Mascara Monday: Essence Multi-Action Blackest Black mascara

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Soooo I’m back with an Essence mascara. I am slowly but surely making my way through these mascaras. They don’t seem to release as many mascaras as other brands and that’s totally okay with me. It gives me time to mess around with ‘em a bit. Next on the list is this kid…

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Price: $3.99 at Ulta and Ulta.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “This multi-talented lash lover offers an innovative brush and unique texture with carbon black pigments to ensure more volume, length and curve for the deepest black lashes! A must-have for dramatic eyes!!” (source)

The Truth: It is indeed a super black mascara but man, it’s a flaky son of a gun. Or daughter. I’m not sure of its gender.

What I Loved About It: I’ll always love Essence’s affordability.

What I Didn’t Like: It’s flaky and just doesn’t seem to volumize or lengthen well.

Overall: Ah well. You win some and loose some. My feelings aren’t too hurt that this mascara wasn’t all that. I’ve come across better Essence mascaras and so the disappointment in this one didn’t last too long. For one thing, I’m not a fan of this type of wand.

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I mean, it’s nothing to HATE. I just don’t love it. I find wands like these so tricky to use with my short and wonky lashes. Those with longer and plush lashes will have much better luck. Sweeping through the lashes is challenging if your lashes aren’t all that long but of course it is possible. It just takes some time and sometimes when you only have 5 minutes to do your face in the morning, you don’t really want to deal with super large wands.

But once you get past the wand, actual application is decent. The formula is nice without being too thick or too watery. In fact, I was confused as to why the formula flaked so much because I didn’t find it to be too thick. Typically thicker mascaras lead to flakiness. I’ll tell you one thing though, Essence calling this mascara Blackest Black is dead on. It is a super dark mascara that has the potential to really bring some darkness to the lashes. After 1 coat, I could really see a difference in terms of how dark my lashes looked.

But after 2 coats, I only saw minimal volume and not much length. In fact, if anything my lashes just clumped up a bit. Boo hoo. Hours later my lashes, the mascara seemed to disappear from my lashes and flake away. And nothing sucks more than a flaky mascara. *sigh* So while the mascara does have the potential to give super dark and lush lashes, its inability to last around for hours just wasn’t up my alley.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Doesn’t look like much, uh? And note the flakiness under my eyes. No bueno.

Do I recommend it?: Nope. But worry not. Essence has plenty of other awesome mascaras.

 

Have you tried any Essence mascaras?


How To Create A Mascara Cocktail

One product women have a big love/hate relationship is mascara. We love it because of its seemingly magical powers to make our eyes look more open and awake. We hate it because if we choose the wrong formula we can end up with raccoon eyes. Love it or hate it, mascara is a must in nearly everyone’s beauty arsenal. If I find a formula that isn’t quite perfect for me on its own, I don’t toss it, I create a mascara cocktail!

Mascara cocktails involve using two different formulas on the lashes. When paired together, the result is so satisfying that you are nearly drunk with joy at the masterpiece you’ve created. My lashes never go naked, and when I get bored, I test out new ways to maximize my mascara stash.

Here are some favorite cocktail combos:

Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara + Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes!

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These are actually two mascaras that I really like solo. However, when paired together, well…that’s when the magic happens. Gifted, is great at adding volume and some length, but Lights, Camera, Lashes! is like a push up bra for your lashes. It gives them curl, and an added lift that Gifted doesn’t. When paired together, the two create the perfect mascara look.

Urban Decay Cannonball + Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara

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Cannonball is a waterproof formula, and because of this, it will hold a curl well when paired with a lash curler. However, Supercurl, which features a curved wand, actually curls the lashes on its own sans separate curling device. Cannonball is a light gel formula which makes it ideal for layering. Together, this dynamic duo will give you curled, lifted and waterproof lashes. Just be sure to use Cannonball as your final coat to reap the waterproof benefits.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Volumizing Mascara in Black + Ecco Bella FlowerColor Natural Mascara in Brown

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A trick I love to wear to make my eyes look really open and awake is using black mascara on my top lashes, and a brown one on the bottom. You could actually use this technique with any black & brown mascara, but this is the combo I tend to use most. Stila Stay All Day gives the most amazing volume to those with sparse lashes. The wand comes with a unique brush/comb combo that lets you load up the product, and then comb through to separate and lift your lashes. It’s really hard to find good brown mascara, and Ecco Bella is the best I’ve found. While it isn’t fully waterproof, it is water resistant, which means no smudging, unless of course you are going deep sea diving.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Lash Boosting Mascara in Black + Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin FakeOut Mascara in Ultra Black

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This is the newest of my cocktail creations. Physicians Formula Lash Boosting Mascara is the first drugstore formula that did my lashes right. On its own it adds amazing length; I mean truly impressive insane kind of length. I think this is probably the most underrated drugstore mascara out there. When I first tried FakeOut, I didn’t see a big difference between this formula and the Lash Boosting formula. However, after I paired them together is when the fireworks happened. FakeOut is a fiber mascara, and the first that I’ve worn that hasn’t irritated my contact lenses. The lengthening combo of the Lash Boosting formula plus the added fibers from FakeOut created the most fabulous false lash like
effect. Plus, all of the ingredients are natural!

So if you ever find yourself unhappy with a tube of mascara you purchased, don’t toss it! Try pairing it with a different formula and mix up your own mascara masterpiece! I don’t ever recommend physically mixing the formulas in the tube. Simply layer the two different formulas; apply a coat of one formula to your lashes, followed by a coat of the other until you reach the desired look. Remember when using a waterproof formula, you should always end with the waterproof one as your final step.

What are your favorite mascara combos?

More about Lisa:
Liza N. Chung is cruelty-free beauty blogger and makeup artist in Connecticut. Using only synthetic makeup brushes, she works to raise awareness about animal testing in the cosmetics industry. Her makeup area of specialty is weddings and special events. After working for various cosmetic brands and working as a teen model, she found her place behind the scenes helping people look and feel their best. Visit Lisa’s blog and follow her on Twitter.

Mascara Monday: Maybelline The Rocket by Volum’Express mascara

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Oooooh yeah, Maybelline has a new mascara in town. I’m mad late on reviewing it but ya know…that whole “having a baby” thing kinda threw me off a bit, ya know? :cool: But alas, here we are with a review of one of the most popular mascaras to hit shelves this season.

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Price: $5.94 at Walmart and Walmart.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Washable Mascara’s patented supersonic brush with micro bristles loads on big, sleek volume instantly. Its fast-glide formula keeps lashes smooth. Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Washable Mascara: The most explosive, beautiful lashes ever, 8x bigger, Explosive volume in rocket time, Smoother Zero clumps” (source)

The Truth: It’s not my absolute favorite Maybelline mascara but it’s okay.

What I Loved About It: Super awesome wand that helps with separating wonky lashes. .

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t volumize the way I really needed it to.

Overall: This mascara totally took me by surprise. I felt like I just reviewed a Volum’Express mascara not too long ago and then along comes The Rocket. The hype didn’t seem to be as prevalent with this one than with other Volum’Express releases. I mean, think about it – the Falsies was everywhere. This kid? Not so much. The thing is, Rocket’s claims aren’t all that spectacular and she isn’t toting any special tricks. She’s just another ‘VolumExpress mascara that promises volume and a pretty awesome wand to boot.

And the wand IS awesome.

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It’s an awesome wand if you really need to separate your lashes. I mean, this baby gets them out there. This is actually my favorite kind of mascara if my lashes are doin’ crazy thangs and looking all wonky. Which, by the way, is all the time. And as great as this wand is when it comes to separating, it isn’t so hot in the volumizing department. Plusher wands are better in this regard.

But that doesn’t mean The Rocket sucks. She doesn’t. I just think her volumizing power is mediocre. Lengthening too. Her strength does lie in longevity though. I didn’t get the waterproof version of this mascara but I found that it did a darn good job at lasting throughout the day without any flakes or smudges. Which is always HUGE in my book.

So if you’re bored enough and just want to try something new, this is a great mascara to holla at. But if you’ve got huge expectations, meh…brace yourself to be a tad bit disappointed. Or, Maybelline’s the Falsies mascara. That kid is truly the winner in the Volum’Express department.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 3 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Only if you reallllllly want to try something new.

Whatcha think? Have you tried this mascara yet? Is it just me or do some of the other ‘VolumExpress mascaras seem to do a better job?


Mascara Monday: Prestige My Biggest Lashes Big Lash Effect mascara

So remember that time I reviewed Prestige’s My Waterproof Lashes mascara? Well, My Biggest Lashes Big Lash Effect is the mascara that came alongside that one. I got those 2 mascaras in a pack together. Prestige Cosmetics has yet to really woo me with their mascaras but I’ve still got hope. Some brands do great in other beauty bits and just aren’t all that in mascaras. I can live with that. But come on, I need at least ONE good mascara from ya, Prestige. Help a sista out.

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*crosses fingers*

Price: $6.50 at Ulta and Ulta.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 2 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5

What It Claims: “Full, plush brush coats each lash, intense, long lasting color, one coat application” (source)

The Truth: *yawn* This mascara put me to sleep. There’s nothing to it.

What I Loved About It: It’s got a decent price point.

What I Didn’t Like: It’s one of those mascaras that doesn’t provide much of anything at one coat or 3 coats.

Overall: Oh boy. I’m disappointed, Prestige. I expected this one to be a winner. I mean, when you give a mascara a name like My Biggest Lashes, you kinda expect some kind of ooomph. I got anything but that from this mascara. And that made me sad. The wand is a plush brush and it’s not one of my favorite type of wands.

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Can you effectively apply mascara with it? Absolutely. I did, however, struggle with the mascara’s formula. It’s not too thick or too thin but it’s got a barely there feel to it. Okay, it’s not invisible but it’s the kind of mascara that when you apply a coat to your lashes, you look at your lashes to see if you actually applied anything. It’s weird stuff, I tell ya and I can’t make this stuff up. I think it’s the large brush and its inability to pick up enough mascara that created this problem. Either way, I just know that after I would apply 3 coats, I would have some serious “barely there” mascara-covered lashes. Boo.

And even when you get the mascara on, it seems to slowly disappear throughout the day and as it disappears, it flakes in the process. Boo and double-boo. I don’t have much else to say about this mascara except that even though it’s on the cheaper side, it may not be worth your pennies.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 3 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Nope. I’d pass by this one.

 

Have you tried any  Prestige mascaras? Whatcha think about this one?


The QVC-exclusive Tarte Journey To Natural Beauty collection

Confession. I have messed around and become just a wee bit obsessed with QVC. I’ve made a good 3 purchases in the past month and that is soooo unlike me. Pregnancy insomnia has turned into newborn sleep deprivation and I’m just not in my right mind, y’all. And it doesn’t help when my favorite beauty brands have these QVC-exclusive deals.

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Like this one from Tarte. This journey to natural beauty 6-piece collection is so ridiculously swoon-worthy that it don’t make no sense. Sometimes when things are so awesome, you have to drop the formalities of proper grammar ‘n stuff. Available TODAY only, this darling collection contains the following…

The NEW Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement mascara (retail price – $23)

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I am beyond excited about trying this out. The last Tarte mascara I tried rocked my freaking world so I’ve got high hopes for this one. Oh. And it says it’ll increase lash volume by 752%. That’s a lofty promise but dang, I’d be okay with like 492%. Ya know?

Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation (retail price – $32)

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Ma’am and Sirs – if you have never tried a Tarte brush, you need to hop to it. I will likely be using this brush for all over powder because it is just so so soft.

Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in Fearless (retail price – $26)

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Well, we all know how I feel about those Amazonian clay blushes. Obsessed isn’t even the word. Fearless is the newest shade on the block and this warm pink looks like it will compliment all skin complexions beautifully. See…

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It’s got a nice pop of golden shimmer too.

The very NEW Amazonian butter lipstick (retail price – $24)

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Oh geez, this is wonderful and I’m hoping tarte releases a ton of these in various colors. I thought I loved those Amazonian lipsticks and I do, but this creamy lipstick follows the balm meets lipstick concept and you’re left with pigmented but super moisturized lips. Yassss! And the shade Plummy Rose isn’t too bad.

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Brow Architect Shaper, Liner & Definer (retail price – $25)

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A 3-in-1 product for brows? Um…wow. Way to go, Tarte!

Amazonian Clay 12-hour full coverage foundation (retail price – $38)

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Stay tuned for a full review of this baby but considering THIS comes in the set and the retail value is more than half of the price of the entire collection, well…that pretty much means you NEED to get this QVC-exclusive. Just sayin’…

This entire collection of fabulousness comes toted in a gorgeous travel-friendly bag. This really is one of the best Tarte QVC-exclusive collections I’ve seen in quite some time.

Lé Deets:
Availability – Available on QVC on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 ONLY
Cost - $59.94
Pre-order Item # – A233578
February 5th Item # – A231029

This will likely sell out so if you feel like you can’t live without this collection (totally understandable yo), get to pre-orderin’.

Any Tarte lovers in the house? How wonderful is that butter lipstick? ZOMGGGG.

Mascara Monday: Pop Beauty Peak Performance mascara

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Ooooh yesssss. Finally. A NEW kind of mascara. I am always looking for innovative mascaras and they are so hard to find. I mean, I get the whole “Don’t fix what ain’t broke concept” but when you review dozens of mascaras a year, you kinda want something new every now and then. Enter THIS kid…

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Price: $20 at Ulta and Ulta.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “Mascara with advanced lash comb separates, coats, lifts & fans out every lash, resulting in immense lash volume & dramatically maximized eyes.Lash-protecting formula conditions & nourishes lashes. Hygienic twist-up wand prevents bacteria build up & formula dry out, ensuring fresh new mascara every time.” (source)

The Truth: There are very few lash comb mascaras on the market and I was so excited to try this one out.

What I Loved About It: It is fantastic for separating and lengthening those lashes.

What I Didn’t Like: It has a bit of learning curve and takes some time to get used to. Also, this isn’t the kind of mascara I’d use if I were in a rush.

Overall: If you’ve strolled Ulta Beauty stores enough times, you may have run into the brand Pop Beauty. This is my first time trying one of their products and it’s a plum shame because they have a lot of really groovy products. So yeah – you should definitely look forward to seeing more reviews of this brand. But first things first – let’s talk about this super cool mascara.

The wand – er, comb thingie…

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Unlike traditional mascaras, this kid is toting a lash comb. Someone out there is jumping for joy. Lash combs are pretty awesome – especially for those who have all over the place lashes like myself. Lash combs have the ability to tame the craziness and help lashes elongate in the same direction. Of course this can be achieved with a regular mascara wand but I find the comb to be more effective because you have more control. According to Pop Beauty, the lash comb not only separates lashes but lifts and fans out every lash which is supposed to result in more volume.

Formula-wise, this mascara has a nice consistency. I didn’t find it to be overly heavy when applying it it does a darn good job with lasting for hours at a time with zero smudging and flaking.

Now as far as getting more volume with this baby, wellllll…I’m not sure about all of that. If anything, I think it’s a great mascara to prep your lashes. I found it much more effective when I used it in conjunction with another mascara that had a fluffy brush. The lash comb helped separate lashes and the fluffy brush helped with volume. In fact, two coats of this stuff made my lashes just a wee bit clumpy. Well…not clumpy but my lashes seemed to stick together a bit and once that happened there was no tweaking it.

Ah well – despite it not resulting in the volume that I was expecting, I still think this is a must have mascara for those with smaller and super frazzled lashes. If anything, you can use it BEFORE your favorite mascara and end up getting the results you want. So see…not all is lost. Plus, the lengthening it provides is pretty cool!

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Yep! It’s only $20 so it’s not the cheapest mascara but if you are desperate to tame your lashes, I think you’ll like this kid.

 

Any lash comb lovers in the house? And what else should I try from that awesome Pop Beauty?


Mascara Monday: Hard Candy Flat to Fab Lash Building mascara

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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.

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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…

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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



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Lashes after 3 coats


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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

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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.

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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…

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

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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



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Lashes after 3 coats


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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?