Best Drugstore Brow Mascaras

Tell me: how do you fill in your brows? Since mine are pretty full, I tend to use a brow mascara. Do you use one? These are great if you want to set your brows (if you fill them in with pencil and/or powder) or if you want to slightly tint them to fill them in. I highly suggest trying them if you haven't. And today I'm sharing a few drugstore options--some are new ones that I shared recently in my haul (click here if you haven't).

1-Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara
2-Hard Candy Brows Now! Brow Fiber Gel + Highlighter
3-L'Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper Brow Gel Mascara
4-NYX Brow Gel Mascara

Maybelline Brow Drama
  • Colored gel+ Sculpting Ball Brush
  • $5.99+ for .23 fl. oz, 7.0 ml
  • 4 shades
  • Love the price, pigmention, staying power, it comes in 4 shades
  • Don't love the wand at all--huge. -I like the formula but hate that wand, so I would skip unless you have a spooley you'd like to use instead.
Hard Candy Brows Now!
  • Fiber gel + highlighter
  • $6 (Wal-mart only), .182 oz
  • 2 shades
  • It has a small wand which I love, but A LOT of product that makes it hard to work with. 
  • It has a mousse-like texture and is very pigmented. I think the light-medium, pictured, might be too dark for some.
  • The highlighter is creamy and shimmery. I tend to use a matte highlight, but some would love the two-for-one product. -Skip

L'Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper
  • $7.97, .27 oz
  • 4 shades, including auburn and clear (pictured)
  • Small wand and great product. I have clear and light, which is a little too blonde for me, but I liked this one the best. -Must buy!
NYX Tinted Brow Mascara
  • $6.99,  ULTA,
  • 5 shades
  • medium wand, medium pigmentation
  • I liked this one and love that is offers many shade options. -Must try!
So...I'm sure you're wondering if any of these are a dupe for Benefit's Gimme Brow? Benefit has the smallest wand and I think that makes such a difference. I think L'Oreal is pretty close as long as you choose a tinted shade. The clear is very light in terms of hold.

Extra Elle:
  • Today was supposed to be a video tutorial, but once I saw the footage, I hated how I looked. I'll reshoot it over the weekend. Does that ever happen to you with pics or videos?
  • I was proud to represent the Atl bloggers at the premiere of the new season of The Americans. It was so fun!!! And the show was really good as well--I'd never seen it before.


Lip Tars & Lip Paints: Reviews & Info!

I'm pretty sure if you've somehow found yourself in an ULTA or Sephora you've encountered one or two of these beauties. Maybe you've heard of them? Heard the word "dupe" in their presence? What are these things anyway? Are they glosses? Wonder no more--I'm going over 5 of the most popular of these lip tars, lip paints, and their similarly packaged cohorts.

"Lip tar "is the product name for the brand OCC. It's supposed to make you think of how tar is hard to remove.

"Lip paint" is a way to describe these products. They're like melted lipsticks in a tube that go on shiny that dry to matte or satin, and give long staying power. They're very, very pigmented.

1-Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick--think shiny gloss with the pigmentation of a lipstick that's kind of like a lip stain.

  • This doesn't fit the lip tar or paint definition, but I am including it because it looks similar. It features a fuzzy tip applicator (same material as a doe foot) and has very pigmented color. The shine fades, which doesn't bother me, but I've found the long wearing aspect depends on the shade. Also, some shades can be more drying that others.
  • $21, 4 oz.
  • 18 shades
  • Ulta, Sephora

2-OCC Lip Tars--Considered a revolutionary product when released, these lip tars are long-lasting, very pigmented, and come in different finishes. You will need the tiniest amount--a tube will last forever.

  • These take a little bit to get used to in application and finish, but they are worth it. I kinda got it everywhere the first couple of times! Occasionally, I have experienced dry lips (matte) and suggest the clear primer to help with application.
  • It comes in the original matte, metallic, and stained gloss. It also comes with a brush--necessity since this is a tube and you only need a little.
  • peppermint scent
  • $18, .33 oz
  • 43 shades, including blue, yellow, and black. Shades like those allow you to change the colors of other OOC products to create custom shades.
  • Sephora 
3-J. Cat Wonder Paint--This is a liquified, pigmented product with long wearing time.
  • Similar to OCC in terms of application (little goes a long way). Wish it came with a brush for easier application. Can sometimes feather, but excellent for the price.
  • $1.29 (2 shades at ULTA.com) $4.99 J.Cat site, .33oz
  • 31 shades
  • peppermint
  • has parabens
  • ULTA, J.Catbeauty.com
4-LA Girl Glazed Lip Paint--pigmented like a lipstick, but looks like a gloss
  • I first purchased these because they look so similar to the Too Faced ones. Scroll back up--don't they look similar? But these are the closest thing to a dupe to the OCC I can find. I like these.
  • $3.49, .4 oz
  • 18 shades
  • peppermint
  • online, Kmart, I got mine at the store Five Below
5-MAC Lipmix--It's an opaque cream used to mix and customize lipstick. MAC Pro item.
  • I'm sharing this here because it is similar in packaging to OCC and J. Cat, but this is a completely different product. Whereas the others are liquid-y (runny), this one is like a mousse-like texture. I use using these--I think of them as lip pigments--for a variety of purposes.  While I love these, I don't think a beginner or casual beauty lover will find them a necessity.
  • $15, 10ml
  • 13 shades, including black, yellow, blue that are used to change colors
  • MACcosmetics.com
Overall, if pigmented long-lasting lip products are what you're into, I suggest giving these a shot. There's something for every budget.

Extra Elle: Just finished the audiobook Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe. I didn't really know much about him, bought it on a whim, and ended up loving it. What a life this guy has had so far!! I love hearing a celeb read their autobiographies, for some reason!

DIY Travel Face Exfoliant

Since I was around 3 or so, I've been creating my own beauty products. Some were fails, like making my own solution to perm hair or making my own perfume, when I was four (all products were tested on my younger sister, of course). Some were hits, like making my "own" lipstick, aka melting some crayons with some lipsticks (from my Grandmother's makeup line she had in the 80s) in my Easy Bake Oven. I've shared over 100 diy beauty ideas on here, and I like to think I've improved since then. While I love concocting various lotions and potions, sometimes, just a couple of ingredients are best.

When I travel, I try to keep the products to a minimum, believe it or not. I can make so many of my skin care items, like this DIY Travel Exfoliant. What I like about this recipe is that I can easily adjust it to my needs--it's so versatile. I love having something to exfoliate my skin gently, to remove the grit and the grime from the city and/or climate I'm in. Plus, it's powder, meaning no more leaky, busted, or bulky items. This isn't just for travel as it works well at home, too.

Powder exfoliants are nothing new--but many of them are pricey. I use a pocket salt/pepper shaker (99 cents at the Container Store) to keep mine in. I add the wet ingredients when I am ready to use.

  • starch--I used corn here, but other faves are rice (you can buy or make your own) or tapioca. I use a handful, like the top picture.
  • oil--Vitamin E I like for moisture, as well as removing makeup. I just squeeze open a capsule and add it in. Coconut oil is a fave too. I like adding coconut powder. For more of an exfoliate, I like a citrus oil, like essential oils of lemon, orange, or grapefruit. I would suggest diluting those before applying to skin. 
  • Speaking of exfoliants, a pinch of citric acid (avoid if sensitive skin) or drops of vitamin C serum is wonderful. Sometimes, I'll crush an uncoated aspirin, as it has salicylic acid (if pregnant, please avoid just in case). For more of a scrub, add some baking soda.
To Use:
  • Add oil(s), etc, add some water to make a paste and rub onto skin. Milk will work as well. Use a wet wash cloth to remove the paste. Follow with your favorite skin care moisturizer or regiment. 
  • Please test on a small area before applying to face. Be sure to use sunscreen.
Extra Elle:
  • Speaking of travel, I'm completely smitten with the Great British Bake Off tv show. I'm no baker, but I LOVE this show. And I'm pretty much an Anglophile. I've watched all the eps I can find online. Have you seen this show?


This or That: Simple Cleansing Micellar Water Vs. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution

Tell me: how do you remove your makeup? Wipes? Makeup remover? Soap and water? What?
Something I use from time to time is micellar water. And I'm comparing two of them today. Let me back up a bit:

What is micellar water? It's a product that removes makeup that feels like water and requires no rinsing. It's made from micelles, cleansing molecules that are in water. It is excellent for sensitive skin. It is oil-free. It is so gentle.

The first micellar water I tried was Bioderma, via an insistent shopkeeper in a French pharmacy (aka the best place for all things skin I've ever visited). But, it can be very pricey for "fancy water" as my friend Maca calls it. I love trying different micellar waters, so when Simple recently came out with their version, there was no question: I grabbed a bottle immediately and got to testing. For today's This or That, I'll be comparing Simple Cleansing Micellar Water Vs. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution.

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

  • $6.99 (-/+)
  • drugstores, chain stores, online
  • 6.7 fl oz.
  • no scent
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution
  • $22.99 (+/-)
  • online in America
  • 250 ml but comes in different sizes
  • comes in several varieties 
This or That:
  • If you wear light makeup or have sensitive skin, you'll enjoy micellar waters. If you wear heavy makeup, stage makeup, or waterproof mascara, you'll need other options. I chose these two are they are both unscented, something that not all micellar waters share.
  • While both cleansers worked, Bioderma removed the most makeup on the first try. I would choose Bioderma, but it is pricey, in America and not as easily available.
Extra Elle:
  • I had a super quick trip 5 hours back home for my sis-in-law's baby shower. Everything that could have gone wrong on the trip pretty much did. It was kinda comical at that point but I finally got home and had a great time. How was your weekend?


Marsala Makeup For Every Season

Hey you! So, let's be honest here--what do you think of the new color of the year: Marsala? It's growing on me and it can be more versatile than you think! Today I'm going to share some of my fave marsala-inspired makeup. You really can wear this year-round!

The key is to think about it as a neutral, and to really think of all of the shades within it. Look at these two examples below:

Let's start off with lips, with MAC lipstick in Twig. It's very dark and marsala-related, but can be used for a variety of purposes:
I like to add it very lightly for a natural almost "stained" effect. Two more wearble (and affordable) options are Maybelline in Touch of Spice and Neutrogena in Rum Raisin. I share these in the video at the bottom.

Crabtree & Evelyn has a gorgeous shimmery shade in Cardinal, that is perfect for fall and winter, but how else can it be worn? Use it in nail art, from the very simple polka dots to the more complex. Try using it in a reverse moon or french mani. In the video I share an inexpensive drugstore alternative from Wet N Wild.

Blushes are the easiest way to wear this trendy color all year. Try using a light application before applying a cream or gel blush for longer staying power. Change your intensity in application depending on the season. This is one of those shades that looks good on everyone. Make it a little more berry if you'd like.

This is my eyeshadow steal. Right now it's $16.95 over at CoastalScents.com. You get 88 shades full of neutrals, including marsala. I'm wearing it in the video below.

Speaking of that video, I'm collabing with My Newest Addiction on our fave marsala makeup products, like some of the ones mentioned here today. PLUS Charlie makes a cameo!

Extra Elle:
  • I hope y'all watch the video. I have really worked on my video editing skills and am proud of how this one turned out!
  • Heading to my hometown this weekend for my s.i.l.'s baby shower! Baby niece coming soon!
  • I've been sharing a lipstick every day for January over on my Instagram!


NEW MAKEUP! January Beauty Haul + Mini-Reviews

I said I was on a shopping hiatus...and then the money from Christmas plus a trip to Ulta (just to LOOK, I told myself) ended up in this haul. I picked these items up in Dec-Jan, so be on the lookout for these!

Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette--LOVE this! I have the original and think I may love this one more. Go see it in person.

Too Faced Hangover Rx Primer--Full of wonderful ingredients, this primer hasn't impressed me yet.

Real Techniques Contour Brush--A beautiful rose-gold weighted brush that is very dense and soft. A luxury item that is best for blending out contour, not applying it. Please watch the video to see it.

Sally Hansen 18K Gold Cuticle Eraser--A gel with fine gold particles that feel like sandpaper grit. Pretty but save your $.

L'oreal Long Lasting Lipgloss--I will have to look up the name on this as it is not on the packaging. This or That with this coming soon.

L'Oreal Smokissime Liner--This huge, bulbous powdery liner is supposed to give an easy smokey eye. Still reviewing this one...

L'Oreal Silkissime Liner--Love this one. I used it in my New Mom Makeup (that no one watched. Boo!)

L'Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper--New mascaras in clear and other colors. This or That coming soon.

Wonder Stick--Highlight and Contour--very creamy (T or T coming soon on this one)

Tinted Brow Mascara--Review coming soon (This or That)

Q10 Renew--A skin elixir that is white to renew skin (not purple). So far, it is like a thin moisturizer.

BB Cream Radiance--Sinks in, making it useful for many skin types, and gives a glow without glitter.

Provocalips--Loving these long-wearing lippies. I'll be comparing them to the L'Oreal one pictured earlier.

Wet N Wild:
Kohl Liner--this was a dud. It tugged at my skin and felt like a regular cheap pencil liner.

Max Volume Plus Mascara--another dud, so far. It made my lashes look sparse, a feat I've never had happen to my lashes.

Covergirl Lip Lava--Gorgeous shimmery glosses.

Master Prime Blur + Smooth--Not really seeing the blur effect, but it's a nice primer.

Master Prime Blur + Illuminate--SPF 30 with a slight pink glow. No blur on me but I like it so far.

Master Conceal in Lt-Med and Med--Really loving these concealers!

Master Graphic Liner--Huge felt tip liner. Good for a wing but too big for me. Watch the video to see it.
And speaking of the video, see everything in action, below:

If, after watching the video, there's an item you'd like more details on, 
please let me know and I'll update this post. Thanks.

Extra Elle: 

  • I'm way too obsessed with Trivia Crack. I'm not a competitive person, but man does this game make me that way! I'm Elle Sees on there, of course.


Lip Liner 101

So this is the year you finally will learn about makeup, or maybe get those questions answered about the basics of it? Well, you've come to the right place. Every week I'm going back to the basics to give you makeup info. Today, I'm starting with something easy: lip liner.

Every time I feature lip liner in a tutorial, I get asked so many questions about it. It seems intimidating, but it's not. Listen up: it's time for lip liner 101:

Why Do I Need Lip Liner?

  • it defines lips
  • it changes/corrects the appearance of lip shapes, such as:
    • bigger
    • smaller
  • it provides an outline for lipstick application, like with red lipstick
    • prevents color from "bleeding" or "feathering" into fine line
  • it allows lipstick to stay on longer

Types: Lip liner generally comes in two forms:

  • pencil needs to be sharpened (some come with a sharpener in the cap or you can purchase a sharpener separately)
  • twist up (retractable)
  • It comes in a variety of shades, from clear (I suggest this for everyone) to various colors.
  • Lip liners can be found at the drugstore as well as high end.
4 Easy Ways to Wear Lip Liner:

Option 1: Take clear (also called invisible) liner and outline lips--if I am doing someone's lipstick who has fine wrinkles around the mouth, I'll outline slightly outside of the lip line too. Apply lipstick.

Option 2: Pick a shade of liner you'd like to wear. Outline and fill in lips. Leave as is for a very matte lip (most liners will be matte) or add a lip balm or clear gloss for a natural, stained lip look.

Option 3: Pick a shade that matches your lipstick. I suggest outlining your lips and filling them in. Sometimes beginners feel they look silly with outlined lips, so I suggest filling them in. It will make your lipstick last longer! Add lipstick or lip gloss that matches the liner.

Option 4: (bigger lips). Use a lip liner close to your lip color (a nude shade). Outline slightly above your natural lip line. Fill in and add a matching lip liner. I did my upper lip in this example. 

These are just a few of the ways to use lip liner. I hope you try them out!

Extra Elle:


All products mentioned are purchased by me unless stated.
All pics, thoughts, etc, are mine unless otherwise noted. Publishing or redistributing any content from this blog is strictly prohibited. Please seek permission first. Thank you.

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