Dior Diorshow mascara is not my cup of tea and seeing it on "Best Of Beauty" lists has made my blood boil time and time again over the years. I think Dior's New Look Mascara has been overshadowed by its big-brush counterparts since its inception, but it has always been my personal favourite (tied with Diorshow Iconic Overcurl) for best mascara offering from the brand. This new launch from Revlon's recently overhauled mascara range (1 of 5 new formulas!) looked dubious to me at first and instantly reminded me of Dior's New Look mascara. (Note: A smaller-scaled sample of Diorshow New Look mascara is pictured above, as my standard size tube has gone astray, but rest assured the wand size is the same for the full-scale version)
Hourglass launched a mechanical gel eyeliner a couple years back and it's probably fair to say it was largely eclipsed by all things Ambient that the brand has launched since, be it powder, blush, bronzer and now strobing powders *sighs deeply*. The formula was a sound option for anyone interested in matte black gel liner applied with the ease of a pencil format. Sold in packs of 3 or individually, the brand really seemed to be striving towards creating a product that people would never want to be without. Fast forward two years and Maybelline grabbed my attention when they launched gel pencils this past summer, and now they really have me hooked with the release of these skinny gel pencils that are essentially the Define-A-Line liners done up with a gel formula that glides onto the waterline with mega ease and superfine tip. Below, both gel liners are swatched, Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Gel Pencil in "Defining Black" on the left, Hourglass 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Liner on the right.
Both formulas apply effortlessly and are creamy when gliding onto the eye area. Ultimately, I do find both formulas are vaguely drying for my eyes with Hourglass being a worse offender, but I'm pretty sure any liner does that to my waterline if it's designed to be long-wearing, so c'est la vie. Maybelline certainly has a leg up here given its palatable price point and shade selection (Hourglass still is only offered in Obsidian).
While I feel pretty confident in my ability to find a suitable drugstore alternative in virtually all categories of makeup to any high-end product I'm really loving, brow products occasionally left me underwhelmed (at least, until recently). I often turned to a lot of different brow definers that were anything but cheap (including Burberry, Tom Ford, Dior, Smashbox), but certainly offered up impact and a suitable shade range. I think my favourite mechanical pencil to date would be a tie between Maybelline Define-A-Brow, which is virtually impossible to find in any shade other than "Medium Brown" these days, and Anastasia Brow Wiz. These two pencils are very similar in effect, the latter being easier to buy on a whim, but pricey as hell given how quickly one can burn through a single pencil. Enter L'Oréal Brow Stylist Definer, a mechanical brow pencil that has the same tiny pencil that allows you to draw in strokes of colour to resemble hairs and build up a natural brow shape. If you're a bit of a fusspot (and aren't we all at times?) when it comes to shade range, stick to Anastasia. If you're not, drop your money on L'Oréal, because it's less than half the price of Anastasia and is the same product, right down to the weight of the product (0.003 oz).
Sidebar: Liquid Matte Lip ColoursMaybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid comes in 10 shades (including a couple that are deeper/edgier/on-trend) with an extended doe foot applicator and notable vanilla-driven scent. The texture is comfortable and leaves lips with a satin finish. L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss is also available in 10 shades with an indented teardrop-shaped applicator that gives excellent application control of the product. This is probably the glossiest finish of the bunch, hence the wildly ridiculous "Matte Gloss" moniker. There's a small but real chance your hair will get stuck in this one. Life! Finally, we have Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor, available in 8 shades and making me quietly wonder why "lipcolor" is one word in this product name.
Swatched (L to R): Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid in "Nude Flesh" & "Nude Thrill", L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss in "Statement Nude", Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in "Addiction".