Product Review: L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions mascara

mascara, L'Oreal, drugstore, makeup, beauty, cosmetics, review, eyes

Mascara is just about my favorite thing to experiment with (excluding pizza toppings and number of times I can hit the snooze button and still make it to work on time). It’s one of the few beauty items that’s just as good, if not better, when purchased from the drugstore. And since I’m someone who uses mascara every day, I tend to run through tubes fairly quickly so cheaper is definitely better. My current favorites are Maybelline’s The Falsies Flared for my top lashes and Clinique’s Bottom Lash Mascara for the lower ones; I promise you can’t go wrong with that combo.

I was feeling adventurous in Target the other week and, instead of buying the usual, ended up getting about four different mascaras I’ve seen popping up across different beauty blogs and YouTube channels. One of these mascaras was the L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions mascara. I was turned on to this mascara by Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup. She’s been vowing her love for this number for as long as I’ve been reading so I thought it was high time to give it a go. To be 100% honest, Anna loves the L’Oreal Telescopic mascara in waterproof but I’m entirely too lazy to deal with waterproof makeup at the end of the day so I went with the shocking extensions non-waterproof one instead.

So, did it live up to the hype? Pretty much. The want itself is tiny, really thin, and plastic with short bristles and a shape that’s vaguely reminiscent of an anorexic peanut. I’m a sucker for a big, thick bristled brush so I was a bit leery before the first swipe. Don’t be fooled, however, this little wand packs some serious punch in the glamour department. The thin shape allows you to get right in close to the root of your lashes and the stiff bristles do a pretty decent job of separating and coating them as you pull up. The peanuty shape helps give your lashes curl and the formula gives you a bold look with one swipe. That being said, this is not a mascara for girls (or boys) who prefer a more natural lash look. Yes, you get glamorous, wow lashes but no one’s going to think you roll out of bed with those beauties. I also find it’s hard to get truly separated, fluttery lashes with this mascara. I find I usually have to go in with a eyelash comb after the second coat to remove some of the excess mascara and separate a few lashes that are threatening to clump.

I’ve had no issues with the mascara flaking or smearing during the day but I have noticed it’s a chore to get off. Even after using my Emma Hardie cleanser and following up with eye makeup remover, I couldn’t get it all. I ended up going to bed with some left on for fear I’d pull out my eyelashes if I tried any longer. It did come completely off in the shower the next morning though, not even a trace of raccoon eyes! It may be easier with a more heavy duty makeup remover but I didn’t have one to test the theory.

Overall, I’m impressed with this mascara, I’d keep it around for a night out or days I want my eyes to have some real oomph. This would be an awesome choice for people who really like to emphasize their eyelashes and aren’t too fussed about keeping things natural.

This was $7.99 at Target but you can find it at most drugstores.

Image credit: womansday.com

Seven Deadly Sins of Beauty Tag

makeup, cosmetics, beauty, tag, seven sins of beauty

1. GREED: What is your most inexpensive beauty item? What is your most expensive?

The most inexpensive beauty products I own definitely come from elf (their products average $1-$3) BUT I’m going to give you a product that I use regularly. The Ardell Brow Sculpting Gel is a clear gel I use to hold my unruly eyebrow hairs in place – the best part: It’s pretty cheap ($6.49). Before this I used the Anastasia Brow Gel in Clear ($22) and I haven’t seen much difference between the two. If anything, I like the brush of the Ardell one better, it’s slightly smaller which allows for greater control. I will say the packaging is very cheap looking but at $6 I didn’t expect anything fancy. It’s not an AMAZING product but it’s as good as any I’ve tried and it saves me money – counts as a win in my book.

2. WRATH: What beauty product do you have a love/hate relationship with? What product has been the hardest to get?

emma hardie, skin care, beauty, cosmetics, oily skin, tag, skin care routine

Hmm this would have to be Maybelline’s Volum’ Express The Rocket Lash mascara. I go back and forth with this product. Sometimes I really like it and sometimes I think it’s getting a one-way ticket to the trash can. The first coat looks great – it does an amazing job of defining and coating each lash, its stiff bristle wand is merciless when it comes to separation. The second coat is where I have issues. The lashes look really coated and fake and lose some of their natural curl. I keep wanting to love it and I hate the idea of throwing money away so I’ve experimented with different ways of applying it. Currently I’m using it to do my first coat and then layering it with Maybelline The Falsies Flared for my second coat. The Rocket Lash gives me separation and definition while the Falsies Flared gives me curl and volume without making my eyelashes look coated with mascara. Power couple. As for what product has been the hardest to get, that would have to be my Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm. This is hands down the loveliest cleanser I’ve ever used. It melts into your skin and takes off all your makeup, even eye makeup in one step. It cleans your skin beautifully without being the slightest bit drying. The one downside is that it’s ridiculously difficult to get your hands on, especially here in the states.

3. GLUTTONY: What’s your most delicious beauty product?

This one’s easy, my Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia cologne. I’ve had it for about two months and my obsession has yet to diminish. It’s absolutely the most delicious, summery fragrance – I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been tempted to sneak a taste. It’s fruity and sweet without being saccharine; there’s just enough of a floral note to cut the sugary scent and it gives the fragrance a more mature tone than your average fruity body spray. It doesn’t have the greatest staying power but I managed to snag a sample of the cologne too and carry it around with me for touch-ups or sporadic moments of weakness. I realize Jo Malone is a wee bit pricey but in this case it’s worth it – this scent has earned a permanent spot in my perfume line up.
4. SLOTH: What beauty product do you neglect, due to laziness?

beauty, tag, cosmetics, skin care, lips, balm, salve

I’d have to go with lip products on this one. I’m a lip balm girl all the way (current faves are EOS summer fruits and Smith’s Rosebud Salve). For some reason I feel that adding a lip takes my makeup over the edge from more natural to a real made-up look, but  maybe I’m just working my way up to bold lips. If I’m honest though, I mostly stick to lip balm because it’s easy – no touch ups, no matching, no worries.

5. PRIDE: What beauty product gives you the most self-confidence?

I’m going to have to cheat a little on this one. Since I have problematic skin, I steer clear of mirrors and/or the public when I don’t have a base on. I guess this makes my Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation the numero uno confidence booster. A very close second (maybe even confidence booster 1.5) is my Bobbi Brown eyebrow pencil in gray. My eyebrows sort of give up the plot halfway across my eye so filling in my eyebrows makes a massive difference for me. I personally think properly shaped eyebrows are the single biggest way to impact your look so going around with two half eyebrows isn’t the greatest for my confidence levels.

6. LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in the opposite sex?

Since this is a beauty tag, I’m kind of assuming this is about appearance but so you all don’t think I’m a superficial twit I’m throwing in some personality things as well. For the physical check list I love a good head of hair and some solid eyebrows. Does anyone else notice guys’ eyebrows or is this a result of my deeply rooted eyebrow insecurity? I also like a nice jaw line – can’t go wrong with that. Going beneath surface level, I go for confidence, kindness, intelligence, and a great sense of humor.

Well, that’s my Match.com profile written.

7. ENVY: What items would you most like to receive as a gift?

beauty, cosmetics, fragrance, cologne, perfume, tag

I’ve been lusting after the Escentual Molecules “Molecule 01” fragrance for a while now. It’s a fragrance with only one base note scent (most perfumes have a whole handful) that reacts with your body’s natural pheromones to produce a completely custom, irresistible fragrance. How amazing does that sound?? It’s also interesting because most people can’t actually smell it on themselves, they only get the occasional whiff when the breeze changes or when they catch it lingering on clothing. Other people, however, are apparently drawn to it like those crazy women in the Axe commercials. The perfume has rave, sometimes hilarious, reviews and seems like it would really fun to try. The problem is it’s a tad hard to get hold of in the states and its VERY pricey. If you have a rather large amount of disposable income I think it would make an awesome gift – it’s a unisex scent too!

Image credits: allwomensweekend.com, emmahardie.com, vogue.com cultbeauty.co.uk

Monthly Favorites: July 2013

Here’s a quick hit list of what I’ve been reaching for again and again this past month.

Cosmetics

  • Ardell Brow Sculpting Gel (clear) – seeing as how my eyebrows are constantly in a state of mutiny,  eyebrow gel has become a staple in my makeup bag. That being said, I’ve yet to find one that really wows me. This gel, while not being amazing, is pretty darn good and is significantly cheaper than the other gels I’ve been testing recently. For those whose eyebrows need only mild encouragement – this could be an excellent bargain! $6.49/2.5oz.
  • Rimmel London Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal Eyeliner in #004 “Taupe” – this eyeliner is a great option for people who prefer more subtle definition when it comes to their eye makeup. It’s a warm, grey-brown shade that’s great for sneaky eyeliner looks or running along the lower lashes for a softer effect. The best part? It’s waterproof and won’t budge once it sets – win win win.
  • Benefit “Stay Flawless” 15 hour primer – full review here.
  • Revlon Super Lustrous lip gloss in #215 “Super Natural” – I’m a girl who love her “your lips but better” lip products – pinky browns alllll the way. Well this Revlon gloss is perhaps the ultimate YLBB gloss for me. It’s fragrance-free, non-sticky, and shiny without being over the top. It’s currently my go-to day gloss and I always keep it in my bag!
  • Smith’s Rosebud Salve – this multi-purpose salve is incredible. It’s a super pretty clear pink balm that comes in a retro, rose-adorned tin. I love swiping this on before I head to bed at night – sometimes I can still feel in on my lips in the morning! Moisture city. $6/.8oz.

Nails

  • Essie “In the Cab-ana” – Blues & turquoises are probably my all-time favorite shades to wear on my finger nails so the fact that this Essie offering is currently top of the pack should say something. It’s a gorgeous, summer color that’s bold and bright without being harsh. $8/.5oz.
  • Color Club “Reign in Spain” – this color is available exclusively as part of the “Wanderlust” collection from Birchbox. It somehow manages to strike the perfect balance between neon and pastel and while it doesn’t look that amazing in the bottle, it’s a showstopper on the hands. It’s one of those polishes that has you continuously peeking at your fingers throughout the day. While the formula’s nothing to write home about, the color makes up the difference – it makes even my albino hands look tan. $8/4 mini polishes.

Fragrance

  • Joe Malone “English Pear & Freesia” Cologne – this is the perfect summer perfume: light, sweet, fruity, and refreshing. It doesn’t have the most amazing staying power but the smell is so delicious it more than makes up for it – I just carry around a little sample version I hoodwinked the saleslady into giving me for touch-ups! A wee bit steep on the price front but I think the name “Jo Malone” might have already given that away. $60/30ml.

Random Bits & Pieces

  • Target “Mini Cinnamon Donuts” Candle – I’ve done a mini review on this yummy candle.

That’s all I have for this month! But I made a ninja trip to Sephora during my lunch break last week and have a ton of new skincare products I’m testing – hoping those end up in my August faves next month! What have you been loving this July?

Current Fling: Cinnamon Mini Donuts Candle

candles, frangrance, scents, target, cinnamon, sweet, incense

I’ve made an effort in the past few months to get more into candles. I love the idea of infusing a room with some lovely fragrance and always notice when someone has a candle burning. It just seems to make everything more homey and cozy. My motivation might also secretly  stem from the futile hope that a lovely, girly fragrance would distract visitors from the fact I use my floor as a second closet. It hasn’t worked yet but I remain hopeful.

I’ve always been more drawn to clean or fruity scents like Linen, Lavender, Rain, or Peach. I love a good christmassy candle during the holidays but, on the whole, I prefer my fragrances fresh. Usually those scents like “Frosting” and “Vanilla Cupcake” smell mouthwatering to me for about five minutes at which point they suddenly become overbearing and sickly. But when I spotted an adorable, carnival-themed line of candles at target in tempting flavors such as “cotton candy” and “fresh baked cookies” I had to stop and give them a sniff. When my nose reached “Mini Cinnamon Donuts” I swear I started drooling. It smelled so amazing that, despite my dubious history with sugary scents, I simply had to take it home with me.

This is the loveliest, warmest, most sugary fragrance that makes my whole room smell like a fairy bakery without ever becoming sickly – even when burned for hours at a time. I’m so enamored that I went and bought a spare one pre-move in case the stores in New York didn’t carry them!

Anyway, I know this has nothing to do with beauty but I have been know accidentally wander into shops other than Sephora and MAC so I thought I’d share!

P.s. I realize the picture above is a reed diffuser, not a candle but I couldn’t find the candle anywhere on Target’s website! They seem to be denying their existence – probably to hoard them all for themselves. The scent is the exact same though so It’s not that much of a stretch!

Image Credit: Target.com

Product Review: Benefit Stay Flawless 15 hour primer

First off: a quick apology for my absence these past few weeks. I’ve recently migrated up the east coast to seek my fortune in the big apple and start up a new job. Thus far all I’ve been able to do with my minimal free time is shove my face full of whatever food is in reach and stumble up the stairs to my bed. Now that i’ve had a while to settle in, I’m back to spending too much money and time evaluating the contents of my makeup bag – normalcy returns.

primer, cosmetics, makeup, benefit, oily skin, foundation, skin

What first caught my eye about the Benefit Stay Flawless primer wasn’t the lure of 15 hour makeup longevity or even the absurdly adorable packaging – what grabbed my attention was the stick form the product comes in. Reminiscent of a glue stick you’d find lying around a kindergarten classroom, the primer comes in a twist-up tube that can be swiped directly on the face – no hands needed. For some reason (most likely because I am incredibly lazy), converting this one step from a messy, hands-on formula to a clean, finger-free one was enough to persuade me to pick one up.

Here’s what Benefit has to say about their newest primer:

Flawless works overtime! Our instant PRO-long primer acts like a magnet to lock on your foundation for 15 fresh & flawless hours. This invisible stick primer glides directly onto skin for optimal wear and a natural-looking finish. Go longer. Stay flawless!

The key to this product, it seems, is application. The ideal way to apply it is to swipe it on your face in sections, immediately blending your foundation on top so the two are worked simultaneously into your skin. It’s best to work in sections because the primer is fast setting and letting it sit will decrease your chances for a smooth, even finish and you’ll have to work a bit harder to blend it all in.

Another key thing to remember when using this product is that less is more. When I was first testing this primer, I used it the same way I would a liquid one, applying all over the skin. That turned out to be quite the mistake. This primer becomes cakey and gluey when concentrated and I noticed patchiness in the final texture of my foundation (this can also happen if you let the primer sit too long prior to blending). It was so bad I ended up washing all my makeup off and starting from scratch, I even had to switch to a new buffing brush as the first one was all gummed up with product. Having learned my lesson,  I now swipe a minimal amount on my face: across the cheekbones, down the nose, across the T-zone and finally across my chin. I don’t cover these areas, merely stripe across them and allow the blending process to spread the product across my face. I noticed I need a tad more foundation than usual as the primer seems to act as a magnet for makeup but the difference wasn’t significant.

So what did I think? The single best thing about this primer is the sheer ease of use. You just twirl the product up in the tube, swipe it across your face and then blend simultaneously with your foundation. No sticky fingers, no additional blending – nada. Applying primer has now become one of my favorite makeup steps as opposed to my least. The formula glides effortlessly onto the face with a wet feel that disappears as the product melts into your skin. I found the finish to be decently lightweight and smooth but not quite as light as my Smashbox Photo Finish Light.This primer does a good job of keeping my foundation on my face, though I don’t think it really holds up to its 15 hour claim (another product falls victim to my extremely oily skin). It does, however, help mitigate oil levels and shine throughout the day – an excellent side benefit (wink, wink).

makeup, primer, cosmetics, skin care, oily skin, foundation, coverage

Overall, I’m very pleased with this purchase. I love that it helps me wage the endless war against my oily face and my lazy self is thrilled with the quick, no-hands application style. That being said, based on other reviews online, this primer seems to be a true hit or miss product. You either love it or you hate it. The only way to find out is to give it a go – though I do think some of the problems arise from the unusual application process required rather than the product itself. P.s. this primer is paraben free – good for those who keep a close eye on their cosmetics ingredients!

At $32/.54oz it’s a bit of a splurge (as are most Benefit primers) but ultimately, if you love the product, it’s worth it. A good primer makes a world of difference – especially during lovely sweaty heat waves like we had in NYC last week. 100°? Honestly, pull yourself together New York.

Image credits: Elle.com, Sephora.com