Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quick Browse Through My Mascara History

Despite my blog title, the one beauty item I truly ever need is mascara. Being Asian, my lashes, though long and good in number, are barely visible. Mascara is something that brightens up my face and open up my eyes. I've tried quite a few so I'll give a quick review of each.

Current and HG Mascara: Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture Waterpoof

Official Description: Selected as the Official Mascara of Milan Fashion Week, this superb formula delivers high definition and volume without clumping. Our innovative iFX brush coats every lash, giving you beautiful results.

My Take:

  • Pros:
  1. Buildable without clumps
  2. Formulation is gel-like and wet
  3. Does deliver volume/length
  4. Holds a curl super well
  • Cons:
  1. Separation isn't as much as I want. To get a feathery effect, a lot of wiggling and a lash comb is needed
  2. Waterpoof means waterproof. It quite difficult to remove but I guess this is a pro and a con
  3. One of the more expensive drugstore mascaras (all Max Factor mascaras run $8-$11)
  4. It's getting discontinued!

This is the only mascara I've ever repurchased and would gladly continue to do so. What I really love is that it can be build up to be rather natural to dramatic dark, volumious (which is my everyday preference).

Another Max Factor Gem: 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper Waterproof

Official Description: Introducing our new pro tool for the most voluptuous lashes ever. It’s not a mascara, it’s a lash plumper! Our patented fat-wrap formula and extreme brush uniquely wrap and plump every single lash, from root to tip.

My Take:

  • Pros:
  1. Great volume, separation, curl, and length
  2. Same great forumlation as Volume Couture
  • Cons:
  1. The priciest drugstore mascara I've purchased. It runs $11.
  2. It flaked a little.

I think this mascara is interchangable with Volume Couture with me. So I guess both are HG-status. I might even say the Lash Plumper performs slightly better. The brush has finer and more bristles than Volume Couture so I get better results. However, with the higher price tag, an almost identical product to Cover Girl's Lash blast, and the clumsier wand, I would opt for Volume Couture instead. 

My Fallback when Max Factor Goes Bye-Bye: Cover Girl's Lash Blast Waterproof

Official Description: Get a blast of bold, volumized lashes - rain or shine! LashBlast's patented volume-boosting formula and patent-pending brush are designed to max-out each and every lash, leaving you with the ultimate big lash look. In original, non-waterproof, too!

My Take:

I won't get too in depth because I think Lash Blast performs exactly the same as 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper. However, I think the mouth of the tube is not small enough to effectively swipe excess off the comb because I remember that the first few weeks I used it, I hated it. It clumped and didn't separate as well as I wanted it to. But, I resolved to finish the tube and after a few more tries, I got it to work for me. A great mascara though, like many have said, quite difficult to remove. *I also tried the Lash Blast Luxe with the plantinum reflects. You can't really see them. I'm quite gullible to such pretty sounding gimmicks.

Fool-Me-Once, Shame on You Maybelline: (Not So) Great Lash Mascara

Official Description: The mascara that conditions as it thickens. 
Lash-doubling formula glides on smooth to build great-looking lashes 
Lash building brush makes it easy to get a full lash look without clumps or globs

My Take:

I got this because of the numerous adverts proclaiming it as "America's #1 Mascara." It was one of my earliest ventures into cosmetics. This was the first mascara I ever had so details are a little fuzzy. All I remember is that it sucked. The mascaras mentioned above all have a wet formulation so the lashes are nice and soft. However, with Great Lash, the formulation was dry leading to hard, crinkly lashes. I cringe thinking back on how I use to walk around with spider lashes. I have to admit though it did give some volume and separation wasn't horrible. Reviews are mixed so some people have made this work for them but this was by far the worst mascara I've ever used.

Worth A Second Look: Maybelline Lash Discovery

Official Description: Exclusive lash-catching mini-brush allows you to get hard-to-reach lashes - from corner to corner, root to tip and the bottom, too. Lengthens and defines lashes. 
No clumps or globs.

My Take:

  • Pros:
  1. Tiny brush can get into corners of the eyes
  2. Clean application to lower lash line
  3. Very natural look with nice separation and decent length
  • Cons
  1. Little volume
  2. Did not hold a curl well
  3. Was a little dry

I don't really have complaints about this mascara. It just simply wasn't for me. I want volume when it comes to mascara and this was more for a clean, natural look. It reall got every little lash but since my lower lashes hardly exist, I couldn't really benefit from it. Still, I would recommend this despite it's lack fo results for me because I can see it working quite nicely for someone with fuller lower lash line or someone who doesn't want a dramatic everyday lash.

Fool-Me-Twice Shame on Me: Maybelline Define-a-Lash

Official Description: This zero clump mascara creates voluptuous volume with clean definition. Patented shaped-to-the-lash brush.

My Take:

  • Pros
  1. Decent volume
  2. Nice packaging
  • Cons
  1. Uneven application
  2. Barely any length
  3. Clumping and poor separation

I think I'm done with Maybelline mascaras. I haven't been wowed at all. On the contrary, I've mostly negative results. I tried this because Define-A-Lash was taking the makeup world by storm. Their adverts were increasing and a friend who had the regular Define-a-Lash had good results. Since I am a volume-lash junkie, I picked up the Volume version. The formula like most Maybelline mascaras is slightly on the dry side but this was definitely a more managable texture. However, it clumped like crazy and my lashes kept sticking together (mostly because the brush applied unevenly). Length wasn't there so I thought my lashes looked rather stubby.

The Most Confusing Mascara: Clinique High Definition Lashes Brush Then Comb Mascara

Official Description: Allure Editor's Choice Award, 2006. Now brush, comb. Create. Brush-side coats with dramatic, long-wearing colour. Comb-side separates to perfection. Transforms each and every lash with extreme length and definition.

My Take:

I'll be very brief on this because I didn't get to use it enough to go very in-depth. I got a sample of this and used it a few times before it got lost in my makeup bag. It is a very unique brush head. The brush side works well and I liked the separation and length I got. It gave a bit of volume. The formula is decent. However, once I turned the wand and "combed" my lashes, the separation disappeared and I got a lot of clumps. Taking a look at it, the comb side is coated with product but it's just globs of mascara sitting in the crevices. After a few tries of wavering between like/disliking of the product, I resolved to use my Lash Blast instead. I'm not against trying it again but I think it'll take some getting use to a new way of application.

This post is dedicated to my friend Jenn who checks my blog and gets put off by the lack of posts. Apparently, I am a blog tease. Hope this was helpful!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Illamasqua Moves Across the Pond

Thanks to All Lacquered Up I found out some exciting news! Illamasqua will be launching in the US through Sephora. First place will be Sephora's Time Square store - right in my city! Yeah. =) I am very excited. I follow a lot of overseas beauty bloggers (lollipop26 and toomuchblush) and was always incredibly jealous of their Illamasqua hauls. Now that it's launching in the US, I get the chance to try out the line.

I am most excited to try their blushes, pigments, and nail varnishes. Hopefully, the US launch will include items from their Siren collection which looks amazing. 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Have a Lifetime of Eyeshadow

No, not really. But with 120 eyeshadows it's kinda hard to run out.

Product: Pro 120 Palette
Where to Buy: Ebay sellers, Beauties Factory
Price: Depends. Mine was $13USD before shipping. $30USD after shipping (seller on Ebay was from Malaysia). On the website, it's $30USD.
Notes: The brand on the palette isn't always Beauties Factory. It's also seen with a Manly label (I thought this was rather hilarious).
Recommend?: Yes, especially if you're first starting off with makeup.
1) Great variety of colors
2) Matte and shimmer finishes
3) Soft/Blendable
1) Some shimmer shades have fallout
2) Lighter colors don't have good color payoff and not very buildable
3) Not enough neutrals
4) Comes with an immense sense of guilt if you want to buy other eyeshadows because you have 120 colors waiting to be used =(

A few months ago, I purchased the famous 120 Pro Palette. The palette has, obviously, 120 eyeshadows in matte and shimmer finishes. Pans are dime sized and in two separate plates of shadow that are stacked in the case. Basically, you have every color under the rainbow, though it seems heavy on the blue. I bought this instead of the Coastal Scents one because I wanted matte and shimmer and didn't want to have to get 2 different palettes. And, the CS palettes are the same colors except in different finishes and I wanted a greater variety to experiment with.

The colors are decently pigmented. I use the brown row the most and the major flaw in the palette is that there aren't enough neutrals. I love the purples too. I think they are very true to pan color. The two purple shadows in the middle of the row are absolutely gorgeous. I tried using the pinks a bit but had some problems getting the color to build up. I think the stars of the palette are the marbled colors (right-most column in first picture). I swatched them a few times. Payoff is great and if you don't blend the colors completely, you get a lovely sheen that has a gradient of color.

Texture is standard. Soft and blendable but some colors can crumble and cause fall out during application. I don't really have many complaints about the texture.

*Some palettes are more expensive becaue they come with brushes (most sellers on Ebay and the website also includes a free travel brush set). DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT pay more just for the brush set. They are horrible. The wood is light and cheap. The bristles feel like a broom. Dye hemorraged during wash. I had a furrel slip off during the 2nd! washing. Some Ebay sellers have palette+brushset at the same price as just the palette so that would be a good time to get it because the brush roll it comes with is very pretty and handy. Otherwise, just stick with the palette.

Hope you enjoyed the review despite my very long paragraphs. I tend to ramble and write a lot. I had a small drugstore haul two days ago so I'll post it up with reviews soon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Hello

I've been lurking on YouTube and numerous people's beauty blogs so I've finally got up the nerve to get one for myself. This will mainly be a way for me to talk at length about my obsession with beauty products and the like. My friends aren't that interested in makeup and get annoyed at my excitement over things like that. =P

I guess I'll start off my blog with a list of what I'm using now:

Mascara - Max Factor Volume Couture
Blush/Highlight - MAC Refined MSF (I recently dropped my first one and lost everything except for the powder on the pan. =( Had to spend $30 to replace it. Couldn't let it go)
Lips - MAC Lollipop Loving
Face - Covergirl Tinted Moisturizer + MAC MSF Natural in Medium Plus
Concealer - Revlon Beyond Natural Concealer/Highlight Duo
Perfume - Incanto Shine
Shampoo/Conditioner - Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Sheer