Thursday, June 19, 2008

Maybelline XXL Curl Power Mascara Review

I couldn't find a picture of this one to use, but it's a black and white dual-ended tube with purple accents. If you're familiar with other XXL mascaras, it's the same type of tube, but with purple on it. :)

That's where the comparison stops. This mascara is ten times better than the other XXLs. My biggest beef with those? Flaking. This one stays put, thank goodness, rather than throwing black confetti down my cheeks.

Packaging: No complaints. It's the same kind of packaging as all the other XXL mascaras, as mentioned above. It's also kind of a fat tube with slightly tapered ends, which makes it easier to hold on to and maneuver. My favorite thing about the packaging is the satisfying "click" you feel when you close the caps; you know they're closed. Oh, and the brushes are curved, which should help with the curling part.

Application: I don't usually like primers, but I use them when they're attached because I'm a little OCD that way (or something). I have to use all parts of a product or it drives me nuts. The only reason I don't like primers is because it's one more step to put into a makeup routine in the mornings. They really do help boost volume and length, though, if you get a good one (I like this one, L'Oreal's, and Clinique's).

After letting the primer dry (if you prefer to let it dry first--it's personal preference), apply the other side. Coat over the primer. I like to do two coats to make sure all the white is covered.

I like that the mascara's not too runny like Great Lash, but not super thick like it's about to dry out, either. It grabs onto the lashes and paints them well, but it doesn't splatter everywhere as I pull the brush through.

Results: I wouldn't call this my holy grail mascara or anything like that, but it does lengthen and thicken the lashes. There may be a little bit more of a curl to my lashes than usual, but they tend to curl upward on their own, so it's hard to tell. It did what it said it'd do, just not better than all other mascaras I've ever tried, if that makes sense.

Price: I think I paid $6 for this. I got it as a buy one, get an eyeliner free deal.

Overall: I'd buy it again if it were part of a special deal like the one mentioned above. I wouldn't seek it out to purchase again, though. It may just win me over one day when I run out of mascaras to try and need a new one. It did what it set out to do, and it did it well.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Moisturizing Facial Mask

My face is a desert. Today, however, it was a dessert (har, har). I found this facial mask recipe on Beauty Tyrant that called for a half a banana and two tablespoons of honey. You mix them into a paste (I couldn't quite get it to the right consistency so it looked pretty gross on my face. LOL) and apply. Wait 10-15 minutes and wash it off. You can also use a banana slice cut in half under your eyes to get rid of dark circles while you wait.

Supposedly, the banana combats dryness and the honey works on the acne. I have the worst of three worlds--dry skin and acne, topped with super sensitivity. This sounded like the perfect mask for me:
  • Simple, with few ingredients
  • Natural, so I don't have to worry about chemicals irritating my skin
  • Bananas are moisturizing
  • Honey fights acne
Bonus: It smelled pretty good.

My results weren't knock-me-on-my-butt fantastic, but I'm impressed. Obviously, my acne didn't just go "POOF!" but my face did feel smoother. It probably would've felt like a baby's butt had it been a bit more supple and more moisturized when I was done rinsing off the mask. My skin felt better than after any other mask I've ever used; those tend to make my face feel DRIER than when I started. With this one, my skin felt more moisturized than when I started, but not as moisturized as it needed to be.

I didn't notice a difference with the dark circles. They're still hanging out there, but it's been a long day.

I highly recommend this mask for those with dry skin and/or acne.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Blush Rant

Does anyone else have a problem with their blush fading? I'll put it on in the morning, then within a couple of hours I'm looking pasty again. My skin's dry, so you'd think it'd stick, but it doesn't. So do I want to look like a clown in the AM or a corpse in the PM? That's assuming I don't have time to fix it later. Even if I have time, that doesn't mean I want to have to do it.

New Poll!

I finally got around to putting up a new poll. Sorry it took so long!

Beauty and Brains Unite!

This article makes me happy because I'm tired of seeing female "role models" in the form of empty-headed sex kittens. Sure, most girls want to be cute, but there can be something behind the mascara. However, it kind of makes me sad that nerdy women in heels are newsworthy.

Here's the article:
Geek Girls: Revenge of the Nerdettes

Monday, June 9, 2008

For you edgy mamas out there...

I wouldn't call it a tutorial per se, but it's a walk-through on how I did my makeup this morning. I was inspired by Panacea81's Amy Lee of Evanescence look. It's darker than it appears in the pictures and the video. We have an orange level smog alert, so I won't be leaving the house anyway. Not that dark or bright eye shadow ever stopped me in the past... ;)

Anyway, it really does make blue eyes pop. It's also pretty simple as long as you don't load up your whole lid with color straight from the pencil. Put a little on, then smudge and work from there (Panacea81 does a great job of showing it in her video, though she's using different products). One thing I will say about using the NYX Jumbo Pencils instead of the Shadesticks she used, though: SET IT WITH POWDER. I used NYX's Dark Brown on top after about an hour (yeah, just an hour!) because it was already creasing on me--with a base underneath. With a color that dark, you can't just ignore creasing.

On to the video:

Oh yeah, I forgot! I am so excited now. My father-in-law figured out why my computer was being so weird. We fixed it, and it fixed my ability to upload YouTube videos, so there will be more tutorials coming at you now! I was getting so irritated because I'd try to upload them for hours and it would just die on me.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

If you like MAC's Dazzleglasses...

But hate that they're limited edition or hate the outrageous price for a lip gloss, you. will. loooove Rimmel Kiss Off gloss. A lot of the colors are similar to the Dazzleglasses, BUT they're about $5.00 (compared to, I think, $16.50). They're also not as sticky so you don't (at least I don't) get that goopy ring-around-the-mouth or rip your hair out with your gloss when the wind blows.

I am in love with MAC's Steppin' Out, the only Dazzleglass I bought. My supply is visibly lower every week (even my husband noticed!). Funny, I pulled it out and applied on my way to ULTA. Welllll, lo and behold, I was glancing at the Rimmel display while my husband fed my daughter a smoothie type of drink from the nearby Caribou Coffee to keep her entertained.

I once again found something shiny and had to stop. It's starting to be a theme with me. Anyway, they had a dupe of Steppin' Out. Since I'm not done with Steppin' Out yet, I picked up a different color. This one's called Flashback. It's a whitish-clear with pink, teal, and--I think I detect some gold in there--microglitter (yay, microglitter!).

They are definitely worth checking out. I think there were about 8 colors.

Milani Runway Eyes Single Shadow Review

One word: Ugh.

Like a bird or a redneck, I like shiny things. That means that when I saw the collection of Milani Runway eyes shadows gleaming up at me, smiling and winking, I had to stop and check them out. And then resist the urge to buy one in every color.

"Just one," I told myself. Then my superego (??? Too long since the Psych classes) chimed in, "For now," when my id tried to throw a todderesque tantrum on the floor of my brain. So the most grown-up version of my brain sat down on the floor with me as I tried to decide on the single color to take home and try out. My first thought was to get the black one, but I have too many black shadows and not enough occasions to really dig into them, so I went with Beach Sand, the one that seemed to be a hint darker than my skin tone and packed with silver and pink microglitter shimmer.

When I got home, I used the sponge-tip side of the goofy curved brush included in the compact. The other side is a traditional brush. I haven't tried that side because I think it'd send fairy dust stuff all over the place. Since Tinkerbell's nowhere to be found and I'm not sure how to get down if I do, in fact, find myself flying due to eye shadow fallout, I refrained from using that brush.

Anyway, the swatch I did on my hand with the sponge-tip side turned out to be gorgeous, almost the way water glimmers in the sun. If the water were champagne-colored. The shimmery specks were farther apart than I'd hoped they'd be, so it didn't have quite the metallic sheen I was wishing for, but hey, it was a drugstore shadow so I'll cut it some slack. Then I tried it wet, as the shadow package says to do for more intensity. It was a little better, but still not perfect. I would've deemed it a keeper, IF...

If underneath the top layer of shadow/sparkle, there was more sparkle! Underneath that top layer of pulverized disco ball beauty, there is just slightly shimmery, sorta pretty shadow. Phooey. I have about 14 others that look just like it. The silvery-pink shimmer is what made me think this one was different from all the others.

Always one to root for the underdog a little too long, I tried this on my eyes anyway. I like to give makeup a fair shot before going through the hassle of a return. So this morning I tried it on my eyes. Big mistake. I put it on over MAC Painterly Paint Pot. That part was fine. It even looked really pretty since some of the shimmer was still on top. Heck, I didn't even mind when it crumbled a little bit in the pot as I scooped more color up.

On my eyelids, it's the same color as my skin, so it just looks like I have shimmery lids, but not over the top. I'd call it an almost-no-makeup look, actually. The shimmer's not that obvious. The surprise came later. A few hours after I put it on, the inner corner of my right eye was swollen and sore. This thing's definitely going back to the store.

Overall, I would prefer to throw this shadow against the wall, scrape the pieces from the floor, and then burn them. However, here are the positives: It's a very soft shadow. It's also very subtle, especially once you get past the really sparkly top layer. Oh, and it's cheap: $6, though you can find Milani BOGO or BOGO-half-off quite often. The biggest pro for me? I can return it to CVS and get my money back because they have a really good return policy. So does Walgreens. Not sure about Wal-mart and Target as far as used cosmetics are concerned, but I don't think you can get Milani products there anyway.