[REVIEW] Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara – did they make it big?

lancome monsieur big mascara review by emily gets elegant

What the what? Free AND beautiful mascara?!

I’m super excited about this product because 1) I don’t own any products from Lancôme yet and 2) the packaging is SO pretty! ? Yeah, I’m a sucker for cute packaging/labeling… basically anything pink, black, or a combination thereof and I’m all over it.

Please note:
I received these products free or complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

In my Voxbox, I received the Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara, Lancôme Cils Booster XL Super Enhancing Mascara Base, and Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover. I have tried both the mascara and mascara base but not the makeup remover yet as of this posting.

First impression:

  • The mascara packaging, as mentioned above, was a sharp-looking combination of pink and black. Very feminine and sexy. The actual wand was straight and, really, there was nothing remarkable about it.
  • The mascara base comes in a compact white tube, and also has a straight wand. The actual product is white as well.

First Try-on:

I was anxious to try this out, and when I did finally, it was a great time too as I was going out to dinner. So, as instructed, I used the mascara base first which is a product type I have never tried before. It looked like white mascara on the wand. It did lengthen my lashes quite a bit.

Lancome Before After | EmilyGetsElegant.com

Then when I applied the mascara, I could tell immediately, WOW, what a difference! Even after just one stroke, it looked as if I had false lashes on. Check out my before and after photo, yo.

Another great feature of this mascara is that it dried REALLY quickly. I’m not sure if that has to do with the mascara base or just the ingredients in the mascara, but it didn’t rub on my eyelids like I usually get. Just a few seconds later and my lashes were set. Also, I did about 5-6 strokes, and I noticed there was little to NO clumping whatsoever. And the mascara base does not feel like any more weight on your lashes; both products together feel light and comfortable.

I’m not sure if this is waterproof but this mascara did not budge at all for about 5 hours until I went to remove it. I used my regular eye makeup remover from CVS, I’m going to try the Lancôme makeup remover tonight.


I would definitely say this hits all points out of the park. 10/10. The packaging is simple, the wand is straightforward, there’s nothing crazy remarkable about the packaging. But the product itself has AMAZING results, hands-down, probably the best mascara I’ve ever tried.

What do you guys think? Have you tried it?!

Please note:
I received these products free or complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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Must try: My Favorite Drugstore Mascara

Favorite Drugstore Mascara 2017
Favorite Drugstore Mascara 2017 | EmilyGetsElegant.com

I never liked mascara. In fact, I used to skip the step altogether. I guess one of the biggest reasons why was because it was such a pain to remove. Ugh!

But I’m realizing now that mascara and lash length is highly regarded in the beauty world.

Now, mascara is quickly becoming one of my favorite items of makeup. So much so that I now have a fast-growing collection of both drugstore and high-end products.

The wands range from long, fluffy, stiff, short, curled, mini and even hourglass-shaped. Some I love, some are OK, and some I just wear to get rid of. I have full size and trial-sized versions.

Of all the ones I’ve tried from the drugstore, the L’Oreal Voluminous Feline mascara is my current fave. The wand is straightforward and feels good in your hand. The brush is soft and doesn’t pull on your lashes. It provides great coverage and lash length. The packaging of gold/emerald is eye-catching, too, and is a nice addition to your collection. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it! ?

Do you have a favorite drugstore mascara? Share below! I’ll happily try anything!

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Force an extra 15 minutes on yourself & change your whole day (and life!)

In keeping with one of my 2017 resolutions to wake up earlier/have better mornings/plan a better day, I have tried to start getting up when my alarm goes off.

Now, you probably just read that a few times and thought, uh… what? What do you mean when your alarm goes off?

What I mean is, when my alarm goes off the first time. I am a serial snoozer.

Force an extra 15 minutes on yourself & change your whole day (and life!) | Emily Gets Elegant
Force an extra 15 minutes on yourself & change your whole day (and life!) | Emily Gets Elegant

No matter how many times I’ve read about the “benefits of waking up earlier”, “what successful people do in the morning” and “DO NOT HIT SNOOZE WHATEVER YOU DO!!!”, I continue to do it. This is a serious bad habit I want to break in 2017.

My thought process is this when my alarm goes off: holy crap i was just in the middle of a dream i am still sooooo tired omg these blankets are so nice and warm i totally have time to snuggle with hubby a bit longer ?

And then I hit snooze at least one two three times.

Now I’ve lost 45 minutes of precious time. I finally (groggily) get out of bed, slowly move about the room, and when I have my wits about me, I rush rush rush to get ready and get out the door or to my desk. Usually without washing my face, putting on makeup, styling my hair, or (on particularly bad days) all three. ?

By the time I’m “ready to work”, I’m gulping down my coffee, still half awake, and trying to get my thoughts together for the work day, which has already started. Occasionally the phone already starts ringing when I’m not even dressed yet. Talk about feeling unprepared and un-confident when you answer the call.

This rushed, uncoordinated me lasts through most of the day, until I get into a “groove” (about 2-3pm) and get, what I call, a “grasp” on my day.

This is a pattern that occurs almost every day, and I’m starting to really hate it. Here is my thought:

If I get up when the alarm goes off, (no matter how much sleepy-me tries to persuade successful-me otherwise), then I will be a better, more confident me.

So if you’re like me, we need to break this habit. Even though you think you’re getting extra sleep, that 15-45 minutes has a negative, domino effect on the rest of your day. I put the word “Force” in the title because so often we don’t think we need or deserve this extra time on ourselves. Here is inspiration for me, and, hopefully, you!

What can you do with that extra 15 minutes in the a.m.?

Care for your skin.

Take some time and treat your skin so you’ll have that glowing, healthy look all day. I love Clearasil’s Morning Burst Facial Cleanser. It smells slightly citrus-y and contains brightening beads that tingle your skin and make you feel very refreshed and awake. Using cold water also helps me to wake up quicker.

After washing, I use Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisurizing Lotion. It has a light, nutty scent to it, and feels soft on the skin (bonus – it contains Dimethicone, the same key ingredient found in makeup primers!)

Do your makeup with purpose.

Nothing makes me feel more confident and ready to take on the day quite like wearing beautiful makeup. Once I have this done, I feel like no matter what happens that day, I know that I will at least look my absolute best.

I’ve been listening to several beauty YouTuber’s recently talk about why they love makeup. NikkieTutorials talks about how makeup was her “armor” of confidence. And I LOVE that sentiment!

Slowly and purposefully putting on makeup and making yourself look FANtastic is a wonderful way to kickstart your day.

Have a great hair day!

I am currently at odds with my own hair, but I’m trying to love it more. I guess what it boils down to is I’m lazy and my hair requires more than 5 minutes to maintain.

When I don’t do anything to it or hastily throw it up in a bun, I feel “OK” but lackluster.

When I do spend the time to blowdry, style and spritz, I look great and feel confident about it for the rest of the day. It’s a lot of work (gah! that word!) but each time I do it, I so appreciate it for many hours afterwards.

Hey girl, do you struggle with waking up in the morning too? How do you get ready for the day? What do you wish you could improve? Share your thoughts below! ❤️

Here’s to you as a more confident, productive, boss babe in 2017!

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Why you should be using Toner as part of your skincare routine

I had never used Toner until a few weeks ago. I didn’t know what Toner was.

I didn’t know if it was a makeup remover, a moisturizer, something I needed, or just some additional beauty product companies were pushing you to buy.

I researched. I found out that at any age, any stage, Toner can work wonders for your skin. Toner is also supposed to help with breakouts and oily skin. I’ve been breaking out pretty badly on my forehead due to an increase in humidity – hello, late summer in Florida – and huge amounts of stress due to home renovations.

So I purchased a bottle of Thayer’s Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Alcohol-Free Toner ($9.85, from Amazon) to try out for myself.

The beauty of toner is that most of them are all natural and alcohol-free, so they won’t dry out or damage our skin. And they’re pretty gentle enough for all skin types.

After a few uses, I quickly found out I LOVED using Toner. Here’s why!

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[REVIEW] GlamGlow YouthMud(tm) vs. Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Mud Mask

I am a huge fan of self-pampering for relaxation, and just because. My #1 self-pampering activity has to be wearing a mud mask.

  1. It feels like spa-at-home experience
  2. Your skin gets a good, clean, tightening/brightening feeling
  3. And there’s TONS to choose from!

Which brings me to my review. I have read all the raves about GlamGlow’s YouthMudTM ($69 for full size 1.7oz, Sephora) mud mask, so I decided to buy the sample version (0.5oz) for $22. Which, to me, $22 for a mask is a bit pricey (and HELLO $70!) but I thought, what the heck, might as well try it.

Conversely, Freeman Feeling Beautiful Masks are easy on the wallet, and just as easily one of my absolute favorites. I have the Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask as well as Dead Sea Minerals Anti-Stress Mask and love them BOTH. So when I saw that they had a Charcoal & Black Sugar Mud Mask I SO wanted to try it and review it, immediately.

I had seen on Pinterest that these items were dupes, and being that I love cheap dupes for expensive ones, I had to try them. Last night I put GlamGlow on one side of my face, and Freeman on the other.

[REVIEW] GlamGlow YouthMud(tm) vs. Freeman’s Charcoal & Black Sugar Mud Mask

Here are the results!

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You won’t believe how dirty these are (makeup brushes, that is!)

you-wont-believe-how-dirty-these-areOmg. So I let my brushes get very, very dirty recently. We’ve had so much going on, I let them go for quite a while. I knew it was time to clean them about two months ago /ashamed to admit. My face had been breaking out too, which I’m sure is partly stress but another part had to be what I was putting on my face.

I read on Pinterest a few years ago how to effectively clean makeup brushes. You need only 3 ingredients:

  1. Dawn Dish Soap
  2. White vinegar
  3. Hot water

A quick how-to guide to clean your makeup brushes!:

  1. Gather up your makeup brushes, no matter how often or rarely you use them. Make sure to get any specialty brushes (i.e. the brushes that come with eye shadow palettes!) And don’t forget those Beauty Blenders!
  2. Fill a small glass jar with 1 part vinegar, 2 parts dish soap and 3 parts hot water. Take a brush, swish it in the water (try not to get the metal connector part wet, if possible, because it’ll wear out the bristles faster). Rinse the brush with hot water, swish in the cleaner mixture again, then rinse again with hot water.
  3. Repeat with other brushes. If your cleaner mixture starts to get cloudy and change color, dump out the water and start anew with a new batch of Dawn, vinegar, and hot water. You will need to dump and refresh several times.
  4. Lay the brush out to dry. Leaving the brush bristles out over the edge of a counter top so that it can get the ultimate air circulation is the best. Let dry overnight.

What about my Beauty Blenders?

  1. Fill a small container with Dawn Dish Soap and hot water.
  2. Take your Beauty Blender and soak it in the mixture, squishing it in so that it fills with the clean water.
  3. Repeat several times.
  4. Rinse the Beauty Blender with hot water and repeat. You will probably need to dump out the Dawn + water mixture a few times, depending on how dirty your sponge is.
  5. Once you are pleased with the cleanliness of your sponge (aka when it’s returned to its normal Pink color… or black or white or whatever color it is), place it in a microwave-safe container.
  6. Microwave the Beauty Blender for 20 seconds.
  7. Take it out (caution: HOT!) and let it air dry overnight.

There you have it! It does take some time, but you’ll definitely be glad you cleaned your brushes. Your face will appreciate it, too.



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5 must-haves for when you absolutely have 0 time for makeup

5 must haves for when you have 0 time for makeup | Emily Gets ElegantYou’ve seen the videos on YouTube:

  • “How to do your makeup in 5 minutes”
  • “Do your makeup when you’re running late”
  • “Look made-up when you’ve just woken up!”


With 5 minutes, you still have time to actually sit at your vanity/stand in front of your bathroom sink.

You have a freakin’ MIRROR.

Some of us can’t afford those luxuries when you decide to commute with your husband to work and you woke up at an ungodly hour. Did you even get time to shower? … And FORGET the hair. But luckily you somehow managed to grab a few makeup items on the way out.

Sometimes, I’m doing my makeup at 70 mph on the highway (disclaimer: in the passenger seat, y’all)

Sometimes, I’m doing my makeup in the parking lot.

And by now I’ve gotten pretty good at doing my makeup super-fast and still look decent.

So ladies, pull down your visor or aim your rearview at that pretty face. Here’s how to do your makeup when you are squeezing every moment out of the 0 time that you have.

What’s in the bag?

1. Spare sponges

Do yourself a ‘fave and the next time you’re at the store, purchase those triangle-shaped makeup sponges.

They are useful for EVERYTHING. You can use and throw away and not feel bad, because they start at $2.

2. Light coverage foundation — preferably with its own applicator

Last thing you want to be doing is applying anything with your hands or touching your face in this unsanitary environment (I am SO against touching the face with hands. Oil, dirt, grime and God-knows-what-else can be on your hands).

Makeup with its own applicator is a win. Plus, less to carry.

I prefer L’Oreal Lumi Cushion Foundation because it goes on with a nice, light coverage, makes you look fresh (see: Lumi), and comes with its own super soft sponge applicator.

If you want to use a different foundation without its own applicator, grab one of those spare sponges you bought and blend away!

3. Eyelid primer

Eyelid primer will ensure a smooth color on your eyelids, whether or not you have time to dust on eyeshadow or not. A quick swipe with a sponge on both eyelids and you’re good to go.

ELF’s Eyelid Primer is one of my makeup essentials. And it’s about $2, found at most big box and drugstores.

4. Gel eye liner

In my extensive experience with eye liners, I’ve found that a gel-based eyeliner works best as far as easy application and staying power. Once it’s on, it can essentially be smudge-proof. Just let it dry thoroughly after applying (fan your eyes a bit).

Coupled with the eyelid primer (and maybe some eyeshadow, if you have some, you lucky dog you), the eyeliner will frame your face nicely. If you try to use eye liner without primer, you can end up with an oily eyelid and smudgy lines. Yuck.

DO take a bit of time on applying this as you MUST have even lines, otherwise you’ll look like you had 0 time to put your makeup on (see what I did there 😉 ).

I’ve been using Marc Jacobs High Liner Gel Crayon in Black that I got as a sample from Sephora.

5. Tinted lip balm

There’s NO time to make sure you get the perfect pout (maybe after lunch?), so glide on that tinted balm, like CoverGirl’s Oh Sugar!

You’ll get a hint of color, moisturize those lips, and no need to worry about lipstick on the teeth or bleeding color ’cause, ****, by this time you’re already late! 😮

Ok, so you need at least 30 seconds to 1 minute for this makeup routine…

But anyone can do this while sitting in their car, at a red light, or running to the bathroom before being seen by co-workers!

Do you often find yourself doing your makeup at the last minute? Let me know in the comments below!

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Review + Swatch: Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm & Lacquer Balm

revlon colorburst
Photos taken by me. Products by Revlon.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I bought all these products myself.

I have a problem. Lipsticks, balms, lip lacquers, lip tars, lip gloss, lippies… I love them all. Plus I am on the ultimate quest to find the perfect nude lip for my skin tone. So a trip to the drugstore is incomplete without at least 1 lip product to try.

Today we’ll be talking about the Revlon Colorburst balms. I have a smattering of their matte and lacquer (glossy) balms.

They’re awesome because:

  1. Packaging: Chubby, pen-like product fits comfortably in the hand, makes it easy to hold and apply, and also the secure cap and twist-up bottom make it a nice addition to the purse. The colors of the product match well with the colors of the packaging — so you know what you’re getting.
  2. Product: Both the matte and lacquer types are in a fat, crayon-like shape. They both glide on very smooth. Color payoff is excellent, as is the buttery feeling of the product on the lips. There is some transfer due to normal eating, drinking, and daily life, but for the most part it stays vibrant throughout the day. Additionally there is a subtle, pleasant, peppermint scent on each type when you first apply.

Things to consider:

  1. Price: $9.79 at CVS Pharmacy. A little on the spicy side, but they last FOREVER.

To the swatching!

Swatching these babies was fun in that they glide on super easy. And they came off clean with one or two swipes of a cotton round with micellar water.

When you look at these colors, just keep in mind that I am probably the palest Floridian in the state (and I’m from here).

revlon colorburst balm swatches

So I have six now and I love them all. I definitely would recommend you try at least one of these for yourself! 🙂

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My take: NYX Lip Lingerie

Yup. Here I am again. Standing in the CVS Pharmacy makeup aisle checking out what’s new. I scoot over to the NYX display and am happy to see the NYX Lip Lingerie products included. There aren’t many to pick through, but I settle on what I believe to be my nude color, LIPLI11 “Baby Doll” which is a soft, pale nude color.

I like the packaging, and I know that NYX is known to have some of the best lip products, so I’m excited to try it on.

It does glide on very smoothly, very similar to its liquid soft matte lip products, which I (and pretty much everyone else) just adore. It feels creamy on the lips. I DO have to smile a bit to fill in gaps with pigment, which I find odd, but it seems to work and the finished product looks clean.

However, either I chose the wrong color for myself or what, but I really don’t like the color. I don’t know if it’s because I just have pale skin to begin with, but I am starting to really not like nude colors on myself. Maybe I just haven’t found the right nude, but I haven’t had success with it at all.

I tried to wear it. I really did. But I ended up wiping it off about 10 minutes later. Couldn’t stand the way it looked on my lips. I was washed out.

Perhaps in the future I’ll try a more reddish/pinkish color, but it just looked really weird on me. Do not recommend! (at least not that color)

My take:
Formula: *****
Color payoff: *****
Price: ***** (30% off at the time at CVS Pharmacy)

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My take: Simple Micellar Water

Simple Micellar Water review

Today I was wearing Garnier BB cream which has a light, slightly oily coverage (more on that later). I like it though because when I’m slightly tan it matches my complexion better.

Since I had light coverage on today, I thought it’d be a great time to try out my new Simple Micellar Water that I had just picked up yesterday at CVS. I had read somewhere that it works better when you have lighter coverage (I think the CVS.com website…).

Description from the Simple website:
“Simple Micellar Cleansing Water thoroughly cleanses by removing make-up, dirt, and impurities while unclogging pores. To instantly boost skin hydration by 90 percent, it is made with triple purified water, skin-loving ingredients, and multivitamins. Applied with a cotton round, Simple Micellar Cleansing Water leaves skin feeling fresh and revitalized, with no residue and no rinsing required.”

So I sat down and went through my evening routine. I took out my cotton pads and dosed an ample amount of the Micellar Water on a pad. And yes, it is just like water in its consistency.

I read the simple (no pun intended) directions and slapped that cotton on my face. I rubbed gently in circles and I could tell from my reflection and the pad itself that a LOT of  makeup was coming off.

Like all Simple products, it has no perfumes or weird chemicals. But this did have a slight scent that was pleasant. It wafted away soon after but it was nice, not distracting in any way.

My skin felt GREAT. It does feel like you’re washing your face. Though it says no need to rinse, it was hard for me to resist the urge since we’re trained basically since we’re born to wash our face. But I resisted.It has been 15 minutes now and my face feels clean, moisturized, and amazing. This could be a new favorite.Like anyone else I’m known to skip a face washing every now and then. This could change all that. It actually feels good and satisfying to clean your face like this.

My take: Love it. Try it!

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