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Mascara

Eye Makeup

New Mascara + Primer Testing: Pat McGrath, Marc Jacobs, Sisley + More

February 28, 2019

Mascara Testing Pat McGrath, Marc Jacobs Velvet Primer, Lancome Monsieur Big, YSL Curler, Sisley So Volume Review

I have another mascara + primer roundup today! As much as I love and swear by waterproof formulas like Chanel Le Volume Waterproof, L’Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof and Tom Ford Waterproof Extreme (sold out everywhere!), so many of you prefer regular formulas because they’re easier to take off. I have straight lashes and live in a city that has high humidity so I really prefer waterproof most of the time so it’s beach-proof and sweat-proof. For me it’s worth the extra time and effort to remove every evening. Still I understand it’s a total pain to remove which makes it not worth it for everyone (I swear by these Almay pads to remove the most stubborn of waterproof makeup, make sure you pick the waterproof remover version). The good news is there are a lot of new formulas that launched I think you might want to check out. A couple of these aren’t entirely brand new but new to me.

Home decor / style note details at the bottom of the post, but for all those asking my nail polish is OPI Another Ramen-tic Evening.

Mascara Testing Pat McGrath, Marc Jacobs Velvet Primer, Lancome Monsieur Big, YSL Curler, Sisley So Volume Review

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Pat McGrath cannot do wrong in my eyes and she launched the new FetishEyes Mascara earlier this month. I received an early sneak peek and have been testing it for a couple months now. It’s a great non-clumping, defining mascara. It adds length and doesn’t smudge. For me it doesn’t quite add as much volume or drama as other formulas do but it’s a solid one and I truly appreciate that there is zero clumping. Curl holding is not the best, but also not the worst. If you don’t have issues with straight lashes I think you will have no problem with this formula. If you haven’t tried anything from her FetishEyes Collection I highly recommend her Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner (the two available in the Xtreme Duo bundle on her website).

Pat McGrath FetishEyes Mascara Review

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Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara has been raved about my SO many of you. You’ve told me it’s your HOLY GRAIL. I bought the pink packaging one at Sephora and really love it. The regular formula does not smudge but we have had a cold winter here (it has been down to 40s/50s) and even though it’s warming up the humidity isn’t what it normally is. I am worried it will smudge with the humidity so I’m going to investigate in the waterproof version soon. This one adds the most volume that I’ve tried for a non-waterproof formula. It will hold the curl too.

Lancome Monsier Big Mascara Review

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Marc Jacobs launched a Velvet Primer to go with their Velvet Noir Mascara. I feel like most primers have done little for my lashes except the L’Oreal Lash Paradise Primer which is great, but not necessary. Even most high-end ones just didn’t do enough to wow me so I had low expectations for this Marc Jacobs Velvet Primer. It exceeded every expectation I had. Paired with the Velvet Noir Mascara it helps the mascara adhere SO much better and makes the mascara look much better. I haven’t tried it with other formulas but am going to. For now I’m thoroughly impressed. I think it’s worth checking out.

Marc Jacobs Velvet Primer Review

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The YSL Faux Cils Volume Effect in The Curler just came on my radar. I don’t know how new it is (or if it’s really is new). It’s described as a “curling mascara featuring a unique hybrid brush that dramatically curls and defines lashes for an unparalleled full fan effect.” The description alone plus all near 5-star reviews sold me. It didn’t work for me or knock my socks off. It doesn’t hold the curl or curl my lashes. I really do love the brush and how it’s curved and has rubber bristles. It just didn’t live up to the description for me. I like that there’s no clumping, it defines nicely and doesn’t smudge. I just don’t see enough volume and for me there is no curling effect or hold.

YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils - The Curler

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Last but not least is the Sisley So Volume Mascara. For some reason I did not think this was new but the press email I received says it is. I’ve tried a few other formulas from Sisley and they’re all ridiculously expensive. This one has a thick chubby wand with bristles and does indeed add serious volume. It has ingredients to soften the lashes which is nice. Once applied it doesn’t have that crunchy feel most mascaras have but it stays put. I haven’t used it long enough to see if it is indeed strengthening but I don’t know that I would be able to tell with any formula. I like this because it adds volume with one stroke. It doesn’t hold the curl as well as waterproof formulas but doesn’t make mine go straight immediately. It’s also included in the Rachel Goodwin x Les Stars Collection bundle.

Sisley So Volume Mascara

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I hope you found this roundup helpful! I think mascara is always tricky for me to write about because even with reviews it’s hard to tell how one may or may not work for you. We all have different lash lengths, density and eye shapes. I’ve tried so many that worked for others that didn’t for me so I know it can be the case for you as well. I still really prefer waterproof formulas so they’ll hold the curl for me. I end up with raccoon eyes most of the time so I’m surprised I found some non-waterproof formulas that didn’t smudge this round.

A few notes on other items featured in the post. On the nails is OPI Another Ramen-tic Evening, Mirrored Trays here, Coffee table here, my favorite eyelash curler is from MAC. Flat zip pouches in the Marc Jacobs photo are from The Daily Edited.

What’s your favorite non-waterproof mascara formula? Always love reading about your recommendations!

 

 

Press samples from Sisley, Marc Jacobs and Pat McGrath.

 

Eye Makeup

Fall Mascara + Base Roundup: Chanel, NARS, By Terry, L’Oreal + Glossier

October 11, 2018

Mascara + Primer Roundup Chanel, By Terry, NARS, Glossier and L'Oreal

I have a roundup of mascaras and primers I’ve tried over the past few months. A few I’ve already reviewed but thought a comprehensive lineup post might be more helpful. My top three tried-and-true have been Tom Ford Waterproof Extreme, L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof and Chanel Le Volume Waterproof. Since I have straight lashes waterproof works best to hold curl after using a lash curler and also helps prevent smudging in humid weather. I’m always looking to try new ones to volumize and define. Often times I find mascaras excel in one or two areas but rarely hit all the marks for volumizing, adding definition, holding the curl, no smudging, no flaking, and being easy to remove. So please keep in mind I’m super picky and have difficult lashes.

Mascara + Primer Roundup Chanel, By Terry, NARS, Glossier and L'Oreal

Mascara + Primer Roundup in today’s post includes:

Chanel La Base Mascara + Le Volume Revolution de Chanel

Chanel La Base Mascara + Le Volume Revolution de Chanel

I think it’s hard to top the regular Le Volume Mascara or the Le Volume Waterproof for me. This formula was the first I tried from the brand that I liked for the true black color and the fact that the waterproof version didn’t look or feel crunchy on my lashes. I reviewed the new Chanel La Base Mascara over the summer and thought it was ok but didn’t really do much. When used in conjunction with their latest Le Volume Revolution de Chanel it makes for an excellent combination.

The new Le Volume Revolution de Chanel Mascara has a chubby brush that is 3D printed. It’s designed to give volume in a single stroke. I initially thought it would be identical to the Le Volume, but when I tried each one on each eye, side by side and the Le Volume Revolution does indeed give significantly more volume and intensity with one stroke. With the regular Le Volume I layer a couple times and brush it on to apply to get intensity. I do this with most mascaras. I think the new Le Volume Revolution de Chanel is excellent – I didn’t experience any smudging or racoon eyes, but of course your mileage may vary depending on how oily your skin is under the eyes. It was easy to remove with their Gentle Bi-Phase Makeup Remover. If this came out in a waterproof formula eventually I think I would love it even more. When in doubt, I really just prefer waterproof formulas in general. To sum up, the new mascara is great. It volumizes, doesn’t clump, stays put and is a true black.

By Terry Lash-Expert

By Terry Lash Expert Mascara Review

This By Terry Lash-Expert Mascara is one of the most highly rated mascaras of the year. It has a wand you can twist to control how much volume/intensity you want applied. I reviewed this formula back in the spring and gave it an ok review since I preferred the L’Oreal and Tom Ford for holding the curl. Since then I’ve been experimenting with it more and find that for me this works best when layered over a waterproof formula. This is a trick many of you have shared with me to apply a waterproof version first, then layer with a more volumizing formula on top. This makes this version work for me 100%! I’ve tried it over the Maybelline Total Temptation and L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof.

NARS Climax Mascara

NARS Climax Mascara Review

NARS Climax Mascara is the latest from NARS. I used to love their volume formula that was discontinued years ago. I stopped using their mascaras after they discontinued it. This one gives mega volume and doesn’t smudge on me although several of you have reported it does. I think your mileage may vary, but this one gives me good volume without any clumping. The bristles are well separated in this brush which makes it less prone to clumping for me. I do think the Chanel Le Volume Revolution de Chanel gives more volume with one stroke. However you can build it up with the NARS without caking it on.

Glossier Lash Slick

Glossier Lash Slick Mascara Review

I could not resist the cute pink Glossier Lash Slick tube for this one. It has a rubber applicator with larger gaps in between the spikes. I think this is a decent formula. It defines, lengthens and darkens the lashes nicely. It doesn’t give as much volume as other formulas do, but for the price I was pleased. It did not smudge on me and it held the curl pretty well. (Case shown is by The Daily Edited.)

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Base

L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara Waterproof and Base Review

I’ve been the biggest fan of the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara. I know so many of you love a good drugstore mascara but this is the only one I’ve tried that impressed me for EVERYTHING it claims. They recently launched the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Base and I reviewed it in my budget beauty roundup here. I think it’s one of the best mascara bases I’ve tried. It works best if you don’t let it dry completely before applying mascara. Given how good the mascara is I don’t think the primer is essential, but it does help nourish the lashes and help mascara adhere better.

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All the mascaras lined up so you can see the length of brushes:

Mascara + Primer Roundup Chanel La Base Mascara, Chanel Le Volume Revolution de Chanel, By Terry Lash-Expert, NARS Climax, Glossier Lash Slick and L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Base

In summary, my top three are still the top three. I think the Chanel Le Volume de Revolution is a winner for fall, but I’m really hoping it will come out in a waterproof version eventually. By Terry works when combined with another waterproof version. And for a mascara primer I still think this isn’t essential but I’m smitten with the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Base formula.

For those who missed my previous roundups, my favorite removers and tools:

That wraps up my fall mascara rotation review. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any formulas you tried! Mascara can be so tricky, it’s truly hit or miss depending on your lash type and length. Mine don’t hold the curl and are naturally straight so what works for me might not work for you if you have fuller lush lashes!

Press samples include the NARS Climax and Chanel Le Volume Revolution de Chanel. I also purchased the Le Volume Revolution de Chanel on my own so I have two.

 

Eye Makeup

Mascara Hits and Misses

August 4, 2017

Mascara Testing Hits and Misses

I have a new updated mascara roundup. I’ve been trying a few new formulas and have some hits and some misses. The humidity in Florida is pretty high and the sun feels a million times stronger here than it did in San Diego. Finding one that holds up to the humidity has been a process.

  • Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara is a formula I had purchased from a duo over last holiday. I had it sitting in the box waiting for my other tubes to get used up. I was pleasantly surprised because the reviews with this were mixed. It had zero clumping, defined lashes, volumized, coated evenly, held the curl and had no smudging. For me this is a hit.
  • Sisley-Paris So Intense Mascara is one I tried from the Nordstrom Color Twist Set (review here). Huge hit with this one even though the comb is so tiny it looks like it won’t grab lashes. It allows you to get right at the base without touching the skin. This usually isn’t a big deal for me if the mascara is good because a quick clean up with a Q-tip fixes it after application. However this one makes application easier. It volumizes, holds curl and doesn’t smudge.
  • L’Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof is the first drugstore mascara I’ve actually liked. I’ve tried dozens and end up throwing them all away after 2 uses because they either dry to a grey looking black, smudge or don’t hold the curl. This literally was WOW with the first try. It’s everything I want in a mascara – volume, definition and holds the curl. I absolutely love the waterproof version because there is zero smudging. Blackest Black is the color I tried and it’s a true rich black. It does take more work to remove at the end of the day but is completely worth it. Huge hit.
  • Tom Ford Waterproof Extreme Mascara has to be mentioned again even though it’s not new to me because it’s my favorite waterproof mascara. No smudging, holds the curl, volumizes – huge thumbs up. I’ve repurchased this one the most in the past year.
  • Chanel Le Volume Waterproof is another classic. The regular Le Volume is good, but I prefer the Waterproof version because it holds up better in the humidity. This is one of the few rubberized applicators I like – most other brands just don’t do it for me. A classic one for me.
  • Dior Pump N Volume Mascara was a big miss. The first application was decent for volume, holding the curl and having a true rich black color. Every application after that was a clumping disaster – even when I removed excess from the tube by cleaning it. When there’s buildup, every once in a while I’ll take the wand and run it in between a folded piece of paper. It’s just like you would do with a tissue or paper towel but using paper makes it so those cotton fibers from tissue won’t get caught in the bristles. The volume on this one is really good and there are quite a few rave reviews on this one, if it didn’t clump all the time it would be perfect.
  • Serge Lutens Comb Mascara is another miss for me. I had such high hopes for this one as it came highly recommended and the online reviews on the formula were stellar. It has a similar applicator to the Sisley-Paris one. For some reason this Serge Lutens one made my lashes look spidery. It took a while to dry and smudged with a few blinks. After it dried down it had decent staying power but didn’t hold the curl and didn’t have as rich of a black finish as other ones. It wasn’t the worst but there are much better formulas for me out there.

A few notes on other mascaras I’ve loved but didn’t feature in this roundup. Other long-time favs have included the By Terry Mascara Terrybly, Chantecaille Faux Cils, Stila Huge Lash and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara. Most of these still work for me in the humid hot weather, I’ve just been rotating through different options recently. If you’ve had your eye on the Chantecaille one I highly recommend you check out the Touch-Up Essentials Set while it’s still available for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because it’s a great deal. The only one that doesn’t work so well for me in humid weather is the By Terry option, but they do have a waterproof version which I want to investigate.

Best Makeup Remover Lancome | The Beauty Look Book

For makeup removal longer lasting formulas and waterproof ones are going to be more difficult to remove in the evenings. Most of these I have to use a multi-step process to take them off in the evenings. Regardless of whether I double cleanse with a cleansing oil or cleansing water, I always use a cotton pad and soak it with eyemakeup remover first. My favorite formula used to be the Chanel Gentle Bi-Phase Eye Makeup Remover but these days I’ve found it’s just ok. Some of the longer lasting formulas don’t come off anymore with this one and I don’t know if the formula of the makeup remover has changed or if I’m simply finding formulas with better lasting power. Some thing goes for the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. It used to be a long-time go to but my last bottle didn’t perform as well as I remember it did in past years. My current go-to is the Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover (available in this value set from Nordstrom here and here). For cotton I’ve tried a number of brands but my favorites are from Chanel and Sephora.

If I had to pick one mascara to use for the rest of the summer that would be a hard choice. I would be able to narrow it down to three: Sisley-Paris, L’Oreal and Tom Ford.

What are your favorite mascaras for the summertime?

 

Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin Les Yeux Noirs

April 5, 2017

Louboutin Les Yeux Noirs | The Beauty Look Book

This spring Christian Louboutin has expanded his beauty line to include eye makeup in his Les Yeux Noirs collection. True to Louboutin style these are luxurious pieces with elaborate packaging that are like works of art. I have two pieces to review for you today but the entire collection includes:

I was kindly gifted the Les Yeux Noirs Amplifying Mascara in Khol and the Oeil Vinyle Luminous Ink Liner in Khol. I’ve reviewed quite a few Louboutin products before, both purchased items and press samples and have been really impressed with their nail polishes and lip products. Based on this I had extremely high expectations for both the mascara and liner. After testing I have one product I feel is a total hit and one item I have luke-warm feelings towards.

Louboutin Les Yeux Noirs | The Beauty Look Book

Louboutin Les Yeux Noirs | The Beauty Look Book

First – the packaging on both the liner and mascara is just out of this world gorgeous. They are so unique and the packaging makes quite the statement. Design-wise they are functional and very easy to hold and use. Travel-wise they aren’t really travel-friendly. I tried both items in the black shade Khol and both are true rich black colors. Even though pigments have improved these days there are still some brands where the black shades actually look grey once they dry down.

Up first is the Les Yeux Noirs Amplifying Mascara in Khol. This is a true black mascara that comes with a rubberized applicator in a heavy weight tube. When it comes to mascara I feel like I’m usually disappointed. I have straight lashes that doesn’t hold a curl very well. Also since they are straight I find many are prone to smudging. In testing mascara I know that there are some formulas that take a couple uses to get it going – I’m not sure why but sometimes the first application just doesn’t work. That was the case with the Louboutin mascara. The first use did not do much of anything for my lashes except darken and define slightly. I gave it two more tries before it started to work properly am glad I did because it performs well.

It is described as having a formula that gives dramatic volume, enhances definition, length lift and curl of the lashes. I found that it did all that it claims with the exception of one area. For me it was a bit lacking in volume. As I’ve mentioned with other mascara reviews though – if a mascara can hold the curl, doesn’t clump and doesn’t smudge then to me I’ll give it a thumbs up. I can build up volume with a few coats but it does take some work and patience on the upper lashes. I rarely wear mascara on my lower lashes because mascara tends to just clump and smudge. I gave this a try on my lower lashes and it’s amazing there. Even with mildly humid warm weather here in Florida I had no smudging from morning until late evening. I will say it’s not waterproof but it doesn’t claim to be. The packaging is heavy weight and design makes it easy to hold and apply. Luke warm feelings are mainly due to price and the fact that it doesn’t knock my socks off for volume. The most I’ve spent on mascara before was with the Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara which is $72 and I was not happy about spending that much even though I’ve spent more on palettes and lipstick before.

Louboutin Les Yeux Noirs Mascara | The Beauty Look Book

On the nails is Edgypopi reviewed and swatched here

Next is the Oeil Vinyle Luminous Ink Liner in Khol which I think is just incredible. I’m not much of a liquid liner person although I’ve tried a number of formulas that are good. I just prefer pencils or dark shadows as liner because it’s easier for me and I find them more forgiving with the precision aspect. Also many tend to bleed or just don’t have enough pigment and end up looking ashy or grey on my eyes. The Louboutin liquid liner has a felt tip that is soft and easy to use. It also has a rich glossy black ink finish – the pigment and finish are what make this an amazing liquid liner. It lasts all day without smudging and there’s no bleeding when I apply it. For me it set pretty quickly which is nice – sometimes if a liner doesn’t set right away it can be prone to smudges when I blink. I give this one a solid thumbs up. Pigment is rich, texture is smooth, application is flawless and easy to build for a perfect cat eye. Finish is glossy but dries and sets 100% without smudging. It lasts all day. It literally covers everything I could want in a liquid liner.

Louboutin Oeil Vinyle Luminous Ink Liner | The Beauty Look Book

A closer look at the packaging and detail of the applicators:

Louboutin Les Yeux Noirs | The Beauty Look Book

Applicators:

Louboutin Les Yeux Noirs | The Beauty Look Book

Closer shot:

Louboutin Les Yeux Mascara and Oeil Vinyle Luminous Ink Liner

Swatches of the mascara and liner with different pressure applied to show how you can control the thickness of the lines:

Louboutin Les Yeux Mascara and Oeil Vinyle Luminous Ink Liner

Swatch comparisons with a flash:

Mascara and Liner comparisons

Louboutin Les Yeux Mascara and Oeil Vinyle Luminous Ink Liner | The Beauty Look BookBottom line both are solid performers. I absolutely love the liner and think it’s 100% worth the splurge. With mascara I think it’s just ok but mascara is hard for me in general to love because I have such high expectations. My lashes are so straight and sparse that few mascaras can really do everything that I want it to. Many times my expectations are just too high. For the price I think the lip products are a better splurge. I’m still obsessed with the lip lacquers (my picks reviewed and swatched here and here) and I think the lipsticks are excellent (red ones also reviewed here).

You can find the Louboutin Les Yeux collection online and at Louboutin Beaute counters now. I have yet to see the full beauty line in person but hope to make a trip in the next month to see it live. Available online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue and Christian Louboutin.

Have you checked these out yet? What’s the most you’ve spent on mascara or eyeliner?

Many thanks to Louboutin for gifting me the Les Yeux Noirs.

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury The Supermodel Brow Lift Kit Review

March 29, 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Brow Kit | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury launched a new set called The Supermodel Brow Lift Kit ($124) containing 5 of her essentials for creating her flawless eyebrow look. I’ve already tried a few of the items individually in the past and I think it’s great that Charlotte Tilbury has launched some sets for those who are just starting to get into her line. This kit allows you to choose your own colors, if you were to buy everything separately it would retail at $138.50 so you do get a bit of a price break with the set. What’s inside the kit:

  1. Legendary Brows Brow Gel
  2. Brow Lift Brow Pencil
  3. The Retoucher Conceal and Treat Stick
  4. Life Changing Lashes Eyelash Curler
  5. Full Fat Glossy Lashes Mascara in Black

Up first are the Brow Lift brow pencil and Legendary Brows gel. I selected the color Supermodel for both which is a good neutral-cool medium-deep brown. I have dark black hair but it has a lot of natural streaks of red and brown so pure black is often too harsh and some browns contain red which is a no-go for me. Supermodel is a deep enough to look natural on me and doesn’t look harsh.

The Brow Lift brow pencil has beveled tip and it’s a twist up on one side with product and a brush at the other end. It has a slightly waxy feel which helps fill in sparse areas. The color and texture are really good and easy to apply.

The Legendary Brows comes in a clear shade which I’ve tried and liked. I was really interested to try the tinted version which I like a lot better. It helps add a bit more definition in a natural way and does help to keep flyaways in place.

Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Brow Kit | The Beauty Look Book

Here’s what the Supermodel brow pencil and gel look like on me, since I have odd-shaped brows I usually go light with product because one swipe too much ends up looking really harsh. Foundation shade worn is the Becca Aqualuminous Foundation in Light and Beige mixed (review here), on the lips is MAC Lustre Lipstick from the Work it Out collection Testosterone (review here). It’s barely noticeable but on the cheeks is a sheer wash of the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow duo in the lighter option (both options on the face here).

Beauty Look Book Brows Charlotte Tilbury

Brow swatch comparisons: Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Brown is my most-used brow pencil because it’s the easiest for me to use without overdoing it, Kevyn Aucoin Precision Brown Pencil Brunette is darker, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown has a bit more warmth, Tom Ford Brow Sculptor Espresso is my second most-used pencil because the color works for me, Glossier Boy Brow in Brown is a good one for natural brows and runs a bit lighter but still works for my dark hair, Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel in Espresso is my favorite tinted brow gel because the tiny fibers help fill in the brow naturally, By Terry Brow Mascara in Dark Brown was my first tinted brow product which I’ve repurchased many times.

If any of you want a more comprehensive brow post for natural brows let me know and I’ll put one together with thoughts on some powder formulas and tools I like. Let me know in the comments!

Brow Pencil and Brow Gel comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

Up next are the Full Fat Lashes Mascara in Glossy Black and the Life Changing Lashes curler. I’ve tried both and I think the mascara is just ok. I have super straight lashes so I need a lot of volumizing for them to show up. What I do like about the mascara is that it’s a true black, it doesn’t clump and is pretty good at not smudging. It doesn’t hold my curl and it doesn’t add much volume but everyone I’ve talked to about this in person loves this one.

Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Brow Kit | The Beauty Look Book

For the Life Changing Lashes curler I bought one a few years ago when her line launched. I no longer own it because it got so much use and wear I had to throw it away. I haven’t repurchased or looked at them since – not until this kit arrived for review. For some reason I feel like the one she has right now has been improved – it feels a bit larger in size and more hefty than the original (which I really liked). The one she has now is still very good. The curler portion seems to be larger but since I don’t have the original one I owned I can’t really compare – if you have purchased them before let me know if you think there’s a difference. It does a great job at curling without pinching. The rosegold finish is just so pretty!

Charlotte Tilbury Life Changing Lashes Curler | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches of the set, first without flash:

With flash:

Last but not least is The Retoucher Concealer. This is a twist up with brush kind of concealer. I’ve owned #3 in the past and used it up but since then have gotten around 1 to 1.5 shade lighter in color. Of course now that I’ve been in Florida for a month now I’ve gotten a bit of a tan with the outdoors so I’m in between shades. Right now #2 works well to brighten the under eye area perfectly for me. It has medium smooth coverage and gives a natural looking finish. If you need more coverage I would say this is not the best for blemishes or dark spots. I used mine up to the end and planned on repurchasing but have a lot of other formulas I’m testing so never got around to it.

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

I swatched them all in a concealer story I did a while back but am reposting for reference:

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Concealer Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Brow Kit Review | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line this is a great kit for easy to do brows. You can use the Retoucher under the brow bone to highlight or open up the eyes and also underneath to brighten. The soft emollient blendable texture makes for a nice natural look. I love both of the brow products for a natural easy everyday kind of look. The only item I’m not crazy about is the mascara but I’m going to try experimenting with some primers and lash bases to see if I can try to make it hold the curl better.

You can find the The Supermodel Brow Lift Kit online now at Charlotte Tilbury for $124. Have you tried any of these before? If so what did you think? If not do you have any go-to brow products?

Brow kit provided courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury for review.

Base Makeup Eye Makeup

Natasha Denona Star Palette, Eye Light Highlighting Concealer, Eye Shadow Base and Mascarade Mascara Launches

October 28, 2016
Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

Natasha Denona’s Star Palette ($169) launches today at Sephora and Beautylish and it’s a stunning beauty with 18 eyeshadows. The shadows are cased in a magnetic flat palette similar to the Eyeshadow 28 Palette (Green Brown reviewed and swatched here). The overall color theme of the Star Palette is warm, bold and glitzy. She’s launched some other basics for eyes over the past few months and today I have a roundup to share with you today.

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

In today’s review includes:

Up first is the Star Palette which is just breathtaking at first glance. I’ll say up front it probably will most likely not be for everyone just
based on the color options, especially if you’re on the conservative
side for makeup. I rarely ever wear glitter shadow (except for ones by
Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury) as it’s not something I feel comfortable
wearing. I also don’t wear reds or wine colors on my eyes. Still this palette has a mix of colors and textures that is mesmerizing. In general I really like Natasha Denona’s mattes and shimmers – they are really great in quality, smooth in texture and have the prettiest finishes. Her glitters come in a mix of really fine shimmer/glitter and then chunky. Out of all the colors in this palette I would say there are 2 glitters I won’t wear and 2 of the reds that I don’t think I would wear on my eyes.

The left side of the palette has:

  • Spectrum is an antique gold sparkle with tiny micro glitters
  • Earth is a dark chocolate matte brown
  • Bellatrix is a metallic peachy champagne
  • Flesh is a matte warm peach flesh
  • Orion is a duo-chrome blue brown shimmer
  • Gemma is a soft satiny brown plum gold
  • Atria is a sparkling copper orangey shade with tiny micro sparkles
  • Titania is a matte warm brown
  • Cosmo is a sparkling brassy gold

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

For the right side of the palette:

  • Diadem is a matte dusty grey-mauve
  • Vega is a matte pink peach rose
  • Galaxia is a sparkling glitter icy white with a chunky finish
  • Phoenix is a bright red satin shimmer
  • Supernova is a silver taupe shimmer
  • Electra is a red magenta satin
  • Polaris is a glitzy pale gold
  • Atik is a matte brown sand color
  • Rhea is a gorgeous peach red copper with shimmer

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

Natasha Denona Star Palette Swatches

The colors are all very soft in texture. The glitters and crystal shimmer colors are a bit chunky and prone to have more fallout when you apply so it’s best to use with a damp brush or over a super creamy base in a patting motion rather than brushing. Quality-wise her shadows are excellent. When it comes to palettes if there are 2-3 shades I don’t think I will use I try to restrain myself from purchasing so in this case if I had applied my rule I would have probably skipped it (this was kindly gifted by Natasha).

Next are here Eye Light Highlighting Concealer and Eye Shadow Base. I’ll say up front I give both a thumbs up.

Natasha Denona Eye Light and Eye Shadow Base

Natasha Denona Eye Light and Eye Shadow Base

For the Eye Light there are four shades, my best match is Shade #2. These come in a twist up click pen applicator with a brush. #1 for some reason was a dud for me as there was a lot of separation that happened inside the tube and the product came out very watery. The other three shades had no issues. These have what Natasha calls “spherical powders” inside which means they don’t need to be set with powder after application. I always set concealer and foundation with powder, but the formula really is one that sets well and doesn’t need power. Swatch comparisons for reference to NARS Radiant Creamy Concealers, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Concealer (review here) and MAC Pro Long Wear Concealer in NC35.
I use these under the eye and they cover my moderately dark circles really well and brighten the area. It goes on smooth, there’s no creasing and they blend to a flawless finish. Many look dry under my eyes (the NARS, MAC and MUFE are among the few I can wear) and the Natasha Denona one joins the club of Beauty Look Book approved undereye concealers. It doesn’t darken which is a huge plus for me in terms of color matching.

Natasha Denona Eye Light Concealer, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, MUFE Ultra HD, MAC Prolongwear Concealer

Next are the eye bases which are creamy and dry to a soft smooth finish. I feel as though I’m one of the few who does not have oily lids – I usually need a base with some kind of emollient texture and to date the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base has been my favorite. Others like ones from NARS, Urban Decay, Too Faced, etc. dry out my lids and make my skin look wrinkled.

The Natasha Denona Eye Shadow Base is perfect for evening out the lids and has a creamy feel to help powder shadows adhere better, not just with her brand but also other powder shadows. I find it tied in terms of quality and finish with the Edward Bess one.

Natasha Denona Eye Shadow Base vs Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Shadow Base

Last but not least are the Eye Lash Curler and Blackest Black Mascara. I found both to be just ok, but not great. For some reason the Eye Lash Curler just would not curl my lashes, although the shape and size worked well for my eye shape. No pinching and my fingers fit inside the loops just fine. I just found the curling pad didn’t help create a curl like the MAC Eye Lash Curler or Chanel Eye Lash Curler (my two favorites).

The Mascara has an odd shape brush, almost pear-shaped and I had a difficult time getting my lashes coated with the brush. It did add depth and dimension. There was no smudging which many readers know is rare for me with most mascaras. I just need lots of volume and this was lacking in that department for me. For reference two that work for me right now are the Stila Huge Lash and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara.

Natasha Denona Star Palette, Eye Lights, Eye Shadow Base

I think the Star Palette has some amazing colors but palettes can be hard to love if you don’t love all the colors. There are only 4 out of the 18 I don’t see myself wearing on a regular basis and perhaps I’ll experiment more with the glitzy ones in the upcoming weeks. The Eye Light Concealer and Eye Base are both excellent – I hope the swatches help if you’re ordering sight unseen.

You can find select Natasha Denona products now at Sephora and Beautylish. Do note that the Sephora Rouge 20% off sale starts soon and will run from 11/4 to 11/7 so if you have this on your wishlist you may want to wait until the sale to buy this.

Many thanks to Natasha for sending a lovely package of items for me to try out.

Edward Bess Eye Makeup

Edward Bess Earth Tones Natural Eyeshadow Palette, Perfect Line Every Time, Big Wow Full Brow Pomade and Wish Granted Mascara

October 27, 2016
Edward Bess Earth Tones + New Eye Launches

Edward Bess has launched quite a few new things including some classic additions in eye makeup along with three new perfumes. Today I’m reviewing the eye makeup – all true to Edward Bess style where makeup is classic to enhance your features in a natural way but make them look better. I got a sneak preview back in September at Neiman Marcus while visiting his counter. He swatched his new Perfect Line Every Time Liner on the back of his hand and once it sets it does not budge. If you are able to visit any of his counters while he’s in store (all locations listed here) I highly recommend you do – you will be in for a treat.

In today’s review lineup:

All eye products are available at Net-A-Porter. The liner and mascara are also available at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Eyeshadow, liner and mascara are available at QVC (some prices vary with sets).
Edward Bess Earth Tones Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills
Up first is my favorite item the Earth Tones Naturally Enhancing Eyeshadow Palette. It has five natural shades that are very natural but not invisible. The colors look like they run neutral-cool in the palette but on my skin they have a mix of neutral, cool and warm. Colors have the most beautiful finely milled kind of shimmer and texture is buttery soft for smooth natural application. If you like bold full pigment kinds of shades you may find this too natural. But for the person who wants a very natural look for the eyes and a palette that is easy to wear for everyday this one is a great one.
Edward Bess Earth Tones Eyeshadow Palette

Colors are a pale cool white shimmer, satiny light pink mauve, medium warm plum shimmer, shimmering grey taupe mauve, deeper cool-toned purple. Swatched below:

Quick eye look with all colors on the eyes:

Edward Bess Earth Tones swatched

I couldn’t find anything quite like the colors in this palette from what I own. I pulled the Dior Eye Reviver Palette reviewed here which has a similar effect in the natural finish but runs cooler and has a sheerer finish with some of the shades.

Edward Bess Earth Tones vs Dior Eye Reviver Palette
Edward Bess Earth Tones
Next are the Perfect Line Every Time Liner in Deep Deep Black and Wish Granted Magic in a Bottle Mascara in Onyx. The Perfect Line liner is a deep true black with a twist up style applicator and smudge brush at the end. It does indeed last a very long time (all day on me) with out smudging or budging once you apply and let it set. It glides on easily without any tugging and gives a rich deep black color. It does set quickly so if you need to smudge or blend with an applicator I recommend you do so quickly.
The Wish Granted Mascara is a true black mascara. It’s described as a long lasting clump free mascara to add volume. I am extremely picky with mascara as I have straight lashes that require curling. Most mascaras smudge, don’t hold the curl, or flake. This one from Edward Bess did not smudge and there was no clumping so on those points it’s a winner. For me I have a serious need for volume and this one can be built in two layers for volume but I found it didn’t give me as much drama as some other formulas. 
Edward Bess Perfect Line Every Time and Wish Granted Mascara

Perfect Line in action at Edward’s counter:

Edward Bess Perfect Line Every Time

Last but not least are three brow products called Big Wow Full Brow Pomade . It comes in three colors, Light Taupe, Medium Taupe and Rich. I can use either Medium Taupe or Rich for my coloring and it’s really really good. It is an easy to blend natural looking brow product. It has a whipped formula that is lightweight and has the ability to coat hairs or fill in sparse areas. As one who finds I can’t wear any brow products with red, I really like these color options. He has a Dual Ended Brow Brush for these, but I find you can use any angled brush. I tried with the MAC 266 and Wayne Goss Brush 21 and both worked really well.
These look natural and are easy to use. Thumbs up.

Edward Bess Big Wow Full Brow Pomade

Edward Bess Big Wow Full Brow Pomade
One last quick look from my visit to his counter at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills. Many of you often ask what my natural lip color looks like, here’s a photo of me without anything on the lips – it was after lunch and everything had worn off. To the right is his Big Kiss Lipstick.

Bottom line some solid additions to Edward Bess’s line. I really love his Earth Tones Eyeshadow Palette and the new Brow Pomades and as a natural-neutral makeup lover these are just perfect. I’ll have a dedicated post on his fragrances soon. One briefly reviewed in my Fall Fragrance Loves for Him and Her post if you want a quick peek.

All eye products are available at Net-A-Porter. The liner and mascara are also available at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Eyeshadow, liner and mascara are available at QVC (some prices vary with sets). All items also available from his website Edward Bess.

Have you tried these yet? If yes what did you think?
Many thanks to Edward for keeping me stocked on his latest and greatest.
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