Review and Giveaway: Mary Kay


As a blogger, I have the opportunity to receive free products for review. While this can seem pretty nice, it’s hard when the free product I receive underwhelms, and that happens more often than not. And then there’s Mary Kay, who impresses me on a regular basis. I must admit, growing up I felt Mary Kay was a bit cheesy. And then they sent me some products to review through BlogHer, and not only did I like them but I liked them so much that I’ll continue purchasing some of the products. Each time I am asked to review Mary Kay, I jump at the chance because I know I am going to be impressed and very well may find a new favorite beauty product.

Recently Mary Kay sent me a box of goodies – a collection of their best sellers as well as some new products. And let me tell you, I have some new favorite Mary Kay products because of this.

Mary Kay® Ultimate Mascara™ in Black
I had been a DiorShow mascara girl for years. When Mary Kay sent me their Ultimate Mascara a while back, I was shocked to find that I liked it BETTER than DiorShow. Mary Kay’s Ultimate Mascara has a wand that looks quite ordinary, but it does a phenomenal job of separating and lengthening. The wand makes it possible to do multiple coats without creating spider lashes, and the final result rivals false lashes. As someone who wears contacts and has seasonal allergies, I love the fact that while Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara washes off easily at the end of the day for me, it stays put through the day. This mascara is as close to perfect as I have ever found. Seriously.

Mary Kay® Lash Love™ Waterproof Mascara in Black
Mary Kay sent me my beloved Lash Love mascara in a waterproof formula, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. The formula dries very quickly, feels soft on the lashes, and will not budge. I wore it swimming, photographing a wedding on a very hot and humid day, and hiking without a single smear or flake. However, it came off quite well with some makeup remover wipes. Many waterproof mascaras fall short in delivering volume and length, but Lash Love Waterproof is almost as fabulous as the traditional formula. I’m quite a fan and will be buying it again.

Mary Kay® Lash Love™ Mascara in Black
Lash Love is a pretty awesome mascara for those who like long, fluttery lashes. The wand really separates and coats every side of your lashes without any clumping. My lashes looked really long and felt soft and natural. This has become my go-to workday mascara because it’s not as pumped up as the Ultimate Mascara, but it still makes my lashes look long and lush and natural. The other day I was in the bathroom with a coworker and she said I was lucky to have long eyelashes. I told her I had pretty average lashes but a fabulous mascara. Have you ever had a mascara so good that it starts a conversation? If not…seriously…check out Mary Kay’s line.

Mary Kay® Lash Primer
When lash primers came out a few years ago, I tried them out and hated them. They were heavy, hard to use, and didn’t make my lashes look any thicker or longer. I like the Mary Kay version, though. It’s as if they took all the negative feedback from traditional primers and made something that actually works. The spiral brush makes it easy to lightly coat each individual lash. I had the best results when I would curl my lashes first and then do a gentle wiggle of the primer brush through my lashes. While still damp from the primer, I would apply mascara and then use the mascara wand to bend up the lashes until they dried. This way, my lashes maintained curl under the weight of the products, plus they got all the plumping and lengthening benefits of the Lash Primer. While this isn’t something I would do on an average day, I have liked using the primer for nights out because it really amps up the lashes!

Mary Kay® NouriShine Plus™ Lip Gloss in Mango Tango, Rock n Red, and Café Au Lait
I like the packaging of these lip glosses – short, fat tubes that can easily fit in a tiny coin pocket or clutch purse. The formulas are creamy, smell a bit like birthday cake, and feel good on the lips. Café Au Lait has become my go-to day gloss; it is a hair darker than my natural lip color, shiny without sparkle, and can be applied without a mirror. Rock ’n’ Red was a bit too bright for my taste, but I did like it as a layer over a darker burgundy lipstick. Mango Tango was a fun color for summer, with just a hint of tan and since then has become a fave with a fresh face and my fair skin. Like other glosses they would wear off with time and eating, but they kept consistent pigment (no ring around the lips), and kept my lips feeling soft and conditioned.

Mary Kay® Compact Mini
I received one of these compacts from Mary Kay in the past and I think it’s brilliant. The compact itself is attractive, and it has a good clasp that will stay shut in your makeup bag, a big mirror, and a compartment to hold brushes. The compact is magnetic so you can put your favorite combination of products in there – six shadows, two blushes, or any combination of these. For the compact, I received Mary Kay’s Mineral Eye Color in Golden Vanilla, Truffle, Lavender Fog, Midnight Star, Sweet Plum and Black Pearl, as well as Mineral Cheek Color in Shy Blush. The shadows have a lot of pigment and last a long time, but I wasn’t a fan of the slightly crumbly formula (which is quite typical for mineral shadows). Shy Blush Mineral Cheek Color is very similar to NARS Orgasm, my daily blush; I put one on each cheek and couldn’t tell the difference. Since it’s a mineral product, it has high pigment (a little goes a long way), and lasts all day. The only negative is the size of the blush; while I appreciate it being able to fit into the compact, the blush was too small to get proper coverage on my blush brush, and therefore, without some finagling, I wasn’t able to get even color on my cheeks.

TimeWise® Microdermabrasion Set
Since I am closer to 40 than 30, I have been checking out a lot of products that will keep my skin looking soft and young. I have tried a few microdermabrasion kits – some fabulous, some meh. The two-step Mary Kay TimeWise® kit is fabulous. You start with the exfoliator, which has tiny crystals that feel a bit like sand, and you massage it on wet skin for 1 to 2 minutes. You can feel it working without scratching. Rinse (and it did rinse quite easily – no crystals in the eye or stickiness), and then apply the replenishing serum. I LOVED the serum. It didn’t make my face greasy or sticky, just smooth and hydrated and happy. This kit really did make my face glow, but didn’t make it red or irritated. This is a combination that is effective yet gentle enough that you could use in the morning before heading to work. I have only used it twice, but I do feel that with repeated use it will improve my skin texture.

NEW Mary Kay® TimeWise Repair™ Volu-Firm™ Eye Renewal Cream
I faithfully use eye cream every morning and evening and always wonder if it’s making any difference. I have dark circles, bags, fine lines, puffiness, and I rub my eyes a lot. I always hope that an eye cream is at least not making things worse, but I also never see it actually improving anything. That is until I used this eye cream. Within three weeks I saw an improvement in the appearance of under-eye puffiness and sagginess and not only did I notice but my husband noticed too. The product comes with a slanted metal applicator to apply the cream, but I found that a bit awkward and have been applying it with my ring finger. I love that it really absorbs; there’s no greasiness, and I can put my makeup on soon after without it slipping or fading. There was no irritation, no heavy fragrance, and it feels good on the skin. This is a product that I will surely buy again.

If you’d like to learn more about Mary Kay, visit their website, Facebook page, or their YouTube Channel. Also, you have the chance to win some Mary Kay products of your own!

Giveaway: This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been notified.  Thank you all for entering!

I was provided with Mary Kay products to use and review, and was compensated for this post, however all opinions are my own.

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  • Claudine

    It’s been ages since I’ve thought about Mary Kay! I’d like to try their products.

    Here’s my beauty tip: Before applying dark-colored eye shadow, blot powder on your cheeks where you normally get fallout. After finishing with the eyes, take a loaded powder brush and brush away the fallout.

  • Dana

    I haven’t used Mary Kay in a long time. I really like their products though.

    My best advice is to always curl your lashes. Mine are super short and when I don’t curl them I can’t even seen them.

  • AttiredAttorney

    Would love to win! My beauty tip: blast your eyelash curler with your blowdryer for a few seconds to add an extra boost to its curling ability!

  • lacytite

    Tip: use foundation primer. It makes all your makeup last longer, you will use less foundation (I use a third of what I used to use before primer. It spreads more and smoother now!) I actually use Mary Kay’s primer — works great 🙂

  • Best beauty tip I learned? Stop scrubbing away all of my skin’s natural oils! I grew up thinking I had oily, acne-prone skin, but it wasn’t really that bad. But I spent so much time using tea tree oils, astringents, and more, that it just confused my skin’s chemistry. Now? I take it a LOT more easily.

  • Christa

    Best beauty tip is curl your eyelashes, always! My mom has always used Mary Kay and when I got married my sensitive eyes would not tolerate eye makeup and Mary Kay came through for me! I have a new saleswoman and she is great! Thank you for the information.

  • Hope

    The best beauty tip I’ve ever received is whatever you do with make up, make sure it is enhancing what you have, not trying to change it. And find a fantastic face wash. Beauty starts with clean skin!

  • Rachel

    Tip: layer your eyeshadow. It gives your eyes so much more definition, and it will wear off at different times.

  • Bubu

    How to properly apply mascara: wiggle the brush side to side as you move it vertically, rather than just a straight vertical move like they do in the commercials. The result is way more natural looking and less clumpy. (And always after curling, as others have mentioned)

  • Adrien

    My best beauty tip is to not over-wash your face. I wash mine at night and then rinse in the morning. My skin is much happier when it’s not stripped!

  • eds_77845

    Always wash off makeup at the end of the day…

  • Jules

    Always use SPF!

  • Lorena Lorena

    I am actually looking for a new mascara after using Clarins (which is quite good)… MK seems like a good option.
    I have actually used and continue to use some of their products. THEY deliver.

  • gatorgirl4325

    Eye shadow primer! Since I’ve started using primer, my eyeshadow lasts all day. 🙂

  • Karen

    After putting on lipstick, put your finger in your mouth like a popsicle and pull the finger out. This removes errant lipstick that might otherwise stick to your teeth.

  • Margot Queenmadge

    Best beauty tip I’ve learned is to use a tea bag to reduce morning eye puffiness or whenever you have puffy eyes. It works and it feels great. Boil water and steep a tea bag in the boiling water. Remove and let cool. squeeze out excess water and while still warm apply the tea bag to your closed eye. Leave on for a few minutes. When you remove it your eyes will be much less puffy.

  • yasmara

    Best beauty tip – curl your lashes! I didn’t get my first lash curler until my 30’s & now I can’t complete even the most basic beauty routine without it!

  • Ellie W.

    The best tip I’ve been taught is to not use your makeup to coverup, but instead to enhance! When you are trying to cover up something (aka don’t like yourself so you try to change it with makeup!), you look like you’re trying to cover something up! Just smile, enhance yourself with makeup & let your real beauty shine! 🙂

  • Ellie W.
  • Sarah C.

    I have never tried Mary Kay products before but that may have to change!! The greatest beauty tip I have ever learned is that a genuine smile, a generous spirit, and true kindness make you far more beautiful than any make-up product every could.

  • Connie C

    Always, always wear sunscreen!

  • Red Peeptoe Pumps

    Use the mascara brush horizontally on your top lashes and vertically on your bottom lashes. It instantly changed the success of my mascara application!

  • alice

    I’ve never found a mascara I liked because I have rather sensitive eyes and am prone to rubbing them so I’d love to try out the Mary Kay products you mentioned. As for beauty tips, the best one is to drink enough water. Expensive products don’t do a thing if you’re dehydrated!

  • Katie G

    i love trying new mascaras and waterproof is a must for me!

  • Jessica S

    The best Beauty Advice I have ever gotten was from my Mama, ‘No matter how much makeup you wear, always let your inner beauty and strength shine through. That is your true beauty’

  • Missy Mann

    Best tip I’ve hear was to shape and fill in your eyebrows. It really helps balance my face.

  • Jenny

    Best beauty tip? I have to agree with so many of the previous commenters: curls your lashes! I wasn’t a believer until a make up artist showed me how to get them to curl the right way (clamp with the curler, then move up and clamp again).

  • i will share the TWO greatest beauty tips ive ever learned: (1) SMILE. it makes everyone look lovely. (2) beauty is a spectrum, not a trait.

  • Jessica H

    My tip is to put vaseline on your lips before bed to wake up with extra soft lips.

  • Sarah B.

    Best beauty tip I’ve heard is to stay hydrated and take good care of your skin.

  • my best tip? drink water, LOTS of water. makes everything work so much better.

  • sarabear01

    Best tip was when I was young was to always wash my face everyday with a dedicated face cleanser. Depending on your skin type it may be only that 1x is needed but my face for the most part has been clear from the time I was 10 or so till now and I’m in my mid 30’s.

  • Kendra

    My favorite tip is to melt your eyeliner pencil a little near a lightbulb to get a liquid like line with a pencil liner.

  • Kristien

    Get a good night’s sleep! Lack of sleep shows on the face. Also, as we age, we should lighten up on makeup- less is more. I have been hearing great things about the Mary Kay mascara line. Was contemplating contacting my local person and placing an order.

  • I love tips that provide cheap duplicates for expensive products, like using Monistat anti-chafing gel instead of foundation primer.

  • Colleen

    For sensitive, yet break-out prone skin that you’re using retinol products on, mix a little bit of your regular moisturizer into it before application. you’ll stave off the irritation and the flakes!

  • Sarah B.
  • shannonemerick1

    Eeek! Love Mary Kay too, this would be a great early Christmas present!

  • Kathy Frazier

    Favorite tip? As a 51-year old, I learned to initially dry my hair on the “cold” setting until it’s almost completely dry, then finish and style it using the hot setting. That way I don’t dry out my hair, but I still get the great finished style. Please enter me in this give-away! Thanks!!
    Kathy Frazier

  • Natalie Mikolajczak

    I ALWAYS do my BR (beauty regimen). No matter how late it is, I always wash my face and moisturize before bed. Always.

  • Ms. Mayo (SMI)

    I’d like to win your MaryKay goodies. Thanks!

  • jkn

    I always wash my face before bed. Also, my grandmother had fabulous skin because she moisturized every day and night.

  • Haven’t tried MK in a REALLY long time. Now you’ve got me curious…

  • Rachael_R

    The best beauty tip is the simplest. Wash your face. 🙂

  • Lucy

    My 14 year old taught me how to apply that little cat tail eye liner. I love it!

  • pfq

    Mary Kay Goodies Please!!!! 😀 My best beauty tip for us girls with wavy hair, is to let your hair air-dry if at all possible! I always get the BEST waves when I just don’t touch the blow dryer.

  • Dee

    Sounds like some awesome products to try!

  • The best beauty tip I know–always remove your makeup before you go to sleep.

  • Sarah

    The best beauty tip I ever received is to show confidence and have fun!

  • When applying your mascara, use the ‘business card’ trick for fuller lashes (& less mess)! MichellePhan has a Youtube tutorial on it, but the basics entail cutting an eye-shaped arch out of the edge of a business card. You then place that over your top lid, & gently pull a little so your lashes point upwards. Then just apply your mascara normally, maybe in a zigzag pattern (the business card means you don’t have to be afraid of getting it on your lids).

    Whenever I use this method, I have people asking if I have fake lashes- it really works!

  • Always wash our face before bed!

  • Melissa DeBock

    Simple, never go to bed with a face full of make-up. Always clean your face before bed!

  • soapchick

    I just started using the entire line of the new Mary Kay TimeWise Repair line and after only 2 weeks I started getting compliments on my skin. I’m anxious to see how it looks after another month or two of use.

  • AniaK

    The best beauty tip I’ve ever learned is to highlight the inner corners of the eyes – it makes you look much more rested than you actually are.

  • ClaraH

    Drink lots of water and wash your face before bed. I’m a recent Mary Kay convert and I do love their Timewise products. I’d love to try the microdermabrasion set….

  • I’ve never had the chance to try any Mary Kay products. Based on some of your reviews, I’m now hoping to win! The eye cream sounds especially interesting. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Mary

    I love how their products aren’t too heavily scented: I’m allergic to perfumes and it drives me crazy when I come across something that does great things for my skin or appearance but gives me a migraine.

  • Lexa

    Greatest beauty tip? Use baby oil to remove eye make up instead of expensive removers. An old school tip, but game changer.

    Also, am I the only person who was unimpressed with Dior Show?

  • Alaina

    I’ve never tried Mary Kay, but I’m willing to try something new. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Laura

    Cool giveaway, thanks Allison & MK. I’ve got a lot of beauty tips rattling around in my brain, but I always thought that one of the handiest was to put your eyeliners etc. in the freezer for a few minutes before sharpening.

  • Cynthia Washburn

    Game-changing beauty tip for me – yes, you have to moisturize oily skin and don’t use harsh cleansers on it, it just strips it and makes it produce more oil!

    I love the Timewise microdermabrasion product – everything else that I’ve tried has chunks of stuff that’s too big and scratches my face.

  • Reddest_Roar

    I’ve had so many beauty tips lately that it’s hard to pick one… But my two most recent faves are: instead of steaming your face over a bowl of hot water, use a bowl of hot milk – it really decongests the pores. Another great facial one is: mix two aspirin with honey and leave on your face for 20 mins – it makes your skin feel really refreshed and zingy.

  • Reddest_Roar

    Also, I tweeted: Great giveaway, missus!

  • Brunette

    using sunscreen!

  • emily

    The best makeup tip I ever got was when I found out about eyelash curling. World changer!

  • Wash your face every day with the mildest cleanser you can, and never, ever pick at breakouts.

  • Melis

    My mother was a natural beauty who only wore (and needed) lip balm, so I never learned anything about makeup from her and didn’t start wearing makeup until I was 30 (I’m 34) – so this may sound simplistic, but the best trick I’ve learned was to hold the mascara wand steady and BLINK to apply it to your lashes, rather than moving your arm; it lets me get the lashes in the corners of my eyes without also poking my eyes. 🙂

  • Drink lots of water and moisturize! My mom has always told me that (a rule she lives by), and her skin is lovely–even after massive amounts of chemo, radiation, and a bone marrow transplant.

  • It’s a simple one, but protect your skin from the sun. I have been applying moisturizer with sunscreen to my face and neck daily, year-round since my early-20s and I am still getting carded at 37. 🙂

  • Exfoliating with a baking soda/water paste. It costs almost nothing, and it’s just as effective as store-bought exfoliators.

  • Guest

    The best beauty tip I have ever received is to be to comfortable in my own skin and let that shine through – to be the best me I can be from the inside out.

  • Bretagne

    One of my favorite steps to my beauty routine is using a brow pencil. On days when I skip that step, I look more tired. But when I use brow pencil it gives a bolder architecture to my face, which is especially useful because I wear glasses and want my eyes to stand out.

  • Nancy N

    The best beauty tip I got was from a Sephora staff person, who asked me where my eyeshadow was – I said “But I put it on!” and he said, nicely, “Well, you have the right idea. But you need to not be afraid of it!”
    Thanks for the chance!


  • Sophia

    my favorite tip- wiggle your mascara brush as youre applying!

  • Marcy

    I don’t have gray eyebrows (yet!) but my mom uses a soft gray eyeshadow to fill in her brows. It looks very natural and matches perfectly!

  • Amy

    Be yourself and don’t follow the trends just for the sake of following them.

  • Jill O.

    Make-up samples from department and cosmetic stores are perfect for travel (and free!)

  • WashingTina

    My mom wore Mary Kay when I was a kid. I used to steal it in high school. Still the best stuff I ever used.

  • WashingTina

    Oops…hit share too quickly. Best tip: Less is more.

  • Amanda Robinson

    My mom taught me that your eyebrows are the frame to your face, so they should be well shaped! I have to fill mine in with a bit of color since I’m so fair and let me tell you, it makes all the difference!

  • Rondah s

    use vasoline as lipgloss

  • Rondah s
  • Elena

    My favorite beauty tip is using an eyelash curler. My lashes are straight, just like my hair, and no matter how fabulous the mascara, I must use my eyelash curler! I’ve always wanted to invest in the famed Shu Uemura as you did for yourself for your birthday one year, Allie. Maybe this year!

  • Jessica M

    Don’t overdo your makeup. A simple eye liner and mascara and some tinted lip gloss is a great combo. (That Cafe au lait is calling my name!)

  • Kelly E

    Less is more and that natural looks way better than painted on.

  • Kathryn

    Start using sunscreen and moisturizer at a YOUNG age!!

  • Lindsay Maki

    My number one beauty tip (and life tip) is to, when you’re feeling bad about your looks or anything to think ‘f** the haters’ on the last mirror check before you head out. Or thinking ‘I’m wonderful!’ or the one that I seem to use most frequently ‘Screw you, I’m awesome’. Confidence is key!

  • Lanay

    My favorite beauty tip is to exfoliate your lips by lightly brushing them with a toothbrush!

  • stephanie

    i always make sure i make off my makeup at night

  • Marci

    Blend, blend and Blend again for great makeup application!

  • Melissa S


  • always wear sunscreen!

  • my beauty tip would be For longer eyelashes apply a thin coat of castor oil every night It strengthens the lashes and also cools your eyes.

  • kim lazor

    Nourish your skin from within…lots of water, healthy eating, and get your beauty sleep.

  • kim lazor
  • G Figs

    Hmmm… greatest beauty tip… I guess that would probably be that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in regards to starting a proper protective and preventative beauty routine early on. The little effort you put in from the beginning with be well worth the payout of not being disatisfied with your aging appearance down the line!

  • G Figs
  • lizzykristine

    Makeup has never been my thing – I went entirely without for many years. I’m trying to learn how to apply it well lately and wear it more regularly, and it just dawned on me recently what the benefits of exfoliation is. Haha! It sure did fix the flakiness of my face. 😉

  • tmy56

    Use your ring finger to apply makeup – it naturally applies less pressure than your other fingers, so less pulling on your skin.

  • tmy56
  • wwax

    Sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen.

  • Lyn Tallant

    i would love to win one!

  • Lyn Tallant

    dont wear too much make up simple is beautiful

  • Kerry

    I learned about the clarisonic facial cleaner – and I love it!

  • Kerry
  • Rena

    Use an eyelash curler and heat it up a little bit with a blow dryer to get the curl to stay!

  • Kari

    I’m a big fan of the Mary Kay skincare products, the Timewise face wash is incredible!

  • Lisa Brown

    Greatest beauty tip: don’t stress. Stress is so hard on skin and can prematurely age you.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  • Lisa Brown
  • The greatest beauty tip I’ve learned is put on a moisturizing mask before putter on makeup. You skin will absorb the foundation much better.

    Amy [at] utry [dot] it

  • Kate

    Always wash your makeup off before bed and stay hydrated! Simple but so important!

  • Debra Ford

    Over the years, the best advice that has helped me long term to to use the best moisturizer you can possibly afford – now that I’m older, I go for the best serum I can afford!

  • latanya t

    apply a good primer before applying foundation

    dlatany at gmail dot com

  • latanya t
  • Lisa Garner

    My best beauty tip is to use an under eye concealer because it really helps make your face look younger.

    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  • Lisa Garner

    I Tweeted
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  • LAMusing

    The best tip I have is to emphasize your eyes OR your lips – not both. This keeps you from looking over made up.

  • LAMusing
  • a beauty tip that i received was to put vaseline on your hands and cover with cotton socks overnight forsoft hands! Thanks for a super giveaway!
    My email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  • Tweeted:

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  • erica best

    knowing ur skin type is so important

  • erica best
  • Debbie B

    Be sure to moisturize! Make sure to take your makeup off at night before going to bed
    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) co

  • Debbie B

    tweeted here:

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com