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
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
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.
it has taken me a long time to learn how to dress up my eyes each morning, but the little tricks i have learned over the years really make a big difference in brightening my face and polishing off my whole look. my go to eye wardrobe is soft, neutral and sparkly. here are the essentials that help me give the windows to my soul their own special treatment:
simple’s revitalizing eye roll on, $11
this is the first thing i put on my face in the morning and i let it soak in / work its magic while i straighten my hair. the cool rollerball de-puffs as it massages my under eyes while cucumber, b5, and glycerin work to wake up my sleepy peepers.
mac paint pot in painterly, $18.50 i put this creamy shadow / lid primer on whether i am wearing shadow or not, because it prevents my foundation from creasing. layering shadow overtop locks things down until you’re ready to remove. (at which point i might recommend these little beauties!)
josie maran argan beautiful nudes, $36 this shadow quad features rich neutrals and one shadow liner. the shadows offer a variety of finishes (matte, iridescent, satin) in beautifully coordinated nudes so i can create endless looks that always look good together. it totally takes the guesswork out of eye makeup!
sephora collection pro visionary lash fan brush, $18 finally! a brush designed to make tightlining easier. dip this mini fan into your favorite black cream liner and stamp it right into your lash line for precise and simple definition. it emphasizes lashes and also doubles as a lash separator. you need this!
clinique instant lift for brows, $16.50
the ultimate in finishing touches, this double-ended product from clinique houses a natural-looking pencil to give fullness and intensity to brows and a pearly highlighter that creates contrast and adds a magic lift to your arches.
i haven’t seen the likes of the easter bunny in well over a decade, but if his hippity hop highness were to pay me a visit i would love to see these treats hidden inside my basket – or, better yet, tucked into this holographic bag from sephora.
i think this is my most favorite day of the year. it’s all about family and festive cocktails and anticipation for the excitement of the following morning. we’re spending it at my in laws this year where my mother in law makes a full feast of the seven fishes and the portuguese tradition is to wait up until midnight (passing time playing board games, watching movies) and then open gifts!
the husband and i treated ourselves to a christmas kitten last week (a seven week old british shorthair named ivy – we’re pretty obsessed!) so that only leaves me wishing for a few little surprises underneath the tree:
my younger and wiser sister suggested a pretty gifty post centered around sephora’s amazing selection of combination sets and makeup kits that crop up by the dozen around the holidays. her exact words were “whoever said it was better to give than to receive clearly never got one of these!” she touts these selections for their wow impact and general bang-for-the-buck’ness – and who am i to argue with that kind of genius?
her picks for an extra beautiful holiday (in miniature) are as follows:
3 – the rose gold trend continues and i’m so excited to
wear it on my nails; essie penny talk, $7.79
4 – this blush is fiercely hot pink with swirls of gold shimmer, it’s not for the
faint of heart and it’s really testing the skills of my often-heavy hand
(but i love it!); mac ‘heavenly creature’ mineralize blush, $23.50
5 – stumbled on the sweetest group of tiny perfumes on a recent
boutique shopping trip, they’re perfect for travel and the scents
are so unique; love+toast little luxe perfumes, $9 each
sometimes i feel like there are so many fun things popping up in the nail category that i can’t even keep up! i rounded up seven of the sweetest new nail products – from fresh shades to nail art tools, a crazy convenient cuticle oil and one seriously speedy top coat. take a peek:
one – nailezee: a new-to-me brand started by a sweet sister trio.
lacquers come in a whopping 66 gorgeous shades for $10 each.
two – essie good to go: i’m apparently the last person on
earth to know about this holy grail of top coats!
three – julep essential cuticle oil: comes in a rollerball for easy application.
just run it around the edges of each nail - how genius us that?!
four – sephora nail art set: a teeny tiny paint brush and double ended
marbling tool make perfecting your painting skills a piece of cake.
my diy manicure skills are gradually improving! i’ve picked up some tricks and finally found the right products to make painting my nails at home a pleasure instead of a chore. i keep everything on my dresser in this zelenka bowl from anthropologie. here are the steps and tools that have boosted my at-home mani confidence:
1. a soft cuticle pusher really makes it easier to paint polish on without making a mess. this $1 version from elf is a no-brainer.
2. a glass nail file smooths and sculpts nails far better than a classic emery board. it’s better for your nails and works so much faster. i’ve been using this $3 one from sephora.
3. a good base coat is crucial to making your mani last longer. i’m loving deborah lippmann ‘fast girls’ – it creates a smooth canvas and i swear it makes application easier. it’s also super quick drying!
5. finally, the cleanup. i *always* end up with polish on my cuticles, but there’s a perfect solution: dip the absolute smallest eyeliner brush (or paint brush) into some acetone remover and drag it along your cuticle to get that super clean edge. the result is almost better than what you can get at a spa!
do you have any diy manicure tips and tricks? where do you keep all of your tools?
ps – allure voting is extended through the weekend! if you think of it in between all of that boating and barbecue-ing, please vote, vote, vote!
when the super sweet justine of ‘short is the new black’ asked me to be a part of her ‘what’s in her bag?’ series, i was more than happy to oblige. the beauty blogosphere is such a wonderful place when you get to meet and share audiences with someone like miss justine. i hope you’ll click on over to her little spot on the web and take a peek at my dailies. wait until you see just how shockingly simple my beauty routine really is!