Lancome ‘Hypnose Drama’: The Mascara That Has It All

Lancome 'Hypnose Drama' Mascara ($24.50, Nordstrom)

Lancome 'Hypnose Drama' Mascara ($24.50, Nordstrom)

These days, there’s a mascara for every taste. Lengthening, volumizing, separating, especially made for tiny bottom lashes–the list goes on and on. But all mascaras are not created equal.

After about a month of alternating between samples of different brands’ mascaras, I went ahead and bought the one that I liked best–Lancome’s Hypnose Drama. I got it because it seems to roll a bunch of mascaras’ powers into one.

Hypnose Drama provides your lashes with a healthy dose of volume. Its brush is curved, so you get a curling effect as well. And I was able to get great length without even having to use primer. In my mind, it’s the ‘superhero mascara.’

Bottom line: Great quality for $25, which is about $5-10 less than other high-end mascaras from brands like YSL or Givenchy.

StealThisDress! Rating: 5

StealThisDress! Rating: 5

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Lancome BI-FACIL Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover

BI-FACIL - Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover ($26, Lancome)

BI-FACIL - Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover ($26, Lancome)

If you wear eyeliner, shadow and especially mascara on a regular basis, then you know that a good eye makeup remover is key. If you don’t have one, expect to wake up every morning looking like a racoon.

Lancome’s BI-FACIL Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover is specifically designed for waterproof makeup. Even on days when I’m wearing several coats of the most durable waterproof mascara, one or two minutes of patting my eyes with a cotton pad dipped in this magic liquid and POOF–all that yucky black stuff is gone.

At $26, it’s definitely not the cheapest eye makeup remover you’ll find but it’s worth it.I use BI-FACIL very liberally and one bottle still manages to last me at least two months. I’ve been using BI-FACIL for years and swear by it.  Without it, I think I probably wouldn’t have any eyes left.

StealThisDress! Rating: 5

StealThisDress! Rating: 5

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Bronzer: Splurge vs. Steal

I am definitely a tan addict. As soon as fall arrives, I start worrying that I look pale or even green. But I don’t use tanning beds or spray tans because each freaks me out in its own way (cancer, zebra stripes). As you’ve probably guessed, bronzing powder has become an essential item in my makeup bag. It helps me avoid feeling that I look ghost-like and has definitely made a few people ask me if I just returned from a tropical getaway.

If you’re looking for something not too pricey, try Physicians Formula Loose Bronzing veil. It is conveniently packaged in a container with a built-in brush, making it especially perfect for on-the-go touch-ups. Those who are willing to spend a little more should check out Star Bronzer Poudre Soleil from Lancome. The thin compact also makes taking it with you in your purse hassle-free. The lid has a mirror, which is quite handy.

Star Bronzer Poudre Soleil ($36.50, Lancome) Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Loose Bronzing Veil ($8.97, www.drugstore.com)

Star Bronzer Poudre Soleil ($36.50, Lancome)

Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Loose Bronzing Veil ($8.97, www.drugstore.com)

I actually own both of these products and alternate using them depending on which shade I’m in the mood for on a given day. In my experience, both products provide the skin with a just-right, not overly orange color and a smooth finish. Many makeup artists say you should apply bronzer to three areas on your face: jawline, cheek bones and forehead. On days when I feel I need extra enhancement, I ignore this rule and apply bronzer all over. Both the Lancome and Physicians Formula products get the job done equally well.

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Stila Kajal Eyeliner

Stila Kajal Eyeliner ($18, Sephora)

Stila Kajal Eyeliner ($18, Sephora)

In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been during these post-less couple of weeks, I did not get eaten by a monster in the blogosphere. No, the truth is, I am a freelancer, which sometimes makes it difficult to juggle and stay on top of all of my projects at once. But fear not–your trusty “I’m looking fabulous at half the cost” guide is back.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, eyeliner is the most important item in my makeup bag. Can’t. Live. Without. It. The Stila Kajal Eyeliner is what I’ve been looking for for years. It is super soft, gliding on effortlessly without hurting the lashline. Dark, sooty eyes are the result.

With that said, it easily smudges, creating a smoky look; so if you’re looking for something that will provide a 100% smudge-proof, thin line, the Stila Kajal Eyeliner may not be the product for you. I find it helpful to periodically use a q-tip throughout the day to remove away any excess color fragments. To some, that may seem like far too much work. What can I say, I’m a slave to dramatic makeup.

StealThisDress! Rating: 5

StealThisDress! Rating: 5

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DiorSkin AirFlash Spray Foundation–Gotta Try It

AirFlash Spray Foundation ($60, Christian Dior)

AirFlash Spray Foundation ($60, Christian Dior)

I used to be able to get away with just sweeping some powder bronzer all over my face. But more and more I find myself confronted with the reality that my far-from- perfect ‘canvas’ needs more coverage.

My new obsession is Dior’s AirFlash Spray Foundation. All you have to do is shake the can and spray the product right onto your face. It doesn’t feel heavy at all and provides a smooth finish that is translucent, helping me avoid that matte, “I’m carrying 10 pounds of makeup on my face” look.

I was surprised to find many negative reviews of AirFlash. Many women wrote that for $60, there is very little product in the container and that it runs out really fast. So far, this has not the case been for me. In fact, one of the things I love about the product is how little of it it takes to get pretty much flawless skin.

I’m giving AirFlash full marks for quality, but an overall rating of 4 because $60 a piece can quickly add up, putting a dent in your makeup budget.

StealThisDress! Rating: 4

StealThisDress! Rating: 4

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Nivea A Touch of Shimmer

A Kiss of Shimmer Lip Care ($2.99, Nivea)

A Kiss of Shimmer Lip Care ($2.99, Nivea)

I love having a whole bunch of lip balms in my makeup bag and alternating which ones I use. I bought Nivea’s A Touch of Shimmer because I thought it would hydrate and soften my lips while adding a subtle pink shimmer. The verdict? I was really disappointed and eventually ended up tossing it.

The moisturizing effect does not seem to last more than about 20 minutes and actually ends up making your lips feel dryer than before. What’s even worse is that if your lips are even slightly chapped, bits of shimmer stay within the grooves in your lips even after you think you’ve wiped them clean–not a pretty sight. Definitely not worth your $2.99, IMHO.

StealThisDress! Rating: 1

StealThisDress! Rating: 1

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L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Mascara: It Really Works!

L'Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Mascara, $6.99

L'Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Mascara, $6.99

You’re probably wondering why I’m posting again in the beauty section since we we just had a beauty review two days ago. Yes, I am braking the rule–because you’ve got to try L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Mascara.

To be honest, I really don’t pay that much attention to mascara. My lashes are pretty short and I really have to spend a lot of time on them if I want significant length and volume. While most of my friends insist that mascara is the one beauty product they cannot live without, for me it has never been that important. I can’t ever get the results I want–even if I use lash primer, which rarely happens because I’m too impatient.

Well, looks like I won’t have to dread the lashes part of my makeup routine anymore. The applicator brush of the Extra Volume Collagen Mascara is really thick, allowing me to grab a whole bunch of lashes at once. With just a couple of coats, I was able to get the same results that I  would after using both primer and mascara. It’s so effective that I even did my bottom lashes, which I haven’t done at all in the last three years. I can’t believe that I actually woke up today looking forward to putting mascara on.

One of the things that always scares me about a new mascara is washing it off at the end of the day. A lot of budget mascaras I’ve tried take forever to remove and even after I think I’ve gotten it all off, more clumps appear after I blink. But not this time. I used my usual makeup remover and the mascara came off effortlessly. I’m sold!

StealThisDress! Rating: 5

StealThisDress! Rating: 5

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Fail-Safe Makeup Look: Smokey Eyes and Pink Lips

Christina Milian's Makeup Look Smokey Eyes, Pink Lips
Leighton Meester's Makeup Look Kim Kardashian's Makeup Look

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5 Instant Fashion/Beauty Pick-Me-Ups

All women go through a style rut at one time or another. Many think that they have nothing to wear as they stare at a closet full of clothes. Others feel bored of their beauty routine and overall look. Some feel like they have no person or occasion to look good for.

The good news? You don’t need to go under the knife or get a $500 haircut to revamp your look. There are many simple yet effective things that women can do in order to feel great about their appearance, none of which need to involve spending big bucks. [Read more…]

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Milani Cosmetics

Glossy Tube ($4.99, Milani)

Glossy Tube ($4.99, Milani)

Don’t you love it when your makeup looks so good that everyone thinks you must be using designer products? If so, then you have got to try Milani cosmetics. With everything from bronzer and foundation to lip gloss and nail polish, this collection has all the bases covered.

If a friend of mine hadn’t pointed out the Milani stand at our local pharmacy to me one day, I would have never thought to try this brand. I’m usually very reluctant to try new a makeup product once I’ve found one that suits me. However,  since then, I’ve tried almost the entire Milani collection and love every product. The colors are gorgeous and do not wear off quickly.

My favorite item is the Glossy Tube–lip gloss that not only stays on for hours but also has a yummy berry smell. The entire line is very reasonably priced, with approximately $10 being the most you’ll pay for an item. You can find Milani products at your local CVS, Walgreens ,Target, WinnDixie or drugstore.com

StealThisDress! Rating: 4

StealThisDress! Rating: 4

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