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5 Things That Don’t Suck
5 Things, Best Of, Eyeshadow, Mascara, Skin Care - Comments (4) - May 28th, 2013

Another day and a half (roughly) and I’ll be finished with school. Five business days after that, I’ll be able to drive down to Salem and take the tests to get my esthetician’s license in the State of Oregon AND Washington (by handing over the appropriate sums of money, as well). Amen. Praise the Lord. Anyone who says beauty school is easy is crazy. All I can say is, thank God I didn’t drink alcohol when I was in college, because I probably NEVER would have finished, based on the volume of booze I’ve needed to imbibe to survive four months of beauty school. (I’m only half kidding. LOL.)

ANYWAY. I don’t have a job lined up (yet), so I intend to blog merrily away once school is finished. But I wanted to mention a few products that have been keeping me sane (and looking good) while I’ve been in school. In no particular order, here are five products that don’t suck. (In fact, they pretty much ROCK and I can’t live without them now.)

1. Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes w/ White Tea Extract. Lo and behold, a facial wipe that I can use night after night, and my skin *doesn’t* get all pissy that I’m not really washing it. Seriously, these wipes are THE BOMB.

2. Origins GinZing Eye Cream. Holy catfish, Batman. One of my classmates gave me a deluxe sample size of this, which has lasted ALMOST the entire four months I’ve been in school. It brightens, it de-puffs, it makes you look like you actually got some sleep last night and you’re not miserably hung-over. No, really, it does! I need a full-size of this, like, yesterday!

3. The holy triumverate that is Shiro Cosmetics’ Homunculus, Chimera, and Fullmetal. These have been my go-to colors almost the entire time I’ve been in school for a quick, easy eye look. I just pick one, use it with a beige or taupe color, and VOILA! INSTANT AWESOME. Don’t over-think this, just buy all three. Trust me.

4. Aveda Nourish-Mint Renewing Lip Treatment. I know, it’s sixteen bucks. I KNOW. But it’s basically crack in a tube. My lips don’t want to live without it. I’ve had one in my pocket since like, week 5 of an eighteen week program, and I’m completely hooked. MUST HAVE THIS CRACK.

5. Speaking of expensive and CRACK. Fresh’s Supernova Mascara is my new Holy Grail of Mascara. I busted out my tube early on in the program, and everyone who’s tried it (on me, I’ve donated my face for science many times now to my classmates earning their makeup credits) LOVES IT. It doesn’t smudge, it’s black, it’s soft, it is AMAY-ZING. It’s the shizz, yo.

There you go. The stuff that has rocked my world for the last 18 weeks. I can’t believe it’s almost over.

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5 Things: Mascara That Did Float My Boat
5 Things, Cheap Thrills, Mascara - Comments Off - November 8th, 2012

As a partner to my last 5 Things post, I wanted to make a list of five mascaras that did impress me, enough that I’ve re-purchased them and/or recommend them!

Let’s refresh what I want in a mascara. What do I want? Full, soft, individually defined lashes. My lashes are decently long enough already, so I mostly go for volume. I prefer not to have to bust out the lash comb to separate lashes, but a brief brush is ok. With that said, here are five mascaras that made the cut.

1. Kiehl’s Marvelous Mineral Mascara is gentle on the eyes, requires minimal work to make it look good, doesn’t flake off or smudge during the day, and washes off easily. I repurchased this twice.

2. Maybelline Volum’ Express One-by-One Washable Mascara. Oh my. This may very well win the award for Claire’s Favorite Mascara Of All Time. I’ve gone through two tubes, and will probably buy a third. It is FABULOUS. My lashes have volume, but also separation, I almost NEVER have to comb, it lasts all day with no smudging or flaking… dare I say, it’s practically perfect?

3. Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Cat Eyes Washable Mascara. Hate the waterproof version, LOVE the washable version. This one is all about the brush, which really does seem to help with curling, and getting all your lashes. I love it almost as much as the One By One.

4. Maybelline Lash Discovery Mascara. This one is all about the mini-brush. You can get right down to the roots without smearing mascara on your eyelids with this mini-brush. Nice formula too. I’ve purchased this at least twice now.

5. L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Plumping Mascara. I really liked the bigger brush on this mascara, and the plush look of the formula. It’s good stuff.

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5 Things: Mascara That Didn’t Float My Boat
5 Things, Cheap Thrills, Mascara - Comments (1) - November 1st, 2012

Mascara is a tricky thing to blog about. It’s hard to get decent lash pics, and quite frankly, most of the time my lashes come out looking the same because I want them to look a certain way – and I’ll fuss and futz to get them that way. So generally my criteria for mascara doesn’t really depend on what the end result is, but rather how hard I had to work to get there.

What do I want? Full, soft, individually defined lashes. My lashes are decently long enough already, so I mostly go for volume. I prefer not to have to bust out the lash comb to separate lashes, but a brief brush is ok. With that said, here are five mascaras that DIDN’T excite me.

1. Maybelline Volum’ Express Mega Plush Mascara. I wanted to love this. It’s got this gel formula that’s supposed to leave your lashes softer, not brittle, but with volume. It has a “flexor” brush, that’s supposed to be a plus, but I don’t really see that it helps anything. Mostly, the formula is a little too wet, which means my lashes stick together and have to be separated with a lash comb. I do like the results, but it fails the “too much work” test. I won’t re-purchase.

2. Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes. The famous pink & green tube is supposedly a perennial favorite of women everywhere. I’ve never liked it. But, being a sucker, I picked this one up because the brush looked cool and it had potential. After all, it’s supposed to give good separation and definition. Does it? Nope. First, I have to layer on a zillion coats, because this is a really thin formula. It’s also really wet, so my lashes want to stick together and I have to comb. FAIL. If I spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME fighting with it, I’ll get to something like the results I want. But life is too short to fight your mascara. I really hated this one.

3. Rimmel Glam Eyes Lash Flirt. See my review here. It didn’t suck terribly, but it didn’t float my boat either.

4. Maybelline Lash Stiletto Voluptuous. To be fair, this one falls into a “sort of floated my boat” category. I liked the formula quite a bit, but the brush is a little wonky and means I have to apply it verrry carefully, or I get it on my eyelids. I didn’t pitch it, but I won’t re-purchase either.

5. Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Cat Eyes in Waterproof. You’re probably thinking, Geez what is this woman’s obsession with Maybelline mascara? The thing is, when I find a Maybelline formula I like, I LOVE it. So, I keep trying new ones hoping to find my next holy grail. This one, in the waterproof formula, isn’t it. (The regular washable one, however… but that’s another post.) I love the curved brush, I like the results, I loathe waterproof mascara formulas. I wasn’t paying attention when I bought this, and bought the waterproof by mistake.

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Heidi Klum For Victoria’s Secret Beauty
Eyeshadow, Hot Lips, Mascara, Shopping - Comments Off - November 7th, 2009

cb-klumI’m such a sucker for cute packaging and pretty colors, so it should come as no surprise that I’m totally digging the new Heidi Klum makeup line at Victoria’s Secret. My favorite products so far are the lipstick and the eyeliner, but really the whole line is great. From the website:

Introducing the limited-edition Heidi Collection 2009, Exotic Jewels. Inspired by Heidi’s life-changing trip to the spiritual city of Varanasi, India, it’s her most personal creation yet. The collection interprets her exotic discoveries into a sparkling and rich palette of irresistible shades in packaging as beautiful and precious as Heidi’s favorite jewels.

The eyeliner is a dark, almost black, purple  silver sparkles.  The color shows as an almost black on skin, but not quite. The silver sparkles are subtle, and aren’t too much for daytime wear. If you’re looking for super-sparkle, you won’t find it here, but if you want something more subtle, it’s perfect.

I like the lipstick, because it has a creamy texture and a great neutral brownish pink  sort of color. It’s a darker shade but not crazy dark. It’s a fun color when you want something with a little drama, but not too over the top. I like the texture.

Isn’t the packaging on the Luminous Face Powder Gems so pretty? The product is basically a darker, more colorful version of Guerlain’s Meteorites, and comes in a cardboard container like the Meteorites. I think the jeweltones and gold trim on the box really beat out the Meteorites packaging, though. It’s a nice blush, perfect for adding a bit of color that isn’t too bright. Buy it for the box, keep it for the product!

The mascara is a nice purple color, but isn’t anything particularly special, in my opinion. It gets the job done, but didn’t knock my socks off particularly. Likewise with the lip gloss. It’s nice, but not something I can’t live without.

I haven’t tried the eyeshadow palette, but the colors are very pretty. It also has really pretty packaging, continuing with the gold and jewel theme from the other products.

Overall, I’ve had a lot of fun playing with these products, and I think the packaging is so pretty! The quality is nice and the colors are fun. Try the eyeliner!

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Rimmel Glam’Eyes Lash Flirt Mascara
Cheap Thrills, Mascara - Comments (1) - October 30th, 2009

cb-lashflirtI recently have been using Rimmel Glam’Eyes Lash Flirt Mascara, and I’m a little bit on the fence about it. Read on for my thoughts!

I have a pretty short list of demands when it comes to mascara. I want it to be dark, I want it to be flake and smudge-free, I want it to be volumizing, and I want it to give good separation. Rimmel meets these needs, but does have a few drawbacks as well.

The brush is this neato comb/brush thingy, with four rows of the bristles. The formula is very smooth, with no clumps or globs that stick to the brush. The brush does a nice job separating the lashes and coating them evenly with the mascara. It’s nice and dark, and overall I’m pleased with the dramatic (but not over the top) look that results from this mascara.

On the negative side, I get mascara on my eyelids above the lashline if I’m not SUPER careful when applying it, which is annoying. It also does seem to be really susceptible to smudging if my eyes water at all, which isn’t a problem with most mascaras I’ve tried. It means it comes off super-easy when I wash my face, but as my eyes water a lot, this is kind of a bad thing.

The two strikes aren’t enough to put me off finishing up my tube, but I can only give it one thumb up. Your mileage may vary.

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L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Mascara
Mascara, Reviews - Comments (2) - October 20th, 2009

cb-volumecollagenI’m in love. Again. I know, it seems like I fall in love with a new mascara every time I try one. But this time I really mean it! (At least until next time…) The dearly beloved in question is L’Oreal’s Extra Volume Collagen mascara.

Extra Volume Collagen is a volumizing mascara (duh!) that promises “extreme volume” and “12x More Impact Instantly.” Now, I’ve mentioned this a time or two before, but tossing numbers out in relation to something like lash volume fails to impress me. 12x more impact? Than what? No mascara? How does one go about measuring that? Ehhhhh? Anyway, I’m definitely all about ACTUAL RESULTS, and that can only be achieved by putting the mascara to the test.

Let’s recap my ideal mascara: volume without clumping, smooth formula with no globs, not too wet or sticky, and I crave lots of lash definition. I want each lash to stand out! Does L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen pass the test! Yes!

There are also great collagen supplements for you to enjoy, the BioOptimal Collagen Powder, Collagen Peptides Grass Fed, Non-GMO Premium Quality Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein, Pasture Raised, Dissolves Easily, 300 Grams, great for your body !

It features a brush that is soft, but designed to grab each of your lashes to coat them evenly and separate them. Supposedly, something called hydra-collagen is responsible for “plumping” your lashes. I personally think it gets the job done because of the super-smooth formula that glides over my lashes, evenly coating them and drawing them out with fabulous separation!

Sadly, there is a tiny fly in my ointment. I’ve noticed with some brushes I’m more likely to end up getting the mascara dabbed on my eyelids just above the lashline – I think it happens with longer-bristled brushes that poke past the lashes to the eyelids. This is one of those brushes. However, having figured this out, I just take a little more care with application to avoid the problem. It’s definitely NOT a deal-breaker for me.

Two thumbs up for L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen mascara!

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The Best Mascaras. Ever.
Mascara, Total Beauty - Comments Off - October 4th, 2009
The Best Mascaras. Ever.

From drugstore to high-end, waterproof to washable, we found the best of the best

It’s time for the ultimate mascara countdown. These are the best of the best, according to our readers. The list includes everything from a $30 wonder to a $1.50 delight. Whether you’re looking for length, volume, curl (or all of the above), we’ve got a product for you. Drum roll, please!

See mascaras

No. 18: Aveda Mascara Plus Rose, $12 average reader rating: 9

Readers love “the light scent of roses,” and call it “a lovely change from the usual chemical smell of other brands …”

No. 17: Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara, $18 average reader rating: 9

“You want those thick, feathery, movie star-quality flutters like you see in magazines, well, this stuff delivers!”

No. 16: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes!, $18 average reader rating: 9

“The brush is a mix of very short and long bristles, making application a breeze while lashes are coated and clump-free in [one] easy swoop …”

Want to see what’s no. 1? Click here!

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Whoa! L’Oreal Telescopic Explosion Mascara
Mascara - Comments (10) - September 16th, 2009

cb-telescopicI recently had the opportunity to try out L’Oreal’s newest mascara Telecopic Explosion, which will be available in stores in November. It has its pros and cons, but overall I give it two thumbs up!

The first thing you will notice about this mascara is the brush. It has a special ball-shaped brush, very similar to the brush used in Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes mascara. The advantage of this brush is that you can get into the corners of your eyes to easily coat those lashes. Also, the smaller size means you have to spend time doing your lashes in sections instead of all at once, like you would with a bigger brush. This could be a good thing or a bad thing – it does take more time.

However, this painstaking attention to detail means your lashes will be amazingly fanned out and defined. There is a learning curve involved. It took me about three tries to really get the hang of using the brush to its best advantage to get the defined look and long length I wanted (without having to crack out the lash comb). Also, since it is rather time-consuming, this probably won’t be an everyday kind of mascara, but rather the go-to product for special occasions and days when I have time to spend doing my makeup.

The formula is good – no flaking or smudging, and it stays put all day. It’s not too thick or thin, but has just the right consistency to coat your lashes without clumps. Having tried this one, I don’t feel a need to drop $28 bucks on the Givenchy original – I think this budget copy probably does everything the Givenchy does, for a lot less dough.

Overall, I approve of this mascara. For a high-drama look, this definitely delivers the goods!

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