Finally, The Best Mascara

If you remember, and why wouldn’t you, it was a monumental declaration, over a year ago I declared that I would go through a giant box of sample mascaras and do an experiment on which one I thought was the best.


And as with all of my best intentions, I managed to document only three of them before I simply resorted to trying them on and then declining most of them forever. Mascara is no joke.

The mascara needs to look natural. It needs to separate the lashes, lift my short spindly genetic shortfalls, from the hovels of my face and mold the shacks of my eyelashes into skyscrapers. I want the structure to last all day but easily tear down at night.

I tried all of the mascaras in Sephora’s 2013 Lash Stash box listed here:

Benefit They’re Real Mascara (which I all ready loved previously)
Blinc Mascara
Buxom Lash Mascara
Clinique High Impact Mascara
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara
Sephora Outrageous Mascara
Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant
Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes Mascara
Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effect Mascara

I also tried MAC’s Zoom Fast Mascara, Clinique’s Lash Doubling Mascara, Maybelline’s Great Lash, Lancome’s Hypnose Doll Lashes, Benefit Bad Gal, and Bobbi Brown’s Everything Mascara through various samples and purchases.

It was quite a task, which is why it took me over a year to complete.

And at the end of it, I had narrowed my choices down to Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara (my old favorite) and Bobbi Brown’s Everything Mascara.

But then something unexpected happened.


I tried one of my last mascaras, Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara.


It was everything I liked about Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara without the residual clumping that is hard to remove at the end of the day.

I could not wait to order a full size of it.

That is when I ran into a problem. I was not the only one who adored their trial of Make Up Forever Mascara from Sephora (I believe Sephora gave out samples in their birthday gifts last year). And I was not the only one who had decided to jump and order the full size version. However, before I did, I read the reviews. Many of them declared that for whatever the reason, the full size version did not live up to the smaller size.

Thankfully, you can order a travel size version. And that is what I have been doing for the last six months.


So, oddly, the travel sized Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara is the winner of my mascara trials. It lengthens lashes dramatically without being too stiff. It removes easily. It stays on all day without any flaking. It separates well. It is the mascara I will and have been exclusively buying for myself. Although, my daughter received the same kit. Her heart still belongs to Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara. So, that is the brand I buy for her.

Have you tried any of these mascaras? What is your favorite mascara? Have you done eyelash extensions? Or that eyelash growth serum? Or do you ever use fake eyelashes? I have tried the fake eyelashes once. But I have not perfected it. Maybe one day I will try again.

*This post is based on my own use of the different mascaras. Your experience may vary from my own. All photos here are unfiltered to truly show the way the product looks when I first apply it and the lighting I apply it in.

NOW CLOSED: 22nd Blog Giveaway: $25 Sephora e-Gift Card

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered!

Wow! This month is flying by! I didn’t even realize we were coming up on the tenth! It feels like it was just Christmas. In fact, I still have a pile of Christmas stuff in my living room that needs to be packed away. You know, you think you picked up everything and then there is a wreath here or an ornament there and suddenly you have fifteen items cluttering up your house that you don’t want to deal with.

This week has been hard. My kids started school again and in the overheard words of a child I know, “I’m not ready to start the grind again.”


This month I decided to give away a $25 e-Gift Card to Sephora. I have really been loving experimenting with makeup lately. I recently did a post about my favorite new lipstick set. I wore the orange color to get my hair done this week and after three hours, my sweet hairdresser said, “I can’t believe your lipstick has stayed on this whole time!” I also finally have made a decision on what mascara I think wins the top spot after trying about twenty different ones over the last year. That post will run in the next two weeks. Needless to say that makeup has been on my mind.

To enter for a chance to win this month’s gift card please leave a comment on this post stating a person whose inner beauty you admire. I have two right now: My dear friend Bridgette recently won a television on The Ellen Show and then selflessly donated it to a veteran. My amazing friend Kerri, who I admire so greatly, recently started a new career and she is soaring. Both women are physically beautiful but their inner beauty is what myself and others are most attracted to. I am so inspired by my friends. I am inspired by all of you. If that is too personal, any old comment is fine as long as it is pleasant. You may enter a second time by being a subscribed reader of this blog. There are many ways to do so on the right hand side of this page (which I really need to update all ready). Please leave a second comment if you are a subscribed reader. I count the comments at the end and then I enter everyone’s name into to pick a winner. So, to be fair, it has to be a separate comment.

Limit two entries per person in the forms specified. Must be eighteen years old to enter.

The giveaway runs from January 10, 2015 12:00 a.m. PST to January 16, 2015 9:00 p.m. PST. I will be choosing one winner from the comments entered on this post for the gift card using I will contact the winner on January 17, 2015 and display the winner’s name on this blog on January 18, 2015.

Thank you so much for entering! And for reading! I know I have been behind on comments and blogs. This year came so much faster than I was expecting. I am a bit overwhelmed with my house right now. I have a giant carnival wheel from the flea market that I do not know what to do with and so much to rearrange. Thank you for sticking with me. I know there have been more outfit posts than usual and that is simply because those are the easiest. When I have to choose between posting nothing or posting an outfit post, I have been choosing the outfits. I hope to write some different posts this weekend! However, I have fourteen outfit posts backed up. So please bear with me.

Now for the not so fun details —Wait! What! You weren’t having fun reading my whining?:

By commenting on this post, you are entering this giveaway for a chance to win one $25 e-gift card to Sephora and agreeing to the rules outlined in this giveaway.

I will attempt to contact the winner three times with the email address provided. If I have not heard from the winner within fourteen days from the first attempt at contact, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be drawn.

Past winners are welcome to enter.

* Negative comments (chosen at the discretion of the owner of this blog) will be deleted and that entry will be forfeit.

*this giveaway and post is not sponsored by or affiliated with Sephora.

It’s The Little Things: A Lipstick Set

I hope everyone had a beautiful holiday yesterday. Ours was wonderful and exhausting. At four in the morning we were awoken by the sounds of sickness coming from the bathroom. One of our children had vomited in their bed… And on the floor. And in the hall… It did not bode well for the day ahead. However, after some cleanup and a little sleep (and I mean a little sleep), we awoke again at eight and spent the rest of the day healthy and sound. My husband and I even had a chicken enchilada cook-off with each other. His enchiladas won. I’m going to pretend it didn’t happen.

I was so touched by the comments left on the blog in the last few days, I am so behind in my life and the blog, but I wanted to express my gratitude for the well wishes. I love you guys! You truly made my day.

I was so very fortunate with the gifts I received yesterday. My husband gave me this dress (that I knew about, but forgot and now it is on sale! It is very itchy, just an FYI) and I kept the red boots (briefly shown here). I also received the Aniza booties and a few more clothing items. I was so grateful to receive some thoughtful unique presents and a few much appreciated Anthropologie gift cards from my dad, stepmom, my sister and brother-in-law. My sister and her husband also ended up purchasing my husband and I the letters I fell in love with in this post. I was so happy and surprised! Any ideas on where they should go?

It was a great couple of days.

I did not have a completed post ready to publish today, but it seemed odd to not have a post up for two days in a row. I racked my brain about something I wanted to share that was not the typical outfit post. And this was what I kept stumbling back upon:

We are an odd sort of family and one of our conversations during the last few days revolved around how much money it would take for my husband or myself to lick sweet Ollie’s bottom lip. Wait! That’s such a weird thing to say. But we all concur that Ollie’s lip, while sweet as he is, is a bit gross with it always hanging there, catching food… And his burps… I know, I warned you. Although, nobody can quite be prepared for a statement such as that. Which brings me to lipsticks… Of course, how else does one segue from licking a dog to pretty beauty products?


You can’t.

But while it is on my mind, I wanted to write about some lipsticks I have fallen in love with lately. Are they even called lipsticks any more?

They are a seasonal set called Nars Digital World Pencil Coffret and they are limited edition. They even come in a pretty case. I keep forgetting to write about them, so I figured now was as good a time as any, even if it is not timely for my usual Saturday “It’s The Little Things” post.


I was brave a few days ago and actually wore the color I thought I never would. It is a super bright orange called Iberico. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. The outfit post for this outfit will run in a few days.


And I wore the hot pink color (Yu) a few days later (outfit post to come).


I initially purchased the kit for the nudes, but I have only worn the pink nude once and I felt naked without color. My favorite color in the set is Cruella, which given that this whole post started about a funny, but odd question, about my dog, fits perfectly.

My daughter has taken to wearing them, too. They are more of a colored lipstick pencil type product. Whatever it is called, I have had so much fun with this product. I bought mine a month ago. Deciding on which color to wear each day has brought a lot of joy to my life in this busy season. I still adore my Chubby Sticks, but it was exciting to change it up a bit.

What is your favorite lipstick or lip color lately? And, yes, I am aware I never fessed up to my dog answer. $100… I’m a cheap date… But not as cheap as my husband whose answer had us rolling on the floor.

It’s the little things: changing your lip color… And weird questions. Isn’t that how the holidays typically tend to go?

*No animals were hurt, or kissed, in the making of this post… Unless someone has $100. Just kidding… I am sure Ollie’s price is much higher than mine. The dog does not share my affinity for lipstick… Silly boy.

It’s The Little Things: Chubby Sticks Eyeshadows

I have all ready posted about my love for Clinique’s Chubby Stick for lips. In fact, I just used up a full stick and have had to open a new one.


Well, in November I found out that Clinique makes a Chubby Stick Eyeshadow. I ordered two of them. One to use as a base and the other to use as a definer.


I chose Bountiful Beige as my base.



And Fuller Fudge for my “pop.”

The bountiful beige is a bit too light for me. I do not know if I would recommend it to someone as fair as myself. But the Fuller Fudge is fantastic. It goes on smoothly and blends easily. You just simply rub the stick on your eyelid like a giant crayon.

I find putting makeup on tedious. And to be quite honest, I am not great at it. Often my friends are blending in my foundation for me. Perfection has never been my angle.

But fun has.

I find this product to be enticing enough to use on a daily basis. It is a different enough product that I get excited about using it. So far I have not gotten bored with it.


My daughter loved mine, so Santa brought her one of her own in her stocking. She got the color Curvaceous Coal. Ha! I guess she did get coal in her stocking!

Have you tried these? What did you think?

* This post is not affiliated with Clinique or Sephora in any way. I just like to review items I enjoy using. Your opinion on these products, of course, may vary. : )