Mascara 101: Mini Reviews & Recommendations

Mascara 101:  Mini Reviews & Recommendations

Hello hello! It feels like i’m on a roll these days, continuously blogging! Therefore while i’m in the mood to blog, I thought i’d do a post on my mascara collection along with mini reviews which I hope you find useful!


Mascara review


Currently I have 6 mascaras in rotation, cos a girl can’t just have one right?


Mascara collection reviews


As we begin todays mascara smackdown, a quick note that I’ll be following a sequence, where I will start with the brush design and then move onto formula etc.

First up,

Dior IT-Lash 

The IT-Lash comes with a spiked elastomer (plastic) brush. It’s a reasonably slim, slightly longish style. Personally I hate big brushes as they are harder to apply with so this one’s just perfect.

Diot IT Lash

The formula of this is on the thinner side and is great for those of you who have trouble with your mascara weighing down your lashes. This holds a curl well and keep lashes beautifully lengthened and separated without clumps. Sadly I don’t see much of the volumising action that it claims to have, but I really like this one for everyday use.

As far as removal is concerned, it’s pretty easy to get off. Just warm water does the trick. On occasion I also use Bioderma for removal as well.


Tom Ford Extreme Mascara

The sexiest packaging in my opinion. And incidentally the old school bristle brush does a good job making the lashes look sexy too.

Tom Ford extreme mascara review

The formula of this is denser and coats the lashes well for a thicker, lash look. Building up the volume is easy as this doesn’t set too quick and you have ample play time to keep adding more, more and MORE. I also love that this doesn’t clump and holds the curl pretty well to stay looking wide awake!

To remove, you can simply use an eye makeup remover. This one isn’t waterproof.


Le Volume De Chanel 

The very first volumising mascara I truly fell in love with. I have been repurchasing it over and over and I believe i’m on my 6th now.

The brush of this is a plastic one with shorter bristles meant to create an eye opening effect. (Sadly I never see any such results as the weight of this mascara droops down any curl I had to begin with) The shape of the brush also seems to give trouble separating the lashes and they always cling together.

Le volume de chanel review

If you have naturally curly lashes this would work great for you. It volumises and adds drama for a very glamorous look.

Le Volume de Chanel isn’t waterproof and removes easily with warm water similar to the Dior.


Clé de Peau Perfect Lash Mascara

Features a curved wand with natural bristles. It’s designed to comb the lash from root to tip and create a nice separated and defined lash.

Cle de peau mascara

If smudging is a problem for you, this is your guy! The waterproof formula keeps lashes looking fresh throughout the day without any flaking or smudging. It’s even rub proof!

As far as volume goes this one isn’t really mind blowing, and it doesn’t build well either as it sets pretty fast. I also notice if I attempt a second coat, the lashes start sticking together and look spiky. It’s strictly a one (quick) coat mascara.

Looking at the positives, the real claim to fame is the longevity of it’s wear and that it works great with shorter, stubby lashes that are prone to smudging.

For removal I always use Clarins Express Eye Makeup Remover which works well with waterproof formulas and never irritates my eyes.


Helena Rubinstein, Lash Queen Feline Black

If it’s mascara, then Helena does them best! She has such an extensive range of mascaras, it truly is overwhelming and difficult to pick one! I ended up with this leopard print ‘feline’ version which is great for volume and lengthening.

The brush is chubby and torpedo shaped which works well to separate and build up volume.

Helena Rubinstein

The best thing about this mascara is the formula is near perfect. You get plenty of time to build it up as it sets quite slow and the longer bristles keep the lashes from sticking together and comb as you go for good separation.

Volume, length and long wearing. It’s all there.

*This mascara comes in a waterproof version as well, and is my HG for packing on beach vacations. THE BEST!


Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (seen here is a mini size)

Comes with a shorter more chubbier wand in comparison to the Helena Rubinstein. This one though has a slightly fatter middle creating a more rounded, bushier brush.

Urban Decay Perversion mascara


An unexpected find which came in the form of a press sample. I really love how this volumises. Another one of those buildable formulas that you can layer and layer. You get fuller, thicker, lengthened lashes for a ‘bigger, blacker, badder lash’.

I believe i’ll repurchase this in a full size, quite loving it’s smooth, creamy texture and the colour intensity.

Lastly, this too isn’t a waterproof formula and comes off easily with a eye makeup remover.


Now a look at these worn on my poker straight lashes! Unfortunately you won’t be seeing much of a difference unless you click on the image for a closeup and look at the base of the lashes to see the more volumising ones 🙂

I promise the differences between them are far more visible in person. I blame my poor selfie skills!

Mascara grid 2Bottom Line

For volumising and lengthening, the best would be Helena Rubinstein and Urban Decay. I like how buildable they are and never look clumpy. The TF is also a good option, though lacks that wow factor you’d expect for the price.

For waterproof mascara, the CDP hands down. I never have to worry about it flaking or smudging. If you don’t mind a natural lash look, this one’s great for everyday use. For other cheaper waterproof options you can also check out Helena Rubinstein.

For lift and curl i’d recommend the Dior IT-Lash. This is great for those of you with already thick lashes but just want them defined and lengthened. It’s my favourite for day to day use and have just repurchased!



Nude Lip Liners 101

Nude Lip Liners 101

Todays post is dedicated to one of my favourite addictions. Nude liners.


Nude lip liners


Over the years testing various brands, i’ve managed to find a few keepers and they are my everyday staples.

Here’re my top favourites, my babies ❤

Kevyn Aucoin – Medium

MAC – Whirl

No.7 – Nude

NYX – Nude

Bite – Cashew

Some swatches to get started.


nude lip liner swatches


No.7 Nude – Is a medium nude with the perfect mix of pink & peach. The undertone leans slightly warm making it easy to pair with most medium nude lipsticks.

Kevyn Aucoin Medium – As the name suggests is a mid tone brown nude. This too is a neutral shade. Pairs well with your typical 90’s style lip.

MAC Whirl – An oldie but goodie! This is a dusty mauve rose with a neutral undertone. A good nude shade for slightly deeper skin tones.

NYX Nude – A nude for fairer skin with more pink tones.

Bite Cashew – Is a very light, almost beige nude with a tinge of yellow. The undertone is warm and pairs well with most light nude lipsticks such as MAC Honey Love.


Best nude lip liners


Formula & Texture

When it comes to lip liners, I prefer them to be weightless, just defining the lips and evening out any discolouration without feeling heavy. For this, the best suited are the pencil types that need sharpening. They aren’t overly creamy and don’t deposit too much product.

The Kevyn Aucoin pencil is the perfect example. And as far as formula goes, this is what i’d consider the gold standard in lip pencils. This pencil has the right density. smooth enough so it glides on without any discomfort and stays put all day preventing lipsticks from migrating. Personally I just wish they had more shades. But I guess this one in itself is quite universal as far as nude liners go.

The No.7 Nude is a holy grail find for me. After being declared by pro makeup artist Lisa Eldridge as her favourite liner (a colour she designed herself), I had to get one too. Without a doubt, this is probably my most used. It goes with anything and everything and the peach tones in this make for a very flattering nude base (nothing like the Walking Dead, corpse lip we see occasionally). If you are fair to medium in colour. I highly recommend you try this!

For days when I crave a more defined or contrasting lip liner, I choose MAC Whirl. It’s deep enough to carve out the lip and redraw the shape to give the illusion of fuller lips. Using a slightly darker lip liner also adds dimension to the lips making them look pouty! Hence why the Kardashian that shan’t be named finds this an essential 😉 On the downside I find some MAC lip pencils a bit dry and a little uncomfortable to use once sharpened. They aren’t as soft as the Kevyn Aucoin lip liners, but come in a myriad of colours and it wont be hard picking one to suit your needs!

NYX Nude is a great find. It may not be my favourite formula (slightly on the drier, thicker side), but it does have it’s days. This pairs well with my pink toned matte nudes and to be honest, it’s a good pencil for the price. I like that these are a twist up formula, no sharpening and very easy to use. And again, THE PRICE!

Whenever I go for light nude lips, I choose Cashew by Bite. It’s for days when I brave a deep smokey eye and want the lips to look lighter than my own. I pair it with either Tom Ford Sable Smoke (for which this is a perfect match) or Laura Mercier Coy. The formula of these are as lovely as KA. What makes them special though is that it’s made with 99% natural, food grade ingredients. Good enough to eat!

For comparison purposes I picked out 10 nudes lipsticks from my collection. These are pretty much my most used. (Click image for a closer view)


Nude lip liner swatches


On a completely different note, In case you were wondering, Lipstick Queen You Kid, Laura Mercier Coy and Rouge Bunny Rouge Prey of Lust are my most used. They’re all a very hydrating formula and extra comfortable for day to day use.

The final verdict

If you are looking for great lip liners to add to your stash, the Kevyn Aucoin and No.7 ones are lovely. No.7 being the more cheaper option, although my first choice as far as the perfect nude goes.

NYX is a great brand to try if you are on a budget. The pencils are creamy with very good pay off. The only reason I don’t luuurve them is because they feel slightly heavier and cakey on the lips. Other than that, they are awesome for the price and come in a bunch of different shades to suit all skin tones!

For those of you who like overdrawing the lips, either Whirl or Spice would be my recommendation. Spice is a warmer, more brown toned liner in comparison to Whirl and goes beautifully with richer brown shades such as MAC Mocha. Perfect for women of colour.