Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mascara Purge / Empties

A theme I quite like reading on beauty blogs/seeing on YouTube channels is the "Empties" series. This entire series justifies my own idiosyncratic ways. For years, I've kept track of how much product I'm bringing into my home vs. how much I'm using and taking out. While this method is touted by many organizational gurus, rest uneasy knowing that I keep track of things used/going out merely as justification for bringing things in. Second, I also get satisfaction in scraping every last bit of product out of my pretty little jars and tubes. I feel immense guilt in throwing things with unmet potential away, so using every last drop of product is a small victory in my world. And finally, is there any greater homage to the materialistic western world than recording our trash? Seeing that this is an entire tag or series unto itself on the big bad web makes me breathe a small sigh of relief knowing that there are others out there like me. But on a practical note, if the word "practical" can ever be used to describe something about me,  I do enjoy the reviews that come along with the empties videos! I like to hear their thoughts on the product, how it played out for them, and if they'll be purchasing the product again in the future.

And also..."empties" videos are later followed up by "haul" videos!

I've got a stash of empties going, but I thought I would focus on the mascaras I threw away. I've been trying to be better about the 3-4 month rule for mascara. Knock on wood, I've only had one eye incident as a result of using spoiled makeup. I was in high school and didn't realize you had to throw mascara away. (yes.) I probably used the same mascara tube for about 2 years, no exaggeration. I was lucky to get away with merely irritated eyes and not a full-blown infection. I was happily chugging along on the same tube, thinking it would run out or dry up, not realizing how quickly mascara needs to be turned around. For the record, I've only ever had one tube of mascara dry up. Perhaps because I have so many going at one time? As I've mentioned before, I keep going back to the same brand of mascara I've used since I started using make up, so I've reigned in the multiple tubes habit from several to just a few.

(Just to blat on a little more, the mascara love of my life is Clinique Naturally Glossy. I'll sing it's praises at a later time, but I can't live without it.)

So, to demonstrate my road to mascara hoarding recovery, the following are my mascara "empties". Which are not empty, but are hitting the trash nonetheless as they are potential pink eye carriers having hit their 3-4 month mark. Accompanied by my thoughts on each, of course.

Clinique High Lengths Mascara
I received this in a gift with purchase. I was intrigued by the wand, which could best be described as a comb, so I was excited to try it out. Unfortunately, I was not impressed. The wand didn't do anything but clump my lashes together. The formula was so-so. It did the job of giving the tips of my lashes some color, but I didn't notice a dramatic increase in length. Perhaps this was because I had to triage my lashes to get them apart after using the "brush"? I am very hit or miss with Clinique mascaras, and this was a big miss for me! I'll stick to my aforementioned old faithful at the Clinique counter.

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes
The marketing campaign alone, I am all over that! They played the Twiggy-60s-baby doll dress card, and I fell hard. And that feathery-mod-Twiggy lash is hard to come by with just any old mascara--piling it on just gives you spider eyes. I think this did a great job of giving incredible length and wasn't too heavy on the volume. (I don't play well with heavy, volumizing mascaras.)
I am a bit annoyed by Lancôme's rose scent they put in EVERYTHING. (Does mascara need to be scented?) However, that it started to lose this scent was a good indicator that things were going south and it was time to retire the tube.
I love the wand of this mascara. It sits nicely in your hand, and I like the tapered brush. The product isn't clumpy on the brush, hence you get great definition.
I would purchase this mascara again, if only because I am a sucker for its mod campaign! I give it a big fat A.

Cover Girl NatureLux Mousse Mascara
I call this my Taylor Swift mascara, though I am not a fan of hers. Her mug is featured in the ads...I'm a sucker for "natural" mascaras, so I wanted to give this a whirl. You know what's most intriguing about it? The scent. It's made with "a touch of beeswax" and the scent is a reminder of that. It has a honey smell that makes me want to eat it. Probably the first mascara that has made me crave honey like Pooh Bear...maybe Christopher Robin can be Taylor Swift's next boy toy when she's done stealing my Hyannis Port dreams with a Kennedy.
Digressing. We're digressing.
All in all, this wasn't a bad mascara. I used it on weekends and days I wanted to be casual. This was a standard mascara, no drama, just did it's job and did it pretty well. I liked its newfangled rubber bristle wand. I give it a B+ overall. I probably wouldn't purchase it again simply because I already have a natural-lash favorite (should I tell you once again it's Clinique Naturally Glossy?) but should I crave its honeybee-poo smell again, I might be swayed into picking up a tube.
Just stop me if you catch me stirring the wand in my tea. That would warrant an intervention.

Maybelline Lash Stiletto
Sadly, the only stiletto I'll ever wear. Unless I become bionic. The best part about this mascara? It's grey! Do you know how rare grey mascaras are? It's actually called "soft black", but clearly that's grey, and it looks grey in the tube. You know how navy/dark blue can make your eyes pop in a weird way? Grey has the same effect. My coworker commented on how great my lashes looked with this mascara on.
The packaging was substantial for a drugstore brand, and the wand was pretty nice. Not clumpy, so that works in favor of length and definition!
I haven't heard a lot of great reviews about this in the blogosphere, but I have to say that I really can't fault this mascara. It's a lengthening mascara, and it does that very well. I wasn't crazy that they tried to replicate Lancôme's rose scent, and the formula is also a bit wet to work with, so it will take a few extra seconds of drying time, but I was overall impressed with this drugstore mascara. I might pick it up another time on a whim.

Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara
This is one of the few volumizing mascaras that my lashes can handle. This has to be one of the most jet black mascaras I've seen, and it has a really thick formula. The brush is spaced evenly enough so that clumping isn't an issue. I think the name is appropriate--this is a great mascara for when you want a jazzed up look. I was really impressed with this, and when I'm in need of a more dramatic mascara I will consider this one again. (As a note, in addition to my go-to mascara, I like to have another one on hand that adds more drama for more vampy looks. I've got a couple of those on hand already, so perhaps we'll meet again, Extreme Party Mascara.)

Estée Lauder Lash Primer Plus
I've used a lash primer before, so I wasn't expecting great things from this as lash primers usually create far too much volume than I need. I received a sample in a kit, so with low expectations and a half-assed application, I put it on one day while messing around at my vanity, half expecting to screw up and end up with the crack-whore chic look we all end up doing now and again when playing around with makeup on a Saturday morning. (It happens, don't deny it.) The results surprised me this time--it actually worked like a lash primer should, in my opinion. It gave length and definition and didn't cause the product to later flake off. As with most lash primers, the product is white. This actually did an excellent job of adding just the right amount of length and volume to my lashes. It has a nice brush that gives a clean application. I have a Lancôme lash primer sample in my drawer waiting for use, so I will probably give that one a try before I consider purchasing one. If I were to purchase one, I'd consider the Estée Lauder one, but nice as the product is, I'm not sure I really need a lash primer.

Makeup Forever Smoky Lash Mascara
I'm throwing this one in as an added bonus, as I have already returned it to Sephora, so it will not be in the photograph. Can I just throw in that I so appreciate Sephora's generous return policy? It's ingenuous on their part, really. I'm more apt to purchase things from them when I know I can take it back, no questions asked. (Plus, I tend to do my homework and really give things a go with their testers. I try not to abuse their policy by trying new stock and returning!) This policy is why I was willing to give a Clarisonic brush a go, figuring that if it didn't work out, I could return it. I ended up LOVING it, so they got a big-ticket purchase from me! (And I think I'm giving one away to a family member at Christmas, so bonus!)
Right, our topic today is mascara...
Intrigued by its title (why, it MUST help you achieve a smoky eye!) and backed by a recommendation from a tutorial by the wonderful Pixiwoo girls on Youtube, I splurged on an unnecessary tube of this mascara for my birthday.
This was entirely too much volume for me. I hated the brush. How to describe the brush? It was like running my lashes through the underbrush of the forest. The brush was incredibly dense and a bit clumpy for my tastes. I felt like I was dragging my lashes through it, rather than gliding them through as usual. And for as much volumizing as it did, I felt like it gave me no length whatsoever, despite its claims to do so. As for the "intense pigment" it also claims to give, I felt there was none of that to speak of. (I bought this in brown.)
I am a fan of the MUFE brand, but this just did not do it for me. I think it was more mascara than I could handle. I know plenty of people like this mascara, but it didn't work out for me...so more for you all!

To the trash with you all!
What's your favorite mascara? How well do you abide by the 3-4 month rule? Got pinkeye?

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