Cosmetics, Reviews

Metamorphosis 92.0 – Lashes, Lashes, Lashes! A look at Urban Decay’s fall lash offerings

When it comes to lashes, I’m pretty boring: swipe on some mascara and go. I’ve never worn fake lashes, nor have I curled my lashes. I jokingly asked whether this loses me beauty cred point, but everyone around me seemed astonished. Maybe I’m just gifted with cooperative lashes? I don’t know. But for those of you who are more high-maintenance when it comes to lashes, Urban Decay has you covered this fall!

Urban Decay’s popular false lash line, Urban Lash, gets a few new additions this season with three natural lashes and one pair of sheer drama. I promise I’m going to attempt to wear these–they’re all 100% cruelty-free, synthetic fiber and come with their own tubes of latex-free adhesive. I’ll probably start with Instaflare. They look incredibly easy to apply for glamour that’s still somewhat natural. Urban Decay says:

an adaptation of our easy to apply “Instaglam” lash style, Instaflare is a 1/3 lash with a rounded flare at the outer corner

Also incredibly natural looking are the 3/4 lashes Flirt. Considering my newness to lashes, I foresee myself having some trouble positioning these, considering how short they look. I gather they fit into the outer corners of the eyes as opposed to smack in the middle, which is what my hands will probably want to do. Urban Decay describes them:

a 3/4 lash so subtle people would never guess in a million years that you’re sporting a pair of falsies

Somewhat more dramatic by comparison is Sly. The beauty of this pair is the clear band, easily disguised without gobbing on the black liner. Urban Decay calls them:

a full lash featuring thinned out inner lashes and an almost invisible band for a more natural look

I have to admit, the name “Urban Lash” makes me think of some sort of city-dwelling animal. Something you see on trips to major metropoli: the Urban Lash in its natural habitat! These caterpillars aren’t helping. Black Velvet promises serious drama–I have to admit, I’m most excited about these. UD Gal Kat made me promise to post pictures of these babies on my eyeballs once I get the hang of them. I need to make sure they play nice with my apparently-baffling natural lashes first. Urban Decay calls them:

a lush and velvety full lash with a mink-like texture

As if this isn’t far enough into uncharted territory for me, Urban Decay is also bringing us the Revolution, their High Performance Lash Curler. Apparently, women curl their lashes. Not just on special occasions like their proms or weddings, but every day. I have never. My lashes have enough natural lift that I personally never saw the need. Plus? They’re a little scary looking! They pinch and pull, and from what I’ve seen they don’t “curl” so much as bend or crimp lashes. Once again, Urban Decay rises to the challenge.

What they gave us was a sleek, gunmetal contraption. It’s main appeal is the cage-free curling system, preventing skin-pinching and lash-pulling. This allows ease of use for all eye sizes and shapes. It’s long enough to curl evenly without crimping lashes at either end and is padded along the bottom to cushion lashes. It comes with five replacement pads, which they recommend you change every three months. They also recommend you replace the entire unit every 18 months for spring integrity.

It’s recommended that you use your right hand to curl your right eye and your left hand for the left, laying the curved piece flat against your eyelid.

Last season, Urban Decay came out with their Lush Lash Serum, a growth and conditioning treatment. I can’t possibly tell you why I haven’t tried it yet–it’s an uber-popular growth treatment and it’s vegan. For fall, Urban Decay brings you a great companion product, the also-vegan Lush Lash: a growth serum-infused conditioning mascara.

Not only is the tube gorgeous, the applicator is fab as well. The rubberized teeth form an hourglass, assuring every lash is coated and put in place. UD claims this conditioning mascara lengthens and volumizes without making lashes brittle or drying them out and stays put, thanks to a water-resistant formula. I definitely saw volumizing–more lashes were thicker than I’ve seen them for a long time without clumping or getting spidery–but I can’t say I saw any difference in length.

Below, you can see a before/after of sorts: the top shows my right eye curled, the middle shows it with mascara after curling, and the bottom shows both eyes complete. My left eye remains untouched until the last step: you can see a notable difference between the curled and uncurled lashes, as well as the lashes with and without mascara.

I haven’t been able to use this long enough to tell whether my lashes have “grown,” but I definitely want to try it with the Lush Lash system and test it out.

Urban Lash is available at Sephora and select Macy’s for $15 a piece. The Revolution is available at Sephora, ULTA, and select Macy’s for $20. Lush Lash Mascara is available at Sephora, ULTA, and Select Macy’s for $20. All are available online at Sephora.com, Ulta.com, Macys.com, and UbranDecay.com

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Cosmetics, Reviews

Metamorphosis 87.0 – Never Ask a Lady: a review of Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara

I’ll admit it: mascara really was never something that excited me. For the most part, I thought it a little boring–after all, how different can one black paste be from another? While I wouldn’t dream of leaving my house without it now, there were years where I “forgot” mascara even existed. My lashes are naturally pretty thick and rather long, so aside from darkening them mascara really never did it for me.

Oh, how that has changed!

When I heard that Benefit was putting out their new They’re Real! Mascara, I was unenthused. I was happy with my Clinique High Lengths mascara, and while I knew Benefit put out some quality products and had a cult following, I really didn’t care to experiment. Why spend almost twice the money of my current mascara when I wasn’t even sure I’d be happy with it? As is always my luck, reality always works contrarily. Look what arrived on my doorstep*:

Most mascaras I get end up tossed into my eye drawer, waiting for my current mascara to expire before seeing the light of day. This wasn’t exactly the case with this baby. With all the hype surrounding this product, I simply had to try it immediately.

The tube itself is remarkably different from most mascaras I’ve seen. As opposed to the plain tube, this is a sort of angled, squared-off shape in a metallic pewter. Super snazzy. But it’s what’s inside that counts. The packaging claims:

94% saw dramatic length & volume
90% saw base-to-tip curl

94% saw visible lift
100% saw long-wearing results

Those are mighty-big claims for a mascara to make! I’ve read things like this a million times and am usually disappointed, so I went into this with absolutely no expectations. Honestly, I could not imagine it being any better than my Clinique High Lengths.

You’ve probably heard me go on and on about mascara wands. I get sort of picky when it comes to my wands–you probably couldn’t pay me to use the typical spoolie brush that comes with most of them. Clinique’s High Lengths comes with my favourite: it’s like a comb, with teeth only on one end, allowing you to get right at the lash line and coat from the base up. Benefit’s They’re Rea! comes with a fat, rubberized brush with countless little spiky teeth to really pack in the formula.

I feel like the brush is a little difficult to get near to the roots, but I have very sensitive eyes so others might not have this problem. Given that I can’t get right down in there I do feel this takes a bit more time and care to apply. The inner pamphlet says:

To use: Position wand horizontally & wiggle from side to side, base to tip, to achieve maximum volume, length & lift. Hold wand vertically & stroke upward to curl & separate. Layer generously as desired.

Even Benefit seems to acknowledge that this product takes a bit of “work” to achieve the false-lash look women will want from this product. Honestly, I’m not going to hold a wand vertically at any point–I know myself too well to think I won’t sneeze or blink on it and end up permanently blinded by teeth. Regardless, I was surprised by the results.

This may be the only mascara that has ever “curled” my lashes. I normally don’t curl my lashes–in fact, I haven’t touched an eyelash curler since highschool. I just don’t see the point. My lashes have enough natural lift that I don’t need to “open up my eyes” by curling. Frankly, I’ve always hated the feeling of my lashes touching my eyelids, making me look like a startled animal in the crosshairs. Not a good look for me. They’re Real! doesn’t deliver quite that drama, but curls lashes well enough that they look fuller, longer, and more dramatic. It lengthens and creates fullness as well, though I find it takes a few swipes both on top and bottom of lashes to get the length I’m used to.

Below are side-by-side comparison shots of They’re Real! and High Lengths. Benefit is on the left, where Clinique is on the right.

Benefit’s They’re Real! (left) vs. Clinique’s High Lengths (right)

Benefit’s They’re Real! (left) vs. Clinique’s High Lengths (right)

Benefit’s They’re Real! (left) vs. Clinique’s High Lengths (right)

I don’t think I need to tell you who the winner is.

My biggest criticism at this point is ease of removal: it takes me several swipes of the makeup remover to get this baby off, and even afterward I feel like it clings to the lashes. Even so, it doesn’t create the dreaded raccoon effect in the morning but I like to be squeaky-clean before bed.

Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara will retail for $22. I really do like the formula, and I will probably buy it again when this tube expires. If you’re looking for a super-black, super-performing mascara that promises (and delivers!) curl, length, and fullness, it’s well worth the price tag!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

* This product was provided as a promotional sample for my honest review. This has not affected my opinion at all.

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