Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Kiehl's Mineral Mascara
No Mascara / Kiehl’s Marvelous Mineral Mascara

Quick Review: Kiehl’s Marvelous Mineral Mascara

Kiehl’s Brown-Black Marvelous Mineral Mascara ($16.50 for 0.16 oz.) is designed to give lashes “natural-looking length and volume.” This is a mascara that totally meets its claims: it adds length and volume but does so in an effortlessly natural way. If you are looking for sky-high lashes and dramatic definition and color, this is not the right mascara for you; it’s just not supposed to do those things. On the other hand, if you like softer-looking lashes with nice length and a boost in volume, it’s one to consider. I had no issues with wear at all; no smudging, flaking, or budging after eight hours.

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I love it for everyday lashes – in my everyday life, I do prefer more dramatic lashes, but this is exactly what comes to mind for soft, natural lashes.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara
Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara

Sneak Peek: Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara

New for December, Estee Lauder’s Sumptuous Extreme Mascara ($23.50) promises to deliver a volumizing mascara that never clumps and “[makes] eyes look outrageously big and amazingly bold.” The brush even has its own name–Extreme BrushComber–which has a new shape that is said to hold more mascara, be easy to use and get to all your lashes in spite of its size. The formula has “Tri-blend Multiplying Fibers,” which include “Hollow Tube Fibers” for curl and length, “Solid Rod Fibers” for volume and length, and “Micro-Locking Fiber” for thickeness and length. Finally, it contains Lash-Advancing Vitamin Complex, which has Vitamin B5, designed to condition lashes and keep lashes flexible. It will be available in four shades: Extreme Black, Extreme Brown, Extreme Indigo, and Extreme Violet.

The brush itself is quite large–a full 1 3/4″ in length when I measured–but the way it narrows and tapers does make it easier to maneuver around the inner corners of eyes. I do find it more difficult to use it on lower lashes, just because it is so large, but I think users of Dior’s DiorShow won’t find it much larger. After using this mascara for a couple of weeks and alternating with other mascaras, I did feel like the brush itself was more helpful in defining lashes–just separating them as I was applying the mascara–than the average mascara wand.

My fringe definitely looked longer and fuller–it had a slightly feathery quality to it–but the richness of the black made the overall effect more dramatic. I was able to do several passes through my lashes without getting any clumping, and this is a mascara that you can easily do a second or third coat of, too, if desired. It doesn’t dry immediately (15-20 seconds), but it’s not so wet that you’ll have mascara residue underneath your eye if you blink. My lashes felt incredibly lightweight and soft–flexible and bendable. I was able to push and rub (gently!) against my lashes and didn’t experience any flaking either.

I was most impressed by the richness of the Extreme Black shade–deep dark black, very inky and solid. It’s definitely one of the blackest mascaras I’ve tried in recent memory. It volumizes nicely, and it gives enough thickness to my lashes to make them more noticeable, but it still feels like I’m wearing one of the lighterweight, more natural mascaras (think Maybelline Full ‘n Soft) but I get the effect of dramatic mascara. I experienced no flaking, smudging, budging, or other ill effects after twelve-hour wear.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you have shorter, sparser lashes, Estee Lauder does double-duty with lengthening and volumizing. Oh, and if you have black lashes but still want them blacker? This will make them even darker!

AVAILABILITY: Estee Lauder, December 2010

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, November 29th, 2010

MAC False Lashes Mascara
MAC False Lashes Mascara

New MAC Mascara:  False Lashes

MAC False Lashes Mascara ($18.00 for 0.28 oz.) is the newest mascara to MAC’s line-up, which will be added to the permanent range in regular black packaging on December 26th. It was, however, released in limited edition Marcel Wanders packaging with the MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection launched on the 24th. The price is the same either way (that was a surprise!), and it is available in just one shade: False Black (black).

From MAC: “False Lashes Mascara adds dramatic volume, the rich, creamy, volumizing formula magnifies and multiplies the look of each lash, creating dramatically thick, long, curled, exaggerated lashes. The lush brush applies a deluxe dose of heavy pigment to the lashes and works in combination with the product to create incredible volume, length and density. The pigments in the formula are treated to allow for maximum colour payoff that remains true, deep, uniform and wears all day long. It’s flake- and smudge-resistant, ophthamologist-tested and safe for contact-wearers.”

Mascara is always an interesting product to review, because every description reads like a miracle product, so it can be difficult to determine what exactly what one should (reasonably) expect it to do. False Lashes is a volumizing mascara first, but it should also boast a dramatic result, from thicker, longer, more curled lashes. “Heavy pigment” leads me to expect a very rich black, dense and heavy in its darkness.

False Lashes excels in delivering longer lashes that are sky-high with a natural lift (all images are without aid of an eyelash curler). It’s a solid black mascara, though I didn’t think it was the deepest, darkest black I’ve experienced (Plushlash and Zoomlash seem darker to me). I did not notice a significant increase in volume; the results I achieved were really dominated by the length and curling power of the formula. There is certainly a volume increase from the standpoint of just thicker, longer, generally improved lashes overall, but my lashes do not appear much fuller.

The formula did not clump easily; you really had to wait for it to dry (20-30 seconds drying time) and be on the third or fourth full coat to find yourself is spidery territory. I was easily able to apply two full coats back-to-back without clumping issues. It dries pretty quickly but not too fast–you do have time to work it from base to tip and go back for more if necessary. When it dried, my lashes didn’t feel dried out or crunchy–they were still pretty soft and felt lightweight. After wearing this mascara for a few days in twelve-hour bursts, I did not have any fall out, smudging, or budging. It came off easily with makeup remover, but it lasted all day and never gave me raccoon eyes.

The brush was fairly large, so if you have smaller eyes, it may be a concern, and it may be unwieldy to use on lower lashes in particular.  It looks much like a normal mascara wand, and it has a slightly more tapered tip.

Overall, it’s a nice mascara, but I’m not sure it’ll make it into my regular rotation of mascaras. It does length amazingly, so it may work wonders on those with shorter lashes, and it does give nice lift on its own (and it holds up well throughout the day), too. If you have naturally long lashes, though, I think this may be too much lengthening power to work well for you.  It is a bit pricey for a MAC mascara, though–unlike Haute & Naughty (which was also $18), which had the crazy packaging, I’m not sure why this merits the $18 price tag.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It lengthens lashes quite dramatically with some lift, so for shorter, straighter lashes, it might be a worthwhile mascara.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara
Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara (One coat!)

Multi-Tasking Mascara… That Actually Works!

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara ($30.00) is designed to be a more intense version of the multi-tasking Inimitable (which I have not tried), which lengthens, thickens, curls, and separates without clumping, spiking, or flaking.

This is one of those mascaras where you can really see the difference between the before and after photos; not all mascaras represent themselves well, but this is one that definitely does. My bare lashes look like a big ol’ tangled mess of short, sparse lashes. With a single coat of Inimitable Intense, my lashes look fuller, much, much longer, and a little thicker. This mascara does lengthening best, but it does thicken and add an illusion of more voluminous lashes, too. Often, I find multi-tasking mascaras rarely deliver on all the claims they make, but Chanel does a particularly noteworthy job of meeting their claims.

The mascara is not overly wet, though the black is so intense it can look wet when on, but it’s not dry either, so it doesn’t flake when you apply it nor does it take too long to dry. I’ve been wearing it on and off for the past two weeks or so, and I haven’t had any issues with smudging, flaking, or the like even with all day wear (twelve or more hours). I found it held a curl quite nicely, though I think my lashes are on the “lighter” side so they take to curling better than the average set of lashes (because holding a curl has never been a major issue for me with mascara).

It does a nice job of keeping lashes separated and clump-free with the first two coats, but if you start getting greedy and going for a third or fourth coat, you may get some clumping. I’ve also noticed that on occasion there is too much product on the wand, and then I will have a touch of clumping from the get-go. Inimitable Intense actually adds quite a bit with just one coat that I don’t find myself going for a full second coat.

What does “one coat” of mascara mean to you?

I actually sent out a tweet asking about it on Monday, because I’m curious if we’re on the same page.  So much of the terminology used in makeup can be ambiguous!  Based on the responses I received on Twitter, the majority (like 90%) consider one coat to be using whatever is on the wand on your lashes; if you go back and re-insert the wand into the tube to get more mascara, that’s the second coat.

I would also say that the second coat occurs when you give the first layer/coat of mascara time to dry.  My general mascara routine is to pull the wand out, apply to my right lashes using short strokes from inside to out (I can’t get all my lashes at once!), and then I apply to my left lashes–and I haven’t gone back for more–and I’d say one out of three times I’ll re-insert the wand for another helping of mascara to finish up both sets of lashes (more for touch-ups than a full coat!).

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If your lashes are like mine–aka need all the help they can get–a multi-tasking mascara that actually delivers is definitely worth a try.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara
CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara

How Does LashBlast Fusion Stack Up?

CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara ($8.99) is designed to both lengthen and volumize your lashes in just one formula. A year ago, I reviewed LastBlast Length with pretty good results–not my perfect mascara for my eyelashes–but a solid lengthening mascara all the same.

It is a fiber mascara, which makes it very easy to remove. Despite easy removal, I did not encounter any smudging or flaking during the twelve hour test I gave it. Everything stayed put as it should. This is a great mascara if you use about two coats or three really quick coats–if you work slowly on each coat, you’ll end up in Clump City. It didn’t seem prone to clumping so much as it dries quickly. When it’s dried, my lashes didn’t feel heavy or crunchy, and they still looked like they had a natural softness to them.

I think what left me less than impressed with this mascara is that the effect is more on the natural side, which isn’t what LashBlast seems to be about. It gives some length, a little volume (I didn’t notice much myself), and smidgen of thickening–but it doesn’t do any of these with any va-voom. The original LashBlast does all of these better, and LashBlast Length does a better job of lengthening.

When it comes to rating a product, it’s about how good it is–but also how good it is at what it’s supposed to do. While it’s great when a product does more than it should or does something great, I always consider whether it lives up to the marketing claims. Fusion doesn’t fail, but it doesn’t live up to its claims about volume for me, but it does a decent job of adding length.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I don’t think any of the LashBlasts will treat you poorly, but Fusion seems to give me the most natural look of all three. (And yes, I’m totally aware that I don’t actually have a review of the original LashBlast up at this time.) I’d probably stick with the original for a more multi-tasking mascara or opt for lengthening if you need just length.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, July 5th, 2010

MAC Haute & Naughty Mascara
MAC Haute & Naughty Mascara

The Tale of Two Mascaras

MAC Haute & Naughty Lash Mascara ($18.00) is the latest in mascara innovation from MAC, and though the formula itself isn’t the key innovation here, it’s actually a nice formula.

I’m personally a big fan of MAC mascaras — Plushlash is my favorite MAC mascara (and second favorite mascara–Chanel Exceptionnel being the first), with Zoomlash and Opulash coming in second and third, respectively. Haute & Naughty Lash is as two-in-one as they lead you to believe, but I don’t love the fuller, more dramatic part nearly as much as the softer, more defined half.

The daytime end (the smaller opening) really cleans off the brush so that there really isn’t much mascara on it, but it keeps all that actual mascara in the tube–so you’re not wasting it, like you would if you blotted off excess with a tissue or the like. The smaller opening has a fairly large mascara wand with a tapered end, and the effect it gives is longer, fuller lashes with definition and great separation. It doesn’t clump at all, and it gives a nice full-lash look with nice length and blackness. All it doesn’t do it thicken lashes. It also seems to lift lashes a bit, too, and it held a curl well for me.

The evening end (the larger opening) allows for more mascara on the brush, even though the brush itself is essentially the same. It thickens quite a bit, but it also has more of a tendency to clump if you get too much on the brush (much like most mascaras). It lengthens, but I think because it tends to clump, it looks like there is less volume and length.

The way this mascara works is when you open using the smaller end (the first opening – the pink ring), the entire brush pulls through the opening of the larger mascara. There are actually two handles, not so much wands (the brush itself is the same) — when you open with the small tube, the skinnnier handle pulls through the larger, hollow handle of the dramatic opening. It’s kind of hard to describe, but I took a photo for you.

I don’t recommend playing around too much with it to see how the technology works (once should be sufficient!), because it does show how much mascara is removed from the brush itself as you pull it through the smaller opening–but you get it all over the larger wand when it’s outside of the tube, so you end up having to wipe it off with a paper towel rather than keeping it in the tube for later use–aka wasteful!

I dig the separation technology they’re using here, because it’s not so much in the formula as it is in the packaging itself, which is nice, since they did up the price by $6 just for it. You’ll need to comb through your lashes, and you may even need to blot the brush, if you’re going to use the more dramatic end of it, because it has a tendency to clump a bit on lashes.

Both mascaras held up well during all-day wear–no smudging, budging, or flaking. My lashes also felt soft, never crunchy, which was really nice. I also felt like I could put on a quick layer of additional mascara in the evening without much fuss, just in case you want to refresh your mascara without removing all of your eye makeup.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like longer and defined lashes, Haute & Naughty Lash does this amazingly well. It also gives you the option for thicker lashes, too, which is kind of convenient to have in one mascara.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →