Colorful Liquid Eyeliner by H&M

UPDATE: The eyeliner goes on sheerly and patchy, so multiple layers are needed. I recommend letting each layer dry before applying the next layer. Wear time is good and typical of a liquid liner. I also recommend trying this as a mascara topper rather than using the mascara version of this product. The mascara just doesn’t have enough product on the bristles to do a fully pigmented coat, and it will be easier to use the liquid liner to paint or dot onto lashes for a flash of shimmer.


I’ve told you about the pastel fairy goodness of the Colorful Lashes Mascara by H&M. Now meet the liquid eyeliner counterpart.

The product is named simply Liquid Eyeliner by H&M ($3.95). The color is the same as the tube color and is also noted on the white sticker label on each tube. I bought all three colors available: Blue, Purple, and Green. (The mascara is available in purple and green; there was no blue version.)

Swatches in indirect daylight are below, and show the eyeliner drawn thinly in 1 layer and drawn thickly in three layers (letting each layer dry first).

The eyeliner is pastel, metallic, and shiny. Blue is an icy baby blue, Purple is an icy lavender, and Green is mint. I’ve swatched the Purple and Green next to their mascara counterparts, and they look like exact dupes of each other. (I wonder whether the mascara could be used as an eyeliner with the right brush and vice versa.)

The eyeliner applicator is a narrow floppy brush. I wish it were firmer so that you could apply it more precisely and thickly, but it works moderately well. The bristles don’t splay or separate. It takes several layers to build up to full opacity.

I’m testing the Purple right now, so I don’t have a full review yet. But enjoy the swatches!





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Colorful Lashes Mascara by H&M

UPDATE: I recommend skipping the mascara due to just how little product is on the bristles. See my post in the corresponding liquid eyeliner. To obtain shimmery lashes, it would be easier to use the eyeliner to paint the color and shimmer where you want it. I found that the bristle design and dryness of the formula made it very hard to coat my short, lower lashes and deposited too little color onto my upper lashes.


Imagine my surprise when I went to H&M–the first time in a looong while–and discovered a cosmetics section full of unusual eye makeup.

I bought 2 tubes of the Colorful Lashes Mascara ($3.95) and 3 tubes of the colored Liquid Eyeliner ($3.95). Today, I’m posting swatches of the mascara.

There are no color names as far as I can tell. The boxes reflect the color of the mascara, so YES, the mascara is mint green and lavender! How could I resist?

The mint green is a shimmery light minty aqua. The lavender is a shimmery, icy pale lavender. I’ve only tried the green on my eyelashes so far. I applied several layers–required in order to get the color to really show up, although the sheerness means you can add just a hint of fairyness–on top of already curled and mascara-ed lashes. So I don’t know how it performs on its own, but I’ll update this post after I try it on its own and after I try the purple one.

In the meantime, drool over the gorgeousness of the packaging and swatches. It certainly adds a fun, ephemeral, fairy-like quality to your lashes. Definitely NOT natural looking. It lightens my lashes (to mint green of course) and it catches the light really well, giving the appearance of snow crystals or raindrops on the lashes.

The swatches are shown in indoor lighting and in indirect daylight.





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Birch & Barley


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Update: I returned both colors. The formula does not work on my hooded eyelids, resulting in aqua and blue smears on my eyelids. The aqua also goes on unevenly. For reference, Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner and Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner (in the skinny silver pen) work best on my eyelids.

Here are quick swatches of the Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Turquoise and Cobalt.

I haven’t worn them yet, but the thin felt tip and strong color are promising. Turquoise is a beautiful pastel seafoam green. Cobalt is a strong blue that’s just short of bright, primary-color blue. Both go on wet and shiny and dry within seconds to a matte finish. I went over the lines more than once to make sure the color was solid, but the line is pigmented in just one stroke.

Bonus swatch in the last picture of theBalm’s InStain Long-Wearing Powder Staining Brush in Swiss Dot, a deep, bright orange with a hint of red.




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Lyon Hall


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Different Strokes

Standards of beauty differ across the world. One example is apparent in the eyebrow stencils from two different companies, one Korean and the other American.

IPKN NewYork Semi-Tattoo Eyebrow and Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes both contain stencils made from thin flexible plastic.

IPKN is a Korean company and the stencils come in the shapes soft angled, round, and flat. Anastasia, the American company, has 5 variations of an arch shape: slim high, medium, petite, full, and high.

Recently, a collage of images of Korean beauty pageant contestants–all looking beautiful yet eerily similar–went viral, purporting to show how out of hand and how common plastic surgery had become in Korea. Well it turned out to be presumptuous, and the most likely reason for the strong similarities was a combination of makeup style and Photoshop. What can be said is that there is a particular beauty ideal in terms of makeup that differs from the American ideal: lucid, bright, fair skin with straight brows was a common look. No bronzer, no strongly arched brows a la Kim Kardashian and Megan Fox.

In the IPKN stencils, the round and flat shapes jump out as the most dissimilar from the Anastasia stencils and I think they quite accurately reflect the dissimilar cultural ideals. The IPKN stencils are also notably shorter in length: does that reflect style preferences? Or physically smaller faces? I have a fairly small face and the only Anastasia stencil that fits me is the petite arch. The rest are way too wide.

Personally, I’ve been trying to grow out and drawn in my brows to achieve the thick flat Korean style. But it still has a bit of an arch, and holding up the flat IPKN stencil to my brow last night, I realized that I’d have to pluck out the outer halves of my brows to truly have flat brows. Um, no thanks.




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Lo & Sons O.G. Bag review and sale

*Through the end of Mother’s Day, enter promo code MOMSRULE2013 at checkout for 15% off your order at Lo & Sons.*

I recently purchased the O.G. Bag (Overnight and Gym Bag) ($295) by Lo & Sons, a company started by a mother and her sons specializing in smartly designed and chicly styled travel bags and totes. I had been eyeing this bag to replace my current carry-on personal bag, a battered Lululemon gym bag, and so I jumped on the Mother’s Day promo for 15% off. (Lo & Sons promos are becoming less frequent and less generous as the company becomes more popular and has less inventory. But I wonder whether they will bring back 25%/30% off promos when they increase inventory.)

The version I bought has a black nylon body, black leather trim, gold hardware, and a light lavender interior. (I was thisclose to buying the plum exterior/lavender interior version, but ultimately reasoned that black would be best because I always store my personal bag on the floor under the seat in front of me. Plus I’m wearing something purple about 95% of the time and it would be too matchy-matchy, no?)

The hardware is weighty and shiny and I’m hoping it doesn’t scratch up easily. The zippers are engraved with “L&S” and a bird logo. There is also a heavy gold medallion on a removable thin leather strap.

I haven’t tried packing and traveling with it yet–though I’m psyched to test it on my trip to Austin–but the bag is supposed to fit underneath airplane seats. I took a couple of photos comparing it to my current personal bag.

Incidentally, Lululemon gym bags are a good option for a personal carry-on bag. They’re overpriced as gym bags but cheap as carry-on luggage. I bought mine, a black pleather style with many inside and outside pockets, for maybe $80-100 and it has lasted for three or four years on dozens of flights and even has a padded laptop compartment.

In the photos, you can see that the O.G. is quite a bit taller but is generally skinnier and shallower. On my petite frame, there is no mistaking the O.G. for anything but luggage. I would never use this as a work tote or even a gym tote. (There is a slightly smaller version called the O.M.G.)

Inside the main space are two sleeves (for a laptop and tablet) and zippered compartments on the opposite wall. The main space is quite spacey; although it’s narrower than many carry-ons, it’s quite a bit taller.

From the side exterior, you can zip open a sleeve intended to store shoes inside the bag but separately from your other (clean) belongings. In the photos, I pulled this sleeve inside out so you can see how big it is compared to the bag. It could probably hold a pair of low sneakers or flats, but I’d have to test whether it could hold high heels. I don’t usually pack a second pair of shoes in my personal bag, so an alternate use for this might be storing an umbrella or a water bottle and snacks (don’t you hate when a melting bottle of cold water starts dripping on everything?). If you’re not using it, you can roll it up within the main compartment and snap it into place and out of the way.

On the front wall is a zipped compartment that contains a keychain, pen holders, and smaller compartments. On the back wall is an interesting feature that I’ve seen on only a few bags before: essentially it’s a thick band of fabric with a zipper across the top and one across the bottom. If you keep the bottom zipper closed, the space serves as another zipper compartment. If you open the bottom and top zippers, you can slip the band over the telescoping handles of your rolling bag, securing the O.G. to the rolling bag.

The bottom has five gold metal “feet” for protection.

Overall, here are what I like about the bag and what I wish was different (not flaws, just my preferences):

– The light colored lining makes it easy to see what’s inside
– A shoulder strap (made of thick fabric, not padded) is included
– The hardware is real metal, so the zippers and strap attachments should last and withstand heavy loads
– The straps are long enough that I can easily pull this onto my shoulder, even with a coat
– The ability to slip the bag over the handles of my luggage is useful
– Having 2 sleeves for electronic devices more realistically reflects modern travel habits
– I wish the zippers for the main space came farther down the sides of the bag. I can see how items in the bag are more secure with the current design, but I foresee having to rifle through the top layers to get to the stuff at the bottom. You can see in the photos that it’s really hard to get good photos of the interiors because the compartments don’t open enough to allow light into the whole bag easily
– I also wish that the zippers for the front compartment zipped down on the sides. I can see how the current design makes it easy and secure to just drop items in, but again, less rifling if I could open the pocket down (or have the pocket accordion out)
– I wish there was a second keychain. One keychain to store my home keys, and a second keychain to store my rental car/hotel keys
– I wish there was an additional non-zip compartment on the front for easy access–something wide enough for a boarding pass (although I suppose I should switch to mobile passes) or frequently accessed items such as lip balm and eye drops but shallow enough so that I’m not fishing in a bottomless pit
– I wish it were slightly deeper, even by half an inch. I’d really like to take advantage of all that space under the seat
– I wish there were two cellphone holders in the same compartment. I have an iPhone (personal use) and a Blackberry (for work). There is one good pocket in the main space and one in the front compartment

In sum, I really like the O.G. bag and appreciate all of the thought that went into the design–for form and function. I hope it holds up well in my upcoming travels.








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