With both lipsticks, I loved that the bottom of the tube has product visible. If you are at a store trying to choose a color, the stickers are not always accurate, but with these lipsticks, you can see exactly what the lipstick looks like, even if you can't open the package. They are also highly pigmented, yay! Vegas, Baby (72) is a creamy pinkish beige that is almost a perfect duplicate of my favorite Clinique Long Last Soft Shine lipstick, Creamy Nude. The Max Factor lipsticks have a retail price of around $9, less than the Clinique which costs $14, but pretty expensive for a drugstore brand. The nice thing about drugstore cosmetics though, is that you can combine sales and coupons to get them significantly cheaper. Vegas, Baby is a great color that I have worn often since receiving it, but I really wish the formula was longer wearing. It is nice and moisturizing, but disappears after a couple of hours.
The other color I tried was Ms. Right (44). This color is a true red. It is certainly the reddest lipstick I own. It is not a daytime lipstick...and honestly I wouldn't wear it in the evening either. I can see wearing it if I was going for a 1950's pin-up look or as part of a Halloween costume, but it is just too garish for normal wear. I know some people can rock a bright red lipstick, but I am just not that brave. Again the formula is very soft and smooth, highly pigmented (seriously huge color pay off), but not terribly long lasting.
The 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumping mascara was fantastic. The size of the wand was a little intimidating, but it is really very easy to use. The only drawback is that the end of the wand is very large and flat, so if you are used to applying mascara in the corners of your lashes with the tip of the wand you'll need to use a different brush. That said, I had no trouble reaching all my lashes with the brush. It is one of the newer rubbery bristle brushes, instead of the wiry bristles. The color I received was Extreme Blackout (401), but the mascara also comes in Black Velvet (402) and Blackest Brown (403). I'm not sure why they have two blacks, but Extreme Blackout was nice and dark. The formula was great. I have long lashes that are very straight, so I always curl them before applying mascara. I need my mascara to hold the curl and the Max Factor did a fine job of that without being overly stiff. I didn't notice extreme volume, but there was an increase in volume and definition. I didn't have trouble with running and only very minor flaking by the end of the day. If I were to purchase this, I'd probably get the waterproof formula, just because I think those tend to do a bit less flaking and hold the curl better. All in all, the 2000 Calorie Extreme Plumper was a great mascara, but like the lipsticks, a little expensive for a drugstore brand. It sells for about $11, though with coupons and sales it would be cheaper.
On a related note. When I received the mascara, the tube design looked all too familiar. That was because I had purchased a Cover Girl Lash Blast Luxe mascara the week before. Both Max Factor and Cover Girl are Procter & Gamble products so I guess they had their package design for Lash Blast (which has sold incredibly well) and just re-used it for Max Factor. I'd like it if the design was more original, but it doesn't affect the performance of the mascara.
In a quick rant about all mascara packaging...why do they sell it in such large amounts? After opening, mascara should only be used for about 3 months. Then we're supposed to throw it out since after that time the bacteria will have multiplied to a level that can cause infections in the eye. Even with daily use of two-three coats, no-one will use an entire tube of mascara in three months! Most people don't want to toss it and waste all that product, so they use it for much longer. If companies sold smaller tubes in packages of two or three it would make so much more sense and I think they would sell more. Okay, rant over.
So in summary, I liked the Vivid Impact lipstick in Vegas, Baby a lot and it has become a staple in my make-up arsenal. The red lippie, Ms. Right, was all wrong for my coloring...or just too much color. The 2000 Calorie Extreme Plumping mascara gave plenty of volume and held up well throughout the day. It isn't as good as some of the designer mascaras (Dior Diorshow & Givenchy Phenomen'eyes, eg.), but is far superior to many drugstore mascaras (Mabelline Great Lash). I have some decent high-value coupons for these Max Factor products that I can give to anyone who want to give either of these products a try.
I just won a bunch of cosmetics and facial care products from Kiss My Face in a contest on Eco Child's Play! This giveaway included the Potent & Pure Facial Care, and the Sheer Organic Shimmers & Shines mineral lip care products. Kiss My Face makes products that are natural and organic and you know how much I love make-up, especially if it sparkles! I subscribe to Eco Child's Play's RSS feed and always find insightful and thought provoking articles about parenting and sustainable living as well as great product recommendations and contests like this one! I have recently enjoyed their articles about home birth after watching The Business of Being Born. This post is link-tastic!