Smashbox Bionic Mascara Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 23 - 2011

Smashbox is a brand that just isn’t that easy for me to lay may hands on – sure, it’s in Debenhams but my local Debenhams is situated a 10 minute walk from the main shopping area, making it a bit of a black hole as a far as I’m concerned.

Smashbox Bionic Mascara in Jet Black is currently available at CheapSmells.com — who knows for how long, they have a pretty rapid stock turnover — and they sent me a sample to put to the test.

The mascara has a “wet” formula, something which I noticed immediately because I can never help but worry when buying from online cosmetic ‘discounters’ that I might be getting very old stock… and in the case of mascaras, old stock = dry mascara.

I needn’t have been concerned as the Smashbox Bionic Mascara I received is most definitely wet, any wetter and it would have been an instant fail, like the Bourjois 1001 which I hated until it began to dry out.

You can see from the before/after that the Smashbox Bionic Mascara (on the right!) offers decent lengthening if not much volumising.  I like the inky black shade and the fact that it left my lashes feeling soft and flexible.

It’s not the showstopping mascara I’d have liked to see from Smashbox but it’s a better-than-natural daily mascara (I hate ‘natural’ mascaras) which won’t dry out any time soon and offers genuine single-sweep lash boosting.  Maybe not for nights out on the tiles but a really, very good daily choice for work.

Smashbox Bionic Mascara in Jet Black is priced at £12.95 (a £16.50 value, 22% discount) and available from CheapSmells.com

What’s your favourite ‘daily’ mascara?

* press sample


Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara in Gris Fatal

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 29 - 2011

Grey eyeliner, I’m a fan… grey mascara?  I knew I was gonna need some convincing…

Lancome’s Fall 2011 collection, which I’ve been previewing this week includes the popular Hypnose Drama mascara in a new shade: Gris Fatal.

They say…

In just one stroke, lash volume is magnified, customisable and offers women intenseley expressive eyes.  Hypnose Drama in Gris Fatal dresses lashes in this season’s it-shade, defining and sculpting lashes without looking hevaily “made-up”.

I’m a sucker for lashes.  Blessed with decent natural length and curl, I like my mascara to take things to the next level and always opt for the blackest of the black to tint them.  I have to say, the new shade doesn’t float my boat but it has opened my eyes (har har) to a previously untested formula!

Gris Fatal is a flat, darker than mid-toned grey that would suit anyone who finds that black mascara makes them look a bit ‘doll-i-fied’ (nice madeup word there).  Infact, my mother has stolen this from me and it looks fabulous on her.  For reference, she’s blond with sparse lashes, heavily hooded eyelids and piercing blue eyes, single-handedly – this shade has given her back an interest in cosmetics.  God help me.

So, while I won’t recommend this one for anyone who likes BIG lashes, it’s perfect for women (especially older women) who want a more natural, polished look.

And the formula?  Well, it’s lovely!  Nicely balanced, lengthening and volumising with zero clumps.  I do believe this is VexInTheCity‘s favourite mascara of all time (we were having a conflab about the merits of this vs. my newly beloved Benefit They’re Real just the other day!), so I will have to put my money where her big gob is and plump for it in black very soon!

Have you tried Lancome Hypnose Drama?  How about grey mascara – reckon you could rock it?

Lancome’s Hypnose Drama in Gris Fatal Mascara is priced at £20.50 and available at Lancome counters nationwide from 1st September 2011

* press sample

Tried & Tested: Benefit They’re Real! Mascara

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 28 - 2011

A few of you eagle-eyed ladies have spotted that I’ve been wearing a particularly impressive mascara over the last few days.  Nothing sneaks past you eh?

Well, now I’ve put it through its paces, I’m happy to reveal that it’s the NEW Benefit They’re Real! Mascara* which is due out for release at the end of August.

From the moment I had a sneak peek at the wand, I knew this mascara would suit my lashes.  My lashes are not very dark and quite fine but there’s plenty of them and they have a good, natural curl.  I need a smooth mascara that offers tip base-to-tip coverage and doesn’t clump to achieve maximum results.  I’m not too fussed about curl but it needs to stay put so I don’t get transfer to my droopy upper lids.

This is a killer mascara in all the best ways possible.

The brush is similar to the Boots No7 Exceptional Definition (another fav) mascara with the little trebuchet on the end but the formula is more impressive and long-wearing.  I don’t get any flakes or transfer with They’re Real! but it is a bit of a pain to remove.  I wouldn’t even attempt it without an good makeup remover or oil-based cleanser.

Now for the most important bit… what point is a post on a mascara without some before/afters huh?

Please tell me I DON’T need to point out which eye has the mascara on!

I’ve also added this photo below from the end of the day so you can see how long-wearing it is.  No flakes, no droop… just as good as new.

I’m having a good week of discovering must-haves!

Now, if you can’t wait until the end of August for the nationwide release… Benefit are having a 1 Day Flash Sale on the 6th August where you’ll be able to get your hands on it before anyone else.  See below for details and where to buy.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara has the thumbs up from me and will be released nationwide from the 27th August priced at £18.50

* press sample

Only a beauty blogger would get excited by a mascara wand…

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 29 - 2011

… I squeed when I spotted Benefit’s new mascara wand in person earlier this month.  We all have our favourites don’t we?  Some like ’em long… some like ’em fat and others just like them to do the job well.  If you’re smirking… you are disgusting.

Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara comes in one shade.  Black.  That suits me fine… I don’t really do coloured mascaras they make me feel like an 80s throwback.

So anyway, this brush… what the hell is so exciting about it?

Well, the Boots No7 Exceptional Definition is still my favourite mascara, I even called it Holy Grail (you can see a before/after in the previous link) and do you notice a similarity between the wands?

Boots No7 Exceptional Definition on top, Benefit They’re Real! on the bottom.

They both have the end spikes but I’m liking the look of Benefit’s longer er ‘prongs’… ok, someone MUST know the proper word for that?!

Of course, the brush is only half the story.  If the formula is pants, it’ll end up in my cosmetic graveyard for all eternity but I’m expecting and hoping for great things!

Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara will be coming to the UK in August and retail at £18.00

Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion Mascara Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 24 - 2011

Do you know the last time I did a mascara review?  No, me neither… but it’s been a hella long time.  I used to do at least one a month but I ended up disillusioning myself seeing such little overall difference between the various tubes available.

One Mascara that I’ve always meant to pick up and try is the Max Factor False Lash Effect which I know often gets loads of praise from MUA circles.  I umm’ed and ahh’ed in Boots over whether to go for the original or this new spangly looking purple one.  I lived up to my girly stereotype and went for the spangly one.

See?  Spangly.

How about more important things though, like brush… formula… ability to falsify lashes?

They say:

False Lash Effect Fusion combines Max Factor’s biggest ever volumising brush with its latest lengthening formula to create thicker and longer lashes. For those girls who want an extreme lash look, they’ve come to the right place.

I say, the chunky brush is pretty nice… but I imagine that for those with short lashes it could be a nightmare.  I always have difficulty trying to detect whether the bristles are indeed bristles, plastic or rubber… these feel like stumpy old-style bristles to me but I could be wrong.  It’s been known to happen!

The formula is pretty good.  I hate thin formulas that practically drip off the brush (I’m looking at you Bourjois 1001 cils) but I equally dislike mascaras that last about 3 weeks before drying up.  This is middle of the road.

Are the results middle of the road too?  See for yourselves…

I see a good amount of volume and I love how the Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion has emphasised my lashline so heavily but I’m not seeing the length I was hoping for from this mascara.

I’m gonna try combining it with my favourite length-boosting mascara… who knows, I may stumble upon the ‘ultimate’ pairing!

You can currently purchase Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion for a very reasonable £8.99 (saving £3 off the original price) at Boots.

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Have you tried Max Factor’s False Lash Effect Fusion Mascara yet?  How about the original?

Urban Decay Lush Lash – The Results!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 6 - 2011

I know a few of you have been keen to hear about how I fared with my trial of Urban Decay’s Lush Lash System*.  I started the trial back in February and finished up the tube a few weeks ago.

The system promises lashes that are…

– 25% longer and thicker in 2 weeks
– 40% longer in 4 weeks
– 63% longer in 6 weeks

Sadly, I didn’t experience anything as impressive as those results.  Infact, I’m not really sure I experienced anything much at all.  See what you think (the top image shows the BEFORE, the bottom image is AFTER using the system for 8 weeks).

I think I see more fullness to my lashline… but no increase in length.  Or at least, nothing worth shouting about.  (On a side note, damn… I think I’m in love with my eye cream LOL!)

As a peptide-based lash growth system, it works on the premise of protecting the lashes you already have and strengthening new ones coming through, thereby increasing their life cycle.  This is probably why I’m seeing a slight increase in volume as the lashes that would have normally fallen out are still clinging on thanks to the fortification.

At £28 it’s an affordable alternative to the more expensive systems out there which include the likes of M2Beauté, LiLash and Revitalash but I can’t help but wonder if sometimes, you really do get what you pay for.

.

Urban Decay Lush Lash is priced at £28 and available to buy online from BeautyBay, LookFantastic and HQHair

* PR Sample

Inexpensive Beauty Find: Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 20 - 2010

First and foremost… this ain’t my find!  The delightful Virtues of Beauty told me to try this out when I asked for some brow gel recommendations on Twitter.

I hate the normal Great Lash mascara.  Hate. It.  This stuff though?  It’s good!  Especially for the money (I paid £2.99 on eBay).

I’ve been using it to hold my CURLY (yes, curly – thanks gene pool) eyebrows in place now that I’ve finally decided that I should pay them more attention.  There’s not a huge amount to say about this product except that it works.

The bristles do a good job of combing through and coating the hairs.  I’m not keen on how long this stuff takes to dry and for that reason, it means that I have to make using this… the very last step in my makeup routine.  I’d say that it takes a good 3/4 minutes to dry fully.  Until then, you have wet brows.

Once it has dried… it thankfully doesn’t leave my eyebrows crusty.  Just sets them nicely in place and stops me looking like Dennis Healy‘s lovechild.

What do you use to keep your brows in place?

Boots No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 7 - 2010

Dare I say it?  Oh… I dunno… eek.  Can I whisper it?

Boots No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara is verging ever closer to holy grail!

Did you catch that?  I don’t like declaring stuff like that… I’m not even sure if I believe in ‘holy grail’ products… but my word, do I ever love this mascara.

I only picked it up because I wanted the free eyeshadow palette that came with it.

The brush is well designed, incorporating features from rival brands and merging them seamlessly onto the one wand.  I particularly like the spikey tip that ensures good product distribution into the corner lashes.  The other features on the brush include both long and short spikes which really do allow for a good comb through.

Something else that this mascara manages to avoid courtesy of a well-designed brush is product overload.  My mascara pet peeve is when a brush holds SO much product, it makes my lashes clump from 4 feet away.  I can really comb through my lashes with this over and over if necessary and they just. don’t. clump.  Amazing.

Before obviously on the left, after on the right.

That’s some definition right there isn’t it?  That’s also only one coat.  I do spend a little time combing through with this wand… not because I have to… but the application seems to perfect itself if you take 30 seconds to properly wiggle the wand about and ‘place’ your lashes.

This may look a bit spidery for some… in fairness, my lashes always look a bit spidery when I wear mascara with no eyeliner, I should probably make sure to apply some before the photos, but I quite like being able to show you how effective/rubbish the wand is at getting to the roots of the lashes.

Boots No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara is priced at £12 (but you can get it for £7 when the No7 vouchers are in circulation… I think the current lot expire today?)

Oh my… I nearly forgot one of the most important things I wanted to say about it!  Absolutely no smudges.  None.  Nada.  No flaking either.  It is a bit of a bugger to remove though… proper dedicated eye makeup remover/cleansing oil needed.

Have you tried it?  What’s your current favourite mascara?

A beauty buyer’s dream! Swap your old crap for lovely new stuff!

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 27 - 2010

High five – it’s a makeup amnesty!  Anyone fancy trying a new mascara?

How about a lovely deluxe sample of one of Clinique’s top-selling products?

Clinique are offering us this rather brilliant opportunity to take in one of our crappy old mascaras and exchange it at the counter for a deluxe sample of one of these alternatives!

You can choose between:

Clinique High Impact Mascara

Clinique High Lengths Mascara

The offer is valid from 29th October – 16th November exclusively in Boots and only while stocks last.

Absolutely no purchase is necessary but stop rummaging through your sister’s/mother’s/mate’s makeup drawers ‘cos it’s only one per client.  I SAW you!

I haven’t tried the High Impact (volumising) one yet, so will be hot-footing it down my nearest Boots/Clinique counter to give it a go.

If you want to see how the High Lengths (lengthening) looked on my lashes, click here for my review and some before/after shots.

Will you be ditching an old mascara and trading up for this offer?

I wanna know… which mascara will you be swapping and which of Clinique’s will you be choosing to replace it?

Givenchy Mister Lash Booster

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 24 - 2010

The latest in lash boosting technology comes to us this month from French fashion house Givenchy.

Never a brand to shy away from treating us to a bizarrely designed applicator (Givenchy Phenomen’Eye anyone?) they’ve gone a step further and created a product that claims to be “the first applicator to massage lashes”.

[stextbox id=”custom” caption=”They Say” ccolor=”ffffff” bcolor=”b0c4de” bgcolor=”e6e6fa” cbgcolor=”a9a9a9″]

Mister Lash Booster unveils a unique applicator.  It’s flexible and slanted brush is the only one with tiny soft spikes.

Their purpose?  To gently massage the eyelashes roots.

Their effect?  Not only do the massaging spikes help the formula penetrate deep into each and every lash, but they also gently stimulate the skin’s microcirculation.

The result?  Lashes are provided with the conditioning nutrients they need to grow, increasing health and vigour by tenfold.

As lashes become healthier, thicker and stronger, fewer will fall out particularly when applying make-up.

[/stextbox]

Don’t confuse this for a growth system, it’s a fortifying serum designed to protect and prolong the life of the lashes you already have rather than boost the growth of new ones.  It also claims to extend the wear of your mascara and help it apply more evenly if used prior to mascara application.

I was pleasantly surprised by the price tag… at £19.50, it’s a reasonable alternative for those of us worried about the side effects of the more notorious lash solutions on the market.

Givenchy Mister Lash Booster (£19.50) is on counter now and a permanent addition to the line.

What’s your beauty nemesis?

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 14 - 2010

Let me set the scene…

My makeup is lovely.  I’m very happy with how I’ve scrubbed up this evening… there’s definitely room for improvement, but on the makeup front?  The girl’s done good.

I’m getting into the swing of things and have been at this function for a couple of hours… I’m relaxing and smiling more… joining in with the odd conversation and life is generally pretty sweet.

But hang on, what’s this?

Oh… one too many gin and tonics tells me that I need a loo break.  Off we go!

Oooooh squeee mirrors!  Let me give myself a quick check, make sure my hair’s not gone too wild, lips aren’t too faded….

….

…errrr wtf?

You don’t see it?  Look closer mi amigos…

Check out the nice mascara smudges… I got off lightly, I sometimes develop matching ones on both eyelids.

Seriously though…for  just HOW LONG had I looked like I needed a bloody good wash?  I stand infront of the mirror, my brain working overtime trying to calculate just how many people had clearly done the polite thing of NOT STARING?

Mascara…

You fail me.

.

Do you have a beauty nemesis?

Avon Luxe Lace Winter Collection

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 6 - 2010

My first ever eyeshadow was an Avon Color Trends lilac shade in a green case… I ground that thing down to the pan and then when I went to repurchase, couldn’t find the sucker!  I still have the occasional search on eBay for it for sentimental value, but have long forgotten it’s name :(

Anyway, I was invited to have a look at Avon’s new Winter cosmetics collection which goes by the name Luxe Lace… is it just me or is the name just a touch naff?  Fortunately, that’s where any naffness ends because the collection itself is really rather nice.

Let’s have a look at what we can expect…

Avon’s Luxe Lace True Colour Eyeshadow Quads (£8.00)

The Chanel-esque eyeshadow palettes offer 4 complementing shades that are suitable for both day or night depending on how you combine them.  The picture above shows the purple palette (Lace Electric) and the other (which I got in my goody bag) is a slightly more eclectic mix of champagnge/pinky-beige/green and blue (Lace Hues)  I shall swatch it v. soon!

In the photo, Lace Hues is hiding snugly behind Lace Electric.  Fail.

Luxe Lace Ultra Colour Rich Lipstick (£7.00)

Three new shades are due to be introduced from the end of October.  Instant Mocha, Frostiest Mauve and Pout will be priced at £7 each and promise to offer hydrating colour.  I found them to be hugely wearable in terms of pigmentation.  Not particularly long-lasting, but easy to apply and non-drying.

Luxe Lace SuperShock Mascara (£8.00)

I’m not a huge fan of Avon’s SuperShock Mascara though I know it’s very well-received. On me, it transfers and leaves little black spots just under my brows if I even remotely show any sign of getting a little ‘glowy’!  I love the big brush and the slightly dry formula… but there’s nothing worse than looking in the mirror and noticing funny black splotches undermining your appearance!

For the Winter Collection, SuperShock has been given a cute packaging makeover to bring it in line with it’s lacy counterparts.

Luxe Lace SuperShock Gel Eyeliner Pens (£6.00)

For me, the most impressive product in the collection.  These SuperShock Gel Eyeliner Pens completely blew me away.  Pigmented like you wouldn’t believe… creamier than a tub of Ben and Jerrys and long lasting?  Oh my…

I met up with a journalist the next day who’d attended the same event and we were both still wearing our swatches on the back of our hands despite showering and secondary scrubbing in an attempt to remove them!

Two shades: Black and Silver, perfect for the party season.  If you only get one thing from this collection, make it these!

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The new collection will be available to order online or from your Avon rep from the 28th October.

I’ll be back with swatches of the Black Eyeliner, Lace Hues palette and Pout lipstick as soon as I can get accurate shots!

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