Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mascara Comparison/Reviews

As mascara is one of the most basic and important make-up products, and since I’ve tried so many over the years, I thought I would write a post comparing some of the ones I have tried over the last couple of years, some of which I liked and some that I didn’t. Here are all the mascaras I’ll be reviewing:

From Left to Right:

  1. Maybelline New York the Colossal Volum Express Waterproof in Classic Black
  2. Covergirl Fantastic Lash Waterproof in Very Black
  3. Maybelline New York Define-A-Lash Mascara Waterproof in Very Black
  4. Covergirl Lashblast Fusion Water Resistant in Black
  5. Urban Decay Waterproof Big Fatty Mascara
  6. Sephora Mascara Lash Plumper
  7. Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! 4-in-1 Waterproof Mascara
  8. L’Oreal Waterproof Voluminous Million Lashes in Blackest Black

Maybelline New York the Colossal Volum Express Waterproof in Classic Black


This mascara is pretty old, however, it’s also not empty, which seems to prove that it wasn’t a favourite of mine. While the brush on this one looks nice, and somewhat like the Urban Decay Big Fatty brush, however the bristles are much stiffer. Not my favourite brush, for sure. The formula is also lacking a bit; while this one lives up to its waterproof promise, I wouldn’t say it’s long-lasting, and I found that it was prone to flaking by the end of the day. If you don’t need it to last all day, however, it will be waterproof, and does do a bit of volumizing.

Rating: 6/10

Covergirl Fantastic Lash Waterproof in Very Black


Unlike the last one, this mascara is almost completely empty, as I quite liked it. The brush on this one isn’t as big as the last one, but it is softer and denser, which I like a lot better. I don’t remember having much of a problem with flaking from this mascara, and it is also true to its waterproof label. I think my biggest problem with this mascara is that it isn’t as volumizing as I like, since I love mascaras that really fill out my pale lashes.

Rating: 7.5/10

Maybelline New York Define-A-Lash Mascara Waterproof in Very Black


I only used this mascara for a little while and, if I remember correctly, it was this mascara (and the arrival of Sephora in my mall) that prompted me to try a more expensive mascara (Urban Decay’s Big Fatty, which I’ll talk about later). First of all, I completely hate this brush. I’m not big on the rubber brushes, and this one in particular has a very bouncy brush with tiny, spiky, widely spaced little bristles. Of course, I gave it a go anyways, since I spent the money on it, but the product itself wasn’t good enough to make up for the brush’s issues.  It is waterproof, but (as I should have guessed from the mascara’s name) it is not volumizing, and focuses, as one might guess, on lash definition. I wouldn’t recommend this one, unless you like the horrid, bouncy rubber brushes.

Rating: 5/10 (not worse, because the mascara might be alright with a better brush).

Covergirl Lashblast Fusion Water Resistant in Black


This mascara was given to me by my sister after I was complaining one day about my Tarte mascara (which I will explain later), and it is the first drugstore brand mascara that I used since I bought my first Urban Decay one about two years ago. I’ve since had to replace it, as it is virtually empty. I actually really liked this mascara, even despite the rubber brush. The difference between this and the Maybelline one above is that the wand has much less give, and the bristles are closer together and softer.  This mascara is meant to be both volumizing and lengthening, and does both pretty well. Aside from the colour (which is a little too soft for me. I prefer a blacker black), my only real problem with this is its staying power, as it isn’t up to lasting through a whole day. Still, a good, simple mascara. I might buy this one again.

Rating: 7.5/10

Urban Decay Waterproof Big Fatty Mascara


I’ve gone through a few tubes of this mascara, and words hardly express how disappointed I was when Urban Decay discontinued it just as I was running out of my last tube. This mascara is just about everything I ever wanted mascara to be. It had a big, beautiful brush, with dense bristles which really helped its volumizing powers. It is perfectly waterproof, and lasts all day (and sometimes to the next morning). It’s really volumizing, and almost never clumps. I wish more than anything that they would bring it back.

Rating: 9/10 (why not 10? Because it can’t be perfect if it no longer exists.)

Sephora Mascara Lash Plumper


This is a mini version of Sephora’s volumizing mascara that was part of the Beauty Insider birthday gift last year. I have barely used it, for a few reasons. The first is that this mascara isn’t waterproof, and I don’t like the idea of getting some dust in my eye or watching a sad movie and ending up with black lines all over my face, so I like to stay away from non-waterproof mascaras on principle. Also, as such, this mascara doesn’t last very long. While the brush on it is alright (and not made of rubber!), the mascara itself tends to be very flaky, and also doesn’t do very much volumizing. If this was meant to make me want to buy mascaras from Sephora’s own brand, it was a failed attempt.

Rating: 5/10

Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! 4-in-1 Waterproof Mascara


I used this mascara less than 5 times, and then let it sit in my makeup bag for a couple weeks before finally offering it to my sister, so as not to waste it. Anyways, this was bought as a potential replacement for my Big Fatty mascara, and it completely failed me! The product itself is too thin, goes on very thickly, and somehow manages to always clump, not to mention how it would often make my lashes stick together even hours after putting it on if I so much as touched my eyes. The brush, also, is lame… it’s thin, too dense, and kind of messy. There is nothing good about this mascara. (Although to be fair, my sister likes it just fine.)

Rating: 1/10

L’Oreal Waterproof Voluminous Million Lashes in Blackest Black


This is the mascara I am currently using. I bought it because Aleeza (, one of my favourite bloggers and Youtubers, has said a few times that this is her favourite mascara. I’m really liking it, even with it’s rubber brush. While it isn’t as awesome as Urban Decay Big Fatty, it’s a good, long lasting, volumizing, waterproof mascara. It lasts longer than the CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion that I had before, and is very waterproof, as a couple days ago, one of my eyes was being super irritated and watery, but this mascara didn’t budge. I would definitely recommend this one.

Rating: 8/10


So there’s my mass review of the mascaras that I have used over, probably, the last 3 or 4 years. I hope that this has been helpful to you in some way, or at least somewhat interesting. My November Glymm box post should be coming up soon, as well, probably within the next couple of days!

Have you tried any of the mascaras I mentioned here? Agree with my review? Disagree? Let me know!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mini Haul

On Wednesday I picked up a few things that I’ve been meaning to get for a while:

IMAG2023Sorry about the bad lighting, I couldn’t get the colours to play nice.

And also had some fun looking around Holt Renfrew, especially at their bags, and then me and my best friend randomly got out make-up done by the Laura Mercier makeup artists there, since they were promoting their new line.

Then, we went to Sephora, where I picked up a new Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero, because mine is about an inch long:


This is the best eyeliner I have ever found, and even though its $22, it’s totally worth the price. I use black liner on my water line almost every single day, and I used to use cheap brands like NYC, or even stuff from the dollar store, mostly because I didn’t realise there was a point in spending so much on my makeup (and because I didn’t have a Sephora anywhere near by!). Anyways, this liner stays on really well, and I absolutely love it!

Also at Sephora, there was a trial size set of three of Benefit’s primers for $13 near the checkouts, which I almost bought, but managed to convince myself not to… I might go back for it, though. Next, we went to London Drugs, where I got a light pink polish, specifically Essie’s Fiji (which I think is a terrible name for a pastel pink, but maybe that’s just me):


IMAG2052IMAG2053I forgot to take a picture of my nails when I first painted them, and they were a little beat up after work today, so I put on a coat of my holographic glitter, since I find that glitter does wonders for covering up imperfections. Anyways, I think you can still see the colour of the polish pretty well here.


I also got L’Oreal’s Voluminous Million Lashes Waterproof mascara in Blackest Black, since I am still on the lookout for a replacement for Urban Decay’s Big Fatty mascara. This one is a favourite of one of the Youtubers I watch, Stylishandliterate, so I thought I would give it a try. So far I do like it, but I’ll tell you more about it in my mascara review post.


So that’s my mini haul from the other day. As I mentioned a little earlier, I am working on a big Mascara review post, since I noticed how many mascaras I have still sitting in my makeup bag, and I should get that up probably by the end of this next week, so check back!

Also, as always, leave me your comments, questions, whatever! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Playing with Holo and Matte polishes

Hello again!

So, I just recently got myself a matte topcoat, so I’m kind of obsessively using it on everything to see how it affects flats and shimmers and glitters. This time, I’m going to show you what happens when you mattify holographic glitter polish, in my case, a holographic topcoat over black polish. First, though, I’ll show you how awesome my black and holo mani looked (please ignore the messy cuticles, as I pretty much never clean them up til I’m completely done):


And this picture is intentionally blurred, to show you the great colours in my holo top coat:


Then, I put the matte top coat over top, which looked like this:



I was really disappointed with the outcome, as the mattifying the holo just makes it look like a boring, plain silver glitter, but completely stops it from shimmering like a rainbow. So, after my base coat, 2 coats of black, the holo, and the matte topcoat… I added a clear coat of shiny clear polish… and dang does six layers of polish take a long time to dry, but it looks so much better that way.

The verdict: please don’t mattify your lovely holo polishes!

Are you loving matte polishes, or do you think they’re totally boring? Let me know!

ELF Studio and Mineral lines Haul!

Hey everyone! Sorry this post took so long to get up, but I’ve been so busy with school and stuff lately, but I just didn’t have the time at all. I also have a post to write about my Julep Maven to write, as well as a nail look and perhaps a mascara review, all of which I will hopefully get up in the next few days.

So, I got this ELF stuff using one of those internet coupon deal sites (I can’t remember which one) that someone posted online, because they were selling a coupon for $30 worth of ELF Studio or Mineral makeup for only $15! Unfortunately, Canadian shipping from ELF is crazy, and I couldn’t use the free shipping code with the coupon to save the standard shipping portion, but I did still get $15 off, so I figure it was still a good deal. Since there wasn’t $30 worth of stuff that I wanted to try, I split the deal with my friend, and we each paid $15 (because of shipping…) and got 5 things from the Studio line.

Here is what I ordered:

IMAG1863Mineral Eye shadow Primer, Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint, Pressed Powder, a Complexion Brush, Makeup Mist and Set, and also a pink polish, which wasn’t part of the coupon deal, but was only $1!

Also, because it’s been so long since I got my shipment, I’ve had some time to really try out the products, so I can give them a bit of a review as well as simply telling you my first impressions, which I guess is a bit of a plus.

The first thing is the pressed powder, which I really wanted to try. I’d been using Rimmel’s Stay Matte mineral face powder in “Transparent” before, but I was almost completely out, and wanted to see if this was any good before I invested in another one of my usual. I got it in “Porcelain,” which is the lightest shade they have. It’s perfect for me, but a bit too dark for my friend, who got the same one, but is paler than me, which is really unfortunate. It has a really nice texture, and the compact is nice, with a separate compartment for the puff (my old Rimmel doesn’t come with an applicator, so I had to buy my own because I didn’t have brushes before) and a mirror.


I really like how it applies, especially with the new brush, that I’ll get to in a minute, however, I recently started breaking out on my chin worse than usual, and a bit on my cheeks, which usually are perfectly clear, so I’ve been starting to wonder if it’s the new powder or simply a coincidence. If it doesn’t start to clear up soon, I might give up on it and go back to my Rimmel powder.

Next, I got the Makeup Mist & Set, mostly because I had been looking at Urban Decay’s De-Slick makeup setting spray, which I had tried a couple times when I was in the store, and I really liked how it worked, but it costs about $28, if I’m not mistaken. This seemed like a much cheaper alternative, if it worked, so I decided to give it a go, since I was making the order anyway.



I was a little worried that it would smell terrible, but it’s actually almost completely scentless, which is great. However, I’m also not sure that it does much to help my makeup stay on. Granted, I usually don’t wear enough makeup to bother using the spray, so it hasn’t had too many trial runs as of yet.

Probably one of my favourite products from this order was my new face brush that I got, as I mentioned before, because I didn’t have any brushes before, at least none that didn’t come with my makeup. I personally hadn’t heard anything about the brushes before I ordered it, and I know that a lot of YouTube makeup bloggers use some pretty expensive brushes, but I really don’t have the funds for that, and I have a hard time spending money on things if it hasn’t been proven to me that I need to. However, I was super happy with how amazingly soft this brush is… like a bunny, and the bristles are completely synthetic. I’m really pleased with it, which is why I ordered four eye shadow brushes a couple weeks later, when my friend was putting in another ELF order. They’re just the $1 ones, but still very soft, and I really love them!


Next, I got the Mineral Eye shadow Primer in Sheer, but I believe they also have a shimmery primer.  I decided to try it mostly because so many bloggers and vloggers use an eyelid primer, and I thought I would try one out that isn’t super expensive, like the Urban Decay Primer Potion that everyone adores.  Personally, I expected this product to be a bit thicker, and stickier. Instead, this primer is a rather thin, almost oily formula (and smells a lot like lipstick to me).


I really like the applicator, which I believe is the same as the one that comes with the Urban Decay primer, and this primer blends into my skin perfectly. While this isn’t technically necessary, as you’re going to put eye shadow over it anyways, it is nice, as I don’t have to worry about making sure it’s covered. However, I don’t think I would purchase this again, because I don’t think it does its job as well as it should… as far as I can tell, my eye shadow stays on just as well whether I wear it or not. Also, what I have the most problems with anyways is my eyeliner, and I’m not going to smear primer on my waterline every morning.

Finally, I got the Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint in Guava, in large part because I thought that the Vasanti ones sounded like an awesome idea when I was watching a video by stylishandliterate on YouTube, who loves their lip products.  The reason that I didn’t get a Vasanti tinted lip balm is because none of the Shopper’s near me sells Vasanti, which was very disappointing to find out. Anyways, so I got this product in Guava, because they were sold out of the light pink-y colour that looked the best for my skin tone, and this one looked second best:


It’s a really nice formula: non-sticky, silky, soft, and just a little bit shimmery and lightly pigmented. However, the colour is a lot more orange than it looked online, which might be due to a bad picture on their side, or else maybe my screen’s colours are a little off, but either way, the colour isn’t the best on me; it certainly isn’t terrible, but I probably wouldn’t have bought this colour had I been able to try it on in a store. Oh well, it was only $3… $1.50 if you take the discount into account.

And to finish up, here’s a look at my nails done in my new ELF polish, which is in “Bubble gum pink” (with black and holo glitter on my ring finger):


Friday, November 11, 2011

Julep Maven

I’m not sure if I mentioned it in another post, but a little while ago I ordered the Julep Maven box after watching a video review on the October box that mentioned a code that would get you the first month for only $5, which sounded like an awesome deal to me.

Now, before I get into the pictures and such of what I received, I’ll explain what Julep Maven actually is. Julep is an American nail polish (and I believe salon) company, and Julep Maven is basically their take on all the beauty boxes out there like Birchbox and Glymm box, only Julep focuses on nails and hands. For $19.99 per month, normal price, you get a box that contains, according to their site, at least $40 worth of products, which is why $5 for the first box seemed like such a great deal. Your first box always includes a full sized tube of their hand scrub as well as nail polishes.  Also, when you join, you complete a sort of survey so that they can classify your tastes in order to suggest the best boxes for you. I believe there are 6 categories, such as Boho Glam, American Beauty, and It Girl. One different thing about Julep is that they email you every month with what will be in your box, and you get to look through all of the boxes for the month and decide if you want yours, one from another category, or if you want to skip that month entirely, in which case you aren’t charged.

I took the quiz a couple times, admittedly, just to look at the different choices, and I ended up choosing American Beauty. In my box, I got the “Facial for Hands” Glycolic Hand Scrub, which comes in everyone’s first box, and 2 polishes: Alfre, which is a sort of metallic lavender colour, and Cameron, which is a simple, bright pink:

IMAG1956Above: This is how the Julep box looks when it arrives (alongside my November Glamour)
Below: inside the box… a bag…

The bag inside, front and back. Seems kind of unnecessary, but cute, especially with the pink ribbon what was tied around the handles.
(You can click on any of these pictures to see the larger image.)

The letters inside the box. The personalized touch of handwriting my name and the signature is kind of cute. I wonder how much time this takes her each month…

IMAG1987The card explaining the box’s contents

The wrapping on the polishes, and the colours themselves. The pink is called Cameron and the metallic purple is Alfre. Also, no, the pink on my nails isn't Cameron, it’s ELF’s Bubble Gum Pink, but they look very similar to me.

And this is the Glycolic Hand Scrub that comes in each introductory box. I keep meaning to try it out and forgetting about it…

IMAG1990And finally, the two sample packages that were thrown into the box. One is just a small sample of the hand scrub, and the other is a SPF 30 hand cream.

Although this was a great deal for $5, I won’t be continuing my subscription with Julep, because I can’t really afford to be spending $20 every month for nail polishes, especially if they aren’t of my choosing. If I was to spend that much on polish each month, I at least want to be able to choose my brands and colours. Also, at least for me, part of the charm of the Glymm box, and even Luxe box, is that you don’t know what you are getting every month, it’s like you’re getting a little surprise gift to yourself!

However, for those of you that are interested, I will point out a couple other things about this program. By becoming a Julep Maven, you also receive 20% off all purchases from their site, and for every polish bought from Julep, they donate $1 to women’s organizations. For referring people to Julep, you receive a $15 gift certificate for their site.  Finally, Julep Maven ships for free, even for Canadians, and obviously the program is available to Americans as well as Canadians. I think that’s it, but I’m sure if you have more questions, you can find your answers on their site.

Have you tried Julep Maven? What did you think?

And because I want to show them off, but I don’t think they warrant their own post:

I am absolutely loving my new bangs!



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