Mascara Monday: LORAC Special Effects mascara

Dang. It’s been forever since I’ve reviewed a mascara. Probably a good 3 weeks. And to be honest,  me and my lashes needed the break. My lashes are stronger and a bit longer and I’m glad to break my hiatus with a mascara like this. Because, let’s face it – when it comes to mascaras, LORAC can’t do any wrong in my book. And here’s why…

Price: $23 at Sephora and Sephora.com
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: “LORAC Special Effects Mascara delivers a double dose of lash beauty. One side is a primer containing natural oils, DL-Panthenol, and plant extracts to revitalize your lashes, making them stronger and softer. The other side features a carbon black Defining and Lengthening Mascara that is formulated with unique polymers to stretch and hold lash shape for clump and flake-free lashes. Both formulas are infused with mother-of-pearl to keep lashes supple, healthy, and shiny.” (source)

The Truth: These wands are epically amazing. Wait. Is epically a word?

What I Loved About It: I’m in love with the wands. They are great for separation and really help elongate the lashes.

What I Didn’t Like: I think the primer has too much of a gel consistency and so it makes the mascara not as long-lasting as I’d like it to be.

Overall: I love everything about the brand LORAC. If you haven’t heard about this brand and you’re in the mood to try somethin’ new, hop to it, girlfriend. I’ve tried everything from their eyeshadow palettes to their Multiplex 3D Lashes mascara. That mascara is effing awesome and so I was wishing on a star that Special Effects would woo me too. And it did! Here’s the thing – it’s one of those dual wands-type mascaras. I ain’t gonna lie….these kind of mascaras are a bit annoying. I’m not always in the mood to apply a mascara primer AND then mascara. I know…it’s not like this insanely laborious task so I really should even complain about it.

Luckily, these beautiful wands make it easier….


 

Gorgeous right? Both wands are exactly the same and they are quite exceptional. Ideal for those with short and sparse lashes, these wands were easy to wiggle right through my lashes while coating each lash with mascara. However, because the bristles are plastic and not like “brushes”, you won’t get much volume. Which is okay. Sometimes a darn good lengthening mascara can make me forget about the desire for volume.

The primer: Like most primers, this one is white and the gel-y consistency mimics most primers. It’s okay. Not spectacular. In fact, I actually prefer using this mascara WITHOUT the primer. The primer tends to make my lashes soft thus resulting in limited wear time.

When I don’t wear the primer, I find that the mascara lasts a lot longer and my lashes are a lot sturdier and harder. I suppose it’s a preference thing. I’m a gal that prefers lashes on the harder side. Granted, I don’t want them like bricks but if they’re semi-stiff without being damaging, I don’t mind it.

So yeah – this mascara sans the primer gives darn good length and separation with longevity. Score! Gotta love a mascara whose results actually live up to their claims. I can’t tell you how many times this DOESN’T happen. Oh! And this mascara is free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, petrochemicals and phthalates. But it’s not free from parabens. Which is…kinda weird.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 1 coat of primer

Lashes after 2 coats of mascara

 

Do I recommend it?: Absolutely! Especially if you’ve got the pennies to spend on something fancy. Just know that you may like the mascara better without the primer.

Any LORAC fans in the house? What do you think about mascaras that come with primers attached? Do you ever use ‘em?


My Top 6 Favorite Mascaras

This should really be a hard post for me considering I’ve reviewed well over 150 mascaras but it’s not. Most of the mascaras that I review are decent but only a handful are amazing. And I know that sounds pretty lame but let’s face it, many brands make all of these claims about how amazing their mascaras are when in reality…they’re just okay. But these babies here? Oh man. If I didn’t have to regularly review mascaras, I’d just stick to these. And because I could write even MORE about these beloved mascaras, I’ll just give you 3 of my favorite details about them.

Ultraflesh Panthera

  • Coolest packaging EVER!
  • It’s a higher-end and preservative-free mascara. You rarely see that.
  • Has a wonderful and light but longwear formula.
  • Super easy to use. Even for the insanely clumsy folx like me.
  • Removal is a breeze.
  • Long lasting and eye popping. This mascara REALLY opens up the eyes.
  • Flawless fiber mascara with thickening and lengthening properties
  • An “interesting” wand that doesn’t affect application but it’s still cool to look at.
  • Like most fiber mascara, it removes with ease.

Nuance Salma Hayek Ultra-Defining

  • The perfect wand. I mean, perfect!
  • Gentle formula.
  • Awesome awesome lengthening power.

Rimmel Lash Accelerator

  • Thick formula but still allows you to lengthen beautifully.
  • Long lasting!
  • It’s memorable because it was my 100th mascara review.

Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes

  • Incredible heart shaped wand.
  • 10x more effective than the original Great Lash mascara
  • Gives volumized lashes with only 1 coat.

 

Have you tried any of these mascaras? What is your absolute favorite mascara eeeeever?

Mascara Monday: Nuance Salma Hayek Ultra-Defining mascara

Celebrity-endorsed cosmetics is one thing but celebrities who endorse cosmetics that actually rock is something else. Such is the case with the CVS-exclusive Nuance Salma Hayek line. If you haven’t seen these products in your drugstores, girl, run and check ‘em out now. I haven’t been so impressed with a cosmetics and skincare line like this in a looooong time. Oh, and guess what? This mascara is pretty awesome too!

Price: $9.79 on CVS.com
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5

What It Claims: “Innovative formula and precision brush design lengthen and separate each lash for high-definition, all-day wear. Wheat protein strengthens and defines without clumping or flaking. Vitamin E conditions and nourishes for soft, flexible lashes. Panthenol prevents your lashes from becoming dry and brittle.” (source)

The Truth: This is the smallest wand ever but I absolutely LOVE it.

What I Loved About It: I love everything about this mascara. The wand, the performance, the lack of parabens, the wand…yessss.

What I Didn’t Like: I suppose it could be on the cheaper side but that’s not anything a coupon can’t solve. ;)

Overall: I think Salma Hayek is one of the most beautiful women I’ve never met. She just radiates elegance. She’s a Mexican-American actress and beauty babe. Her line contains every thing from cosmetics to hair products. The Nuance line is exclusive to CVS. Which is cool with me since I practically live in CVS anyway.

Let’s take a look at this awesome wand…


Look how slim it is!! I love it! Why don’t more so-called lengthening mascaras have wands like this? This is perfect for elongating the lases from the base. The bristles are short but I think this a great advantage. A gentle sweep is all it takes to coat the lashes with mascara and it’s just one of the most effortless mascaras I’ve ever played with.

My favorite aspect about this mascara? Why its paraben-free formula, of course. I will always salute brands that attempt to remove harmful ingredients from their products. However, sometimes the removal of those ingredients can produce subar performance on the mascara’s behalf. Not the case with this one. The formula applies easily and doesn’t get too clumpy. That is, if you don’t try to push it to the limit with a 4th coat or so. It’s not a waterproof mascara but I didn’t experience any smudging or flaking. Will it last all day? Well…meh. I found it disappeared a bit after an 8-hour work day but that’s not too much of a deal breaker for me. This is still the best non-fiber lengthening mascara that I’ve come across in a looooong time.

 

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats


 

Do I recommend it?: If you like simple wands, this is the mascara for you!

Worry not! I’ve got more fabulous products from the Nuance Salma Hayek line to review. Have you tried any thing from there yet?


Mascara Monday: Milani Total Lash Cover mascara

One of my beauty BFFs has two new mascaras hitting the scene and I’ll be reviewin’ both of ‘em. First up is this gal. And oh my words…the wand on this mascara may just have you gasping in horror. Or gasping in ________ (insert a great antonym for horror). Which sounds insanely dramatic, I know, but come on…what’s a mascara review without some dramatics? Yeeeeuuuuuh!

Price: $7.79 on CherryCulture.com 
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Mascara with 3 zone brush. 3 Zoned Brush applicator provides multi-performance zones: Zone 1: DEFINE inner & outer lashes, Zone 2: BUILD center lashes, Zone 3: CURL comb applicator, Non-clumping. Long-lasting, comfortable wear.” (source)

The Truth: ZOMG! This wand is scary!

What I Loved About It: It’s a rich and super black mascara. If you can avoid it the clumping, one coat should be just fine.

What I Didn’t Like: The wand is too large and in charge and it makes applying difficult.

Overall: I can’t believe this is my first Milani mascara review. Lame, uh? What a way to start the day because I am actually really in love with the packaging of this kid. And despite its curves, I can actually appreciate the hefty wand….


Until it makes its way to my lashes. I’ve used several (okay, more like 150+) mascaras and this one is definitely one of the most interesting. I kinda dig how pretty the wand is when their isn’t mascara on it.

But man is it somethin’ else WITH mascara. The concept makes sense to me. Define, Build and Curl. Cool. But execution is something else and if you don’t have a stead hand, you may run into some problems with this bad boy. For one, because the wand is so large and gets coated with so much mascara, application gets tricky. Especially if you have super short lashes like me. While I managed to coat my lashes evenly, it was no easy feat. Attempting to not get mascara on the lower lashline was tough. But once I got the mascara on the lashes, it gave me a good amount of volume and length. Curl? Meh. But you know how I feel about mascaras that say they “curl” lashes. I think the curling action comes more from technique than actual formula. But of course, that’s just my theory. What do I know?

I managed to push it to the limit and get a good 3 coats on my lashes, but it was time-consuming. The large wand and my short lashes don’t work well together. Formula-wise, the formula is a bit on the thicker side. Ya gotta be careful with those thick mascaras as they tend to flake throughout the day. Such was the case with this baby. The flaking wasn’t horrible but if I went to rub my eyes, I’d rub away a bit of the mascara away too. Womp.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 3 coats


 

Do I recommend it?: If you can get past the weird wand and semi-flaky formula, this isn’t a half bad mascara. It just didn’t work well with my special needs lashes. :(

Yo Milani lovers?! Have you tried this mascara yet?


Mascara Monday: YBF Beauty Xtreme mascara

Haven’t heard of the brand YBF? Well, up until a few months ago, I hadn’t either. This brand has launched on Ulta’s website and I just had to check out their mascara. But of courseeee. Oh, and what does YBF mean? It stands for “your best friend”. Cute, uh? And yes, cheesy too. :D

Price:$14 at Ulta.com
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5

What It Claims: “Xtreme Mascara builds the lashes to create super sexy, sultry irresistible looking peepers in an instant with dramatic definition! The patented, half-moon shaped, thick mascara brush hugs and separates each lash for precise application for high definition, curl and volume! Water resistant formula helps keep lashes pliant, glossy and flake free! It will last all day and night!! For flirtatious lashes, you’ll love two coats!” (source)

The Truth: What an interestiiiiing formula.

What I Loved About It: Whoa! This mascara gives a great amount of length!

What I Didn’t Like: The formula is weird and it starts removing itself from the lashes throughout the day.

Overall: Oh man, this mascara is so wonky. What a way to start a review, uh? I wanted to like this but it’s just…strange. Let’s talk about the wand first. It isn’t the worst.


In fact, it isn’t bad at all. I don’t have  anything negative to say about it. It’s the perfect wand for a mascara with this kind of formula. And what kind of formula is that you ask? This is a matte mascara. I’m not of friend of these kids and for several reasons. Matte mascaras, are the absolute worse when it comes to lasting all day. In fact, within a few hours of applying this one, it virtually disappeared. I don’t know how or why but it did. If I happened to rub my eyes, instead of flaking away ,the mascara smeared away. Which means it definitely isn’t an ideal mascara for those with sensitive eyes. So no, I’m definitely not a fan of this mascara because the formula and longevity just aren’t up to par. The good news? Some of the other products from YBF Beauty look pretty awesome so I’ll definitely be trying some of those. Have you seen the packaging of their lipsticks? They are goooorgeous!

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats


 

Do I recommend it?: It pains to say it but no. But if you’re partial to matte mascaras, you may like it.

Have you tried anything from YBF Beauty? And what’s your take on matte mascaras?


Mascara Monday: COVERGIRL Queen Lash Fanatic waterproof mascara

It’s been a minute since I’ve tried a COVERGIRL Queen mascara. I don’t hear much about COVERGIRL Queen releases until they they’ve been out for  a while. I so wish that they were on the same radar as the regular COVERGIRL stuffs but I don’t think they are. Oooooh well. But letter late than never, right?

Price:$5.19  at Drugstore.com
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: “Get up to 2x* the look of more lashes rain or shine!* The mircochannels in each bristle of our Lash Surround brush smoothly and precisely deliver mascara to each and every lash – creating the look of more lashes.” (source)

The Truth: What a really cool wand!

What I Loved About It: This is a fantastic waterproof mascara!

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t promise to volumize but I wish it gave me  little more.

Overall: I am sooooo impressed with the wand on this mascara. Granted it’s not innovative or anything but it does a really good job at breezing right through those lashes. Because the bristles get shorter towards the tip of the wand, you are able to get into those inner corners with no problem.


Yeah, I know. There are a lot of mascaras like this, right? Still. Somehow this one worked better for me than most. I am not much of a waterproof mascara wearin’ kind of gal because I find that most “washable” mascaras do okay with lasting on me all day. But if you suffer from allergies, find yourself constantly rubbing your eyes, do a ton of sweating, or need your mascara to last more for more than 8 hours or so, a waterproof mascara is ideal. And if you fall in any of those categories, you should definitely take a peek at this mascara.

This baby doesn’t budge. I mean..not one bit. BUT, it removes with ease with my makeup remover. Formula-wise, it’s got a nice consistency that helps darken the lashes. Lengthening and volumizing is meh, though. Which hey, not all mascaras are made to give you drag queen lashes. And that’s  cool. The longevity of this mascara made up for its lack of volume. I tested it by wearing it during an intense workout (BTW, I neeeever wear makeup when I work out. Never.) and it stayed put. Score!!

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats


 

Do I recommend it?: If you’re looking for a mascara that stays put no matter what and don’t care too much about a ton of added length and volume, you’ll love this one.

Any waterproof mascara lovers in the house?


Mascara Monday: NARS Larger Than Life Lengthening mascara

Oh boo. How have I not tried any of NARS’ mascaras? This must be some kind of beauty crime. NARS has the best blushes and eye shadows everrrr so of course I assumed that this mascara would be up to par. Let’s take a look see…

Price:$25 at Sephora.com
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “This mascara delivers length and separation with its high-performance formula. The high-tech bristles on the conical brush allows for maximum lengthening capabilities and precise lash definition that lasts all day. Nylon fibers cling to lashes for extra length, while macadamia nut oil and vitamin E help enhance their suppleness. You’ll be left with impossibly long and impossibly sexy lashes.” (source)

The Truth: Man, I expected more.

What I Loved About It: It’s a light mascara that didn’t weigh down the lashes.

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t give me enough length.

Overall: Welllll, you win some and loose some. And that’s the case with everything. Mascaras included. It’s hard to find a good lengthening mascara. In fact, I find the best the lengthening mascaras are fiber mascaras. They are easy to apply, they help elongate your lashes and they are easy to remove This mascara claims that it has nylon fibers in it but I can’t locate them with my bare eye.

The good news is, the mascara has a nice and build-able formula. Once it goes on the lashes, it feels light. Not wispy light but it doesn’t feel heavy and weigh down the lashes. Which is always a good thing. The wand is pretty groovy too.


But I don’t feel like the mascara did enough for my lashes. Due to testing out waaaay too many mascaras, my lashes have been skimpier than ever and so I was hoping that this lengthening mascara would realllly bring the lashes out there. That wasn’t the case. The wand allowed me to separate beautifully and while I got a just a bit of volume, the lengthening just wasn’t there. But considering the mascara gave me a lil’ bit of something, I gave it a 3 out of 5. Because it’s not a terrible mascara. It’s just an okay one.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats


 

Do I recommend it?: Meh. If you’re a NARS lover like I am, you’re better off spending your money on one of their fabulous polishes, lipsticks or eyeshadows.

Any NARS fans in the house? Have you tried any of their mascaras?

 


Mascara Monday: NYX Cosmetics Provocateur mascara

I am just a breezin’ through NYX’s Boudoir mascara. I’ve already reviewed Pin Up Tease and next up on the list is this baby.

I just love saying Provocateur. It sounds all fancy… Pro-vaaaah-ca-touuurrrr. 8) Hehehee.

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

What It Claims: “To volumize and separate lashes. Start with level 1 for heavy application then level 2 to lighten and separate.” (source)

The Truth: It’s one of those mascaras with 2 wands. Interestiiiiing.

What I Loved About It: Both mascara wands do a really good job at giving two 2 different looks.

What I Didn’t Like: The packaging was a little wonky.

Overall: Some people don’t feel the need to have 2 wands in 1 mascara. In fact, I think I’m one of those people. When it comes to my desires, I’m pretty simple. I want the most volumized lashes everrrr. Oh, and I could do without the clumps of mascara too. ;) That said, while Provocateur may not be a necessity for me, the good news is, it’s a darn good mascara. The 1 brush, 2 styles feature may appeal to many and I’m just glad that the mascaras claims are pretty dead on.

NOTE: Unless you want to mess the mascara up, do NOT remove both wands at the same time. Trust me on this one.

First things first, formula-wise, the mascara is decent. I didn’t have problems with applying it to the lashes. I was a huge fan of the longevity. Yes, girl. This mascara lasted alllll day without flaking and smudging on me. Huge win for me.

Let’s rap about Level 1’s wand first. It’s my favorite. And according to the packaging, Level 1 has a wide wiper that is designed to grab more mascara for fuller and heavier application.

When you remove this wand from the packaging, it’ll be loaded with mascara. Almost too much, though. You see, the hole that the mascara is removed from is large (and in charge) and can put just too much mascara on the wand. You may find yourself wiping it off on the rim of the mascara. Despite that, the overall appearance of the mascara using this wand is niiiiice. I got a good 2 coats in and it made my lashes big and bold. I didn’t see much length though. But who cares. I’ll take volume over length any day.

Then there’s Level 2. It has a narrow wiper that is designed to grab a light amount of mascara for finer application. While it’s great for lower lashes, I find the wand is too big to do so.

I’ll be honest, Level 2 isn’t my style. But that doesn’t mean that it the wand isn’t effective. If you’re a fan of whispy-er (okay, I made that word up) lashes, you’ll love this one. It does do a pretty good at separating and that’s a function that I can always appreciate. The wand is decent but it doesn’t hold a ton of mascara on it and even after 2 coats of mascara, my lashes didn’t appear to be heavily coated.

Bare Lashes


Lashes after 2 coats using Level 1

Lashes after 2 coats using Level 2

Do I recommend it?: If you enjoy having options in 1 mascara, I’d give this one a whirl.

 

Are you a fan of mascara options in 1 tube? Whatcha think?