Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mascara Wars

Warning: This post contains explicit material about make-up and really girly things. Take heed male readers.

Even though I'd pronounced my favorite mascara here, I couldn't help but get sucked into marketing schemes and try a couple new mascaras. I mean, how could you not want to try a mascara called "Falsies." HA! So today we will be pitting the challenger, CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara against a couple contenders and see how it fares. Can it stay the ultimate mascara champion or will it crumble into a streaky black mess of failure? Let's find out...

CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara


CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara

After declaring the CG LashBlast Volume Mascara as my favorite, CoverGirl came out with a new formula that was supposed to be both a volumizing and lengthening mascara. Well that's clearly better than just a volumizing mascara, right?

It took me a couple purchases of the Fusion mascara before I could really compare it to the Volume mascara. I accidentally bought the brown color of the Fusion my first time around, which I couldn't compare equally with the Volume because color can make a big difference in how the mascara looks. Still, the formula felt a little drier than the Volume. I thought it might be a fluke... maybe it'd been sitting on the shelf longer than normal because brown isn't as popular of a color. So I went back for a second tube and this time got my regular color: blackest black.

I immediately noticed the Fusion mascara formula was indeed drier than the Volume formula. I'm sure they did this to increase the length and volume, but it wasn't obviously more so than the Volume mascara. And because it started out drier, the tube didn't last as long. I saw little clumps on my lashes pretty early on. The Fusion mascara used the exact same wand as the Volume which I liked, but the one thing that sealed the deal on Volume being the winner was price. The Fusion mascara was more expensive than the Volume formula, by $.50 I think.

So the winner and remaining champ is.... CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara!

Ready for the next fight? You got it...

Entering the ring we have our continuing champ: CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara

And our new contender is.....Maybelline Volum' Express "the Falsies" Black Drama Mascara

I'll admit I bought this mascara just because of the name. Falsies? That name makes me think of these not these. My immediate opinion of the Falsies mascara was I didn't like the brush. It was too stubby and it looked like there was a lot of mascara loaded on the wand. Surprisingly it applied fairly well, not the gloppy mess I thought it would be. Still, I've come to love the plastic bristle brushes and this one was too bushy and not stiff enough. I also noticed there were a lot of hair-like fibers in the formula. I'm sure this is how they get the dramatic "false lash" look, but to me it just made the formula look dirty.

As far as performance goes, I didn't hate the look the Falsies gave. I did think this made my lashes look longer and fuller than the CG Volume mascara did, but not obviously so. However, the look with the Falsies was a bit clumpier than with the Volume mascara and it was tough to evenly cover my lower lashes without clumps and globs. The staying power of the Falsies mascara was comparable to CG Volume which was nice and I do think if you're looking for a super dramatic look you may like this mascara, but for everyday wear, I'm going to stick with my CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara. Especially because I can add additional coats if I want the dramatic look the Falsies gave me. I have heard the original formula of Falsies (not the Black Drama formula) is a better everyday mascara, so I may end up trying that one in the future, just to see if I like it. But for our purposes today, I officially declare the winner to be:

CoverGirl Lashblast Volume Mascara!!

Have you tried any of these mascaras? Which did you like best and why? Do you use a completely different brand you think I'd like better?

Friday, February 18, 2011

January Book Reviews: West of the Tularosa, The Hunger Games, and Peace Like a River

To start out the new year I thought I would revamp my book reviewing system. I started using a new website called Good Reads to keep track of the books I've read in the past, books I'm currently reading, books I want to read, and books I've finished. I've posted a couple different book lists on my sidebar: books I'm currently reading and books I've finished this year. This way you can easily see the ratings I've given for any book without having to dig through all my book posts.

Because I started using the Good Reads website, my rating scale will also change. I will now be on a 5 star system instead of 3. Here's the breakdown:

 *= Didn't like it; **= It was ok; ***=Liked it; ****=Really liked it; *****=It was amazing

by Louis L'Amour
Rating: **

West of the Tularosa is about... well... let's see. This guy comes into town and finds some dead guys in a cabin. Then the bad guys try to frame him and they gotta figure out who done what.

This was my first attempt at reading a western. I listened to this on audiobook and thought it was entertaining, though maybe not quite my style. I'm typically not big on westerns and this just seemed to be a little too... I don't know. It's a good book to read on the beach. There. I think that says it.

by Suzanne Collins
Rating: ****

For those of you who haven't read it yet, The Hunger Games is about a girl named Katniss who is involved in a deadly survivalist reality t.v. show. Every year, two children (a boy and a girl) between the ages of 12-18 are drawn in a lottery from each of 12 districts. These children are then sent into an arena to fight to the death. The winner gets immunity from later games as well as food and a home for the rest of their lives, something that is very valuable in a semi-communistic society where starvation is common. 

I didn't want to like this book, what with it being so popular and all, but I couldn't help it. I had it on loan from the library for two weeks, a shorter period than normal because there's such a long waiting list. Seth and I were both able to finish the book in the two week period. It was a very engaging book... I found that I kept reading and reading... something I rarely do. This was a great easy read and I'll definitely be reading the whole series.

 by Leif Enger
Rating: *****

I know. This book looks like it would be incredibly boring. The title does not do it justice. However, this was one of the best books I've read in a while. It's hard to say what this book is about without giving away too many plot details. Mainly it's about a man named Jeremiah Land who goes through a moral dilemma of whether he should turn his 16 year old son, Davy into "the Feds" after he is charged for murder and escapes from prison. The book is told from Davy's 11 year old asthmatic brother, Reuben's perspective.

I really loved Enger's writing style. He gave each of his characters such an individual personality and voice. You can't help but love each of the characters, even the "evil Fed" who is after Davy. This book is definitely on my Top 5 list for the last year.

p.s. I listened to the audio version of this book and really enjoyed it. Great narrator.