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Quick Review: Loreal Voluminous Million Lashes – Limited Edition Denim Shade Blue

  • Posted on June 24, 2013 at 2:55 am

“Treat your makeup like jewelry for the face.  Play with color, shapes, structure – it can transform you.”  ~Francois Nars

Million Lashes Collage1


I was walking through the makeup aisles yesterday and saw a display for the limited edition L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara in Denim Shades, which is a blue mascara.  I got excited and had to get it home to try.

The Claims

  • No clumps
  • Blue shade
  • Amplifies each lash to build breathtaking volume

True Beauty Junkie Assessment

When I bought this mascara I was picturing a dark denim wash of blue on voluminous lashes.  I thought that this was going to be amazing, with the blue color making the whites of my eyes look even whiter, while the formula pumped up the volume of my lashes.  What I got was… well, take a look:


Lashes No MascaraThese are my eyes with no mascara on at all.  I have foundation and concealer on, but no eyeliner or anything that would mask the look or performance of the mascara.

Lashes With MascaraThese are my eyes after applying the Voluminous Million Lashes Denim Shade mascara.  What’s that you say?  Where’s the blue?  I have no idea.  Where is the “breathtaking volume?”  MIA.  Where are the million lashes?  Umm… I see twentyish, not a million.  I tried to build this up with multiple coats, I tried to get the blue to pop.  I tried!  It wasn’t happening.  I was so disappointed in this mascara.  Aside from the fact that the blue shade didn’t show up AT ALL,  the formula itself was terrible.  When the product is called “Voluminous Million Lashes,” one would tend to believe that the mascara would give you… well… volume and the appearance of lots of lashes.  This didn’t work on any front.

Maybe if you have really light lashes, and you apply multiple coats, this might show up better for you.  Might.  If you have any sort of color to your lashes this will be a big disappointment.


Bottom Line

Don’t waste $7 on this mascara.  So disappointing.  This has made my top 3 list of the worst performing mascaras that I’ve tried – and I have tried a lot.




Review: Benefit POREfessional Primer – Disappearing Act

  • Posted on June 18, 2013 at 7:58 pm

“Before I go to bed at night I ice my face because it closes your pores and makes a difference in the morning.”  ~ Jasmine Tookes

Benefit POREfessional Collage

I just wrote a post about primers, but I absolutely had to do a follow-up once I tried out Benefit’s POREfessional primer.  Oh…my…goodness.  If someone showed me pictures of the results I saw using this product I would claim that they must have been Photoshopped.  But having seen the results first hand, I can tell you that this product is AMAZING!


Benefit POREfessional – The Claims

  • Minimize the appearance of pores
  • Minimize the appearance of fine lines
  • Mattify shine


True Beauty Junkie Assessment

For those of you with large pores, get ready to do your hallelujah dance.  You are going to want to pick this product up and give it a try as soon as possible!  Does it do as it claims?  YES, across the board.

First, I have to give lots of love to my fiance, who bravely allowed me to use him as a model for this product because his pores are much more prominent than mine.  He puts up with so much when it comes to my makeup obsession, and this was going above and beyond.

I wanted to give you guys some true before and after pictures to see the transformation for yourselves.  All of these pictures have not been retouched in any way – they are the real deal.

Before and After Face Collage

In this first picture you can see that not only did the primer basically make the pores on his nose disappear, it also canceled out some of the redness in his skin and smoothed out the pores on his cheeks as well.

Left Cheek CollageIn the second set of pictures I took a close-up of his cheek so that you could see how it takes away a lot of the defined coloring and edges of his pores and evened out his skin tone.





Bottom Line

I am truly impressed with this primer.  It went above and beyond my expectations.  If you have issues with enlarged pores, acne scarring, discoloration – you should really give this a try.  I have worked it into my routine by using my regular Makeup Forever color-correcting primer all over my face, and then use the Benefit POREfessional on and around my nose.

A word of caution for anyone with a darker skin tone though.  This product is not clear, it does have a little bit of pigment to it, so it may cause an ashy tone to your skin.  But if you are using it under foundation, that shouldn’t be a problem.


Review: Tarte Aqualillies Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette – I Don’t Think So

  • Posted on June 15, 2013 at 12:22 am

Tarte Aqualillies Collage

I typically love Tarte cosmetics, so I was immediately drawn to the Aqualillies Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette.  Summer = Focus on Waterproof Makeup  for me, as you can tell by my recent posts.  I have seen YouTube videos raving about this palette, and read comments on the Tarte site about how wonderful it is.  I was incredibly shocked at the polar opposite reaction I had to it after swatching it and testing it for transfer and it’s waterproof staying power.


Aqualillies Palette1



Tarte Aqualillies Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette – The Claims

  • Waterproof
  • Fade-free, flawless finish
  • Lasts up to 12 hours




True Beauty Junkie Assessment

In a word – NO.  It’s just that simple.  I didn’t find any of the claims to be true.  In fact, they didn’t even come close!

I’ll start with the swatches from the palette.  Normally if I do swatches I try to just do one pass at the color so that you can see the minimum color payoff you would receive using the product.  I had no lotion or primer or any other product on my arm, just bare skin.  With this palette I had to go over, and over, and OVER just to get the colors to show up on my arm – and I am still sporting my winter white skin, no tan in sight yet.

Aqualillies Palette Swatches1

There is nothing exceptional about the colors in this palette, especially when swatched.  The pigmentation is horrible, there are three very frosty shades that are so close to the highlight color it’s really a waste to include them, and the one color that I was hoping would be a beautiful pop of turquoise in the otherwise neutral palette (Poolside) barely showed up on my arm.

I would normally show you swatches after a rub test and then after running them under water, but in this case the swatches didn’t even make it past the rub test.  If I were to show you my arm after lightly rubbing over the swatches (after letting them sit for a few minutes) you would just see my bare arm with a little sparkle left over.  Literally nothing stayed in place.  On a separate occasion I didn’t rub them but went straight to the water test  and they still completely disappeared.


Bottom Line

I generally love Tarte, so it pains me to give them a negative review.  This palette is not waterproof, not fade-free and certainly not going to last 12 hours on your skin.  Skip it.  Use the $38.00 somewhere else – anywhere else would be better spent than on this palette.

** I can’t reiterate enough that this review applies only to the Aqualillies palette.  Tarte has so many other awesome palettes and products that are worth checking out.  They just really missed the boat with this one. 

Beyond the Zone: Turn Up The Heat Protection Spray Review

  • Posted on June 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm

“I’m one of those people who thinks that changing one’s hair is the only part of the body that you can change at will.”  ~Hilary Clinton

Beyond the Zone Collage

My hair is naturally thick and curly – but not the cute, ringlet type of curls – no way!  My curls are kind of all over the place, different shapes and sizes, and if I let my hair dry naturally it is a frizzy mess.  My hair is also very long; a good 2-3 inches below the bottom of my bra strap in the back.

Whenever I wear my hair down, I either straighten it or curl it with a curling iron, after blowing it dry.  I know that heat on my hair can be damaging, but you will get me to stop using heat styling tools when you pry the flat iron out of my cold, dead hand.  (I realize that was dramatic, but you get the idea).

I continually try different heat protection sprays, oils, and lotions.  I want my hair to be as protected as possible from all that the heat I’m applying to it without feeling weighed down, sticky, greasy, or thick.  I have used so many products, but haven’t found my holy grail yet.

Turn Up The Heat

Beyond the Zone:  Turn Up The Heat Protection Spray Review

I was walking around Sally Beauty Supply, searching for something else to try on my locks, when I came across this heat protection spray.  I figured I would give it a go.


The Claims

  • Leaves hair soft and manageable
  • Seals the cuticle for silky smooth looking hair
  • Creates slip for effortless heat styling


True Beauty Assessment

I need you to truly appreciate what I’m working with here.  I took a picture of my hair after blow drying it.  So bad!  As you can see in my BEFORE picture, it is a hot mess of frizzy nastiness.

My Hair Before

- My Process -

I have to section out my hair whenever I am curling or flat ironing it.  I take small sections, starting with the hair below my earlobe.  I pin the rest up out of my way.  When I am flat ironing my hair, I take 1-2 inch sections of my hair at a time (yes, straightening my hair is a time commitment haha).

When I spray the heat protector on my hair, I spray one pump on the ends only.  Beyond the Zone has a wide mist, and is very slippery/oily feeling when it goes on.  Once the product is on my ends, I use my fingers to pick up the excess and carry it up to the rest of the section, towards the roots.  That way the concentration of product is on my ends, which are the most likely to get fried from the heat.

I then use a fine-toothed comb to pull through the section before I run the flat iron through.  I tend to go over the same section 2-3 times at 370 degrees.


How Did It Do?

My Hair After

I read reviews on this product when I got it home.  It seems that people with thicker hair love it, while people with thinner hair find it to be too greasy.  I found that because of the amount of heat I apply to my hair, the initial greasiness of the product disappeared.  My hair was smooth, it didn’t feel weighed down or chunky.  It certainly gave my hair slip, which I always appreciate when I’m trying to run it through my flat iron.  I have tried products that were so sticky, the flat iron would snag instead of pulling my hair effortlessly through the plates.  Turn Up the Heat allowed my hair to glide through with no issues.

After all that, you’d think I would be more excited about this.  However, I noticed that my ends felt/looked a little crispy after using this, almost like it didn’t give enough protection.  It’s not something that I have experienced with every protection spray before, so I wonder if it just isn’t enough for the amount of heat I need to apply to get my hair to cooperate with a straightener.

I think I need to use it a few more times, but my initial response was kind of a shrug of my shoulders, like “I guess this will do in a pinch.”  I wasn’t over the moon for it, but it certainly doesn’t fall on my list of products I would never use again on my hair.

I also have to note that the smell is kind of candy-ish, like the edible candy necklaces from back in the day, or sweet tarts or… I don’t know how else to describe it.  The good news is that the smell didn’t linger on my hair, because that isn’t a scent that I would choose to rock as a perfume.


Bottom Line

You could definitely do worse than this product when it comes to heat protection if your hair doesn’t require a TON of heat to straighten.  If you have thin hair and use low temperatures, this probably isn’t going to work for you.  Is it my new holy grail?  No.  I will continue trying other products out until I find one that makes me trash all of the others.






NYX Slide On Pencil Eyeliner – Slide On and (Sometimes) Slide Off

  • Posted on May 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm

“I think I would die without my eyeliner, but besides that I’m pretty basic.” ~ Avril Lavigne


NYX Collage

I love me some Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils, but the price has had me on a dupes search for ages.  I recently watched a YouTube video that listed the NYX Slide On Pencils as the perfect inexpensive alternative to my Urban Decay favorites.  NYX Cosmetics has a dazzling range of colors for eyeliners, shadows, and blush; everything from basic neutrals (your white, cream, brown and black variations) to the extreme (neon craziness and bright, bold colors).  I decided to give the Slide On Pencils a try and picked up four of them  in Purple Blaze (a violet purple), Tropical Green (a rich, deep green), Golden Bronze (a vibrant, pure bronze), and Brown Perfection (a deep brown).


NYX Cosmetics Slide On Pencils – The Claims

  • Waterproof
  • Doesn’t smear
  • Doesn’t smudge
  • Delivers powerful, robust colors
  • Like a liquid eyeliner without the mess


True Beauty Junkie Assessment

I’m finding that within the same line of pencils you can have colors that truly live up to the claims, as well as those that do not.  It’s quite frustrating.  These NYX Slide On Pencils are a perfect example of that.  Let me take you through the swatches:

1 NYX Slide On Eyeliner On Wrist

1:  Here are the colors simply swatched onto my arm.  My only comment after I first swatched them was that I was slightly disappointed that the Purple Blaze wasn’t as “blazing” as the name implied.  It is still a pretty shade; it just appeared to be a bit washed out straight out of the gate.  I loved the Tropical Green, and that Golden Bronze is gorgeous!

2 NYX Slide On Eyeliner Rub Test

2:  The next thing I did was the dreaded smudge test.  Just to be clear, I waited several minutes before touching the liner, to really give it time to set.  Right away my excitement over the Tropical Green diminished some, as it slid all over the place.  The Blazing Purple basically faded to an almost lilac shade.  The Golden Bronze shocked the bajeezus out of me by not moving or fading at all.  When I originally saw how shiny it was I thought, “That will be the first to go.”  It proved me wrong.  Brown Perfection lost some of it’s dark pigmentation, but didn’t spread across my skin as much as the Tropical Green.

3 NYX Slide On Eyeliner Water Test

3: Bring on the water!  What I noticed is that the water didn’t change the swatches much after the smudge test.  And unfortunately, the water didn’t remove any of the smearing lines from that Tropical Green.

4 NYX Slide On Eyeliner Water Rub Test

4:  Just like with the other eyeliner tests I’ve done, after the swatches are wet I see how they handle being rubbed again.  This was the first time that I’ve had an eyeliner bead and pill up.  It looked like back in the day when I was a kid and would put a thin layer of Elmer’s Glue on my hand, let it dry, and then rub it off so it looked like my skin was sloughing off.  (Don’t ask why I found that so much fun to do haha).  The Tropical Green and Blazing Purple both had that same beading happening.


Water Line Wear:

Before I give the Bottom Line, I wanted to also let you know that I tried the Blazing Purple and the Golden Bronze in my water line (on separate days of course!) to see how they worked.  When I put on the Blazing Purple the color was sooo light, it was difficult to make out.  It faded to nothing after a few hours.  Golden Bronze initially went on like a pumpkin orange.  I thought I looked a little ill haha.  But after a few minutes it seemed to oxidize and darken a bit, which was a better look.  Unfortunately after a few hours it also disappeared from my water line.


Bottom Line:

I will be returning all of these liners.  I’m sure the people at Ulta will just LOVE me, but I really can’t justify keeping them.  I want to find something that will stay in my water line and also function  just as well as my regular eye liner.  I certainly didn’t find them to be “like a liquid liner” at all.  You aren’t going to get a precision line from these pencils.  As you can see in the pictures, some of them do smear and smudge quite easily.  I found that they basically held up in water, but not in my water line.  So unfortunately, my quest for a true Urban Decay 24/7 drugstore dupe will continue.

Let me know what you think about these liners.  What was your experience?  Have you found any eyeliners that work just as well as the Urban Decay 24/7s?  What is your favorite water line eyeliner?  Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you.  :)

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

  • Posted on May 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm

“I’m strong, I’m tough… I still wear my eyeliner.” ~ Lisa Leslie

I have been on a waterproof kick lately.  I want to find the best drugstore waterproof makeup out there, and this week I tested out Maybelline’s Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in both Brown and Eggplant.


Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner in Brown and Eggplant


Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner: The Claims

  • Get the precision & intense color of a liquid liner
  • Smudgeproof
  • Waterproof
  • 24 hour wear


True Beauty Junkie Assessment

This comes with a liner brush that really does allow you to get a precision line, similar to a liquid liner.  As for the rest of the claims, I think the pictures tell the story best.

1: On the initial swatch I was impressed with the color pay off and the creaminess of the liner.  The Brown is a matte brown, absolutely no shimmer or glitter in it.  The Eggplant, however, has flecks of gold, red, and green throughout that may not show up adequately in the picture.

1: Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner Swatches in Brown and Eggplant

1: Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner Swatches in Brown and Eggplant


2:  After letting the liner set for a few minutes, I rubbed my fingers across each of the colors.  As you can see, the Eggplant smudged a LOT, while the Brown stayed put with very little smearing.

2: Swatch Rub Test

2: Swatch Rub Test


3:  I then let water run over the swatches for about 10-15 seconds.  The Brown shade continues to hang in there with almost no smearing or fading, while the Eggplant loses some of its color intensity and continues to spread.

3: Swatch Water Test

3: Swatch Water Test


4:  I admit it – at this point I wanted to know if anything was going to smudge that Brown!  So after letting the water run over the swatches I rubbed the water into them to see if that would disturb them more.  The Brown stuck it out like a champ, losing only a tiny bit of color.  That sad, sad Eggplant faded and spread even more.

4: Swatch Rub Test After Water

4: Swatch Rub Test After Water


5:  My last test – I took some hand soap and water and scrubbed the swatches like someone with OCD.  I went to town!  Finally the Brown broke down, and the Eggplant color turned into a patchy mess.

5: Swatches After Soap and Water

5: Swatches After Soap and Water


Bottom Line:  I returned the Eggplant shade; it just didn’t perform the way I need a waterproof liner to perform.  I kept the Brown, and have used it over several days since purchasing it.  I love the creaminess, the ease of application, and the fact that it won’t go anywhere until I want to remove it.  If you’re looking for a liner that has the precision, richness of color, and smooth application of a liquid liner, with the added benefit of being waterproof and affordable – check this one out!


Where To Find It

For quick online shopping, purchase this on Amazon: Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner, Waterproof, Brown

or anywhere Maybelline is sold.