Month: September 2014

Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara Review + Swatches

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I’ve always been a fan of Lancome’s mascaras (Hypnose was one of the first mascaras I fell in love with). However, my wallet doesn’t love the price tag, so I don’t indulge in them as often as I’d like. So when I racked up enough points on my most recent Sephora haul to claim Definicils as a freebie, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

The product description on Sephora’s site says that Definicils gives “lavishly long, perfectly defined lashes” that are “the ultimate in shaping and separation” with “superb definition.” I have to say, every single one of these promises was true. It applied smooth and dark. It went on easily, made my lashes look so long, and gave them great definition–they were spaced out like false lashes. I was impressed from the first use! (5/5)

I’m pleased to say Definicils made it through the whole day (8 hours) looking perfect. The product looked fresh and my lashed were still long and nicely curled at the end of the day. (I curled them with a lash curler first.) (5/5)

This is a drier mascara that doesn’t clump and applies, and lasts, flawlessly. It doesn’t say anything about being waterproof, but after a bad day and some tears, I still had perfect lashes. The definition, length, and curl didn’t quit, and the product never made my lashes feel crunchy or heavy. I had no experience with it flaking, running, or smudging. (5/5)

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The wand has evenly spaced bristles and it’s all one length, not tapered at the end. Still, the end is small enough to get into the inner corner easily. The wand wasn’t too large or thick, and worked well. The product is in a sleek black plastic tube with thin gold detailing and lettering on the cap. It looks chic and minimal, an approach many higher end brands have. (5/5)

I have a sample size of this that contains 0.07 oz of product. The full, 0.23 oz product  costs $27.50 USD. That’s $119.56 per ounce (so still pretty expensive). However, this category looks beyond the number at product worth, i.e, bang for your buck. Is it an expensive mascara? Yes. Is it the kind of quality that warrants an expensive price tag? Yes. (5/5)

Wow Factor:
Definicils is all about wow factor! Everything about this mascara is impressive, from the length to the definition to the staying power. It did exactly what it said it would, and I loved it. (5/5)

I love, love, love this mascara! Lancome always knocks it out of the park in the lash department, and Definicils wasn’t a let down. I would definitely purchase a full-size version of this product and I recommend it to every single woman out there who’s looking for flawless, dark, defined, dramatic lashes. Totally worth it. 5 (A+)

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Useful Information:
-I received this product free with Sephora’s VIB points system.
-This mascara comes in four wearable shades.
-Lancome and it’s parent company, L’Oreal, both test on animals.


Sample Sunday: Oscar Blandi At Home Salon Glaze

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I don’t think anyone can resist glossy, shiny hair. A hair glaze has been on my “meaning to try this” list for a looong time now. So when I pulled out this sample, I was looking forward to seeing what the results would be like. As directed, I applied it after shampooing and conditioning my hair, and let it sit in my hair while I finished showering, rinsing it out last. It had a thick consistency, like a thick shampoo, but wasn’t difficult to apply or comb through my hair. It had a delicious smell that reminded me of shortbread Girl Scout cookies (which lingered a bit post-shower). While I don’t think the results are comparable to a salon treatment, there was definitely an improvement. The shine this gave me was subtle but noticeable, and looked really natural and pretty. I would definitely consider buying a full-size version of this product.

Pink Friday: Margaret Atwood


These past few Pink Fridays have brought to light some of the horrific injustices that people in the women’s movement are struggling against. Part of being a woman is constantly combating the negative, the often aggressively violent hatred aimed towards us. And this fight is real, and it’s always ongoing.

But feminism is also about empowerment, about accepting and celebrating everything about being a woman, and taking joy in that. Feminism has taught me so much kindness, and frequently makes me feel attractive, powerful, unstoppable. I wanted to take the time this week to focus on that side of the movement, and spread a little more (meaningful) lightheartedness when it comes to the topic.

I’m an avid reader, and since becoming a feminist, the work of Margaret Atwood has been at the top of my to-read list. Many women have read and enjoyed her work because of how she works in strong messages relating to themes feminist women relate to and place importance on. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of her books yet, but there are two that I have in mind.

The first book of hers I’d like to read is The Edible Woman. Published in 1969, it deals with a young woman who begins to feel consumed by her relationship. Apparently the main character bakes a cake in the shape of a woman and eats it at one point in the novel, which is heavily symbolic. I think I will really enjoy this work because as a teen, I was in a horribly abusive relationship and completely understand the notion of being “eaten alive” by your partner, and how destroyed it leaves you feeling. I have high expectations for this book and can’t wait to begin reading it.

Another popular favorite among feminists is The Handmaid’s Tale. This was first published in 1985 and continues to be a commonly recommended to those looking for feminist fiction. Many applaud this novel for it’s bold depiction of feminine sexuality, but the description online makes me think the theocratic dystopia these women are living in provides broad intersectionality topics.

Fiction is a powerful tool, allowing the distant “what-ifs” of the future come to life, causing readers to face potential consequences to the way things are currently going. It excites me to see dedicated women creating a harrowing visual, hopefully inspiring many to understand, sympathize with, and join the feminist cause. What are some other feminist novels/authors you’ve read and loved, beauties? Do let me know!

Wet ‘n’ Wild Limited Edition Summer 2014 Eyeshadow Trio in Lost My Wristband Review + Swatches

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This is the last of three trios I have from Wet ‘n’ Wild’s 2014 summer collection, which was inspired by the scene at music festivals. I have to say, I had such I high hopes for these, especially Lost My Wristband, but sadly, none of them performed quite as well as I wished.

Of the three I picked up, this one was exciting because of the vibrant looking pastels. However, when I swatched them, they’re all so sheer. What looks like a bright grass green, sunshine yellow, and strawberry ice cream in the pan are actually sheer powders. The green had the most pigment, and could be built up a little, but only to semi-opacity. The yellow was practically invisible even with primer, and the pink, which was meant to be a sheer highlight to begin with, didn’t have a ton of opacity. On top of it, none of these colors are sensationally rare, so I’m sure better quality, more opaque dupes are out there. (2/5)

Not only was this trio weak in pigment, the wear time wasn’t phenomenal either. Even with primer, the shadows just didn’t hold up. The pink was faded after only 3 hours, the yellow was gone completely at 4 hours, and the green was a little faded at the 7 hour mark. (2.5/5)

All three shadows have a pretty soft feel to the touch, but that translates to some notable powder kickup when a brush is used. I didn’t have any issues with fallout, though. The poor pigment and weak longevity really take this score down, though. (3/5)

The packaging is pretty standard for WnW trios: a rectangular plastic compact with a clear lid, unnamed shades, and ingredients/directions on the back. I like that these limited edition versions have white packaging instead of the usual black compact, though. Details like that always make a limited release feel more special to me. The packaging is lightweight and small/thin, so it’s easy to store, but I have trouble with these staying closed occasionally–don’t count on it making it through a trip without some wear and tear. (4/5)

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Like all WnW products, this trio was very affordable at $2.99 USD. But this part of the score always weighs the quality you get as well–the “bang for your buck.” Sure, it’s inexpensive, but the quality is just not there. You can find these shades anywhere else for better quality at a similar price, even from within WnW’s own line. (2/5)

Wow Factor:
Like the other items I tried from the summer collection, Lost My Wristband definitely left an impression, but in a negative way. The pigment and staying power were just so disappointing. (2/5)

The colors look so lovely in the pan, and they’re not horrible. But they definitely need primer to be workable. I don’t see these working well on many skintones (the pastel hues + chalkiness), or for many functions (definitely not a work palette). But a girl who wants something softer for spring/summer or wants to experiment with color without going too bold could find a way to work it into a look. But by and large, it’s not for me, and don’t recommend it to those who love bold, rich colors. 2.6 (D+)


Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-Wet ‘n’ Wild and it’s parent company are completely cruelty-free and mostly vegan.
-All three shades in Lost My Wristband are matte, so there’s no texture diversity.
-This palette is limited edition, so get it while you can!

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Model Monday: Daisy Lowe


Born In: London, England

Height: 5’10’

Shot By:  Juergen Teller, Mario Testino, Miles Aldridge, Nick Knight, Steven Klein, Steven Meisel, Terry Richardson

Campagins: Agent Provocateur, ASOS, Converse, DKNY, Esprit, Free People, French Connection, Louis Vuitton, Marc By Marc Jacobs, Urban Outfitters

Editorials: Elle, British Harpar’s Bazaar, Jane, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, Italian and Japanese Vogue, W

Walked For: Anna Sui, Burberry, Chanel, Charlotte Ronson,Nanette Lepore, Topshop

Covered: Esquire,GQ, i-D, InStyle, Japanese Nylon, Playboy, British Vogue

Other: Blogged for Elle UK and Vogue UK, starred in several music videos, jewelry line with Swarovski

Gillette Venus Unboxing

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I’ve been a member of Influenster for a little while now, and was thrilled to hear that I qualified for the Gillette Venus Influenster Box. I received mine in the mail today. Inside the box was one new Embrace Sensitive razor (which isn’t even on shelves yet!), 2 replacement cartridges, a little book of coupons, and a promo card. The card explains the idea behind the razor–that maybe women with sensitive skin (like me) are getting lower-quality shaves, not because of our problematic skin, but because razors don’t accommodate us well enough. That’s where the new Embrace sensitive comes in. It has 5 blades spaced close together, so you remove more hair with less pressure. There’s also a moisturizing ribbon with aloe on either side of the blade, so I expect this razor to be extra gentle.

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 I like the razor’s cute seafoam green color. It has a rubberized handle that won’t slip out of your hand, and has the all-around feel of a superior razor. As an added perk, the package comes with a holder with a suction cup on the back that you can stick into your shower! That should be useful. I’ve always loved the quality of Gillette’s Venus razors, so I’m so excited to try out a quality brand that aims to cater to my fussy skin. I’ll have a proper review to follow as soon as I have enough experience with it.

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*This product was sent to me by Influenster for testing and review purposes.*

Wet ‘n’ Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Think Pink Review + Swatches

I had never tried a Wet ‘n’ Wild lipstick before, but I had heard good things about them. When I saw a cute shade of pink, Think Pink, being promoted at my local drugstore, I knew I had to buy it. Not only can I not say no to a new pink lippie, a portion of the sales from this particular shade would go to the American Cancer Society. 

Think Pink is a warm, bright pink with a fairly glossy finish. It wasn’t quite as dupeable as I expected–a lot of shades I thought were similar were too orange in comparison–but Revlon Lip Butter in Sweet Tart was the closest I have, although it’s lighter, cooler, and more shimmery than Think Pink. (4/5)

This lipstick went on fully opaque and stayed that way for a full 5 hours, even after a meal. Even the glossiness persists more than I expected–after an hour, the shine had worn down a little, but it didn’t turn semi-matte until the fourth hour. (5/5)

This has a very faint chemical scent, but it’s very minor and not noticeable on the lips. It applies creamy and smooth, very pigmented. It doesn’t tug on the lips when you put it on, and remains comfortable to wear. It has great staying power for such a creamy formula. (5/5)

Unfortunately, the packaging looks and feels cheap. It’s all lightweight plastic with a clear cap. I noticed that the cap on mine feels looks, like you can shake it around a little. I imagine it might crack easily if dropped or during travel. Also, the twist-up product doesn’t twist down into the tube all the way (it’s designed to stick out a little) but it ended up smearing the inside of the cap. (2.5/5)


This line of lipsticks sells for $1.99, but I was able to get it for even less on sale. Each tube contains 0.11 oz of product, which is marginally more than average. Since the face value of these is inexpensive, the price per ounce is effectively cheap ($18.09 per ounce). I love when drugstore products like this prove that quality doesn’t have to come with an unpleasant price tag. (5/5)

Wow Factor:
I was highly impressed by the pigment, smooth application, and staying power of this lipstick. It’s always great when a brand gives back as well. It’s not the most unique and the packaging is underwhelming, though. (4/5)

This is one of those drugstore gems. It’s different than most things in my collection of pink lippies since it leans much warmer and is darker toned while still being quite girly. It applies like a dream and lasts extra long. All that for the price can’t be beat! (The flimsy packaging is what brought the score down.) 4.25 (B)

Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-Wet ‘n’ Wild is completely cruelty free and mostly vegan.

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Sample Sunday: Matrix Exquisite Oil Biolange Micro Oil Shampoo and Oil Creme Conditioner

A couple weeks ago, I tweeted about not knowing what to do with a box full of product samples I’ve gathered over the years. So I decided to try them out, and each Sunday I’ll let you beauties know how it went, what I thought, and if I’d consider buying a full size.
The first sample I decided to use (by grabbing the first one I saw in the box) was a one-time use packet of Matrix Exquisite Oil Biolange Micro Oil Shampoo and Oil Creme Conditioner. Haircare is something my family spends little on, but I’ve been wanting to change that. I wasn’t too sure how different a more costly shampoo and conditioner would be from the drugstore variety, but after giving this a whirl, I can say I’m a convert.
The shampoo had a mild minty scent that was refreshing, and how I imagine a spa might smell like. It didn’t tingle despite the scent. The shampoo was slightly thick (not in a bad way), and I imagine the texture of the product working well for all hair types. It lathered up nicely and felt luxurious. The conditioner had a very faint scent, not the mint one the shampoo has. I couldn’t pinpoint what the fragrance was, but it’s very, very mild and vague, almost nonexistent. The conditioner was thick, almost like a paste, but didn’t weigh my fine, thin hair down (like the “lightweight moisture” this promised to give).
Post-shower, my hair retained that mild conditioner scent and felt soft and clean. But the thing I really loved about this was how it temporarily mended my split ends and made them look less damaged. My hair looked and felt healthier than it has in a while. I love the effect one use had on my hair, so I’m definitely curious what my strands would look like after using up a whole bottle! I certainly plan on purchasing the full size versions.
There were .34 oz of product in each packet, which was a little more than enough for my thin hair, so I expect it’ll get the job done for thicker, coarser hair for one use as well. Both the shampoo and conditioner is formulated without parabens.The full size shampoo and conditioner are $23 and $17 respectively, and are available in-stores at Ulta.

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Wet ‘n’ Wild Eyeshadow Trio in No Scalpers Allowed Review + Swatches

I was so excited to pick up some limited edition trios from Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Summer Collection last month. The theme of the collection is summer music festivals, which I thought was such a cool idea. The first that I tried is No Scalpers Allowed, which goes right along with that bohemian feel that’s common at music festivals.
The eyelid shade is a soft, shimmery blue-based violet. The crease is a mid-tone matte lilac, and the brow shade is a matte shell nude. While these are lovely to look at swatched, their performance on the lid isn’t a stellar. The eyelid shade has the most pigmentation, but without primer, it can only be built up to medium opacity and even then it fades within minutes. I was able to achieve full opacity and true to pan color with primer. The crease shade is more of a pinky lilac on the eye, and can never quite achieve full opacity. The brow shade performed the best as it was opaque and smooth both with and without primer.
While the eyelid shade was the most unique, it still doesn’t seem remarkably uncommon. I have dupes for the other two shades in my collection, so this trio isn’t winning a lot of points on shade originality. The crease shade is much lighter than the lefthand definer shade in Wet ‘n’ Wild’s I Heart Matte and the brow shade is lighter and cooler than the righthand brow shade in the same palette. The brow shade is sheerer, less stark and warmer than Urban Decay Righteous, and cooler and sheerer than Urban Decay Skimp (3/5)

This trio looked really washed out after just an hour without primer. With primer, the shadows made it to the 8 hour mark just fine. The crease shade stayed in tact, but it didn’t look nearly as poppy on the eye as it does when swatched. (4.5/5)

This trio is pretty inconsistent. The brow shade has a soft, smooth texture and full opacity, whereas the eyelid shade is semi-opaque and a bit dry at best, and the crease shade is pretty fussy, lacking pigment, kicks up a good amount of product when touched with a brush, and doesn’t stand out on the eye. I needed to go back for more color when applying the lid and crease shades to get the most out of the pigment. However they all blended well and I didn’t have any problems with fallout. (3/5)

The packaging is pretty standard for WnW: thin enough rectangular compact with a clear lid. It doesn’t feel bulky or cheap, and I like that the packaging is white for the limited edition release instead of the standard black. However there’s a lot of stickers on the compact, and that makes it hard to open initially. A sponge tipped applicator and small brush are included. The brush felt softer than I imagined, and while it won’t replace my Sonia Kashuk brushes, it would get the job done in a pinch if you were, say, travelling and lost all your brushes en route. It’s small and thin enough to store easily, and while I don’t think think it’ll survive a lot of fall damage, it’s not the worst pick for travel. The lids on WnW compacts don’t always stay closed though, and with how powdery these can be, I’m not sure this is the first thing I’d reach for to put in a travel makeup bag. (4/5)

I picked this trio up at Walgreen’s for about $2.99, which is a steal no matter how you look at it: It’s about a dollar a shade, or $24.92 per ounce (and there’s 0.12 oz in the trio). So sure it’s a bargain, but getting your money’s worth is just as important as the amount spent. I don’t think the quality is good enough to where I’m thrilled it’s so affordable, but it’s not bad enough that I think the price tag is unreasonable either. (3/5)

Wow Factor:
This trio definitely fits the girly bohemian vibe common at music festivals, and I thought the pops of color with the neutral brow would be interesting. However, the execution was poorer than I’d hoped. The color payoff was just so disappointing, and the feel of the shadows was inconsistent, leaving me less than impressed. (2/5)

It’s a pretty, affordable trio, but the weak pigment is a deal breaker for me. Plus, the colors wash away in an hour without primer, which makes me wonder how well they’ll realistically be able to hold up to the heat at the outdoor concerts that inspired them, even with a base. The colors aren’t so rare that it warrants hunting these down. I recommend opting for better performing dupes. 3.25 (C-)

Useful Information:
-Wet ‘n’ Wild is completely cruelty-free and mostly vegan.
-This product was purchased by me.
-This collection is limited edition and won’t be around much longer.

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Pink Friday: Victim Blaming and The Cultural Protection of Abusers

Janay Palmer and Ray Rice at a press conference after footage of him beating her went public.
Image via FeministCurrent

It sickens me to hear about several incidents of domestic violence making headlines lately, from MMA fighter  Jonathan Koppenhaver beating his ex girlfriend within inches of her life to Oscar Pistorius shooting his girlfriend to death to Ray Rice punching his fiancee in the head ’til she went unconscious and then dragging her out of an elevator. These acts of violence are brutal, and sadly, they’re a kind of aggression that women face exceedingly more often than men. Dating violence is a complicated topic that’s very near to my heart. But a specific element of spousal abuse I want to discuss is the repulsive defense of the abusers.

NO ONE asks to get attempted raped, 18 broken bones, her teeth knocked out, and stabbed (like Koppenhaver’s ex girlfriend, Christy Mack), shot three times while locked in the bathroom (like Pistorius’ girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp), or punched in the head until unconscious and then dragged like a dead body through a public space (like Rice’s now wife, Janay Palmer). Let that sink in. NO ONE WANTS TO BE ABUSED. Nobody. Nowhere. Ever.

But what is everyone doing? Victim-blaming. Each one of these violent men use their own behavior-their own choices made and executed by their own consciousness and willpower-to take the blame off of themselves (when they themselves are the only ones responsible for the violence occurring), and try to paint it as a natural response to the bad devil woman’s wicked ways. Koppenhaver says he attacked Mack because he found another man in her house (even though Mack and Koppenhaver hadn’t been a relationship together for months, he still saw her as his property, and that’s why he almost killed her). He and his lawyer tried to gain the public’s sympathy by alleging that he just wanted to propose to her. What this says is that she’s the bad, evil woman for rejecting him (since he clearly just loved her so much), she shouldn’t have sought the company of another man (even though she was no longer dating Koppenhaver–freed from his possession, so to speak), and that she got what she deserved. I encourage everyone to see the stupidity and lack of empathy and justice in this way of thinking.

 I work in the food industry (famous for being a “boys’ club”), and this week, some coworkers were discussing the footage of Miss Palmer’s horrific abuse, and instead of showing her any sympathy (for, you know, getting assaulted), one of the men said “I wonder what she did to set him off like that.” It’s so natural, offhanded for people to take the blame off the man committing the crime and place it onto the woman, because all of us are deeply ingrained from birth to be believe the bullshit excuse that men are simply more aggressive and that women should walk on eggshells all the time to not provoke them. When eruptions occur, the man can never “help it” and it’s always the woman’s fault. But I want to strongly reiterate that no one wants to be beaten, raped, or killed, and that the ONLY one responsible is the one committing the violence.

But there’s insult to injury. Women who have experienced any form of abuse (rape, battery, or emotional manipulation and dehumanization from a lover) already feel confused, isolated, helpless, betrayed, unsure, scared, etc. But instead of anyone extending a patient, kind hand to the victims of these traumatic experiences, the media (and often the public) chooses to further humiliate them by siding with the abuser. “War Machine” Koppenhaver, who has beaten a woman bartender before, was defended by his lawyer who insisted that he is “a good guy” despite knowing that he has attacked at least two women. Pistorius will face 15 years maximum in prison for the “culpable homicide” of Miss Steenkamp–the judge decided that the murder was an accident. Pistorius claims he thought there was an intruder in the home, which is bullshit because if he just called out and said “who’s in there?” he would’ve heard his girlfriend’s voice and, you know, not tried to kill her. Feminist Current has a great article further explaining why this excuse is flimsy and that Pistorius deliberately, knowingly, chose to murder her. But right now he is walking free on bail and will probably never see the full 15 years behind bars (which is already weak compared to the 25 minimum he would’ve faced if convicted of homicide). When the footage of Rice beating Palmer appeared in May, the football team only suspended him for two games, a slap on the wrist, something the Ravens did only because they knew the outcry would be annoying and inconvenient if they didn’t do something. So they did the most minor thing, even though young men watch sports like football, often looking up to the stars. And when incidents like this occur, and the repercussions are trivial, it further reinforces the attitude that beating women is ok and don’t feel bad guys, it isn’t really your fault. Rice has since been let got from the Ravens, but only because that pesky public outcry happened anyway, despite their best efforts to placate us uppity feminists. Pfft.

I remember instances in the news where some young men gang raped a female student at their high school, and I was supposed to feel bad because these poor boys won’t be able to go on to college and be football players! Bullshit. What about the young woman who’s trust in men, personal space, and sense of privacy and comfort in the world has been utterly shattered? Nope, no sympathy for her from the culture. She was portrayed as just another harpy out ruining men’s lives. Or what about the man who shot four or five people in recent years because a girl rejected him? The wave of support he received from other men was nauseating and made me despair at existing in this world, where the attitudes towards my gender are those of hatred, violence, dehumanization, and possession. And this is what the media does, it reduces all women to their “rightful place” as things for men, rewarding us when we “do well” by being small, meek, complacent, attractive, submissive, and punishing us when we “act out,” by voicing our opinions, asking for help, disobeying, or in any other way making the male who “owns” us–our lover–look bad. This punishment comes in the form of ridicule and isolation at best and death at worst.

And just in case you think I’m tripping, recall the instance where Solange Knowles attacked Jay-Z in an elevator (location sound familiar?). The cultural response was very different than the one Miss Palmer received. Why? Because it serves the male agenda. When Miss Knowles attacked Jay-Z, the same old “crazy, emotional woman” card got played. Everyone looked to Beyonce to defend her man, not her sister. This instance worked to further the notion that women are unstable, overcome with emotion and need a man to control them and keep them down.

So as women, let’s continue to extend our compassion to these women, and the others who have faced violence (physical, sexual, emotional, mental) from their partners. It’s all too common amongst us. And I strongly encourage all heterosexual men to ask themselves, “would I do that to my girlfriend?” If not, and if you really mean it, then join us in our opposition of domestic violence. Speak out, use your male privilege as a platform to help your lover, your sister, your mother, and all women from experiencing this toxic cultural attitude and the terrifying violence it takes out on us. If you want to love, date, or be intimate with women, be an ally to all of us, not just the one you put your penis into whenever it’s convenient. Take a stand, and no longer support men who see their girlfriends as objects, no longer take their side when acts of violence like these occur, no longer ask “what did she do to provoke him?”

Because she didn’t do a goddamn thing to provoke him.

If you or someone you know is experiencing dating violence, visit online resources such as Love Is Not Abuse or RAINN. And if you just need someone to talk to, I’m always here, 24/7, with an open heart and mind. Take care of yourselves lovelies, and stray strong. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;