Tuesday, November 30

The 12 Worst Mascaras

The 12 Worst Mascaras

It's official -- we're obsessed with mascara. If this is surprising to you, let us back up that statement by waxing poetic on all of the reasons why: First, it instantly opens up our eyes. Even when we've been burning the candle at both ends, we still manage to look awake thanks to this fabulous eye makeup we call mascara. Second, it makes us look like we actually have eyelashes -- even those of us who were blessed with blonde (aka invisible) lashes or super fine and stubby ones. Third, it creates an instantly feminine, polished makeup look.  Even if it's the only product we take time to apply, it helps us look pulled-together.

So now that we've convinced you that mascara should be the go-to product for all women, it's time to let you in on a few other tidbits. Like, not all mascaras were created equal. How do we know this? Well … let's just say that we've tried enough of them to prove it. What's even better is that our readers have too. Thanks to them we have a list of the mascaras that produce lack-luster lashes (try saying that three times fast). Peruse their feedback to learn which mascaras you should steer clear of -- unless you want flaky raccoon eyes, of course. And hey, if you unknowingly bought one of the eye makeup products on this list already, these mascara tips may help salvage your look:

Tip 1: Improve lash separation by applying your mascara in a swift, zigzag motion from lash root to tip as opposed to one sweeping motion.
Tip 2: Dab the tip of your mascara wand on a tissue to get rid of the glob that tends to form there. It will prevent you from getting uneven, goopy product distribution.
Tip 3: If you use a lash primer, particularly a white one, wait 10 to 30 seconds for the primer to dry before applying your mascara. It will keep the color from looking diluted (i.e. gray instead of black).

See the worst 12 mascaras now.

By Kristen Oldham Giordani, Sarah Carrillo

Sunday, November 21

Palladio Herbal Foundation Primer

Product: Palladio Herbal Foundation Primer primes skin to achieve a smoother, more even application of foundation.

Price: $ $
I bought mine at Sally's for $11.99.  This is about an average price for most drugstore foundation primers.

Packaging:  ♦ ♦
This primer comes in a 20 ml clear plastic squeeze tube that has a silver design and black lettering.  The opening is on the bottom with a twist on cap.  The opening is also sort of big and you have to be careful not to squeeze too much out.  The product itself is clear and gel like.

Claim:  "Palladio Herbal Foundation Primer offers a nourishing blend to visibly improve the appearance of skin. Skin is left perfectly primed and ready for makeup. Fills in fine lines and pores to help foundation go on smoothly and last longer."

Ingredient:  Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimthicone Crosspolymer, Safflower (Carthamus Tinctorius) Seed Oil, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Grape (Vitis Vinifera) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Chamomilla recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Seed Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract.

  •  Applies Smoothly
  • Makes my Face Feel Soft & Smooth
  • Keeps my Foundation on Longer
  • Affordable Price
  • Opening is Too Big
  • Wish it Was Mattifying
Final Verdict:  ♥ ♥
I was at Sally Beauty Supply Store recently and saw that the sold Palladio Cosmetics.  I decided to try their primer because I was starting to run out with some of mine.  Palladio's primer is a clear gel-like product.  It applies smoothly to they skin and leaves the skin feeling silky smooth.  When I used this primer under my foundation, it help to keep my foundation on longer throughout the say.  Usually, if I don't wear any primer, my makeup will fade off because I have oily/combination skin.
Even with my skin type, this product didn't break me out or make my skin more oily.  I wish it was a mattifying to help control shine but it still works well.  It doesn't matter your skin type, anyone can use this product.  It does claim to help improve skin but I haven't seen any difference yet.
My biggest annoyance with this product is that the opening on the tube is a bit too big.  If you are not careful, you can squeeze out a lot of product.  I've wasted product because of that.  Other than that this product is worth the try.
 On a side note:
When I first saw this product ,I thought, "I wonder if it's like Smashbox Photo Finish?".  When I did try it out, I got my answer.  Palladio & Smashbox primers basically the same.  They both looked, felt, and functioned the same way.  You probably couldn't tell the two apart outside of their packaging.  The biggest different between the two is price.  Palladio's primer cost $12 for 20 ml (0.67 oz) while  Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is $16 for a  0.5 oz tube & $36 for a 1oz tube.  Palladio Foundation Primer is a steal compared to Smashbox.  If you love Smashbox Photo Finish Primer but could do without high price, Palladio Herbal Foundation Primer is your answer.

Friday, November 19

10 Best Long-Wear Eyeliners

10 Best Long-Wear Eyeliners

The editors at Total Beauty put some long-lasting eyeliners to the test. Here are their results:

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, $18
Tester: Kristen Oldham Giordani, Senior Editor
Rating: 9
What she thought: Confession -- before I tried this "Tattoo" brush tip pen liner I was a bit nervous it might never come off. It is created by tattoo queen Kat Von D after all. But, after doing a few test swipes on my hand, it easily wiped off reassuring me that I wouldn't have to live with my eyes lined in a vibrant navy hue for the rest of my days. Phew. It did make me question whether it would last though. But … it did. Normally any liquid or gel liner I wear transfers onto the creases of my eyes by midday or evening -- I have combo skin and lids that disappear when I open my eyes -- a bad environment for any liner. But to my surprise, this didn't budge and the color lasted all day. The pen-like applicator also makes it easier than most liquid liners to apply -- though it still takes a steady hand and some patience. And the liner did wash off easily, with my go-to cleanser (Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, $24.50) and water.

Almay Liquid Liner, $6.75
Tester: Anna Jimenez, Assistant Editor
Rating: 9.5
What she thought: I don't know why the average woman would need an eyeliner that lasts 16 hours like this one claims and does, but I appreciate the fact that it goes the distance. This eyeliner has been an all time favorite of mine for a while now due to the fact that it is highly pigmented, perfect for creating a dramatic look and never smudges off. It even lasts through a long night of dancing -- many of the others I've tried melt off. It has a felt tip applicator and a pot, which makes it easy to apply and prevents it from running out of product or drying up like many pen style felt-tip eyeliners do. And the price? So affordable.

Tarte emphasEYES, $18
Tester: Molly Roemer, Associate Editor
Rating: 9
What she thought: First off, this automatic pencil liner goes on super smooth like a liquid. Since it yielded a nice, thick line, I went for an Audrey Hepburn-esque, top-liner-only look. And it really did stay put all day -- I put it on around 8am, and when I went to wash my face around 10pm, it was still in tact.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, $21
Tester: Sharon Yi, Editorial intern
Rating: 9
What she thought: I've heard so many good things about this magical little smudge pot -- and they’re all true! The one annoying thing about it is that you have to buy a separate brush to use it, but once that’s taken care of, all you need is a tiny amount of the product to create any style line you prefer -- thin or thick. And because it’s not liquid, it’s very easy to line the waterline (inner rims) of your eyes without fear of getting black ink drops on your contacts (if you have them, which I do). The gel liner is definitely long lasting, but it does fade a bit after a few hours, so it doesn’t hurt to reapply to keep it looking fresh. Overall though, it's a keeper.

Almay Amazing Lasting 16 Hour Eye Pencil, $6.49
Tester: Jane Kim, Assistant Editor
Rating: 7
What she thought: I love how soft this eyeliner feels -- it glides right on, and is the perfect consistency for smudging, ideal if you're going for a smoky eye look. It did smudge under my eyes after a while, which forced me to clean them up a bit toward the end of the day. But my upper lids were still well-defined after eight hours of wear, and I didn't have to reapply my liner at all, which is good enough for me.

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner, $28
Tester: Susan Yara, Associate Editor
Rating: 8
What she thought:
My absolute all time favorite eyeliner is Chanel Le Crayon Kohl in Noir because it's richly pigmented and glides on nicely ... plus, it gives a bit of a slick look when I apply it the bottom inner rims of my eyes. So I was excited to try this one because my usual tends to fade midday on my bottom lids, and it often settles into the corners of my eyes. This definitely doesn't do that -- it glides on smoothly and stays put. In fact, I had to remove it with eye makeup remover wipes at the end of the day to get the last of it off. And bonus -- this pencil doesn't have to be sharpened.

NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker, $9
Tester: Anna Jimenez, Assistant Editor
Rating: 8.5
What she thought: Anything that claims to be "supermodel skinny" makes me want to immediately hate it out of jealousy, but this liquid eyeliner rocks my world. Its felt-tip pen makes application so easy, and the pigment is super rich and dark. I honestly think anyone can apply this liner (shaky hands and all). What's even better is that I can do a cat eye in the morning before work, go out the same night, return home and the lines are still perfectly in place -- no smudging. It also washes right off with face wash and water, which I appreciate because I hate having to bust out the eye makeup remover. Only problem I've noticed (and why I didn't give it a 10) is that the shelf life is limited due to that fact that it is a pen -- after about a month of everyday use, it's dried up and ready for retirement.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Eye Pencil, $19
Tester: Susan Yara, Associate Editor
Rating: 9
What she thought: I like wearing brown eyeliner during the day [because it's less intense] and this pencil glides on smooth and really does stay put. It never ended up smearing or settling into the corners of my eyes. It definitely lasted all day and was not hard to remove at night -- just used my normal face wash and it slid right off.

tokidoki Perfetto Eyeliner, $16
Tester: Jane Kim, Assistant Editor
Rating: 9
What she thought: This felt-tip liner glides on like a liquid. It is extremely waterproof -- once dry, it was hard to smudge. Depending on how you like to wear your liner, this can be a pro or a con. (It was a con for me, since I prefer a smudged, not-so-precise look.) But it has amazing staying power and doesn't smear -- at all. It definitely lives up to its long-lasting claim, as it didn't budge after eight hours of wear.

Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner, $24.50
Tester: Sarah Carrillo, Senior Associate Editor
Rating: 7
What she thought: This automatic eyeliner was more like a thin crayon than a pencil. It was easy to apply, though it gives you a softer, smoky look rather than a pencil-thin line (which I was fine with, but if you like a more exact line, you may not be). Applying it to my inner rims was a little tricky, since the waxy texture didn't quite want to stick to the area. It finally worked though and I liked the smoldering look I created. By the afternoon, most of the liner had faded from my upper lashline (no creasing though, which is typical with any liner or shadow I wear) and the liner in my waterlines had slipped down to my lower lashlines. But while it didn't last all day, it also never looked bad, it just slowly faded and transferred, but without smudging or flaking. At night, I was able to remove it with eye makeup remover, although there were traces I had to clean up the next morning. Bottom line: I liked this liner and would use it again, I just won't expect it to last perfectly all day, but with my oily eyelids, makeup rarely does.

Thursday, November 18

14 Best Classic Beauty Products


14 Best Classic Beauty Products 

See the tried and true beauty products our readers have been using for years -- and never plan to give up

We call them classic beauty products for a reason. They've been around for ages and have become staples in our makeup bags and bathroom cabinets. You know the beauty products we're talking about -- the ones your mother (or even grandmother) used that eventually (against your strongest will) became your favorites.

See The Classic Beauty Products

By Susan Yara

Tuesday, November 9

Sephora Lash Plumper Mascara

Product: Sephora Lash Plumper.  A volumizing mascara from Sephora's makeup collection.
It's not waterproof and comes in two shades: black & brown.

Price:  $ $
Can be purchased at any Sephora or Sephora.com for $12.

Packaging:  ♦ ♦ ♦
This product comes in a black tube can contains 0.4 oz of product.  The mascara brush is soft and slightly tapered.

Claim:  "Fatten your flutter with this lash-plumping formula. The larger brush, with slightly tapered edges, reaches from root to tip, for truly bat-worthy volume and glamour"

Ingredients:  Aqua (Water), Synthetic Beeswax, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid , Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Acacia Senegal (Gum), Acrylates Copolymer , C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Triethanolamine , Butylene Glycol , Kaolin, Phenoxyethanol , Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methylparaben , Propylparaben , Potassium Sorbate, Edta , +/- : Ci 77007 (Ultramarine Blue), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides).

  • Doesn't Clump
  • Doesn't Dry Too Quickly
  • Doesn't Smudge
  • Doesn't Flake
  • Separates Lashes
  • Soft Bristles
  • I'm Not Sure About Volume
  • Doesn't Hold a Curl to Well
  • Wish It Was Waterproof
Final Verdict:  ♥ ♥
Sephora Lash Plumper is a nice mascara at a fairly affordable price.  The mascara formula is almost creamy that doesn't dry too quickly.  I think that what keeps it from clumping.  You can really coat your lashes without worrying about clumps.  I also notice that it didn't smudge or flake through out the day.  The bristles also help to separate my lashes and give them some definition.    However, when I think plumper I would hope to get some volume.  It didn't really give me that.  It doesn't hold a curl to well either.  I have short straight lashes so they're really hard stay curled.  I've had other mascaras do a better job.  But, it's not waterproof and waterproof mascara hold a curl better.  That's the only draw back about this mascara, overall I liked what I got.  I would definitely purchase it again.

Monday, November 8

Best and Worst Lip & Cheek Stains

11 Best and Worst Lip & Cheek Stains

See which makeup finds from Benefit, Tarte, CoverGirl and more have our readers glowing and rosy, and which are big disappointments

There's something so appealing and youthful about flushed cheeks and rosy lips. Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed with a perpetual glow and just-bitten-looking lips. The good news is makeup companies have done their best to give us what nature should have through the ingenious invention of lip and cheek stains. That said, while some of these products have forever earned a place in our reader's makeup bags, others have wound up in their trash bins.

Now, before you go trashing your product, make sure you're using it correctly. We're not gonna lie, these stains can be tricky to use, so here are some tips for getting the best results:

Step 1: Choose the right stain
Pick a shade that complements your skin tone. Keep in mind that cheek stains look darker in the bottle than on your skin. So test it out before you buy it or buy it at a drugstore that will accept returns after use.

Step 2: Prep your skin
Wash your face with an exfoliating cleanser to slough off dead skin, which will help even out your skin tone. Then, apply a light moisturizer all over your face and neck. If you use liquid foundation, blend it into your skin before cheek stain application. If you're more a powder girl, apply it after your cheek color.

Step 3: Apply stain
Use your fingertips or a makeup sponge and smile as you blend the color onto the apples of your cheeks. If you're using a liquid stain, make sure to blend quickly (and wash hands right after unless you're using a sponge). If you end up looking circus-ready, rub a small amount of foundation onto your cheeks to dilute the color. And if you need more color payoff, apply more until you get the hue you desire.

And now check out the list of best and worst lip and cheek stains.
By Molly Roemer

Thursday, November 4

FOTD: Pink Violets

L'Oreal Magic Perfecting Base
Benefit Boi-ing Concealer #2
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foudation
ELF Studio Blush in Mellow Mauve
ELF Studio Blush Contour
Maybelline Finishing Veil

NYX Lip Pencil in Neutral
Maybelline Color Sensational in Pink Me Up
MAC (Hello Kitty) She Likes Candy

NYX Jumbo E/S Pencil in Strawberry Milk
Tarte E/S in Ecru Hibiscus
Tarte E/S in Pink Peony
Tarte E/S in African Violet
MAC E/S in Shadowy Lady
Maybelline Gel Liner in Eggplant
Sephora Plumper Mascara

Wednesday, November 3

'Tis The Season: 2010 Holiday Collections

Now that Halloween is over, it's time to think about the Holidays.  There's always great gift sets and palettes that come out.  Companies have already come out with their Holiday Collections.  .Here's whats in store for the 2010 season:

Tuesday, November 2

Pink Champagne

L'Oreal Magic Perfecting Base
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation
NARS Blush in Deep Throat
ELF Contour Blush
ELF Blush in Gotta Glow
Maybelline Finishing Veil

ELF Lip Lock Pencil
NYX Round Lipstick in Sky Pink
MAC (Hello Kitty) L/G She Likes Candy

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Strawberry Milk
NYX Champagne & Caviar Palette
MAC E/S in Vanilla
Urban Decay E/L in Bourbon
Sephora Plumper Mascara

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