All-time favorites: Dior mascaras

I LOVE Dior mascaras.  Judy sent me one by Fairydrops to try to diversify, but I am still a die-hard Dior mascara fan.

Of Dior mascaras, I have tried BlackoutDiorShowExtaseIconic, and the Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum (a lash primer).  I adore all of them except the Maximizer Plumping Serum.  I’m convinced these white plumping serums just do not work for me.  If you want actual longer lashes, go with SmartLash (recently posted about it here).  The white primers tend to make my mascara go on clumpy, no matter if I wait and let them dry first or put the mascara on right away.  If you like lash primers, please let me know which one and how you use it!

To breakdown the Dior mascaras I’ve tried, here is what I think:  Dior mascaras fall into two categories for me – wet and dry.  The wet ones are Blackout and Iconic.  What I mean by wet is that they are more fluid and liquid when you put it on.  The dry ones are a bit stickier – they are DiorShowand Extase.

Another main difference among these mascaras are the brushes.  Blackouthas a standard thin brush. Iconic has a new brush that is plastic with shorter bristles.  I prefer the Iconic brush because it gives me more separation of my lashes.  DiorShow has a fluffier brush.  Extase has a fluffy brush, but it is cut up in a cyclone shape.

My favorite wet formula Dior mascara is Iconic, and my favorite dry is DiorShow.  I think wet is probably better for most people as a more extreme night look.  Dry is more everyday.  However, since I have such short, fine lashes, I use the wet to get as much boost as possible.

I know a lot of my friends swear by the Maybelline mascaras, and the CoverGirl LashBlast are making quite a splash.

What are your favorite mascaras?  We’re always in the market to try new ones!

For your beautybaggs: BB Creams

BB Creams have been on a huge rise in the U.S.  ”BB” stands for Blemish or Beauty Balm (sometimes other “B” words stand in but all indicate the same meaning), and this product was first created in the 1950′s in Germany to heal and cover post-facial procedure skin.  It has been hugely popular in Asia, where women are all about skincare – so BB Creams typically have SPF, skin brightening properties, and other skin benefits in addition to providing a flawless base.

According to WWD:

BB creams are designed to heal problematic skin and create a smooth canvas for makeup. They can be applied directly or blended into foundation. “BB creams aren’t marketed as either makeup or skin care; instead they’re about enhancing a woman’s natural beauty,” says NPD’s Karen Grant, who says the growing popularity here is an “evolution of the brightening craze.”

BB Creams don’t tend to have a huge color selection – it’s made to brighten the skin, so typically there is 1-2 shades and it was general made to suit light to medium skin tones.  See below for displays at personal care stores in Taiwan (you’ll see that Maybelline has two versions of BB Cream available in Asia – one regular cream in the tube and one foam, both in aqua packaging)

Here in the U.S., more established brands have been putting out BB Creams targeted to the wider range of skin tones that American women have.  Smashbox has been promoting their range on Sephora, and the Asian brands Dr. Jart and Boscia have had BB Creams out there as well.

As for the texture, it really varies.  Some are thick and provide very heavy coverage, while some are lighter and feel just like a tinted moisturizer.  Maybelline has a foam version that my cousin actually uses (she says it’s just ok).  There has been some controversy in Asia recently that says BB Creams have been the culprit behind clogged pores, and there are actually facial cleansers that are just for removing BB Creams.

I’ve tried a BB Cream from MAC before – it was WAY too light even for my NC25 skin, but bear in mind the original intent of BB Creams was to brighten and lighten scars and redness, and when I was in Asia, I noticed that some girls purposely wear a lighter shade to “give their skin more radiance”.  I recently purchased one from Etude House, a Korean brand, while I was in Asia and that color shade suits me really well and actually gives me a tanned glow.

I wanted to get more when I was in Asia (namely #02 Natural by Laneige), but I restrained myself as I have way too many foundations and tinted moisturizers to get through already.  I use BB Creams just as I would my Chantecaille Just Skin and my tarte Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer.  I make sure I have SPF underneath and still use concealer where I need it.

Click here to read more about it, and check out Youtube videos from Jen and Bubz for explanations and swatches of a lot of different BB Creams.

Will you try BB Creams?  Have you tried them before?  Share with us your favorites!