When I was a kid, I divided makeup into three categories. Teeny bopper makeup, teenager makeup, and adult makeup. Teeny boppers wore Wet N Wild. Teenagers moved up to "higher end" drugstore brands, particularly Cover Girl. And adults? Grown up ladies wore Mary Kay. Those pink and white bottles and tubes with the little Mary Kay flower logo on them symbolized serious makeup, makeup for women with jobs, women who were beyond what could be found at Rite Aid. Mary Kay was aspiration makeup.
Fast forward a number of years, and, just before my 30th birthday, I finally start wearing makeup myself. Lots has changed, and the biggest change is Sephora. Suddenly, there is a whole world of "serious" makeup, and I am a fast addict, building a huge and expensive arsenal. One label that is missing from said arsenal? Mary Kay. Until now.
When BlogHer chose me to review a few of Mary Kay's products, I was beyond excited, both because I just plain love makeup and because I'd wanted to see what Mary Kay was offering these days. The selections I received were: a Mary Kay Compact Mini loaded with mineral eyeshadows in their hazel trio (Honey Spice, Hazelnut, and Cinneban) and a mineral blush in Shy; a tube of Ultimate Mascara in Black; and a tube of Tinted Lip Balm in Rose. Basically, they sent me everything I needed to be fully made up (on top of my base and primers). The compact is genius--it's tiny (smaller than the palm of my hand) and the eyeshadows and blush fit into it magnetically, with room underneath them for small brushes for both the shadow and the blush. The lip balm tube is also really small, and both could be shoved into a tiny clutch or even fit in a jacket pocket.
My test was to use the products all together, as if they were all I had with me (on top of my typical morning routine moisturizer, etc.) I was very happy with the look. I was more subtle than what I normally wear, but very professional and pretty. I am typically an eyeliner wearer, and I did miss my liner, but I felt like the three colors Mary Kay picked out for my hazel eyes did a great job bringing them out. I followed the directions helpfully included in the packaging to wear all three colors--the medium brown on the lid, the darker red/brown in the corners, and the champagne/honey at the brow bone. I was also very happy with the blush, which is a subtle peach-pink and warmed up my barely-tan complexion just the right amount. The mascara went on easily, gave good thickening and lengthening coverage in one coat, and didn't smudge and didn't flake all day, even though I have sensitive eyes, so it got a gold-star as well. My hands-down favorite product, though, was the lip balm. The Rose shade is neutral perfection, and I could still feel and see the color at lunchtime. Huge win.
The biggest drawback of the products I was sent was the brushes that came in the compact. In order to fit, they have to be tiny, and I just do not have the hand-eye coordination required to use tiny brushes at 7am. I tried them, but quickly switched to using my regular brushes in order to get even application of the blush and the shadows. Since portability isn't key to me, I'll likely keep using it this way, but if the portable aspect were really important, I'm sure I could learn to use the itty bitty brushes with some practice.
Trying and being so excited about these products led me to pop on over to the Mary Kay site to see what else they have on offer. Wow! There is a ton of great looking stuff! I'm fascinated by the Shadow & Liner Duo Pens, which I think would be another fantastic throw-in-your-bag-and-go option (these are a limited edition product, so they're only available while supplies last), and I'd love to try the Cream Blush. The site also has this really neat Virtual Makeover tool, where you can load your own picture and "try on" the products virtually.
Are you sold yet? How about $100 in Mary Kay products of your own, would that do it? Thanks to Mary Kay and BlogHer, I can do that! For your chance to win a Mary Kay gift pack valued at $100, leave me a comment on this post and let me know which Mary Kay product you'd most like to try. For extra entries, blog or tweet or FB about this contest and link to it in a comment.
This contest will run through August 26.
No duplicate comments. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
To see other folks review these products and for other chances to win, visit the promotions & prizes section at BlogHer.