The Original Beauty Blogger. Often imitated, never duplicated.



Gigi here Duped at the Drugstore!

With Christmas only three weeks away, the shelves are bulging as prices plunge and the battle heats up between retailers vying for the consumer’s dollar. My “Drugstore Dance” takes much longer than before. I sat and thought long and hard about what will truly work to enhance your beauty during this season of festivities.

It came to me-colored mascara! It’s an effective, inexpensive way to update your look now. Unfortunately, my mom did not pass on her cornflower blue eyes to me or my sister but, rather, a nondescript shade of hazel. First, some basic advice: Makeup does not have to match your clothing, nor does eyeshadow have to replicate your eyes. It is meant to enliven and draw attention to your own assets, not attention to makeup or outfits. Think back to the color wheel taught in elementary school-opposites attract for maximum oomph. Thus, any green in eyes is brought out by hues of lavender, brown “pops” with blue, and so forth.

I have to hang my head here. Despite my marketing degree and knowledge of ploys meant to lure, I still fall for tactics! I saw Cover Girl’s “Exact Eyelights Eye Brightening Mascara.” The packaging has a drawn eye graphic displaying lush, long lashes, and a definite sparkle on the iris. The patented brush is not overly large and allows for application with little or no clumping. Cover Girl promises that “metallic highlights” and the formula itself will brighten your eyes up to four times more (I’m confused-do they use a “Bright-o-meter” to measure this or what?). I was sold and didn’t doubt that an item by Cover Girl, the bringer of innovative beauty for women around the world, would not disappoint. It did, and I’m asking for a refund. The mascara sweeps on easily, with nary a lump. Were my eyes brightened? Not at all. To be fair, I tried all of the available shades, to no avail. No metallics, no colors were evident. But I was determined to find ones that deliver . . .

Almay was my next choice. I’ve been surprised at how well their “Intense I-Color” shadows have worked to flatter me, and they offer tinted mascara as well for the same price (about $7.00). I didn’t find the texture as smooth; it’s given to some slight clumping, and so I used the combination eyelash comb/eyebrow brush I own on hand to keep lashes defined. It didn’t lengthen my lashes by 50%, as promised, but that wasn’t my goal. They made up for it with their gorgeous, come-hither shades: Raisin quartz (a sultry, dusky plum, perfect for hazel or green eyes), purple amethyst, brown topaz, black pearl, and blue sapphire (a particularly great indigo). There was a distinct difference and I did look more awake, in a less artificial, harsh way than with pure black mascara. True to the testing done by Consumer Reports, I wanted to verify my results and rubbed the colors on tissues. The Cover Girl shades? All grey. Almay’s were vivid and lovely.

Okay, so I cheated, but this was the first time. As my students would say, “I consulted my sources.” I discussed this withSharond and she suggested using the tinted mascaras and tipping the ends of lashes in black. Another idea for a party-ready look? Use black or brown on top lashes only and color on the bottom ones. It’s fun-better yet, it works. I threw away the notes I took when we spoke, so what cheat sheet? My dog ate it!

What colored mascara’s do you find work well and what colors do you go for?

Back to top