Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Bigger, Thicker, Fuller?

Step into the makeup aisle at any pharmacy or department store and the most often the thing crowding every shelf is mascara.
Different formulas, natural and night, waterproof and non-waterproof, lash growth serums,
Different purposes, thickening, lengthening, curling, volumizing.
Different brushes, huge, tiny, natural bristles and rubber bristles.
Obviously the demand for better, longer eyelashes exists and companies have been capitalizing on it. 
The average mascara at drugstore can run you upwards of $12 and the high end mascaras? 
$30 if you're lucky.
So how do you navigate the murky mascara waters and avoid being sucked into whirlpools filled with dangerous buzz words like:
and of course "10x more volume!!!"
Some day a loose exclamation point will put someones eye out in the pharmacy- they're a hazard.

Here are my tips to find the right mascara- or make the one you have now work better.

Meaning, that when a company advertises that they made their brush massive
because how else are you going to get massive lashes? They are cheaping you.
The smaller a mascara brush, more often the better results you'll get because you
can more easily get to the root of your lashes and build product.
A bigger brush only makes that harder. 
Plus a larger brush dries out more product at a time, thus forcing you to repurchase more often.

Tip #2: Don't "pump" the wand
Have you ever seen movies where the girl putting on makeup puts the mascara wand
in the bottle to get more product and she pumps it up and down a couple times to "really get it
on there"? Don't do that.
It will force air down into the tube and dry out the product in the bottom much faster than it would have otherwise.

Tip #3: Don't over apply
"Just one more coat and they'll really look great... Oh crap, they're all stuck together now..."
Yeah, that happens a lot. Don't put on another coat of mascara if the 2,3,4 or 5 you already have on haven't done it for you yet. That mascara is just not the one for you honey, move on.
The more you apply, the more likely your lashes are to clump and then you leave the house  with 5 spider legs on your face instead of eyelashes.

Tip #4: Find the formula that works best for you
If your lashes are shorter and more sparse than you would probably do well with a drier formula.
If they are longer and more densely packed you will probably find that a wetter formula works for you.
This is what I have found in my experiences with makeup and through friends and family.
It may not be the case for you. Try both kinds and see what you like better. 
But you may ask "how do I know what mascaras are like without buying them?" which brings me to...

Tip #5: Do your research
I know it's only 12 bucks you wasted if the product turns out to be a dud but if you're going to spend an hour tooling around on Youtube, Facebook and all that business- you might as well take a couple minutes to google some reviews of your possible purchase.
Most will tell you everything you need to know from price to formula. Why not benefit from other people's experience?

Tip #6 (my favourite): Sometimes all you need is to go a little blacker... ?
I have found over countless trial and error with mascara that one of the easiest ways to make
you eyelashes stand out if not to add more or better product. It's simply to darken them.
If you use a really intense black mascara your lashes will be more visible against your skin.
I even have a recommendation for you myself. Darkest mascara I have used yet and best of all
it's a drugstore option. I actually bought it on sale for $8.99 today.

It's the L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black 
It's the darkest mascara I've ever used and I layer it over any other mascara I use.
It makes my lashes more visible by adding darkness.
It's a wetter formula, but it dries a little after about a week or two and in my opinion, the formula is perfect.
Don't be scared by a truly dark black mascara- you'd be surprised what it will do for you.

Natural Bristles, medium sized brush, wet formula-
comes in waterproof and regular
Happy shopping- Tash <3

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Topless and Barefoot - Essie Nailpolish Review

I always hear wonderful things about Essie nail polish, including that it's an affordable drugstore brand, it applies easily and it has a wide colour selection. I've been on the hunt recently to find a great nude nail polish- something very subtle.I was in a Shoppers the other day and there was a display for the Spring 2011 Essie nail polish collection. It's called "French Affair" and I picked up a colour to review called "Topless and Barefoot".

It's strange, because my initial reaction was that I really didn't like the consistency of this nail polish. It was thick and somewhat ... gloopy? Compared to an OPI colour- it was much more difficult to apply. It was harder to correct mistakes. It took forever to dry. And getting a second coat on was almost impossible.
But once I actually DID get it on (looking decent enough to leave the house) I was in love.
Wearing a nude colour like this makes your hands look much longer and leaner. You don't have to worry about your nail polish clashing with anything (not that I ever really take that into consideration).
It's the perfect nude, winter colour. But it's not so washed out as to make your hands look zombie-like.

After about a week or so it started to chip and I have to sit down and put in the effort of fixing it. But ever since I purchased this I haven't been able to wear anything else on my nails- even though I got a Sephora order in with 3 new nail polished to try (read: reviews and pictures coming eventually).

The colour selection is magnificent as promised and I love the way the colours in their new collection look together. One thing, which actually didn't surprise me, was that these are damned expensive in Canada. My butt "drugstore brand" and "affordable"- these cost $11.99 a bottle at shoppers drug mart. An OPI bottle (which mind you is much bigger than this bottle as well) costs about $12.50 at Sephora.
Seriously? 0.50 cent difference?

So as for the list above- at my count, Essie is only 1/3
Despite all that, this colour is just so worth it. Still don't regret it.

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading,
Tash <3