Archive for April 2011

(Note: if you are easily offended by language, take heed!)

One great thing about the annual America’s Beauty Show in Chicago (formerly called the Midwest Beauty Show) is the opportunity to check out products you haven’t seen in your usual haunts.  For me, one of these was Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics, a Canadian-based company that creates and distributes nail polish.

The polishes are 3 Free — meaning, no formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP.  The finishes are shiny, and they stay on as well as any good polish.  I found them easy to apply, and the brush applicator is good.

But what makes this brand different is the bottle, the color names, and some of the colors themselves.  The philosophy of Cheeky Monkey is “centered on the belief that all women should be free to express their personal edginess in a fun and empowering way.”  When I saw the polishes, I was attracted first to the colors, but what got me to buy a couple bottles were the names — I just couldn’t help but smile at polish names like “Cougar”, “Brazen Hussy,” “Party Whore,” “Martini Daze,” and “Raunchy Bitch.”  Each bottle comes with a black tag that opens a bit like a Chinese fortune, with messages that range from “Be Edgy Today – Wear Black” to “They never said inner beauty would get you laid.”   As they say on their website, it’s quality cosmetics “with a giggle.”  And yes, I giggled!

I’ve worn three of their colors, and love them all — “Martini Daze”, a pearly grey-silver that’s totally adult; “Raunchy Bitch”, a beautiful inky blue with a bit of purple to give it dimension; and “Brazen Huzzy”, a great shiny purple just a bit lighter/brighter than a ripe eggplant.  

Unfortunately, the line is only available online for those of us in the United States, but if you’re looking for fun gifts for friends (or for yourself), I definitely recommend this line for something a bit different and definitely “Cheeky!”



As evidenced by my earlier post comparing mascaras, I am a bit obsessed with this beauty product.  Black mascara makes the white of the eye whiter, enhances eye color, and is the perfect finishing touch to any eye makeup look.

Mascara is not immune from the “natural” trend in makeup that has resulted in a surge in makeup lines and products that are advertised as containing natural ingredients,or no preservatives or chemical additives.  I decided to take a look at two mascaras that contain natural oils  from the nuts of two different trees.

Josie Maran, a former model, brought Argan oil to the mainstream cosmetics market a few years ago.  Her entire makeup line is infused with this oil, which is harvested from Argan trees in Morocco.  Another oil that has become very popular in haircare is Ojon oil, harvested from the Ojon tree in Central America.   Besides the benefits of the oils to the skin and hair, consumers like the idea of using a product that feels a little exotic (these oils are available from specific trees that grow in specific locations), are natural and/or organic, and help create jobs in poorer countries.

(NOTE:  anyone allergic to nuts should avoid these products, as the oils used in these cosmetics is from the nuts of trees)

First, I tried the Ojon Restorative Lash Treatment and Mascara, which comes as a double-ended wand.  The treatment end almost looks like eyelash primer, but thinner — it’s a thin white liquid that conditions the lashes.  After using the product for three weeks I found the treatment did not thicken, and it never clumps on the lashes like traditional primers sometimes can.  The black mascara is thinner than most mascara products, but I found that it goes on evenly and easily.  Once coat is all you need, but you can put on two coats if you wish and there will be no clumping.  The mascara doesn’t provide significant volume, but it does give a beautiful dark black color and brings out natural lashes very well.  The conditioning benefits are noticeable and I would recommend it to anyone whose lashes feel dry and/or are breaking off due to brittleness.  Two cons with this mascara:  first, it is not waterproof or water-resistant (but is long-wearing), and second, it will smudge, especially after long wear.  It does come off easily with soap and water or gentle eye makeup remover.   As a contact lens wearer with sensitive eyes, I had no problems with this mascara.  Overall, I found the product to be a good everyday mascara for anyone who wishes to use a conditioning product and wants their lashes to look/feel natural.

Presently, Ojon Lash Treatment and Mascara is only available on QVC.

Josie Maran Cosmetics Mascara is infused with Argan oil (and, I discovered, olive oil as well) claims to help add volume to lashes with a patent-pending “triple V” mascara wand.  The wand almost has a “bushy” look to it and it did catch every lash.  But as much as I wanted to like this mascara, I just didn’t.  The first couple of days of its use was like using any other mascara, but I didn’t notice any conditioning properties like I did with the Ojon product.   Within two weeks the mascara got thick and clumpy in the tube and didn’t apply cleanly to my lashes and I became concerned about flaking.  This mascara is not smudge-proof or waterproof, either.  I did find that removal was fairly easy and I had no allergic reactions to it.  On the plus side, if you purchase this mascara via the Josie Maran Cosmetics website, you can feel good about contributing to cancer patients, survivors, and research — for each mascara tube bought under the GOGO program, a second tube is donated to a City of Hope cancer patient/survivor (up to 5,000 units); after 5,000 tubes of mascara have been distributed, $1.00 from each mascara purchase will be donated to City of Hope cancer treatment and research.

THE WINNER:  Ojon Lash Treatment and Mascara for me was the clear winner.  Hopefully it will be available via more outlets than QVC soon.  But, it should be noted that neither mascara reviewed here is waterproof and both did smudge, especially at the end of a long day.



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  • lilmakeuptips: Thanks for your comment! I got your note on the smoky eye and will do a post on the topic soon!
  • Wicked Red: You look REALLY good in those Lil. Thanks for sharing.
  • lilmakeuptips: Thank you so much Emil! I hope to have a New Year's makeup blog entry posted tomorrow ... maybe even a webcam if I can get it done ...