Holy Grail Mascaras

Hi Beauties!

Today I’m going to give you my top 2 mascara picks of all time (echoing)time, time, time….. Yes, it’s that dramatic.

As I have mentioned before, I have been on the hunt for the perfect mascara pretty much my whole life. Mascara is one thing I can not live without. If I leave the house “without makeup,” that means I have on foundation (or BB cream), brows and mascara – it’s just a given.

So with that said, if you’re looking for amazing drugstore and department store mascara options, read on!

Maneater Mascara

FullSizeRender-2.jpgTarte Cosmetics launched Maneater Mascara last year and it basically rocked my world. The super black mousse-like formula goes on completely clump free and gives serious volume and lasting curl. It applies perfectly from the very first use – not too wet, not too dry – and completely mess free. Somehow it manages to do all of this without flaking and without that crunchy, uncomfortable feeling that so many mascaras leave me with.

I really love the wand on this mascara. It’s a silicone wand with a round tip and teeny tiny bristles that allow you to grab every single lash – even the ones on the bottom! I expected this brush to feel sharp and rough on my eyes, however it was the complete opposite. This brush feels so soft and makes application a breeze.

The best part of this formula is that it is ophthalmologist tested and does not irritate my sensitive eyes at all. So many mascaras often leave my eyes streaming tears and bright red. Maneater has the “good for you” ingredients that Tarte is known for, so I don’t lose any lashes when removing the mascara at the end of the day.

There is one catch. This mascara does smudge a little. I have long eyelashes so almost all mascaras smudge a little underneath my eyes. I find that taking a little bit of setting powder on an eyeshadow brush and running it lightly underneath the lash line helps to eliminate smudging (for the most part).

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise (Waterproof)

My eyes are so sensitive that allergies, lack of sleep, the slightest breeze – pretty much anything can irritate them. Many eye products can turn my eyes into a streaming mess. But I’m not a quitter.

It’s been a while since I have tried a drugstore mascara because 1) Maneater, and 2) I got sick of returning or throwing away so many of them because they made me look emotionally unstable.

FullSizeRenderBut then social media blew up with claims that Lash Paradise was “Better than Sex;” the ultimate dupe for Too Faced’s Better than Sex Mascara (which by the way, was a complete turn-off for me in the beginning – I have never hated a mascara more than I hate that one, but I know it’s a lot of people’s holy grail – or at least they are being paid to say that it is).

After about 100+ times of seeing people talk about Lash Paradise – I gave in. Instagram made me buy it!

For $9.99, which is minimally HALF the price of department store mascaras, L’Oreal has put out a mascara that in my opinion, out-performs all other drugstore brands and easily  75% of department store brands. It lasts all day long with ZERO smudging or flaking and it has a nice thick brush that gives long-lasting volume, length and curl.

There are only two small cons that are so minuscule they are hardly worth mentioning, but I will! The first is that the waterproof formula it is just that… waterproof! It is not easy to remove, but if you are picking up a waterproof mascara, I would assume you are probably hoping that is not going to come off easily – that is sort of the whole point!

The other slight con is that the formula starts out a little wet, so there is a little more room for error in the first few applications. By the second week of using this mascara I found that it dried down a little and application became easy and clump-free.

So there you have it – the only two mascaras you will ever need; So, hopefully they are around until the end of time! Again, dramatic – but I’m a girl in love!

Click the links below to check out these mascaras for yourself (these are NOT affiliate links – opinions are all my own and not sponsored in any way), and let me know if you agree or what your favorites are in the comments!

Click here to purchase Maneater Mascara.

Click here to purchase L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise

Battle of the liquid lipsticks

Round 1: stila vs. tarte

Like many of us, I jumped on the liquid lipstick bandwagon in 2016. They were all over Instagram and slowly took over Ulta, Sephora and drug store makeup aisles. I love having the option of a stay-all-day lipstick that can stand up to the elements (i.e. a gust of wind that would adhere my hair to my lipgloss).

For this review, I decided to take on the quick-dry  mattes in some of my favorite shades. Now, if you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, what’s the hold-up?), you may have seen my Sunday Swatch post on these little lippies, but I encourage you to read on, because after a little more wear I have changed my mind about a few of them.

I am going to break down these liquid lipsticks by color rather than brand because I found that in both brands, the shade significantly affected the formula.

The basics…

Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint – $20

Available at tarte, Sephora and Ulta in 20+ shades (plus the occasional limited edition shade).

This liquid lipstick claims to be a quick dry, full coverage, transfer proof liquid lipstick with skin-softening concentrated mineral pigments.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – $24

Available at stila, Sephora and Ulta in 25+ shades

This liquid lipstick claims to be a  highly-pigmented, creamy liquid lipstick that is weightless on the lips and delivers long-lasting coverage.

On to the swatches…

1 – stila “Baci”

This is probably the color I wear the most out of all of these shades and it seems like I’m not the only one. Every time I go into Sephora this shade is sold out! I ended up buying a holiday variety pack that included this shade just so that I could get my hands on it.

The color is a really pretty nude pink that is really flattering on my skin tone. It’s a nice shade to wear when you are either looking for a natural daytime look, or if you are going bold with your eye makeup and need a lipstick that doesn’t take away from your eyes.

It can be a little drying (as most liquid lipsticks are), but it is actually pretty comfortable to wear. It goes on much smoother if you moisturize your lips with a good lip balm – a primer also really improves the look and wear of this shade. When applied to well-pampered lips, this color will last you all day and will wear away evenly.

*Fun fact – it smells like vanilla cupcakes!

2- stila “Fresco”

This formula is very similar to Baci but the color is not for me. It is more of a brown nude which I really don’t like. This shade would probably look great on tan and darker skin tones.

Again, I would recommend a good lip balm and primer before applying.

3 – stila “Bacca”

Bacca is such a fun color! I love a good dark pink and this one does not fail. I feel like it is a little more hydrating and comfortable than the lighter stila shades and again, it will last you a very long time and will wear away evenly. What I like the most about this shade is that it is not too blue toned – I hate when colors like this appear almost iridescent because the blue tone shows through. This color also makes my teeth look SO white!

4 – stila “Rubino”

This is more of a brick red. It is really pretty but it is a shade that I really only like to wear when I’m coordinating it with a particular outfit. It is not an every day color for me. I would say the formula is almost the same as Bacca.

5 – tarte “Fly”

Ughh this one broke my heart. This color is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. There has never been a color I have loved more. It is the perfect dark ruby pink. It is beyond beautiful. BUT…. The formula was an absolute nightmare. Upon first application I realized that the “Quick Dry” part of the name is no joke. This dried almost immediately. You have one chance to get it right when it comes to applying this shade and if you put more than one coat on, you are doomed.

The first time I wore this color, it took me 3 tries to apply it perfectly, without accidentally overdrawing my lip line or applying it unevenly. While I was out to dinner, this lipstick proved itself to NOT be transfer proof as it claimed, but wore away somewhat evenly throughout my meal.

The second time I wore this color, I decided to wear it to work. BIG mistake. This color wore away so unevenly throughout the day and left me with the dreaded “butthole lips.” For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s when your lipstick wears away from the inside out, so you are left with color on the outer lines of your lip and your natural lip color in the center. It is really not a good look for anyone.

I was left with no choice but to check in and touch up every hour or so and oddly enough, even though the center of my lips wore away quickly, the outer lines were going nowhere. With each layer that I touched up with, the lipstick began to crumble off my lips quicker than the last.

I wouldn’t say it was the worst day of my life.. but it wasn’t great.

6 – tarte “Cheerleader”

Here is where tarte redeemed themselves. Cheerleader is a beautiful hot cherry color – kind of your perfect “classic” red. There is just something about this lipstick that makes me channel my inner Marilyn.

It is still not totally transfer proof but if you apply 1 thin coat, you will definitely get some wear out of this shade. It typically lasts a solid 4 hours before it needs any fixing or touching up.

Final Thoughts…

As you may have already guessed, there was no clear cut winner  when it comes to brand. If I had to pick my top 2 shades it would be Baci and Cheerleader. I think these 2 colors were the most universal for most skin tones and the formulas worked best for me in these shades. Overall, the lighter shades were a little more drying but it was nothing that couldn’t be combatted with a little extra lip balm.

I was completely confused by how the colors affected the formula in each of these lipsticks. There are so many shades in both of these brands, so I will definitely be doing a follow-up to this blog to see if that continues to ring true.

Share your experiences with these liquid lipsticks in the comments and let me know which lipsticks you would like me to review next!