Sally Hansen No Chip

When I take the time to paint my nails, I want that manicure to last long enough to enjoy it!  I have no tolerance for chips.  So Sally Hansen’s No Chip Acrylic Top Coat sounded very promising to me.  Sally Hansen’s website promises this top coat “seals nail color” and “helps resist chipping and peeling”.

So I bought a bottle and tested it out.  I wasn’t impressed.  Within 24 hours of my manicure, the polish chipped off from several fingers.  Fine, I thought.  I’ll give it another chance.  I applied a fresh coat of color and another layer of No Chip.  The results were the same: almost instaneous chipping!

Perhaps this product should be called Chips A Lot, or something else more truthful in regards to its performance.  I gave this product one more shot, hoping it was the nail color that was the problem, but the different nail color also chipped right away. 

No Chip ended up in my trash can.  I give this product zero stars!  It’s terrible and actually seems to encourage chipping.  Not exactly what I look for in a top coat.


Wet ‘n Wild MegaPlump Mascara

I am a confessed mascara junkie, and it’s very hard for me to pass up trying a new mascara, even if it’s a brand I don’t particularly like. Take Wet ‘n Wild’s MegaPlump mascara, for instance. I am not a fan of Wet ‘n Wild, and not just because the brand has a stupid, 80’s name. I have just found that most of their products end up in the trash can not long after I open them because they are, basically, cheaply made and not top performers.

Strolling through Walgreens one day, though, I spotted this mascara on sale for barely a dollar. It was absolutely an impulse buy, and I fully expected to hate it, toss it, write a scathing review, and be on my way.

Except a funny thing happened: when I first applied it, I thought, “Hey, not bad.”

Wet ‘n Wild’s website claims this mascara “instantly plumps for up to 5X the volume”. Well, I don’t think anyone will be terribly shocked that a cosmetics company’s claims about its products are hyper-inflated, and this one is not an exception. Five times the volume? Hardly. But what I did get were defined lashes that fanned out and looked fuller, didn’t clump, and didn’t flake.

I curl my lashes, so that helps, but I assure you, even with an eyelash curler, some mascaras are still crap. And the no-flakes-no-clumps thing is huge, since I have found most mascaras commit both sins, no matter how much you paid for it.

Pros: inexpensive (about $3 or $4 regular price); clean application; no clumps; no flakes; makes my lashes fan out; makes my lashes look thicker; easy to remove with make-up remover

Cons: doesn’t live up to the 5x thicker claim, but I didn’t expect it to; brush may come out of the bottle a bit gloppy, but a simple and quick roll on a tissue will easily remove excess mascara

Bottom Line: I was pleasantly surprised with this mascara. No, it won’t make your lashes look pumped up and super-voluminous, but honestly, how many mascaras claim to do that but don’t deliver? I like a mascara that goes on cleanly, separates my lashes, defines my lashes, and simply looks good without making a mess of flakes all over my face. This one delivers, much to my surprise (did I mention I didn’t expect to like this mascara?)

Would I Buy It Again?: Yes, I would buy this mascara again.

Pink Leopard Print Heels: Need I Say More?

Not one to resist anything leopard print, I admit to nearly squealing like a valley girl when I saw these pink and ivory leopard shoes on These shoes have several things going for them: (1) they are leopard print (my fetish for leopard has already been covered); (2) the heels don’t look like towering threats to my ability to walk or impending knee pain inflicters; and (3) the peep-toe would show off a mean pedicure.

Oh yeah, and they go for $22.80 online. One big drawback: Forever21 seems to only have whole sizes in shoes, so if you wear a half size like me, you are going to have to choose between shoes that are a pinch too damn small or half a size too big. Neither option is terribly appealing.

Also, pink is not a color that runs rampant in my wardrobe. I wish these shoes came in a traditional, black-and-brown or gray-and-black leopard print option for those of us who love leopard but take the girliness down a notch or two by not swathing ourselves in head-to-toe pink.

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara

After my brief self-imposed retirement, I am back, here today to review Maybelline The Falsies mascara. I’ve mentioned before that mascara is one of my favorite beauty products, so when I saw this beckoning to me from the shelves of Walmart, I caved and put it into my cart.

The product claim (according to Maybelline’s website): “The Falsies Mascara delivers a false lash look; giving you a full set of voluminous, bold, fanned out lashes and the appearance of no gaps from any angle. The Pro-Keratin and Fibre enriched formula is designed to deliver immediate results, distributing volume and visible intensity to your lashes. The patented ‘Spoon’ shaped brush helps fan lashes out.”

My first impression of this mascara was that I really liked how it makes my lashes look. They looked thicker and stood out more. Unfortunately, this mascara also flakes like a damn snowstorm. Little black flecks surrounded my eyes all day, and I had to keep cleaning them off.

The next time I tried this mascara, I rolled the wand lightly onto a tissue to remove any excess, a trick I read in a magazine somewhere. It works great for some other mascaras I have used, making application cleaner and preventing clumps and flakes. Well, not this one. I still had flakes around my eyes. I don’t want my eyes to stand out because of the ring of black flakes left by my mascara!

So, much as I how I like how this mascara makes my lashes look, it is only getting 2.5 stars out of 5 because of excessive flaking.

Pros: relatively cheap (about $7 at Walmart); makes my lashes look thick and dramatic

Cons: flakes. Lots of them! And I’m not a fan of bent mascara wands. (How, pray tell, does a bent wand make it easier to apply?)

I wanted to like this mascara, but flaking is a huge pet peeve of mine when it comes to mascara.

Would I purchase this again? No.

Curtain Call

Over 2 years ago, I got the idea to start a beauty blog. The name Lipstick Graffiti materialized after running through so many other options that just didn’t click for me; this one seemed to catch the right blend of grit and girlie, beauty and brains.

I have posted less and less frequently, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. With increased job demands and a busier life all around, I haven’t made the time or found the time to keep up with this blog like I used to. I have finally decided that I would prefer to focus on my personal blog, The Smirking Cat, and let this one slide to the background.

Since I have surprisingly high visitors due to searches for product reviews, I will leave this blog up and running, and may even post here and there if something strikes me as urgently compelling to write about! But for any readers wondering where the hell I went, come visit me at The Smirking Cat; I promise that blog isn’t going anywhere!

My Wish List: e.l.f.’s Punk Funk Eye Shadow!

Every now and then I check out e.l.f.’s website, since the hick town I live in doesn’t offer any stores with these products. I’ve used their Brightening Eye Color before, and I was impressed with the pigmentation and lasting power of an eye shadow quad that ran a buck. (Granted, the triangles of color are very small, but come on, we’re not using a shovel to plaster the color on, are we? A little bit lasts a while.)

I was rounding up a refill of my favorite color combo, Silver Lining (a combination of purple, pink, and ivory), when I noticed that e.l.f. has added some new color combinations. My favorite of the newbies is Punk Funk, pictured here. Bright purple, hot pink, and intense purple! Not for the faint of heart, but exceptional, vivid colors, great for the upcoming summer season.

If you decide to pick up your own Punk Funk, or anything else from e.l.f.’s site, remember to search coupon codes! I am using CAROLINA for 50% of my entire order. Just enter “coupon code e.l.f.” into your search engine and take your pick.

Grape Cuticle Treatment

I read this in an old copy of Fitness magazine (April 2009), and I can’t wait to try it! It’s a simple homemade recipe for a nail and cuticle treatment:

5 grapes (red ones are packed with more antioxidants than green)
1 tablespoon sugar
Grapeseed oil or hand cream

1. Slice grapes in half widthwise
2. Dip the fleshy side into the sugar and use it to massage the skin around each nail (one halved grape per finger) for about 30 seconds each.
3. Brush away excess sugar with a soft towel and rub a dot of grapeseed oil or hand cream onto hands and cuticles.

The sugar crystals remove dead skin and hangnails, and the gentle fruit acids help exfoliate remaining raggedness.