Product Reviews: Cheap Thrills Part #2 – Power Brow combo by L’Oreal & NYX

Per the theme of the first of my three-part series for cheap beauty thrills this summer, my second blog post is dedicated to achieving awesome eyebrows for a few dollars. As I said before, “cheap thrills” is meant with the most sincere praise! I’m all for looking great with quality products, at a low impact on my wallet. But there’s so much out there to choose from – let’s take a look at a few that I’ve come to love for my brows.

I think that one of the most misunderstood facial features to play up with makeup are the eyebrows – they can be either dramatically overdrawn and too dominating, or not be balanced enough and end up getting “lost” in an overall look. But there are two simple rules to getting your brows under control, and a part of your daily look. Rule #1: always clean up the brow area first by removing stray hairs. Whether it’s with waxing, tweezing or threading, it definitely helps to have a pro give you a great shape to start with – just make sure you maintain accordingly going forward. Rule #2: use products that give you a balanced, face-framing look that naturally complements you, and doesn’t overwhelm. Great brows are truly a powerful asset, even if you don’t have much other makeup on.

During summer, I’ve found that a solid combination to achieve great brows daily starts with a brow mascara, and ends with a brow pencil. Brow mascaras work two-fold: they lock down and tame unruly brow hairs, while adding color to even out and darken the brow.

I love NYX’s Tinted Brow Mascara since it reminds me a bit of Glossier’s Boy Brow, with a slightly larger brush. Begin with the thicker part of your brow (above the inner corner of your eye), and brush out to the end by following the brow’s natural arch. This formula does not flake, and darkens while blending in naturally. During a hot and humid day, a brow mascara definitely holds up better than powder or wax formulas. I use the shade Chocolate, which is a perfect golden brown that complements my auburn hair.

Next, I fill in and define where needed with a brow pencil – especially with a spoolie brush on the end. L’Oreal’s Brow Stylist Shape & Fill pencil is awesome for defining clean lines, filling gaps to give a fuller appearance, and is easily applied as a twist-up pencil. The spoolie is essential for blending the brow mascara and pencil products together, to create a natural effect. Plus, I love to use this spoolie to finish shaping brow hair into place, without adding more color. The shade below is 115 Brunette, and it blends well with the Chocolate shade from NYX. This formula is very long wearing, and does not smear – it’s held up during my regular sailing regattas, and attending an outside wedding this summer.

I also keep a spare L’Oreal Brow Stylist pencil in my gym bag makeup kit, as there’s no need for a pencil sharpener. It’s a quick and easy way to give color and control, especially if you are packing light for the gym or travel.

At ULTA and Target, it’s under $20 total for these two products together! Plus, both of these brands are coupon-eligible at ULTA, and often have BOGO deals – I’ve learned to stock up and have spares handy when needed. If you are in need of changing up your products, or are interested in playing with your brow look a bit more, both of these are easy to use and quality products to get you moving in the right direction without having to spend a lot.

© 2018 28daysbeauty

Product Review: L’Oreal Paris Root Cover Up

There are about 6 times in my life thus far that I can say a beauty product made time literally stand still for me, as I had an “OMG I NEED this!!” reaction after trying it. I can now add #7 to that list…L’Oreal Paris Root Cover Up was a game changer for me during the last 2 weeks prior to my next haircut and color. I usually push my limit for time in between appointments, with getting all-over color every 8 weeks. Depending on how fast my hair grows, my roots can look pretty darn gross around week 6 or 7. The other fun factor for me this last round was that I was traveling to Las Vegas for a weekend getaway before I was able to get in for my appointment. And let’s face it – getting dolled up for great dinners and shows does NOT do you any justice if your gray roots are showing. And lucky me, my roots were going strong in their au naturel glory. So, I saw this the last time I was at ULTA, and decided to give it whirl to help save my style during vacation.

Based on the color range and use instructions on the back, the shade I selected was Light Golden Brown for my hair color. The bottle size is perfect for travel, per TSA guidelines. And, more importantly, the application method looked super easy – basically, it’s point and spray to apply.

The formula is peroxide-free, ammonia-free, and does not have any synthetic dyes. Plus, the color lasts between shampoos! Here’s a few tips that I found worked best for application and styling:

  • Wash and condition hair as normal, and towel-dry.
  • Apply a heat or hydrating style treatment, then air or blow-dry.
  • Once hair is dry, style as needed with heat.
  • Section the top layers of hair at the crown, and spray directly at the roots – about 6 inches away. I use my other hand to shield my forehead as needed.
  • Color will dry down after about 1 minute, but I found you can still move and separate hair during this time to apply where needed – it’s not sticky.
  • After application, I then brush lightly and style as I want, and apply hairspray. I found that this also “locks” the color into place.

I was amazed at how naturally the spray color blended into my hair, and immediately covered my roots. My hair looked so much better, considering I had almost 8 weeks of out-growth at the top of my head. The other plus is that I didn’t see any color transfer onto my pillowcases – I was able to maintain my washing every other day routine, without fear of color fading or staining the bed linens.

This product retails just over $10, and is super concentrated. I found that a little goes a long way, and much was easier to apply than a brush-on powder or a mascara wand-like liquid formula. Also, it doesn’t add any weight or dry stiffly – it moves with your own hair. I’m keeping a bottle stocked in my bathroom, and the size easily fits into any gym bag or carry-on for travel. This is truly one of the best beauty-emergency or fix-it products that I’ve come across in a long time!

© 2017 28daysbeauty

Product Review: L’Oreal Carbon Black Voluminous mascara

Like I mentioned in my review of LORAC’s TANtalizer Duo, this product is not “new” to the market, but may be new to some of you. In fact, this mascara has been raved about for years, and has a cult following among makeup artists. L’Oreal owns many makeup brands out there (Lancôme, Urban Decay, etc) and so it’s only natural that they have a drugstore offering that is as good, if not better, than it’s higher priced cousins.

There are 3 things that I think make this mascara pretty awesome:


1) The formula is extremely buildable – you can go as natural or as dramatic as you want. And the shade is a rich black that compliments any complexion. Plus, it’s volumizing (hence the name) and lengthening – just a great all around formula.

2) The wand is not thick, but a very manageable bristle brush. If you’ve read my other mascara reviews, you’ll know I prefer thinner brushes – this is a great brush for defining and building.


3) It lasts, yet is easily removed with regular makeup remover. I love that it doesn’t flake or get runny in humidity. But when you want to take it off, it easily comes off with a makeup wipe, micellar water, or regular makeup remover.

This still doesn’t unseat my all-time favorite (e.l.f. Mineral Mascara), but this is definitely my #2 go-to pick. It beats out more expensive mascaras in performance, and is usually easily found in most mass retailers. Enjoy! 

© 2016 28daysbeauty