mac studio sculpt lash mascara

mac studio sculpt lash mascara

judging by your comments, perhaps the world is not quite ready for this mascara. so, i thought i’d take things down a notch and introduce you to a much simpler product: mac studio sculpt lash mascara. it’s so simple, in fact, that the brush only has two rows of bristles. (when i heard about this, i scoffed. how could two measly little rows of bristles rival the big fat wand packed with bristles that i know and love?)

surprisingly, two rows of bristles are highly effective! they separate lashes, defining each one beautifully and apply mascara without a clump in sight. studio sculpt lash’s skinny teeth are not messing around. you get extra precise control over where the mascara is applied along with length, lift, and curl that lasts all day sans smudging.

so, to recap, that’s 1) a cinch to apply with very little effort, 2) long, separated lashes that stay where they are put and 3) does not flake or cause raccoon eyes.

win, win, win.

i’m pretty impressed with this minimalist mascara from mac and i’m definitely finding that it’s the right daytime product for my preferred lash look. (i don’t like to go too bambi before happy hour.) if you like to catch each lash and create a crafted lash’terpiece then i think you’ll love this newness from mac.

mac studio sculpt lash mascara, $16 >

sephora upside down mascara

sephora upside down mascara

sometimes i feel like mascara wands have all of the fun. we’ve certainly seen our fair share of innovative shapes and designs in this department, but this new double-brush from sephora may just take the cake. there was no way that i was going to let something this crazy looking pass me by without giving it a test, more out of curiosity than expecting any earth-shattering results.

here’s the deal: sephora’s new upside down mascara features a double brush that promises length, curl, volume, and definition. (those are some real bold claims, sephora!) you can use this contraption many ways, which makes it kind of fun. 1) place lashes in a clamp between each brush to coat the tops and bottoms in thick, black pigment

sephora upside down mascara closed

2) hold the “v” closed and use both brushes in line together to fully coat each lash, kind of like how you would use a regular mascara wand, but this version is on steroids

sephora upside down mascara open

3) open the “v” and use each brush individually on top and/or bottom lashes (or use them to layer) to really customize and maximize the effect.

once you get the hang of opening and closing the brush to create various looks and you figure out how to minimize clumping (i say, just keep a lash comb handy – the end results are worth the clumps), the possibilities here are pretty endless. i like the idea of this “all in one” mascara and you really can create day or evening lash options delivering length or volume (or both!), depending on your preferences. i will say that this formula is a bit on the heavy side, but that’s what delivers the drama. i find that i have to really let it dry in-between coats and it did smudge a tiny bit on me. (note: i have the wateriest eyes on the planet, so don’t judge it too harshly.)

all in all, i’m calling this one a win for innovation and for impressive results. beauty buffs will have a lot of fun experimenting with the wand and your lashes will definitely display the fruits of your labor if you’re willing to give it a go.

sephora upside down mascara, $22 >

pur minerals big blink mascara

pur minerals big blink mascara

i find myself to be the harshest mascara critic. you name it, i’ve tried it – and chances are, i didn’t like it. most of them disappoint me in the flaking and smudging department. (i swear, there is nothing more frustrating than leaving the house with perfect lashes and coming home with raccoon eyes.) as i’m getting older, i’ve also started looking for mascaras with a little something extra in the ingredient list that gives back – because, in truth, mascara is terrible for your lashes, suffocating them and leaving them brittle and dry. it just so happens that the mascaras with the best “for you” ingredients, tend to be the worst performers. so, imagine my surprise when a mineral-based mascara stole my heart!

pur minerals big blink mascara brings extreme drama to your lashes. the crazy length and volume rivals any mascara that i’ve tried and the thick, black, glossy formula is pure perfection. i normally find large brushes to be awkward, but this one coats each lash easily and doesn’t deposit any unwanted mascara onto my brow bones. it glides on without clumping and the results are very va-va. this mascara wears beautifully all day long, until you take it off (at which point, it dissolves easily with cleanser and water) and the addition of argan oil nourishes my lashes so that they don’t feel dehydrated.

basically, it’s a breeze to use, wears like a dream, and makes your lashes insanely long. is there anything else you could possibly want in a mascara?

pur minerals big blink mascara, $20 >

the rule of three

the rule of three
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the holiday season is hectic enough, but add in the need to monitor finishing touches on our new house and combine that with packing to move – you’ve got a normally calm beauty blogger running around like a crazy person. i need to keep some things simple, so i’ve been relying on these three products to make my face look put together, while my mind spins around in loops. the combination of a coral blush and a sheer berry lip is the easiest way to give off the impression of being cool and collected, and the addition of lots (and lots) of lash just seals the deal.

kevyn aucoin ‘the essential’ mascara, $32
the curved brush on this fat brush means that your lashes get all kinds of glamour. it perfectly fits the shape of my eye and delivers dark, lush lashes that are long and thick. there’s less of a need to layer so lashes don’t feel heavy and overdone. it comes off easily at the end of the day with no flakes or smudges while you wear.

tarte amazonian clay 12-hour blush in achiote, $26
when i’m looking for a new shade of blush, i always check this tarte lineup first. it’s natural (no matter what color you choose) and long lasting, adding beautiful color to your face without a lot of thought or effort. achiote is a light coral, a true peachy pink, that’s unique and super pretty on fair skins. it packs a silky matte finish and it’s a cinch to blend.

bite beauty lush lip treatment in watermelon, $24
i absolutely love this product. it’s part lip treatment, part sheer lip color, and all gorgeous. on my hunt for a new berry lip, i fell in love with the watermelon shade which is a medium cool-toned pink that wears down to a nice stain. the formula is hydrating and glossy, with an opaque creamy finish that you can easily build.

laura mercier long lash mascara

Laura-Mercier-Long-Lash-Mascara-spring-2010

when it comes to lashes, i don’t think that my demands are too excessive, yet it seems that i am constantly on the hunt for the perfect mascara. trust me when i tell you that i test a lot of them (nearly *all* of them, with few exceptions) and most of them get tossed away after a single use. i know what i’m looking for, and on application it’s all about length. from there, i want a weightless formula that doesn’t make me want to tear out my eyelashes and wears all day long until i am ready to take it off – at which point, i would like it to come off painlessly with no more than cleanser and warm water.

this criteria tends to drastically limit my options because i don’t like waterproof mascaras and everything else tends to smudge. however, i promise that there is a happy ending to this sad story, thanks to laura mercier’s long lash masara.

i haven’t loved a mascara this much since i first discovered trish mcevoy high volume mascara and while there have certainly been mascaras that i have liked (a lot) and endorsed in-between, this is the one that will be taking up permanent home in my anthropologie mug. the formula is just so good! it’s creamy and blacker than black so that you don’t have to layer it to get a lot of oomph. the engineering in the elongated brush means that my lashes are lengthened and separated for a gorgeously tapered and defined look. i’m able to get every single tiny little lash stretched out to its full potential for a longer than life set that’s shockingly natural yet so much better than what i was born with. best of all, there is no mess, no clumps, no flakes and zero smudging. it washes off easily at the end of the day and doesn’t leave my lashes dry and brittle.

if you’re in the market for a new mascara, skip the drugstore aisles and make this investment. i think you’ll be very happy you did.

laura mercier long lash mascara ($24) >

fall beauty updates

fall favorites

well beauties, it’s definitely fall. i know this because all of a sudden i am confused about what to wear and i find myself breaking out the hand cream. our virginia summers are so humid that fall can feel especially dry and harsh – i notice it everywhere from my lips to my hair, and even in the dryness of my fingernails. this fall i’m looking forward to a few beauty upgrades that will not only keep things hydrated, but also on the forefront of seasonal trends.

stila convertible color in sweet pea, $25 – this all in one from stila adds a sheer tint and a natural glow to cheeks. the fuchsia pink shade called sweet pea is my current favorite. i apply it with a stippling brush to give the illusion of color to my fair skin tone and the creamy formula keeps me looking perfectly radiant, never greasy or dry.

dior addict extreme lipstick in lucky, $31 – more than just a pretty lipstick, this formula from dior has hyaluronic microspheres for the ultimate in moisture and shine. i’m partial to lucky,  a vibrant red-pink that’s not too scary, which serves as the beauty equivalent of liquid courage for me. i can swipe it on without a mirror, knowing that it always looks good.

the blind date bobby pin package from mane message, $8 - these beautiful bobbies add a level of sophistication to my slightly unruly-at-the-moment bob. i can use them to hold strays in place at the base of my ponytail or stack them for a dramatic side part. best of all, the combination of gold, mint, and coal goes with everything i own!

maybelline color show nail color in tenacious teal, $2.97 – a $3 nailpolish, what could you possibly have to lose? these lacquers from maybelline are bold and shiny, with a chip-resistent finish that comes in colors that just don’t quit. i’m loving tenacious teal for its stunning opaque finish and perfectly trend-right tones.

ilia mascara in nightfall, $26 – the formula is lighter than air, the color is blacker than black, and the brush is quite possibly the coolest. the clump-free formula delivers beautifully tapered lashes and the double-sided brush allows me to go for coverage on the first coat with the short side and crazy length on coat two with the longer bristles. LOVE.

tory burch eau de parfum, $82 – a new season obviously calls for a new scent and i’ve fallen prey to tory burch’s very first fragrance. it’s equal parts girly and elusively masculine, with top notes of peony (my favorite!) and tuberose fading in to citrusy grapefruit. besides my love of the scent, could the bottle look any more gorgeous on my dresser?

simple replenishing rich moisturizer, $12.99 – nothing is more necessary to update in the cooler months than my moisturizer. this version from simple is rich enough to hydrate my drying skin, but does not clog my pores or feel greasy. it has a gel-like texture that soaks right in and serves as the perfect canvas for my favorite cc cream.

rediscovering a few old favorites

old favorites

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on sundays i do a weekly purge of the glossarie stash and archives. i move things from the “to be tested drawer” to my makeup basket, from my makeup basket to my “keep” drawer or into my donation bags. (everyone who comes over is forced to pillage and take what they wish. i’m also known to bring the bag to lunch dates and happy hours – it’s vicious.) inventory control is a major process, but i find that as i’m working through it each week, i discover new obsessions and i always find a few neglected old friends.

this week, i found four former glossarie favorites that i was so excited to rediscover. i promptly put all of them on as my face of the day, and popped them straight into the keep drawer.

stila countless color pigments in lyric, $22 – i discovered this at south moon under and it quickly became my go-to blush shade through the summer months. technically an eyeshadow, the light pink / peach combination has turned out to be a flattering cheek shade that i keep coming back to. (warning: go very light on the touch or you will look scary.)

make up for ever hd invisible cover foundation, $42nicole brought this foundation into my life nearly two years ago and it is still a favorite for photo shoot and event days. my skin just takes really well to it and i’m left with that no-makeup flawlessness that serves as the perfect canvas for the rest of my makeup. i love the perfect application and the long-wearing performance.

clinique bottom lash mascara, $10 – we’ve talked about it twice now, but i still cannot get enough of this stuff. something about that teensy brush and the gorgeous, smudge-proof formula makes it one of my all time favorites for going on three years. the look is long and fluttery, without a single missed lash. i’m partial to the black/brown shade because you can swipe it through your eyebrows in a pinch to fill things in.

soap & glory a great kisser in juicy peach, $10 – this one was found in the pages of lucky magazine and it is still a popular lip balm choice for me. it’s got a sweet peach flavor, a slight coral tint, and a tackiness to it that makes it adhere to my lips and lock in moisture. it feels amazing (hydrating, soothing), but it also makes my lips look shiny and full. and you know how much i love something that looks as good as it performs.

have you recently rediscovered an old beauty favorite?

nyx le frou frou mascara

nyx le frou frou mascara

wanted: long, glossy black and wispy lashes that look like they’re growing right out of my own eyelid. this has been my eyelash goal for as long as i can remember. since i’m such a lover of lashes, i try more mascaras than any other type of beauty product, so i like to think that i know a good one when i see it. nyx le frou frou is my latest love and for so many reasons that go beyond its incredible $6 price tag.

for one, the formula is gorgeous. it’s whipped and mousse-y, extra light which helps to deliver volume to lackluster lashes. it actually nails decent scores for length as well, without a single clump and no dry or brittle feeling. as it wears throughout the day, i am yet to find any flakes or smudges, sending it right to the top of my list.

the wand seems simple at first glance, but the plush bristles are densely packed meaning that it grabs every single lash and doesn’t let go until they’re fully coated. since the wand is on the thin side, you get easy access to inner corners and outer edges and it also leads me to believe that it would work well for all eye shapes (a big bonus).

the finished look is long and glossy, naturally tapered. if you take a second to use the brush to your full advantage, you’ll discover lashes that you didn’t know you had and enjoy a very wide fan of feathery fringe. it’s perfect for everyday and i really can’t get enough of the extra wallet-friendly price tag.

nyx le frou frou mascara ($5.99) >

friday favorites

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i found myself faced with too many amazing products to count this week (always a good problem) so i’m sharing a handful of bite-sized reviews. as always, let me know if you want more : )

dermablend skinperfector blemish and oil clearing primer, $45
summer always means more breakouts for me, but i’ve been combatting the dreaded acne flare up with this primer from dermablend. it goes on light, like a lotion, but it dries perfectly matte, stopping shine dead in its tracks – even when the “feels like” is 107.

real techniques expert face brush, $8.99
seriously where have these brushes been hiding? this one applies bb/cc creams and liquid foundations like a dream and i have not seen one hair out of place. the finished effects are pixel perfect, giving this spendier option a run for its money.

jouer lip sheer spf 15 in santorini, $22
these little lippies are gorgeous and this new rosy pink shade is a creamier counterpart to my favorite from the fall. santorini is the perfect finishing touch to an everyday makeup look, leaving lips flawlessly pink, extra soft, and protected from the summer sun.

lumene time freeze eye perfecting treatment, $15.99
now this is really brilliant. i could kiss whoever thought to pair an eye treatment with a flexible lip gloss applicator! this cooling, fine-line reducing gel is actually fun to apply each night before bed – and the firming / de-puffing effects aren’t bad either!

maybelline volum’express the falsies big eyes, $9.49
i adore this dual ended mascara. with two formulas and brush sizes to separately address your top and bottom lashes, this guy gives excellent volume. it doesn’t smudge or flake and it lifts my lashes up and out, rivaling its beauty counter competitors.

mighty mascaras

mighty mascaras

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there is a lot happening in the mascara market these days! just when you thought it was all length vs. volume, waterproof vs. not waterproof, these five formulas show us that there are near endless possibilities when it comes to choosing a gorgeously bold look that rivals even the best faux options.

covergirl flamed out water resistant mascara, $5.99
if fluttery splash-proof lashes are your game this summer, look no further than this hot tube from covergirl. the formula is lightweight and the brush makes it easy to get a “winged” lash look, providing lift and curl without a curler. i love the pretty softness and shape that you get from this drugstore delight – perfect for those who like long lashes, even poolside.

it cosmetics tightline full lash line black mascara primer, 2 for $29
this brush is impossibly thin and that means you can apply this black mascara primer starting right at the lash line without getting it on your eyelid. beyond lengthening and darkening, this multitasking lash enhancer also works to nourish and protect, but most importantly: a few swipes on each eye leaves you with a set that’s extra lush and full.

hard candy lash ink 4 day lash stain mascara, $7
this one is not for the fickle or faint of heart. i wasn’t really sure that i wanted my mascara to last four days, but there is no doubt about it: once you apply this stuff, there’s no letting go. it holds on through swims, showers, and face washings. no smudging, no flaking, and no need to reapply each morning – just curl your lashes and go. crazy!

too faced better than sex mascara, $23
this stuff has all the greatness of mac’s plush lash (length! volume! lift! curl!), but none of the smudging. lashes are all kinds of vampy and va-va with an eye-opening fan of fringe you’re going to want to bat all. day. long. seriously, this stuff is the bomb. (but…for the record, it’s not better than sex) warning: don’t drop it on your toe – this sucker is hea-vy.

l’oreal voluminous false fiber lashes, $8.99
watery-eyed beauties know that fiber mascaras are a godsend. they tube your lashes so there are no smudges, but they wash off easily with a few splashes of good old h2o. before now, you had to buy your fiber lashes at sephora, but l’oreal is bringing long-wearing length and separation to the masses – with none of that dry/crunchy feeling.