Archive for the 'mascara' Category

Mascara Series Part 27: Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus Review & Photos

July 14, 2009
Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus ($15.20 on Sasa)

The Claim: Shiseido’s MAJOLICA MAJORCA Lash Expander Frame Plus wears firmly and evenly on lashes, creating separated lashes with a long-lasting finish. The secret behind these glamorous lashes is a revolutionary double-sided brush and lash-lengthening fibers: the comb brush helps lengthen lashes while the spiral brush works to enhance the volume of lashes for a surprising eye-liner look. (LOL please excuse the bad Engrish here–I fixed it up as best as I could without changing the meaning too much)

And on a side note while you may not think that this fits into today’s drugstore theme, it actually does since this is one of Shiseido’s drugstore lines in Japan! 🙂

The Packaging: I’ve decided to add a new ‘packaging’ subheading to my Mascara Series because some mascaras are just too beautiful for me to forgo mentioning their smile-inducing exteriors. Part of the reason that I love Asian cosmetics so much is that regardless of whether they’re cheap or mind-bogglingly expensive, they’re always beautifully packaged. The MM Lash Expander Frame Plus comes in a sleek black and gold plastic tube that’s easily one of the prettiest mascaras I won. I appreciate how easily differentiated this is from my millions of other black mascara tubes (when you own as many as I do it’s hard to tell them apart) thanks to the gold emblem on top of the cap which I just love to pieces.

Close-up of the top.

The Brush: A major part of what differentiates the original Lash Expander (my first ever mascara series review!!) from Lash Expander Frame Plus is the wand – Frame Plus basically implements the original Lash Expander brush design but with an additional side. Frame Plus’ double-ended comb-style applicator has spiraled side (the top portion in the photos below) for coating the lashes and depositing length & volume-building fibers, and a comb (the same comb the original Lash Expander has) for lengthening and defining each lash.

Majolica Majorca’s comb applicator is fabulous for depositing mascara and combing out any clumps you may get, but it’s a little messy. I always seem to manage to get mascara along my upper lash line/eyelid area, messing up my eyeshadow. I find that the best way to use the applicator is to glob on the fibers using the spiral end, then comb out using the comb end, then repeat until I get a look that I like.

Close-up of the applicator. If you click the photo to enlarge you’ll be able to get a better look at all the little fibers clinging to the wand.

The Formula: Frame Plus (unlike the original Lash Expander) is a fiber mascara, meaning the formula contains a multitude of tiny little fibery bits that, once deposited on your lashes, cling on for dear life creating the illusions of longer lashes. Frame Plus is absolutely amazing for holding a curl and the fibers create some nice (albeit rather sparse and spindly) length, but it’s severely lacking in the volume department so unless the look you’re going for is long, super wispy lashes you may be disappointed. The original Lash Expander had a thicker formula that sculpted your lashes to newfound heights in terms of length and volume, but Frame Plus lacks this key attribute.

On the plus side, while I usually find fiber mascaras to be very irritating for my sensitive eyes (the fibers fall off, land on my contacts and drive me nuts), these fibers tend to stay put very – due in part to the fact that Majolica Majorca mascaras are next to impossible to remove. I’m still inclined to like Frame Plus for the slightly ethereal wispy-lashed look it gives me, but when I’m going for some serious drama this is definitely not what I reach for.

The Usual Eye Photos: I just wanted to explain (for those of you who’re newer to the mascara series) that I always take three eye shots of each mascara for the series – one straight on with eyes open, one with eyes shut, and one from underneath with eyes open so that you can get a better look at length/volume.

The Conclusion: If you have thick lashes and you’re just looking for some amazing curl (nothing holds a curl better than a Majolica Majorca mascara), beautiful wispy length and a stay-put-through-a-hurricane formula, Majolica Majorca’s Lash Expander Frame Plus would be great, but if you’re like me and really love the look of lush, thick lashes this is a little disappointing. And if you do decide to give this a shot, please please pick up a bottle of Clean & Clear’s Soothing Eye Makeup Remover (review HERE) or you’ll be wearing this mascara for the next week or so.

I just had to add that while it sounds like I’m being pretty tough on this mascara, I actually do like it quite a bit. I always get compliments on my eyes when wearing this as it really opens them up and it’s all around really nice, I just think it could be better :).

RATING: 3.75/5

Read Parts 1-26 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!

Nordstrom Exclusive: Lancome ‘Oscillation Powerbooster’ Vibrating Mascara Primer

May 22, 2009

Vibrating. Amplifying. Primer. Feel the vibration. See the growth. The first vibrating power primer to boost the appearance of natural lash growth. The vibrating power primer enhances lash thickness, density and appearance of length so that naturally occurring lash growth is more visible/noticeable.

Innovation: With a combination of Crescentia complex with vibrations that act as a massage, see lash expansion day after day. Oscillation Powerbooster helps lashes reach their full potential and boost the appearance of natural lash growth.

How to use: First apply Oscillation Powerbooster to prepare and improve the lash surface, followed by your favorite mascara to maximize your makeup result. Results are spectacular: visibly stronger, fuller, longer lashes day after day.

I was all ready to want Lancome’s new Oscillation Powerbooster Vibrating Mascara Primer even though I wasn’t too huge a fan of the Oscillation mascara itself (check out my review under the Mascara Series tab up above) but the $39 price tag pretty much stopped me dead in my tracks. Do you think you’ll be checking this out?

Drugstore Discoveries: L’Oreal Telescopic Explosion Mascara, a Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Dupe

May 13, 2009

It looks like the powers that be have finally decided to grace us with an affordable alternative to Givenchy’s Phenomen’eyes Mascara (see my review and photos HERE) in the form of L’Oreal’s Telescopic Explosion. Thanks so much to faerie_bel for the tip! I’m not sure is this is available stateside yet, as most of the reviews I’ve found of this appear to be non-US based, but I’m just dying to get my hands on this. I need it!

New From Revlon: DOUBLETWIST Mascara

May 13, 2009

Has anybody checked out Revlon’s new DoubleTwist mascara? It caught my eye while I was browsing the aisles of Walgreens (but then again what mascara doesn’t?), and while I did manage to exercise some self-control, it has been on my mind as of late.

The brush reminds me quite a bit of Chanel’s Exceptionnel de Chanel applicator (check out my review and photos HERE)–they both implement the same concept of alternating brush and comb bristles, and since it appears to have worked quite well for Chanel, I’m wondering if this one is any good.

Jet Lagged and Can’t Sleep =X

May 10, 2009

Luckily I have fabulous readers who take the time to turn me onto great deals & steals like this new Fresh Magic Wands Mini Mascara Duo, exclusively at Sephora which is only $10!! Thanks Cedes!

Your $10 gets you a mascara layering kit featuring Fresh’s Supernova and Firebird Mascaras (each 0.067 oz). The Duo delivers high-voltage lashes: Supernova creates a super-black base, with a volumizing lift, and Firebird has a feathery effect. Layered together the effect is supposed to be stunning.

Lashes are scientifically proven to have 34% more eye-opening curve after applying Supernova and to be 44% fuller and more voluminous after applying Firebird. For your best lashes, apply two coats of Supernova followed by one coat of Firebird.

Since I’m not doing anything productive (I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty useless at 2:30 am) I figured I’d order this mini set to review for you guys, along with the Dior Addict Lip Glow that I’ve been wanting and an Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Zero. The wonders of the internet and shopping online! 🙂

Mascara Series Part 26: Fairy Drops Mascara Review & Photos

April 22, 2009
Fairy Drops Mascara ($13.90)

The Claim: FAIRY DROPS Mascara’s brush is particularly designed. Lumpy brush ensures perfect contact with every lash for volume, curly and no clump eyelash look. Water-proof formula works to resist water, sweat and sebum. Long-lasting wear is guaranteed.

The Brush: You have no idea how long my quest has been for this ‘lumpy’ Fairy Drops Mascara applicator. I lusted after this mascara for years before Sasa recently started carrying it, and then my friend ended up going to Japan so I just asked her to pick it up for me as part of this haul. I even resorted to trying Rimmel’s Sexy Curves Mascara (review HERE) in the hopes that it’d wow me, but I was sorely disappointed by it.

So the real Fairy Drops Mascara brush is a densely bristled, oddly shaped little thing that consists of three rounded segments. The inner two segments are like two round balls, and the outer segment has more of a ovular shape. You can really feel how densely placed the bristles are when you apply this mascara, and it may seem gimmicky but it really works for me! The shape really allows me to reach and capture every little lash, and the ovular outer portion is great for singling out those inner and outer lashes and for focusing on specific areas of the eye. I’m so happy to have finally found this!

The Formula: Japanese mascaras are always a love/hate thing for me. They tend to look fabulous on, give me wonderful curl, and last forever, but the fact that they’re virtually impossible to remove is a huge negative factor for me. So how does Fairy Drops stack up?

Well let’s see–the curl I get with this is just gorgeous. Once I’ve curled my lashes and applied this mascara, the curl isn’t going anywhere; you can wake up the next morning and your lashes will be just as curled as they were when you first applied Fairy Drops. The length and volume are above average but not amazing, although definitely buildable. Plus this mascara feels really light on–like you’re not wearing anything. And naturally this mascara doesn’t clump, smudge or flake–three major no-no’s for me!

But the true test of course is how hard is this stuff to remove? I won’t say that it’s easy, but it’s definitely MUCH less stubborn than my Majolica Majorca Lash Expander, which while gorgeous on, becomes the bane of my existence once it comes time to remove it (and it’s also a pain in the butt to apply). I can actually remove this that same night, whereas the MM stays on my lashes for days.

My lashes may look shorter than usual in this photo, but that’s only because of the curl.

The Verdict: I think I love this mascara! The packaging is super super cute and girly, the price is spot on, you can have it shipped to the US, it doesn’t smudge, clump or flake, and most importantly it holds a curl amazingly well and gives me beautiful, natural-looking fanned out lashes. To be honest though I think a large part of this mascara’s allure, at least to me, is pure cuteness though =X.


Related Posts:

  • Check out the rest of the Mascara Series by clicking on the Mascara Series tab up on the menu bar!

Mascara Series Part 25: CoverGirl LashBlast Luxe Shimmery Volumizing Mascara Review & Photos

April 20, 2009
CoverGirl LashBlast Luxe Shimmery Volumizing Mascara in Black Platinum ($8.49 give or take )

The Claim: Get a blast of volumized lashes with a hint of luxurious shimmer with the biggest brush ever from CoverGirl! LashBlast’s volume-boosting formula and big brush give you big, bold luxurious lashes.

The Brush: CoverGirl’s LastBlast is known for its jumbo-sized, not so small-eyed-people-friendly brush which contains a plethora of rubbery bristles. It’s great for fanning out the lashes and creating nice, even definition, but it’s also a clumsy-person hazard because it is so large. I do quite like the brush in that it stretches out every lash, creating nice length and separation, but on smaller Asian eyes it can also create quite the mess. And yes Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper Mascara does have a very similar brush, but trust me these mascaras are actually quite different!

The Formula: LashBlast Luxe is the pretty much the original LashBlast formula (which contains ‘spherical wax’ particles which act as spacers to help create a beauty fan of lashes) with the addition of shimmer. So I was pretty sad to find that while this does come in a pretty pink tube (the original comes in an orange tube), the shimmer was essentially non-existent. Instead, Black Platinum just looks to be a less black version of the regular LashBlast, and I really don’t see any shimmer or sparkle at all.

LashBlast does provide nice length, decent curl and volume, and very pretty definition without smudging or flaking, but nothing about it wows me as it’s just not particularly spectacular in any given department. While people may say that Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper (review HERE) is just a LashBlast wannabe, to me it distinguishes itself with its phenomenal volume and buildability.

The Verdict: CoverGirl’s LashBlast Luxe is an all-around solid mascara, but if you’re expecting some shimmer or sparkle, you’ll be disappointed. I say stick with the original if you like a more dramatic look since Black Platinum is definitely less black than I would’ve liked, but I do recommend LashBlast if you’re looking for an affordable mascara that will give you a little bit of everything~length, volume, curl, and definition. I wasn’t amazed, but I most definitely wasn’t disappointed either.

RATING: 3.5/5

Mascara Series Part 24: Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper Mascara Review & Photos

March 31, 2009
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper Mascara

The Claim: Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper mascara promises extreme lash plumping, plain and simple,by fattening your lashes for a thick, dramatic look.

The Brush: Since its release, many have poo-pooed 2000 Calorie Extreme as being a CoverGirl LashBlast knock-off, myself included, but i was still more than happy to try this after Nicole was sweet enough to send it to me, and I’m so glad that she did! The super-sized brush is indeed quite similar to LashBlast’s, with its rubbery bristles and, of course, massive size. The spacing of the bristles makes for easy coating of each lash, and while the brush can be a bit cumbersome to maneuver, especially for smaller eyes, I do think that it’s manageable once you learn your way around it.

The Formula: At first blush I wasn’t all that wowed by the formula–it was nice but a little natural looking for my liking. BUT one morning I happened to apply one coat of mascara, move away from my vanity to look for my LashBlast to compare, ended up not finding it, then applied a second coat of 2000 Calorie Extreme over the now dry first coat, and va-va-va-vom! Serious serious volume–I’m talking luscious, thick, fat lashes that you just can’t stop admiring. 2000 Calorie Extreme isn’t all that exceptional in terms of length and curl (mediocre length, not so great curl), but the volume is just killer and makes the macara worth checking out for that aspect alone. Sadly I do experience just a little bit of flaking with this, but it’s nothing too unbearable.

LOVE the volume!

The Verdict: If you’re pretty set in the length and curl departments and are just looking for some seriously dramatic volume, Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper is the mascara for you!

RATING: 3.75/5

Read Parts 1-23 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 23: Rimmel Sexy Curves Full Volume & Curve Mascara Review & Photos

March 7, 2009
Rimmel Sexy Curves Full Volume & Curl Mascara

The Claim: Rimmel’s Sexy Curves Mascara promised me 70% curlier lashes, voluptuous volume, and up to 16 hour curl hold. The packaging states that Rimmel’s patent-pending Lash Inflation technology contains a protein-enriched formula to instantly amplify your natural volume for fabulously fuller, clump free lashes.

The Brush: Sexy Curves implements a unique triple plump brush that supposedly curls in for volume and out for maximum curl. The cute, curvy packaging and the wand basically suckered me into purchasing this mascara. There was an Asian mascara that I’d been dying to own that somewhat looked like this, so when I saw it I was basically a goner. Unfortunately I’m not all too crazy about the wand. The fact that it dips inwards means that your lashes don’t get evenly coated and it makes for some awkward application (you miss groups of lashes here and there), plus I see no curling in for volume and out for curl effect. I think the applicator would work a million times better if they’d gone with shorter, nubbier bristles spaced more closely together.

The Formula: Again not so crazy about this either. It’s not terrible in that it doesn’t really flake or cause irritation, but it does smudge doesn’t really do much else. It gives me some wispy length, almost no volume, and while it can hold a tiny bit of a curl, it’s so “natural” looking that honestly it’s not even worth taking the time to use this most days. I look for high drama in my mascaras, even on an otherwise minimal makeup day, so this doesn’t even come close to cutting it. If I reall pile it on I can get some decent length and maybe a tiny bit of volume, but I really don’t have the time to be doing that when there are a million beter mascaras out there.

The Verdict: Ana you were totally right about this one? I basically look like I just tinted my lashes darker, which is really not what I’m looking for in a mascara. While I still love the way that the actual mascara looks, it just doesn’t look that good on.

RATING: 2.5/5

Mascara Series Part 22: MAC Plush Lash Review & Photos

March 2, 2009
MAC Plush Lash ($12)

The Claim: A mascara formulated to instantly plump up lashes for extreme voluptuous effect. Works fast. Builds volume smoothly and evenly from root to tip. Delivers a silky, flexible, full fan of lashes. Fluid formula lightly coats lashes one layer at a time without smearing, smudging or clumping. Volumizing, lengthening, curling, lifting. This mascara features everything you want, with all the top mascara no’s: no clumping, spiking, smudging or flaking.

The Brush: MAC states that Plush Lash goes on via an innovative, specially patented wand with a v-shaped groove that prunes the bristles on one side while leaving the other side full and lush. The short bristles coax the lashes upward to an extraordinarily sophisticated yet flirtatious curl, while the other side separates and combs the lashes root-to-tip creating a long, well-defined glamour lash. If you check out the photo below, you can almost see that half the brush is completely flat, which might be great for those with long lashes, but for people with small eyes like me, it’s a huge mess to work with. I do like the brush in that it applies the mascara smoothly and it has a nice sleek feel to it, but I always always end up with tons of mascara all over my eyelids because this is just so difficult to maneuver if your eyes aren’t on the larger end of the spectrum.

The Formula: I’m really conflicted about Plush Lash. There are certain days that it gives me a beautiful, doe-eyed, long-lashed look, and then there are other days that it does absolutely nothing for me. The tube is flexible (it’s made of a plasticy/rubbery material) so that you can squeeze it to get at every last bit of mascara, but I don’t actually ever see myself finishing this mascara because most days it just doesn’t look that great on me. On top of that, it smudges and flakes on me, so while I do love the silky, feather-light flexible lashes it gives me, I just never reach for it.

It’s a shame I don’t like this mascara more because I love the way my lashes look in this photo.

The Verdict: I know that there are a ton of lovely ladies who swear by this mascara as their HG, and since it’s $12 I’d say it’s worth a try since it may work for you, but I’m just not a big fan of it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one if you’ve tried it! I (sometimes) get some nice length and volume out of this one, but it doesn’t hold a curl at all and the smudging and flaking are deal-breakers for me.