Posts tagged ‘reviews’

February 13, 2010

A lipstick adventure

In the last couple of weeks, I have been inspired to try out some lip color after watching Spurtacus Spartacus: Blood and Smut Sand – and not because of the sprays of blood shooting out from the screen at me or the gratuitous nudity.

Erin Cummings, the gal who plays ol’ Sparty’s wife, wears the most amazing lip color in the first episode. These photos don’t do it justice – it’s a pink/mauve/purple thing that looks natural but still colorful. Gorge.

Meow, I’m blonde and non-olive-skinned so I still haven’t managed to find a purple color that looks good on me, but I did find some pinks that totally rock my friggin’ world. The good news is they’re not so HOLYCRAPSHESWEARINGLIPSTICK bright that I look like a street walker if I wear them during the day. Also, after reading that the average woman consumes 4 to 9 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime, I decided to go with stains because they’re more natural-looking and long-wearing.

May 15, 2009

If I could remember to wear lipgloss…

Here are a couple that I would have on me at all times. It’s not that I have anything against glossy lips; it’s just that I can’t be constantly remembering to re-laquer myself every thirty minutes. I must have missed the makeup reapplication gene, just like I missed the chocolate and the dancing genes (I know, I know, I’m a pathetic excuse for a girl).

Last day in Chicago 145

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May 8, 2009

Maybe she’s born with it…

…maybe she wears tons of awesome makeup that nobody would ever think of purchasing, much less wearing. (I TOTALLY threw you off there, didn’t I?!)

Last day in Chicago 176

Well, people, that dewy complexion is, alas, not at all natural. I mean, I guess it could be natural if I didn’t wash my face for three days and then used a Clean & Clear pad to selectively degrease everywhere other than my cheekbones…but then my pores would be the size of silver dollars instead of dimes.

May 7, 2009

Mascara review round-up

As promised, here’s your roundup of all of the mascaras I reviewed. Take a look at all of my “after” photos and see if you’ve got a favorite product in the bunch.

To jog your memory, here’s what my eyelashes look like when they’re as naked as centerfold:


And then here are all of the “after” photos next to one another:




I’m going to go ahead and declare a tie between Fresh and Urban Decay, since it didn’t take a ton of time to get my peepers to look defined and full of dramz. I guess. You want to know what I really think, though?

The only mascara I reviewed that was under $20 was the L’Oreal Telescopic. And honestly, unless you’re comparing these photos side-by-side, you can’t tell that it’s any worse than the others. So here’s the question: is it worth it to shell out the big bucks for a mascara that’s only marginally better than your average drug-store loot? When it comes down to it, I think the only thing you should look for in your mascara is a good formula that won’t dry out as soon as you open the tube, and a brush that distributes the product evenly and separates your lashes. Hell, as far as I’m concerned, you could use CoverGirl LashBlast in the giant orange tube that looks like a sex toy. It’s got all of the right components – firm bristles and a nice wet product. The best mascara for you really comes down to your personal preference: do you like a small brush (like Cargo or L’Oreal) that gives you a lot of control but will require more application time, or do you like a large brush (like Urban Decay or Benefit Bad Gal) that will be quicker but more sloppy? Do you want a mascara that looks natural on its first coat (L’Oreal or Maybelline Great Lash) or one that immediately looks like false lashes (Lancome Fatale)?

By the way, a word on Bad Gal: a lot of people swear by it and I like it just fine (especially the blue version). The brush is HUGE so it’s not great for precision, but the formula is fine and you can have almost fake-looking lashes in under a minute. Is it better than Maybelline’s Great Lash? Not once you’ve got it on. Will it save you a couple of minutes in the morning if you like to wear a lot of makeup? Sure. The only decision you need to make is how much you’re willing to pay for those extra minutes.

I know what I’ve just written is sort of anti-climactic, but I did this series to prove a point: whatever mascara I’m currently using is my favorite. I have yet to discover one that I remain loyal to after the first use. In my opinion, there are a lot of other products that I could spend more money on. Cheap eyeshadow, for example, simply isn’t as good as the more expensive stuff. Same with foundation. But mascara is, I believe, the one cosmetic that you can completely skimp on and never miss the high-end brands. Oh, and for the record? DiorShow sucks. Some people will try to convince you otherwise, but don’t be swayed. I didn’t even bother reviewing it because I didn’t want to risk one of you buying it and then hunting me down for revenge.

If you want the nice stuff, do what I do: get it as part of a set. That way you’re saving money and you get some other totally sweet products. This is also how I’ve gotten most of the nice makeup brushes I own. Here are a couple of sets that I recommend if you’re interested in trying some “nice” mascara:

Cargo blu-ray High Definition Makeup Essentials ($49 – this one has the blush/highlighter that I wear nearly every day)

Fresh Magic Wands Mini-Mascara Duo (only 10 bucks, people, so you can see if you like the shizz without marrying it)

Urban Decay Trifecta ($22 – includes their eyeshadow primer that I can’t live without)

Lancome Best Lashes Mascara Set (includes 5 mascaras and makeup remover for $25. It doesn’t have Fatale, but it has Definicils, which a lot of people love. It’s a solid mascara, in my opinion.)

YSL Touche Eclat Set ($68 – includes Touche Eclat, which at a whopping $40 on its own has changed my life. This is a great value if you want to try YSL mascara, eyeliner, and makeup remover as well. FYI, people who have tried the mascara won’t shut the hell up about how great it is; I have yet to jump on the bandwagon, though.)

Bare Escentuals Buxom Betty Collection ($35 – includes their Buxom Mascara, which is great for people who are sensitive to non-mineral makeup. Bare Escentuals – the makers of bareMinerals, which I use as my foundation and zit coverup – has some of the best gift sets I’ve ever come across. Most of them include NICE brushes, and they’re very reasonably priced. Check out their gift set page to see what I mean.)

Sephora Lash Stash (This is the holy grail of mascara sets. A couple of the products I reviewed this week are included in it, like Urban Decay and DuWop. You get 10 mascaras for $35, so you can really see what you like. The only obvious brands they’re missing are Benefit, Dior, and YSL, but as I said before, Dior is not worth your time.)

Clinique Lash Power Set ($18.50 – if you’re in the market for a solid new mascara, you should try this set. Clinique’s mascara is the only kind that people seem to stick with. It’s not trendy and doesn’t feature some new-fangled brush that vibrates and paints your nails while you put your mascara on. A number of my readers love this stuff, judging by the emails and comments I’ve received, and if you buy this set you get a sample of Clinique’s faaaaabulous eye cream as well as a double-ended highlighter stick.)

Anyway. There you have it. As much as I’m willing to write on mascara in one week.

Now a question for you people: what kind of mascara should I try next? I’m in the market for a new tube, and as usual, I don’t give a rip about sticking with my current brand. All I care about is being able to make myself look like a trollop (meaning TONS of mascara without turning into a tarantula). I’ll do a review of whatever you guys tell me to buy!

May 6, 2009

The final mascara review

People, I own more mascaras than this, but these were all I had time to photograph before leaving Chicago (where most of my makeup is packed up and waiting for my return this fall). And I’m willing to bet that I didn’t cover your fave mascara, because this last one is totally random and I sort of hate it. I shouldn’t be surprised; I hate the lip gloss that made the company famous in the first place.  I’m going to do a wrap-up after this with some final thoughts and side-by-side photo comparisons. Also, since I randomly need a new mascara, you people are going to get to tell me what to buy.


So, first of all, I get that the name of the mascara is a take-off on the Lip Venom that put DuWop on the map…but seriously? I don’t want to put that shizz near my eyes. The gloss is called “Venom” because it’s supposed to make your mouth swell up like you’re having an allergic reaction to a bee-sting (think Renee Zelwegger – although I’ll never get why a product designed to make you look like you’re going into anaphylactic shock was successful). The decision to keep the name on an EYE product seems idiotic at best. That said, the mascara DOESN’T burn, but I just had to rant about its unfortunate title.


Okay, so I’ve used this stuff about five times total, and you can already see how dry the formula is. For shame. You should know better than that, DuWop. I think that a big reason for this might be the beeswax that they use as the base for the mascara. While it’s a good natural ingredient – especially for those of you who are sensitive to chemicals – the result is a dry, dull product that won’t add any volume or length to your lashes unless you patiently sit there and apply, like, 12 coats. Which I did, just for you guys. After all, I want to show all of these mascaras in their best light, even if (in this case) the light is poo-colored and disappointing.



So, as you can see, it’s possible to get this stuff to look decent. The giant FAIL, in my mind, is that it takes forever and makes my eyelashes a bit more dull than other mascaras that are pumped full of god-knows-what shine-inducing chemicals.


It’s kind of hard to tell without looking at the photos next to each other, but this mascara basically only added a touch of color to my lashes. No extra volume or length. At $24 a tube, I think your money would be best spent elsewhere, unless you only like barely-there makeup and most other mascaras irritate your eyes.

Stay tuned to see all of the “after” photos side-by-side. It will blow your mind.

May 5, 2009

Fat eyelashes?

Leave it to Urban Decay to come up with a ridonkulous name for its mascara.


One of the selling points of this formula is that the all-natural ingredients leave your lashes feeling soft. This stuff is basically like Maybelline Full-n-Soft (which I used to SWEAR by) except it gives you a lot more fullness and drama.


At the same time, though, you have to ask yourself: do you really care if your eyelashes are soft-feeling? I mean, if you’re wearing makeup, you’re not exactly going to be touching your eyes – and neither is your date. Plus, I’ve gotten compliments on my eyelashes before, but nobody’s ever said, “WOAH, dude, your eyelashes are so SOFT.”

May 5, 2009

Mascara #4

I got Cargo’s blu_ray mascara as part of a set that included a powder, blush, and primer. I’ll say this much – the mascara is flippin’ shiny. I kind of like it.


May 2, 2009

More mascara

The reason I own this mascara is because one time when I was in Sephora, I almost vomited with happiness over my check person’s gorgeous eyelashes. I asked her what she uses and she said Fresh Supernova mascara. Annnnd I bought it on the spot.


I gotta say – it didn’t disappoint.

May 1, 2009

As promised, a mascara post

Here’s how I’m going to run these posts: I’ve chosen 6 mascaras I’m fairly familiar with and I’m going to do individual reviews of each. At the end, I’ll do a side-by-side comparison of all 6 and give my verdict. Before we begin, I want to tell you about how I approach mascara reviews:

  • Never trust a review if the person has only worn the mascara once. Almost all mascaras, straight out of the package, are clump-free and glossy. You really have to use the mascara at least 8-10 times over the course of a month or more to understand if it’s a good product. Some deteriorate almost immediately, so it’s easy to tell fairly quickly that they’re no good. Others, though, will be pretty darn great until one day you pull the wand out and it’s covered in coagulated globs and you end up looking like Tammy Faye Baker.


April 18, 2009

Eyeshadow brushes and how to do Wiggs-style eyeliner

A couple of you have asked about the makeup brushes I use. Here’s my theory: the only brushes that matter are your eyeshadow brushes. The ones you use for powder, blush, and lipstick don’t really make a difference.

I have a TON of makeup brushes, but 99.9% of the time, I use only three for doing my eyes.


From left to right, they are: a wide, flat brush, a fluffy brush, and a thin, angled brush. I’m aware that there are probably more technical names for them, but who gives a shizz? With these three soldiers in your makeup army, you can create a butt-load of looks. Such as the one I’m about to show you: