December 2013 archive

Mally Mascara – Make-up worth investing in.

Well the mascara wars are really firing up. Let’s face it there are so many mascara’s out there each one promises to be the next best thing. So I am going to put them through their paces.

I didn’t think I was going to like this mascara. How wrong could I be?  As long as you do not over load the brush it works fine. In fact, it works more than fine and I was astounded about the length and volume of the lashes.

The only thing I don’t like about this mascara is the price. QVC are selling this at £17.50 plus postage and packaging. So we are looking at around the twenty pounds mark. QVC do sell duos of Mally mascara, but they seem to be a different formulation. The duos are priced at around the £24.00 mark.

I really don’t think that you should have to pay more than around the ten pounds for a mascara. Unless of course the results are exceptional, and even then, I would find that price hard to swallow.

Women spend a lot on their make-up. Cosmetics is big business. I am still looking for that one brand that can meet all my needs. But that is asking a lot and we do like to mix and match, otherwise it would be a little boring.

Anyway Mally has won a consumer choice award from QVC and it has been highly rated elsewhere.

Here are my results:

Without mascara

Eye without mascara

Waiting for my mascara and the rest of my make-up

With Mascara but no lash primer. Curled lashes.

Mally mascara on lashes

Mascara lashes


Volume with Mally

This second view shows that actually Mally Provides more volume than the ELF mascara reviewed previously The Mally mascara is just one coat, where as with the ELF I used two coats and curled them again afterwards.

As I have very fair and sparse lashes the Mally Mascara did a pretty good job. Actually both the ELF and the Mally mascaras did a good job. But the Mally smudgde less and was a lot easier to get off. The ELF mascara really did leave a mess when trying to remove it.


A quick makeover challenge

If there was ever a difficult client, then it would be myself. I like to think of myself as a time served Make-up Artist, but I have been ill for sometime, a disc herniation at the L5 S1 area, means that I have been living on pain meds for months, and that takes its toll. The last thing I want to do is to put on makeup, but today I gave myself a challenge.  How quickly could I get ready to go out?

Allison bare faced                  makeover


It was 3.12pm when I started and 3.39pm when finished.

I started with Liz Earle Superskin Moisturizer and added a touch of a Gatineau anti-wrinkle formula. I then used Garnier roll on to lighten under the eye and on the eyelids. For foundation I used Lancome Tient Idole Ultra 24hr, but underneath I used a No 7 concealer crayon where needed..

Moving onto the eyes, I used the lightest shade I could get from my Laura Geller Balance and Brighten Foundation compact all over the eyelid. I then used Revlon matte eyeshadow in rich sable. I placed some on my outer eyelids and blended the colour over the crease stopping short of under the brow. I used some of the mid tone colours in my Balance and Brighten foundation in the inner corner of the eye crease and blended a little with the rich sable eyeshadow. To highlight just under the brow, I used some of my No 7 concealer crayon. To darken the eyebrow I used YBF brow liner and also filled in using the Laura Geller babycakes brown.

Under the eye I used the Babycakes eyeliner palette to line my eye in a rich chocolate colour. I then grabbed my trusted Boots eyelash curlers and gave my lashes a good curl. I then used my Estee Lauder lash primer and finished with one coat of Collection 2000 Lash Multiplier mascara.

I then took my Balance and Brighten and did some very quick contouring of the face..

Reaching for the first lip pencil that I could find, I took Foxglove from Liz Earle and filled in my lip area. This is the first time I have used this particular pencil in this way and I won’t be doing so again as it is very drying. I had also used some Gayle Hayman lip lift on my lips, so they were far from dry to begin with. I finished off with Liz Earle lipstick in Rosewood.

For blush I used the Collection 2000 Shimmer Shades, using a sweep of all four shades. As I had only just reviewed them, I thought it would work with the lip tone.

Some of the mess I left behind

makeup collection

After the makeover

My maths is not that good, but 33 minutes is a reasonable about of time for a quick makeover. And I would like to point out that the photos were taken on an iphone by myself and there is no Photoshop involved. But I do like to remain a safe distance from the camera, and that applies at all times. ,


ELF Mascara – Makeup made easy.

Reviewing make-up so that you don’t have to.

Although I am perfectly happy with my Collection 2000 Multiplier   mascara. It has taken me a long, long time to find  a mascara that I am happy with. Mostly, I think, because the big cosmetic companies over promise, and under deliver. So with this in mind I am on a quest to find other mascaras that I can rely on should my favourite disappear.

ELF Mascara make-up

ELF mascara tube makeup

Elf or rather E.L.F  Eyes Lips and Face is a company that is based upon the principal that quality cosmetics should not cost a fortune. The company was founded by Joseph Shamah and Scott Vincent Borba  in 2004, apparently after seeing wealthy women in Los Angeles buying Drug Store cosmetics.

The make-up has been featured in Glamour , Instyle and Good Housekeeping magazines and the cosmetic company’s 100 piece Endless Eyes Pro Eyeshadow Pallet was featured in Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine on Oprah’s Favourites Things list. And then the make-up pallet sold out.  All this info comes from Wikipedia. But I have read the same details time and time again on various websites.

With such a pedigree following, I thought it only right I should check it out for myself. In this country ELF is only available through its website and has one store in Wales.

The make-up is made in China. The packaging reads: Made in China Designed in the USA. As I have said before in another article, I have no problem with cosmetics made in China, as long as the quality control is good. Many mainstream brands are made in China. I was very surprised the other day to see that some products from Rimmel are made in China. I was surprised because their advertising campaign would lead you to believe very differently. Rimmel’s slogan “Get the London Look”  along with their London, England centric advertising campaign, does not really get you thinking of factories in Southern China.

Ok, another rant over. The ELF mascara was fabulous. The brush was very well designed and separated the lashes nicely. It was easy to apply a second coat and I did not notice much in the way of smudging throughout the day. I was very, very surprised and really pleased that a mascara priced at £3.75 could deliver so much. It was so much better than the Loreal Voluminous 4x that I purchase and reviewed a few days back.

I only discovered the ELF brand by watching various youtube video of makeup tutorials and decided to seek it out. In general the packaging leaves a lot to be desired, but as far as the mascara goes, this is a great every day product.

So here is me without any mascara

Eye without mascara

Waiting for my mascara and the rest of my make-up

And this is me with ELF mascara after eyelash curlers but no primer.

ELF mascara

ELF mascara and nothing else.

Ok, I know it is the other eye, but you get the idea. And it is really difficult to focus iphones close up. And I am trying to take pics of myself without shaking the image.I think you can see that there is a marked improved in the appearance of my lashes, and this without eye-liner so that you can see how it works on lower lash. So I say that this mascara is well worth its price tag.

The amazing work of being a Make-up Artist

Being a make-up artist is rewarding. Taking a face and applying make up and watching the transformation is truly amazing. But to really bring that message home it is important to see results. And nothing demonstrates that more than a Russian Make-Up artist who has recently courted controversy over some pictures on the internet. I saw them on Twitter. I now share them here.


I advise anyone to go to the website and take a look. The site is the SLR lounge and this article highlights the work of Vadim Andreev. There is a debate raging about how the work of make-up artists and photographers can change the look of a woman so dramatically. But hey, isn’t that what playing with makeup is all about.

The worst mascara I have used in a long time.

And it is L’oreal Voluminous 4X.mascara. I am thinking perhaps that I got the wrong product. I wanted the orginial formual and I have one in a lilac packaging. It seems to be formulated for sensitive eyes.


It was so thin and watery and I needed two coats plus a lash primer. I hate it when you waste money on a product. But what can I say, it just was two lacklustre for my liking. Perhaps if you have contacts then this is the product for you. But for me, well I need the original formula that the Americans seem to rave about and I think it is in Carbon Black.  So back to the mascara counter for me.

Barbara Daly Make-up by Tesco

Growing up I think it is fair to say that the first celebrity Make-up Artist that I can remember was Barbara Daly. I have seen Barbara Daly makeup in Tesco for a while now and It is something that I have not paid a great amount of attention to.

DB eyesadow quad

Barbara Daly

However recently, whilst I was on the hunt for a replacement lipstick, ( see,What happens when your favourite lipstick is discontinued aka Lipstick Dramas) I decided to give Barbara’s line a go. I was most happy to see the quad I first picked up was made in Italy And so was the lipstick. So I merrily put three items into my basket thinking that all her products were made in Italy. in fact her quad eye- shadow  palette said produced in Italy for Tesco stores.It did not say anything about Barbara Daly. And another product did not say where it was made at all, so this got me wondering just how much involvement the make-up artist had in the manufacturing of the makeup line.

And if a makeup product does not say where it is from, you can pretty much guess it is the PRC The People’s Repulbic of China. Yes I have recently seen that some makeup lines are now just putting ” made in PRC.” for those of us who actually care where the make-up is made.

I decided to try out the quad. My thinking is, that if you can get your browns sorted or give a customer a good smokey eye, then it is worth trying out other products. I mean, how hard can it be? And the answer to that question is very hard Barbara, I am soooo disappointed.

I tried the colour first without a primer, but there was no colour pay-off.So I reached for my trusted Elizabeth Arden primer. This primer does help the colour stay on all day. I know because I have been using it on and off for years. I used this primer because it was colourless and I did not want to give the quad palette a helping hand.I had to work very hard to make these eyeshadows work. The darker colour does work,but lighter tones really needed water to give them a helping hand.

The best use for this palette it so use the highlighter wet, and the darker tone wet as a subtle under-eye liner. But it really needs to be used wet. My opinion is that far too much talc has been used in these eyesadows. In fact, on the ingredient list after MICA, TALC is the next ingredient listed.I cannot remember how much this quad was. I think they were only around the seven pound mark. But they are a very poor substituent for the Laura Geller Italian Baked colours that are very highly pigmented.

So the search goes on, not only for a good Italian makeup product that is an alternative to Laura Geller, but also for my lipstick replacement.