Mascara Review – The 1st of Many

I am obsessed with mascara.  I have really long lashes, so my needs are usually based around volume.  And staying power.  I’ve never found, NEVER, a mascara that stays on through the night.  I’m always rubbing underneath my eyes on the dance floor just to make sure there aren’t dark circles under my eyes.  It makes me appear to be crying or really tired, and the efforts are in vain.  When I get home and stumble into the bathroom, I think I’m seeing things in the mirror as I look like a raccoon.  Add to that the fact that my lashes are so long that they leave a series of dots underneath my eyebrows.  It looks like a plastic surgeon marked me for a makeover.  For anyone who wants to offer advice, don’t.  I’ve tried everything from Clinique to Maybelline.  Waterproof just makes it worse.  It still comes off my eyelashes, but then I can’t get it off my skin.

Anyway, last year I bought the mascara sampler pack from Sephora.  10 mini mascaras for $40.  I tried a new one each day, developed a rating system based on length, volume, staying ability, and overall look.  I found 3 I liked and rotated buying those for the last year.

For Christmas this year, I got the deluxe mascara sampler from Sephora.  New brands and a new eyelash curler.  And a bonus 100 beauty points when I buy one of the full size versions.  Woohoo!  So, this year I’m cataloging the different brands here, starting with Blinc Kiss Me Mascara and Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara.

I put on the Blinc mascara Christmas day.  Nothing special.  It provides subtle color and length, nothing in the way of volume.  So, it’s a pretty standard mascara.  Then it didn’t come off all day.  And then it didn’t come off all through the next day when I didn’t shower because I was on a series of trains, subways, and buses to get home in a snowstorm.  That really gave it extra points.

Fast forward to the next night when I finally did take a shower.  The Blinc mascara is one of those fancy ones that deposits tubes around your lashes.  When you go to wash it off, they come of in clumps that look like I just smushed a fat, black spider with my hand.  Anyone who has witnessed my self-diagnosed arachnophobia knows that this did not make for a pleasant shower experience.  Negative points.

In sum, Blinc mascara is a good, solid product.  Nothing too fancy or extravagant, but it does what it’s supposed to.  And you barely need makeup remover since the tubes come off essentially in one piece.  I do recommend it, especially for someone with shorter eyelashes, as long as you can stand the spider resemblance.

I’m wearing this mascara as I type.  The dark color and volume are great.  The mascara wand was a little too bulky for my liking.  I tend to prefer the newer small, plastic bristle wands.  Thus far it has weathered hurricane winds, horizontal snow and the resulting watery eyes.  Though I haven’t worn it all day, I feel that was enough to give it my stamp of approval.  However, I won’t be buying this one because, while really good, it’s not any better than the Sephora brand mascara that I discovered in last year’s gift set.

That’s all for today.  I will continue my valiant effort to find the best mascara and report on them every couple days.  Hopefully by New Year’s Eve I find something that resembles fake lashes and stays on all night.


Review: skoah Facial

A couple of weeks ago Rue La La had a sale for a Holiday Facial and Foot Treatment for $49 at skoah, located in the South End.  $49 for something that usually cost upwards of $100…I’m down.  My skin has been a disaster lately.

The last time I got a facial it was at Bella Sante on Newbury Street.  I had a giftcard.  It was horrible.  It was my first and I was not prepared.  They were too fancy, too uppity, just not my style.  The woman was rather rude, pressuring me into using certain products because she insisted I needed them.  I’ve lived with my skin for 24 years.  She had just met it within the hour.  I know better what works and what doesn’t work for my face.  At the end, she covered my face in so much moisturizer, it felt like I had a Vaseline mask on and she argued with me when I asked for a washcloth to wipe it off.  Very frustrating.

Alas, at $49, I decided to give high end beauty another try.  Skoah was great.  The woman was nice and not pushy.  The products were natural and light, definitely not overwhelming, definitely items I would purchase if money grew on trees.  The full treatment was a one hour facial that included a mask, toner, extractions, neck and shoulder massage, leg and foot massage.  The extractions weren’t painful, as they had been at Bella Sante.  The moisturizer soaked in and I didn’t look like the winner of a pie eating contest when I left.

They gave me a list of all the products they used, obviously a marketing technique to get you to buy everything later.  I wasn’t buying and deftly deflected the sales pitch by thanking her, tipping her, and claiming that this list would be directly translated to my Christmas list.  And it would be, too, if the sum total didn’t monopolize my full Christmas haul.

My favorite was the Turbo Tonik toner which reduces redness, clears skin, and has a coagulant to stop the bleeding when you try to pop the zit yourself.

The purchase was well worth it.