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March 2016

REVIEW: Cascade Platinum Action Packs

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I recently received a sample pack of Cascade Platinum Action Packs to test and review. Innitially, I wasn’t too excited to write a review on this product: I’ve used the regular Cascade liquid dishwasher fluid and didn’t think there would be much difference in performance. While the action packs LOOK cool, and seem quite convenient it really just seemed like a gimmick.

In the end, I DO think that these performed better than the regular Cascade liquid detergent. HOWEVER: I’m not sure if the cost effectiveness of the product makes it worth it.

Cost effectiveness:
At Walmart:
the action packs cost $5.99/pack of 25 (or 36cents/oz)
the traditional liquid costs $5.97/75oz bottle (or 8cents/oz)

By ounce, the action packs are outrageously more expensive than the bottle of liquid detergent.

Performance:
While I wasn’t surprised that the action packs cost more, I was surprised at how well they cleaned the junk I threw in my dishwasher! The test items were very much dependent on what we were eating at the time and I didn’t have any of the foods that have proven most difficult in the past in this load (mashed potatos, crusty mustard, spinach and carrot pulp). Nonetheless, there was some hard to tackle goop in this load that was cleaned off entirety!

Day old coffee rings:

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Crusty day old refried beans:

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Misc multiple-day-old food mess:

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Normally, I would have rubbed these down with a wet sponge before shoving them in the dishwasher. I was incredibly surprised when there was no food-crud left on the dishes after just tossing them in the dishwasher AND I was so happy to not have to hand wash the dishes after pulling them.from the dishwasher.

Another note on performance is the shine and spotlessness of glasses and silverware!
Pyrex bowl and silverware:

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Here in eastern Washington state, the water isn’t incredibly hard, but I have noticed a couple spots on large glassware and silverware, and with the action packs have had a noticeable impact on that.

Conclusions:
While I like the action packs for how well they cleaned and for their convenience, I am doubtful that I would purchase them again. It seems that the action packs have pre- and post-wash fluids in them to clean and leave a spot free finish, which make up SOME of the difference in price, but at over 4x the price per ounce, I don’t think I can justify purchasing it again.

REVIEW: Cover Girl LashBlast Volume Mascara

CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara
Rating: 4/5
MSRP: $7.99 on the CoverGirl website

As a monolidder, mascara has always been somewhat problematic for me: it’s a necessity if I want to open-up my eyes, BUT it is such a pain in the butt to find a good one. Until I developed my technique I would end up with (what seemed like) more product on my upper AND lower eyelids than on my lashes. Even then, until I knew what to look for in a mascara, after a while the mascara would end up brushing off on my face anyways because of the extra tissue around my eyes.

Even with added experience and knowledge, I still struggle with it from time to time, especially when im sweating under hot stage lights for dance and theatre performances. So, when CoverGirl sent me a sample of their LashBlast Volume mascara (non-waterproof) I didn’t expect much. In the end I am very happy with the product and will continue to use it. Though, I am on the fence about whether I would repurchase it when I finish the tube!

Packaging

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I am very picky about the type of wand my mascara has. I love that they cap the mascara and leave the brush out so that you can see the brush. It also seems cleaner to me for some reason.

Ingredients and health

Wand and application

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The best I can say about this wand is that it’s OK. It’s not terrible, nor is it great, it really just somewhere in the middle. The silicone bristles apply product evenly, however they don’t do much to separate individual lashes.
As I mentioned earlier, my monolids LOVE rubbing up against my makeup applicators and attract makeup. For this fact I usually gravitate toward SMALL mascara wands, sometimes even ones meant for bottom lashes so that I can coat every little lash without smearing them on my lids. Though the wand on the CoverGirl LashBlast Volume mascara is a full sized wand it didn’t get all over the place, even when I hurriedly swept it through my lashes on my way to work.

Immediate results

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All this really took was a single coat and I got a very wide-eyed yet natural look. I kept adding additional coats to see how far I could take the mascara, waiting a few seconds between each application and was able to achieve a pretty dramatic look without curling my lashes.

When applying a single coat, the mascara applies very smoothly and naturally. However if you do apply multiple coats this stuff does start to clump a bit, and the wand doesn’t help with this much. When you have a clumpy mascara formyla, a good wand with bristles that separate lashes can usually help this, and unfortunately this wand doesn’t cut it. You can, of course add the extra step of cleaning up the application by combing through the lashes with a clean brush.

Results over time

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Top: immediately after application: Bottom: after a night out and sleeping with mascara on

For a non-waterproof mascara, I am seriously impressed. I have extra tissue under my eyes that can make me look like a basset hound when black mascara falls onto them. I expected this mascara to fall onto my lower eyelids very heavily, however it hardly did so at all! If anything all it did was flake a bit while I slept overnight. And any flakiness that fell to my face while i slept overnight was easily brushed off. Not that you’d want keep makeup on for this long, it was just the best way to test the longevity of this mascara.

Washing and removing
Washing this stuff off was incredibly easy using a cleansing oil, but that is the benefit of a cleansing oil, of course. My lashes don’t feel brittle at all after long wear with this mascara.

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