Sep 302010

When I attended a Guerlain Master Class a few weeks ago, I received a free Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara ($36) as a gift with purchase for mentioning that I had learned about the event through the Hello Beauty blog.  Liz also received one– and so walking away from an afternoon of playing with makeup with $72 in free mascara?  Yes, please!

As with other Guerlain products, Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara has impressive, out-sized packaging.  This mascara comes in a very very long, gold elegant tube.  It makes my Chanel mascara’s look tiny.  The amount of mascara in the Guerlain tube is listed as .08 ounces, compared with the .021 ounces for Chanel.  Note that the Guerlain mascara tube looks metallic, but it feels like a traditional plastic tube.  This is all to the good–metal would make this large tube too heavy.

As the name suggests, there are two wands in this mascara.  One is a traditional mascara wand, the other is a very tiny mini version intended for the lower lash line.  The shape of the wand handles is a nice touch–their large, flat shape makes holding the wand highly controllable and pleasant.

Thoughts about Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara :

  • A+ on curling.  Neither Liz nor I need to use a curler when using this mascara.
  • Better than average ability to lengthen–the lashes take on a believable but impressive length
  • Staying power is excellent.  I must affirmatively remove this mascara or it will last until the next day.  An oil cleanser or other eye makeup remover works well.
  • No flaking, no smudging.  None.
  • My lashes feel soft, and hold the curled shape throughout even the longest days.  No “crunchy” or stiff feeling at all.
  • Le 2 de Guerlain is not a particularly volumizing mascara–if you are looking for DiorShow ooomph, keep looking.  That being said, there is a respectable amount of volume added with Le 2 de Guerlain.   I have to face it, few of us are going to pull off Kim Kardasian lash fullness without looking like we’re trying a little too hard when we go about daily life.
  • I like having the small brush for reaching the smaller lashes to catch small lashes in the eye’s inner corner.

Now the big question–would I buy?  I’m currently on a mascara quest, and so the answer is “maybe, unless I find something else really really fabulous.”  It’s not the most dramatic mascara out there, but it is certainly not a basic one either.  Le 2 does give me a very defined, curled, polished, and believable look.  There is no question that this mascara is a real pleasure to use, and my lashes feel good.  I like it better than Chanel Exceptionnel for dramatic effect, and about the same as Chanel Inimitable.  Given that there is only a $6 price difference, if the Guerlain lasts longer because it contains significantly more product then it may be worth the switch–but only time will tell on that question.  Given some other reviews I’ve read, I need to try Armani’s Eyes to Kill (full size) and Le Metier de Beaute before committing.

Then again, in the mascara world, is commitment even possible?

EDIT: I used this mascara 6-7 days every week from the late September 2010 until December 25, 2010. It lasted almost three months of heavy use.  Toward the end, I began using the end with the smaller wand as the end with the larger wand starting running dry.  I still got a good look using this method.  On my next tube, I’ll use the small mascara as a “base coat” and the larger end second to even things out.  Overall, I loved using this.  No smudging, great wear time, gorgeous lashes. At a reader’s suggestion, I’ve now chosen Guerlain’s Le 2 Volume Mascara as my current mascara.

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Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Mascara

 Mascara  Comments Off on Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Mascara
Sep 092010

Every time I’ve walked down 5th Avenue in New York City, I’ve been tempted by Elizabeth Arden’s studio located there.  I love the fact that her name is chiseled into the architecture of the front, and her iconic red door has long been a symbol of her brand.  Nevertheless, neither Liz or I have investigated the line.  Recently, Elizabeth Arden contacted me to try some items. With all of that history, I accepted to satisfy my curiosity about the brand.

Liz and I first tried out the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara ($20).  According to the brand’s website, this mascara includes an exclusive Ceramide Triple Complex plus Vitamins A, C and E to help reinforce and restore the natural protective barrier of the lashes.

When she first saw the mascara, Liz noted that the packaging looked “so thin!”  I spared her the history lesson of mascara packaging, which would have included a chapter that, years ago during the Dark Ages, all mascaras were packaged in slim tubes.  It is only recently that mascara packaging trends have created the rounded, curved and colorfully bulbous shapes we see today.  In the end, Elizabeth Arden’s includes roughly the same amount of product (.25 oz) as Lancome’s Defencils (.21 oz) or Maybelline Falsies (.25 oz).

We were very pleased with Ceramide’s lengthening and curling ability.  This picture of Liz tells the whole story (with four passes with the brush over the lashes):

We also found that Ceramide does not flake, and application was remarkably clump-free.  The brush is the traditional spiral, which Liz used without following through with a comb in the pictures here.  We did see that the mascara tended to gather the lashes into small groups.  From far away, this gives an appearance of volume without coating the lashes with a thick coat of mascara.  You can see this effect on the top lashes here:

Overall, we found that Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide was a good compromise for those who prefer a high-end mascara, but want to stay away from the $30 price category of the high-end brands.

This mascara was provided by Elizabeth Arden to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration and review.

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May 122010

Via Lushious Beauty, here are some preview pictures of Chanel’s Fall 2010 Collection.

This collection is designed for non-U.S. markets–we can only hope that the U.S. versions will be just as beautiful!  This theme is built around the Joues Contraste Blush–one of my favorite beauty products. Here’s a link to my reviews of several from that line.  These new ones look very intriguing:

The line also includes some Glossimers, two nail polishes (Jade Rose is back!), an Inimitable mascara in a violet-purple color, two eyeshadow singles and, of course, an eyeshadow quad to compliment the other colors in the line:

I suspect that the U.S. version will have similar colors, but the familiar rounded square pans and the powder texture, rather than the round baked version pictured here:

From the pictures, these appear to be the Rouge Coco formula:

A nude eye pencil (Yay! Chanel has needed one of these!) and an amethyst eyeliner:

Three new Joues Contraste? I die!

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