My US Beauty Binge: The Star Products Reviewed (and a Cylon)

Did I mention I’ve been on holiday? (Helen watches 100 iphones switching off). One of the reasons I was looking forward to said US trip was that I would get to go shopping in Sephora and Walgreens. For some reason spending money on beauty bumpf in the US feels like a treat whereas I won’t buy them here as I’ve got cupboards full of the stuff – I’m aware that I still have cupboards full of the stuff when I buy them there, but I’m not saying there’s logic to the rule.  My haul looked like this…..I’m steadily working my way through the goodies, but so far there are three amazing products which deserve a proper mention.

Drumroll please…… no particular order, the I’m Really Glad I Dragged That All The Way Back From America awards go to….

Maybelline The Rocket Volum’ Express Mascara

I’ll forgive it its annoying missing E simply because it’s so good. It was purchased for one reason only. The little see through ‘this is what your mascara will look like ‘ bit of plastic they had in the shop – I’m so annoyed I didn’t take a photo (see you can tell I’m not a real beauty blogger, they’d have been all over that) but effectively it’s a piece of clear plastic with eyelashes drawn on it to simulate the different mascara effects – you place it over your lid and get an idea of what you’d look like. I went for the one that said ‘I don’t do subtle’ figuring that in real life this might translate to ‘I actually have eyelashes.’ And it does. It makes them noticeably longer in one coat yet it doesn’t leave them feeling like sticks or snap them like some of my other mascaras do – even if I sleep in it. It’s my new favourite thing. It’s available in the UK now as well.


Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Wiz Pencil

Along with my lack of lashes I also have non existent eyebrows and as much as I love the ‘art deco stencils’ I wanted a pencil to use. I would never have bought this if I hadn’t been accosted by one of the demonstrators in Sephora. For non beauty buffs Anastasia Soare is a legendary Hollywood brow queen, one of my ambitions in life is to see what she’d do with mine, so I was intrigued by the products – then I got pounced on by someone who started drawing in my brows with this pencil, next thing I’m trotting toward the counter with it (and it’s $21 price tag) in my basket. I’m glad I didn’t chuck it out again while she wasn’t looking. It’s an excellent product. Extremely thin but soft enough that you can apply it in strokes – yet, very hard wearing, my brows are still dark next morning. However the best thing about this pencil isn’t the pencil but the brush on the other end – it’s like a magic eraser. You apply the pencil, then brush over with the brush and all the bits where you went over the edge just kind of disappear – no I don’t get it either but it really is quite astonishing. Best eyebrow product I’ve ever used. In the US you’ll find it in Sephora, in the UK it’s available via


L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm

My hair does not like American tap water – it was getting greasy every day (not normal) but as soon as I washed it it went dry and frizzy, by the time I got to San Francisco I was in permanent bad hair mode. I saw this on the shelf with it’s claim to ‘repair up to 1 year’s worth of damage in 1 use’ and thought, well I’m not sure I believe that but let’s see if you can at least make it look as if I’m aware of what a hairdressers is. It did. In fact, when I came back to the hotel that evening the guy on reception who had seen me the day before (and was quite possibly referring to me ‘as the one with the frizzy hair’) asked me what I’d done as my hair looked different (that’s code for ‘ooh, you no longer look deranged’). Definitely a worthy investment for about $7.00. I can’t find this in the UK yet but you can buy it online via amazon – for sadly, nearly three times the price.

31wlU9xR12LI’ll do reviews of the other products I bought over on the Facebook page as and when I get round to using them – so, sign up there if you’re particularly interested in anything. There’s a handy box opposite that helps you do just that.

Oh and for no reason other than the fact that it is awesome. below is a picture of the friend I went beauty shopping with wearing a little outfit she made for Dragoncon the weekend before. That’s right an outfit, she made, herself from scratch. Sadly she wasn’t wearing this when we went shopping because otherwise I’m pretty sure I’d have had loads and loads more stuff to tell you about because they’d have been giving it to us for nothing in fear. If you want to check out more of her costuming work, visit her facebook page here.


She's the one in the middle. The tall one! In the metal!

She’s the one in the middle. The tall one! In the metal! this thing on? Talk to me, it's lonely down here

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