I have discussed nail polish but haven't gotten to the other 5 million beauty products that I love. I am not particularly artistic when it comes to my makeup, but I do love reading about the latest innovations and products. And then go back to my usual routine 99% of the time. But I do switch it up occasionally...
Let's start with mascara. I go through a lot of mascara because I am very picky. I am constantly on the lookout for my HG mascara. That's actually Holy Grail, in MakeupAlley.com-speak, but my initials, too, so yay! And if you haven't ever checked out MakeupAlley.com, what are you waiting for? It's so great, ditch me and head over. You can come back later and we'll catch up then.
Anyways... the mascara issue probably stems from the fact that I used to have contacts. Got my PRK surgery about 5 years ago. Yes, PRK, not Lasik, as my corneas were too thin, which they do directly on top of the cornea, not in the nice little flap, so more discomfort and longer healing time - but still the greatest thing in the world and seriously, life-altering. When hubby decided to do it last year (lucky guy, thick corneas = Lasik), I told him that I would eat mac & cheese for 6 months if we needed to, because that's what a difference in my life it had made. I was so blind, I couldn't even see the wall chart at the eye doctor's office. But I have always been picky about mascara - I want the perfect one, yes, my HG mascara.
I have had a couple of close contenders lately:
1 - YSL Faux Cils Mascara. ($28.50 at Sephora, rating of 4.1 on MakeupAlley.com and 4.5 on Sephora) Lovely full, long lashes. Really doesn't clump. Stays pretty well. And how can you not love the pretty gold tube? It just feels glamorous...
2 - Clinique Lash Power. ($14 at Sephora, rating of 3.7 on MakeupAlley.com and 4.4 on Sephora) Love the tubing mascara. Stays on forever, until you gently rub off with warm water. Great summertime mascara. Not a huge amount of length and volume, but can build a bit.
And I've had some misses:
1 - *All* of the vibrating mascara (Estee Lauder TurboLash and Lancome Oscillation). These took WAY too much time. I am lazy about my morning makeup routine and I don't like anything that takes too long. So doubling my mascara application - particularly for not stellar results - that was a no-go for me.
2 - Givenchy Phenomen-Eyes - I love love love the applicator (you know, the one that looks sorta like a medieval mace), it is great. The formula on the other hand - it never felt like it dried, it always felt gummy. And I first tried it in August, so gumminess was particularly bad.
Which brings me to my new, amazing, fantastic mascara find - thanks so much to GingerSnap's suggestion on my Crash & Burn post. L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Lash Extension Effect Mascara. (And make sure it's the Beauty Tubes one, not the others, for which I cannot vouch.) Folks, that is a seriously long name, but it does live up to the hype. I have always resisted the 2-wand mascaras (see lazy note, above), but this one doesn't take any more time. I do the same total number of swipes, just from 2 different ends. And the bonus is that the wand is shorter.
I have always loved most mascara samples, more so than the full size products - and here's why - they have the short wand, so you actually have better control. Same with the L'Oreal Beauty Tube - the wand is short, so if you are holding in the middle, you have great control. I wore this yesterday all day. Wore it to boot camp class last night (with fab trainer, Mary Beth - we are doing 2-day/week boot camp instead of our pairs training, and this will take me to Memorial Day/pool opening - woo hoo!) . And did I mention it was raining outside? So there I am working out, in the rain, sweating, in the rain, laying on my back with my face up to the rain. Did it budge? Did it smudge? Did it run? No, no, and no. Granted I've only tried this out a few days, so I can't give the definitive report, but I think we have a winner here. So thanks again to GingerSnap for the excellent recommendation!!
Here's the other benefit of tubing mascaras and how it's related to cleansers... To repeat, I am lazy. I hate washing my face at night. With regular mascara, I just use face wipes. I love the Pond's Clean Sweep, Cleansing & Make-up Removing Towelettes. And I know that I should actually do a full-on face washing, but at night, just before bed, especially when it's chilly, I don't really want to get my face all wet. So I am normally content to use the Pond's wipe, and then apply eye cream and lotion (and Retin-A, if I'm doing it that night). Yes, I realize that I should wash/rinse, but it just doesn't happen all the time. But with the tubing mascara, because you get them off with warm water, I almost always end up washing my face, with actual cleanser that's good for it. So the tubing mascaras have a the double bonus of lasting on my lashes, and forcing me to wash my face.
So moving on to cleansers, I have 2 current favorites:
1 - (which may be my HG) - I love Alba's Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser, which I get it Target. I have seen the line at grocery stores as well, like Giant and Whole Foods. This is what I keep in the shower because the pineapple-citrus smell is so refreshing in the morning. I feel like it cleans really well without stripping my skin. Alba's Papaya Enzyme Mask is fantastic as well. I need to remember to do that tonight. Like I said, I am so lazy about my skincare regime in the evening.
2 - In the evening, if I'm not using a facial wipe, I'll use Olay's Definity Penetrating Mousse Cleanser. Also very good, but I'm a sucker for the truly tropical smell of Alba, so that's why this one is no longer in the shower. Still in rotation, though. And it has something a little bit scrubby in it (the "micro polishing complex"), so I feel like it cleans really well. But again, not too drying.
What do you use for mascara and cleanser? What works for you? And even more importantly, do you have any disasters to warn us away from?