Tried and Tested – Volumising Mascaras

I’m falling in love again with mascara.

For many years I’ve been a one mascara kind a gal. That one being Lancôme’s Hypnose, which I still love, but after playing the field and discovering the wonderful Falsifeye by 17 I realised that mascaras had moved on, and without me! With new ones hitting the market all the time it’s difficult to keep up, but in an attempt to update my knowledge, I’ve road tested some of the new kids on the block. They all have one thing in common – they promise the World, they don’t all deliver.

No7 Lash Adapt £12.50 7ml

I had high hopes for this mascara, especially since Boots rolled it out with a huge marketing campaign and tied its release with the £5 off voucher. The second most expensive mascara on the list, it certainly wasn’t anywhere near the best. This one markets itself as offering buildable volume. The first thing I noticed was that it didn’t coat the lashes generously enough, I had to keep dipping the wand back in for more. It took around 3 for 4 coatings to achieve what I’d call volume, but by this point the lashes were starting to look spidery, feathery and a tad clumpy, see the pic. It did have separating and lengthening qualities, but it didn’t have the WOW factor. I’d say this one is a good everyday mascara, one to two coats gives a natural flutter, more and it looks clumpy. It did last well with no smudging.

Good for: Seperating and fanning the lashes

Bad for: Quick application

Score: 6/10

Revlon Custom Eyes Mascara £9.99 5ml

Whilst it doesn’t market itself as a volumising marcara, it does promise drama. The first point to note is that this mascara has two settings 1. Length and Drama, 2. Length and Definition. You twist the wand handle to change between the two, but in reality I’m struggling to notice what difference it makes. The second point is it had a RUBBER wand, a wobbly rubber wand at that, which I’m not a fan of. Despite this, the mascara was fairly easy to use, you get used to the flexi brush and it was good for getting right down to the root. The mascara separates and fans out the lashes. It added length, layers well, but definitely no drama here.

Good for: Length

Bad for: Fiddly rubber wand

Score: 6.5/10

Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara £9.99 10ml

What sets this one aside from other mascara is it’s size! The tube is large, the wand is large and the brush is HUGE.  It seems unnecessarily so, it’s certainly longer than the eyes width and I imagined it would end up all over the place. But it was easy to use and not too cumbersome. The formula I liked – no clumping or smudging and lasted all day. It coats the lashes quickly and generously, but not excessively. Again I found it created more length than volume. It was buildable but certainly didn’t have the WOW factor. My main criticism was that some how, it made me look like a had less lashes. I guess the bulkiness of the brush means it doesn’t separate or fan the lashes. It was also difficult to wash off, I needed to use eye make up remover as well as my usual face wash.

Good for: Quick application

Bad for: Washing off

Score: 6.5/10

 Maybelline Volume Express Cat Eyes Mascara £7.99 10ml

Cat eyes by name, cat eyes by nature. This one did live up to the hype. Like a moth to a flame I was drawn to this one by its appearance – bright yellow fat tube with a band of leopard print, you can’t miss it! Now the brush takes some getting used to, it’s very small, curved and quite fiddly. I didn’t feel like I had great control, but it is good for getting down to the root of the lash and inside the inner corners. The formula I like, it immediately and generously coats the lashes and is very buildable. It separated the lashes, fanning them across the upper lid for that wide-eyed/cat eye look. It lengthened and curved the lashes with no smudging and no clumping!

Good for: Separating and curving the lashes

Bad for: Fiddly brush

Score: 7/10

17 FALSIFEYE Mascara £6.49 9ml

Everything about this mascara is BIG –the name, the chunky, bright pink tube, the results and unfortunately the wand. That’s my only criticism the wand is quite fat and cumbersome and I found it difficult to get in to the inner corners of the eye. BUT it’s that same fat wand that makes this mascara quick and easy to use. A quick coating really does add heaps of volume and creates that wide eye look. Add two or three coats to create a dramatic false lash effect. No clumping, no smudging and washes off with my regular face wash. Whats’s more amazing about this mascara is it’s price! It was my favourite mascara, for about a week until Lancôme released Doll Eyes, but remains a firm favourite and is pretty safe in my beauty hall of fame.

Good for: Volume and value for money

Bad for: Clumpy brush

Score: 8/10

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes £20.50

I’m a life long fan of Lancôme mascaras, for years Hypnose has been my favourite, but I haven’t loved their every offering – Amplicils didn’t do it for me, nor did Virtuose but with Doll Eyes they’ve hit the spot, well mine at least. This mascara has the holy grail WOW-factor. If you’re looking for drama – this one has it! It coats lashes generously, gives instant volume, separates, fans and creates the illusion of having more lashes than you do. One coating is all you need, but if you’re looking for the false lash effect, a couple more coats will do it – but be warned, mine end up poking my eye brows! I especially love the brush; it’s tapered at one end making it easy to get to the small lashes in the inner corners and separate the clusters at the outer edges. The only downside I can find, is that it’s prone to some smudging beneath the lower lash line, but I did road test it in the Greek heat! It’s pretty expensive too but I’m hooked! Doll eyes is now my number one mascara and secret weapon when I need some va va voom!

Good for: Volume, Drama and speed

Bad for: Smudging

Score: 9/10

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Duty Free Treats

I thought I’d share with you the duty free treats I picked up in the airport last week.

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Essentials

I bought this one whim – partly because I was caught up in the holiday spirit and partly because every girl should own this kit, and some boys too ;) I make no secret of the fact  I’m a lifelong lover of Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, but I’ve never explored the range further… until now.

This pack contains the following products:

  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant – 30ml
  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Intensive Moisturising Hand Treatment – 50ml
  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant Stick – 3.7g

I fancied the lip protectant as I use the original cream on my lips all the time, so it made sense to have a handy little bullet that’s more user friendly, plus this one has an SPF 15, making it an ideal holiday companion. I wasn’t disappointed – it looks and feels like the regular version, it’s super moisturising and surprisingly didn’t melt in the heat. Now the hand cream, this was a real surprise, it’s one of the best hand creams I’ve used. Incredibly thick, rich and moisturising – Looks like I’ve added another two products to my “can’t live without” list.

Duty Free Price £22 – contents worth over £50

Lancôme Doll Eyes Mascara

I won’t say too much about Doll Eyes right now as I’m planning a full review and some comparisons to other mascaras, but I will say it’s fab and as you can see some the photos, so are the results. It worked well in the heat and humidity too.

Duty Free Price £17.45

WOW lashes with 17’s FALSIFEYE Mascara AND a FREE Gel Liner

I’ve never used “cheap” mascara in my life. Don’t dismiss me as a make up snob, it’s all down to my Mum! She made the “mistake” of introducing me to Lancôme mascaras when I was 13 – after that there was no “downgrading” to Collection 2000, 17 or Rimmel – none of them could live up to the wonders that are Lancôme’s mascaras. Over the years I’ve had brief flirtations with Clinique, Dior and Benefit mascaras, always returning to my trusted Lancôme. 

Me, my scepticism and my elitist lash attitude decided to give 17’s new FALSIFEYE mascara a go. I was drawn in by the bright pink packaging and the FREE gel liner, oh and a million or so Boots points burning a hole in my pocket.  

17 says “Watch lashes transform into voluptuously thick, curvy lashes as the oversized brush coats each and every lash from corner to corner, root to tip without clumping. Lashes look fanned, volumised and falsified in an instant!”

I say, i agree  and I never expected to love this mascara but I blinking well do!

Everything about this mascara is BIG –the name, the chunky, bright pink tube, the results and unfortunately the wand. That’s my only criticism (believe me, I went looking for them) the wand is quite fat and cumbersome and I found it difficult to get in to the inner corners of the eye.

BUT it’s that same fat wand that makes this mascara quick and easy to use. A quick coating really does add heaps of volume and creates that wide eye look.

You really can create the doll eye look with this mascara, but you don’t have to. I’ve been road testing this mascara for a week now –day and night. You can vary the intensity of the look. One, quick coating is fine for the daytime look or layer two or three coats for a dramatic evening look.

Left shows one coat, right two

I wore it last Saturday night and friends did ask me if I had falsies in.

I expected major clumping and smudging, again FALSIFEYE proved me wrong – no panda eyes in sight, and it washes off easily with my usual face wash.

All this at the bargain price of £6.49! Available from Boots in Black and Brown.

I haven’t road tested the gel liner yet, but a quick swatch on my hand and it appears to be everything you’d expect from a gel liner – thick, black and long lasting.

Either I’ve been missing out all these years or highstreet brands have really pulled their socks up in recent years, either way I’m hooked. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not turning my back on Lancome Hypnose, but FALSIFEYE will sit nicely next to it in my collection and will be my go to product when I want that extra va va voom!

Bargain Beauty Buys

With the summer sales in full swing I’ve traipsed around the shops and trawled through hundreds of online pages  to bring you some of the best beauty bargains out there .

Marks and Spencer

Not one of my regular beauty haunts, I must admit but whilst browsing in the home department I wondered along (like a moth to a flame) to the beauty sale. Stock was limited but there’s some bargains to be had – this is what I picked up

Lazy Spa – Shape up contouring gel Was £6 now £1.50

This all over intensive body contouring gel contains CellActive® – Shape and witch hazel. Combined with massage, these active ingredients help to firm, tone and reduce the appearance of cellulite. With a beach holiday coming up, it’s got to be worth a go.

Busy But Beautiful Body Shimmer BalmWas £5 now £1.50

Give your skin a subtle luminescence with this sexy scented body balm. I was more attracted to the tin, which you can re-use as a great make-up brush holder or a stylish case for all your beautiful cosmetics, but the balm itself is a lovely highlighter type balm for the body and smells divine.

ASOS

A lot of people don’t realise that ASOS stocks beauty treats, as well as fashion faves. Their ever expanding beauty department includes brands such as GHD, Nails Inc, Illamasqua and Soap and Glory.

There’s some great bargains to be had in their summer sale, here are my top pics…

Nails Inc SS11 Collection Was £25.00 NOW £16.25

Featuring four on-trend colours, ideal for creating this season’s colour-clash nails. Including Wellington Square, a pastel peach inspired by the coral tones at Fendi, Hampstead, a subtle biscuit beige, Queensgate Terrace, a soft cornflower blue and Brook Street, a vivid pinky coral. Inspired by the catwalks and this season’s on-trend colours, they are ideal for creating fashion-forward looks.

Soap & Glory ‘Clear Here’ Oil Control Daily Moisture Lotion 50ml Was £8.20 NOW £4.75

Oil control daily moisture lotion by Soap & Glory. Designed to smooth and protect then skin whilst helping to minimize pore, prevent spots and control shine.

Cheap Smells

Another of my go to online beauty shops – great for cult favourites at discount prices including YSL Touche Eclat and Elizabeth Arden Eight hour cream

I also spotted…

Elizabeth Arden – Color Intrigue Gel Eyeliner and Brush with a whopping 81%off WAS £26 NOW £4.95 Available in Ocean Teal and Brown

Lancome Colour Design Eye shadows from £5.95

Topshop

I picked up a set of 3 lip polishes for just £5 in store – fabulously glossy and available in 3 great colours.

Don’t worry if there’s nothing left in your nearest Topshop, there’s still a few online beauty bargains like Gel EyeLiners, various colours WAS £8, NOW £2

Happy Summer Sales!

My all time TOP 5

Or should I say my long term top 5, cos let’s face it, you never know who, I mean what is around the corner… I’m sure there’s some gems out there I haven’t tried yet.  Now choosing just five is tough, if I’m realistic it’s more like 55, but the following are firmly inducted in my beauty hall of fame….

Givenchy Eyebrow Show

“It’s all about the eyebrows!” Fast becoming my catch phrase because I Love, Love, LOVE eyebrows. This Givenchy pencil has saved my life after my beloved Clinique one was discontinued. I searched for a replacement, testing and buying almost every brow pencil in existence – No7, YSL, Benefit, Rimmel, Lancôme, Mac. It’s been a long and expensive process. You see, I like a good old fashioned pencil, I’m not a fan of these sudo, automatic non-pencil pencils that have popped up everywhere. I don’t like ones that are too creamy, but I do like ones that have a brush on the end. Finally I’ve found the right shade and texture with Givenchy. Just as well since I’ve been going through the painsaking process of growing my eye brows out. As a teenager I fell victim to over-tweezing (something I could wax lyrical about and is best left for another post).  It’s great for filling in the gaps. The powdery texture looks very natural and last all day, plus the brush on the end is great for sculpting.

£15 Available in three shades, I wear Brown

 Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream

This needs little introduction. The cult classic, developed by Ms Arden herself over 70 years ago, has really stood the test of time. If I was stuck on a desert island, this is all I’d need (this and some food, water and wine). It really is a wonder product.  This skincare classic helps to soothe, restore, soften and protect dry or mildly irritated skin. It has so many uses… I apply it to eye brows at night to help hold them in place, it’s fantastic on dry lips and can be dabbed onto cheek and brow bones as a highlighter. I have one in my bedside table and one in my handbag so I’m never without – it lasts and last and lasts too!

50mls approx. £20 Available in various sizes, tubes and pots

Guerlain Terracota Four Season Bronzing Powder

When it comes to bronzers, I’ve played the field a little, but with Guerlain Four Season Bronzing Powder I’ve found my match. The caramel hues are so far away from the orange shades we’re used to. It’s very strongly pigmented so a little goes a long way and the finely milled powder applies like a dream, so smooth and flawless. There’s no glitter or sparkle, yet it’s not too matte, more of a satin finish I’d say. What makes it one of my all time favourites is that the four shades take you through the year, no need to change to a lighter one in the winter or darker in the summer; it’s like a customisable palette. Great for contouring and the lighter shade can be used as a touch up powder. Read full review here.

Available from Debenhams and House of Fraser £46

YSL Touche Eclat

Another that needs little introduction. For years YSL’s iconic Touche Eclat has been the go-to concealer for millions of women around the World. Another multi use product – it’s a highlighter, a concealer, a touch up pen. There are lots of competitors in that market, but for me it’s still unrivalled. A sold member of my beauty hall of fame; there’s a reason that one pen is sold every 10 seconds! 

RRP £24 but dicounted prices on CheapSmells.com

Lancôme Hypnose Mascara


I have been using Lancôme’s mascaras since I was 13. From Defincils, Amplicils, Hypnose and Hypnose drama, it seemed each offering got better and better.  From time to time my eye has wondered (with Benefit Bad Gal, Clinique’s High Impact and Diorshow), but I always return to my faithful Hypnose. For me, the key is in the brush  – it’s just the right size, not too clumpy and no other mascara creates volume like it. It can be layered for maximum impact, doesn’t smudge or clump and lasts all day.  I prefer the standard Hypnose but Hypnose Drama is pretty good too. It also has the royal seal of approval – believed to be Kate Middleton’s wedding mascara of choice.

£20.45

So that’s my top 5, what’s yours?

Lust Have: Lancôme’s new Doll Eyes Hynose Mascara

As a life long fan of  Lancôme’s mascaras, I’m seriously excited about this one!

Unleash your inner Bardot with Lancôme’s new mascara, Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara. The unique, never-seen-before formula promises to produce a wide-eyed, baby doll look in a flash. Enriched with nylon powders and hard waxes, the ‘Fibre Shine’ formula gives lashes a subtle sheen and a volumised curve from root to tip, while the ‘UltraStretch’ complex creates a lengthening effect.

Promising volume, extension and lifted lashes – will it live up to the hype? I certainly hope so!
 
 

Lancômes Hypnose Doll Eyes £20.50 is availble exclusively to Harvey Nichols stores now and will be available nationwide from next month.