L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara

Randomly, I was in the mood to try a drugstore mascara and I chose the L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara because of its cute packaging and the manga reference. So far, reviews for this mascara have been pretty decent, so either way, I think it’s worth giving it a shot.

One of my favorite layering mascaras is the L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara because the formula is just wet enough to layer on top of my Japanese mascaras; yet, it’s just dense enough to coat the lashes evenly with volume and not clumps. In the past, I’ve read some reviews where people felt that they needed to leave the mascara unused for a few weeks to get the formula to dry out a little bit. For me, this has never been an issue — but, it may be because I use the product to layer.

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As L’Oreal’s newest mascara release, the Miss Manga Mascara features “the 360 flexor brush to build bold volume with high intensity from top to bottom.” The flexible brush head allows the wand to move and the “joint” gives it the ability to swivel without feeling too loose. The”flexible brush with a unique conical shape…catch[es] those hard to reach lashes with an incredibly even application. The Mega Impact Formula instantly builds oversized volume for 15X lash volume in a flash. Top lashes are amplified and bottom lashes maximized for the ultimate wide-eyed Manga Look.”

I can’t speak about the “oversized volume for 15X lash volume,” but this mascara does give a fair enough volume for my thin, Asian lashes. The mascara is buildable, but it should be layered on to minimize the look of clumps and the look of messiness.

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I think I still prefer the original L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara for my layering product, but the Miss Manga Mascara is great as well. I prefer the mascara for my bottom lashes since it creates a voluminous and fluttery lash effect; it doesn’t smudge or transfer so I like the effect that it gives my bottom lashes. On the top lashes, it layers okay since I always apply my Japanese mascara first. The dense formula isn’t as wet as I like, but this product may work for those who felt that they needed to intentionally dry out the L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara before using it.

Made in USA.
Retails for $7.99 USD.

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Drugstore Beauties

Writing about drugstore gems can be tricky because it seems that so many people have such high expectations of finding dupes and replacement products for high-end items. For me, my drugstore beauties are consistent products that I choose to re-purchase over and over again — despite the fact that I can find them at high-end department stores. This is simply because they perform just as good or even better and I find no reason to spend the extra money.

Here, I’m showing you my drugstore favorites; and, besides some of the newly released items, I’ve been purchasing the rest for years and years.

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1. Cetaphil is my favorite morning cleanser because it’s so gentle for my sensitive skin. Whether you’ve been out in the sun or you’re going through a hormonal breakout phase, this is the best and most gentle cleanser you can use on your skin.

2. I stock up on the Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover whenever I can. This is my most favorite of all drugstore products in the world. This is because it truly removes all traces of your eye makeup, even waterproof mascara. Another reason why I’m so loyal to this particular remover is because it removes Japanese mascaras, which are seriously hard-core.

3. The L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara has been a staple of mine for at least 10 years. I use it as a layering mascara, after I’ve applied an initial layer of whatever Japanese mascara I’m using that week. This builds volume and is really, really black.

4. While I do treasure my high-end lip balms, I still equally rely on my drugstore lip balms like the EOS lip balms and the Nivea Lip Butters. They are both hydrating, easily portable, and wear well under lipstick and lip gloss.

5. Man, remember when the Revlon Lip Butters were released and everyone was flocking to them like they were going out of style? I do. I think the Lip Butters really set the bar high for the drugstore lip product department and I’m glad for that. These are great for on-the-go and are perfect options for when you’re strapped for time. They’re hydrating and my lips feel comfortable — while looking pretty in whichever shade I choose that day.

6. The Real Techniques Blush Brush (used for powder) and the Expert Face Brush (for foundation and cream blushes) are true drugstore gems. They are great value and are excellent quality. More often than not, I reach for RT brushes over many of my more expensive brushes. Because they’re affordable, I tend to buy multiples of my favorites and hoard, lol.

Remember that the drugstore has many reliable options, and they’re getting better and better as time goes on. It’s great that we can find great products that are affordable and easily accessible. However, there are some products in the high-end market that are worth investing in, and I will be writing a post on that as well soon. After all, expensive isn’t always better! :)

As always, thanks for reading.

What’s In My Makeup Bag v.2

Holiday cheers! Awhile back, I wrote a post called Weekend Getaway: What’s In My Makeup Bag. This time around, it’s version 2 because I’m going back home for the holidays. Since it’s a bit more than just a weekend getaway, my packing is a bit different.

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I found this cute makeup bag at Forever 21 for like, $6-$7 and couldn’t pass it up. I switched to this bag because I will packing other bags with skincare essentials, brushes, and cleansing essentials. On top of that, I will also be bringing hair care, body care, and random styling products since I will be at home for a few weeks.

An opportunity that I like to take advantage of when I go back home is to FINALLY use up products. I say this because it feels like I’m intentionally “restricting” myself. I don’t like to overpack – even though all this seems excessive, lol, and I only bring what I know I’m going to use, because I try to avoid the “what if” situations. It’s generally a good time for me to bring items that are almost done so I can finish them up. Also, much like my weekend getaway bag, I can’t be bothered to be testing products, so I bring my trusted products only – I don’t want to be frustrated and stuck with a product I don’t like or have to deal with a product that breaks me out.

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A quick peek inside!

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As you can see, this bag may look small, but it sure does hold a bunch of stuff! It’s just the right size – that way, it’s not too big that I over-stuff it; and, it’s not so small I feel insecure about bringing too little, lol. And, when I’m back at home shopping is just much better. So chances are, I’ll end up buying a thing or two while away and end up using that too!

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Inside:
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light, reviewed here
Benefit Sun Beam, reviewed here
Rachel K CC cream, reviewed here
YSL Touche Éclat – Radiant Touch, reviewed here
Benefit High Beam, reviewed here in a post about glowy skin
MAC blush in “Well Dressed,” refer to this post

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Inside:
Cetaphil Daily Advance Lotion (sample)
Benefit blush in “Coralista” (reviewed in same post as Sun Beam)
Canmake highlighter
Clé de Peau Beauté concealer, reviewed here
Bobbi Brown Natural Finish Long Lasting foundation, reviewed here

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Inside:
KOJI eyelash curler
Dior Nude Rouge lipstick, reviewed here
NIVEA Intense Moisture – healing medicated lip care
Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in “Bare Naked,” reviewed here
Shiseido Mascara Base
Fasio Ultra Curl Lock mascara, reviewed here
L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara

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For the eye makeup portion, I’m just bringing my Z palette with some of my trusty eyeshadows and MAC’s eyeliner in “Teddy.” I will post a more in-depth color review/swatch in another post regarding my top, favorite MAC eyeshadows. But for traveling purposes, I need something versatile, compact, and easy to carry. Also, this way, if I end up purchasing something new, I’d have room to bring it back (or enjoy it while away).

As always, thanks for reading. Are any of you guys going back home for the holidays? What are you bringing?

Recent Eye Routine: The “Smudgey” Look

Very rarely do I purposely try to look messy or “smudgey” – in this case – however, as of late, I’ve been going for the effortless look. The funny thing about looking effortless is that it takes so long to make it look like you just threw any particular look together.

Remember all that marketing geared towards the “bedhead” look, yet it took so many products and time to achieve it? And, weird how all the tutorials out there for “natural makeup” takes just as long as a dramatic look? Well, this is no different. :)

My smudgey look is still structured because I don’t want to look like I’ve partied all night, then slept in my makeup, and then walked around in public the next day. “Smudgey” to me revolves around the idea of using cream products to get the look down, and then using powder products to lock it in place. After all, we don’t want the look to continue smudging throughout the day.

My tools:
-MAC eyeshadow “Jest”
-MAC eyeshadow “Satin Taupe”
-MAC eyeshadow “Charcoal Brown”
-KOJI eyelash curler
-Shiseido mascara base + Majorilca Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus mascara + L’oreal Voluminous mascara
-Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in “Cocoa”

The look itself was very simple – and the key to it all is blending everything sloppily.

First, I applied Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in “Cocoa” and blended it in with my fingers. I concentrated most of the color in the outer corners, then added MAC “Satin Taupe” over everything covering my entire eyelid. While that sets, I take the “Cocoa” and line my lower lashline smudging it before it dries. MAC “Jest” is a peachy pearlescent shade that I like to apply in the inner corners to brighten the look – that way it still looks somewhat put together. I blend MAC “Charcoal Brown” in the crease line to fade the top portion of the color, so that it doesn’t have a stark line.

Lastly, I curl my lashes and apply my base and mascara. After it dries, I used L’oreal Voluminous mascara to add clumpy volume. The clumps are intentional and add drama to the look. I kept my eyebrows light because I felt that my eye look was already drawing enough attention for the most part. I personally think this is a great look to wear with a messy top knot bun, denim cuffed shorts, and a loose top. It’s an effortless-looking look that is still fun and dramatic, yet unsloppy. There is a fine line between intentional sloppy and hot mess, right?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Drugstore Goodies (mascaras + lipliner)

Because of an Ulta coupon I recently received, I had yet another excuse to pick up some drugstore goodies. Lately, I’ve been on a mascara kick which is kind of strange since I don’t tend to stray from my trusty L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in carbon black.

Today, I picked up:
1. Rimmel lipliner in “East End Snob”
2. Rimmel Glam’Eyes Day 2 Night 003 in “Extreme Black”
3. Prestige My Blackest Lashes in “Blackest Black”

Rimmel’s Day 2 Night mascara is made in the UK; while Prestige’s My Blackest Lashes is made in Italy.

Both claim to volumize, lengthen, and separate – and interestingly enough, both say that their formulas are super, duper black. For me, I don’t mind experimenting with drugstore mascaras because they’re affordable and if they don’t end up working out, I just layer what I’ve got all together until it eventually runs out. Personally, I haven’t really found a difference between drugstore brand mascaras and high end mascaras besides the prices. I think it’s because I’m not blessed in the lashes department so it pretty much doesn’t matter what I use – as long as I use a good base.

Yes, these mascaras have been around for awhile so they’re not “new” or anything. I’m a little late getting around to experimenting with these!

To me, the color black is black so one cannot be more “extreme” or “blacker” than the other – unless it’s noticeably gray. I like Prestige’s slightly dry formula because it adheres to my lashes well. Normally, wetter mascaras are good for layering over other mascaras that you’ve applied first.

Rimmel’s Day 2 Night mascara has an interesting philosophy behind it: essentially, you unscrew the top wand that indicates “length” and apply to it to your lashes first (for supposedly the day time); then, you unscrew the wand that indicates “volume” and apply it next (for supposedly the night time). The tube obviously includes one wand, but I imagine the stopper in the “volume” section is skinnier, allowing less product to come out. The stopper in the “volume” portion is probably a bit wider to allow more product to come out – which, in return, “clumps” the lashes a bit – hence, the volume.

During my personal experimentation, the “length” wand didn’t do anything for my lashes because I have so few to begin with. However, it works well for my bottom lashes! I think it will take some time for me to get used to this process, but I do find it a bit tedious and senseless when my mornings are hectic and I’m short on time.

As for the lipliner, I’m not sure about it yet. I normally don’t wear lipliner because I’m kind of lazy. Basically, I remembered hearing about it on YouTube so I purchased it. However, the color is too cool-toned for me and I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with it yet.

Anything from the drugstore you’re liking lately?
As always, thanks for reading.

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

EOTD: Eye of the Day

Happy Sunday, all. I hope your weekend was as eventful as mine! And, as always, a weekend isn’t a weekend without some shopping. Anyone get aynthing good that they would recommend?

It’s been highly requested that I demonstrate how some of my favorite products are used. As I’ve previously stated in other posts, I’m a neutral-colors gal so many of my eye/makeup looks aren’t exciting with fun colors, shimmers, and false lashes. Because of the atmosphere I work in, I try to keep everything I wear (clothes, makeup) on a very low-key yet sophisticated level. Some of you have asked where I like to shop for clothes – and, I’d have to say that I enjoy Banana Republic, Gap, Nordstrom, and Nordstrom Rack the most. The biggest tip I can give you is to hit up outlets and sales often, and to become a ‘member’ at these stores because you save SO much more that way. Also, you’re able to participate in member-exclusive deals and events.

Another thing to keep in mind is to know where to invest properly, because some key items in your closet are worth shelling out money for because of the quality and longevity. Some items to keep in mind that are worth investing in are black slacks, dark denim jeans, a coat, a blazer, and black leather pumps. Aside from these items, everything else can be purchased for less pretty much wherever, depending on your taste and preference.

Anyway, back to the EYE OF THE DAY – featuring my favorite Burberry eyeshadow (that’s been previously reviewed).

1. “Pale Barley” eyeshadow by Burberry
2. Shiseido mascara base
3. Majorilca Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus mascara (Japan)
4. L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in “Carbon Black”
5. MAC 217 brush (blending)
6. MAC 263 brush (angled brush – brows)
7. MAC “Charcoal Brown” matte eyeshadow
8. KOJI No. 73 eyelash curler (Japan)

Eyebrows: I used MAC “Charcoal Brown” eyeshadow and the MAC 263 angled brush to fill in my brows. This seems to be a versatile color for brows because I know various people who use this color who range in skin tone, hair color, and ethnicities. I prefer a dark, warm brown color for my brows since I don’t have stark black hair naturally.

Eyelids: No primer – just “Pale Barley” applied onto my lids using the sponge tip applicator (which, by the way, is superb for applying a solid layer of color). Then, I take “Charcoal Brown” again and add to the crease of my eyes and blend it with the MAC 217. Essentially, this is just for some mild definition. Also, “Charcoal Brown” is added to my lower lashline as well.

Eyelashes: I curl my lashes using my KOJI curler and apply Shiseido’s mascara base. I follow that with my trusty (and super water proof) Majorilca Majorca mascara to hold my lashes up in its curl. After a few minutes of working on other areas of my face, I come back to my lashes and apply L’Oreal Voluminous mascara on top of everything for volume and thickness.

As always, thanks for reading.

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
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