Showing posts with label mascara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mascara. Show all posts

Friday, 6 May 2016

Long but not fat: SEVENTEEN Long Lash Mascara

Seventeen's latest mascara is Long Lash mascara, and it's a bit of a bargain at just £6.99.  Designed with a skinny, short bristled brush, it promises long lashes which don't flake or smudge.  And, provided you're prepared to put a bit of work into your lashes, that's pretty much what you'll get - soft lashes which are gloriously long and last all day.

What you won't get, unfortunately, is much by way of volume, which means that if your lashes are spindly and sparse like mine, you'll end up with length but little thickness, and less definition on the lashline than you'd like.  The sticky formula of the mascara does require some good wigglin' from root to tip to ensure even coverage and to avoid clumps - combing it through without wiggling will get clumpy, fast - and even with all the wiggling in the world, you can't layer this mascara up beyond two coats, otherwise... clumps.

So, a reasonable lengthening mascara, but not for those who are lazy, in need of volume, or who like a lot of layering.  A good basic at a basic price.  Find it at Boots.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Beautiful: Max Factor Velvet Volume False Lash Effect Mascara

This mascara has been sitting in my to-try pile for a long time, and now I've actually tried it, I wish I'd done it sooner!  It claims to give touchably soft volume, for lashes which are darker, fuller and more volumised.

The darker part is obvious for pretty much any mascara, and the fuller and more volumised part is absolutely true.  The touchable part is also accurate: lashes are bendy, flexible and soft despite being plentifully coated in mascara to get the volume effect.  You can see from the photo that my lashes are well defined and fluttery full, too, thanks to the light formula and the nubbly bristled brush.

Overall, I'm very impressed.  And at just £11.99, fluttery volume comes at a very reasonable price.  Find it at Boots.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara

Maybelline's new mascara has landed with a bit of a bang, with numerous celebrities taking to Instagram to showcase it's lash boosting prowess.  This makes me feel pretty old, as I've heard of few of these celebrities, but the cool kids on Instagram seem impressed, so hey.

What I'm impressed with is the mascara itself, although it did take a little while to get to grips with the super black, thick and sticky formula.  Immediately after opening the tube, it was a little too wet and a little too clumpy, but after a day or so, it became much better.  My lashes are long, ultra black, and super voluminous after use - the nubbly wand also makes it possible to comb through the lashes to get good definition.  You do still have to work at getting great lashes - and woe betide you if you try to layer it up, for you will end up with a uni-lash, or at best spider-lashes, and you will either look very edgy or very silly.

All in all, then, a bit of a mixed review - a good mascara if you're prepared to put a bit of work in to make sure you get fluttery, voluminous lashes, but don't expect a quick, easy application.  And don't try to use it the second you open the tube.  Find it at Boots, where it costs a very reasonable £7.99.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Tiny But Mighty: Revlon Ultimate All-In-One Mascara

I bought a tube of Revlon's new All-in-One mascara as part of a CVS grab-and-run during a recent trip to the US (and by recent, I mean in November).  This particular trip was a bit unusual in that instead of staying in hotel on my own, as I usually do, I stayed in an Airbnb with some colleagues.  We had a blast - out for dinner every night apart from the nights when we were BBQing in our garden, and believe me - a LOT of wine was consumed.  An unfortunate side effect of this arrangement, though, was near catastrophic.

I didn't get time to go to Sephora.

I made do with a quick run through CVS, whereupon I bought a number of new products from high street brands which hadn't launched in the UK yet.  Including this one which, err, has now launched.  So yeah.

Anyway.  Revlon's Ultimate All-in-One Mascara is really weird, in that it has the tiniest brush in the entire world - it's the size of a raisin.  My immediate thought when I opened it was that it would take an absolute age to get the level of volume I demand from such a tiny brush.  And yeah, it does take a little while longer than a mascara with a monster brush, but it's actually pretty impressive for such a tiny brush.  It helps that the bristles are deep and pointy, and that the mascara formula itself is thick and sticky, so a couple of swipes through the lashes is enough to coat them fully with mascara.

I'm wearing one-and-a-half coats in the photo above - one and a half because I spent a bit of time combing the mascara through and it started drying as I did - and I'm pleased with the level of volume and length, and the relatively unclumpy effect.  For a mere £6.99, this is an impressive little mascara - don't be fooled by it's raisin-tiny brush, it's more than capable of delivering big volume.

Disclosure:  Bought by me.  

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

BUY THIS NOW: Clinique Chubby Lash Mascara in Jumbo Jet & Bodacious Black Honey

Jumbo Jet, Bodacious Black Honey
Bodacious Black Honey
I love an aubergine mascara, and the limited edition Bodacious Black Honey version of Clinique's new Chubby Lash mascara ticks all the boxes - looks dark on the lashes, subtly brings out the green in my eyes, and adds tons of volume.  Tick, tick, tick.  Just a shame it's a limited edition, really, as otherwise I'd commit to buying one every few months for the rest of my life - it's that good.

Anyway, looking beyond the sheer wonder of Bodacious Black Honey, Chubby Lash mascara itself is really rather good.  I've found Clinique's existing volumising mascaras to require a good bit of layering before they truly achieve good volume, so I was expecting Chubby Lash to require layering too, but oh no - what you see on my lashes above is a single coat of mascara.  The thick, slightly sticky formula of the mascara works well with the dense, stubby plastic bristles of the brush to add heaps of volume from the first stroke.

The downside is that you need to be a bit careful to avoid stuck-together, clumpy lashes - plenty of wiggling the brush from root to tip will help, as will making sure that the brush is properly wiped off before loading your lashes.

Add good lasting power and a lack of smudging or migrating, and you've got a very good volumising mascara for those who like their lashes as chubby as possible, and who don't mind a bit of brush-wiggling to avoid clumps.  I promise you I'll be using Bodacious Black Honey down to the last possible smidge.  Find Chubby Lash Mascara at Clinique's website, where it costs £17.50 and comes in a few other limited edition shades, including Two Ton Teal, Portly Plum, and Massive Midnight.

Disclosure: PR samples

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Meh: Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara

When you buy an £18 mascara, you have high expectations, right?  You expect length, volume, a complete lack of clumps, easy application, and good wear.  Sadly, this Makeup Forever mascara doesn't quite deliver on all of those things - whilst it has a good, rich black formula, and it definitely provides plenty by way of length and volume, it struggles to be easy to apply and clump-free.

The problem, I think, is that Christmas tree shaped brush.  Once you pull it out of the tube, the fatter end is perfectly wiped down, but the skinny tip is pretty heavily laden with mascara.  I find that this combination makes application a bit of a faff - I use the skinny end to colour my lashes quickly, but that often results in over-mascaraed lashes, which need a good combing out with the fatter end, which can be a bit tricky round the inner corner and middle of the eye.

The results are quite nice, once I've spent a bit of time going over my lashes with both ends multiple times, swearing a bit, and wiping errant smudges from my nose.  My lashes are long, reasonably voluminous, and prettily fluttery.  But for £18, I expect more.  And sorry, MUFE, as much as I love your newly available in the UK products, Smoky Extravagant doesn't quite cut it for me.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Superspendy superflutter: Santhilea Magnetic Lash Mascara

Ever heard of Santhilea?  No, me neither.  Whoever they are, they have managed to create a mascara that gives incredibly fluttery long lashes, using a two step system of black mascara and black fibres.

To use it, you're best off applying one eye at a time - otherwise the mascara starts to become too dry to properly adhere the fibres.  Simply apply one coat of black mascara (which does little but darken your lashes), then stroke the fibre-laden-brush upwards from root to tip.  This'll catch lots of fine fibres onto the lashes, which you then smooth and comb into place with a second and final coat of mascara.

The result is pretty enough - fluttery, long, well separated and full - but it is a bit of a faff.  This is not a mascara for speedy application in the morning if you're running late for work.  If you're taking your time with your makeup, and looking for lashes which appear naturally beautiful, it's great - and you can even continue layering to get an even more dramatic effect.  I'm too lazy to go beyond three motions, but even the one coat looks great - and removes the need for falsies.

My only major problem with this product?  The price.  At £24.99, I expect miracles - I expect, basically, full lashes which look like false lashes from the first application, full of drama and so fluttery that they cause a discernible breeze.  The first application is much more daytime appropriate, though, and I don't need to spend six minutes and £25 for daytime appropriate lashes.  If you're curious to try the system yourself, you'll find it at Cult Beauty - but I'll be sticking to my Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, which gives a similar look more quickly and for less cash.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

BUY THIS NOW: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

A recent trip to the States saw me bring back quite a few drugstore goodies, including Maybelline's Lash Sensational Mascara, mostly because my own mascara ran out partway through my trip.  But oh, such a fortuitous discovery - this stuff is amazing if you like big, thick lashes - lots of them - with a fanned out, fluttery shape.

Sporting a very knobbly bendy-plastic bristled brush, it has a thick, inky black formula which adds plenty of volume.  The brush is what makes it special, though - the bristles vary in length, meaning that they catch, comb and coat every single lash, making the absolute most of the lashes you have.  For bonus points, the formula doesn't clump or smudge, wearing the whole day with no migration at all.

For bonus bonus points, it only costs £7.99.  Go!  Run!  Buy it now!

Disclosure:  Bought by me.

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Kiko Cosmetics Dusk til Dawn Volume Mascara and Graphic Ritual Kajal Eyeliner in Talisman Gold

I've long been impressed by Kiko's lipsticks and eye shadow products, and long been a bit disappointed in their mascaras - a recent try led me to write my shortest ever review.  So when I received the new Dusk til Dawn Volume Mascara from the brand, part of their Modern Tribes summer collection, I was prepared for it to be a bit rubbish.  Actually, its quite nice - it promises volume, and it gives a sort of medium- volume fluttery look, which isn't the most voluminous thing I've ever seen, but is pretty for daytime, and easily buildable for night.  It's also a mere £8.90, making it a bit of an everyday bargain.

With it, I'm wearing Graphic Ritual Kajal Eyeliner in Talisman Gold, which can be used on the inner rims of the eyes as well as on the lashline.  I've applied it along the upper and lower lashlines for a bright, wide eyed look.  The texture is very creamy and soft, applying with decent pigmentation and smudging easily.  Wear time is impressive too - I found it didn't migrate into my undereye bags during the day as some liners can do.  Not bad for just £5.90!

Disclosure: PR samples

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Can a mascara ever be better than sex?  I dunno, I guess it depends on how much quality sex you've had in your life.  The packaging makes some (presumably) sly and ironic claims - 1,944% more volume is a bit of a long shot for anything, but Too Faced's cheekily named mascara is definitely good, sex comparisons aside.  It combines a slightly thick, inky black formula with a traditional bristle brush to give excellent length and volume, with good lift too.

The brush is a strange beast - made of traditional bristles rather than the more modern spiky plastic we've come to know and love, it's shaped a bit like a dog bone - it tapers in the middle (apparently mimicking the shape of a woman's body).  It seems a bit counter intuitive, but actually it works rather well, with the tapering supporting the curve of the lashline and allowing you to wiggle the brush from the very roots of the lashes.

I find I have to work fast - this stuff can clump if you don't actively wiggle and stroke before it dries - but a little bit of work gives full, lush lashes which don't smudge or flake.  A major benefit of the lack of spiky plastic is that I find I poke myself much less with this brush than I do, say, Benefit's They're Real.

Is it better than sex?  No.  But it's still a rather nice mascara, particularly if you're a fan of volume and curl.  Find it now at BeautyBay, where it costs a spendy but not exorbitant £19.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Quick Pick: No 7 Midnight Lash Mascara

No 7's mascaras are generally a good high street bet - they very rarely set the world on fire, but you're likely to get a thoroughly decent mascara at a reasonable price when choosing a mascara from their extensive range.  Midnight Lash is no exception - it promises ultra black pigmentation and spectacular volume.  What it delivers is a good black lash with reasonable volume and decent separation in one coat.

What I think is more telling is that in the photo above, I'm actually wearing two different mascaras - the eye on the left has Midnight Lash on it, and the eye on the right (which is slightly out of focus) is sporting Benefit's new Rollerlash.  The effects are actually kinda similar - well defined, flutteringly full lashes, although Midnight Lash's more traditional bristle brush and slightly wetter formula makes it slightly easier to get good definition.

All in all then, Midnight Lash mascara isn't going to knock your socks off - but it will give you a lovely fluttery look easily for £13.50.  Find it now at Boots.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Nine Word Review: Kiko Wild Lashes Mascara

Interesting brush, but... smudge smudge smudge SMUDGE.  Disappointing.  Avoid.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Benefit Rollerlash - gamechanger or meh?

When I was invited to the launch of Benefit's Rollerlash, I was all like "but they just released They're Real, why are they adding another mascara so soon?".  And then someone told me that They're Real was actually released in 2011, so it's actually almost 4 years old.  I was surprised.

Anyway, Rollerlash is to curling what They're Real was to length - it aims to give lashes a lift for a bright, wide-eyed look.  The brush is much smaller than the They're Real brush - a good thing because I keep poking myself in the eye with the They're Real brush - and the plastic bristles are arranged to push the lashes upwards from the root.

My major problem with this mascara is that the formula is surprisingly clumpy, and I have to work really hard to make sure I don't get five mega triangle lashes which are made of all my other lashes stuck together.  I've even had to make use of the clean spoolie I keep in my makeup bag for brushing out clumps a couple of times, which is really odd given that They're Real, and indeed this kind of brush, is meant to eliminate clumping.  The effects are definitely wide eyed and beautifully curled, but at 6.45am when I'm putting my mascara on, I can't be bothered with the care it requires to get a cleanly defined, non-clumpy look.  I'll be sticking with They're Real.

If you'd like to try Rollerlash, you'll find it at the usual stockists for £19.50 - the same as They're Real.  Or, you can run to your nearest newsagent (do those even exist any more?) and pick up a free sample with the March edition of Elle magazine.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 29 December 2014

A year in review: 2014's Killer Products

2014 has been a great year for beauty.  We've seen millions of variations on tubby pencils, micellar waters continue to be a big thing on the high street as well as from high end brands, and cleansing conditioners became king.

Over the year, I've declared a few truly excellent products BUY THIS NOW items, which conveniently makes it much easier for me to compile a review of them, and to reflect on whether they're still favourites.

The first stand out of the year, and the only nail polish to truly knock my socks off, was the rather beautiful Into the Night by Girlie Bits, an indie brand which makes the most stunning holographic and duochrome polishes.  I still wear it, and I still stare at my nails when I do.

On the hair side, I fell firmly in love with L'Oreal Elvive's Fibrology hair care, which promises and delivers thicker feeling hair.  I don't use the shampoo (it contains the dreaded colour-dulling sulphates) but the conditioner, serum and mask have all earned permanent places in my bathroom.  Perhaps the highest praise is that my husband uses them too, and chooses to repurchase the shampoo every time he runs out.

More recently, I tried out Bumble and Bumble's Blow Dry creams, and found that they really do help you get a smooth blow dry with minimal effort.  You only need a little bit, they make the hair super shiny, and they smell neutral to boot.  I'll be repurchasing the original Straight version when my sample is finished.

Macadamia's Flawless Cleansing Conditioner was one of the first widely available cleansing conditioners, and it's lightweight yet still nourishing formula cleans the hair beautifully, reduces blow dry time, and leaves the hair smooth and shiny.  Lovely it is, but it's perhaps telling that I've not repurchased it.

One product I completely failed to write about, but absolutely adore, is the Babyliss Big Hair.  The first couple of times I used it I managed to tangle my hair up rather impressively, but with a little practice this rotating brush has become my favourite way to style my hair.  Used on damp hair, it gives a shiny, bouncy blow dry which almost looks like a professional has done it.

These recently released Bourjois Mega Liner and Volume 1 Seconde mascara are still getting used virtually every day.  Intense black pigment, easy to use packaging and very reasonable pricing make this eye pairing a winner.

On the other end of the price scale, I found my Holy Grail waterproof mascara.  Clarins Truly Waterproof mascara stays put, wears like iron, and gives a very defined, voluminous look.  I've been through three repurchases since my sample ran out earlier this year.

Eyeshadow wise, there have been a lot of beautiful palettes I've fallen in love with this year, but this small, super-cheap palette from Makeup Revolution combines flattering shades, good pigmentation and excellent blendability with a teeny tiny price.

I'd heard of Amazing Concealer before, but hadn't quite appreciated the power of the tiny tube until I tried it.  The pigmentation is intense, and you only need the tiniest bit to erase dark circles and blemishes.  It's economical too - my tiny sample tube is still going strong.

Unsurprisingly, I found a handful of really good lip products this year.  My absolute favourite is this Sephora Give Me More Lip sampler, which contains seventeen products in mini sizes and a variety of shades and formats.  I still carry around a number of products from it at all times, and I really love the cute little lipsticks as well as the huge variety I got to try out from a single set.

Kiko's Unlimited Stylo lipsticks were a revelation in long-lasting matte at a budget price - at least 8 hours of wear combined with intense pigmentation made these gorgeous lipsticks an absolute winner for me.  Hibiscus Red, a pink-toned red, still lives in my makeup bag, and I get it out every time I want a power matte red which will last with no maintenance.

At the other end of the price scale, there's no doubt that Estee Lauder's Pure Color Sculpting Lipsticks are expensive at £24 a pop, but they're so beautiful.  Creamy in texture and with incredible pigmentation and impressive wear, they're luxurious, functional, and come in a very wide array of colours.

When Bourjois entered the fray with a matte liquid lipstick, the world sat up and took notice.  Rouge Edition Velvet are a range of easy to apply, beautifully soft matte liquid lipsticks which last well and are very easy on the wallet.  My favourite shade, Frambourjoise, has earned me many a compliment this year.

So that's it!  The cream of the products I've tried this year.  What have been your favourites?  Let me know in the comments!

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.
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