The Great Mascara Review

My scary mascara tray in my train case -- I used to be a one-tube woman!  Holy crap!Ages ago, I blogged about my recent purchase of  Sephora’s The Lash Stash sampler.  I systematically tried every single tube, as well as purchasing  or redeeming every single other sample-size tube I saw from them, including BadGal, Diorshow, and a Fresh mini duo.  And I finally came up with some conclusions!

Sadly, I did not care for most of the mascaras included in their kit.  My favorites from the sampler pack were Urban Decay’s Big Fattie, and Too Faced’s Lash Injection Pinpoint.  However, I also fell for the non-sampler minis of Diorshow, the teal Fresh Firebird, and lastly a Clinique surprise stunner that became my new Holy Grail of mascaras.  My hairdresser even complimented me on how great it looked the other day, and that’s high praise indeed!

My reviews kinda broke down like this: I loved Diorshow for the initial application full of clump-free volume and length, but I didn’t love the eventual flaking and smudgery that inevitably occurred.  I loved Too Faced’s tiny Pinpoint brush, since the bases of my lashes are blonde and hard to reach with a normal brush (unless I don’t mind striping up my lids in the process).  But Too Faced a) kinda stung my sensitive eyes, and b) was a huge pain to remove, even armed with hardcore ouchy makeup remover.  (I totally didn’t realize Too Faced’s formulation was a “tube” mascara, or I would’ve stayed away!)

So I went on a quest to find another mascara with an equally tiny brush, but a kinder formulation.  Enter Clinique Lash Power Mascara.  Similar teensy brush to Too Faced, but a better formulation that didn’t flake or smudge but was easy to get off with just warm water.  It’s not quite a tube formulation (like Blinc KissMe or Imju Fiberwig, or Too Faced for that matter) but still lasts through heat and rain and sweat.  So great!  And apparently they also make it in a brownish shade that my redhead-ish friend Charli decided to try out — I’ll update if I hear or see how that goes.

Anyway, in case any other mascara nerds are insanely curious, I took notes every day I was trying out a different brand, so read on for those…
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Borrowing from Bare Escentuals

I recently caught wind of the Rare Minerals acne-fighting mineral powder concealer by Bare Escentuals, and now I see that it’s been voted a Sephora best-of.

I’ve always wanted to avoid anything by BE, since they are notorious for including the chemical bismuth oxychloride in their formulations.  (Many people are quite allergic to bismuth, and it causes a rash-like reaction that takes ages to clear up.  I’m not eager to find out whether I should count myself in those ranks or not!)  And bismuth aside, this stuff definitely has some other ingredients (like dimethicone) that would aggravate my breakouts.

However, the idea of making a powder concealer that contains acne-fighting ingredients definitely intrigues me.  I’ve been trying to figure out a good BHA solution for ages and ages, and concealers that help dry up and bust blemishes definitely appeal to me.  And since my problem with salicylic acid was always figuring out how to get it to dissolve in a liquid base, the idea of being able to leave it in its powdered form is a definite bonus!

I’m going to try this out with my Everyday Minerals concealer set.  I’ll mix the shades that best match my skin for covering blemishes, and I’ll add a few drops of manuka essential oil (gentler than BE’s tea tree oil, and less stinky), and a bit of powdered salicylic acid.  I may also try adding some powdered zinc oxide, both for extra sun protection and for its soothing properties.  (I just have to make sure it doesn’t lighten the mix too much.)

If I can track some down, I might also add powdered sulphur, since that’s the acne-fighting ingredient that always shows me great results on individual blemishes.  However, sulphur’s smell really turns my stomach, so it may be worth while to leave that out of the mix.  It looks like I’ll be making up to four different batches to test this idea out, so I’ll post updates soon.  Thanks for the great idea, BE!