Ever Wonder Why…

Could a kid growing up in the 90s love hip hop as much as she loved mystery book series? Damn straight. I was into Biggie Smalls, Li’l Kim and DMX as much as I was into Babysitter’s Club Mysteries, Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew. The former because those flows though and the latter because I like a good mystery solved by a pro.

And I’m in still into both. People come to me with their makeup mysteries and I solve ’em (often while listening to hip hop). I’m going to tell you about some cases I’ve cracked so you can look even more fly.

  1. Why do my lashes look so much longer after I put on mascara? You may think well duh, it’s the mascara. Part of it is product, but if you see a major difference with any mascara you use, it’s probably because the tips of your lashes are blonde. Even if your lashes grow in dark, the very ends of them could be blonde. So if you’re a brunette and your lashes are mostly dark, you can now nod your head knowingly when someone says “Blondes do have more fun!”
  2. I wear the same foundation as my sister but her’s stays on so much longer. What the hell? I’m pissed. Chances are your skin is more oily than your sister’s. Oil breaks down makeup so if your skin is producing more oil than your sister’s, your foundation will fade faster. Try using primer first and setting everything with a setting spray, like Urban Decay 24/7 All Nighter.  Primer gives the added benefit of making your foundation apply more smoothly, so now you’re winning the foundation game. Not that sisters ever keep score.
  3. The lipstick that I loved in the tube looks way different on my lips. What am I doing wrong? You’re doing nothing wrong, boo. It’s just that your lips have their own color which effects the color you put over it, especially when you use a sheer lip color. The more matte (opaque) a formulation is, the more it will cover your natural lip color. But if your natural lip color is darker than the lip color, even a matte lip color might not do it. If you want the true color in the tube, run a tiny bit of foundation or concealer (like the amount left on your brush or sponge after applying to your face) over your lips prior to applying lip color. There’s your blank canvas, just waiting for its perfect lip color soulmate.
  4. Why do I get dark circles when I’m tired? Annoying, right? You’re already tired from binge-watching Master of None and you look like hell? Life is so unfair. There is of course a biological reason why this happens and ways to hide your dark side from the world, which I’ve addressed in this blog post. https://allisonbarberamakeup.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/i-got-plenty-of-sleep-last-night-or-how-to-make-undereye-circles-disappear/   And next time, don’t “Just one more  episode” yourself. I know how you do.
  5. I’ve been using face oil but it’s making my makeup slide off. What’s the deal? You’re either using too much, not massaging it into your skin enough or applying makeup immediately after. Typically, 1-3 drops is enough for oily skin, 2-4 drops is good for normal skin and 4-6 drops is ideal for dry skin. Apply it after your moisturizer has absorbed but at least 5 minutes before primer or foundation. I prefer to really massage it into my skin which revs up circulation and helps it absorb more quickly, but go with a patting motion if you’re on the oily side.
  6. Why does liquid foundation always look so weird on me? I think I know what  you mean by “weird.” If you went from nothing or a tinted moisturizer to a full coverage foundation, you probably aren’t used to seeing your skin without the variations in skintone, lack of redness, freckles, etc. Backtrack and try a sheer foundation like MAC Face & Body, which will let your skin show through.
  7. I tried prescription retinol but it made my skin peel. What should I do? This shit was not cheap. Don’t give up yet! Read my blog post and watch your life improve. https://allisonbarberamakeup.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/forever-young-my-retinol-journey/
  8. My undereye concealer gets really caked up, no matter what kind I use. How do I make that never happen again? First things first, dab a little moisturizer under your eyes prior to applying your concealer. That primes the area and keeps product from gathering on those tiny bumps of skin. Let it sit for a few seconds, then apply concealer. A rice-grain sized amount should be enough to do both undereyes. Concentrate your concealer in the center and towards the nose, as that’s where most darkness is. After about 5 minutes, apply a very light layer of translucent powder to set the concealer. If you are not using too much concealer, this process should eliminate your problem. My favorite undereye concealer is MAC Select Coverup and Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Transparent is my favorite translucent pressed powder.
  9. Why won’t my eyeshadow stay on? Is it afraid of commitment like every guy I date? I’m not sure what’s wrong with those jokers, but if your eyeshadow is fading fast and you’re not already using one, get yourself an eye primer. Too Faced Shadow Insurance is the gold standard, says this girl. And know that in general, drugstore eyeshadows don’t having the same staying power as higher end brands. MAC eyeshadows are fantastic and when they are paired with Shadow Insurance, you’re talking all-day strong.
  10. Why don’t I look glowy when I use the products magazines tell me to use? Because this: https://allisonbarberamakeup.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/the-truth-about-the-dewy-look/

Now you can go about your day with a better grasp on the beauty world. It makes it less intimidating when you know how to navigate it, right?

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

 

The Lash Trifecta

My father has Trilogitis. It is the compulsion to say the same thing three ways so that “people understand you.” (I have argued that saying something once clearly does the job, but he disagrees.) You won’t find Trilogitis in the DSM-5 because I made it up.

Here’s my go-to example of this disorder which affects dozens of people–who congregate in groups of three–worldwide. This conversation happened after I told my father how much I weigh.

Dad: “I’m twice your size!”

Allison: “Yup.”

Dad: “I mean, two of you would be one of me!”

Allison: “Yeah…”

Dad: “If there were two Allisons sitting in this truck right now, that would equal one Ray!”

Allison: “I UNDERSTAND WHAT ‘TWICE YOUR SIZE’ MEANS!”

My father says things are better in threes, everything should be a trilogy and three ways is ideal. In some cases, I have to agree. Destiny’s Child; Pop, lock and drop it; Tito’s, club soda, splash of cran. They go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong. I myself have a beauty trio–a lash trifecta, if you will–and that’s what I’m here to talk about.

After a separation from Dior Diorshow Mascara, my one true love, we are back together. But like any couple giving it another go, we decided to try different things. So we brought Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum into the mix.  I top it all off with L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara and the “Are those your real eyelashes?” questions are back.

With any beauty product, timing and technique are just as important as the product itself. So here’s what you need to know, in a step-by-step format to please my fellow Type A-ers.

  1. Apply a thin layer of  lash serum to the top lashes on one eye. (I like to start with my left eye, in tribute to TLC.) The serum is white and on the thicker side so you will need to comb it through. Do this with a metal lash comb, not a pair of tiny scissors like I use on my own lashes.
  2. Immediately after, apply mascara and comb through. You need to work fast here–no stopping to text your sister or Facebook wish someone you’ve never met a happy birthday. Once the serum dries, you’re dealing with hardened lashes that don’t play well with others. I keep my serum and mascara open during the process so there is no time wasted. It’s serum, comb, mascara, comb. Don’t get it twisted.
  3. Repeat on your other set of top lashes.
  4. Next up is the final coat for top lashes (which I don’t do right away–I’ll post about my makeup steps another day). Take out the L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara, hold the wand up to your lashes and lightly blink into it. This mascara adds length and inky blackness to your lashes.
  5. Apply Telescopic to your bottom lashes. You don’t need to dip back into the tube for this. The amount left on the wand after applying to your top lashes is plenty. The goal of bottom lash mascara is to add volume–not length–to the lash roots, which gives definition to the eyes. If you focus on adding length, you head into spidery territory.
  6. Sit back and let the compliments roll in.

This trifecta has made me very happy. It seems like a lot of steps but you know what? Some things take effort. You’re probably not going to get the best overall makeup results in 3 minutes with all drugstore products. That doesn’t mean you need 45 minutes each morning and an insurance policy for your makeup bag, but I would be doing you a major disservice if I told you everything was quick and wallet-friendly. I suggest that you decide what is most important to you for your everyday look–maybe it’s lashes, even skintone or concealing undereye circles–and put the most time and effort into that area. This post is for the Lash Girls out there, in hopes that this trifecta will improve their beauty lives too.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

My Thoughts on Mascara

I was a Diorshow Girl for a long time, and I recently made the switch to L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black. (Read the post here: https://allisonbarberamakeup.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/lashing-out-2/ ) After reading my post, few other Diorshow Girls I know told me they were planning to buy tubes of Carbon Black. Strangely, I started to mildly panic. I stand by my views and have made the switch, but I’m also someone who a) has naturally thick, decently long black lashes and b) likes an inkier, black look for myself and for clients who are being photographed. Some people have thinner lashes, so they may prefer a drier formula like Diorshow to give them some extra texture. And not everyone likes a more dramatic black look for everyday wear. (There are also some application tips for any mascara that I will write a post about soon that influence my views on different mascaras.). I should have mentioned those things in my original Carbon Black post–sorry about that!

So I feel like I need to explain myself. When it comes down to it, mascara is such a personal thing. What works on me and/or many of my clients may not work on you (which is really true about any product). For every person who loves the Urban Decay Naked Palette, there is one person who hates it. Lady Danger lipstick by MAC is a cult favorite, but I’d bet money there are people who think it’s hyped up. Mascara–or any other product–that I love or recommend is not going to be a everyone’s favorite, but I do think my experience allows me to recommend products that work well on more people than not.

So if you don’t like Carbon Black or any other product I have recommended, I am sorry! But according to the feedback I’ve gotten, most of the recommendations I have made have worked out for people. And if you try something that I have raved about and you don’t like it, let me know. It might be a matter of technique or how it interacts with the other products you are using. I’m here to help!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Are Those Things Real?

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, eyelashes are the window treatments. Good lashes make your eye-windows look better–it’s a fact*. I’ve yet to meet a client who doesn’t want long, full lashes. If the majority of people didn’t care about eyelashes, the false lash market would be non-existent.

I’m not bragging here, but I have to be real with you. At least once each week, I get asked if I am wearing false lashes (I very rarely am, and no one has ever asked me when I actually was!). I don’t have eyelash extensions, and I don’t use Latisse or any other lash growth product. Without mascara on, no one would compliment me on my eyelashes–I feel confident about that. But because I do get these compliments, and because I have applied mascara to thousands of eyelashes, I feel qualified to at least share my tips. So here.we.go.

Tip 1: Don’t regularly use waterproof mascara. This stuff is fine for cry-y occasions, but most waterproofs are harsher than regular mascara. When used frequently, waterproof mascaras can cause lash breakage.

Tip 2: Be oh-so-gentle when removing your eye makeup. I cleanse my face with an oil cleanser and lightly massage a small amount of it onto my lashes. I do a lot of rinsing, but I never rub or scrub the eye area. After that, I dry my face and use a cotton pad soaked with Bioderma Sensibio H20 makeup remover to take off the rest of my eye makeup. With my eye closed, I gently hold the cotton pad work too over the lashline for about 20 seconds to let the remover break down the makeup, then I–also very gently–wipe away what is left.

Tip 3: Eat clean. I am not a scientist, and the Internet research I should do would probably be full of contradictions anyway, but I believe that my healthy diet and the supplements I regularly take (including fish oil, which is beneficial to skin and hair), is part of the reason I have decent lashes to start with. Genetics is involved too, so I may have some nice lash DNA, but I think a healthy lifestyle truly does make for better skin, hair and nails.

Tip 4: Dry yo’ lashes. Damp lashes–from washing your face, eye makeup remover, eye drops, etc.–make eyelashes clump together when mascara is applied, and clumped lashes will never look full. Before I apply my first coat of mascara, I always make sure my lashes are dry. To do that, I hold my index finger horizontally in front of my eye, then I blink. If the lashes are very damp, you will feel water, product or eyedrop residue hitting your skin. If they are just a little damp, you will be drying them on your finger-towel as you blink. Either way, do this a couple of times or until your lashes feel dry.

Tip 5: Get your eyeliner involved. The right kind of eyeliner (or even a shadow as a liner) can give the illusion of fuller lashes. I prefer a dark brown at the lashline because sometimes when you use a black liner, the blackness of your mascara can fade into the liner and actually make your lashes stand out less (dark eyeshadows on the lid can do the same thing). You can, however, use a black liner to tightline. (This means applying it to the upper waterline). This makes the upper lashline look fuller.

Tip 6: Use a volumizing mascara as a base. If I had to get a tattoo, it would need to be one of the two things I know I will love forever–Biggie Smalls or Dior Diorshow Mascara. I have tried dozens of mascaras in the last few years alone and nothing has come close to the volumizing effect of Diorshow (the original formula). I know that there are some people who this doesn’t work for, but everyone I have personally used it on has loved it. So here’s the trick to getting volume–hold your lash wand horizontally, wiggle it at the lash roots, then lightly blink into it. I concentrate on two areas for this–the center of the lashline and the outer two thirds. As far as how many coats to apply, that’s really a personal choice. I just stop when my intuition or makeup spirit guide tells me to, and I suggest you do the same. I do this step on my top lashes only.

Tip 7: Comb through those bad boys. I won’t disclose what I use to comb through my own lashes, because it is bad and wrong and I should be ashamed. On clients, I use a spooly (or clean disposable mascara wand) to separate and remove clumps. You may find a plastic or metal lash comb works better for you. Whatever you use, just make sure you use it before your mascara has dried.

Tip 8: Apply a second mascara. The second mascara is like the supporting actress, which is just as important, in its own way. I skip around to some other makeup steps before I do this to make sure the top lash mascara has completely dried. When I’m ready, I apply a super black, inky mascara to intensify and lengthen the lashes. I am currently using Make Up For Ever Smokey Lash Mascara and Clinique High Lengths Mascara. I do the wiggle-at-the-lash roots thing again, as well as the blink-into-it step. But with this blink, I pull the wand upwards as I blink, to get the lengthening effect. The pulling upwards is important because many of us have blond-tipped eyelashes (even brunettes–I’m in this category), so if there is no mascara there, the lashes will look shorter than they actually are.

Tip 9: Give some love to your bottom eyelashes. They are important too! Applying mascara to bottom lashes defines the eyes. The trick is to apply the mascara at the roots of the bottom lashes. Unless you are going for a 1960s or other specific look, full–but not overloaded–mascared lashes tend to look better than long, spidery lashes. Depending on the wand shape and your level of comfort, you can either use the wand horizontally or vertically to reach the lash roots. I usually use whatever my second mascara is, but I have also used Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara before (it is a beauty tubes mascara with the most adorable tiny wand.)

Tip 10: Don’t compare yourself to actresses, models, or Kardashians. They are usually wearing false lashes or have lash extensions (sometimes both), and if you are looking at anyone in a magazine, their photo has been retouched. Their lashes are about as Real as a Housewife, so please keep that in mind.

Hope this post helps you on your journey to fuller, longer looking lashes (if that is your journey). Would love to hear your tips and recommendations.

*I sometimes make up my own facts, based on my professional experience.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

The blurry, unflattering photo is of me–which marks the first time I have ever posted a photo of myself on this blog. But I think it is a good lash shot, so I am doing this for the people.lashes

Down Bottom: Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara Review

(A lot of my blog post titles are from hip hop songs, in case you were wondering. “Down Bottom” is a Ruff Ryders classic.)

Up until about five years ago, I never wore mascara on my bottom lashes. I though it made my already dark, long bottom lashes look too spidery. But then I found a way to do it that struck the balance between no mascara and Tammy Faye Bakker. The only problem was finding the right bottom lash formula. I wanted something that gave more volume than length (too much length and no volume on my lashes = spidery), didn’t clump the lashes together and didn’t smudge. I also found that especially for the bottom lashes, a smaller mascara wand gave me more control. There are all different shapes, sizes and types of brushes now, but there weren’t so many options five years ago.

When the Pixiwoos started using (and raving about) the Bottom Lash Mascara by Clinique, I knew I had to get it. It only took me about a year to get my act together and order it, but I did it. So first, let’s talk about the packaging. It is a travel-sized tube, silver with black outlined flowers. It definitely stands out in my mountain of personal makeup products. The wand is the cutest, tiniest thing I’ve ever seen. (Sorry, adorable babies and puppies of the world, this has you beat.)

I think the wand is the most important part of this mascara. It is the perfect size for bottom lash mascara application, regardless of how short or sparse your bottom lashes are. The product itself uses beauty tube technology, which means the formula encapsulates each lash and can not run or smudge. I like that aspect a lot, as I often use waterproof mascara on bottom lashes to avoid that smudging issue. This mascara is a good volumizer and a great lengthener. Every Clinique mascara I’ve ever used has been phenomenal with the lengthening and the Bottom Lash Mascara is no exception. I found that the lashes can clump together a bit during application, but if you keep a clean mascara wand or lash comb nearby, you can nip that in the bud.

So here’s something you need to know about beauty tube mascaras–the removal process is unique. Eye makeup remover is not going to do it. You need warm water and some patience. Warm water loosens up the product, then you need to kind of pull it off your lashes. The instructions say “press gently,” which I suppose is a nicer way to say it. No matter what euphemism you use, you’ll need to get this mascara off manually. Think of it this way–every individual lash is encapsulated by the product, like tiny little wetsuits for each lash. (In comparison, regular coating mascara is more like a blanket lying on top of each lash.) If you were lying down and had a blanket covering you, it would fall to the ground when you stood up. A wetsuit wouldn’t do anything unless you purposely tried to get it off. Is this helping at all?

Because I liked the Bottom Lash Mascara so much, and because I am a fan of breaking makeup “rules,” I thought I’d try it on my top lashes as well. Bad idea. The overall effect was okay, but the removal was ridiculous. It took me a good 15 minutes to remove the product from my top lashes and I still had some on when I woke up. And the wand, as cute as it is, is really tailored for bottom lashes. Most people’s top lashes are longer, thicker, and more numerous than the bottom lashes. So using a wand that is so small takes more time, and doesn’t give the same effect on top lashes. But that was my dumbass idea, and Clinique named the product just so people would know where to apply it. What can I say, I’m a rebel…

And you’ll love this part–the Bottom Lash Mascara retails at only $10. This is an excellent buy. So if you like to accentuate your bottom lashes and don’t like smudges, you really should give it a try. You can get it from Clinique and Sephora.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Lashing Out: Tarte MultiplEYE Lash Primer & Natural Lash Enhancing Mascara Review

I do a lot of mascara reviews, because, hey, I love mascara. I am serious about lashes. So a decent mascara just doesn’t cut it for me. I need length, lots of volume, and staying power.

My wonderful cousin, Maria, gave me a Christmas gift that included a sample bag of Tarte products. The MultiplEYE Lash Primer and MultiplEYE Natural Lash Enhancing Mascara were part of this bag, so of course, I tried them first. Some primer and mascara combos share one double-ended tube, but the Tarte pair are independent. That’s a trait I admire.

The primer is white, like every other lash primer I’ve ever encountered. The wand is a standard, narrow wand, but it has a tapered tip. This allows the product to get to the lash roots, which is where the volume building starts. The mascara looks the same, but it’s black. (Disclaimer: I used the trial sized primer and mascara, but I’m guessing the full size is just a magnified version. The wands are usually the same.)

I’ve been using these two products for a few weeks, and I prefer to do the primer then mascara on my top lashes. I did one try with just the mascara on the top lashes and it was good, but they definitely work better together. On my bottom lashes, I usually only the mascara. There is definitely a difference with the primer, but unless I’m going for a certain look, I usually want less volume and length on my bottom lashes anyway.

The mascara alone is on the dry side, but when it’s applied over the primer, it doesn’t seem dry. The two together make a huge difference in length and volume. With only two or three coats, I’m able to get a ton of drama. Several times, people have asked me if I was wearing false lashes when I’ve had this combo on. I’ve experienced zero flaking or smudging issues with this mascara (even on my bottom lashes, where I use the mascara sans primer), nor is it especially difficult to remove.

My only complaint is that it’s not quite as pigmented as I like. But that’s an easy fix–a coat or two of a super black mascara does the trick.

I like the primer and the mascara so much that I’m going to actually buy them! They will be allowed into my Elite Lash Club, which only includes Dior Diorshow, Make Up Forever Smoky Lash, and Clinique High Lengths. If we’re talking a 1-10 scale here, this primer and mascara combo gets a 9.

You can buy Tarte products at Sephora.

Long Lash Time: Clinique High Impact Mascara Review

Best Supporting Actress is still an impressive award!

It’s no secret that I love a good mascara. So when I had a chance to try to Clinique High Impact Mascara–a favorite of my beloved Pixiwoos–I of course went for it. I love big, full lashes, and mascara with staying power. Did it pass the test and make an impact on me? It did, but more as a Supporting Actress than the main star.

I originally reviewed this product in 2012 and had a few things about it that I didn’t love, but those have changed. It’s become a mainstay in my personal makeup bag as my second mascara (layered over Dior Diorshow).

Let’s talk about it.

First off, it’s got a standard wand. None of this spiky ball or rubbery wand nonsense. Just a good ol’ mascara wand. It isn’t big like the Diorshow wand, but I like that, because I use it on my top and bottom lashes, so it gives me control at the bottom lashes since the wand is smaller.

High Impact is super buildable. It might actually be the most buildable mascara I’ve ever used. So whether you want a barely there look, or a full on look, High Impact can take you there.

It is an excellent lengthener. I have found this with other Clinique mascaras too. They know how to make a girl’s lashes look long. That is one of the main reasons I use it. I love Diorshow and it gives some length, but I find it’s better for volume. I want both length and volume though, and I’m fine with having to use two mascaras to get there.

According to my post from seven years ago, High Impact used to lack on the inky black factor, which is the other reason I use a second mascara. But at some point in the last few years, the pigment was changed into a blacker black (or my eyesight is going). So now I’m happy.

When it comes to end of the day removal, no battles here. High Impact washes off easily. A little cleanser, some eye makeup remover and we go our separate ways.

I’ve been using High Impact as a second mascara for a couple years now. I’m happy with it and think you might be too.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Making Tammy Faye Proud

Black Widow In Da House

I adore mascara. I regularly wear at least two brands, layered up, to reach ultimate length and volume capacity. I could achieve a similar effect with false lashes, but why make things easy? Plus, on myself (and for some client/model looks) I want the texture of mascara. Smooth, clump-free lashes are beautiful, but slightly clumpy, mascara-loaded lashes are fun.

I’ll admit that this look is not for everyone. If you’re a natural girl, skip it. If you like perfect makeup, move on. If you prefer to not spend 10 minutes removing your eye makeup, don’t even try it. But if you’re a mascara whore like me and you like imperfect makeup looks, you gotta rock this.

I accomplish this look using Dior Diorshow topped with Clinique High Lengths Mascara. (If your lashes are naturally straight, you’ll want to curl them first to avoid impairing your vision with loaded lashes.) I work it the Diorshow into the roots first, then paint lashes, small sections at a time. The smaller end of the wand works best for this kind of sectioning. I do a normal application for the High Lengths layer.

I like this look either with a flesh toned or light eyeshadow color on the lid, or a chocolate brown shadow on the lid, blended slightly into the crease. I skip filling in the eyebrows when I do this, because good God, woman, that’s enough eye makeup. I keep the lips more natural–matte or glossy is fine–and tend to like a slightly shimmery blush with this (but you could go with whatever you want, as long as it’s not too much cheek color). It becomes dated and tacky if you add full eye makeup, brows, contouring and a strong lip. But if you leave the lashes as the focus, it looks modern.

Again, not for everyone, but this is a trend I am loving.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

My Mascara Ad Rant

Women of the world, please ignore all mascara ads that you see in magazines. Your lashes are not genetically inferior, or too straight and there is most likely nothing majorly wrong with the way you apply mascara. Those magazine ad lashes are fugazi, as Donnie Brasco would say. They are fake.

I have not seen a mascara ad in recent years where the model was not at least wearing a few flare lashes. (Although most of the time, they are wearing strip lashes.) Mascara does not make your lashes that thick, or long, or that even (no one has perfectly even lashes on both eyes). Now, I love false lashes and I use them on myself and many of my clients. But I would never lie about that. It just seems so wrong!

These mascara ads are such blatant false advertising that I almost can’t believe they’re allowed to be published. When I have my makeup line some day, I promise my mascara models will only have the real thing. Until then, I suggest buying your mascaras based on consumer reviews, not magazine ad “results.” Unless you want to start a crusade against blatant false advertising in the beauty industry. In which case, I’m in…

Rant over.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Can’t Say I Liked It: Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara Review

As a makeup artist and makeup blogger, I feel that it is my duty to constantly try new products. I have my favorites–Make Up For Ever HD Foundation, MAC eyeshadows, Benefit Hoola–but I continue to try new foundations, eyeshadows and bronzers, because there could be better versions out there. And what kind of artist/blogger would I be if I settled?

I have yet to find anything that can beat my Dior Diorshow/Make Up For Ever Smokey Lash mascara combo, but I try. Mascara is one of my two I-won’t-leave-the-house-without-wearing it products (my other is undereye concealer), so I take it very seriously.

I have heard great things about the Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips glosses/plumpers, so when I had a chance to try the Buxom Lash mascara in Blackest Black, I had to.

Let’s start with the good…

Cute packaging! I know that is no indication of how well a product works, but I like having pretty, cute or different looking products in my kit. The tube is black with what I can best describe as “retro” font and the top is silver. The cap/brush stays on tight, which is important so that it doesn’t stay half open and dry out before its time.

The mascara stays on all day, with absolutely no smudging or flaking. I even wore it to the beach–no signs of product meltdown. It is so stubborn that it’s actually a little tough to remove, but those of you who have issues with migrating mascara would appreciate this.

And now the bad…

The Buxom Lash mascara has one of those short, rubbery wands, which I despise. I used the wand the first day and found the results to be lackluster, so I tried it with a standard disposable mascara wand the next day. Still no luck. It seems the wand makes no difference, but I still find the spikey ones uncomfortable to use.

This mascara did little to lengthen my lashes and nothing to volumize them. Post application analyzing brought me to this one word conclusion: wimpy. Not buxom at all! I like thick, full lashes. They don’t have to be especially long, but I do need some length. A mascara that gives neither is like most of the guys I’ve dated–not worth my time.

I had high hopes for this mascara. After I used it, another makeup artist told me that she loves the stuff. I trust her opinion so much that I thought “Did I get a fluke tube or something?” So if anyone else has had an experience with this mascara, please chime in. I want to like it, I really do. But until then, it’s Diorshow and Smokey Lash.

Have a beautiful day 🙂