Review: GrandeLASH MD ($65)

When I was at the salon getting ready for my older brother’s wedding, the makeup artist mentioned that she’s been using GrandeLASH MD for six months and swears by it. I love having big eyelashes, but I don’t want to commit to extensions, and never really believed those eyelash serums worked! They ranked right up there with diet pills in my head.

According to their website, “GrandeLASH MD is an eyelash conditioner, created with a proprietary blend of vitamins, peptides, and amino acids, plus conditioning ingredients.” The company promises more youthful, healthy and dramatic eyelashes within 4-6 weeks (with a 90 day money back guarantee).

For $65 I bought a three month supply, and have been using it pretty consistantly since July 15. I’ve noticed a big difference, and get asked at least once a week if I have extension/false eyelashes.

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Day 1 using GrandeLASH MD (no mascara)
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3 months using GrandeLash (with mascara)

 

 

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All Eye Makeup Remover Is Not Created Equally

 

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I’m a fan of having huge lashes, which means multiple coats of mascara, and on occasion a set of false lashes. Most of my favorites are long-lasting, but such a pain to remove. Over the years, I’ve tried countless eye makeup removers, and am always looking for the next best thing. This week I’ve set out to try a few of the most popular brands (suitable to use with contact lenses), and have listed them below in order of preference.

Experiment rules: Wear 3 coats of mascara, using 2 coats of black magic by eyeko and one coat of They’re Real! by Benefit. Try each eye makeup remover twice, and report on findings. While I tried some of them on my entire face, the real judgement is on their ability to remove mascara well.

Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover by Neutrogena ($8 for 5.5oz)

The least expensive, and also the most effective eye makeup remover. I hardly buy drugstore makeup or skincare products (except body wash), and admit that I might have been quick to judge. I soaked a cotton round in a bit of this, pressed it on my lashes for a few seconds, and it instantly started working. I hardly had to scrub, and only lost an eyelash or two in the process. By far my favorite, and definitely my new go-to.

Immortelle Oil Make-Up Remover by L’Occitane ($32 for 6.7oz)

I use L’Occitane toner and lotion regularly, and am a huge fan of their products. My skin easily breaks out, and I was a bit hesitant to try makeup remover oil. I really loved this formula though, as it removes everything (and not just your eye makeup). It is a bit thicker liquid than the rest of the liquid removers, and only requires a very small amount. I followed the directions exactly, pitting this on my lashes with my fingers and not a cotton round like I would usually do. By the end, my fingers were covered with mascara residue, and I was able to wipe off the oil with a cotton round, fully removing it from my eyes. The only downside of this is the higher price point.

Take the day off makeup remover by Clinique ($19 for 4.2oz)

I love Clinique, and trust their products on my breakout prone face. This formula is not specifically for eyes, but for lids, lashes (they boast of removing waterproof makeup), and lips. When I first started wearing makeup as a teen, my mom brought me to a Clinique. This was my first makeup remover, and still an effective option. Is it my favorite? Not quite. But it’s great when you’ve got the smokey eye or red lip stain going on your night out, and bonus points for working all over your face. Would I buy this again? Totally.

They’re Real! remover by Benefit ($18 for 1.7oz)

I love the They’re Real! mascara, but it’s particularly hard to remove. I’ve been using it for a couple years, and had no idea this remover existed. It’s a cream formula (versus a liquid like all of the others), and while it was effective in removing my makeup, it stung when it inevitably got into my eyes. Also, you really have to scrub a bit to get it to work, which is bad for both your lashes and the sensitive skin around your eyes. It wasn’t bad per say, but is the most expensive per ounce, and I probably wouldn’t buy it again.

Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover by Sephora Collection ($11 for 4.2oz)

My first thought upon trying this formula was ‘why is this bright blue?!’ I love most of the makeup by Sephora Collection, so I expected to love this formula as well (regardless of color). It was incredibly ineffective removing my layers of mascara, even when I scrubbed it a bit. It just sort of moved the color around instead of transferring it to the cotton round/dissolving it. Also, it’s listed as a gentle formula, but it stung my eyes a bit and removed a few too many eyelashes in the process for my liking. I actually had to use another remover to take off the rest. Definitely would not buy this again.

What’s your go-to eye makeup remover? Have you tried any of these? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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Review: Cream Lip Stain by Sephora

As you probably know by now, I’m a big fan of red lipstick. Though I tend to keep my makeup looks pretty simple, I’m wearing red lipstick at least once a week (if not more). Bold lips can pull a look together, and is universal.

Chanel makes incredible lipstick, but my go-to is actually a cream lip stain by Sephora. It comes in matte and satin finishes, and a wide range of richly-pigmented colors. My favorite color is “01 – Always Red” in matte, but at some point I will own all of the colors because it’s that good.

Cream Lip Stain by Sephora

I can put the stain on before I leave my apartment at 7am and keep it in place effortlessly throughout the entire day. I’ve learned to have absolutely nothing on my lips before applying the stain (even chapstick will mess it up), and always using a similar colored lip liner before applying as well.

Apparently the secret ingredient is avocado oil. It keeps your lips hydrated and the stain stays on your lips for hours. The only time I ever have to freshen up is when I eat something messy (like a veggie burger or oversized sandwich). Even still, it’s mostly intact.

The best part… this lip stain is a steal at just $14 and in a wide range of colors. Or you can pick up this great bag + my favorite red here for $18.

10 Beauty Products I Can’t Live Without

When I’m getting ready I have two priorities in mind, glowing skin and big eyelashes. Sure, I enjoy a good smokey eye or bold red lips, but my everyday look is more the “no makeup-makeup,” which is perfect for summer 2016. Here’s the 10 beauty products I can’t live without.

  1. Divine Cream by L’Occitane ($110): A moisturizer is imperative for great skin. This cream is super lightweight and loaded with anti-aging essential oils to give you that fresh faced glow.
  2. The POREfessional face primer by Benefit ($31): I highly recommend using a primer. This one minimizes your pores and fine lines, giving skin a smooth look and feel.
  3. Bobbi Brown BB Cream with SPF 35 ($46): Like a good moisturizer, it’s important to include something with SPF into your daily beauty routine. I personally like this BB cream a lot because it helps to control shine and has a matte finish.
  4. Secret Camouflage by Laura Mercier ($35): I love this concealer for blemishes or under eye circles. Just dab a bit under your eyes gently with your ring ringer, and apply with a small brush to any blemishes.
  5. Blush by NARS ($30): I’m a big fan of their “orgasm” shade of pink, but depending on your skin tone, you might prefer a different color. This brightens your whole face, and gives you that summer glow.
  6. Bronzer by NARS ($39): Give your face a touch of bronzer to complete your healthy glow. I use the “Laguna” color, but you can adjust based on your skin tone. Keep in mind though, less is more with this.
  7. Naked 2 eyeshadow palate by Urban Decay ($54): Lately I’ve been living in the “bootycall” color (third from the left), which is a light pink. The darker colors are great when you’re going for that date night smokey eye though!
  8. Brown eyeliner by Clinique ($16.50): Line your eyes, and then use the sponge tip on the bottom of the brush to smudge it a bit. I’m a fan of the “Intense Sable” brown, but they’ve got lots of options.
  9. Black Magic Mascara by Eyeko ($25): I am a mascara connoisseur, and have been completely obsessed with this mascara. It keeps selling out at most stores, so I’ve been ordering directly from Eyeko. Tip: Back in the day when I modeled, a makeup artist taught me to heat up my eyelash curler with a blowdryer (be careful it doesn’t get too hot though). I’ve been doing it for years, and people always ask if my eyelashes are real.
  10. Lip Balm #1 by Kiehls ($7): This is always in my purse. This lip balm gives your lips a little bit of shine, and a lot of protection from the elements.

I hope you enjoyed the 10 beauty products I can’t live without! What are your favorite summer 2016 beauty products?