Review: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes. You and I Are Never Meant to Be…

What would be a perfect mascara for you? Since I have very sparse, short, and straight natural lashes, I need all the help I can get! When I heard Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes claim to be lengthening, curling, volumizing, and even conditioning, I thought it would be a very promising one to try!

The Tarte website claims the result this mascara promises is “clinically-proven.” “This is what we call a push-up bra for your lashes™ a 4-in-1 (lengthening, curling, volumizing and conditioning) dermatologist tested mascara that gives dramatic, thick, sexy lashes and is clinically proven to increase lash volume by 424%.”

Isn’t that just amazing? I was SO excited when I received a brand new sample in a swap, and immediately put it to test.

I love the deep purple packaging, and the full-size packaging is even more glamorous. The brush, as you will be able to see in the close-up photo, is pretty regular. It is a bit on the “fat” side, but not curvy or spooly. I am totally fine with that though. Now let’s see some ACTION!

I’m sorry to report, my dear readers, that this mascara is not what it makes out to be.

Pros:

1. It gives decent length.
2. It doesn’t smudge or flake, despite the fact that it is not marketed to be waterproof (however, do note I am testing this in minus god knows how many degrees weather. I don’t know yet what might happen when it gets warmer).
3. It separates my lashes very well, with minimum clumping. Also, my upper and lower lashes don’t stick to each other when I blink, which happens sometimes with waterproof mascaras.
4. It is very easy to remove, perhaps because the formula isn’t waterproof.

Cons:

1. Sadly enough, the 424% of lash volume increase stays a marketing claim. I have definitely had better results with other mascaras.
2. The major turn-off, however, is the fact that it does NOT hold curls in my case. The link to the photo I am going to show you was taken right after application, and the curls were decent. However, after several hours, my lashes gradually succumbed to gravity and went back to their straight selves. Sexy lashes? I think not!

This is what I get with Lights, Camera, Lashes:

And this is what I get with my go-to Maybelline fatty tube.

I personally don’t think I see more length, volume, or curls with Lights, Camera, Lashes.

I have been too bummed out by the bad curl-holding capacity of this mascara to take a photo of my straight lashes at the end of the day. Perhaps I should, just so you can see the sad state my lashes end up in…

Bottom line: Sorry, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes, but you and I are never meant to be. At 18 dollars a pop and with all the wonderful claims you make, I really expect you to perform better. I wouldn’t recommend this to people who need a lot of help in the lash department, particularly if your lashes are not naturally curly. You might have to look somewhere else instead.

As with all the other products that don’t work for me, I would like to remind everybody who comes across this post that just because it doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. I have heard people rave about this mascara, including the curl-holding aspect, so who knows? If you have the chance of trying it for yourself in Sephora you might be pleasantly surprised!

What do you think? Have you tried this one? What is your current go-to mascara?

PS: If you go to the picture of the back of the tube, you will see the international address of Tarte is located in Brussels. I am really tempted to drop by one day and figure out why we don’t have access to this brand at all here! Who’s with me? lol

Sunny xx

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FOTD: Embrace Your Monolids with Smudged Cat Liner!

Hello everybody, how’s your weekend so far? I met my friend N for a drink last night, and thought I’d experiment with makeup for a bit. I saw this smudged cat liner tutorial on Jen’s site a while ago and have always wanted to see how that works on me. This is my second copycat attempt of the week, but Jen’s tutorials are just SO easy to follow and I love her take on monolids, so please bear with me!

List of products and breakdown:

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 53 Light Beige
NARS Stick Concealer in Custard (swatch and review coming soon)
Tarte Smooth Operator finishing powder
Bobbi Brown Sable on eyebrows

For my eyes, I first put Bobbi Brown Sable down in the contour area. Jen used Buck from the Naked Palette, but I wanted to see how Sable works as an eyeshadow. The result wasn’t bad. It’s darker than Buck so my contour area was a little more “contoured.” If I want a softer look I’ll go with Buck next time, but otherwise Sable rocks as a contour shade! I then did the first half of my lids with MAC All That Glitters. It’s a nice everyday shade to have, but it’s not earth-shattering per se. I appreciate how it is slightly more understated than Urban Decay Sin for example though! My brow bones were highlighted with Bobbi Brown Bone, and inner corners with Urban Decay Virgin.

Now the star of the show, namely eyeliner! I lined my upper lash line with Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black, and my lower lash line with whatever was left on the brush and not all the way in. As I have mentioned before, those with monolids are more than likely to benefit form not lining their lower lash line all the way in, as it might close their eyes. Then I took my Urban Decay Zero to add a line on top of the gel line, proceeded to smudging it out with a Q-tip (cotton bud for the non-Americans lol). I smudged the lower lash line out with Darkhorse, and the upper lash line with Creep. The twist is dragging this line out at the end, the way you would do a more dramatic cat cat, and then softly bringing the line back so that the angle doesn’t look too sharp.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes (review coming soon)
Tarte Exposed on my cheeks
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer to contour
Chanel Rouge Coco Mademoiselle. Since my lips were a bit dry, I layered it on top of a lip baln, which also softened the look a little.

Here are some close-up photos so you can see the eyes better. Excuse the tiny bit of fallout at the outer corner from Creep. I didn’t see it till it was too late!

This is a very friendly way to wear cat eyes, because the line Creep creates is soft enough. I particularly recommend this to gel liner beginners. Even if you can’t create a crisp line yet, it’s OK because you will have to smudge it out not once but twice, and that covers a multitude of sins. The only thing that might be a little tricky is how to wing the ends out. The trick is to follow the angle of your lower lash line. Sometimes I line my lower lash line before I do my upper lash line for this reason. It is a very good indicator as to where your wing should go.

Some more pictures so you see it from different angles:

My hair isn’t as curly in these photos because I didn’t use mousse. I normally only do it after shampooing my hair, and then I let it be till I shampoo next! Pretty lazy :p

That’s it for today. If you want to see more monolid looks (whether it’s me being a copycat or tricks I’ve figured out myself), remember to follow Mostly Sunny on Twitter or Bloglovin’. I hope you guys are enjoying your Sunday! Stay tuned because I have some pretty exciting posts coming up (budget-friendly professional-quality brushes, NARS Spring 2012, just to name a few)!

Sunny xx

FOTD: Snow Bubble Pop K-pop Inspired Look

Hey everybody, it’s FRIDAY! Isn’t it almost the best day of the week? What are your plans for the weekend? Do you have exciting things planned or are you going to chill?

Dr. D and I made plans to go for Thai food tonight, so in the early afternoon I proceeded to take my shower, put on some makeup, and then go work at a cafe till dinnertime. When I got out of the shower however, I saw large snowflakes falling. I heard earlier today that there was a snowstorm in the Netherlands, and I knew my foolish hope of having the weather stay freezing but sunny was over. Since I had more time to spare, I decided to follow a K-pop inspired tutorial by Jen from From Head to Toe. Hyuna’s Bubble Pop was BIG last summer when I was in Taiwan, and despite the fact that the only part I could follow is “bubble bubble bubble pop bubble bubble pop pop,” the song has stuck in my head. It’s just so bright and cheerful!

I largely followed Jen’s tutorial, replacing what I don’t have with the closest shades I have. Here is the list of products and breakdown:

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 53 Light Beige
NARS Stick Concealer in Custard (swatch and review coming soon)
Tarte Smooth Operator finishing powder
Bobbi Brown Sable on eyebrows

The middle shade of NYX Rock and Roll was used in a half-moon shape (Jen used Urban Decay Underground which I don’t have, and this one is the only remotely taup-y shade I own at the moment). Darkhorse was used in the same shape closer to my lash line. With the tip of MAC 239, I put the gold shade of L’Oreal Metallic HiP duo in Gilded on my lower lash line (Jen used Urban Decay Honey, which is also a yellow gold), Half Baked in the inner corners and layered a bit on the lower lash line, and Smog to smoke out the outer half of the lower lash line.

I lined my upper lash line with Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black (Jen used a pencil liner for both her upper and lower lash line, but I knew a pencil liner doesn’t stand a chance on my upper lash line so I went with my usual gel liner), but the line doesn’t go up as what I usually do. Instead, it is just slightly extended following my natural eye shape. I was supposed to line my lower waterline with Urban Decay Zero, and then connect the outer corners with the line I created with the gel liner. However, I might have been a little over-enthusiastic with all that gold shadow earlier on, and I found it pretty difficult to line! After some struggle, I ended up with both my water AND lash line lined, and it wasn’t very neat. Oh well…

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes (review coming soon)
Tarte Blissful on cheeks (Jen didn’t use a blush, but I was testing this one out. Swatch and review coming soon)
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze on the top of my cheekbones, forehead, and down my nose bridge
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer to contour
Chanel Rouge Coco Mademoiselle was dabbed onto my lips, creating more natural pink lips

Here are some close-ups so you can see the eyes better:

This is how the eyes look when they are downcast. You can also play spot-the-kitten with this one 🙂

I took some pictures in the usual bathroom light, but since there was still natural light I wanted to play with that too. It washed my complexion out, and I had to switch to “snow” mode on my camera to deal with the super bright white light, but I kind of like how “surreal” these pictures turned out.

So that’s my snow day Bubble Pop FOTD for you! What do you think? Do you like my regular winged-out eyeliner better or when I follow my real lash line like in this look? I need some input here! Also, are you a fan of K-pop or celebrity-inspired looks in general?

I have recently hauled quite a bit of exciting stuff that I want to share with you, so definitely stay tuned for that! Follow me on Twitter (especially if you want to see more kitty photos) and Bloglovin’. I have plans to start a Mostly Sunny Facebook page soon, and I will keep you posted when that happens!

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Sunny xx