Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Things I Love: Drugstore Edition

     So, I realize that I have become quite the make-up snob. Yes, I do prefer mostly high end stuff, but if it wasn't for my job, I wouldn't have the money or the access to all the cool products I use. And honestly, I'm a college student- I know that a $20 mascara is not a realistic price range for most people.

     SO! This post is going to be all about the stuff I love from the drugstore lines! This includes make-up, skin care, and hair products.

     Also, I know not everyone has oily skin like I do, or wants the strongest hairspray EVER. But what I figure is that if I have good things to say about a line, then perhaps you will be able to find something from said line more suited to you specific needs.

     And here we go!

Maybelline Line Stiletto Liquid Eyeliner- a black liquid liner with a felt tip brush. Easier to use than a basic liquid liner because the tip can't separate like brush bristles. Also, a very nice deep black, has a nice gloss to it. 

Ardell False Eyelashes- I am in love with these. They are well made, they have a million different styles, and they can be reused as long as you keep them clean. I bought a pair of Urban Decay lashes for about 4x as much, and I ended up liking these better. (Hint: Use DUO brand glue! It's nice and tacky, holds the lashes on, but isn't a pain to remove.)

L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara- This has a nice full brush, so it builds volume nicely.

Cherry ChapStick- Do I even need to explain this one? I love the taste, I love how it feels, and I like the pretty light pink tint it gives your lips. Pretty much perfection.

Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Powder Foundation- The closest thing to Bare Minerals without the price. This is what I use every day. It gives really nice coverage, won't irritate your skin, and they also have Matte finishes now. Love it!

CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara- It's all in the brush with this one. It gives great separation so you can put on multiple coats without the clumping.

L'Oreal Powder Mineral Concealer- I love this stuff for two reasons. Since it's mineral powder, it doesn't make my acne worse when I'm trying to hide it. And two- it actually COVERS. 

Revlon Superlustrious Lip Gloss- I love the selection of colors and finishes available. They have shimmery, glittery, and opaque. They have some really awesome colors, ranging from your basic reds and pinks to bright oranges and purples. Finally, they don't dry out after 20 minutes.

Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Stains- It looks like a sharpie for your lips. They have a lot of pretty colors, and they really do last. I tried the lip stains from Revlon also, and I have to say, I like these better. They smell nicer, and have better color payoff. The only thing annoying about stains is that they can dry out your lips, so just keep a gloss or a balm on hand.

L'Oreal H.I.P Eyeshadows- The H.I.P. stands for High Intensity Pigments. And they aren't kidding. These are the only eyeshadows that I feel give a color payoff compared to the higher end cosmetics. They have brights, metallics, mattes- all sorts of colors and all sorts of finishes.

Maybelline The Colossal Volum' Express Mascara- This mascara has the best of both worlds- the full brush adds volume, but the bristles are still staggered enough that it won't get clumpy. This is actually the mascara I used in my "after" picture in my Long Stem Lashes review.

Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum- Anyone who knows me knows all the terrible things I put my hair through. Bleaching, heat styling, all sorts of nasty things. I can't say enough nice things about this stuff. I'm pretty sure this serum is the only reason I still have hair in my head. It saved my dry, straw like hair and made it soft, healthy, and shiny. Plus it smells awesome! I know this line carries other serums for different hair types as well. 

Aussie Instant Freeze Extreme Hold Hair Spray- Out of all the hair sprays I've tried, this is the only one that dries INSTANTLY, like it claims. I know I spike my hair to high heaven, so the drying time is very important- if it takes more than a few seconds then the hair starts to fall, defeating the purpose. The hold is awesome, and I really like how this stuff smells. 

Caress Glowing Touch Body Wash- This gives really nice lather and feels very moisturizing. But for me, it's ALL about the smell! It's not really supposed to be scented, but the Shea Butter in it gives it this wonderful clean scent. That's the only way I can describe it- the epitome of clean. I could sniff it all day. P.S.- the scent DOES last all day.

Earth Therapeutics Loofah Complexion Pad- This is awesome for exfoliating. You put whatever cleanser you use on it- whether it's bar soap, cream cleanser, liquid, what have you- and wash your face with it. It's all natural, it cleans out your pores, and you don't have to change your products to use it. Like a washcloth, it just works better.

Purpose Gentle Cleansing Bar- A deep cleaning bar soap that won't irritate your skin. I'm very acne prone, and when I use this it doesn't aggravate my skin- which is AWESOME, because anyone who gets acne knows, your face gets super sensitive. But I think my favorite part about this soap is after you wash your face, your skin literally SQUEAKS. Now that's clean!

Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish Stick- Contains Salicylic Acid to clean out pores. It also contains alcohol, so yes, this stuff can burn a little (burning=WORKING). However, the burning doesn't last long, and this is the only product I've found that can knock out those really awful, tough pimples. This is meant to be a spot treatment, so don't use it all over your face or the alcohol can dry out your skin.

Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets- Great for those with oily skin. Removes excess shine and oil without taking off your make-up. Perfect size for carrying in your purse for quick touch ups- because no one likes to look shiny.

AcneFree Sulfur Mask- Not only for those with acne, this product is great for anyone with oily skin. Oily skin leads to clogged pores which leads to acne- if you do a drying mask such as this one once every week or so, it will really help in preventing breakouts. 

Almay Eye Makeup Remover Pads- Super easy to use, and they even take off waterproof mascaras and eyeliners. Also available in moisturizing pads.

     Thus ends the longest blog ever! Hope this helps! <3

Monday, September 13, 2010

Product Review: Too Faced Long Stem Lashes


     Long Stem Lashes by Too Faced cosmetics is a lash growing serum. What's awesome about it (well, one of the things anyways) is that it won't change the color of your eyelids or actual eye like others can. Long Steam lashes is double sided- one side contains a black liquid liner that contains the serum. The other side is the serum by itself. 

     Alright, before I get into explaining this stuff, it's a before picture time! (Note: I am wearing mascara on top and bottom lashes so the length can be seen.)


     I am in LOOOOOOOVE with this product. Seriously. I have been using it for 8 weeks now and definitely notice a change in the length and volume of my lashes. You can use the serum up to twice a day- once in the morning or once at night. However, it doesn't matter if you only do it once a day. The eyeliner is obviously more daytime appropriate (unless you want to wear black liquid liner to bed!), but you can use the serum instead of the eyeliner for daytime too. Also, the serum can be used on top and bottom lashes- some other serums direct to use the serum on the upper lashline only.

     This product boosts some serious stats too:
     72% of participants reported appearance of longer lashes after four weeks
     81% of participants reported increase in the appearance of lash thickness and fullness after eight weeks
     74% of subjects reported the appearance of having more lashes, overall

     Okay, but I'm going to let you decide. After picture time! (Note, I'm wearing mascara top and bottom again. This time I'm also wearing black eyeliner versus purple.)

     Pretty impressive, no?

     So as a final grade I give this an A! It's $38 a tube- most others start at $60 and move up into the hundreds. My only complaint is that I wish it was all serum instead of the black eyeliner. Once the serum is dry, you can put make-up over it. But constantly wearing the black eyeliner gets kinda boring.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Product Review: Maybelline Volum' Express "The Falsies" Mascara

     "The Falsies" is a new mascara by Maybelline. It claims to give the appearance of false eyelashes. According to the website, 
"the patented spoon brush and Kera-fiber formula instantly build 8x more volume without clumping. [The] unique flexible wand helps to lift and separate lashes to provide the look of 300% more lashes."
Those are some pretty big claims. Now, for anyone who knows me, I'm all about making my eyes look as huge as possible. And a big part of the "doe-eyed" look is the long, pretty fringe framing the eyes. I mean, what's more flirty than batting eyelashes? Nothing, I tell you! So as someone who wears falsies from time to time, I was intrigued. I would much rather swipe on mascara than sit around messing with the glue and placement of false eyelashes.

     I am wearing this mascara as I type this. Does it live up to its hype? No. But is it the worst mascara I've come across? No. So here's the thing- I've been using an eyelash serum to grow my lashes (product review for this to come!) so I don't really need tons of help with length and volume. But considering I have a pretty decent set of lashes, this mascara didn't really do much to show them off. I didn't get very good separation of lashes- it didn't look super clumpy, but I did have a few triangles of lashes stuck together. I mean, what's the point of wearing mascara to show off your lashes if it's going to make it look like you only have five or six of them? However, the spoon brush does do a good job of lifting the lashes, which in turn does make your eyes look bigger. If you curl your lashes and maybe comb through them then this mascara would probably do a better job. I always curl my lashes, but in the morning I don't really want to have to take an extra step of combing my lashes out to avoid spider lashes. 

Final Grade- B-. If you're willing to work with the comb, you'll get better separation. But it does add lift like it claims, and considering the price, it's not the worst mascara out there.  

     I have a few mascaras that I really like that I would recommend over this one-

     First is the Too Face Lash Injection mascara. This mascara is an all-in-one: it builds volume, lengthens, thickens, and adds some curl. What's so cool about this one is that it actually builds tubes around the individual lashes, so it extends the length past your natural lash. When you wear it you can pull of the little lash tube tips, which shows that it's actually doing what it claims. It's pretty cool.

     Next is the Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition mascara. What's great about this one is the separation you get! It makes your lashes look so full because it combs them all out. You can also use multiple coats to really build up the length- and it won't clump when you do this!

     The final one I would recommend is the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara. If you want the look of falsies, THIS IS THE ONE TO USE! Tarte calls it the "push-up bra for your lashes." It's a four-in- one mascara that adds length, curl, volume, and it conditions your lashes. What's great about Tarte is that they're a very natural brand, so it has less chemicals in it that could cause bad reactions. But what I love in particular about this one is the volume you get- you're lashes get so full that it really does look like you have on fake lashes. Seriously.