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After and Before and Just Mascara

It’s amazing the difference just a swipe of mascara can make. I seldom buy mascara, as when I buy any makeup products and get a ‘free gift with purchase’, there is always a small mascara in the gift. Thus I have quite a few small sizes of Lancome, Estee Lauder, Chanel, Dior and Benefit mascara.

In the two views above you can see the difference quite clearly. In the first one I am wearing full eye makeup. Shadow, liner and mascara. In the second one, nothing. Ick. In the third little photo, only mascara.

However when Martha Stewart raved on and on about Cliniques high lengthening mascara I simply had to try it to see what all the fuss was about. First of all it is only $14, which isn’t bad, as it is a big fat tube. Now the best part, the ‘brush’ is a skinny wand that goes on smoothly and doesn’t splash all over the place.

Clinique also makes a white eye lash primer that is similar and goes on first. The two together are very good. But for everyday, I just use the mascara. In the photo above I am wearing the primer (which adds some length) and the mascara for darker color.

Every now and then Clinique has a mascara special, buy two get one free. This is a good time to get the black and the brown and get the primer as your freebie. Now you should be set for a year.

If you can time this with Cliniques ‘gift with purchase’, you could also wind up with a free cosmetic bag and six small size products from a very good line.

Although I did read that you are supposed to discard your mascara every three or four months, as it spoils. I don’t know that I have ever done this, but now and then I clean out my entire makeup department and start fresh. Just because.

Once you start using mascara (and eye liner) regularly, you won’t even want to go from your bedroom to the kitchen without it. I know that may seem silly, but you will feel better about yourself. And for free, if you use free samples, why not?

Just mascara

And here is something I learned recently. Put the eyeliner under the lashes, rather than above. This is a little tricky, but if you sort of hold your eyelid up, you will get the hang of it. Don’t be scared, it doesn’t hurt.

One of the greatest (and most expensive) mascaras is by Armani. Eyes to Kill is what it is called. Very red carpet. If you are going to the Oscars in person, it is probably a must have. I have a small sample tube and save it for special occasions.

Another very good brand of mascara is Maybelline. I know this is the old standby and they probably sell more mascara than all other brands put together. “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline” is a great saying and it is sort of true.

The thing about this brand is that there are soooo many different types and names, it is very confusing. There is the pink/green tube which is their most popular. Then there are various volumes from 300 x more lashes and up.

Now there is Falsies which looks like artificial eye lashes. I can’t see that that is so great. Sort of like saying your real hair looks like a wig.

I am not too good at ‘couponing’, as I often forget and coupons expire, but I am very good at keeping track of all makeup specials. I use several different brands depending on this and that, so I am open to quite an assortment of special offers.

I like Lancome and Urban Decay for eye color, Chanel for concealer, Cover Girl for Ageless foundation and Outlast lip stain, Makeup Forever for High Definition Powder and their purple eye shadow, and Clinique for their wand mascara.

I also use the free eye makeup remover that comes in almost every free gift with purchase. I always have several different brands on hand. They are all pretty similar, but if I had to rate them, I would have to say Lancome is the best.

Now for those of you who are truly cosmetic junkies (like me), don’t forget Neiman Marcus beauty event which starts on February 24 in the stores and is available online now. With $100 purchase in their cosmetic department you get a free tote in your choice of colors, filled with nice sized samples of about ten of their luxury brands.

Each brand also has gifts with purchase, but the minimum buy required is pretty high. So unless you are looking to spend $300 at La Prairie (which would get you about two or three products), or $100 at Estee Lauder, which isn’t too hard to do, you can mix and match for the $100 minimum.

By the way, the Estee Lauder gift with $100 purchase this time is a full size black mascara in a pretty gold case. This comes in a blue cosmetic bag and of course you also qualify for the free Neiman’s gift.

And if you feel ‘guilty’ about buying $100 of cosmetics for yourself, find a few items and buy them as Christmas presents for your girlfriends, mother, sisters or aunts. (Bath powder is always nice). Keep the mascara and all the free samples for yourself.

If you men readers are still with me, you probably think this is a silly column. But just think, when you are a man, the best you are going to look all day is how you look when you just wake up in the morning.

If you told that to a woman, she would start screaming.