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Make-up Monday: My $5 Mascara Challenge

12 Dec

I have been using The Body Shop’s Lengthen and Define mascara since Paul and I got married 2 1/2 years ago. More specifically, I’ve been using the same tube of Lengthen and Define mascara. Gross, I know, but I never really thought about how old the mascara was. Until I got a stye and found out that I should have been changing my mascara out every 6 months. So, I needed to go get some new masacra. Simple enough, right?

I trecked over to the local Body Shop to pick up a new tube of Lengthen and Define. But they didn’t have any. Not only did they not have any, they don’t make that mascara any more. This is a travesty, to say the least. So, I had to find a new kind of mascara to love. I was looking around the Body Shop and I discovered something I really didn’t remember: mascara can be expensive! If I’m going to be changing out my mascara every 6 months, I don’t want to spend $15 a tube. So, I decided to try to find a $5 (or so) mascara that I loved. Luckily enough, the Body Shop was having a promotion on their Big and Curvy mascara – $5! However, I wanted to try at least two different types of mascara, so I also tried Lots of Lashes by Maybelline.

The Body Shop Big & Curvy Mascara ($5 on sale)

I love the Body Shop products because they are super gentle on my eyes. My eyes are fairly sensitive, so they can sometimes be irritated by eye make-up.  I didn’t ever have any irritation with the Big & Curvy.

However, when I first opened the mascara, I had a WTF moment. This is what the wand looks like this:

Looks like someone took a weed whacker to it, right? Unfortunately, these chopped off bristles result in a clumpy look. After I applied the mascara, I felt like I had 5 lashes. The mascara had clumped all of my lashes into just a few lashes. However, if you use a lash brush while the mascara is still wet, you can separate the lashes. Once this is done, the mascara looks very nice. The black is nice and dark and really brings out the blue in my eyes. The mascara also wears well and doesn’t flake. However, it is a bit difficult to wash off at the end of the day.

Maybelline Lots of Lashes ($4.24 at Walmart, $6.40 MSRP)

I was immediately much more impressed with Lots of Lashes, since the mascara brush didn’t look like it had a lawn tool take to it:


These bristles resulted in very few clumps and a much smoother application process. In addition to fewer clumps, I felt that the Maybelline mascara gave a lot more volume to my lashes. Additionally, it was more versatile. I could coat my lashes once for a little volume, twice for more volume, and a third time for lots of volume. The mascara also washed off easily at the end of the day.

However, I found that the mascara flaked a bit if I so much as touched my general eye area (never mind if I rubbed my eyes – as they say in Jersey – fuggetaboutit). Because if this flaking issue, I also found that the mascara had a greater likelihood of irritating my eyes.

But, as an added plus, Maybelline sent me a few tubes to try out as part of a BzzAgent promotion, so I have a few for future use!

The Winner

Though Lots of Lashes has a few negatives, I found I still preferred it to Big & Curvy. If I refrained from touching my eyes (something I should probably be doing anyway), the mascara wore well and didn’t irritate my eyes. Additionally, it gave me greater volume than Big & Curvy and fewer clumps.

What is your can’t-live-without-it eye make-up?


Make-up Monday: Lip Layers (or How to Get the Perfect Lip)

5 Dec

When I was learning to apply make-up for my wedding, a wonderfully helpful staff member at the Body Shop showed me this lip layering tick to get full and lasting lip color. It takes a bit longer than just applying a quick layer of lipstick, but it is easier to touch up and maintain throughout the day.

Step 1: Apply a layer of lip balm (right now, I’m using the Baby Lips lip balm). This fills in any cracks or other unwanted texture on your lips, provides a base for the other layers, and, if you use a moisturizing balm, it also moisturizes.

Step 2: Line your lips with lip liner, then fill them in. Yes, that’s right, fill your entire lip in with the liner. I’m using Covergirl Lasting Lip Pencil. I like it because it goes on easily because it is creamier than a standard lip liner pencil.

Step 3: Apply your lipstick as you normally would. The lipsticks I like right now are the Covergirl Continuous Color lipstick and The Body Shop Colourglide lipstick.

Step 4 (optional): Apply a lip gloss over the top to give a shiny, full look. I usually do this if I’m going out with friends, but not if I’m just going to work. Right now, I’m using The Body Shop’s Pearly Lip Stain.

What are your best make-up tips?