I'm guilty of impulse purchases at the drugstore (candy, household items, etc.) but my greatest weakness is beauty products. I'm a sucker for the bold marketing claims companies plaster on their packaging, so I put six products to the test to see if they really lift, plump and last as long as they promise.
Almay Liquid Eyeliner, $7.99
The Claim - "Water-resistant formula lasts up to 16 hours without irritation. Unique "inkwell" design delivers fresh color every time. Flex-tip applicator provides mistake-proof control. Hypoallergenic. Ophthalmologist tested."
The Result - I really like that this eyeliner comes with a felt tip which gives me better control with minimal tugging. The product glides on smoothly and the dense inky color is dramatic. I wore this cat eye throughout the day, walked around downtown in 90-degree heat and there was absolutely no smudging. The eyeliner stayed completely in place and was just as precise as when I'd put it on that morning. Would gladly buy again.
The Claim - "Get fuller, plumper looking lips, needle-free in 60 seconds! Lip plumping lacquer formulated with a high-tech cocktail of non-irritating ingredients to transform lip's appearance, contour, size and color so they look and feel fuller, smoother, sexier."
The Result - The first thing that caught my attention was the strong, chemical smell. It was almost unbearable and I immediately knew I wouldn't want to use this product all day. The gloss goes on shiny and wet (circa 2001), and after a couple seconds it started to feel cold. Three minutes in, my lips began to tingle, and though there was minimal plumping, it wasn't enough to merit a second try. Would not buy again.
The Claim - "Weigh your options: Love the look and ease of longwearing lip color but feel suffocated by its heavy, caked-on feel? Lighten up! Introducing the most innovative longwear lipstick yet, weightless color goes on in one step and stays put for 14 full hours, staying fresh, light and oh so comfortable. No dragging, no drying, no letdowns at all!"
The Result - With a fruity smell that reminds me of my youth, this retro pink lipstick was surprisingly great. The formula fills in any ridges and lines, and though it's a matte shade, it feels more hydrating than similar lipsticks I've used. I put this on around 8 am, and after nine hours (a sushi lunch and several iced teas later), the color held up, with a little less pigmentation. Even after a full day of meetings and eating, I could still see the color on my lips. Would gladly buy again.
The Claim - "Get 4x brighter eyes with Exact Eyelights Eye-Brightening Mascara! Light-reflecting metallics and a hint of tint bring out your blues, browns, hazels, and greens, while our patented, no-clump brush helps define lashes."
The Result - While the product does go on clump-free, my lashes were shorter and less dramatic than with my normal mascara. The color, which is apparently black gold, ended up looking more like a soft black and my eyes did not look any brighter. Would not buy again.
The Claim - "Absorbs excess oil and reduces shine on the skin’s surface for up to 16 hours. The lightweight pressed powder can be used alone, to set foundation after application, and/or throughout the day for quick touch-ups."
The Result - I don't use powder often because I prefer dewy skin, but I wanted to try out this product to see if it would help with some redness around my nose and the dark circles under my eyes. This powder was not cake-y at all, in fact, it didn't even feel like I was wearing makeup. I like that it could be very sheer in some areas and that I could build coverage in others. After a full 9-hour day, I could see some of my imperfections coming through, but for how hot my day was, I was impressed at how matte my skin looked. Would gladly buy again.
L'ORÉAL Visible Lift CC Eye Concealer in Fair, $9.99
The Claim - "The new Visible Lift CC Eye Concealer is our newest innovation in anti-aging makeup. This multi-action concealer rolls away signs of fatigue and dark circles around the eye area to keep you looking more youthful, and wide-awake."
The Result - I liked the cooling effect of the roller ball applicator and while it did manage to cover my dark circles, the formula was difficult to blend and had a slightly chalky consistency. After wearing it for about 3o minutes, the skin around my eyes felt dry, which led me to believe it wasn't actually lifting my skin. Would not buy again.