In My Makeup Kit: Le Metier de Beaute Anamorphic Mascara

Colored mascara is generally a pretty tricky proposition. The idea is that by wearing color on your lashes, it will make your Le Métier de Beauté Mascaraeye color pop – which is great in theory except for the fact that most colored mascaras make you look like an escapee from Fame or like you are completely stark raving mad (or fourteen years old – remembering my teens, that might be synonymous, but anyhoo…)

I love the Le Metier mascara because it’s a beautiful mascara that doesn’t smudge or flake, and you can really build it. It’s not a bonkers mega lash mascara (like Lancome Hypnose or Diorshow), but it has a super fine, full brush that Just. Won’t. Clump. No stripper lashes here! The brush is just the right size to get into the base of the lash and wiggle it around to get extra pigmentation (which is where you want it), and it allows you to take it out to the tip of the lash without weighing it down. Even with multiple coats there is no scary Tammy Faye Baker lash going on.

It reminds me quite a bit of Shu Uemura Basic mascara, which is another great, simple, buildable mascara. But the le Metier is COLORED! I have Aubergine (a blackened plum perfect for green or brown eyes) and Midnight, (a deep navy/black which is a winner on blue eyes). What I love about it is the color is so subtle that it enhances your eye color, without shouting to the world – HEY! I’M WEARING COLORED MASCARA! CHECK IT OUT Y’ALL! ON MY LASHES IT’S 1985! So you don’t have to have 80’s flashbacks (thank goodness, God knows there are enough of those around already, peach lace bodysuits and high waisted acid wash denim anyone?) Like the Chanel Exceptionnel range of slightly colored mascara, this is colored mascara for grown ups. J’adore.

In My Makeup Kit: Bobbi Brown Extreme Party mascara

Kicking off the New Year in lash-tastic style, this is my latest favourite mascara. I have to be honest and say mascara is the one product I am reeeeally disloyal to. I’m talking a total mascara ho – I generally have one that I’m using when I want to be sure that I don’t look like a stripper left in the rain (black raccoon eyes at work, not so much), and a whole slew of wannabes waiting in the wings that I’m testing. I like to test them for at least a month as some of those dudes outperform at the beginning and then turn dry and gunky, others may not dazzle the first time out of the tube but on the 2nd and 3rd try (once the formula has settled a bit), they can be fab. So, bottom line is, you never know, and the there’s always a mascara somewhere out in the world you haven’t tried.

So, explanation over and the newest addition to my mascara family (after an exorbitant TWO MONTH testing period), is Bobbi Brown’s Extreme Party mascara. I wasn’t expecting much to be honest because although Bobbi is known for lots of great makeup products, generally mascara isn’t one of them – but I was really pleasantly surprised. It reminds me a bit of DiorShow without the silly jumbo brush thing going on. I know lots of people love the oversized Dior brush, but if your eyes tend more to the baked bean size (ahem) than grapefruit, I find it’s a little unwieldy. The BB Extreme Party brush gets in and kind of feathers the lashes as the brush grips at the root, and doesn’t deposit too much product at the end, so your lashes look longer, thicker, blacker and …well, just really nice actually. And it’s pretty buildable – more coats looks nice and it doesn’t flake throughout the day.

So even if in the sad month of January you don’t have any Extreme Parties to go to (I know for me it’s more like Extreme Tracksuit at the moment), still this mascara will do your new year lashes a power of good.

Bin It – Maybelline Lash Discovery Waterproof (but keep the brush)

Maybelline Lash Discovery WaterproofIn my ongoing quest to discover the ultimate waterproof mascara I did a raid on Walmart yesterday. It was a smash and grab affair of L’Oreal, Maybelline and Revlon, (and it has to be confessed, two li-los for the pool WITH cup dispensers, God Bless America!). But yesterday’s poolside experiment was less than successful.

Maybelline Lash Discovery has one of the ace-est brushes ever – it’s a shrunken wand that allows you to get to every single little lash, including the bottom lashes that can be fiddly with a regular brush (and if you can do that with the outsized monster brush of Diorshow mascara, more power to you because you’re more woman than I am!)

And for the bottom lashes it’s great to have waterproof mascara as this is where you tend to get smudging, from oils and eye blinking. However, if this is the mascara you’re wearing underwater you are in big trouble as it smudges. Not massively, but enough to look like an under-eye shadow that on me looks like a giant puffy eye bag, not dissimilar to a Krispy Kreme donut (something else I have been enjoying whilst in America. Mmm, donuts). However, not something I want on my face. So for me I’m going to keep the brush, but for the mascara it’s Bin It!

Best. Waterproof. Mascara. Ever. (at least for this week)

Cover Girl Waterproof MascaraCover Girl Volume Exact in Black

The fact that I’ve been kicking back and tanning, swimming in the pool and sipping frozen margaritas, you could be forgiven for thinking I’m on holidays. But I assure you that it’s a cover (a deep cover) for my real purpose, which is bringing you the best of American beauty – including finding the world’s best waterproof mascara.

I’ve been relentlessly testing, through sunscreen applications, evening cook-outs and trips to Austin’s Barton Springs in 45 degree heat, and this is the one that’s held up – Cover Girl’s Maximum Volume Waterproof Mascara.

It’s got a pliable rubber brush that gets to the base of every lash, and so far even with multiple coats it doesn’t create the dreaded Stick Lash.

And let’s be clear – this is no lightweight testing process. We’re talking underwater breastroke, twice-daily dips and margarita fuelled poolside frolics, and always, always I have smudge proof, splash-proof, sweet and fluffy lashes. Meaning I don’t have to look like an egg (my natural state without mascara), even though I’m poolside.

I’ll be continuing my stringent testing methods all this week and next, and there are a quite a few more things on my list, so I’ll keep you posted on what other little makeup gems I find. Sadly for my UK readers they will probably be mainly US products, since I plan to take full advantage of what’s on offer in the nirvana of the American drugstore. But if you do find something you really like, you can always buy it on as they now ship overseas. Which is dangerous. Not as dangerous as my mascara testing, but someone’s gotta do it!

The. Best. Mascara. Ever. Chanel Exceptionnel

Oh how do I love thee, let me count the ways:

 1.    Your fat, squidgy brush snuggles against my lashline and oh so gently follows the curve of the lashes until, hark! All the lashes are evenly distributed with a dense, perfect pigment, and not in any way spiky, clumpy or Liza Minelli-esque. The brush itself is like Chanel Inimitable on steroids – it solves the problems of that brush by adding in an extra layer of bristles so you don’t get spiky prongs for lashes.Chanel Exceptionnel

 2.    You don’t flake, smear or end up needing to be repaired halfway through a shoot (or a long day at work since I love you so much you are also in my personal makeup bag, which I might add is gradually improving since I shamed myself in a previous post with the sadness of my personal makeup collection).

 3.    You can be layered, for multiple coats that give full, glam lashes and not the crunchy ones that you can’t drag the wand through. (That is nasty!)

 4.    As well as brown and black you come in gorgeous colors with a hint of color, like Smoky Violine and my favourite, Smoky Marine which is amazing on blue eyes.  It’s not obvious that it’s a deep navy, it just makes blue eyes pop (fear not those who think this might be straying into Lady Di territory, it’s a deep, rich cobalt, not an electric Duran Duran turquoise).

 5.    Your packaging is exactly what we would expect in one of the greatest fashion brands ever – sleek, slick and iconic, and makes you feel like a rock star every time you pull it out.

 6.    Apparently it is an “intense volume and curl mascara”, which makes sense as thick, gorgeous lashes is what we’re all craving – it’s hard to bat your eyes seductively with a fringe that is stick straight and stumpy.

 7.    The ad, which can be viewed below is gorgeous enough to make me do pretty much anything this mascara asks. (Except maybe volunteer to talk to a clown at the circus, because I’m really scared of them).

 You really are Exceptionnel (Chanel that is)