The Reviews | Mascara Madness

Long time no makeup post, eh? Well I’m going to try to ease myself back into these posts because I definitely do have makeup thoughts. Today I’m going to share some thoughts on different mascaras I’ve used recently. For reference, I have fairly long lashes that do curl naturally and sensitive eyes. I’m looking for volume primarily in my mascara and I prefer drier formulas. Here are my musings. I apologize in advance for some of my dingy-looking mascara tubes and that I lack the coordination to have pictures of the mascaras on my eyeballs:


Maybelline The Colossal Spider Effect Mascara ($10.99 CDN): I don’t hate this mascara but I do hate the wand and kind of feel like I screwed up buying it. I should have put in my research beforehand and found out what wand I’d be dealing with before I bought the mascara. It’s a long skinny synthetic bristled wand that tapers to a point and kind of feels like it is jabbing into my eyeballs when I apply it a certain way. I like that the brush is large and gets in there for some drama quickly but it’s not for me. The mascara performed fine, adding some volume and length but it got too spider-y for my taste when built up. Essentially, it wasn’t one I was excited to reach for because of the wand. It didn’t smudge or flake particularly easy and it removed nicely. I’m lukewarm about this mascara and I kind of agree with their choice to discontinue their Spider Effect version of this mascara.

L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara in 873 Blackest Black ($13.99 CDN): This was another case where I didn’t do my research on the wand and made a poor buying decision as a result. It had a weird almost triangular shaped jab-y synthetic brush that was supposed to create fanned-out volume and get in close to the lashes for a tight-lined effect. I will say that it was good at getting close to the lash line and did offer good length and some volume and drama, without smudging or clumping much. The wand shape was a bit too weird for me and I guess I’m just not a synthetic wand kind of girl and I kind of wanted more volume than it did offer.

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Deep Burgundy/ Cobalt ($9.99 CDN): I had tried the L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara before and while I wasn’t floored by it, I did like it, and I found myself purchasing it when they released it in new shades again. I do really like the medium-sized regular natural bristle wand and how easy the wand applies mascara. It provides good volume, length and definition that is somewhat buildable. My only pet peeve with this mascara is that I found it started to flake on me rather early in the tube later on in the day or if I took a bit of a nap, in a way that I didn’t experience with some other mascaras. I also wish that the formula was more volumizing, as that’s what I look for the most in a mascara. I found myself quite liking the formula in coloured variations for some reason. The blue offering isn’t for me, as I don’t find it blue enough to make a statement and it’s not a particularly flattering hue on me. I really like the deep burgundy, though, for an everyday look thats flattering on my blue eyes when I don’t want the full-on black treatment. I will note that it’s not particularly dark and looks noticeably lighter than say black liner. I think it’s great on lighter eyes and would be fantastic on blondes that don’t love the look of black mascara on an everyday basis.

Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Tinted Primer ($11.99 CDN): I can’t give you a full review on how this one performed as a primer because I think I’ve only used it once or twice that way – I honestly can’t be bothered much with mascara primers. I did like the black tint and how much length, volume and separation it offered while still looking natural. As a primer, it being tinted was really helpful, as were the lack of clumps. I did notice an altogether more lash-y volumized look. I really like this mascara as an everyday one, as it’s not frighteningly black, is buildable and adds volume and drama while feeling light on the lashes. I like the medium-sized basic natural bristle wand too.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara ($13.99 CDN): This is a repurchase of mine and is quite possibly the best mascara I’ve ever tried. I love how dry and super volumizing the formula is, and it gives the most dramatic lashes that I’ve ever seen on myself, without making my sensitive eyes irritated. It can get slightly clumpy but I deal with it because I love the formula and the natural bristle large standard shaped wand. It’s not a bitch to remove and doesn’t smudge or anything either. Dare I say holy grail status?
 I will note that the tube is impossible to keep in good condition.

What’s your current mascara favourite?
Maggie, x.

Revlon Grow Luscious Bold Lacquer Mascara


I promise that I don’t adore every single mascara that I try, despite how things have appeared around here lately, it’s just that I’ve had very good luck in recent months in terms of picking up gems — first my staple Maybelline The Falsies, next the new love of mine, L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess and finally this one, the Revlon Grow Luscious Bold Lacquer Mascara. This mascara retails for the pretty standard $9 dollar pricetag and I have to say that it’s a really great mascara but it isn’t the be all and end all for me due to my preferences. As I’ve said before, I naturally have long and pretty curled dark lashes and I preliminarily look for volume and tend to favour drier formulas — because of this, the formula of this one is too wet for my liking. With this in mind, it’s much less of a wet formula than the hyped L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara and I prefer it as a result. It’s large brush is made of natural bristles and although I haven’t used it in a while, the mascara reminds me so much of an old mascara love of mine, the Benefit BadGal Lash Mascara and in a good way. The natural bristle brush ensures that on days like today when my eyes are sore and itchy (hayfever, woo), the brush does not feel like it’s jabbing into my eyeballs.

The mascara provides a good deal of volume, enough to be impressive on that front whilst not being the most volumizing mascara in the world. However, the mascara does not advertise to be, considering that it’s marketed as a volume and length mascara – on these terms it delivers. It’s really lengthening at the same time without verging into spider-lash territory. It doesn’t provide much separation or curl, though. It doesn’t flake or do anything else as annoying in my experience but actually removes fairly easily with my Bioderma and doesn’t cling to my lashes for dear life. This is a nice thing, by the way.

The bottom line? This is a really great mascara for volume and length that removes without much difficulty but it’s not so life changing that I will have to buy another tube as soon as this one dries out. And here are the before and after shots…


Recently Updated17From no mascara to close up with mascara, followed by a zoomed-out shot
What’s your current favourite mascara?
Maggie, x.


I Used Up Products #2


Considering that I’m actually someone who enjoys these posts and their counterparts in video form, it might seem odd that I rarely put these kinds of posts up but in all honesty, I take forever to use up actual makeup despite frequent use – with the exception of mascara – and generally tend to run out of the same things quickly: conditioner, hair product, Bioderma and mascara, so I don’t always feel that these are the most interesting things to discuss. Nevertheless, I figure that I would give these a fair (hopefully concise) review.

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water ($22 CDN):

I’ve mentioned before the severity of my eye sensitivity and dryness but I have to mention it again in light of why I absolutely adore this product. Despite being the only product that has never burned or stung my eyes in the makeup removal process, it actually does remove makeup effectively and is the lazy girl’s dream with the ease that it removes makeup. It’s pretty much like makeup wipes in a bottle for those who like me have skin that is very reactive to makeup wipes and cannot use them. Bioderma is a simple product but a great one at that, being able to remove makeup effectively without any irritation involved. However, I’ve found cleansers that remove makeup as well on the face that I prefer, so unless I’m being lazy I only use the water to remove eye makeup.

Maybelline One By One Volum’ Express Mascara ($9-10):

I’m not typically one to exhibit diverse reactions to mascaras here but I promise that I’m not that indifferent to each mascara that I try and that the fact that I like this one (but don’t absolutely adore it) speaks to its merit. I’m quite a fan of the synthetic brush that is shaped somewhat like a football as it provides loads of definition and separation with its volume and the mascara in general, I suppose. However, it’s one of those mascaras that do enhance the lashes in an impressive way but manage to look relatively natural even on the bottom lashes. This mascara is a nice option for lighter days that removes easily and doesn’t look too full on.

L’Oreal Power Moisture Moisture Infusion Mask ($5-7 CDN):

Considering that I included this hair product in one of my first monthly favourites in the summer of 2013, it is sort of shocking that it’s a product that I feel rather indifferent towards but I think that when I enjoyed it my hair was in a good state and benefited from this basic conditioner parading as a mask that doesn’t do anything negative for your hair but doesn’t really do anything either. I think I liked it at first because of its light texture and that it did not weigh down the hair and while that is still true, it didn’t provide any sort of true nourishment and was not concentrated in the least. The quest for an affordable conditioner that I like continues…

DevaCurl One Condition ($26 CDN):

While I would rank this conditioner more highly than the former, it was not right for my fine-textured tangly wavy-curly hair as it did not provide that rich nourishment and detangling power. It has a really nice herbal-y scent and doesn’t weigh down hair in the slightest while moisturizing but it’s not enough for me. Ingredient-wise, it’s particularly great on the no-silicone front and I can see those requiring less hydration and whatnot loving this. However, I have gotten good results with this as a product for conditioner-washing but this is a rather pricy option for something with that purpose…

DevaCurl B’Leave-In ($26 CDN):

If you are too a member of the curlier-hair camp, you surely have firsthand experience of the whole my-hair-has-a-mind-of-its-own phenomenon and unless everything in your hair routine is in order, the worst hair day might still just happen. I loved this protein-based curl-enhancer and volumizer when my routine was all sorted last summer and I was consistently pretty pleased with the whole haircare routine, finding it to add that life towards the roots and in the less-curly sections of my head in a way that nothing else could but when things started to spiral out of control hair-wise, I cast this aside, believing it not to do anything and slowly used it up. However, I’m convinced that this is one of those products that can really boost your hair but only can provide results if the rest of your routine is in order as it doesn’t provide hold. I used this up a few months back but now I’m really considering repurchasing it and giving it another go…

Have you tried any of these?

Maggie, x.


L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara


It’s rare that you’ll see a mascara (other than my beloved standard Maybelline The Falsies) mentioned here, but I feel that this L’Oreal offering deserves not just a mere mention but it’s own review post, solely based on its merit. While I can’t quite bring myself to say that the L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara has topped The Falsies in my ranking of mascara loves, I can’t say that it’s inferior to it in any significant shape or form.

It’s time for a fun fact: long before the birth of this little place that I call my blog, I used to use the Voluminous Million Lashes standard mascara, which did give me great results but seeing as it was on the difficult side to remove thanks to my beyond-sensitive eyeballs, I wasn’t ready to commit to it. So I went for the newly-launched sister mascara, the Voluminous Million False Fibre Lashes and man was that a fatal mistake; the mascara became the bane of my existence, stabbing the sensitive eyes with the fibres themselves and being even more impossible to remove, despite being the regular and not waterproof formula. So I held a grudge against L’Oreal mascaras for a while… until I heard everyone raving about the original Voluminous formula. You know how this one went, I tried it and used it up but wasn’t wowed.

But then I went for this one. As one might expect, it’s similar to the original Voluminous Million Lashes, however the wand is both longer and thinner, adding extra definition to the lashes. The change in wand here makes the formula great for the lower lashes as well as the upper ones, very separating and generally fantastic at giving the best-of-both-worlds big overall lashes. And the formula is not a particularly wet one, so it wins bonus points in my book.

Over the past few weeks, I have been receiving numerous compliments on my lashes in real life, despite being a glasses wearer. So that tells you its working. But I feel compelled to say that naturally I do have long and curled lashes that I complain are wimpy, but in the grand scheme of things I have pretty easy lashes to work with. But I really really like this formula, it’s flawless in my eyes. I can only find it in me to say that sometimes it flakes ever-so-slightly but in truth, this only happens when I’m too lazy to remove the excess of my lashes. I just wish this was easier to remove. Well we can’t have it all, alas…

What is your favourite mascara? Have you tried this one?

Maggie, x

P.S. I’m sure that you can figure out that in the picture at the top, the first photo is before mascara and those that follow are detailing the results. Oh, and it’s around the ten dollar range in price if you weren’t aware.


November Favourites


I haven’t dropped off of the face of the earth, I promise. In last months post I complained of the stress and busyness of that month; this month was that tenfold. It’s started getting very cold this month and I’ve been exhausted, up to my neck in work, fighting off a cold and very sleep-deprived. At the moment, I’m in the middle of possibly the most stressful and intense exam-period in my life – writing three papers and studying and writing three exams in the next week. Eek. This is my escape and it is much appreciated. Much. I have no words. I’m not sure how I’m alive at the moment but I do appear to be so here goes. I forewarn you that this post has the potential to be extremely questionable with the state I’m currently in. Hello, December.

Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Warm Tan ($10 CDN)

Although it seemed slightly rather orange-toned for the first few applications, it has made it into my daily makeup routine. With its slightly radiant finish, it sits well over my dry patches and when blended properly it looks natural and luminous. The longevity is fantastic too and it doesn’t go streaky or patchy.

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara ($10 CDN)

I would not hesitate to say that this is my favourite mascara of all time. It’s not particularly clumpy, even at its wettest when its first opened and provides the dramatic but not particularly artificial-looking volume and curl that I like some length too. My inner lazy girl loves how it can be worn on both top and bottom lashes and its easy to remove as well. The only slightly negative point to this mascara is that slight flaking can occur by the end of the day. I opened a new tube this month and fell in love with this all over again.

Dior 5 Coleurs Quint in Earth Reflection ($61 CDN)

This rather expensive (but worth it in my opinion) palette has remained in constant use this month. The colours are amazing quality and versatile, going more dramatic or creating the perfect eye to pair with bolder lips. The shimmery pink highlight is the best brightening shade for the inner-corner as well, I discovered. I think the golden taupe tones of this palette make it so versatile and easy. The shades are pigmented, smooth and buttery like nothing else. Love. It’s completely worth it in its simplicity.

Coconut Oil

I talked about coconut oil in my fall skincare update post and as expected, it’s made its way into my everyday routine. It’s antibacterial and I find that it helps calm the skin and prevent scarring afterwards but I love to apply it over my moisturizer to soothe the skin and lock in the moisture in my perpetually-dehydrated skin. It can really help to combat dullness in the skin and get rid of irritation-based redness.

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl ($36 CDN)

Late spring I redeemed my Sephora BI points and I picked this up and a few samples as my 500 point perk but it’s really this month that I’ve fallen in love. It’s a light liquid iridescent pink-champagne highlighter that gives the perfect dewiness that my dull skin lacks. I’ve almost used it daily this month and it is nicely radiant and brightening. This truly looks like dewy skin, not just shimmer on the cheekbones.

Lancome Le Crayon Khol in Black Ebony ($29 CDN)

This seems to be the never-ending eyeliner. It’s lasted for years and because it’s sharpened, there is no concern about the hygiene of doing so. I’ve always liked this but I’ve fallen back in love this month. I’ve used it almost every day to tightline and have used it many times on the lashline and waterline as well. It’s not the blackest black and I like that; sometimes I find that browns are too light and this is a happy medium between brown and black. The formula lasts a good amount of time (even in the waterline) but is not a hassle to remove like Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners. It smudges out nicely and makes great smoky eyes.

Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer ($8 CDN)

This has become my go-to undereye concealer/brightener/face highlighter because it does all those things and provide just enough coverage to hide my hereditary but also sleep-induced dark circles without looking heavy. I also like to bring it into the higher points of my face, as it is also a highlighter. Weirdly enough the shade I have is Ivory and Ivory in this is way lighter than Ivory in their Wake Me Up Foundation and less yellow toned but it’s a good highlighting concealer on me. This is one of those products that makes me actually look alive. Exam-crunchtime essential.

I’ve been weirdly into lip products this month but oddly enough, I haven’t stayed faithful to one enough to bring myself to include it. The same goes with nail polish – I’m not typically one of those Oh-em-gee lipstick/nail polish kind of girls.Err, so I originally intended for this blog to be solely beauty-oriented but lately I’ve been itching to include a few fashion and lifestyle posts into the mix.


Banana Republic Cobalt Wool Coat ($275 CDN)

So about a month ago they had this coat on promotion for 40% off and I fell in love with it and it’s been amazing. I love the 3/4 length of it because it can also be worn with dresses without looking awkward. It’s that flattering effortlessly pulled-together vibrant cobalt bold coat with that flattering fit. It’s warm, comfortable and in my humble opinion makes me look fashionable.


American Eagle Real Soft Snowed In Sweater ($55 CDN)

A good portion of my wardrobe is from American Eagle – they seem to just do clothes right, laid back but fashionable, provide really good promotions and tend to fit me well. Sweaters are something they do best, however. I’ve been wearing this non-stop all month and it’s the perfect part nylon and wool cotton blend -warm and cozy without being too itchy or overheating. It’s the perfect cozy ‘sweater weather’ kind of slouchy sweater. I really like the pale blue for winter but that shade is no longer available but the cream, red and tan shades are gorgeous. It can be worn off the shoulders and really works with the easy skinny jeans and leather boots look. Love.  I got mine 40% off and they tend to do these kind of sales often.

Those who know me best would say that I am (a) entirely too beauty-obsessed and (b) angst-ridden, cynical and depressing for my own good. I’m sure you’re all to aware of the former trait but I haven’t talked too much of the latter.

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro ($15 CDN from Chapters)

If you want to read something beautifully depressing and tragic to fill the void in your soul, this book is for you. It’s very gripping and easy to read, even though I had it assigned to me as a required reading but it has to be one of my all time favourites. I would describe it as a psychological dystopian type of novel.

Born to Die – Lana del Rey ($12 CDN from iTunes)

I’ve always liked the namesake song and it’s really resonated with my inner cynical and angst-ridden dark soul but I hadn’t listened to the album but I’ve been listening to it non-stop. I really love the mellowness and her unique voice and for those of you in university-hell with me it’s a good one for listening to while studying slash essay-writing-yourself-into-an-early-grave.

What were your November favourites?