Friday, September 30, 2016

Besame Cosmetics Cake Mascara + Kat Von D Beauty Addiction Beauty Insider 500-Point Reward - First Impressions!

It is well known in the fashion industry that style and trends are cyclical; what was cool once will inevitably become cool again if given enough time. Apparently, this holds true in makeup as well, as is evidenced by the new (old?) Besame Cosmetics Cake Mascara.
Once a popular form for mascara, cake mascara has fallen out of fashion and liquid mascara in a tube, the kind you see everywhere from almost every cosmetic brand, has become the norm. I don't think I've seen a cake mascara readily available for purchase until now and perhaps, if this one does well, other companies will release their own versions.

Besame Cosmetics is known for releasing modern recreations of classic luxury makeup products; I already have some experience with the brand through their lipsticks, and I've been quite impressed with the quality. There's something very satisfyingly luxurious about using a high quality, vintage-esque product, especially with all the cheap, quick options for makeup that are now available. It's easy to get a tube of mascara that will make your lashes dark and long, but I want to also enjoy the process of applying it, if that makes sense.
I got my Cake Mascara from Sephora, though you can also purchase it directly from Besame. Because I got mine from Sephora, I got the standard three free foil packet samples...
...a deluxe sample of the Sunday Riley Martian Mattefying Melting Water-Gel Toner because it sounded cool and I like trying Sunday Riley products...
...and the 500-point Kat Von D Beauty Addiction Beauty Insider Reward! I was super excited to get this kit because I love the Kat Von D line of products but, unfortunately, like the tarte 500-point kit, this one ended up being disappointing.
You get four mini products, plus a special KVD branded mini makeup bag. It's pretty small, but you can fit all four of the samples in it with some room to spare, so it would work well as a makeup bag if you don't have a lot of purse space and need to limit yourself.
The four products you get are deluxe sample sizes of the Vampira Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, a Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown, an Ink Liner in Trooper, and a Studded Lipstick in Cathedral.
Unfortunately, Cathedral arrived broken; I probably could have salvaged it, but I didn't want to have to fuss with it and worry about it falling out again. I also could have contacted Sephora customer service, but after having issues with another 500-point kit just a couple months ago, again, I didn't want to fuss about it.
Apparently, I'm not as familiar with the KVD product line as I thought I was since I did not realize that an Ink Liner was so significantly different from a Tattoo Liner. The KVD Tattoo Liners are basically magic; the colors are opaque, the lines are precise, and they don't feather. Ink Liners are very different and, as you can see in my swatch here, they feather. Immediately. I'm happy to have Vamperia and a Tattoo Liner in brown, but two products and a mini makeup bag don't feel like they're worth the 500-points I had to spend to get them.
Back to the mascara! Everything about this product, down the packaging design, is vintage inspired. The brick red with gold foil, while clearly vintage, still feel very luxurious.
The back of the box includes the very short ingredients list, along with an expiration date. One thing that really drew me to the idea of a cake mascara is that it's much less likely to get contaminated compared with a normal liquid or cream mascara; bacteria and mold need water to grow, and, since the amount of liquid is limited in cake form, there's less of a chance of anything thriving. I also like the idea that it can't dry out just from sitting out on my vanity; it's already dry!
This is not an inexpensive product; it's $25, which includes the cake itself and a mini applicator brush, so the cardboard packaging is a bit of a let down. It feels very fragile and makes me reluctant to travel with this product. I feel like Besame chose to use cardboard over plastic since plastic might feel too modern and ruin the aesthetic, but it would have been nice. The applicator also feels a little on the cheap side; I don't have a picture of it on its own, but it's in the opening photo. It looks like a mini toothbrush and it's completely plastic, including the bristles. When I first unboxed mine, the brush was a little deformed from being smushed in the box. It does an excellent job applying the mascara, but again, it feels really cheap and it goes against the luxury/high quality ideal. The cake itself comes wrapped in waxed tissue with a little sticker to seal it closed. I'm not sure if you're supposed to remove this tissue or not, but I left mine in and close it up after it dries to keep it protected.
The cake is a solid black block of product with the Besame logo imprinted on top. It's a little sticky on the edges, but it seems sturdy. To use this mascara, you wet your brush (or add a drop or two of water to the cake itself), when brush it through your lashes. Since this is mostly just pigment, you don't get any clumps and, I have to say, I get some really amazing looking, natural lashes from using this mascara. The downside is that, since there aren't really any ingredients for thickening or lengthening, all this mascara will do is darken and define your lashes. If you naturally have dark lashes, or if you're lacking lashes and use mascaras for reasons besides just adding color, this mascara isn't for you. My lashes are naturally blonde and long so adding color and definition to them makes them pop. All too often, I end up with clumped up lashes that look more sparse than what I started with when I use thicker mascaras, so I really liked the clump-free formula and application.

I ended up using MAC's Fix+ instead of regular water since using water with your cosmetics, unless it's purified, can contaminate them with chemicals and/or bacteria. I'm not sure if it was the Fix+ or if there is something in this product that irritates my skin, but my eyes felt itchy after applying it. I waited to see if the feeling would go away (sometimes, with regular mascara, my eyes will feel weird for a bit but then feel fine), but it continued so I washed it off. This products removed easily with a cleansing water, so it's definitely not water-proof, but even after using a cleanser (one I've used multiple times) and plain water to rinse, my eyes still feel tight and itchy. My eyelids don't look red or irritated, and there weren't any ingredients that I saw that I knew would cause me irritation, so I have no idea what happened (I also washed the applicator before using it, so it's possible that I didn't rinse all the brush shampoo out). Depending on how long it takes for the itchiness to do away (or if it gets any worse), I'll give this product another try using plain water to see if that helps; I've never had a bad reaction to a mascara before (except ones with a ton of added fragrance) so I really have no idea what caused it.

Is this mascara worth it? It really depends on what you're looking for; if you love the idea and the vintage-aesthetic, it's definitely an interesting piece of makeup. If you have light-colored lashes and are looking for a way to add color and definition, this is an excellent product...as long as there's nothing in it that irritates your skin. It is on the expensive side at $25 (you get about the same amount of product as a Perversion or Better Than Sex mascara, which retail for around $22), but since it's in a cake form, it's likely to last longer without drying out or going bad than a regular mascara.

Thanks for reading! <3

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