Holy lashes, Batman!

Remember my Great Mascara Review from last year? Yeah, now that I found my Holy Grail Mascara, I thought I was all done with that noise. Well sadly, my HG is starting to bug my eyes lately — might be the lack of humidity now that heaters are going on everywhere — and I think I need to switch to a gentler formula for my overtaxed peepers.  After all, I DO spend all day staring at tiny text in an MMO in a de-humidified office.

Through absolutely no intention or efforts, I have wound up with the following generous sample tubes from Nordies and Sephora over the past few months (left to right), which I figured I might as well review briefly. None of these formulations are waterproof, so I wasn’t surprised that none of these were a huge hit, but what the heck!

One thing is for certain — the tiny, thin brushes from my Clinique Lash Power Mascara and my Smashbox Lash Detailer Mascara are way better for my peepers, so I’ve washed and saved those. Any new HG mascara will likely only be HG when applied with one of these phenomenal brushes!


Sephora Atomic Volume Mascara — Meh. Hard to apply and rubs/flakes off really easily. It was super dry and sticky-like to get on, like the (sealed in a bag) tube was old and dried out. Niiiice.

Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For — Spiky ouchy brush, meh formulation, will still keep brush for use w/ other mascaras but not to be used at base of lashes. Owie!

Lancôme Defincils — Sometimes I like this, but I don’t care for this stuff most days. It goes on very spindly/separatey, without enough volume — as I’ve mentioned before, this looks weird on my superlong and weirdly-pointing lashes. Makes them look lanky, anorexic and confused — bad in both teens and eyelashes, turns out. If I use the superskinny Clinique brush, it looks better, but still not amazing. It does give great separation with few clumps though.

Sephora plain ole mascara — Immediately leaked all over my undereye when I ate spicy food and teared up a tiny bit (no actual crying). Also weird fibrous flakiness. Ew.

Smashbox Lash DNA x2 — Meh, dry formula, and the stupid brush doesn’t allow for precise application so you smear it everywhere. Does separate nicely and get fringe-y when applied w/ Lash Detailer mascara brush (part of Beauty Breakthroughs kit). But for a mascara that isn’t waterproof, this stuff sure is hard to remove! Harder than most waterproof mascaras!

Shiseido Perfect Mascara — Has the same icky glue-like smell as the long-lasting Too Faced Lash Injection, but this stuff also rubs off if you change your shirt. Pass! And what a stuck-up name, haha.

Clinique High Impact Mascara x2 — Meh. This stuff is fine, not phenomenal, just fine. Goes on fine, comes off fine, doesn’t stay amazingly long but then none of these non-waterproof ones do.

Lancôme Hypnose Drama — This stuff is just fine, not amazing. Annoying abnormal brush and slightly dry/clump-inducing formulation. Meh. 

Estée Lauder Sumptuous — This is supposed to be volumizing? It’s one of those length and separation but no volume mascaras that makes my eyes look FREAKY. Great for Halloween though!

Buxom Lashes — This stuff is also with a mean ouchy spiky brush, which makes it mega-hard to apply to the lash base. Applied with a skinny Clinique brush it looks fine, but otherwise, pass. Also, it seems to uncurl my curled lashes quicker than any other formulation!

And home sick on school pictures day, Smashbox Bionic Mascara. Ick. Just as tacky, thick, clumpy, and eye-goober-forming as I remember it.

So yeah, no big winners here, but not a shock given that these were all non-waterproof freebies. Back to the drawing board — curse my sensitive peepers!

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…