Thursday, August 25, 2016

disappointing products

I was brought up with the saying "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.".  But that doesn't count with beauty reviews, does it?  I can't help feeling a bit mean dishing the dirt in this way, but if we think of it as education instead of just gossip, maybe it'll be ok.  Plus, you may actually really like some of these things that didn't work for me.  In fact I can pretty much guarantee that you'll love one in particular.  And as far as the brands themselves go, I am a fan of them all; I own multiple other products by them, so I am not here to slam any cosmetic companies.   Let's all take this with a grain of salt, and just have fun reading another one of my entertaining blog posts ;-)


Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Just Peachy.  I feel so stupid about this one.  The MegaLast lipsticks are terrific for only $2.19 and Just Peachy is a super pretty color BUT....... I had been wearing it off and on for several months before one day when I really paid attention to the mirror and realized it made my teeth look yellow.  Very yellow.  I was so bummed because I loved that lipstick.  I was tempted to say "screw it" and wear it anyway, but in the end just couldn't bring myself to do it.  But hmmmm.... just talking about this makes me want to go out and buy some MegaLasts in other colors.



CeraVe Suncare Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 30.   I really like most CeraVe (for sensitive skin) products and this sunscreen is described as "light weight", "invisible zinc", and "oil-free" so it sounded perfect.  Plus being a drugstore product it was cheap - even more perfect.  Well, I had three different friends, on three different days, come up to me and swipe at my neck saying it looked white and was that my sunscreen.  Yes it was my sunscreen.  My CeraVe sunscreen.  This stuff does not absorb well at all!  It is extremely difficult to blend in, and as for being light weight it was a total farce. Fuggedaboutit!



NYX Eyeshadow Base in White.   I bought this in hopes that using a white primer would really make my eyeshadow colors more vibrant.  And it kinda did.  But the whole shebang slid off my eyes and disappeared within a half hour.  I guess I should have known that a creamy primer wouldn't work on my oily lids.  But honestly, shouldn't it have dried down to an adhering texture anyway?  Bottom line:  I would only use this primer if you have naturally dry - very dry - lids.




Lancome Grandiose - Wide-Angle Fan Effect Mascara.  What fan effect?!?  This stuff turned my lashes into basically three thick clumps.  It was more like the three-lash effect.  And I had heard such great things about this, although admittedly not by a whole lot of people.  Also I thought I could get over the whole awkward angle applicator but it was just too weird.  I returned it to Sephora after trying it only a couple times.  But don't let this put you off other Lancome mascaras, as a rule they are some of the best.



Charlotte Tilbury 'Filmstar Bronze & Glow' Face Sculpt & Highlight.  I bought this stuff during an impulsive midnight online shopping binge and it cost a pretty penny.  At first I really thought I loved it for its subtle beauty, but then I don't know what happened because every time after that the bronzer looked muddy and the highlighter looked ashy.  Now, it could be because I got tan and these shades were then too light for me - I don't know.  Perhaps I will try again in the Winter, afterall the quality is top notch and the packaging exquisite.  But I am very tempted to return it because for $68 it should be fabulous and stunning all year round.



CoverGirl LashBlast The Super Sizer Mascara.  I know I will get a lot of flack for this because every single solitary beauty YouTuber I've seen loves this mascara.  However I've tried it a bunch of times and I just can't get into it.  The consistency seems too wet and thin, and the bristles are too wimpy.  It doesn't do a thing for my lashes.  Well, maybe a tiny bit of volume, but nothing as earth-shattering as I had been lead to believe.  I guess I just prefer a thicker formula so Maybelline Lash Sensational remains my favorite drugstore mascara.  Now I am just waiting for this to expire so I can then throw it away without feeling guilty.







Are you on the same page as me with any of these products?  What have your disappointments been lately?



If you enjoy these "disappointing products" posts, I did do another one products I regret buying (not in a mean way).




all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's websites. I am not financially compensated for my reviews

Saturday, August 20, 2016

fabulous foundation primers

I get asked all the time "What is a good foundation primer?" and my answer always varies.  That is because it totally depends on your skin type and what your priorities for a primer are.  Are you dry or oily?  Are pores and texture your main problem, or is it getting the foundation to last all day? Then there is the question of, do you want silicone in your primer which is often what brands use to fill in your pores and wrinkles.  Or maybe, if you are like me, you want to use a combination of primers on your skin because different parts of your face have different skin types. Well don't feel overwhelmed, whatever your concerns are there is a primer out there for you.  There are literally hundreds of choices but I can narrow it down for you to the best of the best.  Here is what I recommend:


NORMAL/COMBINATION/OILY SKIN

Dr. Brandt Pores No More is a bit pricey but is loved by virtually everyone who tries it.  It does a phenomenal job of smoothing out every pore, nook, and cranny.  It helps balance oil production and gives a matte finish to your foundation.  One of the unique things about PNM is its key ingredient tea tree oil (if you don't like the herbal/medicinal smell then this primer isn't for you) .  With this it is purifying as well as a pore cover-upper.  In additional to all that greatness it is also excellent at making your makeup last a long time.  It is silicone (dimethicone) based.





Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion is my current favorite of all.  It makes your skin look flawless.  It can however look a bit dry and puckered on the really dehydrated parts of my skin so I keep it just in my oilier T Zone where my worst pores are.  If you are combo or oily you will get no such puckering, only very happy results.  The texture of this is not your typical thick gel silicone, but rather something almost sticky.  Once on your face however, it locks your foundation on all day long.




NORMAL/DRY SKIN

BECCA Backlight Priming Filter makes dry skin look plump and lovely.  It is not overly glowy or shiny looking, just a healthy lit-from-within look.  It is also quite decent at making your foundation last longer.  Backlight has a thin, slightly slippery, lotiony feel and smoothes wrinkles and things over with silica.  This gem is fast becoming a cult favorite, and for good reason.  I love this stuff!





Marc Jacobs Beauty Undercover Perfecting Coconut Face Primer is perfect for those who hate the smothering feeling of silicone primers.  This is really just like putting hydrating coconut water on your skin. That also means there is no spackle effect (your skin texture will definitely show through) but it will make you beam and glow all day long - absolutely perfect for dull skin.  It's ok at making your makeup last if you are not oily in any way.  I like to use this all over my face, then go in with a silicone primer on the areas where I have big pores.  As a luxury brand it is quite pricey, but if you are going for a dewy look nothing does it better.



UNIVERSAL* SKIN TYPES

Maybelline Master Prime By Face Studio, Blur + Smooth works at least as well as many high end primers despite its drugstore status.  It is water-based and non-greasy,  but is also a creamy slightly silicone product.  Whenever I'm in a rush and don't want to bother mixing or analyzing several primers I reach for this guy.  For a natural long-wearing look this is a simple solution.  And it's WAY cheaper than any of the others I'm blogging about today!



Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is probably what most beauty mavens consider the best primer on the market.  It also maybe the most expensive, but I just buy the travel size which lasts for a surprisingly long time.  It has silicone/dimethicone in it but the texture is not at all thick - just very thin and silky.  One cool thing about this primer is that it will turn any foundation you put on top of it into a water resistant formula (Hawaii here I come!).  Veil gives a gentle, soft matte finish.  It is oil-free.





HONORABLE MENTION

Laura Mercier Foundation Primers have been best-selling primers for years and years, and their formulas still give all the newbies a run for their money.  They are water-based with no silicone except in the blemish-less formula.  They feel like a regular lotion while still managing to give a long-lasting skin-perfecting look.  They come in 7 different formulas for every skin imaginable.  There are:  the original, the hydrating, the radiance, the oil-free, the SPF 30, the blemish-less, and the radiance bronze.  Why look any further?




What foundation primer would you recommend?  I'm always up for trying something new!


* this means most skin types - not great for really oily or really dry skin

all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's websites. I am not financially compensated for my reviews




Thursday, August 18, 2016

empties, summer 2016

Why do people love empties blogs and videos so much?  They are strangely satisfying don't you think?  They also provide a nice succinct review on a product:  thumbs up or thumbs down, no droning on and on about it.  Not only do I love seeing other people's empties but I have fun blogging about my own as well.  This month's are actually stuff that has been accumulating in my bin over the entire summer.  It usually takes me ages to go through a single product because, being the beauty junkie that I am, I have many different things going at the same time.  My excuse?  Variety is the spice of life, of course!  But it does make for a smaller haul.  This Summer I only had:


Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover.  It completely dissolved my mascara without having to rub much at all.  It did a more thorough job than most eye makeup removers but if I got it in my eye it stung.  Supposedly it supports lash growth but I didn't use it enough to notice.

Repurchase?  Maybe.   I liked the price point but there are others I want to try.



Philosophy Pink-Frosted Animal Cracker Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath.  Smells so comforting to me and makes me feel like a little girl.  Plus it is my favorite thing to use as a shave cream.  

Repurchase?  Yes!  Or maybe the same thing in a different scent - I love them all.



L'Occitane 100% Pure Shea Butter.  For years I have used this as a night cream.  My sensitive skin never reacts badly to it and it is about the only thing that hydrates me well enough over night.  It's very thick and takes forever to absorb but that is a price I am willing to pay because it solves so many of my problems.

Repurchase?  Always!



Bumble & Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish.  This is the second time I have purchased this but it didn't seem to do as much for me the second time around.  I think it is a lovely light texturizing spray that you don't feel on your hair, but these days I am willing to have rough-feeling hair to get a more dramatic result.  I am curious about their new Cityswept Finish though.

Repurchase?  Nope.



TopShop Matte Lip Bullet in Wink.  I bought this on a trip to England two years ago and am now throwing it out because it is just too old.  It never actually felt that matte on me and it tended to bleed outside my lip line.  It was a great souvenir though - LOVED the color but the quality felt cheap.

Repurchase?  No.



Viktor&Rolf Eau Mega Perfume.  I very rarely use up a perfume bottle but this one I used as a room spray in the guest room so it got sprayed a lot more.  The guest room tends to get fusty and musty and Eau Mega is perfect for brightening and lightening it up.  It is a super pretty aquatic, slightly fruity floral.  Totally sexy sunshine in a bottle.

Repurchase?  No, I'll just find another one of my many perfumes to use as a room spray.



Lanza Keratin Healing Oil Shampoo and Conditioner.  These babies were a dream for when my hair was long and processed and a bit coarse.  So luxurious and hydrating!  Now I have a short and healthy bob for which they were a bit much. 

Repurchase?  Not unless I grow my hair out again.



Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara.  This is still my favorite mascara - nothing makes my lashes look as good as this.  It is however a dry formula so it barely makes it to the 3 month mark before becoming unusable.  Sadly my latest one is toast.  

Repurchase?  Absolutely, I already did!



Bioderma Micellar Water.   Everyone raves about this makeup remover/cleanser so I ordered a small bottle to check it out.  I liked it a lot but honestly it didn't seem any better - or any different - than my Garnier Micellar Water which is at a Walgreens 5 minutes down the road instead of  the Bioderma online order that takes several days.

Repurchase? No.



L'Oreal Brow Stylist Definer.  This eye pencil is just like the famous (more expensive) Anastasia Brow Wiz but in my book even better.  It's the right amount of creamy consistency and pigment that can create either a natural or really defined brow.

Repurchase.  Yes!



Dermalogica Ultra-Calming Barrier Repair.  This is a necessity for my reactive sensitive skin.  Any little thing can turn my skin red but this silky gel-like product protects me from the elements.  I get a lot less red when I wear this stuff.  I put it on every morning over my moisturizer and under my sunscreen or makeup.

Repurchase?  Yes!  It is a "must have" for me.



Hard Candy 1000 Lashes Fiber Mascara in Indigo Blue.  I always have a blue mascara on hand.  Swiped on top of a coat of black mascara it really makes your eyes pop.  And just for fun I sometimes even go for an 80's all-out blue look.  But I don't use blue mascara everyday so I don't like to spend a lot on it.  This time I tried Hard Candy but the blue was too light and the formula did nothing for my lashes.  I think I'll go back to my tried and true "cheapie" Sephora Collection Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara in 04 Blue.

Repurchase?  No way.



What favorites or hate-its did you use up or toss out this month?





all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's websites. I am not financially compensated for my reviews








Monday, August 15, 2016

splurge! August

When was the last time you splurged?  For me it was yesterday, when I payed the ebay price for the discontinued Jacyln Hill for Becca Champagne Collection Face Palette.  I really wanted it when it was readily available at Sephora but I kept putting it off until it was gone forever.  You snooze, you lose....or you pay through the nose on ebay.  But sometimes splurging can be fun, or pretend-splurging even more so.  It's not to everyone's taste, but I love to window shop the big glitzy department stores and test out all their pricey goods as if I were going to buy them.  I dream big.  And I think others do too, which is why my "splurge!" series is always so popular.  So here are a few beauties for this month:


REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil.  Not only does the name sounds sensual, exotic, and luxurious, but the product itself lives up to its name.  This is a rich oil that absorbs easily and leaves your skin tender and soft. It literally has rose oil in it! I first saw this at the exclusive Liberty Of London department store. Apparently it is really popular over there, which of course makes it seem even hipper than it already is.  If you are in the mood for something to really treat yourself with, I highly recommend this rose gem, you can get it in the US at sephora.com.

$65 for 3.3 oz


Lafco New York makes the most amazing home fragrances that are worth every pricey penny.  I have had my attractive over-sized diffuser for 3 years and it hasn't quit on me yet.  Granted it's not as powerful as when it was new, but if I rotate/flip the reeds frequently it still smells luscious (if I wasn't spending all my money on cosmetics right now I'd plunk down the $48 for the refill).  Anyway....what makes these diffusers and candles so cool is that each scent is named for a room in the house or a type of house.  My French Lilac Diffuser is called "Pool House".  Other scents include Duchess Peony/Powder Room, Celery Thyme/Dining Room, Redwood/Den and Sea & Dune/Beach House.  It may be gimmicky but the wide array of fragrances are unique, authentic-smelling, and refined - not at all fru-fru.


$115

AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+.  One of the very first cushion compacts launched in the US, it remains supreme.  Cushion compacts/foundations are the rage right now and this one blows all the others out of the water.  Why?  Because AmorePacific is a luxury Korean brand, and Koreans were the first to corner the market on cushion compacts.  Whenever I wear this people always ask me what I do to make my skin look so good.  They assume the answer is in my skin care regimen, when really it's just this baby that's making me look years younger.  Amore's CC cream is all about glowing light coverage; the "your skin but better" look.


$60 for 1.05 oz

Parfums de Marly Meliora.  This brand is exclusive to Nordstrom's, and you know what that means don't you?  Free sample!  I myself only have a sample of this divine fragrance because it is so expensive.  Meliora is a light fruity floral in the most sophisticated way possible.  The lily-of-the-valley is prominent but balanced with red berries.  The entire intoxicating blend smells like a garden party in the New Orleans French Quarter.  Is it $275 worth of pretty?  Yes if you've got money to burn!


$275 for 2.5 oz


Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha-Beta Universal Daily Peel.  As far as I am concerned everyone needs this in their skincare regimen.  In fact it is already famous.  You can use these glycolic/salicylic exfoliating pads a few times a week, or some people can handle them everyday, but even after only one use you will see a remarkable difference.  You will glow.  You will be smooth.  And with prolonged use it can even help you look younger.  Not to mention it's a healthy thing (in moderation) to do for your skin.  There is a formula for each skin type from extra-gentle to extra strength.  It is a product for everyone!


$88 for 35 applications



What is your splurge-worthy secret desire?


Check out my last "splurge!" post: splurge! November 
or just type "splurge!" in the search bar for all the other posts of this series.



all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's websites. I am not financially compensated for my reviews



Thursday, August 11, 2016

huge perfume haul

I am a perfume collector.  That may sound indulgent but loads of people are collectors (stamps, antiques, wine etc), it's just that my stuff is pretty.  And I'll have you know I went all Spring and a good part of the Summer not buying a single perfume!  I lasted until July anyway, then over the course of the month I made up for lost time.  Oh well, I really got some beauties.  And just so you know, most of my perfume buys are samples only.  If you are curious about a perfume just buy a little sample before indulging in an expensive full bottle.  Actually, Sephora and Nordstrom will make you a free sample of whatever it is you want, but there are a few websites where you can purchase samples of exotic or vintage fare for only a few bucks. Some sites even let you choose the size of your sample; anywhere from 1/4 ml to 8 ml.   surrender to chance, the perfumed court, and luckyscent are some of the more popular sample sites.  Thus my month-long haul listed below actually contains an unusually large amount of full bottles for me - luckily I love most of them.  See if any appeal to you....


Created in 1956, the current formula of Christian Dior Diorissimo is still simple and luminous.  It's all about lily-of-the-valley, a scent that has significant memories for me.  As a kid, my first "grown up" bubble bath was lily-of-the-valley and boy did I love that stuff! In Diorissimo I can also sniff out lilac and jasmine and underneath the animalic note civet.  This all makes it a rather old-fashioned floral that somehow reminds me of ballerinas.  The 5 ml sample I got is the perfect size for me because, lovely as it is,  I don't think I'll be in the mood for it all that often.


I first discovered Clinique Beyond Rose at Harrod's in London where it was exclusive to the store at the time.  Now you can buy it over here, not in shops but on select perfume websites.  It is an almost aggressive amber rose, not fru-fru in any way.  In fact I would say it is the sexiest rose perfume I own.  Underneath its bad girl rose exterior lies the gourmand note of balsamic pepper.  I imagine it to be pink peppercorns, not the plain old black ground stuff you get at Safeway.  Beyond Rose doesn't last on me all that long but it is the type that wants to be sprayed lavishly so that makes up for it.  



I was just going to get a roller ball of Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Gold Couture but then strongly felt I needed a full bottle because the packaging was so fun.  This is a sensual caramel with big notes of sandalwood that hint of the Middle East.  Yes, it is very much a commercial perfume, but I had to have it because it is deeply comforting to me.  The PR for Gold Couture says it is glamorous and decadent but I also find it warm and delicious. 




Dolce&Gabana Dolce Rosa Excelsa was another one I was going to just get a rollerball of but caved in and bought a full size because I adored the bottle.  There is something to be said for the romance of a lovely bottle sitting on your dresser.  Rosa Excelsa is as much about other florals as it is about rose.  Here the rose is tucked away in a watery bouquet of amaryllis, water lily and white daffodil.  In the Middle East rose is a perfume note preferred by men and I can almost imagine this particular perfume, with its additional notes of neroli leaves and musk, to be worn by a man (I don't think they'd go for the packaging though lol).



I like to describe Clinique Aromatics in Black as "nostalgic".  But that may not help you because nostalgic is such a subjective word.  What may trigger memories for me may not trigger memories for you.  I could also describe it as "old lady", meant in the best possible way.  A kinder way to put it would be "powdery-fruity".  Some of the notes include plum leaf accord, pink grapefruit, jasmine, myrrh, vetiver, and tonka bean.  It's actually a fantastic blend. But bottom line it reminds me of a magical time of my life when I was surrounded by older, wiser, nurturing women who were quite majestic in their own right.  With this scent I can hope to be like them.


Parfums DelRae Amoureuse is all out vintage-style glamour.  Despite the very present notes of cardamom and honey it is the dirty anamalic jasmine that is dominant.   Throw in some other white florals and moss and sandalwood, and now you have a scent of irresistible allure.  It's bosomy, and some might say a bit over-the-top, but that is exactly why I am in love with it.  It makes me feel like a 1950s starlet a la Jayne Mansfield.  I only got a 1 oz sample but you can bet I will be saving up for a 50ml.



I got a free Jennifer Lopez Miami Glow from Amazon because they gave me store credit for some reason.  And I'm very glad it was free.  I chose it because I have the original JLo Glow which I like, and one of my best beauty YouTubers said that the Miami Glow was a favorite of her perfumes.  I enjoy some of her other faves, and she described this one as tropical/perfect for summer fun.  Well.  It turns out I don't find Miami Glow tropical or fun.  It smells like bathroom cleanser.  Maybe how a bathroom at a nice restaurant might smell, but still a bathroom.  And it's not awful because it's a cheapie celebrity scent.  Many perfumistas really like JLo Glow and JLo Still, so I don't think I was out of line to order this without smelling it first.  I guess some you win, some you LOSE.




Did you buy any pretty perfumes this summer? Or what do you collect?





all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's websites. I am not financially compensated for my reviews


Sunday, August 7, 2016

July beauty favorites

July was an interesting month for me.  I had a house guest from England for over a week which is why I haven't blogged for so long.  I love seeing friends from far away but all the time it takes to prepare, entertain, and then recover keeps me away from my regular day-to-day life.  But needless to say, with a Brit here I drank lots of tea!

I also developed a renewed interest in Star Trek this month, as my boyfriend kept playing their movies on tv.  There is something so comforting to me about William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.  And in fact the whole thing lead me to explore some of Mr. Nimoy's poetry which in turn got me back into my love of poetry in general.  I discovered a phenomenal new poet Melissa Tripp and bought her uplifting book of poetry root..

My obsession with beauty products took a toll on my wallet especially this month, but I made up for it with a deep joy and appreciation of what I already had.  So let me tell you all about those....


Make Up Forever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Eyeliner - matte pastel purple.  I bought mine at the very beginning of Summer and I have used up over half of it by now.  It's the easiest thing in the world to throw on for a complete summery eye look.  It's waterproof, which means that for most of you it will wear all day on its own, but with my type of lids I needed an eyeprimer to make it last.  Other than that this lilac gem is perfection.



Marc Jacobs Beauty Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator.  "Glistening" is the key word here.  This cream stick gives almost a wet look; nice and natural for my more mature skin.  It is one of the few highlighters that doesn't emphasize my uneven skin texture/pores/wrinkles.  I even use it when I'm not wearing any other makeup at all.  The irresistible packaging is what first lured me in - so cute!



boscia Tsubaki Oil Deep Hydration Hydrogel Mask gives phenomenal results.  I initially bought only one but after using it ran out to get some more.  I can't remember the last time my skin was so plump and firm and glowing.  I think the Tsubaki oil is the key - I love that stuff.  The Asian market really knows how to rock skincare!




Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil Easy Shape & Fill.  This pencil is aptly named.  I am usually a disaster with my brows, but this pencil helps me to easily achieve brows worthy of a beauty YouTuber.   With its wider angled tip it can be considered a dupe for the famous Anastasia Brow Definer but I actually like the Benefit one much better.   It is exactly the right consistency and pigmentation - I find the Anastasia one too hard and dull.




Diptyque Candle in Vanille.  Diptyque candles are always a luxurious treat and I bought this one in a midnight online shopping binge.  I haven't even lit it yet because the smell is so perfect wafting from my bedside table.  It's not only vanilla, but also a smoky, spicy, grown-up comfort scent.  I just can't get enough of it!



Bath & Body Works Body Lotion 1)Peony 2) Country Apple* 3) Raspberry & Sweet Mint.  I bought all three in June when they were on sale for only $3.75 each. B&BW always has some kind of sale going on though, so wait for that.  This store is my guilty pleasure - it's all sweet stuff that appeals to my inner child.  But actually I find their body lotions to be some of the most hydrating (and is it my imagination but also kinda firming?) around.  It's all in good fun! 


Phytomer Seaweed Soap exfoliates like a dream.  It feels incredible, like you are gently scratching that sweet spot.  And it almost single-handedly is responsible for the eradication of my Keratosis Pilaris AKA "chicken skin".   Phytomer is a fantastic French spa skincare line, that I've been using since 1999 when I first encountered it at a spa I worked in.  The healing benefits of seaweed are renowned.




What were your favorites this month, beauty or other-wise?



* The Country Apple ended up smelling kinda generic but I still love the other two.


all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's websites. I am not financially compensated for my reviews


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

must have mascaras 2016

I am a mascara fiend.  As soon as I buy a new mascara I can't wait to use it up so I can try a new and different one.  That said, I do have my true loves and these are them.  There are a bazillion mascaras out there and no decent way to  try them before buying (using the disposable wands at Sephora does not give accurate results), so let me help guide you in the right direction.  My number one and number two criteria for a great mascara are that it doesn't flake or smudge, so you can be reassured that none of the mascaras listed below do that.  Mascara is a subject near and dear to my heart (as you may have gathered), so I hope you have as much fun reading this as I had writing it.   And btw if you ever buy a mascara you don't end up liking, don't hesitate to RETURN IT!


VERSATILE:  Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara is my favorite mascara.  One or two coats produce a really attractive natural look and four coats make you look all out glamorous.  It is a drier formula mascara, which is not to everyones taste, but I've gotten over that.   It's an average bristle brush, and of all the mascaras I've tried I think this gives me the most flattering look.  And a few more pluses:  it is conditioning,* and vegan, and comes in a waterproof formula called Lights Camera Splashes.  There is only the one color, black.



DRAMATIC:  Urban Decay Perversion Mascara is has a luscious, thick, wet, super dark formula.  It is irresistibly sexy!   Perversion is all about the volume, but gives some curl too.  It has a regular bristle brush which doesn't look like much but works magic despite that.  I hate saying the phrase "cult favorite" because it is so over-used, but that term does aptly describe this mascara.  It is probably the most popular mascara on this list.  It does not come in a waterproof formula, or any other color than black.



LOW BUDGET:  Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara is my second favorite mascara.  It truly lives up to its name "sensational".  I love it because it volumizes, lengthens, and curls in a very obvious way.  In a perfect way.  It comes in four colors:  brownish black, very black, deepest black, and black pearl, so it is versatile.  The brush is a rubber one, in a curious shape with one side like a brush, the other side like a comb.  You are supposed to roll and twist it on. There is a waterproof version too!  



NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL:  Dior Show Iconic Mascara is pricey but worth every penny.  It gives great curl and a bit of volume for a gorgeous, more natural look.  I adore the brush and how it really does the trick on my lashes:  it is rubber with many tightly-packed bristles.  Iconic is one of the longest-lasting/least crunchy mascaras, and in my opinion the best of all the Diorshow mascaras.  It comes in black, dark brown, and (my personal favorite) deep blue.  There is a  waterproof version too.



LENGTHENING:  L'Oreal Telescopic Lengthening & Intensifying Mascara, Carbon Black creates a wonderful zero volume, fluttery look.  It separates and lengthens like no other!  The wand and rubber bristles are unique in that they are skinny and very flexible (bendy).  If you are normally a fan of volumizing I say gives this a try anyway, just for something different but super pretty.  It does not come in waterproof or any other colors.  


Tell me what mascara you think is best - I am always wanting to try something new!



* I imagine that is with consistent use which I cannot vouch for because I usually have 3 or 4 mascaras going at once.


If you are as much of a mascara fiend as I am check out my magnificent mascaras: which one is right for you?  It's an old post but still stands true today.


pics stolen from Sephora and Ulta websites


all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's websites. I am not financially compensated for my reviews