Category Archives: Mascara | Reviews & Makeup Tips

From department store prices to Wal-Mart sales, mascara is a beauty must-have that many shoppers often have a hard time deciding upon. Cover Girl, MAC, L’Oreal, Lancome and more, what do they have in common, not the price that’s for sure. The common factor is that finding the right one can mean you’ve found a beauty staple that is crucial to nearly every makeup look you’ll try.

In reality the most important factors in mascara shopping are 1) Do you like the formula? 2) Is it water-proof or not? and 3) What is the brush shape?

The first question requires a little trial and error. Reading reviews of various mascara formulas can be very helpful. In the end, however, you simply need to try out the product and see how it holds up for you.

With waterproof vs. non waterproof mascara, you simply need to decided what the occasion calls for. Waterproof formulas tend to stay on longer and be more durable. And, of course, they’re waterproof. So, if you’re going on a beach vacation, or if you need a formula that will last through a wedding, you will probably want a waterproof version of your favorite brand. There are a couple drawbacks with waterproof mascaras however. If they flake, it’s then quite difficult to get the residue off from underneath your lower lashes. It doesn’t just wipe off easily like normal mascaras do when they flake. You also have to use a special eye makeup remover to get rid of the product completely when you’re ready to take off your makeup. Some formulas have also been known to dry out your lashes as well.

Most people prefer non waterproof formulas because they can be removed more easily – some come off with just water alone, and most come off with a gentle facial cleanser. We recommend that you find a formula or two that aren’t waterproof for regular use, but keep a waterproof mascara handy in case you need one for a special event or a trip to the pool.

Now the shape of the brush may take a little longer to decide on as it is essentially what will determine the look of your lashes. Here is what to look for: when a brush is wide and more round chances are it is going to hold more mascara and therefore apply more with each stroke. Brushes with bristles that are shorter or more separated are often good for brushing out lashes but do not leave much on your lashes and can take longer to apply. They also may not give that full and lengthy look like the wider brushes.

Finally, color is an important consideration as well. The good thing is that most formulas will come in your standard black and dark brown shades – some even come in quite a few versions of these shades. So, once you find the right formula for you, you can stock up on a few different shades. For everyday use, a good guideline is to choose a shade that is just two or three shades darker than your natural eyebrow color. Of course, for special occasions, or more dramatic looks you can use the color your look requires.

One last thing to remember is that under certain conditions probably all mascaras will start to flake. With this said, you do not want to buy the cheapest thing on the aisle as it may flake much easier but you certainly do not have to break the bank with a mascara purchase. Try a few different formulas in your price range and find the ones that work best on your lashes.

Stila Cosmetics Promotion – Free Full Sized Stila Mascara

Starting today, Stila is running a promo for a free full sized Major Lash Mascara by Stila plus free shipping on your entire order with any purchase of $40 or more. To get this deal, simply visit this page and then enter code SUMMER11 at checkout. The offer is only good from today until this Friday (April 15, 2011), so act quick if you want to try this Stila Cosmetics mascara.

Free Stila Mascara - Use Code

MAC: False Lashes Mascara Collection

Release Date: December 26, 2010

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, ophth-tested and safe for contact wearers.

The MAC False Lashes Mascara collection marks the release of the latest in a string of new mascaras released by MAC. Despite all the success MAC Cosmetics has had in the realm of lip and eye products, they are still chasing that elusive wonder formula that will truly put their name on the mascara road map. MAC’s mascara history is mostly full of misses, although their most recent effort, Opulash, showed some big steps in the right direction.

With False Lashes mascara, it looks like MAC is continuing an upward trend when it comes to mascara. This mascara aims to give you the look of false lashes without the hassle of applying them and keeping them in place. It boasts the typical mascara claims- namely fuller and longer lashes. A special formula and brush are designed to work together to give the illusion of lashes that are so thick and long they almost seem fake.

One good thing about False Lashes mascara is that it doesn’t dry out your lashes the way lots of lengthening mascaras can. Despite its creamy texture, it manages to stay put all day. The brush is similar to the Opulash brush which was specially engineered to deliver mascara to each lash. The brush may take some getting used to at first but it actually does a great job of delivering mascara to your lashes.

As usual, MAC has put a lot of effort into engineering this mascara. It has been tested by ophthalmologists and it’s safe for contact lens wearers. Best of all, it doesn’t flake, which means no annoying pieces of mascara falling into your eyes. It’s not drying or irritating, which is a big plus.

So far it’s only available in black but if this formula really takes off, we might be lucky enough to see some fun shades of purple, blue, and green. The black version is highly pigmented, which adds to the effect of full, thick lashes. It’s a great starting point and definitely one of MAC’s better mascaras so hopefully they will branch out and expand their False Lashes Mascara range beyond just the basic black.

False Lashes Mascara – $18.00 US/$21.00 CDN

* False Black – Black

How to Get Longer Eyelashes

Want longer eyelashes? Join the club. There are a few different options you will want to consider.

Most women simply wear a lengthening formula of mascara to give the appearance of longer eyelashes. Others even opt to get their eyelashes tinted if they have blonde or lighter eyelashes.

Some of the more noticeable options include getting actual lash extensions applied by an aesthetician or getting a prescription for a pharmaceutical drug that actually promotes eyelash growth in a matter of a few weeks. Read on for more details:

Applied Eyelash Extensions

Eyelash extensions have come a long way over the past decade. Unlike the fake lashes of yesterday, which had to be applied with a stick on glue, today’s eyelash extensions range from extensions that are semi-permanent and applied lash by lash by a trained technician.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Navy Blue StripesIf you’re heading to your favorite salon to have eyelash extensions applied, make sure the person applying them is trained and licensed. There’s a technique to applying extensions that look naturally thick and full, and it takes training to know how to properly apply eyelashes to achieve that natural look and last for a month or more.

Eyelash extensions are available in a variety of colors, thickness and lengths and a consultation with your stylist should determine the right combination for your eye color and shape. Some colors are uniquely designed to match or enhance the color of your eyes including beautiful hints of blues, violets, greens and purple. People cannot tell the difference between your lashes and extensions, because these synthetically applied extensions blend evenly with your natural lashes. On close examination, you can actually see what looks like roots. How natural is that?

Applying eyelash extensions by a licensed technician takes about an hour and a half, because approximately 30 or more eyelashes are bonded individually in various lengths to enhance your natural lashes. Prices for extension lashes run approximately $250 to $500. Lash fills (the touch up appointments you’ll have every three to four weeks after you get your initial lashes done) are much more affordable, ranging from about $20 to $60 depending upon which salon you visit.

Eyelash Extension Drug

New to the market, a pharmaceutical drug for those who are looking for longer lashes is becoming a popular solution. FDA approved LATISSE is fast becoming the eyelash extension of choice for women looking to speed up or replace eyelashes that are thinning or limp. It is also a fantastic solution for those women who may be undergoing chemotherapy and lost their lashes or women who have damaged tissue around the eyelid. This prescription is a gel, which is applied daily on the eyelids with the expectation that you will see results in about eight weeks. Lashes will grow for four months or so, and are then maintained with further applications. The topical gel is applied to the upper eyelid only and is only applied once a day. If you notice any side effects like redness or swelling, you should stop use and contact your physician. Treatments are sold in kits at about $120 per kit.

If you want to get longer eyelashes, you have plenty of options. Many salons offer free consultations. If you’re not sure which direction to go, find a salon you trust and go in for an appointment to determine which lash option is right for you.

All About Eyelash Tinting

Have you ever wished you could dye your eyelashes the same way you dye your hair? Are you tired of applying mascara day after day and then removing it before bed? If so, eyelash tinting could be something you want to look into.

Eyelash tinting is a procedure that is very similar to coloring your hair. A tint is applied to the lashes that leaves them looking darker and more noticeable. This can make a really big difference for girls with lighter-colored lashes in particular. On the other hand, if your lashes are already black, it isn’t really necessary to get them tinted and if you do, your results may not be very noticeable depending on your lash type and the color used.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Sienna Blakney

There are a few different colors available that range from very natural brown colors that look great on blondes to very dark black that helps deepen the tone of naturally black lashes and makes them appear glossier. There are also black shades that have a hint of blue or purple for a fun twist.

The entire procedure of eyelash tinting takes around fifteen minutes and is usually performed in a salon. A special cream is applied to prevent the tint from soaking into your skin. Cotton pads typically go over top of the cream, and then your eyelashes rest on the pads as the tint dries. As the dye is applied, you may feel a small amount of stinging but this is not dangerous and will go away quickly if you experience it at all- some people do not. It is a vegetable-based dye and is generally considered safe for the eye area. The dye normally stays on the lashes for about ten minutes. The effects last for about a month.

Eyelash tinting is a great way to get the look of darker, glossier lashes without putting forth any effort on a daily basis. Many people become converted after getting it done just once thanks to the convenience of not having to apply mascara every day. It is also a great choice for summertime if you plan to spend a lot of time swimming or at the beach and you want dark, pretty lashes with no smudging.

If you are mainly looking to increase the thickness of your lashes, not just darkening the color, you may want to look into eyelash extensions. Lash extensions are another great option for eliminating the need to wear mascara on a daily basis. Read a more extensive rundown of eyelash extensions – how they work, what to expect, and how to care for them so they last as long as possible.

Guerlain Mascaras – The Rundown…

Among the most popular products offered by Guerlain is their mascara. All of their mascara is well-formulated and features some of the most sleek and appealing packaging to be found on any mascara anywhere. The most coveted of all the Guerlain mascaras is the new Le 2 de Guerlain.

Le 2 de Guerlain is an innovative mascara that features two wands. There is a rubbery thick wand designed for applying mascara all over your top lashes and a smaller wand that helps you to fine tune the bottom lashes and lashes in the inner and outer corners of your eyes. The smaller wand also works well for applying a second coat on your top lashes. It does take longer to dry than your average mascara but it definitely delivers on its promise of long, thick lashes. It holds a curl well but can be a bit clumpy without proper combing. It is also available in several colors that go beyond the typical black and brown mascara shades such as deep blue and shimmery purple. It stays in place very well which means it can be tricky to remove. An eye makeup remover that is formulated for waterproof makeup is a must if you want to get all of this off of your lashes.

Vanity Bash: Spring 2010
Creative Commons License photo credit: Nathan Branch

Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara helps create the illusion of thicker lashes. In fact, it can be so thickening that an eyelash comb is a must-have when using this product. It does a great job of thickening but not enough to make it stand apart from other thickening mascaras on the market. The formula is also a bit on the dry side. After a few weeks of use, the remaining product tends to dry out rather quickly so it’s important to keep the cap tightly closed if you tend to go through mascara slowly.

Divinora is one of Guerlain’s most popular mascaras and although it has been recently discontinued, it is still relatively easy to find and has obtained a cult status. This mascara will not give you dramatic eyelashes that will leave people wondering if they are fake. However, it is perfect for every day, office, or outdoor wear. It makes your lashes look full and separated without looking obvious that you are wearing mascara.

Guerlain has something to offer everyone with their mascara selection. Whether your lashes are too short, too thin, or not defined enough for your liking, you will be able to find a mascara from Guerlain that can improve the appearance of your lashes.

MAC Coupon Code: LASH510

Here is the newest coupon code for a free sample of MAC Cosmetics Zoom Lash mascara with any purchase. You will also get free shipping on your order. Just enter promotional code LASH510 at checkout at Keep in mind that these offers expire after a period of time. We’ll update this post if we find out the exact expiration date. Enjoy! :)

Eyelash Extensions – What to Expect

Eyelash extensions are a great way to get a glamorous eyelash look with little effort. Similar in theory to hair extensions, eyelash extensions are synthetic fibers that are attached to your existing lashes to make them look longer and fuller. This eliminates the very time-consuming step of curling your eyelashes and applying mascara every morning. Your eye makeup routine is reduced to just eyeshadow and liner – and all in all, you may not even need eyeliner at all. You can simply wake up looking beautiful. Lash extensions are a great idea for summer, beach vacations, cruises, or any situation where you want to look beautiful without having to worry about your mascara washing off. If you’re considering going in for your first appointment, here’s a little info on what to expect.

When you go to a salon to have professional eyelash extensions put on, expect to spend around an hour there. Normally your eyes will be gently taped closed while the aesthetician does her work. She will look for your shortest lashes and apply the extensions to those because they have the most room to grow and will help your extensions last longer in between visits. As human eyelashes have a very short life cycle of around 90 days, it is normal for lashes to occasionally fall off, including the ones where extensions have been applied. For this reason, touchups are recommended every few weeks with a complete re-do needed about every two or three months.

The World Through My Eye(s)
Creative Commons License photo credit: PicturePurrfect685

The process of applying eyelash extensions is painless and once they are in place, they will feel very natural. In order to extend the life of your eyelash extensions, it is best to avoid waterproof eye makeup, oily eye makeup removers and creams, and avoid steaming your face. For the first few hours you should not get the extensions wet as the glue may take some time to dry completely. Some technicians will recommend keeping them dry for a full 24 hours. After that, you can swim and shower as usual without causing any problems for the extensions. You will also be instructed not to curl your lashes but this is not a problem because you can elect to have extensions with a curl applied. In fact, there are many different lash extension options to choose from in varying lengths, curls, thicknesses, and even colors so you can get the exact look that you desire. It is okay to wear a non-waterproof mascara on top of eyelash extensions but most people find that it is not necessary. Many women also get their eyelashes tinted to help keep the roots of their lashes dark to complete their look.

If you are looking to streamline your eye makeup routine and give your eyelashes a fuller and longer appearance, eyelash extensions are an easy way to accomplish your goal. It gives you the same effect as false lashes but only needs to be applied once every few months. Depending on which style of lashes you get, the result can be so natural that no one will guess that your lashes have been enhanced.

L’Oreal Volume Shocking Mascara

UDATE: This offer is now expired!

L’Oreal’s new Volume Shocking mascara has been featured in recent tv ads, magazine ads and more. If you’ve wondered how this mascara stacks up against other drugstore brand mascaras like Maybelline’s popular Great Lash mascara, or new Lash Blast Mascara, this is a great chance to try it out on your own lashes without having to drop any cash.

Free Sample of Chanel Inimitable Mascara (UK Only)

This is one of Chanel’s new mascara formulas. Click here, or on the picture to your right. Then, click on “skip intro” and you’ll get to a page where you’ll be able to print out a coupon for a free sample of their mascara.

This offer does not require any additional participation, surveys or purchases – you simply print the coupon out directly from their site.

However, please note that this offer is only valid for UK residents.

MAC: Opulash Collection

Release Date: May 27, 2010 (in stores)
International: June 2010

MAC Cosmetics Opulash Collection

THE BIGGEST, BADDEST, BOUFFANT LASHES EVER ARE MAKING NOISE WITH THEIR SEXY SWEEP… the most extremevolumization ever seen! Just like going to your hairdresser for the boldest Barbarella blowout you’d ever dare to wear, Opulash creates aesthetic extremes when it gets going, for a dramatic end look. It’s all in the brush: enlarged and engineered to grab roots, lift, hold, replicate, exaggerate, and build-out like an architect intent on astounding with structural sleight-of-hand. Pick up the brush – see it volumize and curl – and you’ll know the difference. Large diameter backs you up, tapered front tip makes inner corners sleeker to reach. Needless to say, no clumping or Spider-Woman Syndrome. Superlative separation, sublime innovation: Everything a M•A•C Artist lives for!

It seems that makeup companies are always coming out with new mascaras, each one claiming to be make lashes bigger, longer, and bolder than before. Many of us end up trying all of them because it can be difficult to find a good mascara. Many are misses right off the bat whereas others work well at first before somehow dropping in performance and being relegated to the back of the makeup drawer while we seek out the next big thing in mascara. Could MAC’s new Opulash be The One?

Opulash promises extreme volume and high drama. This mascara is specially formulated to create curl as well, which is not something you can find in most mascaras. They have also put a lot of effort into designing the brush, which is very fat and full on the bottom and more tapered at the top for reaching the corners.

As far as mascaras go, MAC Cosmetics does not have the best track record. It is perplexing how their mascaras fall so short when most of their other cosmetics are top quality. This is MAC’s latest attempt to prove to us that they can, in fact, create a very good mascara. Opulash is MAC’s answer to the very popular Diorshow. It is offered in only one color, “Bad, Bad Black”. To create the most dramatic lashes ever, black is really the only color that will do the job so MAC is keeping true to the theme here.

With Opulash, MAC has definitely created a winner. MAC does deliver on its promises as this mascara makes lashes look very full and long. While no mascara ever seems to make your lashes look just like the ads, this one does do a great job at everything it sets out to do. It also lasts much longer than any of MAC’s previous mascaras and is great at separating lashes as well. Finally the MAC makeup line has come up with a mascara that is sure to have legions of loyalists!

Opulash ($13.00 US/$15.50 CDN)

* Bad, Bad Black – Black

MAC Cosmetics Opulash Mascara

MAC Coupon Code: LASH310

Another MAC Cosmetics coupon code for a free sample of MAC’s popular Zoomlash Mascara. Enter code LASH310 when checking out at and you will get a free sample of Zoomlash added to your order. You’ll also get free shipping! Yay!

Free Sample of Stila Black Diamond Mascara

If any of you are planning on buying anything from Sephora soon, or if you just happen to love Stila Cosmetics, you’re in luck. For a limited time, you can get a free sample of Stila’s Black Diamond Mascara free with any purchase! Just visit Sephora’s site and enter code BLACKDIAMOND at checkout. The free mascara sample offer is valid while supplies last.

MAC Coupon Code: LASH210

Get free standard shipping on your next order plus a free sample of MAC’s Free Zoomlash Mascara with any purchase. Enter coupon code LASH210 at checkout at

How to Apply Mascara

[See the rest of our How to Apply Makeup series for beginners.]

Although mascara is an essential item for any make-up bag, it tends to be the most widely misused product. Since mascara is the most essential makeup product for drawing attention to the eyes, it is important to correctly apply it. By following these simple rules on how to apply mascara properly, you can avoid some of the most common eye makeup disasters.

Step 1: Curl your lashes first! If you are lucky enough to have lashes that curl naturally, you’re good to go. But if you are going to curl them, be sure to curl them before you apply mascara. By curling after you apply mascara, your eyelashes may stick to the curler and get yanked out. Not only is this painful, but lashes rarely regenerate. Translation: thinning lashes. Curling your lashes after you’ve applied mascara also causes the lashes to get smashed and stuck together. They’re practically impossible to separate after being clamped down by the eyelash curler and you’ll most likely have to start over.

Step 2: Choose your shade. Choose a mascara color that is no deeper than two or three shades darker than the natural color of your eyebrows.

Day 24. I look like a 17 year old girl...
Creative Commons License photo credit: kirikiri

Step 3: Apply the mascara in thin, light layers. If you want to finally figure out how to apply mascara without clumping, here’s your chance: Instead of gooping it on in one or two thick layers, build up the product a little at a time. Pull slowly and allow the mascara’s inner mechanics to do the work. Don’t sweep the mascara across your lashes in a side to side motion. If you want, you can gently wiggle the mascara brush at the lash base to increase coverage and lash thickness near your lash line. But once you move the brush past your lash line, follow the growth of the lash and brush upwards. This will give lashes a fuller, more natural look without leaving clumps at the tips of your lashes.

Step 4: Apply mascara to lower lashes if you choose (some makeup looks don’t require this, and some people prefer not to). But if you do like the look, learning how to apply mascara to bottom lashes is a snap. The key is to be delicate. Take the mascara wand and start at the root of the lash and (like you did with your upper lashes) lightly pull the brush downward, along the natural growth direction of the lash. With your bottom lashes, you want to be careful not to apply too much mascara since too much product will result in dark smudges or flaking beneath your lower lashes. You don’t need to apply multiple layers like you do on your upper lashes. Just use a little to help give a bit of definition to your eye – one or two coats is plenty.

Here are a couple additional general mascara tips:

Never rapidly overdip the wand in an attempt to remove the excess mascara. This causes a drying effect and greatly reduces the life of your mascara.

Replace your mascara on a regular basis. Don’t use a tube of mascara longer than about 2 months. You should regularly replace all makeup products from time to time to eliminate your risk of bacteria getting on your skin or in your eyes.