Products I Love But Don’t Always Use

Just because a product is good, or even great, doesn’t mean I’m always up for exerting the effort to use it. I could easily title this post, “Products I Love But Don’t Routinely Make Time For…Because Sleep.

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade

Dipbrow, for instance. Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade is fantastic. I’m still a loyal user, but I don’t use it daily. I simply don’t always have enough time, or bothers to give, to sit there in front of a mirror sculpting my brows with a brush. It is possible to use this product in a hurry, but I’m usually seeking a different look.


Sephora Teint Infusion Ethereal Natural is so gorgeous. The finish is wonderful. It is not, however, remotely forgiving to the smallest hint of atypical texture – be it dryness or flaky skin. It requires me to pay a little more attention to my skin before use and during application; not a bad thing, I’m just not always up for it.


udfbombRed Lipstick (any). I love reds and close-to-red shades; they’re bold and empowering. That said, I usually wear MLBB shades for two reasons – one, they’re flattering and two, they’re effortless. You have to be trying to mess them up, right? But red (like UD F-Bomb or even bold, close-to-red pinks like UD Catfight) requires attentiveness. Depending on your poison, you may or may not need lip liner, but applying without a mirror is out of the question. KvD Foiled Love Lipstick in Adora (now discontinued, but I believe Adora is available in the Studded Kiss formula now) is life, but I can’t slap it on haphazardly running out the door.


Products I Love But Don't Always Use

Pigments are delightfully fun! I only own four – three from NYX, and Rushmetal from MAC (from that whole Glambot thing). Anyone who has ever used loose pigments can tell you, however, that there is no such thing as, “really quick,” with them. Application takes more steps, fallout is a thing, cleanup of your workspace will always be a thing. I only really end up using these for special occasions as a result.

Maybelline Gel Liner


Gel liner is my favorite, but most days, I’m using dark eyeshadow to define my lashline. I need at least three minutes to apply it, more if I’m doing something, “fun,” like wings or flicks.

I really enjoy all of these things, but in my normal, run-of-the-mill, day-to-day life I can’t pull it all off. I’ll often do one of these things on a weekday, but being as that I wake up at 5:45, I’m desperate for all the sleep I can get!

It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner

It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner - Stock Image

In late January I received a coupon from Ulta (because I’m Platinum this year) to get a free mini It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner. I’m not too familiar with the It Cosmetics brand, really only seeing their line in Ulta. This sums up what I know about It Cosmetics:

  1. They have a brush line that I hear is pretty good. They have a silly brush-themed logo on their aisles in both Ultas near me.
  2. They have CC cream!
  3. Their Naturally Pretty Vol 1 Matte Luxe Transforming Eye Shadow Palette has an exceptionally long name and reminds me of a mix of the two LORAC Pro palettes. Same price-point, too!

That’s pretty much it.

I redeemed the coupon and got the freebie It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner to test the waters of the brand.


Here’s some info about It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner, from Ulta’s Website, condensed into tl;dr for your reading pleasure:

  • Gentle, smooth, pigmented gel formula that glides on.
  • Waterproof, proven to hold up 8+ hours.
  • Contains vitamin C and E as well as collagen, supposedly for, “younger looking eyelids.”
  • Sets after about 30 seconds (so you can blend and smudge).

My freebie mini came in Black Brown which I appreciated – I don’t need yet another black pencil liner, and am happy to have a brown pencil handy. I actually forgot about it (out of sight, out of mind) since it was tucked into my drawer, but I finally got around to it.

It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner - Swatch

It glides on effortlessly without much pressure, both swatched on the back of my hand and into my lashline.

The Wear Test: It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner

Most pencil liners, even ones claiming to be waterproof, do not last on my waterline. I don’t have exceptionally watery eyes, but I guess my waterline is exposed to enough moisture that it usually breaks down and fades within an hour or two

At 7am, I tightlined with the It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner to provide definition. I added just a little more along my lashline, but the real test is waterline usage, so I slapped it in there, too, in the outer 2/3 of my waterline.

I checked it at 8am, and it still looked alright. Not as intense in the waterline, but it was still visible. Upper lashline and tightline perfectly intact.

I checked at 9am – it faded more, but I could live with it because I don’t like a harsh dark waterline. I don’t bother with dark colors in my waterline most of the time because I feel like it closes off my eye…I don’t like my eyes to appear small. It was still intact and going good on my upper lashline and tightline, though.

By 10am, it was noticeably in trouble. At the outermost edge it was gone completely, meaning the It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner line didn’t appear to start until a few millimeters into my lower lashline. Awkward. Top is in good shape, still!

At the 11am check, the product in my waterline was barely visible but the tightline and waterline looked great. I decided to reapply and try again. Unfortunately, it wore away within 3-4 hours, just like the first run.

I found it removed relatively easily with a Ponds makeup wipe – it was no more difficult to remove than an Urban Decay 24/7 pencil, for instance. Also, I can’t really speak to the whole, “younger-looking eyelids,” thing – I noticed absolutely no difference from tightlining with it, but I’m also in my mid twenties, so. I’m taking it with a grain of salt anyway because that part sounds like nonsense marketing.

 The Bottom Line(r)

So this makes a good liner for the upper lashline and tightlining. You CANNOT sharpen it (at least this little version, anyway) as it is a twist up and therefore has a blunt tip; it is not suited to sharp precision work, but makes for a smooth tightline and not-intense upper lashline work. Its performance in my waterline shouldn’t be the only thing that tells you to buy or not – like I said, I have a hell of a time with most pencils in my waterline…so if you DON’T have trouble with them, this might actually work really well for you!

I personally won’t be repurchasing a full size when I run out of this. I don’t dislike it, but I don’t like it enough to spend $22 on. If you don’t have an exceptionally watery waterline, though, it may be a worthwhile investment for you.

Disclaimer: HEY. Although I got this for free, this was not a sponsored post. ULTA has no idea who I am. I only got a voucher for this product because I somehow managed to make it into the Ultamate Rewards Platinum tier, which anyone can achieve if they have a problembeauty hobby.. This voucher was distributed to platinum members, so I’m not special. Questions? Feel free to ask.

Worth it? Benefit they’re Real Push-Up Liner

The internet went a-buzz when Benefit Cosmetics started leaking information about their they’re Real Push-Up Liner. They did a couple advanced sales between their site, Sephora, and Ulta and then everything was kept mum until its official release on June 27.

I am already a gel liner user – I find using an angled-bristle brush with gel gives me the most control and best results. I also like gel because it is pretty smudge-proof and long lasting. As I’m sure you can imagine, I was intrigued when I heard about Benefit’s they’re Real Push-Up liner. For $24, however, I decided that I would pass for the time being; although I like to try new things, I was already happy with my liner and didn’t want to drop that kind of money on a single eyeliner.

I actually made a Sephora order for other things on June 27 and to my delight found that one of the samples they were offering (via promo code) was a Benefit they’re Real Push-Up Liner deluxe mini. Of course I got it, we need to try it for science after all, especially considering all these top bloggers/vloggers got it early and are losing their minds over it. It is really innovative and clever, but it is that good?

Always a skeptic.

Because it arrived when it did, I didn’t have much time to fuss with it. I took a few photos of the product itself, but didn’t bother trying to apply it. I did poke at the silicone tip to get an idea for just how flexible it is – too much flexibility could cause me to make a ridiculous mess on my lids, so I wanted to know what to expect. On Wednesday I played with it, and Thursday I actually used it for the day!

I found that you have to turn-click the product’s base several times before product comes to the tip. It is important to do this slowly, especially for your first use. You don’t want too much product on the silicone, “AccuFlex,” tip, or else you’ll end up making a mess when you apply (unless you wipe if off first, but that’s wasteful – and I don’t know about you, but I’m not trying to waste any of a $24 product). So I clicked it up until it was about flush with the silicone AccuFlex tip – it protruded ever-so-slightly, but I think even a millimeter would be too generous an estimate of how far. You may not get as lucky with your and may have to tap or wipe yours even.

Here’s how it looked when I applied:

Benefit they're Real Push-Up Liner - 7AM

Yes, I realize my head is tilted, sorry. You can at least see the left wing well!

I had the best luck with this, which seems to be what Benefit recommends for they’re Real Push-Up Liner – and it is about the same method I use for regular lining:

  1. Twist product up (we’ve covered this).
  2. Press the tip along your lash-line three times, stamping the product at the beginning, middle, and end of your line.
  3. Connect the stamps.
  4. (Optional) Create a wing by placing the shorter side of the AccuFlex tip closest to your lower lashline and angle the longer edge outward as if you are ‘continuing’ or following the (imaginary) line of your lower lashline. Stamp again and pull inward to the outer corner of your eye.
  5. (Optional, required if you do step four so you don’t look foolish), connect the upper, outer part of the wing with the rest of your liner by sweeping the AccuFlex tip over towards it.

Stamping is super easy with they’re Real Push-Up Liner, and just like with gel and a brush, it is way easier to connect a series of three shorter points than it is to completely free-hand it. There’s less room for error, this way; these innovative silicone tip and these instructions really make this aspect of application of this matte gel liner very user friendly.

Here are a photo of the liner, eye nearly closed:

Benefit they're Real Push-Up Liner - 7AM, another angle


That’s about where the good things about this product end, unfortunately.

Application is not like butter. I found the formula of the gel to be rather dry and to skip and tug a bit, so I would have to pull it away and twist-click more product up, risking blobs near my lash-line. This might not be an issue if you like a thicker line, but for day-to-day, that isn’t for me. I am not a raccoon, after all. It took some work and going back over it several times to even out sparse areas as a result of the skipping – I figured this was preferable to risking smeared blobs, as I had heard it dries quickly. I found that much was true, and it actually made it a little difficult to even out the line.

Once I was satisfied with how it looked (finished at 7 AM, wings and all, I set about my day. I work in a reasonably low-humidity office and do not rub my eyes throughout the day (thanks glasses!). Around 11:30 AM, however, I noticed a black speck on my glasses.


Part of my left eye’s wing had flaked and literally just fell off. What?! Especially since there’s all this hype about how it’s soooo good, so long lasting, not flaky, amazing, perfect, etc. I was right to be skeptical – I’ve never had eyeliner just decide to spontaneously disconnect itself from my eye. Here’s a picture, because it definitely happened. Oh hey, random gap:

Benefit they're Real Push-Up Liner flaked4.5 hours into wearing Benefit they’re Real Push-Up Liner a noticeable section flaked off

At this point, I was not impressed and frankly, kind of annoyed. I touched it up right away, and went back to this:

Benefit they're Real Push-Up Liner post-flake touch up

Another big thing about this product is that purportedly, its staying power is so dang good that you just have to buy their special cleanser to remove it easily. Your regular makeup remover simply won’t do it quickly and gently, they say! I didn’t definitely didn’t believe this, based on the flaking I experienced. That night, I went to remove my makeup and lo and behold – they’re Real Push-Up Liner came off even easier than my other gel liners with a Ponds wipe. I didn’t need to use three of them, I didn’t need to tug or scrub. Don’t waste your money on the cleanser.

Between the price, the skipping application, random flaking, and lack of longevity-as-promised, Benefit they’re Real Push-Up Liner is just not worth it – not in its current form, anyway. I love the innovative applicator; I think it is really cool to bring engineering into makeup to improve our experiences with products…but the formula of the liner itself is lackluster at best. My Maybelline Gel Liner kicks its arse, and I will continue faithfully using it instead. Hopefully Benefit will improve the formula of the gel that makes up they’re Real Push-Up Liner (research shows that I am not the only person with these complaints) because the applicator (AccuFlex Tip) is pretty neat…which is amusing, because my prediction was that I would love the formula, but find the silicone tip weird. If it cost about $10 less than it does, I might be a little more willing to work with it.

Surprised: Maybelline Gel Liner

For you, I have sinned.

Okay, not really. I just wound up doing something you aren’t supposed to, beauty-wise.
And maybe it wasn’t for you, but it does end up benefiting you!

My fiance and I host a game night in our home for a small group of friends. This used to be on Saturdays, but we tried it out last Friday night. These nights routinely run until 2-3pm. My weekdays begin at 5am. I did my eye makeup (a neutral shimmery eye with Maybelline Gel Liner) at 5:45am on Friday morning, worked a full day of work, had a handful of errands to run, and then a house to hastily clean (moving it to Friday was a last-minute decision) before our company arrived. Woo, my makeup wasn’t a mess by the time we were starting, around 8:00pm.

When we wrapped things up around 2am, I promptly shambled to my bed and fell asleep. I am sad to admit that I can’t stay up like I used to, and I am amused to admit that though I am almost militant about makeup-removal-before-bed – I didn’t. In the future, I will nap before our entertaining so I am not a zombie by the time it concludes who does not neglect her routine.

Now, this is the Maybelline Gel Liner I discussed back in my Drugstore Gel Liner Comparison post last month, fully named Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner 24H. I used the shade Blackest Black.

I woke up at 10:16 after having slept a miraculous eight hours. I am normally a side/stomach sleeper, so the fact that I was not remotely raccoon-esque was a feat in itself. Somehow, not only was I not raccoon-esque, my liner was more or less intact. Yes, read that again. Twenty-eight-and-a-half hours. My reaction? Awesome. Take a picture, then remove this stuff!

My groggy self thought it would use my phone’s front-facing camera for this (which isn’t as good as the rear-facing or the other two cameras I have access to), but I think it is sufficient:

Maybelline Gel Liner - 28.5 Hours Post-ApplicationMaybelline Gel Liner 28.5 hours after application

There. Not budged, watery-pollen-allergy-eyes and all. I didn’t even use primer yesterday when I slapped this stuff on.


Basically, I’m telling you that you need this in your life. I have not used any prestige gel liners like MAC Fluidline or Bobbi Brown’s gel liners, but unless you’re looking for a specific, crazy color that they carry, why bother? The Maybelline Gel Liner is opaque, applies easily, isn’t awkwardly shiny, and stays put. At only $6-8 per pot plus the fact that it is a brand that is frequently on sale at drugstores, mass merchants, grocers, and online, PLUS the fact that there’s almost always a $1 off coupon available, why would you bother with the more expensive brands? This item is available almost freaking everywhere, including Amazon. Run, don’t walk.

Disclosure: Seriously, I love this liner. This post wasn’t sponsored, and I was willing to share my beauty misdeed just to prove how awesome this product is. That said, some of the links in this post are affiliate links – this means I may get a very small percentage of the sale if you decide to buy something. I only recommend products I’ve tried and verified as awesome. And this one really is awesome.

Drugstore Gel Liner Comparison

So as you may or may not know, L’Oreal has a diverse portfolio of brands under its control. They own some high end names that you would be surprised about, but also some drugstore ones aside from the eponymous L’Oreal, but also Maybelline.

When I first started playing with makeup like a child learning how to do my makeup, I decided to try a gel liner. Pencil liners always seemed odd to me, and liquids were too prescise – gel seemed like a happy medium. After a good bit of research into the gel options, I was torn between Maybelline and L’Oreal – both are well-reviewed. I happened to have a coupon for the Maybelline one and a sale was running (yes, why pay retail?) so I went with it and was content.

Later (aka recently), once I was on the verge of running out of usable product (my own error caused it to dry out prematurely), I decided to purchase both and do drugstore gel liner comparison. Here, you have the L’Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner 24 Hour on the left and the Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner.

Drugstore Gel Liner Comparison - L'Oreal Infalliable Lacquer Liner 24Hour and Mabelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel LinerDrugstore Gel Liner Comparison

This post is pretty photo-heavy, so please continue after the jump.

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