sheen to satisfy my obsession of super glossy lippies. And I’m still playing around with looks but I love love loooove how Snakebite looks on the lid.

DSC_5302

So yeah, I don’t have much to complain about when it comes to the Naked 2 palette. I totally get the hype and I’m so glad that I am finally on board. This is the perfect palette to create daytime looks and that Blackout will be dynamic at creating day-to-night looks. I adore colorful eyeshadow, but I like neutrals more so um, yeah…Naked 2 is ruling my life right now.

 

Any Urban Decay Naked lovers in the house? Which one do you like best? The original Naked, Naked 2 or Naked Basics?

Mascara Monday: Too Faced 3-Way Lash Lining Tool

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool

Okay, darlings…I don’t mean to deceive you but today’s Mascara Monday isn’t actually a mascara. But it IS a tool intended for the lashes. And since Mascara Mondays are typically always geared around “tools for the lashes”, I figured featuring this baby would be the perfect idea. Plus, believe it or not, even I need a break from reviewing mascaras every now and then. Yeah, I never thought I’d say it but shoot, y’all…reviewing mascaras is such a hard freaking job. *flips hair* Do you hear the violins yet? Teheheeee!

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool 2

Price: $22 at Sephora or Sephora.com.
Packaging (brush wand):N/A
Overall: 3

What It Claims: “This innovative lash tool lets you become your own lash expert. The triple tip delivers ultra-black liner between lashes to fill spaces between lashes so that the lash line appears thicker, instantly. Fine points make it easy to define along the root of the lash line, for a more dramatic lash look. Three felt tips strategically line eyes with a more steady, smooth line, and all lines use a rich triple black coating to give a full, more even application. It’s great for creating the perfect cat eye.” (source)

The Truth: While it has a bit of a learning curve, this is undoubtly one of the coolest eye products I’ve come across in quite some time.

What I Loved About It: It really does give the appearance of thicker lashes.

What I Didn’t Like: It’s not Too Faced’s fault but man, if you don’t have a steady hand, you may struggle with this one.

Overall: This will be a different mascara review because well, it’s not really a mascara. Obviously though, right? Technically this is an eyeliner but I wanted to feature it on Mascara Monday because it also works beautifully at making the lashes look thicker. Which, of course, is such a desirable option for us guys and gals with funky lashes.

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool 5

First, let’s talk about the 3 ways that you can use this tool.

Step 1:

Lash Emphasizing Dots: The 3 dots located on the tool are helpful in giving the appearance of thicker lashes. I had a hard time doing this. And even when I did, I didn’t notice much of a difference in the fullness of my lashes.

Step 2:

Tight lining- I had no idea what tight lining was before I began blogging. Apparently makeup artists use this method a lot to make the eyes look darker and more sultry. I actually like the way my eyes look when they are tight lined but getting the liner on my bottom of my upper lid AND then removing it so far too much work for my sensitive eyes.

Step 3:

Eyelining – But of course. If you struggle with applying eyeliner on the lower lashline, this tool is awesome because the dots are a great guide to help you get a straight line.

I should note that while I found the tool effective at all 3 functions, they ALL take quite some time to achieve if you’re a newb like me. I’ve always struggled with lining on or near my eyes. My hands are shaky and I just have a hard time making precise movements. So, yes there is a quite a learning curve but the results are worth it if you can push through.

 

Bare Lashes

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool-bare

 

Lashes after tight lining

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool-far away

The eye on the left has been tight lined but I don’t notice much of a difference. Do you?

 

Eyeliner on lower lashline

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool-up close

 

Do I recommend it?: If you’re looking for a new versatile tool, I think it’s worth a try. I didn’t notice too much of a difference in my lashes after tight lining and using the 3 dots but I think a lot of that can be attributed to my sensitive eyes. It works beautifully as a regular liquid eyeliner though.

 

Whatcha think? Is this a tool that you’d use for your lashes and eyes?


Newest Stuff from LUSH

It’s been a quick minute since I’ve dabbled in some LUSH stuff so why not start the year off featuring one of my favorite brands? This go ’round I am highlighting some of their super cool Emotional Brilliance cosmetics, a chunk of smell-good soap and one of their new lip scrubs.

DSC_4859

Let’s start with the soap first. His name is Mr. Punch…

DSC_4926

A cute little sucker, isn’t he? Let’s run the stats on him…

Price:$6.95 for 3.5 oz
Availability: In LUSH stores and online.
What LUSH says: When you turn it upside-down, this soap looks like a delicious bowl of punch with fruit floating in it. We were inspired to make a fruity, tropical, boozy punch scent for this soap, and we did so with juniper berry oil, blackcurrant absolute, lime oil and a splash of gin. That’ll cheer you up on dark winter mornings! (source)

Now we all know that I’m not a fan of super fragrant soaps and I was so glad to know that this one is subtle. It’s got a nice and fruity smell but is indeed quite reminiscent of punch. I can smell every bit of the lime and blackcurrant. The smell dissipates quickly after lathering up but it’s just so adorable to look at. I’ve got it in my guest bathroom just because it’s THAT cute and I love how it seems to double as an air freshener.

DSC_4935

Next up is the yummy Popcorn Lip Scrub

DSC_4910

DSC_4925

Price: $8.95 for 0.8 oz
Availability: LUSH stores and online.
What LUSH says: Mmm! A simply scrumptious sugar and salt lip scrub for the holidays. We haven’t been able to keep our hands off this one. Lips can get particularly dry and flakey in winter weather, so it’s especially important to exfoliate. Use this one and keep your lips sweet, smooth and tasty all season long. The sweet and slightly salty popcorn flavor will make you want to lick this scrub right off your lips; but that’s okay, we do it too! (source)

I’ve featured LUSH’s lip scrubs before (here and here) but I so didn’t know that they had a popcorn version of this awesome scrub. And seriously, y’all…it really does taste like popcorn. Like all of LUSH’s lip scrubs, this one is total edible. It’s salty and feels so divine on the lips. Honestly, I could stash a ton of these and still never get enough. I think this is limited edition so better snag it before they run out!

And then there are LUSH’s new kids on the block, their Emotional Brillance Liquid Lipsticks…

DSC_4884

Price: $18.95/ea
Availability: LUSH stores and online.
What LUSH says: Grab some Glamorous or prepare for a Passionate smooch with LUSH’s patent pending liquid lip formula. Super softening Ultrabalm is the base, which is a simple blend of organic jojoba oil, candelilla wax and rose wax. Lips will be brilliantly coloured and left soft, smooth and deeply moisturized. (per press release)

These are interesting. For one, while the packaging is unique and flows with the LUSH concept, I’m not sure how practical they are as the applicator only allows you to go straight down in the bottle.

DSC_4874

Consistency-wise, they were a bit on the grainy side, have nice pigmentation and provide more moisture than the average lip product. Your best bet is to exfoliate those lippies before use though, because these tend to amplify cracks, splits and lines in lips. Each shade is actually an “emotion”.

Glamorous is a bubblegum pink.

DSC_4869

Strong is a blood orange.

DSC_4878

Confident is a deep plum.

DSC_4879

DSC_4898

These wear well and I found Confident to be the most suitable for me.

DSC_4906

So I don’t know – I’m still on the fence about thgese. I think they are darling but a bit overpriced. They are  fun and LUSH has a ton of shades that I think will suit both tame color lovers and the adventurous alike.

 

Whatcha think? Have you tried any of the Emotional Brillance cosmetics? And how awesome is that edible popcorn scrub?

Mascara Monday: Clarins Instant Definition mascara

DSC_3843

Yay for Clarins! This is my first time reviewing the brand on Clumps of Mascara. Woo hoo! It’s a shame really. I mean, I’ve know about Clarins forever and it’s a shame that I am just now reviewing one of their mascaras. A gal pal of mine has been trying to peep me to their products for years and well, years later…here I am. I’ve always known that Clarins rocked in the skincare department but just how awesome are their mascaras? Well, let’s seeeeee.

DSC_3840

 

Price: $24 at department stores or ClarinsUSA.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5

What It Claims: “A dual-purpose, ultra-volume, intense colour mascara with a rich formula that enhances the beauty of all types of lashes.” (source)

The Truth: What a very nice mascara!

What I Loved About It: The wand is super cool. I’ve never seen anything like it.

What I Didn’t Like: It’s a heavy mascara so a good 2 coats should do the trick.

Overall: Well well wellllll. Check you out, Clarins! Is anyone familiar with this brand? Tried any of their skincare products or cosmetics? I’m late to the game with this one but that’s okay. Considering I had a great experience with one of their mascaras, I’m excited to try out more of their products. First off, this wand is niiiiiice. Check this out:

DSC_3850

I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s a useful wand for both lengthening, volumizing and getting those lower lashes. At first glance, it looks a bit intimidating but I found it to work really well. The tip of the wand automatically coats those inner lashes so really it’s like the most effortless mascara wand I’ve ever come across. I like it. It’s a plastic wand and I wish all mascara wands were like this.

Okay, I’m exaggerating but it is really one of the best wands I’ve come across. It’s efficient and has multiple uses. I can get down with that.

Formula-wise, it’s a lot like most higher-end mascaras. It was a bit on the thicker side but not in a bad way. In my experience, I’ve found that a lot of higher-end mascaras have heavier formulas. In a way, it’s a good thing because you end up with dark and lush lashes after only 1 coat. But then you’ve got to deal with clumping and sometimes heavier formulas lead to flakiness. Which sucks. BUT, I am excited to say that I didn’t experience any flaking with Clarins Instant Definition mascara. Everything about it rocked. I did peep a little clumpiness coming on around the second coat but nothing that made me freak out. In fact, I could easily get away with 1 coat of this mascara. It also has a superb wear time. Meaning, I can put it on at 7am and by 7pm, my lashes are still looking pretty awesome. Which is unheard of for many mascaras.

So what’s to hate? Not much. The wand rocks. The lengthening and volumizing power is there. It lasts for hours at a time. It only needs 1 coat to be effective. For best results, I recommend stopping after 2 coats. But even if you want to be a rebel and push it to 3, while you may end up with a few clumps, you’ll have even darker and more volumized lashes.

 

Bare Lashes



DSC_2773


Lashes after 2 coats


DSC_3859
DSC_3862
Do I recommend it?: Absolutely! It’s a darn good higher-end mascara.

 

Any Clarins lovers in the house? How lame is it that I am just now trying out this brand?


Top Beauty Finds of 2012

You knew it was comin’. I’ll save my whole spiel about “OMG, I can’t believe it’s already almost 2013″ and whatnot and just get right down to the nitty gritty.

Okay, wait. I lied. Seriously though – can y’all believe how quickly 2012 flew by? I mean, dang! Okay okay…here are some of my top  beauty finds of 2012. Keep in mind that these aren’t ALL of them. I’m far too lazy to list them all. Hey! I’m bein’ honest. Something you can continue to expect in 2013. :cool: Hollerrrrrrr.

Hereeeee we goooo….

Top Mascaras

 

So in this post I listed 6 of my favorite mascaras. Not included in that list are the following…

  • CoverGirl LashBlast Clump Crusher mascara – Because how many mascaras don’t kill your lashes after you’ve applied a good 3 coats to them? Not many. We’ve seen a lot of Lash Blast mascaras but I’m happy to say that this one really doesn’t clump.

 

Top Nail Polish Brands/Collections

 

Piccies

 

  • butter LONDON – I was head over heels in love with this nail polish brand this year. Why? They were always releasing beautiful nail polishes that didn’t look like other polishes that I owned. At $14 a bottle, they are a bit on the higher-end side of nail polishes but who cares. We all need a hobby and one of mine is collection bL polishes until I die. Yep.
  • Cult Nails Coco’s Untamed collection – Oooh boy, I couldn’t get enough of this collection either. Even more impressive is that a 13-year old came up with all of these gorgeous shades. Yuuuup.

 

Top Lippies

 

 

  • I listed 4 of my favorite lippies here. Included in that list is the ever so awesome Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter.

 

 Top Skincare Products

 

 

  • Check out this list of 7 skincare products that rocked my world.
  • Eucerin Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash – It’s far from paraben-free and contains more ingredients than I like my skincare products to have but this has been the only body wash that not only soothes but keeps my eczema at bay.
  • Josie Maran skincare products – Okay, I’m cheating here because I haven’t really done a post for her products yet but I’ve been using them for weeks now and I am obsessed. Ob.sessed. Josie Maran drops argan oil in all of her products and I’ve been slathering everything from her hair oil, sunscreen and whipped argan butter allllll over.
  • Clarisonic Aria – This is another product that I haven’t reviewed (or tried) but I plan on getting my hands on it in 2013. I’m just so in love with this version of the awesome Clarisonic face brush that I just HAVE to have it.

Best in Foundations

 

 

  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation – Oh geez, I love this stuff. I am actually at the bottom of my first bottle and I am thisclose to buying another. This foundation actually turned me into liking foundation. Which says a lot.

I totally didn’t even try to do a “Best in Eyes”. There were just too many products to choose from. Yeah, I know. I suck.

 

 

What were some of your favorite products in 2012?