rms beauty Defining Mascara


Good early impressions. They’re great. Like how Thai Iced Tea is this really beautiful orange color and surprise it also tastes beautiful or how in the early days of rms beauty Defining Mascara, I went in for a 2nd coat and my eyelashes became a mile long. Not even kidding.

First impressions can be kind of a mixed bag though. For the first couple of weeks, this mascara was sopping wet. It would take at least 10-15 minutes to dry before I could re-curl, something I hadn’t encountered before (Juice Beauty and KW were pretty fast-drying), and it would often transfer to my contacts during the day and I would walk around half-blind. I found if I didn’t clean the minuscule mascara brush, while I could get seriously dramatic lashes, I would also get serious clumps (read: wipe the brush off often, unless you dig spidery lashes, which is okay).

Early impressions don’t say everything, of course. With time, the formula dried out and didn’t transfer to my contacts, though it sadly continued to smudge on me (more when applied to upper + lower lashes, less when only upper). I learned to apply my mascara before eating breakfast so I could give it time to dry before another curling, and the best part: I still get the most dramatic effect from this mascara out of any green mascara I’ve tried.

Post mascara, post-curling, I can actually see my lashes above my eyeliner (Insta-proof here). This never happens with my monolids. The crazy, tiny brush coats, thickens, lengthens, volumizes my stick-straight, Asian lashes and makes them look awesome. Of course, #StraightHairGeneProblems, the curl tends to droop during the day, but hey, genes are genes. I’m just glad for a couple of hours, I look like I actually have eyelashes when people look at me face-on.

Things I like about the ingredients: certified organic beeswax and carnauba wax + sunflower seed oil (conditioning and nourishing) – phenoxyethanol (ewg score of 4). Looks like dehydroacetic acid (ewg score of 1) serves as a preservative.

tl;dr I am definitely okay with sometimes looking a bit panda for the dramatic effect this mascara gives me. Lashes a mile long.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), *Cera Alba (Beeswax), Stearic Acid, *Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Castor Isostearate Beeswax Succinate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Geraniol, Limonene, Parfum (Natural Fragrance). May Contain [+/-]: Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499
*Certified Organic
Gluten Free Formula

Have you tried this mascara? If not, what mascara are you loving right now?

Disclaimer: I purchased this myself from Spirit Beauty Lounge about three months ago. I am not being compensated in any way for my words. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Juice Beauty Lash Defining Mascara


I had to get a picture of the Juice Beauty Lash Defining Mascara before my grubby fingers faded away the label–this is how you know I’ve been good at practicing piano. Kidding. Now at the 3-month mark, I just have a tiny bit of the logo left, and I’m still getting clump-free definition for my lashes. This one is really good for layering (three layers? Sure), quite good at not smudging (haven’t noticed anything, really), mediocre at holding a curl (will hold for the most part, but can only fight my straight hair DNA so much), and sadly a bit good at leaving those flakes where you’ll want a mirror on hand–a gentle knuckle swipe under the eye, which usually serves me well enough to clear up a smudge, has a couple times left me with a little black shooting star across my cheek. Not the prettiest. Besides this setback, I surprisingly like the medium, fluffy-ish tapered brush. I thought I was a tiny, plastic brush girl (<3 Kjaer Weis’s Mascara <3), but the larger side helps me coat each lash, while the tinier side helps me with more precise application for the corners of my eyes. Also, from the first day I tried this, my sister ruled that this made my lower lashes look awesome. I’ll take that.

Does anyone remember using the Full N’ Soft mascara? I couldn’t believe how soft it made my lashes. This one gives a similar effect, though with organic cocoa seed butter and avocado butter (yum). The defining effects have vegetable glycerin and minerals to thank, and I’m thinking phenethyl alcohol and ethylhexylglycerin serve as the preservatives, both receiving a score of 1 on EWG (for reference, the preservative phenoxyethanol receives a 4). I haven’t been able to contribute any eye irritation to the mascara–since I’m a contact wearer, when things from life get in my eyes, they will be unhappy, and this happens all the time, mascara or not.

As a side note, I bought mine at Dermstore while it was on sale, and even when it is not on sale, it is quite affordable at $19. It is also two times the size and twice as heavy as Kjaer Weis’s mascara. Swear it could eat KW’s mascara if it could. I would repurchase this in a pinch, but the only reason I’m not doing so now is because of the large influx of natural mascaras from really great brands (rms beauty defining mascara…you will be mine soon. And Alima Pure’s. And W3LL People’s. And maybe Ilia’s if I get over my fear of large brushes), but also flakes. But maybe I just need to carry a mirror around more often.

tl;dr A+ for definition, brush, layering, smudging, and soft lashes, but F for flakes. Would repurchase, but not going to immediately because rms beauty, Alima Pure, W3LL People, Ilia, aka tons of uncharted territory that must be explored.

Have you tried this mascara? What are your thoughts? If not, what’s your current favorite mascara?

Ingredients: Organic botanical extracts of serenoa repens (organic saw palmetto extract)*, aloe barbadensis (organic aloe extract)*, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla wax), triisostearyl citrate, hydrogenated glyceryl abietate, brassica campestris/aleurites fordi oil copolymer, copernicia cerifera (organic carnauba wax)*, vegetable glycerin, theobroma cacao (organic cocoa seed butter)*, persea gratissima (avocado butter), methylcellulose, xanthan gum, tocopherol (Vitamin E), sodium hyaluronate (vegetable hyaluronic acid), ethylhexylglycerin, phenethyl alcohol. May Contain: mica, iron oxide.

* = Certified organic ingredient

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated for this post in any shape, manner, or way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Best of 2013: Makeup

Happy New Year! I am starting off this new year with one more look back at 2013. Wrapping up my Best of 2013 series (skincare and bodycare here, in-the-shower here) are my favorite makeup products of the past year.

The ‘un’ cover-up was my gateway into rms beauty, which led me to the cream eye shadows, lip2cheeks, and lip shines. I love the eyeshadows for how easy they are to apply–just a simple swipe and blend, and there you have a luminous, beautiful, wearable color. Pictured is Solar, my favorite, which is golden (pun intended). I keep falling back in love with the Smile lip2cheek for its beautiful coral color which brings life back into the face, but I also have been loving Rapture, the pictured brick red, on the lips and cheeks for the winter season. The Sublime and Sacred lip shines were favorites over the summer for their glossy, bright colors (fuschia pink and bright pinky red, respectively). I have been keenly missing my living luminizer which I accidentally left at school, which got me addicted to highlighting the inner corners of my eyes. It give such a beautiful, natural glow!

I resisted Kjaer Weis for a while due to its price, but once I tried the mascara, it was an easy tumble down into the eyeshadows, the blushes, and newly, the foundation. First, obsessed with the beautiful, sleek packaging. Second, totally worth it, especially with the refill concept and quality of product. Love the mascara for how it enhances my lashes and mostly holds a curl. So, so, so love the blushes for how easily they blend in and natural they look. Suntouched gives me a peachy pop, Desired Glow is more subtle, and lately Abundance has my heart with its beautiful plummy color. And the foundation. It is a bit drying, yet does not enhance any of my dryness at all. It gives amazing coverage, and is buildable. Huge favorite.

Consonant’s The Perfect Sunscreen is my perfect sunscreen for its slightly tinted formula which is moisturizing and effective. Loved this in the summer, still loving this in the winter. I wear this under my makeup (or as the top layer, if no makeup) everyday.

I have to resist buying all of ILIA beauty’s lip products because they all look so wonderful. My favorite is their lip gloss, which my sister has in Love Buzz (top) and I have in The Butterfly and I (bottom). The formula is so beautiful, so moisturizing, and smells beautifully of citrus and vanilla. Love Buzz is a pretty pinky-purple while Butterfly is more of a nudey peach.

See any of your favorites here? What makeup did you love during 2013?

*Thanks to my gracious sister for hand-modeling for me.

Kjaer Weis Mascara

My hair is very stubbornly straight. And since hair genes are the same across the body (as my fellow straight-haired roommate and I realized in a “duh” moment one late night last year), my eyelashes are also very stubbornly straight. So because of that and the way how my eyelids do an opposite double fold, I have a hard time getting an open-eyed effect with mascara. Even with conventional mascara, my eyelashes would uncurl themselves midday.

But do you see that curl up there*? That’s one reason I love Kjaer Weis’s mascara. It holds a curl quite well with a little bit of droop with double-curling, except for very humid days, and it’s a lost cause on rainy days (blame it on science).

Another reason I love it is for the brush, which easily coats every lash with definition and volume during application since it is so small and precise. It never smudges, never gets clumpy, unless I’m getting close to the 3-month mark, at which point it’s time to refresh the mascara anyways. The packaging is beautiful and a bit pricy at first for $38, but the refill system is both responsible and affordable for $24 (there’s only 3-months worth of formula in each container to avoid bacteria). Switching to a refill is also very easy–I myself am on my first refill.

It washes off very easily, whether with an oil cleanser, tears, or that moment when you put in your contacts after mascara application (don’t do it). Talking about contacts, it’s non-irritating. Unless you knock the wand into your eye, then it’s going to hurt (don’t do this either).

It doesn’t hurt that 99.8% of the ingredients are sourced from organic farming, a few of which are castor seed oil (the star of “this will make your eyebrows and eyelashes thicker overnight!”), jojoba oil (similar to human sebum and moisturizing), and rose oil, which gives this mascara its slight rose scent which is refreshing, not overpowering or irritating at all.

How I apply the mascara:
  1. Curl lashes
  2. Apply mascara by combing on top and on bottom of lashes (trick from the blush store for extra volume). At this point, the formula droops my lashes back into their typically straight state, but this has happened with all mascaras I have used, conventional to green, so I mostly blame it on my very stubborn straight hair genes (I am so jealous of curly hair genes).
  3. Wait 5-10 minutes (do other makeup, make breakfast, pick clothes)
  4. Curl lashes again and bam! Hello eyes!

In summary, if my repurchase hasn’t clued you in, I really love this mascara. It’s impossible for my eyelashes to have a crazy dramatic look, so I am not the one to tell you if that is possible with this mascara. However, I love the ingredients, I love the refill concept, and I love how it makes my lashes look.

Have you tried this mascara? What are your thoughts?

Ingredients: glucose, aqua (water), lavandula angustifolia (lavander) flower water•, mica, cetyl babassuate, theobroma grandiflorum seed butter•, cera alba•, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil•, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax•, glyceryl caprylate, hectorite, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil•, glycerin, chondrus crispus (carrageenen) extract, plantago lanceolata leaf extract•, canola oil, rosa damascena flower oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) extract, CI 77891,CI 77499, silver oxide, citronellol*, geraniol* • organically grown *naturally contained in the used essential oils
(from Kjaer Weis)

*”And what is with that hair? It’s out of control!” I know, I know. It’s fabulous.

Wednesday Wishlist: Head to Toe

Yarok Feed Your Volume Shampoo & Conditioner Duo
I love my Acure shampoo and conditioner, but tl;dr, this Yarok duo contains marshmallow root in the ingredient list. Marshmallows! Also loving the purity of ingredients, the globally responsible sourcing, and the founder, Mordechai Alvow, is an editorial stylist for celebrities, glossies, and runways. Like a boss.

Kjaer Weis Mascara
I have to stop myself from lusting after the beautiful blushes–curse you, acne scars–but the natural mascara hunt is well on. I love the beautiful packaging, the beautiful, beautiful, beautiful ingredients, and the refill system. Between this just coming back in stock on Spirit Beauty Lounge and fast, free shipping from Eco Diva Beauty, I really might just have to spring for this one before I hit the 3-month mark on my current Zuzu Luxe mascara…

Chocolate Sun Cocoa Lite Sunless Enhancer
I’ve never been a self-tanner, but 1) this smells like chocolate, 2) doubles as moisturizer, and 3) is meant for self-tanning noobs. Okay, you pasty gams, you can come out now, it’s time to glow.

Kure Bazaar Nail Laquer Afrika
I refrain from painting my fingers for piano, but my toes are fair game. Even people not obsessed with green beauty love these polishes. I’m covered on a red, a yellow, and a mint, but I would totally love a bright orange.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts?

*Image credit in links

Exam Week Essentials

It’s been a long week leading up to a very welcome spring break. Along with the “spring forward” time change, all of my teachers decided to give out all of the exams. As far as sleep and brain function, I was verging on zombie status. But, looking like one? Never.
Clockwise: RMS Beauty ‘un’ cover-up in 22, Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow in Venus, Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow in Aphrodite

For the past couple of weeks, Rose-Marie Swift of RMS Beauty‘s philosophy has really been ringing with me. She believes in enhancing the skin, not covering it up. Aka, full coverage is out and spot concealing with a touch of healing is in. Her ‘un’ cover-up was my first foray into natural concealers and I did have a bit of a long learning curve leading up to: I love it. It really is concentrated, so really only the smallest amount plus a bit of tapping for blending is needed on the under-eye area, blemishes, and/or redness to even out the skin tone. As everyone else says, it melts into the skin and looks exactly like it. I admit I was nervous at first with not trying to achieve full-coverage because of post-acne hyperpigmentation, but the lightweight coverage plus coconut oil plus other goodies calms the crazy redness, and I have come to somewhat affectionately call the marks that still show through as my freckles. Love yourself guys, don’t forget it.

Even if my eyes aren’t sparkling with the joy of studying, I can fake it with Alima Pure‘s Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadows in Venus (the peachy) and Aphrodite (the sultry brown). I take Venus in the inner half for some illuminating and then Aphrodite in the outer edges for contour and definition. Blend out edges and done. Very easy nudey eyes. Let’s just say I’ve done it in the dark before and inspected myself later to find I didn’t look crazy. Good sign.

Top to bottom: Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in Black Pearl, Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose, Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara
On top of that goes Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in Black Pearl, which is blackest black plus a bit of sparkle, and then Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara. I’m really liking this mascara–at first I thought the formula was too wet and heavy for my little lashes, but I’ve found with a curling before application and a curling after, my eyelashes are awesomely curly and defined all day. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose goes on lips and in my backpack for on-the-go balm and hint of color.
Now that exams are done, I will just hibernate in my cave room so good night, everyone.

Review: 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Black Tea

Last summer, I switched out my Maybelline Full N’ Soft mascara for 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Black Tea after seeing it recommended on sites like No More Dirty Looks and Turby and John while being majorly intrigued by the fruity ingredients (I was like, “Tea for my lashes?? I love tea!!!”).

Curled vs. not curled (both un-mascara-ed)

A bit of background: I have stick-straight, Asian hair and thus stick-straight, Asian eyelashes. Thus my Shiseido eyelash curler is a bit of a lifesaver, and how my mascara looks partially depends on how well I’ve curled my lashes for the day.

A better curl day + 100% Pure mascara
An average curl day + 100% Pure mascara (plus face makeup–hence less redness)

The official description by 100% Pure: “100% natural mascara lengthens, separates, thickens and glosses lashes with fruit pigments and Black tea pigments. Lash conditioning ProVitamin B5, Vitamin E, Oat and Wheat protein conditions for healthier lashes. Gentle, all natural, good for you formula is suitable for everyone, even if you wear contacts or have sensitive eyes. Water and smudge resistant.”

Lengthens, separates, thickens, and glosses? For the most part, I would say yes. When I regularly clean the mascara wand, I get great separating without clumping (note: regularly clean your mascara brush). As for lengthening and thickening, most of the time my eyelashes post-mascara just look like my natural eyelashes but a bit better and a bit more defined. Also, I have to admit right now the mascara is at the end of its 6 month run (maybe even 7…) so during its hey days it probably was doing a bit better on the thickening front.

Suitable despite contacts or sensitive eyes? Take it from a hard contact wearer for many, many years–yes (but eyelashes in the eye still hurt like crazy–but that’s because eyelashes just don’t belong in there). Also cool–I often accidentally knock the mascara wand onto my contact during application, and any mascara residue that ends up on the contact disappears away in a couple blinks. With my old non-clean mascara, it would stay there and drive me crazy. Imagine walking around and having part of your vision randomly smudged. Absolutely infuriating.

Water and smudge resistant? Well. I have cried in this mascara, and I got the craziest panda eyes running down my face ever (okay I was also wearing eyeliner) and my mascara was completely removed via tears (and my eyeliner too. Man, my tears are strong). So, not exactly water resistant. About smudges–even when I wore non-clean, waterproof mascara, I always got smudges. With 100% Pure’s mascara, I still have to wipe away smudges under my eyes several times in the day. With that, more on background: I have silly Asian monolid eyes, so my fold folds the non-economical way such that my lashes sit under a hood of eyelid rather than over. So my silly folding may be making me more susceptible to smudging.

Romantic side view with 100% Pure mascara
More romantic side views with 100% Pure mascara plus check out that silly monolid
All in all, I have liked this mascara on a daily basis especially knowing that it is actually good for my lashes. It doesn’t do any magic tricks and it’s not like it never smudges nor does it give me crazy voluminous and lush lashes (then again, it’s not what it’s for, so no big), but it does open up my eyes and usually holds a curl for a full day (if I’ve curled well–picture evidence for this will be in the next post). Easily removed with jojoba oil at the end of the day. Just don’t have a good cry wearing this.
P.s. it smells like berries and chocolate. Yum.
Ingredients: Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Organic Green Tea), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Cera Alba (Honey Beeswax), Rubus Fruticosus Fruit Extract (Blackberry Extract), Ribes Nigrum Fruit Extract (Blackcurrant Extract), Rubus Idaeus Fruit Extract (Raspberry Extract), Hydrolyzed Oat Protein (Oat Protein), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein (Wheat Protein), Pantothenic Acid (Pro-vitamin B5), Fucus Vesiculosus Extract (Seaweed Powder), Coconut Stearic Acid (Coconut Acid), Mica, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter (Cocoa Butter), Pearl Powder, Oryza Sativa Germ Powder (Rice Powder), Theobroma Cacao Extract (Cocoa Powder), Coffea Arabica Seed Extract (Powdered Coffee Beans), Mel (Lavender Honey), Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract (Oregano Extract), Thymus Vulgaris Flower/Leaf Extract (Thyme Extract), Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract (Rosemary Extract), Lavandula Angustifolia Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (Lavender Extract), Hydrastis Canadensis Extract (Goldenseal Extract)