Review: Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Posted on March 16, 2015 under Reviews

I believe I am one of about ten people in the known universe who absolutely fucking hates Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara. When I worked in cosmetics, I’d get customers coming in every day raving about it, and my fellow SAs were similarly enthusiastic. On the other hand, I consider it to be my mascara nemesis.

Something you must understand about me is that I am not very picky about mascara. I don’t have sensitive eyes, and my eyelashes are fairly okay on their own, so I am not asking for any miracles. My main criteria for mascara are that it does not 1) clump together intensely, leaving me with approximately 3-5 mega eyelashes, or 2) require industrial-strength power to remove. Interestingly enough, I found that They’re Real! violated both of these requests; it is the clumpiest mascara I have ever tried, by an exponential factor, and one time I didn’t shower for five days after applying it (gross, I know) AND IT DIDN’T COME OFF.

Combined with the fact that I positively hated the They’re Real! eyeliner for similar reasons, you might say I had low expectations for Benefit’s new mascara, Roller Lash.

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Top: No mascara. Bottom: Roller Lash applied to the top lashes.

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Top: No mascara. Bottom: Roller Lash applied to the top lashes.

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OMG, a gif! Give this a minute to load; the file’s pretty big. Clearly I am not yet a gif-master. Also, sorry for the shakiness; I didn’t have a tripod on hand.

I found Roller Lash to be, essentially, They’re Real! light. By that, I mean it is prone to clumping but not terribly so, and it is quite difficult to get off but can be removed with a bit of elbow grease, unlike They’re Real! which I’m convinced would survive nuclear war.

That sounds quite negative, but I don’t hate this mascara and I will continue to use up my sample-sized tube. It’s just nothing special, in my opinion. I prefer my mascara to be a bit more lengthening than this is, and I don’t go for the slightly-clumpy look, though I know many do.

I think there are a lot of drugstore mascaras on the market that perform similarly; Maybelline’s much-touted The Falsies comes to mind.

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The brush of Roller Lash is very different from They’re Real! – it has that curved shape that was in vogue roundabout 2012/2013. I feel like we as a society have slowly been moving away from these mascaras, although these brushes were quite popular a few years ago, with high-profile offerings such as The Falsies and Covergirl’s Clump Crusher having similar shapes. The Roller Lash brush has more of a shallow curve than either of those. The brush is also significantly shorter than They’re Real!, so if that massive brush put you off that mascara, this one might be a better option. All in all, the brush is quite standard, nothing particularly innovative, but the size does make it much more reasonable to use.

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Left: Roller Lash on the top lashes. Right: No mascara. I decided to showcase the “better” eye, as when I applied it to my first eye it was quite a bit clumpier. Learning curve and all. However, although I managed to diligently avoid clumping with this eye, you can see that the effect is not super dramatic, at least not compared to my preferences. For some people this might be a good thing; for me, it’s a bit of a bummer, since I like my mascara to wow me.

I’m not a huge mascara fanatic anyway (it serves an important purpose but it doesn’t get me excited), and I think the drugstore has so many good options that I’m rather averse to buying pricier ones. Thus, I wouldn’t purchase a full-sized tube of Roller Lash even if I liked it – so a more apt question is whether or not I’d spend Sephora points on another deluxe sample of it. The answer to that is no; it just doesn’t impress me, although I don’t hate it.

If you are one of They’re Real!’s many, many proponents but you’d like an option that’s a bit less dramatic and perhaps better suited to everyday wear, you’ll probably like Roller Lash. If you are one of the other nine people on planet Earth who hated They’re Real!, skip this one.

Makeup Interview: Anna

Posted on March 12, 2015 under Interview

I’m really excited for today’s makeup interview, featuring one of my closest friends, the wonderful Anna. Anna is a 19-year-old linguistics student originally from Virginia, currently studying in Halifax, Canada.

1. How would you describe your style of makeup?

To be honest, I’m not sure if I really have a definitive style! I wear mostly warmer colours and black, as those are what best work with my complexion. I tend to draw inspiration from the past I reckon, like mid-20th century.

2. Describe a makeup look that you would consider “classic” you.

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My classic look is actually very minimal! It’s just red lipstick + liner and few coats of black mascara; it’s been my go-to makeup since middle school!

3. What is the most recent product that you bought? What’s your most recent makeup discovery that you’re excited about?

NYX lipliner in a reddish brown! It was on sale at Lawton’s for $2.50!!

When I went home for winter break I left my entire cosmetics bag sitting on my couch at home – it was a nightmare, especially considering how many photos my parents + friends wanted to take with me since it was my first time back since going off to college. Luckily, my mom gave me a good bit of makeup that she didn’t use (and most of which I didn’t end up using either.) One of the items was Revlon Diamond Lust eyeshadow in Neptune Star. It’s an extremely glittery dark green-blue, which usually isn’t a colour I would go for and I haven’t even swatched it yet, so fingers crossed that it looks as good on as it does in the package!

4. What are your 3 holy grail products?

  1. MAC lipstick in Russian Red – I’ve been wearing some kind of red lipstick since I was 12, and I’ve been using this one the longest because (surprise!) it’s my favourite! This shade of red looks soooo good on me and it’s matte which is what I prefer for lipstick!
  2. MAC (again!) Fluidline in Blitz & Glitz – This is another product that’s allowed me to do a look I’ve been doing since age 12 (black winged eyeliner) and been using since 16. Like literally, I’ve had the same pot since I was 16 and there is still plenty left, even though it’s one of my most heavily-used products. The very fine gold glitter is barely noticeable once applied, but I like to think it makes my brown eyes a little brighter.
  3. FLOWER Zoom-In Ultimate Mascara – Admittedly, I haven’t used this since it started drying up and I got a free replacement via Sephora’s birthday gift, BUT that doesn’t change the fact that my lashes have never been more beautiful than when I used this. It was amazing and I highly recommend it.

5. What product do you think is worth the high price tag, and what product that you can find at the drugstore do you think is awesome?

I think I paid around $30 CAD for Makeup Forever Aqualiner in Iridescent Red, which is way more than I would usually spend, but it’s impossible to fine red liquid eyeliner! This was the cheapest I was able to find and it applies spectacularly! And while I didn’t pay full price for it, I bought Stila liquid eyeliner at Winners and I LOVE it.

As for drugstore finds, I would have to say the FLOWER mascara listed above, as well as Revlon Super Lustrous & Matte lipsticks, and the Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Moss lipsticks in both creme & matte. Both brands sell for around $5 or $6 in Canada/US and they come in a great variety of colours and quality that is above the price range for sure.

6. About how long does your normal makeup routine take? What does it consist of? Do you do anything else while you do your makeup, like drink your morning coffee or watch TV?

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A minimal makeup look for Anna’s passport photo.

So I wouldn’t say I wear makeup regularly or as a routine. At this point in my life I wear it probably 3 times per week (for work) and usually that is just mascara and lipstick, which takes all of three minutes if I decide to curl my lashes and apply lipliner. Sometimes I will fill in my brows and apply eyeliner and maybe light eyeshadow, which would bring it up to 15 minutes or so. If I am really doing my makeup, which happens when I have a good bit of spare time on my hands, it can take upwards of 45 minutes if I go into it unsure of what exactly I want to be doing. I like to play music when I’m doing my makeup, usually nothing in particular, just whatever I’ve been into at the moment. But if I am getting ready for a special event or something equally important I will play feel good sexy music to set the mood!

7. Where do you get makeup inspiration from? Are there any websites or YouTube channels you visit regularly? Any celebrities whose makeup you might draw inspiration from?

I am very much in my own little bubble when it comes to things like this! I have, a handful of times in the past, copied the exact looks of certain celebrities, namely Edie Sedgwick when I was 16 (I will try and find a picture!) Beyoncé’s Vogue cover in 2013, and one Betty Draper-esque look even though I’ve never seen Mad Men. Otherwise, my inspiration can come from anything that catches my eye, usually a colour palette, but not necessarily from other makeup looks.

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Edie Sedgwick, Beyoncé, and Betty Draper

8. Do you feel that your makeup helps to convey your personality, or is a way in which you can visually and aesthetically construct a sense of self? What are you trying to convey through your makeup, if anything?

For me, personally, I have not consciously noticed a way I use makeup to convey my personality. I think if anything, I am just trying to have fun and look beautiful! I used to be heavily involved in creating visual art, and makeup is now a way for me to show off my technical abilities and creativity. And much like how I always got asked how I learned to draw, I often get asked how I learned to do makeup and truthfully, I just don’t know! Ever since childhood I’ve just kind of had a sense of what looked good and how to apply it. I remember contouring my friend’s face when we were 8!

9. What is it that you like best about makeup?

I really love the artistry. I love seeing something well-applied even if it is unflattering on the person wearing it. I also love that I can make myself look like a different person just by changing the shape of my brows or eyeliner. The smallest things can make the biggest difference. Painting on a living canvas is truly amazing.

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The first look includes eyeliner with a red and black gradient. About the second, she says, “This is really so far from my usual look but it was so fun!” The cut crease in the third was created with “only the tiniest eyeliner brush and my fingers”.

10. Why do you wear makeup?

Because I love being beautiful! Don’t get me wrong, I am completely comfortable without makeup, and even feel beautiful most of the time. But being able to take this idea of beauty and exaggerate it is appealing to me.

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Anna without any makeup.

11. When did you first start wearing makeup regularly? When did it become an interest for you, i.e. something you actively wanted to talk about, read about, etc? How did that interest develop?

I first started wearing makeup (aside from playing dress-up) when I was around 11. At first I would just wear mascara, a little bit of eyeliner, and a sheer gloss, but then I got more comfortable wearing makeup out in public so I branched out. I discovered red lipstick! It’s what I feel most comfortable in – my “safe” colour if you will – and because of this I feel like it’s sort of become my signature. I’ve always had an interest in makeup, but wasn’t able to fully explore until I had my own money to buy it, so around 17 is when I really dove deep. The desire was always there, I just needed the capital.

12. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Just that I hate wearing foundation! I’m sure it’s psychosomatic, but I have yet to wear a foundation that doesn’t totally skeeve me out when I’m wearing it. So because of this, I only wear it out a few times a year.

13. I know you won’t mind me creepily saying that you have a lot of really beautiful features that make up a beautiful whole – you have incredible cheekbones, beautifully shaped eyes that I am supremely jealous of, and really nice delicate lips. Do you use makeup to emphasize or play around with these features? In particular, I think you do really great eye makeup that emphasizes your eye shape – can you talk about that at all?

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Okay, so first of all, thank you so much!! I put a lot of conscious effort into accentuating my favourite features. I don’t usually contour my cheekbones, but if I want them to look stronger than usual I will. I haven’t worn blush in awhile, but I am a huge fan of a strong, clean pink blush. As far as my lips go, delicate is a nice word to use! My mouth is not very wide at all and my lips, while not thin, are not exactly thick either. What I do have is a very defined cupid’s bow, so I play that up whenever I’m wearing something on my lips.

As far as my eyes go, I am so particular about the shapes I use that I find it almost lacking creatively. I like the shapes of both of my eyes, but they are not symmetrical, so if I don’t apply my eyeliner and shadow just so it only serves to emphasize that. And as we all know, asymmetry isn’t beautiful. In fact, I find it very off-putting on myself. I know I won’t be able to make them look perfectly symmetrical, so my main goal is to widen them (like horizontally, not vertically) and to make them look farther apart so as to offset my nose, which at time I feel can take over my face. So, to widen my eyes, I almost always do a winged liner, and I don’t draw it too thick as I think that makes my eyes look rounder than I’d like, so I do a graduated thickness from the inside out. For the wing, I know most people recommend angling it in line with your bottom lid, but I bring the liner down + out just a tiny bit past the outer corner, then I bring it up at a slightly slower angle than my bottom lid. If I’m wearing bold shadow, I’ll have the outside bit follow that angle as well. Also for eyeshadow, I usually just do a horizontal gradient with a slightly contrasting crease and brow highlight! And speaking of brows, they are so important! Mine are naturally pretty thick so most of my maintenance is keeping up a good arch. I also have what I guess would best be described as long brows? I keep them long to offset the length of my face. Overall, I try to make my eye makeup mimic the shape of my eyes except more elongated.

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Anna kindly indulged my favourite form of voyeurism: looking at makeup storage and collections.

14. You’re not one to be shy with how you dress – your clothes are full of personality and confidence, which is completely congruous with the Anna I know and love. Do you think that your makeup complements this side of your personality that you like to express? Is it something you like to have fun with rather than take super seriously?

My clothes and makeup are both things I love having fun with! To say I take them seriously would be such a blatant lie. I mean, I’ve gone out in public my fair share of times with no real bottoms on and glittery makeup, and I was giggling the whole time. I know I have a strong and outgoing personality, and I like to think my style exudes this. The other week I wore a red, white, and blue getup to work complete with a shirt with a sequined American flag. Since I’m an American expat in Canada, my coworkers got a kick out of it.

My clothing style is a lot like my makeup style in that it doesn’t reflect my personality overall so much as how I’m feeling when I put it on. If I feel sexy, I’ll put on a tight red dress and bedroom eyes. If I’m feeling playful, I’ll wear bright pink lipstick and something floral. And on Halloween, I’m something else all together.

I want to thank Anna for her thoughtful, interesting responses! (And for letting me apply liquid foundation on her this summer even though she hates it!)

Some recent looks

Posted on March 08, 2015 under FOTD

I don’t have enough to say about any of these looks to make them their own separate posts, but I liked them a lot so I thought I’d put them all in one place and share a few things I’ve done with my makeup recently that I thought were pretty!

I’ve included pictures of the looks themselves (duh), as well as some of the products I used to achieve them. In any palettes where there are multiple shades shown, a little pink star will indicate shades that I used.

Rose Gold and Red

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Lately I’ve been going quite heavy on the eye makeup, so I decided to do something a bit more subtle and go for a classic look, with rose golds from the Naked 3 palette and deep red lips. With my curled hair, it ended up being quite red carpet-y – perhaps a bit dressy just to attend class, but when has that ever stopped me?

face1-products

Foundation: Revlon ColorStay for Dry Skin in 110 Ivory
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in NC15 on blemishes; L’Oréal La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer under the eyes
Blush: Lancôme Le Blush Subtil in Sheer Amourôse
Highlight: Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished
Contour: Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow
Brows: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough As Taupe
Eye primer: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base
Eyeshadow: From Urban Decay Naked 3 palette: Burnout all over the lid, Buzz on the outer corner, Limit in the crease, Dust on the middle over Burnout
Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Intense Black
Mascara: Maybelline Illegal Length
Lipstick: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiery over Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in 24 Red Diva

Barbie

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I have a gorgeous mini Lancôme palette full of amazing purples that I always forget about, so this look was all about using that palette! I paired it with a lilac lip colour (sadly discontinued) that ended up pulling quite pink on my lips, leaving me feeling a bit like a Barbie. Paired with a baby pink blush with gold shimmer, and the effect was undeniable. That’s okay, though – Barbie is not my usual aesthetic, but I quite liked this look and I will need to use purples on my eyes more often!

face2-products

Foundation: Revlon ColorStay for Dry Skin in 110 Ivory
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in NC15 on blemishes; L’Oréal La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer under the eyes
Blush: Benefit Dandelion
Contour: Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow
Brows: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough As Taupe
Eye primer: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base
Eyeshadow: From Lancôme Color Design palette in 306 Lavender Grace: “Lid” all over the eyelid, “Liner” in the outer corner and crease, “Highlighter” in the inner corners
Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Intense Black on the upper lashline; Sephora Flashy Liner in Flashy Purple on the waterline
Mascara: Maybelline Illegal Length
Lipstick: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Darling (discontinued)

Burgundy Eyes

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My Balm Jovi palette is another one that I have neglected lately in favour of my Naked 3 and Stila in the Light, but it has some gorgeous, unexpected shades so I pulled it out. This look was a bit different because I used one colour all over the lid with no outer corner or crease shades, which I never do! I’ll definitely be building more looks from this palette, because it has some colours that are unlike any others I have.

face3-products

Foundation: Revlon ColorStay for Dry Skin in 110 Ivory
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in NC15 on blemishes; L’Oréal La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer under the eyes
Blush: Benefit Hervana
Highlight: theBalm Mary Lou-manizer
Contour: Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow
Brows: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough As Taupe
Eye primer: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base
Eyeshadow: From theBalm Balm Jovi palette: Alice Copper all over the eyelid and along lower lashline; Iron Maid-In in the inner corners
Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Intense Black on the upper lashline; Stila Smudge Stick in Damsel on the lower waterline
Mascara: Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant on the top lashes; Maybelline Illegal Length on the bottom lashes
Lipstick: Lise Watier Gourmand Velours lipstick in Cake Pop

And there we have it: a few looks I’ve done recently that I particularly enjoyed! I have just come into a bunch of new (to me) makeup thanks to Aising and I am feeling rather adventurous/experimental these days anyway, so you might want to expect another composite post of things I am doing with my face, as well as reviews of some of the standout products.