Blinc Mascara Amplified. I’m Never Buying Another Brand of Mascara.

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I got this in a Sephora Play box six months ago, so I’m tossing it because it has expired.  It comes with essentially an instruction booklet on how to use it and maintain the tube.  It’s a bit of a high-maintenance mascara.  You have to clean around the edge of the tube if mascara finds its way there.  At least you do if you plan on opening the tube again.  I looked at it, decided it was too much hassle, and threw it in a drawer for a couple of months.  When I did pull it out to give it a try, my whole life changed.

This works by forming tubes around your lashes rather than painting them like traditional mascara.  Once it sets it DOES NOT BUDGE.  Seriously.  I had this on at work one night with an air conditioner on the fritz while I stood over a flat top for a seven-hour Saturday service.  When I went to change and looked in a mirror, it was still there.  Not only was it still there, but it hadn’t so much as smudged or flaked or done anything.  For kicks I put it on once and ran four miles.  Still there.  It doesn’t come off.

It’s not waterproof, so it doesn’t irritate my eyes like most waterproof mascaras, and you remove it with water.  Yeah, you read that right.  You can sweat and cry and this stuff will stay on, but to get it off you just take a shower and gently rub your eyes.  The tubes wash right off.  They’re a little creepy because they look like spider legs, but they go right down the drain.

The effect of this is comparable to Diorshow.  The brush is massive, so I get major volume and good length.  It doesn’t clump my lashes together, but I find I don’t need a ton of it to get serious volume.

I bought a new tube to the tune of $26.00.  I broke my rule about not buying full-sized mascaras because they are impossible to use before they expire.  This is, without question, the best mascara I have ever used, and I will never buy another brand again.

I accounted for the money spent on this in my VIB Rouge sale haul, so I’ll not add it in again.

Really, though, go out and buy this mascara.  You’ll never use another kind ever again.  It’s the best ever.

Blinc Mascara Amplified:  I need this like I need oxygen.  I can’t live without it.

–Jackie

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil. Call it Old Faithful.

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These are virtually the only eye liner pencils I have used for, literally, the last nine years.  I’ve tried other ones out, and there are some really good ones out there, but once this stuff sets, it doesn’t budge for the entire day and most of the night, too.  Once you line your eyes, you have about a minute to smudge the liner how you want it, and then it’s game over.  This really doesn’t move around once it sets.  The shade range is out of this world.  If you want it, Urban Decay probably makes it.

Zero is super black.  Urban Decay claims that Perversion is even blacker than Zero, but that’s the one pencil in the range that I have tried and can’t use.  It’s too soft, and that one does start to migrate on me.  It doesn’t irritate my eyes or anything like that, but I find that Perversion will randomly flake off, find its way into my eye, and then get stuck to my contact lens.  If I don’t happen to have solution in my purse, I often end up walking around with a black spot in my field of vision until I can buy solution, remove my contact, and scrub it quite aggressively to remove the eye liner.  This happened to me while I was at the Field Museum in Chicago once, and I had to walk around with my hand over my right eye whenever I wanted to read anything in the exhibits.  Needless to say, I was not pleased.  I swore I would never use that eyeliner again, and I haven’t.  I went back to using Zero, and it’s never given me any problems.

I’ve used Zero as well as other UD liner colors for eyeshadow base before.  They work brilliantly.  I just draw on my eyelid like I’m using a crayon, blend out the edges, and apply whatever color of eye shadow I decided to use that day.  Rockstar liner + Flash shadow = winning combination.

It’s downfall is the waterline.  It works about as well as any other old pencil on the waterline, which is to say, you’re going to be reapplying it every hour or two if you want your eyes rimmed in black.

I’m not actually getting rid of this one.  I’m just demoting it to a purse sized eye liner.  I have so many of these lying around that I have no need to buy another.  I’ll just pull a new one out of the drawer, and I’m covered.

UD liners retail for $20.00 a pop.  Yes, that’s not cheap for a black (or gold or purple or blue or pink) pencil.  They are completely worth the cost.  Make Up For Ever comes close to the longevity of these, but I’m a nineties kid.  UD will always have a special place in my heart, and this is a fantastic product from them.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil:  I have more black ones, so I’m not buying another.

–Jackie

 

Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder. New Purchase Alert!

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I’m gearing up to do some traveling since summer is staring me in the face and ran into a small problem with my holy grail Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder.  Let’s just talk about that stuff for a second.  It’s amazing.  AMAZING.  When I put that on my face, my makeup simply does not move.  A container of that lasts forever.  I’ve been using mine almost every day for the last two years, and I’ve only recently had to think about replacing it.  Granted, I don’t bake, but the longevity of that jar of powder makes it well worth the up front cost.

I ran into a bit of a problem about a month ago with my beloved container of powder, though.  I dropped it on the floor, and a piece of the screw top broke off.  Thankfully, the entire thing didn’t shatter.  I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult that would be to clean up.  It’s still perfectly serviceable for use around the house, but travel with it is now out of the question.  I would end up with powder all over everything by the time I arrived at my destination.

I said for ages that when it came time to buy another jar of setting powder that I would just get a travel size.  It’s, duh, easier to travel with, and if a full-size has lasted me this long, I could probably get a year of use out of a travel size.

Yesterday, I ran to the Sephora in the Oculus to pick up some powder before I went to work.  I had a party to go to after work last night, and since I was on the line, I had decided that the best thing to do to make me look like a presentable human and not some crazy cook would be to just wash my face and properly do my makeup after work.  My full size container of powder was hanging out safely at home.  I breezed in and fully intended to grab a travel size of the Laura Mercier powder and leave, but this was on the display right next to it.  I’ve been reading rave reviews about Kat von D’s powder for months with many of them saying it was as good, if not better, than the Laura Mercier powder.  I thought about buying it many times, but with the LM powder still hanging in there, I had no real reason to and couldn’t even make up some excuse to buy it, and I can make up an excuse to buy just about anything.  I figured now was finally the time.  I would give it a shot.  Granted, I’m hanging onto the receipt just in case I hate it.  I hardly ever return things, but if this sucks, I’m taking it back and getting what I know I love–the LM powder.

It doesn’t seem like it sucks, though.  I mean, I only used it last night, and it did its job well.  I love the texture of it, too.  It’s so fine and so smooth, I don’t know that I’ve ever felt any powder like it.  It felt weightless on my skin.  I’m optimistic about it.

I’m going to keep this one around for travel for now, and dive into full time use of it just as soon as the Laura Mercier jar is empty.  This way I can actually tell if it will dry my skin out or, even worse, break me out (yes, I’ve seriously had a powder break me out before).

The travel size was cheap, too.  It was only $15.00 for a little over 5 grams.  That’s more than enough product to find out how it will work with my skin.

Total spent at Sephora this year: $450.29.

–Jackie

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara. So Good.

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This stuff is so much like Diorshow mascara that they are virtually interchangeable.  Both have massive brushes, which I love.  Both give amazing volume to my puny little lashes.  Both lengthen well.  The black is super black.  If I did a blind test with this on one eye and Diorshow on the other, I honestly don’t know that I could tell the difference.  This is $23.00 for a full-sized tube, and it’s a great mascara.

This doesn’t flake on me when I wear it.  It does start to smudge after about eight hours, but it’s not too bad.  I don’t get raccoon eyes.  It’s more like a cool, rocker-chick look.  It doesn’t bother me.

Sadly, I’m parting ways with this forever.  You see, I have discovered Blinc mascara, and it is so many lightyears ahead of any mascara I have ever used before.  That is the only one I’ll ever spend money on ever again.  It’s pretty much the only one I’ve used for the last three months.  I continue to be amazed by how good it is.  I’m sure I’ll keep getting deluxe sized mascaras from Sephora from time to time, but the tube would have to play music when I open it as well as perform as well as Blinc to get me to even consider buying it.

So, Smashbox mascara, it’s time we break up.  You’ve been a great and loyal friend for many years now, but I found something better.  It’s like I’m trading in a Kia for a Ferrari.  Nothing else I have ever used can compare to Blinc mascara.  Sorry Smashbox.  It really is your fault.  You’re just not as good anymore.  Goodbye, friend.

Smashbox Full Expsure Mascara:  I don’t need this.  I’m not buying more.

–Jackie

Sephora Play May 2017.

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I’ve been slow to blog the last few days because this is the first time my husband and I have had the same days off since March.  Needless to say, we are pretty excited at the opportunity to go out and have dinner like normal people.  We spent yesterday wandering around New York, shopping, and doing all the things we said we would do if we ever had a day off together again.  Today entailed a trip to a diner for pancakes, a run to Target, and a serious apartment cleaning.  I feel so productive.  This guy was in the mailbox downstairs when we got home, so that’s cause for some excitement, too.  Overall, this one looks promising, so let’s dive straight in!

I’m in love with the bag containing the samples and will be keeping this one for travel.  It’s made of a heavy plastic and snaps shut.  This one actually seems durable and easy to clean.  I generally toss the bags almost as soon as I tear them open and dig the products out, so I’m happy that Sephora has finally upped their game enough to warrant keeping one of these things for a change.

Milk Makeup Blur Stick:  This is probably the one I’m most excited to get this month.  I’ve seen this thing hyped up so much on YouTube and have come so close to purchasing it on many occasions since it launched a few months ago.  It is supposed to smooth and prime the skin for makeup and make pores and lines look smaller.  After watching a few videos of people applying this stuff, I’m sort of convinced it’s magical, so I’ll probably be dropping all of my other primers I have around here and trying this out for a few days beginning tomorrow.  It doesn’t seem to be a big sample, so the review of this will likely post fairly soon.

Grande Lips Lip Plumper in Clear:  ANOTHER FREAKING LIP PLUMPER!  Why???  Sephora sent the Too Faced Lip Injection just a few months ago, and that one was one of the most painful plumpers in recent memory.  I hate lip plumpers, for those who don’t know, so I’m going to be brief on this one.  If it burns, it’s going in the trash after two or three uses.  Odds are heavily in the favor of it stinging since that is what most lip plumpers do anyway.  I already have big lips.  I don’t need the help of a plumper, and I’m not walking around town with my lips on fire.  The end.  Moving on.

Trestique Highlight + Perfect Multipurpose Stick in Maldives Luminescent:  I’m not super pumped that a cream highlighter came in this month’s box because the Play box from two months ago had a sample of Benefit’s Watt’s Up.  With that being said, I have been using that one to death over the last few weeks.  I’m on a serous cream highlighter kick, and the one from Benefit is a really good one.  I’m looking forward to trying this one out.  The color seems similar to Watt’s Up.  They’re both a champagne color, though this one appears to be slightly more rosy than Watt’s Up.  The Benefit one has some great staying power and blends down to look rather natural, so I’m curious to see how this one compares.  I love the packaging on this one, too.  I’m all about products that I can just throw in a bag and not have to worry about.  The packaging is sturdy, and you can blend it with your fingers.  That’s all I need in life.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask:  I know this brand has a cult-like following, but I’ve not tried the first thing from them.  I love masks, and it claims to offer oil and blemish control.  My skin isn’t oily, but it loves to randomly break out from time to time, so I’ll be giving this one a shot just as soon as my vitamin nectar mask from Fresh runs out.  I think I have only one or two applications of that one left.  I poked around on this one a little.  It seems super smooth, like there’s no grit in it at all.  I’m curious to try it out and see how it works.

Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask:  This is supposed to condition hair and add shine.  I’ll use it, but hair stuff doesn’t excite me.  I have terribly oily hair, and try as I may, I cannot avoid washing it every single day.  If I go more than a day without washing it, my hair looks a mess.  Dry shampoos are a joke on my mop, and, basically, any hair mask that promises week-long results will get me–at best–three days.  I’m going to use this, but I don’t expect it to knock my socks off.

Clean Reserve Sel Santal:  This smells sooooooo good.  It reminds me so much of Book from Commodity, which I happen to adore (and have somewhere around here).  It smells like an earthy, woody scent with some citrus thrown in to liven it up.  I have a feeling I’m going to adore this and hope it has some staying power.  The notes on it say, as I mentioned, tops of mandarin, bergamont, and nutmeg tonic.  The middle notes are of violet, salted fig, and hazelnut cream.  The base notes are amber, styrax, rose musk, and sandalwood.  This smells like old pages and reading on a beach.  I can’t wait to wear it.

There’s the rundown from this month’s box.  As always I’ll be talking about empties and anything I discard because I hate it (I’m looking at you Grande Lips).

Total dollars spent at Sephora this year:  $433.96.

–Jackie

GlamGlow Glow Starter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer. Garbage, Garbage, Garbage, Garbage!

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I’m tossing this crap and there’s still product in the tube.  I just can’t with this for so many reasons.  I feel like GlamGlow has jumped the shark, like they’re just throwing crap at a wall to see what will stick, and all of it sticks.  They used to do a few  products, and they were all excellent.  Expensive, yes, but excellent and well worth the money.  Now I feel like they are just churning out crap to capitalize on their initial quality products, but the new stuff is total trash.  This is $49.00 for 1.7 ounces of total garbage, and here’s why:

Firstly, it makes my face look oily.  Not just shiny.  We are talking sixteen-year-old’s skin kind of oily.  Straight up greasy.  This is not “illuminating.”  It’s greasy.  There is a big difference, and the thing is that it takes so little product to achieve this result.  It’s not like I was slathering my face in this stuff.  Putting foundation over it lessens the effect a bit, but that brings me to the second problem.

This makes my foundation look like crap.  I feel like my foundation was really streaky when I applied it with a brush.  When I gave up on that and tried to fix it with a Beauty Blender, it started to look patchy, and don’t even think about being lazy and using your fingers.  With this on under my foundation, try as I may, with various methods on three occasions, I could not get my foundation to look good.  All three times I ended up washing my face and starting over.

The third problem is the smell.  Don’t get me wrong, this smells good.  It smells like a creamsicle–orange and vanilla.  The smell is so strong and so pervasive that I can smell this on my face for a good ten minutes after I apply it.  I am mostly indifferent to fragrances added to skin products.  I can take them or leave them, but this was entirely too much.  I don’t understand how the smell alone wouldn’t drive a person insane.  I put this on one night before bed, crawled into bed, and my husband could smell creamsicle wafting off of my face from a foot away.  This smell is no joke, and I hate how strong it is.

For all these reasons, I’m throwing this in the trash.  I have no idea how this could possibly work for anyone.

GlamGlow Glow Starter Illuminating Moisturizer:  This is useless.  There’s no chance I would ever buy it.

–Jackie

Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm. Such a Pleasant Surprise.

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I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting much from this.  It arrived in last month’s Play box, and I just sort of looked at with no real excitement.  Needless to say, I was quite surprised the first time that I actually used it.

Let’s call this what it is–a primer.  A moisturizing primer, but it’s still a primer.  Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I will say that it is pretty good in that regard.  I couldn’t get the extreme wear times that I get from something like Smashbox Photo Finish, but this one keeps my makeup looking good for six or seven hours in nice weather.  I also tended to forgo powder when I would use this one, but more on that later.  Under hot conditions, everything melts right off, with or without powder.  I may as well have not even bothered with makeup.

The texture of this is much the same as Beauty Flash Balm from Clarins, an excellent primer.  You apply this one the same way.  Rub it between your fingers, and pat it onto your face.  If you massage it into your face, the effect of this–which I’ll come to in a minute–is completely lost.

Now for the effect.  This has a sort of microfine sheen to it that made me side-eye it initially.  I was convinced this would just make my face look oily when I put it on.  However, it doesn’t do that at all.  It helps neutralize any redness I have in my face but doesn’t completely get rid of it, and blurs pores and small imperfections.  The microfine shimmer makes my skin look healthy.  That’s the best term I can use for it.  It’s not glowy or shimmery or anything unnatural looking.  It makes me look like I actually slept the night before.  I absolutely love the way it makes my naked skin look.  It’s illuminated skin for a grown-ass woman.  The downside is this effect is basically lost when I would use my normal medium coverage foundation, so I tended to opt for a tinted moisturizer from Laura Mercier over the top of this.  I applied this balm first then concealer under my eyes and on any spots I knew needed to be covered, and then put tinted moisturizer over that.  I evened everything out with a Beauty Blender and skipped the powder except for under my eyes and on my nose.  Add a little makeup on my eyes and cheeks, and set with Urban Decay setting spray.  My skin looked amazing, and I hardly had any makeup on.  That’s how I’ve been running around town on my days off for the last month.  It was so easy, and I loved it.

Alas, this package couldn’t last forever, and when I saw that it was $36.00 for a half ounce jar at Sephora, I knew I couldn’t justify the cost.  I mean, I have tons of primer around here, so theres not much of a point in buying another one.  If you pay a few extra bucks for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Primers, you get a full ounce, and the effect is close enough to this to not really matter, and you get a longer wear time.  The Hourglass primer is DEFINITELY not as hydrating as this one, though.  Quite the opposite in fact.  I wouldn’t touch that primer if I had dry skin.  While this is good, I will not be purchasing.  I feel a little bad typing that since I liked it so well, but I honestly don’t need it.

Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm:  I don’t need it.  I’m not going to buy it.