Monday, July 28, 2014

Chanel and Dior Mascara Testing and Why You Need To Tightline

As you have seen in previous posts, I have a bit of a mascara addiction.  So, when Nordstrom recently had their annual Mascara Madness event during which all mascaras are buy two / get one free, I decided it was time to feed my habit once again.   If you are a high-end mascara fan, this is a great time to stock up on your old favorites and try something new with not as much damage to your wallet.  This year, I decided to try two new (for me) mascaras, Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara and Dior's new Addict It-Lash Mascara, plus replenish an old favorite, Dior's uber-popular lash primer, Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum.

Dior Addict It-Lash, Diorshow Maximizer, Chanel Inimitable Intense

I have a ZERO-tolerance policy for clumpy mascara, so I am a big fan of synthetic/plastic bristles.  The original Chanel Inimitable mascara was actually one of the first high-end mascaras to use these types of bristles, and it was one of the first ones I ever tried (and fell in love with immediately!). The "Intense" version, which actually has been around for a while, is supposed to deliver even more dramatic results than the original, and I have to say that out of the two mascaras from this purchase, the Chanel is my favorite.  Let's take a look at the wands first, though:
Dior Addict It-Lash, Diorshow Maximizer, and Chanel Inimitable Intense
Dior Addict It-Lash Mascara ($26) has only been at counters for a couple of months now, and it also comes in a few bright colors like electric blue and rich plum. However, since I left my blue mascara days way behind with Debbie Gibson and Duran Duran, I am a black-as-you-can-get mascara girl no matter what brand I purchase.

Dior It-Lash also has the spikey ball-tip wand that is very similar to Benefit's They're Real, but I found it much easier to work with than the Benefit one.  The first month I used it, I was really impressed with the results. It gave me nice, clean definition and length, some thickness, and lasted all day without smudging or flaking. It literally "multiplied" my lashes and gave me the gorgeous, fluttery fringe that I love.  It is also very easy to remove.
What's up with that rogue top eyelash curling towards my inner eye??
Here's the problem with the Dior It-Lash, I type this, it has been about 2 months since I bought it, and I have used it probably 2-3 times a week. has already DRIED OUT!   Sorry, Dior, but you have to at least last me the standard 3 months (and truthfully more like 4 or 5 since I don't use you every day) if I am going to pay this much for you!  

Chanel Inimitable Intense ($30), however, has a nice tapered wand with bristles that are more densely packed together, which gave me a bit better thickness that the Dior did.  Plus, it is a blacker mascara than Dior's.  It is also easy to remove and doesn't flake or smudge on me.
Is it a an earth-shattering, breathtaking mascara?  Not really. I like it, but I don't know that I would repurchase it.  Too many others I want to try (my good friend Lara is a Younique representative and has just sent me a tube of their fiber mascara that I have been experimenting with, and I also want to try the new highly-touted Lancome Grandiose Mascara, probably just become I am a sucker for their dramatic advertising, which makes it seem like the arrival of Grandiose is going to be like the arrival of our "Mascara Messiah").  

As for the Diorshow Maximizer Lash Serum, a funny thing happens when you become a beauty blogger and decide to put your tried-and-true beauty products to the test with some up-close photos.  This is probably my 4th tube of this lash primer, and I normally just apply it to my upper lashes:
Lash primer tip - if you apply too much, you can remove any excess
by just lightly touching your lashes with the tip of your finger
And, while I always thought this lash primer made a huge difference, you can see from the picture below that the use of this primer under the Chanel Inimitable didn't exactly make me look like the sultry-eyed bombshell that I thought it did...
If anything, it added some fullness to the ends of the lashes.  That's about it.  However, it could be the combination of mascaras (I have used it with drugstore mascaras in the past and found that it made a more of a difference), or my technique (maybe I should have slapped a little more primer on there?), or my timing (I usually apply primer on one eye, then mascara immediately after, then repeat with the other eye versus primer on both eyes then mascara on both eyes...maybe I need to let the primer dry a little bit first?).

I'll keep experimenting with it, but before we wrap this up, just want to throw in a tried-and-true tip for getting thicker and darker-looking lashes without fail - tightlining.  While most "traditionalists" in the world of makeup consider true tightlining to be the use of a small, flat brush to "push" gel liner up into the base of the upper lashline to fill in any of the flesh-colored gaps, an easier and quicker version of this is using a pencil or gel liner (on the tip of an eyeliner pencil that you dip into the gel liner or with a small angled or flat brush) to just line the upper water line.  My favorite pencil for doing this is Urban Decay's 24/7 pencil in Perversion, as it is the blackest pencil I have ever found and it will not smear, smudge, or run when used on the waterline. 

Tightlining, no matter what type of mascara you use, is a surefire way to make the lashes look thicker and darker.  To make it easier, put a makeup mirror (the kind that sits on a stand that you do not have to hold with your hand) underneath your chin so that you can look down into it (versus straight ahead), making it easier for you to gently lift up your eyelid with one hand and run the pencil along your upper waterline with your other hand.  Also, be sure to prop the elbow of your lining-hand on the counter/table/vanity as you do this to keep it as steady as possible.  

Before we go, here' s a photo collage for you to compare these products, and especially for you to see what a dramatic difference the tightlining makes! (I did two coats of mascara on upper lashes and one coat on lower lashes in each of these pictures)
What are your recent favorite mascaras, primers, or techniques for lush, full lashes?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 14, 2014

BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Nudes With Attitude Gloss Set

Helllooooo, big girls.  I'm back!   I was in my "teacher cave" the last couple of months of 2nd semester and then have just been enjoying a much-deserved, relaxing summer.  Have been working on several blog posts, though, and am getting back in the swing of things and putting on my "Big Girl Blogger Panties" so that I can start publishing reviews and raves again.  So, let's get on to business!

I must confess that I have developed quite an obsession with Marvelous Moxie lip glosses, BareMinerals' line of minty, super-pigmented, long-wearing glosses over the past few months.  It started when I saw my friend Sheila at Painted Ladies post about this BareMinerals set, and I knew I had to have Smooth Talker, the gorgeous gloss that was included in it.  Then, one day in February, a Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss Duo (with the shades Survivor and Tough Cookie) called The Power of Pink ( was a limited edition for Breast Cancer Awareness month, but I am betting it might re-appear next year!) was whispering my name by the Ulta cash register as I was checking out, and thus my Marvelous Moxie "collection" started.  Here are my first 3 glosses -
Top to bottom - Survivor, Tough Cookie, Smooth Talker

l to r - Survivor, Tough Cookie, Smooth Talker

Survivor - a nude, milky pink that goes great with a smoky eye

Tough Cookie - a bright fuchsia
Smooth Talker - A neutral pink with gold shimmer and
very similar to one of my all-time favorite glosses, MAC Nymphette

Then, apparently the Power of Pink gloss sisters told the folks at BareMinerals that I was a sucker for their Limited Edition sets, and yet ANOTHER one called Nudes with Attitude was waiting for me and not whispering but SHOUTING my name at Ulta about a month ago:

This set contains 6 mini glosses that are perfect for throwing in your purse, pocket, or desk.  While the shades may not be what most consider true "nudes," they are each great neutrals that pair well with just about any makeup look.  Here are the three lightest shades, which each contain subtle shimmer:
Top to bottom - Super Power, Trailblazer, A-Lister

Top to bottom - Super Power, Trailblazer, A-Lister
Super Power, a barely-there milky nude
Trailblazer - a peachy-gold nude

A-Lister - a rose-gold nude

The darker three glosses have no shimmer and a creamy, semi-opaque consistency and color
Top to bottom - Future Star, Live Wire, Maverick

Left to right - Future Star, Live Wire, Maverick

Future Star - a bright, pinkish-coral
Live Wire - a blush pink with just a hint of iridescence

Maverick - a deeper, brownish-rose

Lastly, here are a few "combos" that I came up with for the glosses from this set.  I rarely wear a gloss just by itself, as I find that layering it with a liner or lipstick yields bolder color and more staying power.

Super Power, the lightest shade of the bunch, over one of my recent
favorite nude liners, MAC's Prolongwear Lip Liner in Staunchly Stylish

A-Lister on top of NYX's Nectar, which is one of my favorite
lip liners of all time!  It's a shimmery peach that is gorgeous when used to line and
fill in the lips almost all the way and then topped with just about any nude, peach, or pink gloss

My favorite combo - Future Star gloss on top of Buxom's Big & Healthy Lip Stick in
London (a milky pink that sort of "blanks out" the lips without
making me look like a corpse.  I wear this under
just about EVERY lipgloss that I own!) and
MAC's Prolongwear liner in In Anticipation
The Marvelous Moxie Nudes With Attitude gloss set is currently available at UltaBare (their Anniversary Sale is going on right now, too!), and

Happy lipglossing, and hope that you are all enjoying your summer!