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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Wednesday
Feb222012

Drugstore Vs. Designer Makeup

A while ago Holly Burns from the lovely blog, Nothing But Bonfires, wrote a post about her search for The Greatest Mascara of All Time. This post interested me greatly for several reasons. I have often wondered if the pricey mascaras really are better than my usual purchase of mascara from the grocery store but wasn't interested in doling out the dough to find out. Now I could sit back, eat Doritos and let Holly do it for me!

My history with mascara is long and varied. I started out using my mom's pink and green Maybelline. You know the one. There was a several-year stint with L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara. Somewhere along the line I picked up a CoverGirl mascara... LashBlast, I think it was. For the past several years I've full circled back to Maybelline and have engaged in a strictly monogamous affair with Full 'N Soft in Very Black. But I've always wondered... Is there another mascara out there that would, like, blow my mind? If I pony up the big bucks will my eyelashes draw the attention of folks far and wide? Will my luscious lashes be the reason that lesbians finally hit on me?

Another reason Holly's post interested me was I had accepted a beauty assignment from Babble. They wanted me to buy a bunch of expensive designer makeup and try it out to see if I liked it compared to my usual grocery store fare. The reason I accepted? They picked up the tab. I've never been one to refuse free makeup. Not that I've ever received makeup for free before, but when my editor, Dara, made the offer I decided then and there that I'd never be one to refuse free makeup.

So I did a bunch of research about which products are supposed to be hot. And by "research" I mean I asked you guys what you arm your beauty arsenal with and then I basically bought a bunch of stuff I'd never heard of but stuff that is apparently all the rage on the makeup circuit. What? You didn't know there's a makeup circuit? There totally is. All these hot girls are all over the web going crazy over products from companies like NARS and Stila and they are debating color palettes and the merits of this makeup brush over that one and then there are a millionty-seven girls on YouTube offering tutorials on how to create The Best Smoky Eye Ever! Which, the fact that a 13-year-old is running circles around me when it comes to makeup application is kind of shameful but what're you gonna do?

I got my stuff, including concealer, foundation, blush, lipstick, some fancy schmancy mascaras, and spent a week documenting my findings, which basically means I took a crapload of photos of myself in my bathroom while standing awkwardly in front of the stupid shower curtain I told you about that one time because that's where the best light is in the bathroom.

As far as mascaras are concerned, I think Holly and I may have reached the same conclusion. Kind of. It is my opinion that the mascara I love the most is also the winner of her "Mascara Championships".

So, is high falutin' make-up worth your dough? You'll have to click over to Babble to find out. Plus as a bonus you get to make fun of all the photos in which I'm desperately/awkwardly attempting to look glamorous and worthy of all the fancy makeup I got for free.

Like so:



That hair in my eye is driving me INSANE. How did I not notice that?! I mean, my God, IT'S RIGHT THERE.