Category Archives: mascara

Eyeing L'Oreal for Volume and Wear

L'Oréal Paris - Extra Volume Collagen MascaraL’Oreal Paris recently released *another* new mascara, this one called Extra Volume Collagen Mascara. It touts lush and luxurious lashes with hydra-collagen (?) for super-duper volume. A pretty, sleek black tube reveals the biggest, fattest mascara brush you’ve seen. Seriously. Thick.

Admittedly, I was skeptical. I had to see just what sort of super-duper volume we were talking about. Well, I was certainly not underwhelmed, but at the same time, I’m not sure it lives up to “12x more impact, instantly.”

It takes a few coats to build up to 12x more impact (whatever that is), but recently I had a lash curler incident and ended up yanking out half the lashes on my right eyelid. Fun times. Extra Volume Collage Mascara was a godsend. It actually helped hide my goof by amply thickening the lashes around the missing ones. Cool. L’Oreal’s website even features a great “how to apply” video.

Other pluses include little-to-no flaking and nearly smudge-proof wear. And some of the nicer ingredients include sodium hyaluronate, which has been shown to “plump” by holding onto about 10x its weight in water, and atelocollagen which, simply put is a water-soluble form of collagen (a protein) commonly used in cosmetics. So there ya go…the mysterious hydra-collagen is revealed.

One word of caution: unless you want spider-leg lashes (why?), don’t use a mascara base with Extra Volume Collagen. Otherwise, it’s a very nice volumizing, long-wear mascara indeed. And at around $8, key your eye out for this one.

Face up to it. FACE Atelier's got the goods.

I know. I know. I’ve been absent for a little while. So sorry, but springtime in Santa Fe has kept me outside. Plus work has been a bit of a grind. Okay, enough excuses. Let’s move on.

My absence has given me ample time to try out some new goodies from one of my favorite under-the-radar cosmetics companies,  FACE Atelier. If you aren’t familiar with this Canadian-based brand, they’re all about unscented, cruelty-free products that are “a carefully edited collection of versatile, sophisticated makeup and tools that simply work. And work simply.” And they’re devoutly against animal testing. Love that. I’ve actually been a fan for years.

Recently I tried out some new eyeshadow colors, mascara, a few lipsticks and TOUT, FACE’s lip plumper.

FACE Atelier Eyeshadow and Sculpt MascaraThe eyeshadows are lovely if not a touch powdery. Pigment rich in interesting, eye-color enhancing shades that are long-lasting and crease-free for the most part — the subtly shimmery colors are my favorite but they crease a little bit, although nothing a little lid primer can’t handle.

Sculpt mascara is one of my favorite all-time mascaras. One or two coats and you have the perfect lash enhancement for daytime. A few more coats and lashes become luscious, long, fat (and phat). Gorgeous. And little to no clumps.

My favorite things about Sculpt mascara are that it does not flake…ever, it’s virtually waterproof, and with Vitamins C and E it’s actually good for your lashes. Moreover, even with its maximum staying power, this mascara is a breeze to remove. Just water and your facial cleanser…voila. Beautiful.FACE Atelier Lipsticks and POUT Lip Enhancer

On the other hand, when I first tried FACE’s lipsticks, I wasn’t overly impressed. They’re fine. Not particularly long-lasting. But the colors were just okay, perhaps a little “off.” As I was determined to like them, I started experimented with layering, and then I realized the true beauty of these gems. Another fun thing about the lipsticks: the color intensifies with additional coats. These are like adding odd little accessories to your wardrobe — at first you’re not quite sure how you’re going to wear them, but then you try a little something here and and a little something there, and you realize you’ve just expanded your wardrobe into a full-fledged collection with a few, small unique touches. Cool.

Finally, there’s POUT, what FACE appropriately calls a lip enhancer. First off, the container –and the liquid inside — looks more like nail polish than lip goo. But, brushed onto your lips before or after lipstick, or on its own, and with its bright pepperminty-ness, Pout tingles pleasantly and plumps your lips a little. The greatest secret Pout touts is that it contains a healthy, exclusive peptide complex that will indeed plump your lips (quite nicely, in fact) with repeated and regular use.

$7 Mascara: No Clumps, Long Lashes

Maybelline Lash StilettoRecently I received a sample of Maybelline’s latest mascara creation, Lash Stiletto. I’ve been using it all week. I like.

Results: Very nice. I wouldn’t say amazing, but honestly I’m impressed. For around $7, Lash Stiletto offers lovely, fringed lashes (perfect for a wedding) with plenty of added length.

Application: Lash Stiletto goes on smoothly, coat after coat — and the more coats the longer your lashes. The first time I used it, I held back and only applied a couple of coats — reason is, I’m always a little nervous trying new mascara. As a contact lens wearer, I almost always end up with dark smudges or flakes under my eyes after a couple of hours, especially if the product isn’t water-proof. But Lash Stiletto went the distance. Plus, it washed away easily when I was ready to take it all off.

The ONLY complaint I have is that Maybelline claims you’ll get “black-patent shine.” No so. By the way, unlike some other reviewers, I did NOT detect any weird odor — perhaps Maybelline (smartly) reformulated Lash Stiletto.

Otherwise, Maybelline’s Lash Stiletto — in its fun spikey-stiletto-heel tube — is a hit! And for around $7, you can’t go wrong.

Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 1

Properly applied make up can make you look fabulous. But unless it’s done the right way and using the right amount, make up can actually add years to your face.

As a 37 year old former makeup artist, I’ve learned a few simple tips to follow that will help you look younger starting today:


  • Moisturize your skin–face and neck–with a light moisturizer before you apply your makeup…and allow it to sink in, about 5-10 minutes
  • Apply makeup primer BEFORE any makeup. The least expensive and one of the most effective I’ve found (it rivals Smashbox): Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel. It contains the EXACT same ingredients as most of the best makeup primers. Plus, you can pick up a tube at most drugstores for $5
  • Apply your concealer BEFORE foundation. Using your finger or a concealer brush, pat a little concealer under your eyes, around your nose and on any blemishes or discoloration. Concealer before foundation prevents you applying too much foundation.
  • Apply less foundation. And switch to mineral foundation. The better brands and newest formulations (Jane Iredale, Everyday Minerals are some of my favorites) give excellent NATURAL coverage with a light application
  • Apply blush to the apple (round part that pops out when you smile) of your cheeks. For a youthful glow, use a cheek stain or cream blush in a pink, rosy or peach-y color
  • Blend your makeup well and use a light touch

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 2

A few more simple tips to follow that will help you look younger starting today:


  • Groom your eyebrows. Pluck only stray hairs (those are the ones that fall outside your natural eyebrow)
  • Apply eyeliner to the top lash line only. And unless you have medium-or-dark toned skin, DO NOT use black eyeliner. Brown, grey, plum and green are better for fair-to-light toned skin
  • Apply two coats of mascara maximum. One coat for daytime wear is best
  • Curl your lashes. If you don’t like the traditional lash curlers, use an electric version. Sephora’s is terrific and a great deal at $16
  • Avoid shimmery eyeshadow
  • EXCEPTION to above tip: Use a shade-lighter-than-your-skin-tone colored shimmery eyeshadow applied with a light touch to your brow bone (the area just below the outter two-thirds of the eyebrow), AND apply a dab of shimmery ivory shadow to the inner corner of your eyes. These tips really open up the eye area–young!
  • Also, avoid ‘cool’ eyeshadow colors like grey, blue, true green. Opt for colors like pink, peach, gold, warm greens (olive, moss, sage), plum, ivory, brown, taupe

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 3

And even more simple tips that will help you look younger starting today:


  • Use lipgloss or sheer lipstick–NOT lipstick. Use a shade just deeper than your natural lip color. Avoid ‘cool’ colors and dark colors. Instead, choose a sheer pink, peach, rose, mauve or berry
  • Apply lipbalm or clear gloss when not wearing colored gloss. This will keep your lips moist and young-looking all the time

More Anti-Aging Tips:

  • Take care of your skin by cleansing, moisturizing and nourishing it every day using good skin care–P.S. good does not necessarily mean expensive
  • Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunscreen every day
  • Drink a gallon of water every day
  • Go for a walk at lunch, shoot for 3 times a week. It’s a great excuse to catch up on your window shopping; just don’t take your wallet–debt makes you look and feel old
  • Smile, or better yet, laugh–a lot
  • Eat plenty of protein, complex carbs, fruits and vegetables
  • Manage your stress levels. Take up knitting, painting, piano, yoga or meditation. Find something you like to do and ‘just do it’
  • Get plenty of sleep–sleep is a proven fountain of youth

I Cheated…

Yes, that is right. I admit it. Me, a typically-loyal Leo. What did I do, you ask? Well, I have been using (and loving) Blinc’s Kiss Me Mascara, almost exclusively for the past two years…and not much else has touched my finicky lashes (except of course warm water and my finger tips–gotta remove the stuff before beddie-bye time).

Only…well. Kiss Me doesn’t quite give me those lovely, flirty, curly lashes that I wish for somedays.

So, for some reason, today I broke out a tube of purple irridescent snakeskin-wrapped mascara that I got a couple of weeks ago…as a gift. At the time, I was like, “oh, thank you. is that mascara? oh, it sure it. how ’bout that?” all the while thinking, “by the looks of it, this must be the stuff that those guys from Poison and Motley Crue used in the ’80s.”

I took a closer look. tarte mascara Lights, Camera, Lashes!. Well, aside from one single not-so-great experience with a Tarte eyeliner (my eyes are soooo sensitive), I LOVE anything and everything by Tarte. And, I must admit, I was intrigued by this mascara in it’s decidely ‘fashion-forward’ package.

Plus, the brush is completely different from any I’ve seen. It’s got a point-y end with spikes all around. Again, a little intimidating, foreign to my Kiss-Me-only lashes.

Oh what the heck. It’s just mascara, right? So I dove in. And much to my surprise, after applying two, three, four coats, my eyelashes looked lovely…flirty…curly. Precious! Not at all “Bret Michaels” (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but for me…um, no.)

Yes!!! I’ve discovered THE mascara. That one that gives you what I call “wedding lashes.” Pretty, fringey…with the perfect curl, coverage, density…need I go on? I didn’t think so. tarte mascara Lights, Camera, Lashes! $18

Naturally Beautiful for Spring…Youth pt. 3 of 3

To further contour and define the face, it’s time to add a touch of bronzer. Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘Bronzer makes me look orange…and I won’t wear it.’ Believe me, I used to say the same thing. Well, let me tell you a thing or two about today’s bronzers. Gone are the days of streaky, garish bronzer…bronzers of the new millennium are soft and natural…and perfect for our spring look.

The best new bronzer I’ve found is Jelly Pong Pong’s OmnibronzePackaged in a chic, hot, Cognac compact, the formula contains no shimmer, so your bronze looks & feels real. Its silky texture ensures a sublime application and gives a hedonistic, matte finish. *Comes in a faux leather pouchette. Brush included. Formulated in a universal shade to compliment all skin tones. Use to bronze & contour.

To apply your bronzer, tap the bristles of your blusher brush on the surface of Omnibronze, shake out the excess and then brush onto the ‘apples’ of your cheeks (the fleshy part of your cheek that pops up when you smile), temples, forehead, tip of your chin, edge of your jaw (just below your earlobe) and your nose. These are the spots on your face that naturally collect color when you go out into the sun (without sunscreen—we don’t do that anymore, do we?). Deepen the color where you need to by repeating the application process. The secret to perfect bronzer: remove any traces of color on your blusher brush by rubbing the bristles on a Kleenex or clean towel and then softly ‘buff’ your entire face with the brush to blend and soften.

Next, apply a light dusting of loose, translucent powder—but don’t ‘sweep your face. Instead, dip your face brush into the powder, shake or tap to remove the excess and then ‘dot’ your face with the powder (in other words, do not ‘sweep’ the powder onto your face). If you apply too much, use a makeup sponge to lift off the excess. Applying loose powder using this method will ensure you do not remove the makeup you just applied.

Using a fine mist spray bottle containing distilled water, your favorite alcohol-free toner, or a floral water, spritz lightly about 6-8” away from your face to moisten and ‘set’ your makeup. This step imparts moisture into the skin, plus it keeps the ‘cake-y’s’ at bay.

Finally, allow your face to dry, then apply a coat or two of your favorite mascara and lastly, coat your lips in a clear or nude-berry lipgloss. You’re done!

GirlPaint extends a very special thanks to Michael at CherryCulture

Sunny Day Makes me Think of spring

Today was the first day over 40 degrees in weeks, not to mention the Santa Fe sun was shining…it made me wistful for spring, innocent eyelashes, weddings, peonies…ahhh, spring.

Spring ’07 Beauty is about everything…and very little of it,with the exception of eyelashes.

Color trends
include brights like warms corals, fushias and shimmers in toned down platinum and rosey pinks. Eye colors include apricot, smoky plum, soft charcoal and smudgy browns from taupe to chocolate.

Spring skin is ‘bare,’ so invest in a good foundation that matches your skin tone (yes, exactly)…and blend it well. If your skin tends to be dry, mix in a drop or two of moisturizer for a slightly dewy finish.

Lashful eyes
are where it’s at. Bountiful, big, lush, fringe-y and just plain over-the-top lashes. Real or fake, they’ve just got to be visible. High impact eyes, whether chiseled or smudged, are ‘it.’

Hair trends for spring include bangs, fringe and bold color, like espresso, red and light blonde.

Fragrances for spring 2007 emphasize floral, earthy and fruity notes. Peony, sandalwood, pomegranate and fig. Sexy, soft and not-at-all overpowering…spring is about attracting and seducing subtlely.

Bonus tip from Julyne Derrick about how to make fragrance last without knocking people over with your perfume: spray perfume on the back of your wrists, knees & neck. And never rub, because rubbing crushes the molecules of the fragrance & ruins the scent. Some beauty editors only spritz the inner elbows & behind the knees. Why? The fragrance stays a little moist & fragrance works best just a little bit humid.

fashion and editorial images courtesy of

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