Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara Review

I heard a couple of months ago that Max Factor was coming back to the US and was pretty excited about it. When I first started watching beauty videos on YouTube, I’d heard great things about the brand, but that they were no longer being sold stateside. So when I saw the Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara on the shelves at Target I snapped it up immediately. I couldn’t wait to try it out, even though I’m still in the middle of another tube at the moment.

Here are my thoughts. I included a snap of the claims and application tips from the back of the paper packaging.

Packaging. It’s a pretty standard tube with gold detailing on the cover and gold writing. The design reminds me of Art Deco. The mascara wand has a brush with plastic bristles, which I’m typically a fan of anyway. It’s not quite as bulky as the Covergirl mascara brushes which is nice because it’s easier to maneuver in the inter corners of my eyes. Overall, it’s a win for me. Rating: 5/5

Performance. The plastic bristles definitely help to separate the lashes and coat them evenly. The formula delivers in adding volume to my lashes without getting too clumpy after two coats. With the third I had to work a little harder to keep the separation between my lashes, but it was worth it for the extra volume it added. Your lashes still feel flexible after the formula dries, but I think the Covergirl Lash Blast holds a curl better. The smudging of this mascara is practically non-existent, it only started showing signs of darkness under the outside lower lash line after more than 12 hours of wear. This stuff delivers on pretty much all of it’s claims, so it gets my full rating here. And sorry the test photos aren’t great, I’ve been sick and just don’t have time to retake them. Rating: 5/5

Price. I got this at Target for $9.99, which seems to be midrange for mascara at the drugstore lately. Drugstore prices are definitely creeping up these days, but if the product does what it says I really can’t cimplain. And because this one delivers on everything it says, I gotta say it’s worth it. Rating: 5/5

Overall impression. This is a winner in my book. If it was more lengthening it would be practically perfect. I’m going to experiment with using a lash primer to see if it will help to add some length. I’d definitely pick this up if you see it on the shelves and let me know what you think!

It’s So Big! Volumizing Mascara by Elizabeth Mott Review

I was browsing through Urban Outfitters online and figured I’d check out the beauty section. And I couldn’t resist. This is the first of 5 products I bought, and I think the only non-Asian beauty brand. Well, it’s made in Korea, but I believe the brand is based in the US (correct me if I’m wrong). I find that UO has a knack for finding up and coming brands. After reading the few reviews (6 total) and it’s ‘no smudging’ claim I just had to try the It’s So Big! Volumizing Mascara by Elizabeth Mott. And it’s supposed to be easily removed with water, provide length and volume. Sounds too good to be true, but I was willing to shell out $20 to find out.

   Continue reading

CoverGirl The Super Sizer Waterproof Mascara Review

I was pretty psyched when I saw an ad for the new CoverGirl The Super Sizer Mascara. The Lash Blast Volume, and more recently the Full Lash Bloom, have been favorites of mine, so of course I wanted to give this one a go.

From the brand’s website:

The Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara gives you 400% more corner-to-corner volume for full, fanned out lashes. Our amazing Lash Styler transforms even small lashes — just twirl as you apply it to your lashes for an instantly Super Sized lash look. Opthalmologically tested, suitable for those who wear contact lenses.

When they decided to call this the Super Sizer, they must have figured they’d better make the tube super sized as well. It almost makes me wonder if there’s more product in it or if they just decided to waste some plastic. I’m not one to touch up mascara, so I don’t need to worry about carrying it around, but just thought I’d put that out there. The wand is not what I would have expected from the name, I thought it would also be large to match. It’s actually quite thin and the bristles get longer towards the tip, the total reverse of most wands. It has very short, sparse plastic bristles and the brush head slightly angles where it attaches to the ‘stem’. The directions say to slightly twirl the wand during application, which is another new twist CG threw in. The formula here is actually more wet than I typically like because I tend to get more smudges. I got the mascara in Blackest Black and in waterproof.

I initially did not like the wand when I started using the Super Sizer because I feel like it didn’t give me much lash separation. And the whole ‘twirling’ of the wand during application was just awkward to me. But, the more I use this mascara, the more the wand and the technique are growing on me. I start by placing the wand at the base of my lashes, then giving it a twist as I brush it up my lashes. I find that it helps to really get a good coating of mascara at the base and the bristles seem to really catch onto the lashes to continue to coat my lashes to the ends. I thought I’d just stop bothering with the twirling, but I’m liking the results it gives. I feel like I get good volume and length after two coats, I don’t bother with a third because it starts to get a little clumpy (since the bristles don’t give good separation), but you could probably go in with a lash comb between coats if you wanted to build more. And despite the wet formula, I surprisingly get very little smudging from this mascara (score!). After about 3-4 hours, I start to see a little darkness developing, but it’s not too bad, just a bit at the very outer edge of my lower lash line.

All in all, I really like the Super Sizer! Even more than the Maybelline Lash Sensational, which has been my running favorite since it came out (I think last year?). I was pretty skeptical about this one because it seemed so gimmicky, but I really think it does the job! Maybe 400% more volume is an overstatement, but I’d give it at least half that. If you’ve been hesistant to try this, I encourage you to give it a go and let me know what you think!


Some things are just better together: Maybelline Lash Sensational + Covergirl Full Lash Bloom


I’ve become so attached to the Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Waterproof Mascara that I haven’t wanted to use anything else. I still have an open tube (and a backup) of the Maybelline Lash Sensational that I’m also trying to work through, but to be honest I’m just not into it anymore. Since I’ve had the Covergirl for awhile now the formula has settled more and I get no smudging, which for me is amazing. Then one day after doing a layer of the Maybelline so I don’t let it go to waste, I thought maybe if I put the Covergirl on as my second coat it won’t smudge. And it didn’t! And the volume was amazing! It was like the best of both worlds, I could still get all the drama of the Maybelline and the no-smudge factor of the Covergirl in just two coats. They both have pretty good volume, the Maybelline is just slightly more intense and the Covergirl is that softer fluttery lash look. I’ve actually never tried combining mascaras, but I think I’ll be trying it more often. Since I don’t get as much length with these mascaras, I think a lengthening mascara under the Covergirl would be lash perfection.


Top: A coat of Maybelline with a coat of Covergirl on top; Bottom: A few short Ardell individuals at the ends

I added a few of my short Ardell individual lashes at the ends since my lashes are shorter towards the outer corners and I love the outcome! It’s like wearing false lashes without the full strip, and much more subtle for daytime.


Just mascara on the left and with individual lashes on the right. Do you do false lashes in the daytime or do you save them for nights out?

Do you like to mix your mascaras? Or are you a mascara purist?

First impression: the NEW L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Waterproof Mascara



I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to like the L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Waterproof mascara, but for some reason I just wanted to be proved wrong. Like it just might be the perfect mascara and if I didn’t try it, I’d be missing out. Well, guess what. I should have followed my instincts. Okay, that makes it sound really bad and it’s not terrible or anything, it’s just not the perfect mascara. So, let’s get into it.

This mascara is supposed to give ‘extreme volume with an intense fanned out look’. It is a fiber infused formula, but the fibers aren’t noticeable and I didn’t even realize they were there until I read the back of the packaging. It’s also supposed to be flake, clump, AND smudge free (my eyes always light up when I read ‘smudge free’). The brush is unique in that it has a ‘double wing’ shape that’s supposed to ‘catch and fan out the lashes’ for more lift and spread. You’re supposed to use one wing to put on the initial coat for ‘super charged volume’, then use the other wing to fan out the lashes.


A closer look.

I curled my lashes and applied the mascara as instructed. The bristles are the short plastic kind that I like, and I did like the way I could reach all my lashes easily without getting mascara everywhere. It was easy to comb through my lashes as well and the brush did provide good separation. However, I felt like the first coat did nothing major in terms of volume. I did see some lengthening, but one coat did not cut it. Two coats gave better results and I felt like my lashes did look fuller and had a ‘fluttery’ kind of look to them. I do think I was expecting more in terms of volume, and I just didn’t get that from this mascara. The packaging says ‘9x the volume’ so my expectations were set pretty high. I actually thought it was better in lengthening my lashes. I got the waterproof formula so it does hold a curl well. There was no flaking throughout the day, but I got smudges under my eyes not even 3 hours after the initial application (ugh, my main problem with mascaras). So in that aspect I was not impressed. I did buy the blackest black shade, which may also be why the mascara smudged so fast (I notice that happens whenever I get the darkest formula). Also, there was no clumping on application, but I will say that I felt like I had trouble coating my lashes which may be due to it being my first time using it? It was as if there wasn’t enough product on the brush to really get onto my lashes. I had to take a lot more time than usual to get an even coating.


From top to bottom: bare lashes, bare & curled, one coat of mascara, two coats of mascara

I have to admit the final result after two coats isn’t bad, but I did expect more in terms of volume and the smudge free claim. I like the kind of soft, fluttery look it gives my lashes. However, this is not a repurchase although I’ll still use it til it’s gone paired with my Clarins Double-Fix. I still prefer my Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara over this (it’s probably my favorite mascara of the moment), which I reviewed here. Ultimately, I’m still on the hunt for that perfect mascara.

First impression: The NEW Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara


Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara

Because I’m still in search of the perfect drugstore mascara, I picked up the new Maybelline Lash Sensational Full Volume Mascara in Very Black. I went with the waterproof version this time to help hold the curl in my lashes. The brush shape is curved; I was intrigued as it has plastic bristles that are shorter on the inner curve than on the outer. The instructions say the shorter bristles are for getting at the base of your lashes and the longer are to help fan them out.


I did find it easier to get to the base of my lashes with the shorter bristles without getting a ton of mascara on my lids. The longer bristles did work well to comb through to the ends of the lashes. I was pretty impressed with the overall results, I felt like the mascara added volume and length. I used about three coats-it did start to get a little clumpy during the last coat, but nothing crazy. In terms of smudge factor, it was pretty light. No crazy raccoon eyes after 6 hours of wear. Not sure how it would hold up in more hot & humid weather, as it’s been cold and dry here as of late.


1: just a little color in the crease, 2: lashes curled, 3: L eye with one coat, 4: both eyes with 2 coats, 5: 3 coats and tightlined

I decided to skip the usual winged liner and I just tightlined the upper lash line with the Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes Liner in Black. It’s my favorite for this purpose because it’s just creamy enough where it glides on easily, but doesn’t smudge and transfer to my bottom lash line. And since I went lighter on the eyes, I decided to use my favorite fall ‘berry’ type color, a Revlon crème lipstick in ‘Mauvy Night’. And since it’s a crème formula it’s a little more moisturizing and forgiving on my dry lips.



So, I decided to keep it super casual today and wear:


Cause you’re never too old to wear a onesie!

Ha! I’m kidding. This is what happens when my husband comes to Target with us. We all get matching onesies. And it’s so comfortable, I pretty much wear it around the house all the time. A little awkward for when people stop by randomly, but whatevs.

Happy Friday!

Drugstore Mascara Review


The lineup

There are so many mascara options at the drugstore, it can be hard to decide which one to buy. I’m definitely more of a drugstore mascara girl, I’ve never tried a high end mascara that blew me away and made me feel like it was worth the price. So I thought I’d share my thoughts on the ones I’ve been using lately (even if I’m not a complete fan, I can’t bring myself to waste a tube) and hopefully help you out in making a decision the next time you’re stalking the makeup aisle. I’d say I have pretty average lashes, they aren’t super short or sparse, and they are straight, but not super straight. Like I said, pretty average. Also, like I’ve mentioned in a previous post, pretty much every mascara will smudge on me, my lids tend to be oily which compounds the problem. In that post I shared my review of the Clarins ‘Double Fix’ Mascara, which has pretty much solved that problem. Anyway, on to the review.


1. Maybelline The Rocket Volume Mascara

I’d heard a lot of raves about this mascara, but after trying it I was pretty ‘meh’ about it. I didn’t feel like it did anything particularly fabulous for my lashes in terms of volume. I have the non-waterproof version of this mascara so it did not hold a curl. I’ve continued to use it just to finish up the product, I tend to just reach for it kind of on a whim, just to see if I’ll suddenly be wowed by it, but nope, never happens.



2. L’Oreal Miss Manga Voluminous Mascara

I actually tried this because I heard it doesn’t smudge (it does), but I pretty much hated it the first few times I used it. The wand has a little ‘joint’ that makes the brush more flexible, but made it harder for me to control. Especially when I wanted to ‘wiggle’ the wand into the base of my lashes. And because of the larger brush I tend to get mascara onto my lids if I’m not careful. The first few uses it was just too smudgy and seemed to clump my lashes together too much. BUT, I do think this is a mascara that ‘gets better with age’–after two weeks the formula dried out a bit and it didn’t apply so heavily. This mascara can give the ‘spidery’ effect with more than a couple of coats if you’re into that look. I used it today (with my Double Fix) and a two coats was enough for me for a daytime look. It does add nice volume and makes my lashes look ‘fuller’.



3. L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara

This is probably my favorite of the bunch and I’ve actually heard that it’s being discontinued (why?!). It adds good length to my lashes and is easy to apply. The brush is thin with short plastic bristles that allow for more precise application in hard to reach areas (inner corners). It doesn’t clump up with multiple coats and separate lashes nicely. It’s not super volumizing, but what it does in lengthening more than makes up for it in my book. As I was going through my stash I realized I have 4 tubes just hanging around that I hadn’t gotten around to throwing out. Yes, I’m constantly buying this and I’m hoping the rumors aren’t true and I can continue to repurchase.



4. Maybelline Full ‘n Soft Waterproof Mascara

This is probably my second fave in terms of the lash look I get from it, but I have to say it’s kind of a PITA to put on. I love that fluttery soft lash effect it gives, but I end up getting it onto my lids almost everytime I use it because the brush is so big. I did think I ran out of it kind of fast, I’m not sure how long a tube of mascara actually lasts because I’m always working through more than one at a time. So although this is a mascara that I need to take some time with I still think it’s worth the effort.



5. Covergirl Lashblast Volume Waterproof Mascara

This is my go-to mascara for when I’m going to an event, like a wedding or any other special occasion. It probably smudges the least on it’s own, gives good volume, and holds a curl. It doesn’t add a lot of length, but for a special occasion I tend to wear false eyelashes anyway (my favorite are the Ardell demi wispies). It has short plastic bristles so I don’t make a huge mess of my eyeshadow when I apply it. But, I do find it harder to get into that inner corner area because the brush has a kind if thicker ‘barrel’. Overall, it’s just a good reliable mascara that I always have hanging around if needed.



6. Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara

I tried this on a whim to see if I would like it, and it’s not bad, but not great. It definitely gives nicely separated lashes, almost like the Telescopic, but without the added length. The brush is kind of crescent shaped with short plastic bristles so application was easy and I could easily get into the inner corners of my eye. I probably wouldn’t repurchase this, but hey, they can’t all be great.


I used the Miss Manga today, just a couple of coats so it doesn’t look crazy dramatic or anything. But, I like that it makes it look like my lashes are fuller than they really are.


Wearing ‘Miss Manga’ on my lashes today with a coat of ‘Double Fix’ on top. And yes, I realize I’m in need of some serious lip moisturization!

I’m still in search of that ‘perfect’ mascara that will be life changing and make me never want to buy any other. But, until I find it I’m always open to trying something new. If you have a recommendation, please share!

Product rave: Clarins Double-Fix Mascara

Clarins ‘Double Fix’ Mascara

My number one makeup issue is my mascara smudging under my eyes. I have tried waterproof, non-waterproof, fiber and tubing, high and low end mascaras. I’ve tried them all. Everytime I hear about a new mascara that doesn’t smudge I get excited to try it and when I do, I’m usually left disappointed. I have pretty oily lids, I have to use a primer if I don’t want my liner smudging into my crease. I always make sure to set my under eye concealer, otherwise the problem is even worse. When I heard about the Clarins ‘Double Fix Mascara’ and read good reviews, I just had to try it to see if it would work. It’s basically a gel ‘topcoat’ for your mascara to seal it and make it waterproof. You can also use it as a brow gel. And after the first use I was pretty impressed. I’ve usually hit panda status a couple of hours after applying mascara (nothing is worse than passing by a mirror and realizing you’ve been walking around for the past few hours looking like a hot mess). I went through most of the day without a smudge. But, I didn’t want to get too excited and recommend something before testing it more thoroughly. So I tried it with waterproof and regular formulas and with several different brands (Covergirl, Maybelline, L’oreal, Makeup Forever, Benefit, etc.). The results are pretty much the same, no significant smudging. By the end of the day, I can tell there is a slight bit of transfer of the mascara onto my undereye area, but definitely nothing compared to what it usually looks like without it. And the best part is, I can use it with any mascara and still have great results. Even the ones I’ve banned because although they make my lashes look nice, they end up super smudgy. It also holds the curl in my lashes when I’m using a non-waterproof mascara.


L: right after application, M: 4 hours later, R: 9 hours later

So to give you an idea of how it performs, I used it only on my right eye. I applied my Maybelline Full n’ Thick Waterproof mascara, then applied the Double Fix over it. I try to apply it thoroughly, especially nearer to the outer edge of my eyes where most of the transfer occurs. Today was a pretty typical day, I brought Ava out to play with her cousins, did some housework, and played some more with baby at home. I only used concealer and my MAC mineralized skin finish for powder foundation. You can see that my skin gets pretty shiny as the day goes on, by the end most of my makeup has pretty much faded away (I rarely bother to touch up during the day). I put on my mascara around 11 AM and by 3 PM my right eye was still looking good and my left was already a mess. By 8 PM, I did notice a trace of darkness on the right, but WAY better than how the left looks.

If you have been plagued by the dreaded ‘raccoon eyes’, try this product. You won’t regret it.