judging by your comments, perhaps the world is not quite ready for this mascara. so, i thought i’d take things down a notch and introduce you to a much simpler product: mac studio sculpt lash mascara. it’s so simple, in fact, that the brush only has two rows of bristles. (when i heard about this, i scoffed. how could two measly little rows of bristles rival the big fat wand packed with bristles that i know and love?)
surprisingly, two rows of bristles are highly effective! they separate lashes, defining each one beautifully and apply mascara without a clump in sight. studio sculpt lash’s skinny teeth are not messing around. you get extra precise control over where the mascara is applied along with length, lift, and curl that lasts all day sans smudging.
so, to recap, that’s 1) a cinch to apply with very little effort, 2) long, separated lashes that stay where they are put and 3) does not flake or cause raccoon eyes.
win, win, win.
i’m pretty impressed with this minimalist mascara from mac and i’m definitely finding that it’s the right daytime product for my preferred lash look. (i don’t like to go too bambi before happy hour.) if you like to catch each lash and create a crafted lash’terpiece then i think you’ll love this newness from mac.
mac studio sculpt lash mascara, $16 >
i am so sorry for the radio silence around here! it turns out that something attributed to pregnancy hormones has me experiencing some serious sleep deprivation and well, it’s just not a good time. i’ve had a dream pregnancy so far (minimal-to-zero nausea and virtually no loss of energy) so i really can’t complain – i suppose it’s mother nature’s way of getting me ready for the sleepless nights soon to arrive in august.
since i’m on night six of four hours or less, i’ve been relying on under eye concealer more than ever, and my expectations have gone through the roof as my dark circles become darker, and darker with each passing day. i picked up smashbox’s bb cream eyes a couple of weeks ago, but haven’t really needed to put it to a test until now – and either people are way too kind not to tell me how tired i look, or this stuff is really doing the trick.
in essence, smashbox has taken the best of a bb cream (benefits that moisturize, prime, perfect, control oil, and protect with spf) and combined it with the coverage of a concealer. the result is a wonder product that not only hides dark circles, but works to make them vanish (along with those pesky fine lines) with regular use. the thing that i like best about this formula is that it also illuminates the slightest bit (i hate concealers that fall flat under my eyes) and it actually hides that little bit of puff that comes with lack of sleep. it’s creamy and it doesn’t crease, plus it takes care of oil which has been helping to keep my mascara from smudging (major bonus). i love that i don’t have to use a primer and that it stays exactly where i put it, even through the longest of days.
i’m giving this one two very enthusiastic, albeit sleepy, thumbs up. mama bears and honorary aunties alike will all love the latest from smashbox.
smashbox camera ready bb cream eyes, $25 >
yesterday’s snow storm has me experiencing a major case of winter blues. i think monday marks the 18th “snow day” that we’ve had in the dc area so far this winter and i could not be more ready for spring.
like a little beacon of light, mark. is offering 10% off all of their gorgeous products (which include lots of options for fresh spring color!) today only in celebration of brand ambassador lucy hale’s spring season finale of pretty little liars with code PLL10.
this spring, i’m looking to add products to my collection that are equal parts bright and wearable – things that represent my style without being over-the-top expensive. right off the bat, i honed in on mark. blooming pretty highlighting face powder ($16) as the perfect way to add a soft sheer glow to my cheeks who are desperately craving color. (for the record, i’d pair it with this fluffy blush + bronzer brush ($8) to get the ideal placement of pink.) to balance things out, i can’t get enough of the go-to neutrals in the color swing eye palette ($20). they are just what my hazel eyes need to counteract that bold cheek pop! then, just for fun and as a little icing on the cake, it’s impossible to resist the combination of sunny yellow and spring-ready mint (plus that cocktail ring!) in the nail this look set ($28).
i’m thinking these are just the ticket to helping me fight off the blahs brought on by this never-ending winter. will you take advantage of 10% off mark’s spring goodness?
sometimes i feel like mascara wands have all of the fun. we’ve certainly seen our fair share of innovative shapes and designs in this department, but this new double-brush from sephora may just take the cake. there was no way that i was going to let something this crazy looking pass me by without giving it a test, more out of curiosity than expecting any earth-shattering results.
here’s the deal: sephora’s new upside down mascara features a double brush that promises length, curl, volume, and definition. (those are some real bold claims, sephora!) you can use this contraption many ways, which makes it kind of fun. 1) place lashes in a clamp between each brush to coat the tops and bottoms in thick, black pigment
2) hold the “v” closed and use both brushes in line together to fully coat each lash, kind of like how you would use a regular mascara wand, but this version is on steroids
3) open the “v” and use each brush individually on top and/or bottom lashes (or use them to layer) to really customize and maximize the effect.
once you get the hang of opening and closing the brush to create various looks and you figure out how to minimize clumping (i say, just keep a lash comb handy – the end results are worth the clumps), the possibilities here are pretty endless. i like the idea of this “all in one” mascara and you really can create day or evening lash options delivering length or volume (or both!), depending on your preferences. i will say that this formula is a bit on the heavy side, but that’s what delivers the drama. i find that i have to really let it dry in-between coats and it did smudge a tiny bit on me. (note: i have the wateriest eyes on the planet, so don’t judge it too harshly.)
all in all, i’m calling this one a win for innovation and for impressive results. beauty buffs will have a lot of fun experimenting with the wand and your lashes will definitely display the fruits of your labor if you’re willing to give it a go.
sephora upside down mascara, $22 >
i am impressed time and time again by the products coming out of the make camp, and these two primers are no exception. primer is one of those things that i hate slathering all over my face – it clogs my pores and aggravates my skin, almost counteracting the long-wearing benefits. there are still, however, a couple of places on my face that i really like to use it, namely underneath my eyes and on my lips.
the transforming eye primer ($23) is creamy and gorgeous. i use it underneath of my eyes, after my moisturizer to grip on to my cc cream or foundation and lessen the need for extra concealer. it works like a charm! it goes on cool and smooth, softening fine lines and without settling into crow’s feet. the tint helps to brighten that delicate area and the silky formula is super easy to wear. if your under eye makeup tends to fade, this is definitely a little lifesaver.
when it comes to lips, i love bright, bold color but i hate the way that it fades, plus it can feel dry and uncomfortable. i’m drawn to gloss/balm hybrids and more moisturizing color for the comfort factor, but keeping those on your lips can be pretty impossible. the lip primer ($23) from make is waxy, but weightless, filling in lines and sealing in moisture while locking in color and preventing feather and fade. it’s been giving staying power to even the slickest ‘sticks and tinted balms, making me a very happy girl.
have you tried any of make’s for-benefit products yet? 33.3% of web sales go to the we see beauty foundation – a great cause that supports the cooperative movement – reminding me that there truly is nothing like looking good and feeling good at the same time.
this face and eye palette from estee lauder’s granddaughter, aerin, is spring splendor if i’ve ever seen it. face brightening pastel shadows are paired with shades of pink, beige and bronze for endless options of easy and versatile beauty looks. it’s one of those pieces that will look just as stunning sitting on my vanity as it will gracing my cheeks and eyelids. i cannot wait to play!
aerin kaleidolight face + eye palette, $70 >
i’ve always had the best intentions when it comes to eye cream, but i’m not the best when it comes to applying them religiously. i normally just concentrate a little extra night cream under my eyes and call it a night, but the times, they are a changing. much to my chagrin, i have recently developed a lovely little crop of dark circles, which i can only attribute to last month’s very exciting life-changing announcement. covering dark circles is very tricky and because i’ve been slacking in the eye cream department, my makeup tends to settle and crease.
something must be done about this.
thankfully, hot on the heels of this new release, clinique brings us superdefense eye. this is an eye cream that is meant to be worn in the daytime as it includes broad spectrum spf 20 for the ultimate in age defense. i’ve been smoothing it on immediately after i apply my moisturizer and letting it sink in while i go about my getting ready business. by the time i’m ready to apply my makeup, its brightening properties have taken a major edge off of my dark circles and the skin under my eyes is much more hydrated and happy.
it feels immediately moisturizing and i love knowing that my delicate under eyes are protected from the sun’s rays, preventing further damage. there is a subtle sheen to this creamy product which livens things up and works surprisingly well to counteract dark circles, making them much easier to cover with foundation or concealer. in short, this is comprehensive skincare for your eyes and i’m starting to wonder how i ever lived without it.
clinique superdefense eye cream spf 20, $39.50 >
did you watch last night’s red carpet before the golden globes? i thought the beauty gazing was very ho hum, with one major exception: kaley cuoco’s beyond-gorgeous, green, slightly smokey, winged-out cat eyes.
i mean, stop the presses, what is even happening here?
after i collected myself from the excitement, i got down to the business of learning more about this beautiful phenomenon and was not at all surprised to find that kaley’s longtime makeup artist and friend, jamie greenberg, was responsible for the mastery. i became intimately familiar with jamie’s work over the past year while working with mark. and i have fallen madly in love with her youtube channel – which you must visit. she’s adorably hilarious and you just want her to crawl out of your computer and be your bestie.
but anyway, back to the beauty. here’s what jamie used to craft kaley’s stunning emerald eyes:
the result is stunning, stunning, stunning and the eyes are perfectly paired with a nude lip (mark. make it rich in naturally, $11) for ultimate impact.
think you’ll take a note from jamie and kaley and play with green shades around your eyes? are there any other beauty hits that i may have missed last night?
i find myself to be the harshest mascara critic. you name it, i’ve tried it – and chances are, i didn’t like it. most of them disappoint me in the flaking and smudging department. (i swear, there is nothing more frustrating than leaving the house with perfect lashes and coming home with raccoon eyes.) as i’m getting older, i’ve also started looking for mascaras with a little something extra in the ingredient list that gives back – because, in truth, mascara is terrible for your lashes, suffocating them and leaving them brittle and dry. it just so happens that the mascaras with the best “for you” ingredients, tend to be the worst performers. so, imagine my surprise when a mineral-based mascara stole my heart!
pur minerals big blink mascara brings extreme drama to your lashes. the crazy length and volume rivals any mascara that i’ve tried and the thick, black, glossy formula is pure perfection. i normally find large brushes to be awkward, but this one coats each lash easily and doesn’t deposit any unwanted mascara onto my brow bones. it glides on without clumping and the results are very va-va. this mascara wears beautifully all day long, until you take it off (at which point, it dissolves easily with cleanser and water) and the addition of argan oil nourishes my lashes so that they don’t feel dehydrated.
basically, it’s a breeze to use, wears like a dream, and makes your lashes insanely long. is there anything else you could possibly want in a mascara?
pur minerals big blink mascara, $20 >
this might be the prettiest metallic cream shadow that i have ever laid eyes upon. the shade falls somewhere between a pearly white and a silver gray with a texture that’s super smooth and easy to blend. it’s ultra pigmented with the frosty finish that you would expect from something called “winterfrost” and while i originally thought that this would be something that stays specific to the holiday season, i’ve been thrilled to find how versatile and neutral this shade truly is.
you can get a fiercely pigmented silver eye or a sheer wash of color depending on how you handle it and, best of all, beyond just finding a happy home on my eyelids, this pot is proving useful for other things, too. i’ve taken to dotting it in the inner corner of my eye to highlight and brighten when i’m wearing other shadow shades (or nothing at all). it also makes my matte blush much more festive! i (ever so lightly) pat it over top of my cheek apples for a highlighted touch that’s not too glittery.
if gilded lids are on your list or you’re looking for a little shimmer, this is your new go-to. in short, this shadow is insanely wearable with a feminine glamour that i’ve been craving for party season.
topshop eye gleam in winter frost, $18 >