I Still Love CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion

Still using it, still loving it.

I’m asked above all else which mascara I use, partly because of my long Latisse lashes, but also because of how well I can layer CoverGirl’s LashBlast Fusion mascara to build a really full, clump-free lash that gets tons of compliments. Of all the mascaras I try, this one is still my favorite and a great value at just $9.

Anastasia Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat for Your Lashes

Anastasia has one of the most innovative, best ideas around with Lash Genius. It’s a clear waterproofing topcoat to use over any mascara. Since waterproof mascara is so hard to remove, most women don’t use it daily but would like their formula to stay in place at the pool, gym, or for special events like weddings- which is why I have it in my kit. I can instantly turn any of the 5 or 6 mascaras I carry into durable waterproof formulas without having to change a thing about the tubes I’ve come to rely on. It’s especially helpful to lock in color on the lower lashes which often times become notoriously smudgy.

Scandal Queen FAIRYDROPS Mascara

A client last week was so excited about this mascara that she couldn’t wait to show me her gorgeous red and rose gold tube. It’s called FAIRYDROPS mascara by Scandal Queen $24 and now I’m dying to try it. She loved how it grabbed onto each and every lash with its unique twisty brush and gave her a doll-eye effect while staying in place without smudging. It’s a Japanese favorite and exclusive to Sephora here in the U.S.

How to Get Huge Lashes

If you see me out somewhere I’m probably wearing no less than 7 coats of mascara. You’d never know it because my lashes are never thick or clumpy, just long and defined and I know it’s due to the formula I’ve been buying pretty consistently now for years: LashBlast Fusion. I don’t really know the difference between this one versus the orange tube, but I didn’t like the orange and the yellow tube was great for a while but I couldn’t get it to build like I can using this formula.

My process goes like this; primer (PureLash, I’ve used it for 4+ years now), then curl (with the Shu curler of course), then the first coat of mascara using the ‘press and wiggle’ technique taking the brush from the very base of my lashes all the way up to the tip. This will lay down more than that ‘flicking’ technique where the wand barely grazes the lash tips and doesn’t pump up the roots where you want the most volume. Now let it dry. Applying  more to wet lashes creates clumps so be patient – it’s only a few minutes. All dry? Curl again (hugely important – you’ll get way more of a a wide-eye effect with 2 curls instead of one), then another coat. Your subsequent layers will be applied from the mid part of the last upward and always wait until the last coat has dried. Keep laying it on until you’re happy.

With some mascaras this might be a recipe for disaster, but there’s something about this formula, brush, and technique that makes lash building so easy.

Get the Cheaper Stuff: When to to Buy Discount Beauty

Now that you know where to spend a little extra money, let’s talk about where not to. The divide in quality between drugstore and department store brands isn’t so wide anymore (hello, Olay Pro-X!), so save where you can in these few key categories where I’ve found that it really doesn’t matter.

Mascara: CoverGirl LashBlast

I’ve always been a fan of drugstore mascara – it’s what you’d find both in my professional kit and in my bathroom. While the Maybelline pink and green might be a fav of some, I stick with CoverGirl for all things mascara. LashBlast’s fat tubes are all the rage for a reason – they’re great formulas that wear so well you don’t need to get those impossible-to-scrub-off waterproof formulas that should be a measure of last resort purchase. The one in the orange tube is fine, but I like the purple one – Fusion as it’s called – for a really long, defined look that I can layer on over and over without clumping. For around $9 or so, it’s a third of what some department stores mascaras are and every bit as good. If CoverGirl doesn’t light your fire, check out what Maybelline, Revlon, and others have to offer, you’ll find a $10 formula you love guaranteed.

Long Wear Lipstick: L’Oreal Infallible

Brides are always surprised when I tell them to grab a drugstore brand lipstick for touching-up on their big day. L’Oreal Infallible is one of the best long-wearing lip formulas out there. It stays put a crazy long time without fading, feathering, or getting all globby. It isn’t bulletproof, but I’d say only one touch-up during the day is all you need after your first morning application. Not bad for $12.

Eye Liner: NYX

Love M.A.C’s Liquidlast? Grab NYX Studio Liquid Liner for $4 – a big savings over M.A.C’s $17.50 especially because they both stay as long and have vast color selections. A powder shadow is perfect for those who can never seem to draw on a decent liner shape because it’s so simple to use, Smashbox has one for $22, as does NYX for $6. Same packaging, same applicator, and the same great result. NYX has a liner selection that I adore, most priced less than $10 and all stack up big time against higher priced counterparts.

Brow Powder: Any Line Will Do

Right now I’m using a light taupe mineral shadow for my brows just because I have it laying around. Before that it was this $4 Ardell Brow Defining Powder, but it really doesn’t matter. Yes, a brow-specific color is the best bet since color correctness is key, but as long as you get the shade right you can use any powder you have on hand to get the job done.

They Look Cool But… Paperself Lashes

I ordered these ultra thin paper lashes for a shoot over the summer where the model wore peacock feathers in her hair because I thought they’d look cool fitting into the theme. It was before Sephora picked up the Paperself lash line so I ordered them from Asia and payed a fortune for shipping. While the quality and look are very cool, they aren’t without problems.

First, they’re paper (obvs) so you can’t curl, mascara, or even manipulate them much. I tried my best to make them ‘curl’ back the way her own lashes did, but they wanted to stick straight forward totally hindering a view into her eyes rendering them pointless (she couldn’t really see out either.) It pained me to rip them off of her knowing I wouldn’t be able to use them again (once the paper is wet from the glue- forget it, they’re a one-time deal), but I decided to switch to the smaller outer corner Peach Blossom ones hoping for the same look without the full strip that covered her eyes. Again, no dice. After the photog snapped a quick test shot, it was clear that what looked really cool in person just didn’t translate into anything on camera. It just looked strange and got lost against the color I’d placed on her lids. They also have a mind of their own – each lash in the same set had a different shape (one curly and the other more straight), even with some manipulation I wasn’t able to get them to look the same.

But they look so damn cool.

They might work if you don’t use dark shadow or much liner so you can see the full pattern against your lid, or if you just want to compliment a Halloween costume where your interactions were up close and not for a camera. I really wanted to love them and rave about them, but it just didn’t work out that way.

See the line HERE at Sephora.com and note that the model wearing the lash on Sephora’s site has what I believe to be a photoshopped version of the lash, they aren’t that large – if they were it would be easier to see them on.