A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try several items from the Mary Kay cosmetic line, a brand I don’t believe I have ever featured on my blog before. I do have some Mary Kay products I have purchased over the years, but for some reason I have largely overlooked the brand — until now that is.

Having tried many products, I can confidently say I was definitely missing out on some gems.

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I can’t decide what my favorite has been. The NouriShine Plus™ Lip Gloss is one of the best formulas around – very reminiscent of my favorite high-end brand. I love that it’s not sticky.

The Lash Love™ Waterproof mascara has been a staple of mine since getting it. Up until recently it has been incredibly hot and humid every single day. This mascara held up against late meetings, high humidity and even my morning run! It gives my lashes length and volume and actually isn’t that painful to remove considering it is waterproof. The shadows also impressed me. The formula was smooth and the shades were pigmented, they also held up very well.

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Mary Kay® Compact Mini

One of the more unique items to the Mary Kay line up is this fillable compact that you can customize with a variation of shadows or blushes. Mine contained 3 shadows (Golden Vanilla, Lavender Fog and Truffle) and 1 blush (Shy). Underneath the products are two eye brushes and a blush brush…that you can actually use! I used them in the look I created below. I love having something like this to throw in my bag for touch ups or just as a travel-friendly piece. Each item is magnetized and can easily be popped out and exchanged with other shades.

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Swatches L-R: Shy blush, Golden Vanilla, Lavender Fog, Truffle

I would be lying if I didn’t say that Truffle was my favorite of the group. All three work nicely together to create a day time look that is office-appropriate and can be glammed up for the evening with a little more of Truffle added to the crease, outer V of your eye.

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Wearing all three shadows and Ultimate Mascara.

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Wearing the compact and NouriShine Plus™ gloss in Café Au Lait. It pairs well with a neutral lip, or if you’re feeling a bit more punchy…

It can also handle a bright lip – wearing NouriShine Plus™ Lip Gloss in Rock ‘n’ Red.

My overall experience was surprising in the best possible way. I was blown away by the mascaras and the lip glosses. Both performed well and have superb textures and formulas. I can definitely say I’d be happy to own more Mary Kay in my collection based on what I’ve tried here. If you are looking for a place to start, I’d go with mascara and the gloss. The eyeshadows were nice to be sure, but two of the shades could have been more pigmented. It’s definitely worth your while to check out the brand and their fabulous line of products; you’ll be happy you did.

Tell me the greatest beauty tip you’ve learned for an opportunity to win a fabulous Mary Kay gift basket!

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Rules:

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 19 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/19/12-12/31/12.

Be sure to visit the Mary Kay page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

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