Archive for the 'mascara' Category

Mascara Series Part 33: CoverGirl LashBlast Length Review & Photos

October 15, 2009
CoverGirl LashBlast Length ($7.49)

The Claim: Get a blast of long lashes all day! LashBlastLength’s patent-pending tapered brush and nylon lengthening formula combination work together to lengthen lashes that won’t flake or smudge. CoverGirl’s longest brush ever takes lashes up to 80% longer, while the unique Elasta-Nylon formula flexes without flaking so lashes hold their length all day. Preferred 4-to-1 over the leading lengthening mascara for flaking.

The Packaging: The slimness and sleekness that is LashBlast Length was a nice change of pace from the original LashBlast which I reviewed here, and the tapered bright yellow tube is just downright fun. The exterior of the tube has this nice texture to it and overall I’m a fan!

Click to enlarge!

The Brush: The brush is also a huge change of pace from the original LashBlast – while this one is rather long, it’s narrow and therefore very Asian-eye friendly and such a pleasure to use. It’s narrowness makes it perfect to maneuver into those corners of your eyes where your inner and outer lashes like to hide, and emphasizing those is really vital for a fully dramatic look. LashBlast Length’s brush successfully grabs, defines and elongates each and every lash without my ending up with mascara all over my upper eyelid.

Check out the rest of the review and photos of LashBlast Length on me after the jump!

The Formula: The formula is where my love for LashBlast Length really kicks in! So as most of you know, I’ve been a quest for a cheaper, non-smudging version of YSL’s Everlong for the longest time now and honestly nothing has even come close ~ except LashBlast Length! Now the definition isn’t quite as fabulous, nor is the length, but the formulas do feel quite similar going on. LashBlast Length has the same somewhat dry feeling formula that’s a breeze to work with and I can apply layer after layer without clumps or flakes.

One coat of this mascara really doesn’t do much for me, but after coats two and three I’m in long-lash heaven! If you’re looking for dramatic volume and a thick lush fan of lashes I’d turn elsewhere, but if your aim is to achieve super long fanned out lashes that won’t clump or flake (I did experience an almost negligible amount of smudging) and will feel fluttery soft all day, you really can’t beat this for the price.

Usage Tips: Alternate layers of LashBlast Length with your favorite volumizing mascara for a thick, impossibly long fringe of defined lashes that will have amazing natural lift (thanks to LashBlast Length).

The Verdict:
I’ve got to say that this is my favorite mascara purchase in quite awhile (notwithstanding two mascara reviews I have coming for you soon ~ thankfully I’m on a good mascara streak now!) and I was really surprised by how much I loved LashBlast Length! If you’ve got short, sparse lashes like me and are looking for something to draw out that length, LashBlast Length might just do the trick!

VALUE: 5/5
PRODUCT: 4.5/5

OVERALL: 4.5/5

Sephora Samples and a Mascara Rave!

October 2, 2009

The nice UPS man dropped off a small Sephora box yesterday, and along with the Stila Barbie palette for my giveaway and a few other items I got to give as gifts were these fabulous samples! I chose the new Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Foundation SPF 20, Lancome Genefique, and Clinique SuperFit.

I also redeemed my 500 points for the Kat von D palette (more on this at a later date – I’ve got reviews and swatches for you, but if you’re contemplating it you may not want to waste your points as I was really disappointed) and then another 100 points for Clinique’s High Impact Mascara.

But the highlight of all these fun samples was by far the BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara which I got by using code: BEFLAWLESS at checkout. I was expecting this to be decent but not any better than Buxom Lash, but (at least based upon my first impressions) this stuff is pretty awesome! I won’t say anything else until I’ve given Flawless Definition more testing, but if you’re planning to place a Sephora order anytime soon be sure to get your deluxe sample!

Mascara Series Part 32: L’Oreal Telescopic Explosion Mascara Review & Photos

October 1, 2009
L’Oreal Telescopic Explosion Mascara
(officially available in November for $9.49)

The Claim: L’Oreal introduces new Telescopic Explosion Mascara to lengthen, thicken and separate 100% of lashes, even hard-to-reach corner lashes! The patented Flexi-Globe Brush applies from every angle for a spectacularly fanned-out look.

The Packaging: For some reason I just wasn’t too fond of the packaging on this one. Yes I get that it’s cleverly designed to look like a telescope and the black and red are certainly eye-catching, but something about this just says “ugly” to me, but that’s just my opinion.

The Brush: Oh the brush – I know this is what you’ve all been waiting to hear about. I’d say Telescopic Explosion’s applicator is pretty darn similar to the one on Givenchy’s Phenomen’eyes, with the exception being that L’Oreal’s looks a bit malnourished in comparison. So that causes this malnourished appearance? Well L’Oreal’s Telescopic Explosion wand has some nice length to it in comparison to Phenomen’eyes’, and the “ball” on Telescopic Explosion is a little more ovular than Phenomen’eyes, which is a true sphere.

Performance-wise they’re very similar though ~ I still loved the fact that I could reach every last lash in the inner and outer corners of my eyes and easily coat my lower lashes, and I still hated the fact that the ball wand seemed prone to push my lashes together causing the single mega-lash look.

Hear my thoughts on the formula and see some photos of me wearing Telescopic Explosion after the jump!

The Formula: So the formula is where Telescopic Explosion really diverges from Phenomen’eyes (both the original and the Effet Extension) . The original Phenomen’eyes was too wet and Effet Extension wasn’t quite dramatic enough, but Telescopic Explosion’s formula is actually well…good. It’s not great, but it’s really quite solid. It provides some decent length and definition with just one coat which I appreciate since Effet Extension really didn’t look like much of anything after just a single coat.

What I love most about this formula is the natural lift it provides for your lashes. It really doesn’t hold a curl well at all, but I don’t feel the need to curl as the shape of the applicator coupled with the formula really give your lashes an uplifted look even without curling. I experience little to no flaking or smudging, and while the formula does clump a little after multiple coats, it’s nothing I can’t work with.

Usage Tips: Layer this under a coat or two of CoverGirl’s new LashBlast Length mascara a lush fan of fluttery soft lashes that have fabulous natural lift and amazing length.

The Verdict:
At 1/3 of the price of Givenchy’s Phenomen’eyes and with (dare I say it) a better formula as well, I’d say try this if you’ve been dying to get your hands on Phenomen’eyes but just haven’t been able to stomach the price. It’s not a fantastic mascara by any means but it is quite good and I can almost guarantee that it’ll kill your Phenomen’eyes lemming in one form or another!

VALUE: 5/5

OVERALL: 3.75/5

New In The Mascara World: YSL Mascara Singulier & Estee Lauder Ultimate Red Turbolash

October 1, 2009
Yves Saint Laurent ‘Mascara Singulier’ Exaggerated Lift Mascara ($30)

A daring new interpretation of beautiful eyes. Glamorous volume, bold length, voluptuous curl and dramatic styling: Mascara Singulier dares to do everything. A unique innovation by Yves Saint Laurent, the mascara brush combines the technology of a traditional brush with the structure of a molded brush, to increase the performance of the formula: Structured in an elliptic way, the multidimensional bristles ensure haute-couture precision and dress the lashes evenly from root to tip. By coating the root of the lashes with mascara like a stroke of eyeliner, the brush creates a unique and intense new type of separation. Volumizing micro-spheres thicken the lashes, with provitamin B5 to protect, nourish and reinforce the lashes’ structure. Like hair extensions, nylon micro-fibers extend the lashes. A high-performance curling wax helps style the lashes for an ideal curve.

At first glance the applicator for YSL’s Mascara Singulier reminded me quite a bit of the oblique brush on Dior’s Diorshow Iconic Mascara, but having compared the photos side by side I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re actually quite different. I do feel like I’ve seen the exact same applicator on another mascara recently though – thoughts anyone?

Regardless, you all know I’m a sucker for YSL mascaras – Everlong and Faux Cils, while not perfect, are pretty amazing in their own rights! This is definitely on my “to try” list and I’m hoping to review it for you at some point.

Estée Lauder ‘Ultimate Red – Turbolash’ All Effects Motion Mascara™ ($32)

Turn it on. The brush does it all. For a limited time, Estée Lauder’s revolutionary, worldwide-first auto-powered mascara comes with sparkling Gold Effects. Goes on over your favorite black mascara for lashes that shimmer dramatically with flecks of gold.

When I spotted this on Nordstrom’s site my first thought was “Ewwww red mascara?!” so I was glad to see that this mascara is actually gold, not red. Now my second thought was – why do I need a vibrating gold mascara? And in reality I don’t, but this packaging is pretty darn festive and I don’t actually own a gold mascara…but I really shouldn’t get this for $32.

Spotted any new mascaras on the horizon as of late? Share!

Mascara Series Part 31: Urban Decay Skycraper Multi-Benefit Macara Review & Photos

September 8, 2009
Urban Decay Skyscraper Multi-Benefit Mascara ($22)

The Claim: Six-in-one Skyscraper Mascara lengthens, strengthens, thickens, brightens, separates and curls lashes. A flexible, new generation brush grabs and separates every lash, while deluxe ingredients like panthenol, vitamins C & E and silk protein help condition, strengthen and protect, with no flaking. Lashes are long, strong and feather-soft.

The Packaging: Skyscraper Multi-Benefit comes in a gorgeous, velvety-feeling matte touch tube embellished with a hand-drawn midnight purple design. The packaging was really a delight for the senses!

The Brush: When I saw the applicator on this mascara, I immediately thought of my dearly loved YSL Everlong (review HERE), and so of course I purchased Urban Decay’s Skyscraper Multi-Benefit Mascara in the hopes that it could serve as a cheaper alternative. And while the brushes do look quite similar in person and in the photos, for some reason this one just doesn’t give me the amazing definition that Everlong does. It’s still quite the nice macara brush – it defines and separates the lashes quite well – it’s just not as good.

The Formula: The formula was a little disappointing for me. It is indeed feathery soft and lightweight and it builds nicely on the lashes, but I would’ve appreciated a little more length and volume and a lot more curl. Again the formula is similar to Everlong’s, right down to the lash-loving ingredients that are meant to promote healthier lashes, but my lashes lacked the stunning length I’m able to achieve with Everlong. One coat of Skyscraper really didn’t do much for me ~ what you’re seeing in the photos below is 3 coats. I experienced zero flaking or clumping and only a tiny bit of smudging, making this a nice run-of-the-maill mascara, but there was just no wow-factor to it for me.

The Verdict: Urban Decay’s Skyscraper Multi-Benefit is less skyscraper and more two story building. It makes a great everyday mascara, but on those nights you’re looking for a little more drama to really make your eyes pop, this isn’t going to cut it. I did quite like it though, and it gets high marks from me for the beautiful packaging!

RATING: 3.5/5

Mascara Series Part 31: L’Oreal Paris Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara Review & Photos

September 3, 2009
L’Oreal Paris Extra-Volume Collagen Hydra-Collagen Volumizing Mascara ($7.95)

The Claim: Captivate with 12x more volume, instantly! Discover your lushest, most luxurious lashes ever. Our unique formula has hydra-collagen and the instant-impact brush build breathtaking volume fast.

The Packaging: At first glance Extra Volume Collagen looks to be just another sleek black tube, but there are enough subtle variations that make it stand out in terms of the packaging. I really like the chic lucite-like bit added to the top of the tube.

The Brush: L’Oreal boasts that their “instant-impact” brush is 50% bigger than a conventional mascara applicator to build volume faster, but I’m not entirely sold on it. First of all, instant impact my butt! One coat of Extra-Volume Collagen does next to nothing for me. I’m also not a fan of big just for the sake of big – the bristles on this brush do little to lengthen, separate or define. It’s not a terrible brush, but it’s just decent at best.

The Formula: So let me just start off by saying that I’ve never been this torn on a mascara’s formula before. Here’s the thing – I hapen to think that this mascara looks pretty fabulous on, especially for the price point, but there are so many little things that bother me about it. As I mentioned above, one coat does absolutely nothing for me, but two coats and it’s va-va-va voom lashes with gorgeous volume and good length (this completely kills my curl though). So my issue with the formula? Well it’s horribly, digustingly, repulsively crusty and clumpy. It feels a little crunchy going on, with little lumps being deposited here and there along the length of my lashes, and the feeling of the mascara wand kind of scraping through these lumpy bits is just gross; and of course it only gets worse with subsequent coats. Yet somehow the overall once the mascara’s dry actually looks quite good, especially with the super-blackness of the formula.

It also flakes a little and smudges on me (and forget about crying – any dampness and this stuff slides right off), irritating my contacts.

The Verdict: While I’m bordering on loving how this mascara looks on me after 2-3 coats, I don’t think I’d repurchase as the feeling of applying it is akin to the sound of nails across a chalkboard for me, plus I just don’t have the time or patience to whip out a lash comb each and every morning.


Mascara Series Part 30: Givenchy Phenomen’eyes Effet Extension High-Precision Panoramic Mascara Review & Photos

August 16, 2009
Givenchy Phenomen’eyes High-Precision Panoramic Mascara ($28)

See my review of the original Givenchy Phenomen’eyes Mascara HERE.

The Claim: A mascara with a spherical brush and a new-generation formula that coats each lash and dries quickly for an immediate lengthening effect. Expert and tiny, the brush skillfuly reached the remotest corners, gliding smoothly from lash to lash and base to tip. The secret of this mascara’s high-definition lengthening power lies in its extending and fixing: It strikes the perfect balance between the formula’s elasticity and drying time. The result is bat-worthy lashes with a panoramic effect.

The Packaging: Givenchy’s new Phemon’eyes Effet Extension comes in the same packaging as the original Phemone’eyes, just with the words Effect Extension encircling the top of the tube. The Givenchy tube is a lot shorter and stubbier than conventional mascara tubes and has a nice heft to it that makes it enjoyable to grasp and use. All in all it’s relatively simple yet elegant – and nothing beats the uniqueness of the applicator inside!

The Brush: I’ve already said my piece on the ball-shaped Phenomen’eyes applicator HERE, which people say reminds them of a sea urchin or some type of medieval torture device, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. This patented ball applicator made of flexible elastors has its pros and cons. On the bright side it really allows you to reach every last lash, including those hard to reach ones on the inner and outer corners, and it allows you to focus on smell segments with ease. The con is that you are working in small segments, meaning mascara application takes a good deal longer than I’d like. One other thing I dislike is that whenever I pull the applicator out there a huge glob of mascara stuck on one end, but thankfully the ball-applicator does a great job of evenly distributing the product.

The Formula: I know you’re going to ask me how this is different from the original Phenomen’eyes formula, and you can expect a detailed breakdown sometime within the next 24 hours or so, so for the time being I’m just going to focus on the Effet Extension formula. Effet Extension, true to its name, really does a great job of lengthening the lashes. For me it doesn’t hold much of a curl at all, but I can get a decent amount of volume and really beautiful length using this formula. It also dries very quickly, which can work both for and against you. Its quick drying time means you really don’t need to worry about this smudging on you, but the downside is that you’ll want to apply additional coats while it’s still somewhat wet since applying additional mascara on top of the already dry formula will lead to clumpiness/spideriness. The overall look is nice, but I always find myself wishing for a little more clean definition with this one.

The Verdict: It takes a little more work and effort than I’d like, but Givenchy’s Phenomen’eyes Effet Extension is very successful in giving me super-long, fluttery lashes that don’t smudge or flake, yet remove easily with water and some face wash. Coupled with the novelty of the brush I’d say this one is worth checking out if you’ve been interested in trying it, although it’s not one of those “rocked my world” mascaras.

RATING: 3.75/5

Read Parts 1-29 of the Mascara Series here! I’ve also added a “Mascara Series” tab up top so you have easy access to it at all times!

Mascara Series Part 29: Lancome Hypnôse Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara Review & Photos

August 13, 2009
Lancome HYPNÔSE DRAMA Instant Full Body Volume Mascara in Excessive Black ($24.50)

The Claim: Hypnôse Drama creates full body, high-volume lashes in a single stroke. The full contact brush, with its S-shaped curve, grasps and loads lashes for a fanned out, eye-popping, full body fringe. It works magic on tiny lashes. Even dramatizes corner lashes other brushes miss—or worse, mess. Lancôme’s luxurious new texturizing complex features highly saturated waxes and intense black pigments for maximum lash volume. The triple coating system with caring Pro-Vitamin B5 delivers a fluid and creamy application to quickly and easily build big, battable lashes.

The Packaging: I’m generally not too impressed by Lancome’s non-limited edition packaging, but I do always appreciate the raised rose design they have on their mascara boxes ~ very pretty! The Hypnôse Drama tube is actually rather sexy – it curves and dips in all the right places, mimicking the S-curve of the brush housed within.

The Brush: Hypnôse Drama’s brush is what suckered me into purchasing this mascara. As you know, I’m all about trying out new mascaras, and when a company releases a brush design that I haven’t seen before, all hope is lost. In practice, the S-shaped curve design creates much the same effect that a curved wand does; the brush molds to fit the contour of your eye a little better and helps to give you lashes some extra lift. Unfortunately the bristles don’t quite do it for me – they do indeed load the lashes with mascara as Lancome claims, but this comes in the form of depositing large blobs of mascara along my lashes and then not being able to work out the clumps or provide much definition.

The Formula: Based upon Hypnôse Drama’s claim to be able to quickly build long, lush lashes I was expecting great things but was sorely disappointed. The formula is indeed intensely black, but that’s pretty much the only positive that I can find. Hypnôse Drama has a very very wet, somewhat mousse-like formula that globs onto the mascara wand and then sort of sits on your lashes, forming unattractive clumps that are difficult to work out. The wetness means that should you blink while applying your mascara or for a good period of time afterwards, you’ll end up with raccoon eyes. The formula flaked on me, smudged a little, and didn’t hold a curl (although it did provide some nice lift thanks to the S-brush). I was able to achieve some decent length with this, and I will say the volume was nice, but I can’t advocate purchasing a mascara that creates volume by gluing lashes together to create a spindy, spidery mess.

Here’s a close-up of one eye so that you can see the messiness/clumpiness I’m talking about. I worked hard to create an even application and this was the result.

The Verdict: I really really wanted to love Lancome’s Hypnôse Drama as it’s not terribly priced, has a cool brush, and basically sounds like it would be the most amazing mascara ever, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I know it actually doesn’t look too terrible in the photos above, but in person it was messy and clumpy and just not the mascara for me! I have seen a bunch of rave reviews on this particular mascara so you may be able to make it work for you, but I definitely won’t be going back to it until they improve the formula.

RATING: 2.5/5

Read Parts 1-28 of the Mascara Series here! I’ve also added a “Mascara Series” tab up top so you have easy access to it at all times!

Mascara Series Part 28: Fresh Supernova Mascara Review & Photos

July 25, 2009
Fresh Supernova Mascara ($25)

The Claim: Get the ultimate dramatic lash with this conditioning mascara enriched with panthenol, protective linden extract, and nourishing meadowfoam oil. The rich formula thickens, extends, and delivers an ultra-glossy finish in one coat. Lashes are scientifically proven to have 34% more eye-opening curve after applying Supernova.

The Packaging: Lately I seem to have become even more packaging-obsessed than usual, and this is definitely one cute mascara! The tube is a nice matte black (I’m loving matte mascara tubes lately) with a fun contrasting white pattern. I really like it!

The Brush: The brush is nothing too special: it’s comprised of your conventional mascara wand bristles, evenly spaced apart, and it gets the job done but doesn’t do anything extraordinary.

The Formula:
I kind of like that Fresh decided to focus on the mascara’s formula rather than going over the top with the applicator, although the formula could still use a bit of tweaking. The beauty of Fresh’s Supernova formula is in its lightness; there’re days where I’ve applied 4-5 coats of this stuff and I still can’t tell that I’m wearing mascara, it’s that light and flexible. Supernova coats lashes in a glossy, deep black layer of mascara while providing beautiful length and lift to the lashes. The volume is mediocre at best, but there’s definitely some there unlike Givenchy’s Eye Fly which was super super wispy. I don’t find that this mascara holds a curl very well, but it does provide some really nice lift to my normally sad, droopy lashes which I love.

This would make a great everyday mascara as removal is also a breeze except for one small factor: it smudges — like crazy! It doesn’t clump or flake and it’s definitely non-irritating, but after two or so hours of wearing this mascara I definitely notice the onset of raccoon eyes.

The Verdict: Fresh’s Supernova is one of the lightest lengthening mascaras that I’ve tried to date, so it’s pretty tragic that it smudges so quickly. The shiny patent look and soft length it gives my lashes is beautiful, but it lacks the drama I look for in my mascaras and seems a bit overpriced at $25.

RATING: 3.5/5

Read Parts 1-27 of the Mascara Series here! I’ve also added a “Mascara Series” tab up top so you have easy access to it at all times!

New Mascara Alert! Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara

July 17, 2009
Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara ($24.50)
Hypnôse Drama creates full-bodied, high-volume lashes in a single stroke. The oversized, full-contact Convex Brush has an S-shaped curve that grasps and loads lashes for a fanned out, full-bodied fringe. It even dramatizes corner lashes that other brushes miss. Lancôme’s new luxurious, texturizing complex features highly saturated waxes and intense black pigments that provide maximum lash coating and rich color. The triple-coating system with Pro-Vitamin B5 delivers a fluid and creamy application, with long playtime, to quickly and easily build big, battable lashes.

You all know I’m a sucker for cool/new/different mascara wands! I was thinking I’d been ordering Givenchy’s new & improved Phenomen’eyes release, but then Sephora decides to torment me by sending this little morsel of delight to my inbox! Should I? Shouldn’t I? It does say ‘quantities are limited’! Which of the two would you rather see reviewed for the Mascara Series?