Archive - Product Reviews

I Like Big Buns, and I Cannot Lie: The $5 Mia Beauty Bun Ease Subdues Savage Strands and Sends Scrunchies Scurrying

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Hair, Product Reviews

Mia Beauty Bun Ease

Scruchie-free, finally, with the $5 Mia Beauty Bun Ease

These days, I have about this much patience for my hair…

Mia Beauty Bun Ease before shot

Seriously, I just can’t freaking deal! Even the curling iron feels like too much work.

So lately I’ve been all about #thatscrunchielife, because it only takes about 10 seconds to either corral my mane into a low side pony…

Mia Beauty Bun Ease scrunchie

…or put it up into this haphazard ponytail/bun number I lovingly call my “crazy cat lady hair.”

Mia Beauty Bun Ease scrunchie

I have come to the realization, however, that as tempting as it is, woman cannot live on scrunchies alone. Eventually, we have to leave the house, and when we’re out there in the big, bad world, it really does help to look like a responsible citizen. It makes strangers less likely to run away when you say things like, “I’m looking for a velvet king or princess costume for my 20-pound cat.”

In that vein, and to expand my hair style horizons, I’ve started using the $5 Mia Beauty Bun Ease.

Mia Beauty Bun Ease

Mia Beauty Bun Ease, $5

I grabbed it primarily because of the instructions on the box, which make using it sound so easy (“Just tuck and roll!”). The six-piece kit comes with everything you need to whip up a large four-inch diameter bun — one bun-holder thingy, a ponytail elastic and four large bobby pins — so you don’t have to buy anything else.

Mia Beauty Bun Ease

The instructions…

Before using it, my major worries were 1) that it would give me a headache, 2) that it wouldn’t stay in place, and 3) that it would be a chore to use, but since it was only $5 ($6 at Target), I figured that I wasn’t risking too much if it didn’t work out.

I’ve been wearing it pretty much all week long, and I’m happy to report that it’s great! It stays in all day, doesn’t make my head hurt, and it’s a cinch to use.

With it I can knock out a casually messy bun in one or two minutes. I’ll just gather my hair into a ponytail, slip it into the bun contraption, spread the ends of my hair over the edge, and roll the bun down. Then I secure it with the four bobby pins that come with the kit.

Mia Beauty Bun Ease
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A Bounty of Beauty Awaits in theBalm Balmsai Eyeshadow and Brow Palette

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews, theBalm

thebalm Balmsai

I’d fully intended to channel the spirt of the bikini babe on the front of theBalm’s new Balmsai Eyeshadow and Brow Palette ($39.50) this morning by doing a light, colorful, tropical surfer babe eye makeup look, but then I started listening to The Smiths and this dark smokey eye happened…

thebalm Balmsai


thebalm Balmsai in hand

Oh, well. I am human and I need to be loved! :)

Oh, Morrissey… How I love your emo warbling. I think you really get my pain, the pain all the way down in the marrow of my bones (my lower back still hurts after the half marathon).

Speaking of things that really “get it,” theBalm always seems to know what I want/need in an eyeshadow palette. Their Balmsai palette has a great combination of neutral matte and shimmer finishes fabulous for classic looks, as well as some fun teal, blue and purple shades for spice.

thebalm Balmsai palette

thebalm Balmsai eye closeup

On my lips: Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Naked and MAC Cremesheen Glass in Stately Shimmer

On my lips: Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Naked and MAC Cremesheen Glass in Stately Shimmer

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Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara Is More Dramatic Than a Soap Opera Cliffhanger Before a Commercial Break

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Marc Jacobs, Product Reviews

Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara

Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara ($26,) available now at Sephora, select Marc Jacobs stores and

Do I want a mousy mascara, a timid one that keeps its eyes glued to the floor, too nervous to embrace the music and attack the dance floor with verve!


How about a mascara that shushes me when I laugh a little too loudly in public, then says, “Be quiet! You’re making a scene and attracting to much attention”?

Not a chance.

Or a mascara that never wants to go out? It just wants to stay at home and watch Law and Order and fall asleep by 8:30?


I want a mascara that hits the gas and takes my hand while looking straight into my eyes and yelling, “We’re about to Thelma and Louise this ish, boo!” as our convertible dives off the cliff! :)

Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara

The brush

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For Queen B Cheeks, Try Matte Tan Rose NARS Almeria Blush

Published in: Face, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS Almeria Blush Swatch

Wearing the new NARS Almeria Blush on my cheeks and, yes, I’m standing in front of a fan, Beyonce-style

“Just to warn you…I look completely insane.” A good thing to broadcast right before you enter a room if you’re wearing NARS Blush in Almeria ($30) but didn’t spend enough time blending.

If, however, you did invest the time in blending — because you’ll need to with this intensely pigmented matte tan rose from the new NARS Holiday 2014 Laced with Edge collection — then you shan’t need to warn the general public, because your cheeks will look so naturally fabulous and flushed that witnesses will just assume that you’re Beyonce, and that you wake up like this. :)

NARS Almeria Blush

NARS Almeria Blush

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The NARS Holiday 2014 Hardwired Eyeshadows in Gabon, Canberra and Opal Coast: My Lids Are Hardwired to Like These

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS Holiday 2014

The new Hardwired Eyeshadows from the 13-piece NARS Holiday 2014 Laced with Edge collection

Also wearing in the picture above…

EYES: NARS Bronzer in Laguna in the crease, NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow in Gabon in the outer corner and inner corner, NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow in Opal Coast in the center of the lid, NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow in Canberra on the lower lash line, NARS Larger THan Life Long Wear Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte on the water line and Topshop Doe Eyed Lashes mascara on my lashes.

CHEEKS: NARS Bronzer in Laguna to contour and NARS Blush in Almeria on the apples.

LIPS: NARS Lipstick in Femme Fleur and NARS Lipgloss in Soleil D’Orient.

OK, help me out. These are the three new Hardwired Eyeshadows from the 13-piece NARS Holiday 2014 Laced with Edge collection, so I’m trying to think of puns using the word “hardwired.”

Tabs is hardwired to kack at birds.

I am hardwired to lose track of time in Sephora.

The Terminator is hardwired by John Connor, in the future, to travel back in time to kill John’s mother, thereby ensuring Skynet’s…

Yeah, that one’s not working.

How about this? I am hardwired to like NARS.

Simple, clear, to the point. I like it. :)

I gasped out loud when I swatched this new line of sparkly powder eyeshadows in Opal Coast, Canberra and Gabon.

NARS Holiday 2014

The new NARS Holiday 2014 collection (available online and at NARS Boutiques October 15, and coming to NARS counters in department stores November 1).

NARS Holiday 2014 Hardwired Eyeshadows from the left: Canberra, Gabon and Opal Coast

Hardwired Eyeshadows from the left: Canberra, Gabon and Opal Coast

NARS Holiday 2014 swatches from the left: Hardwired Eyeshadows in Opal Coast, Canberra and Gabon

Hardwired Eyeshadow swatches from the left: Opal Coast, Canberra and Gabon

It’s no secret, but sometimes iridescent and metallic finishes can be difficult to wear, especially when they’re really chunky and gritty and just sit on top of my skin highlighting my fine lines…

Being slightly creamy, the Hardwire formula seems to bind a little better to the skin. Sure, my fine lines are still there, but they don’t look as obvious as they do when I wear other metallic eyeshadows. As far as shiny shadows go, I think these are very forgiving.

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