YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara review

When my prior tube of mascara ran out, my sudden overwhelming urge to switch to gray instead of black lashes nudged me towards this much-hyped mascara. When my Sephora VIB coupon came around, I figured it was time to take the plunge.

-The Sublime Grey color is nicely neutral without being too blue or brown of a grey, and is infused with just a bit of shimmer.
-It smells exactly like the Rose Petal doll of my childhood, which is lovely and nicer than the Hauschka or Aveda rose scented mascaras.
-Despite the bushy brush I’m able  to easily get to the roots of my lashes and thoroughly cover up the blond base.
-It’s fairly easy to remove, and if you smudge it’s easy to correct, but it doesn’t come off at the *first* hint of water. It takes a few seconds of warm water and a bit of friction to break through the outer layer and start removing it, so you’re safe in a normal drizzle.

-It does smudge a bit, obviously more easily than waterproof options. I wouldn’t trust it in the summer heat — definitely not coming to Brazil with me in February.
-The grey color is actually a bit lighter than my taste — I’d prefer more of a true charcoal-y shade. This stuff works OK if I’m not doing a smokier or darker eye look, but it’s not bold enough for some of my holiday party looks.
-$30 per tube — not like I’ve never ever spent that before, but a bit ridiculous given how often mascara should be tossed.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised, but I do feel the need to still keep a black and/or waterproof formulation on hand. I doubt I’ll repurchase, but I’m glad I gave this a whirl.

Finally, an Aveda home run!

So Aveda finally came up with a new hair spray that really impressed me. This stuff is lightweight, firm, fast-drying, non-sticky, and more brushable than most hair sprays (with fewer fake-dandruff flakies). AND the smell ain’t too bad, and the spray seems to mist finer than some other nozzles. Hooray!

I also gave Phomollient a try before my wedding, and found it to be not horrible. (It didn’t seem as effective as the other, “industrial” mousse Carina had me use for my wedding ‘do, but it also left my hair less sticky when I touched it.)

Who knew Aveda would come to the rescue for my tresses? Certainly not me, with all my prior negative feedback to their new products.  For the first time in years, I bought a full-sized bottle of not one, but TWO hair products from them. Here’s hoping it earned me enough Pure Privilege points to finally not give a shit about whether they’ll expire someday.

Breaking news

So Aveda’s new conditioner? ALSO CRAP. Like ALL PRIOR VERSIONS. At least I got to try it for free though.

Stay tuned. Surely they’ll come out with a seventh innovative bottle of cetearyl alcohol soon!

New Angles

Ever since I first spotted this natural-haired brush in some makeup artist’s arsenal, I’ve been searching long and hard for my own synthetic version. (I tend to prefer synthetic brush hairs like Too Faced’s Teddy Bear Hair brushes, because they just feel much softer and less prickly on my wussy skin.)

Well, it turns out this particular brush does *not exist* in synthetic hair. Everyone tells me that natural fibers simply grip the shadow pigment better, and that’s that. Well, I was miffed and determined to find the only synthetic one out there, but I have officially failed.  (And I checked every single brand and cosmetics website I could find!  Thankfully, my issues with animal-hair brushes are just a preference and not an allergy or a strong moral/political stance — but where do the vegans go for these?  Are they simply denied a full range of brushes?  What crap!)

Anyway, today I finally found an affordable-enough version by Japonesque, so I sucked it up and bought it. Guess what? These makeup artist folks weren’t kidding! This natural-haired brush does prick a bit, but boy does it grab and apply color well. Totally worth the $18 and the compromise, at least for me.

The sharp angle of the top is useful for ergonomic application, and the flat top makes it easy to apply shadow across the entire lid and into the crease. I was even able to get good coverage with my incredibly old and wussily-colored Aveda shadow, and I’m hoping it’ll help with my similarly crappy and overpriced 100% Pure eye shadow palette.

I will probably continue to hunt for a Taklon version of this shape, because a) I like to have multiples of my favorite brush shapes, and b) I really really really don’t like the feel of the natural hair.  My eyelids are even more sensitive than the rest of my skin!  But alas, at least I’ll look great in the meantime while I keep searching.  Hopefully this will help make it easier to pull off a smoky eye look for fall without seeming like I was in a bar fight.

The fall of Horst Rechelbacher

My GOD does Aveda suck now. I mean, this isn’t exactly news to my regular readers, but they’ve sucked for quite some time now — right around the time that good old Aerin.  One of the ways in which they deviated from their original glory is to start offering BS marketing ploys, namely the Pure Privilege system. (Privilege my ass, when I have to pay $10 to enroll.)

Turns out this system has a teensy catch — your points expire if you don’t use the account frequently enough.  So, even though I paid my $10 for this privilege, I’m about to have my account shut down and my existing points voided.  Why is this, you ask?  Because Aveda has literally not made a SINGLE product that I can or would use, in the past TWO YEARS.

And it’s not for lack of trying, trust me.  Back when they came out with their Smoothing Collection a couple years ago, I bought the shampoo and conditioner duo to give it a try.  And it wasn’t totally horrible — it kind of made my scalp freak out, like most dimethicone-heavy smoothing formulations do — but it delivered similar results to that holiest of hair grails for me, the Redken All Soft collection.  However, it smelled so incredibly foul that even my fiancé begged me to return it!

And recently, I returned to the scene of the crime to try and buy a tiny trial-sized item just to activate my account, and I of course got into a discussion with the Aveda sales gal about the company’s downfall and crappy products.  (I can never keep my mouth shut when they start to pry or go for a hard sale.) She badgered me into buying a bottle of the Style Prep Smoother, which had a different but still bleh smell, and which TOTALLY did not work on my coarser, wavier hair.  WAY too much cetyl alcohol content for a leave-in product — it dried out my ends like crazy, despite the fact that she swore it made her hair more moisturized.  And shockingly, I hated it and returned that too.

So what’s a girl to do?  I went down to the local Aveda today since they’re having yet another Double Points Extravaganza!!! event, and I went with the intention of actually making a purchase that I would keep.  Yes, lately I’ve been missing having a salicylic acid-based acne spot treatment, so I went with the intention of checking out their relatively new acne line.  Well, my faithful three readers, guess what I discovered?

Every single acne product contains dimethicone — one of the MOST comedogenic ingredients that acne-prone people fear.  OH my GOD, how the mighty have fallen.  You can have your expired Pure Privilege points, Horst/Aerin.  I know it took me a long time to finally break things off with you, but it is SO OVER now!

Review — New Aveda “Deep” Conditioner

Ever since Aveda discontinued their much-adored Curessence deep conditioner, they’ve been on my hit list. (That stuff was fabulous, and a cult classic — you don’t go changing/pulling something so beloved by so many! Bad form, Aveda!) But then, they’ve pretty much lost all my respect since selling out to Estée Lauder anyway.

Okay, staying on track. Despite said loss of respect, I’m still on their mailing list, and I still get occasional freebie vouchers for whatever new product they’ve come up with. A couple years ago they came out with an “alternative” to Curessence, i.e. their Damage Remedy shampoo and conditioner.  But that stuff sucked — it wasn’t nearly as moisturizing or penetrating as Curessence was.*

AAAAANYWAY, you probably didn’t come here for a history lesson!  Nope, you came for my review.  So now that I’ve taken you through all that, I’ll try and be brief: the newest stuff sucks.

Yep, they realized that the Damage Remedy duo wasn’t really cutting it compared to days of yore, so came out with a new set called Dry Remedy which included the Dry Remedy Moisturizing Treatment Masque, another new attempt at a deep conditioner (instead of just bringing back Curessence like they friggin’ SHOULD HAVE).  And the new stuff is just as non-deep as Damage Remedy was, but in a crappier way.

It’s a dimethicone-heavy formulation, and it feels fabulous when it first goes on and when you first rinse it out.  But after the hair is dried?  Frizz city.  Let me be more precise: dry, coarse, brittle frizz city, without a pleasant Aveda fragrance.  That’s right, it doesn’t even soften, at least not for me — it only felt nice while my hair was still wet.  And the smell is just nothing to get excited over — toned down compared to their old signature Aveda scents, and much more generic.  (Again, probably a new marketing thing, i.e. alienating the original customer base in an attempt to gain mainstream popularity.  Sayonara, I say.)

Anyway, can you tell I’m bitter?  Aveda was once the kind of company that I’d be willing to move to friggin’ Minnesota to work for.  (And I don’t like the extreme cold, extreme heat, or extreme lack of ocean.)  Now it’s just another faceless corporate BS front, and it really does sadden me.  But in a nutshell: don’t bother with this new product, either!

*You know the worst part of this whole discontinuation of a rockstar product?  I was complaining about this with an Aveda employee who was also a big Curessence fan, and she told me privately that they only pulled the stuff because some dumb Aveda customers were ignoring the directions and using the protein-heavy Curessence weekly treatment as a daily conditioner, and — guess what — they got weighed down by buildup and then complained.  So a handful of idiots ruined it for the rest of us!  And Aveda, King Idiot, took their opinion more seriously than that of all its hardcore Curessence fans! SIGH…