Tag Archives: mascara


A Love Affair with Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes

You guys, I’m in LOVE! …with mascara, but still. A few months ago my friend, Ashley, began raving about a line of makeup she was selling called Younique. She was obsessed with their Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes mascara, and all I could think was, I own more mascaras than I’ll use in the next ten years. Eventually I caved and let her put it on me and Oh. My. God. Love at first sight!


Above is an unplanned early morning shot the first time I tried the mascara. On the left eye I have on my beloved $30 Lorac mascara. On the right is Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes. What a difference!

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes is made with 100% natural fibers taken from green tea. For all of you eco-friendly gals out there, it is a naturally based, vegan product that is not tested on animals. And, for what it’s worth…it’s gluten free? Not sure how lashes can be gluten intolerant, but if yours are, they’ve got you covered!


The larger tube is a Transplanting Gel that has the same look and feel of regular mascara and is applied first. The second, smaller tube of Natural Fibers reminded me of a wand of black cotton candy. After applying the fibers, a second coat of the Transplanting Gel locks it all in. It was definitely as quick and easy to apply as regular mascara. I can also vouch for the fact that these lashes are water resistant, yet wash off easily with a facial cleanser.


After trying 3D Fiber Lashes, Ashley came over and we tried out Younique’s other products. My favorites were the Moodstruck Precision Pencil Eyeliner in Perfect and the Moodstruck Glorious Face and Eye Primer- both felt like satin and went on super smooth. Next on my wish list: Uplift Eye Serum. There are some amazing before and after photos floating around the web- check them out!


For $29, it is not inexpensive, but it is the exact same price I was spending on my original mascara. Want to experience the magic for yourself? It’s easy-for the next 10 days, you can order Younique products by clicking here. Now go fall in love!

Want to hear more about Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes? Check out Kristin’s review here.


About the author – Amy Genduso

Amy Genduso

Amy spends every waking moment around children, and she stands by the fact that a classic, polished look can still be achieved! Don’t let that fool you, she’s anything but basic. Ulta is her own slice of heaven, and she has a small hoarding problem with OPI and Lorac products.

Photos: Amy Genduso/beautyXposé; Disclaimer

younique mascara

Long Lashes without Falsies

I’ve always like the idea of false lashes, but have always hated the idea of the application. And the thought of peeling off lashes at the end of the night creeps me out. So when the lovely Kael reached out to me about testing out the Younique 3D Mascara, I saw the best of both worlds. The length and drama of falsies with the easy application of mascara.

younique mascara

Unlike most traditional mascaras, this Younique mascara involves two products (Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers) and three steps. You first apply a coat of Transplanting Gel, followed by a coat of Natural Fibers and then top it off with another coat of Transplanting Gel. These two products combined add both length and volume to your lashes, giving you the appearance of falsies without the hassle.

younique mascara

younique mascara

While I loved the look of the product when applied, there was a bit of drop-off with the fibers after application. A few fibers landed on my cheek and were hard to brush off, but a bit of concealer and a fluffy brush helped to clean them up. In the photo below, I have Younique on my right lashes and my normal COVERGIRL mascara on my left lashes.

younique mascara

For $29, this is a bit pricier than most of my other mascaras, but I think it’s worth the price considering you get two products in the package and it adds so much extra drama to your look. Plus, this would be absolutely perfect for all of the upcoming holiday parties (read: photo ops).

What do you do to get amped-up lashes?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Out of Stock: A Beauty Lover’s Nightmare

I love Ulta. It’s one of my favorite places to go, and I go quite often. Where else can you buy premium makeup brands alongside drugstore beauty buys right after getting your hair cut and colored? And it doesn’t hurt that it’s less than five minutes from my house.

Alas, this past weekend, a trip to my personal beauty mecca became the stuff nightmares are made of. Okay — that was a bit dramatic, but it was an incredibly frustrating outing when I found out that the four particular items I went in to buy were all out of stock.out of stock

Every. Single. One of them.

In a store brimming with beauty products on shelves reaching from floor to ceiling, how in the world were they out of the exact four items I needed to replace? I guess they must be popular items.

Here are my four faves that were out of stock:

1.  Napoleon Perdis Mighty Concealer in Mellow Yellow — This is my guilty pleasure, because it’s the one beauty product I’ve ever owned that actually makes me look like someone else — in a good way. Just apply a few swipes under my eyes and I look like I’ve gotten 10 hours of sleep, ran three miles and have already had a cup of coffee — even if I’m really nursing a hangover.

2.  Maybelline Volum’Express The Colossal Waterproof Mascara in Glam Black — I know, I know — I have talked about this mascara so many times that you’re probably sick of hearing about it. But it’s the only one I trust, and people always ask me if my lashes are real, so as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke…

3.  Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat — If you hate waiting for your nail polish to dry, simply slap on one coat of this miracle top coat, and your nails will be dry and diamond-hard within 30 seconds. No joke. Plus, this top coat has a super shine that puts all other top coats to shame.

4.  Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisturizing Conditioner — This ultra hydrating conditioner has saved my over-processed strands from turning into a brittle mess. Now, I can’t even find it on the Ulta website anymore, so maybe they’ve pulled it from their shelves permanently. Sigh.

Sadly, I have to wait until Thursday when the new product shipment comes in so I can get my items (except I caved and got a different Redken conditioner since I was completely out and I’m not sure if Ulta is going to restock the Carol’s Daughter one).  But the good news is I have a completely valid excuse to go back and browse more beauty items.

Want to know one place these items are never out of stock? Online! Shop items in this post here:


Photos: Collage by beautyxposé; individual photos by Maybelline, Carol’s Daughter, Seche and Napoleon Perdis

Review: IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Volumizing Mascara Duo

For me, mascara is an absolutely essential component of my daily beauty regimen. In fact, a tube of mascara might just be the single most important product I keep in my make up bag. I use it in every situation, from topping off a sultry evening look, to swiping some on when I’m running late and trying to get out the door. Mascara is what finishes a look and helps me to feel more polished for any occasion.

Oddly enough, as devoted as I am to mascara, I haven’t found one particular kind that has earned my undying dedication. I’ve tried a wide variety of mascaras. Some cheap ones from the drugstore, some overpriced ones and others that fall somewhere in between. However, none ever seemed to be just right. When I buy mascara, I need it to perform miracles, so needless to say my standards are a bit high.

I read a description for IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Volumizing Mascara Duo and finally it sounded like I had found the mascara that could potentially fulfill my specifications. According to IT Cosmetics, “Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Treatment Mascara revolutionizes and takes the place of five products–volumizing mascara; conditioning, hydrating lash primer; lash-enhancing serum; lash tint; and a lash comb/curler! Hello Lashes offers the blackest of black color that lasts and doesn’t flake or fade.”

Hello Lashes

Of course this all sounds amazing, but I certainly had my doubts and decided to give the product a try for myself. I can happily say that after using this mascara just one time, I became a bonafide believer.

Look at that wand!

I love to make an strong impact using eye make up and I was pleasantly surprised by how long and dark this product made my lashes look without being cakey or clumpy. The lash ball detailer at the tip of the wand is perfect for getting those small, hard to reach lashes at the corners of your eyes that tend to get neglected. If I’m wearing eye shadow and liner, this mascara compliments the other products perfectly. On the days that I dare to go bare, Hello Lashes can stand-alone and still give me the fresh, polished look I crave.

This mascara is almost magical

Thanks to Hello Lashes, I’m happy to say that I’ve finally found the one.

Photo: IT Cosmetics; Disclosure

Every Girl’s Dream: B.LO Cosmetics Mascara and False Lashes

Have you ever imagined owning your own cosmetic company? Learn how college sophomore Brittany Lo made her dream come true and discover her products today!

Think back to when you were a young girl. Your mother would apply her prettiest red lipstick and mascara before an evening out.  While you sat watching in awe, dreams would dance in your head of one day owning your own makeup, or even better, owning your own makeup company. For college student Brittany Lo, hard work and ambition was all it took to make this childhood fantasy become a glamorous reality.

Brittany Lo, college student and cosmetics company founder

Brittany was only seventeen years old when she decided to take the leap and start her own cosmetic company, B.LO.  Her goal is to create products that are both environmentally safe while making women beautiful at the same time. Brittany kicked off her company by creating an all-natural mascara as well as a line of fake lashes to represent all she wanted B.LO to be.

I was nicely sent both the all-natural mascara as well as a pair of the B.LO lashes to see just how beautiful they could make what I’m constantly told are my “big doll eyes.”

B.LO all-natural mascara and false eye lashes

As an eye makeup fanatic, I was excited to see how the products would mix in with my usual daily eye makeup. Just as I expected, I fell in love with the B.LO mascara. The product made my eyelashes look three times as long as they do with other mascaras and I felt proud knowing this product was eco-friendly.  I wore the B.LO lashes on a night out on the town and immediately felt the glamour of a celebrity who wears false lashes regularly. Many people complimented me for how perfect my eye makeup looked, and I can credit that to the B.LO lashes!

B.LOW in action

Not only does Brittany offer great beauty products for her company, but she also offers a variety of beauty services. Whether it’s for a wedding or just a fun girls night, Brittany would love to make over any woman with her professional talents.

B.LO mascara is retailed at $14.99, and the lashes at $8.99. All products and services are available at http://www.blocosmetics.com/.

Two years later, the Babson college sophomore takes pride in the success of her company.  Brittany hopes to add to her cosmetic line and continue to build a company with many loyal followers. So why not become a B.LO fan today? I know I have!

High Fashion, Low Maintenance: Get Hooked Up with Mark

Our style mantra: Fashion and beauty are for everyone, no matter how busy your schedule or how small your budget may be.  We represent the fashionista who has places to go, people to see, or just likes to sleep in a few extra hours.  There’s no reason to run to class in sweats and unblushed cheeks when glamour can be achieved with just a little extra effort.  Check here as Chelsea unveils quick tricks and perfect products that can update your look in a hot second, without breaking your budget.

Mark Hook Ups coverWhat does every girl want? A little freedom, of course. And now Mark gives everyone the freedom to design the perfect makeup product.

Mark’s Hook Ups link your favorite lip, face and eye products all in one simple and sleek tube. With the freedom to choose from 18 products in customized colors, the possibilities are almost endless. A small connector links any two tubes for a quick and easy touch up on the go. Choose your two favorite products or stock up on as many as you want. Mark offers five types of their lip glosses as well as mascaras, lip and eyeliners and multiple makeup brushes in Hook Up form, all for only $6 each.

My favorite Hook Up products are the four face creams, available for just $8 each. Mark shrinks your skincare must haves into the perfect pocket size. Now you can take a small tube of acne cream, lip smoother, depuff eye gel or pore minimizer with you anytime, anywhere. Small purses are no longer a big problem.

The Mark website makes it easy for you to pick, choose and pair your Hook Up products and colors. Freedom is just a quick click away!

Photo collage: Mark

Make Me Over: A New Look With the Shiseido Spring Collection

The new Shiseido spring collection

The new Shiseido spring collection

This past weekend, I had the honor of getting a spring makeover by a former Mad Man. No, Don Draper did not swoop into the Macy’s at Pentagon City in Virginia to caress my cheek with a soft hint of blush (*sigh*), but I did get an equally glorious experience with Shiseido’s debonair national makeup artist, Renato Almeida, who began his career in advertising before becoming the makeup maestro he is now. As if it wasn’t amazing enough to be transformed by this talented Brazilian native, I also had the pleasure of sharing the experience with one of my favorite beauty bloggers, Charleston Girl from Best Things in Beauty.

When I arrived sans makeup (Charleston Girl arrived looking gorgeous in her own makeup; I was jealous), I was thoroughly pumped to see what Renato’s choices would be from the Shiseido line. Having already previewed select items from the Shiseido Spring 2010 collection, I wondered what the man who works on Fashion Week runway models and celebrities like Naomi Watts would say fit for my run-of-the-mill mug. I was also extremely curious to see how Renato would approach Charleston Girl using the same collection, given that we have very different coloring for our eyes, hair and skin. Surprisingly enough, he chose the same shade eyeshadow for us both (though he also added another color to my look)!

Charleston Girl and me before Renato worked his magic!

Charleston Girl and me before Renato worked his magic!

After first being chastised by the Charleston Girl for sitting in the sun without protection the day earlier (I know, I know!), which had made my complexion uneven, Renato got down to business. As Renato began to work his makeover magic on me, he went straight for the eyes. Why the eyes before foundation or anything else, you ask? It’s only logical; Renato explained that when you start with eyes, you can go back and clean up any mistakes or eyeshadow dust fall-out on your cheeks without ruining an already-completed look.

Renato's magic toolkit

Renato’s magic toolkit

Renato began by prepping my lids up to the brow-bone with Shiseido #2 concealer, which he then “set” with a dusting of translucent powder. This would help lock in the shadow he would later apply, so it wouldn’t smudge, melt or crease during the day. Next, he swept on Luminizing Satin Eye Color in BE202 ($25), a gorgeous shade of subtle caramel, expertly blending from the base of my lids all the way up to just under the brow bone, leaving just a tiny area without shadow to serve as a highlight. Then came the fun part.

Renato selected this TO DIE FOR warm gold shadow GD810, which he blended just on the eyelids themselves (blending is extremely important when pulling off any eyeshadow look). This shadow absolutely gorgeous — it has a warm, bronzy shimmer to it, but it doesn’t go overboard with the shimmer flecks. Renato explained that with these colors, he would bring out the green in my eyes; he likes to focus on enhancing a woman’s natural eye color rather than trying to make a trend fit when it doesn’t or match shadow to what the woman is wearing. The GD810 shadow is so versatile that he also used it on Charleston Girl to help make her blue eyes pop. The lesson here? This gold shadow will look amazing on pretty much everyone!

gold eyes

Renato used GD810 Luminizing Satin Eye Color on both of us

Renato continued with my eyes by lining inside the waterline on both the top and bottom lids using Accentuating Cream Eyeliner ($26) in black. Charleston Girl received a more subtle liner look using a brown pencil liner. After that, he curled my lashes (a first, because I NEVER let anyone curl them besides me!) and he coated them with Mascara Base ($23) to prime them, followed with a solid sweep of black mascara. He filled in a sparse area of my brows (even thick browed girls could use some help!) with Natural Eyebrow Pencil BR603 ($20), and we were ready to move on to the rest of my face.

Renato selects a lipstick for Charleston Girl

Renato selects a lipstick for Charleston Girl

Renato smoothed out my skin and reduced the appearance of pores with the magical Pureness Mattifying Moisturizer ($32). Then, he was able to match my uneven skin tone (my face is lighter than my decollete) using Dual Balancing Foundation in I40 ($38.50). I really loved this foundation, as it gave fairly good coverage and didn’t dry my skin out, which usually happens around my nose. It was one of those rare instances where I really didn’t feel like I had any foundation on at all, and it looked that way too (well, except for the fact that it looked WAY better than I do when I’m not wearing anything!).

Then came my other new love: Luminizing Satin Face Color in RD103. Where has this little blush been all my life? Seriously — this coral/peachy color worked PERFECTLY with my skin tone, really warming it and brightening it at the same time. I’m regretting that I didn’t buy it on the spot, and I’ll definitely be back soon to pick it up.  I was equally as smitten with the Accentuating Color Stick Renato used on Charleston Girl in S1. Used as a blush, it really gave her a beautiful glow that looked so perfect on her.

For my lips, Renato kept it simple. He selected fairly neutral beige/toffee shades: Smoothing Lip Pencil ($20) in BE701, Perfect Rouge lipstick in BE208, and Luminizing Lip Gloss in BR302. The end result was fabulous — lips that looked like I was born with them, but with a fuller look and a nice shine. The best part was that none of these products felt heavy like so many liner/lipstick/gloss combos can. It really felt like I only had the gloss on — and a non-sticky gloss at that! Charleston Girl also loved her lip color choice, which was a more noticeable color (Perfect Rouge Tender Sheer in RD629) , but worked so well for her, accentuating the fullness of her lips. Gorgeous!

The final result for the both of us:

Beautiful bloggers

After Renato’s makeover

This was an incredible experience, and I encourage all of you to check out your nearest Shiseido counter (in virtually every department store), so you can test out these products for yourself and find the ones that work best for you. In all, the quality of each Shiseido product was professional grade, so it’s quite a steal given the fact that most of the makeup products are under $50 each!

Thanks again to the entire Shiseido team for guiding us through this experience! A special shout-out goes to Melissa Shaw from the Pentagon City Macy’s, who assisted Renato during our transformations.

Renato and his assistant

Melissa and Renato

Have you tried any of the new Shiseido products yet? Let us know in the comments!

Photos: Shiseido; Anne Houseman/BeautyXpose

Expect Great Things from American Beauty and Flirt! by Kohl’s

American Beauty Pink Gingham Kit

American Beauty Pink Gingham Kit

Sure we “expect great things” from Kohl’s, but what about great cosmetics? With the spring/summer makeup trends in full bloom, we put the store’s exclusive American Beauty and Flirt! products to the test.

American Beauty’s Pink Gingham Look Kit ($30) is a set of two eyeshadows, blush and mascara. The Luxury for Lids Eyeshadow Duo is a baby pink and gray purple that go on way softer than the palate alludes. The blush titled Rosy Cheeks will give you just that.  The powders don’t have serious staying power, but do the trick if you’re looking for simple last minute maintenance. The Softly Shaping Mascara ($12.50 if sold separately) that comes with the kit is the real winner. The brush is super thick and full, allowing every lash to be evenly coated. While it doesn’t provide an exaggerated curl (that’s what your curler is for after all), lashes look delicate but voluminous after application. American Beauty’s Fabulous Feel High Shine Lip Gloss ($12.50) was also a crowd pleaser. The Poppy shade was the perfect playful pink for day or night and stayed sleek and shiny for hours.

The Flirt! Lash Curling Mascara ($14) has the curved brush American Beauty’s Soft Shaping Mascara could have used, but lacks voluminous bristles. They’re spaced too far out, occasionally allowing clumps to form or missing lashes completely. The mascara is definitely functional; you may just need a few applications to get it just right.


The Flirt! Rock-n-Rebel perfume ($35) has a serious rock-n-roll aromatic punch. The scent is super sweetened with grapefruit and apple nectar but has a kick of blackberry for an added zing.


These products from American Beauty and Flirt! are available exclusively at Kohl’s or at kohls.com.

Photos: American Beauty, Flirt!
Disclaimer: Products furnished complementary for review purposes

Natural Beauty: Eyes Go Bam With Organic Glam

organic glam mascaraLooking for ways to look your best — naturally? Look no further. Through reviews of all-natural and organic products and investigations into cosmetic ingredients, our Natural Beauty column will help you make more informed decisions about your beauty purchases.

We’ve talked about organic mascara before, but I’ve found another great option for natural beauties on the hunt for the perfect lash lengthener.

The Organic Pharmacy recently rolled out a new item, Organic Glam Mascara, and this product really lives up to its name. The wand ends in an applicator with tiny bristles that really get to every lash, even my teeny tiny lower lashes.

With natural gums, vitamins and waxes, this mascara curls and lengthens lashes without harsh chemicals, animal ingredients or artificial colorants. But be warned – it’s not waterproof. The formula tended to run a bit in the morning, when my eyes are usually tired and watery, so use extra care if you’re expecting to get teary-eyed!

Organic Glam is a bit on the pricey side – it costs $35, which is more than I typically pay for my mascara, but this formula is worth the cost. Check out the Organic Pharmacy’s Organic Glam online shop to purchase this and other Organic Glam cosmetics.

Photo: Organic Glam

Natural Beauty: Almay Pure Blends

Looking for ways to look your best — naturally? Look no further. Through reviews of all-natural and organic products and investigations into cosmetic ingredients, our Natural Beauty column will help you make more informed decisions about your beauty purchases.

almay pure blends foundationEver since I began my quest to find the best all-natural and organic cosmetics, I have jumped from product to product, always looking for something newer, better, safer. My last foray into the makeup aisle was no exception. I went to the store armed with information from Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group‘s cosmetic safety database, about some brands of mascara and foundation, my basic makeup needs. Since coming across this database two years ago, my beauty purchasing habits have been forever altered. Skin Deep ranks cosmetics on a scale from one to 10, one being no hazard and 10 being very hazardous, based on the ingredients in the product and any health impacts to which those ingredients could be linked. I try to buy products that are rated as low as possible, preferably three or lower.

As a result of my research, I planned to buy products from the Almay Pure Blends line. The mascara and foundation tubes boast that they are 97 percent natural, and the foundation is rated three out of 10 on Skin Deep, which indicates a moderate hazard. However, some of the ingredients, such as sodium borate, have been linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.

almay pure blends coverAs far as quality goes, they are decent. For me, they get the job done, but I can see how the products might not hold up to other customers’ expectations. The foundation formula is a little thin, but it leaves my face looking fresh and dewy. I would describe it as more of a tinted moisturizer, so it’s probably not ideal for those looking for more substantial coverage. I usually set it with some loose powder for a more matte finish.

The mascara can get a little clumpy if I coat it on too thick, but I found that it comes off easily (when I want it to) rather than leaving dark circles under my eyes for days. I wouldn’t say these products are outstanding as far as performance goes, but I do feel pretty good about putting them on my face.

The Almay Pure Blends line also includes eye shadow, loose powder, lip gloss and blush. Find out more at the Almay website.

Photos: Almay