Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Great Mascara Hunt

I'm not a big makeup person in general (mainly cause I don't know how to put it on very well), but there are two makeup items I'm very picky about. 1) Foundation. I'm super super pale so finding a foundation that matches is really hard (more about this later) 2) Mascara. I like my eyes, and like my lashes so it's a feature I like to play up, but not all mascaras are created equal.

I thought I'd share some of my favorite mascara finds from the past year or so. Mascara is a personal thing and it all depends on what you're looking for (curl? length? thickness? all of the above?). So before I start I'll tell you about my lashes and what I look for in a mascara.

1) I already have a lot of lashes and they are already long so I can't promise that the mascaras I like will work for someone with really short or sparse lashes. I don't really care about curling b/c I never felt like it really made a difference for me.

2) I don't like waterproof mascaras. I feel they are too harsh and I definitely wouldn't wear it everyday. Plus even though they are waterproof they still SMUDGE! Waterproof doesn't mean oil proof.

3) I HATE smudging. I already have dark circles under my eyes so smudging is something that really bugs me cause it makes me look even more tired then usual.

4) I have REALLY sensitive eyes. For some reason I tend to develop allergies to certain brands...even if I've been using them forever, sometimes my eyes will itch, get red, and swell. I regularly replace my mascara and even if I go and buy a brand new tube it doesn't help. So there have been a few times that I've found mascaras I really like only to have to go and find a new brand once my eyes develop an allergy to it.

So with that in mind here is what I liked and why:

1) ^Longcils Boncza Classic Cake Mascara in Noir. I know this French mascara doesn't really look like mascara. That's because it's cake mascara. It's mascara in powder form. You simply wet the brush, rub it into the powder cake and then coat your lashes with the brush. This particular cake mascara was worn by Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. You need not travel to France to get it, though, you can buy it in the U.S. here.

The Pros: I was really amazed that this actually works! My eye lashes were super soft and totally natural looking. It looks like I was born with naturally dark lashes. This is a great every- day, going to work mascara if you don't want to look like you are caked in makeup. The mascara is all natural (it has beeswax and rosewater in it) and it is the one mascara that NEVER bothers my eyes. Because it's in a powder form it doesn't breed bacteria like tube mascaras so you don't have to replace it as often. It's also very easy to remove at night. Wear this to give your lashes "a rest" from your normal routine.

The Cons: It takes *slightly* longer to apply in the mornings then just your normal tube and swipe mascara. If you want super dramatic lashes or you are use to heavy makeup then this is too subtle for you. It was great to wear during the winter, it has withstood the tear test as well, but now that humid days are back it definitely smudges by the end of the day. I'll probably wear this mostly during the non-humid months.

2)^ Blinc Kiss Me Mascara - This was the first "tube" mascara I ever tried and I loved it! Instead of painting your lashes it forms little black tubes around them.

Pros: Because there is no painting involved there is no smudging, smearing, or running. The only way to remove this is with warm water and gentle pressure (i just use cetaphil face cleanser and a wash cloth and have had no problems). It's pretty gentle on your eyes. Sometimes I have slight irritation but for the most part it's non-irritating. It has withstood the tear test. No smudging either!

Cons: I still have some irritation even though it's minimal. It's a good everyday mascara but once again it isn't SUPER dramatic. Probably not the best for special occasions.

3)^Imju Fiberwig - Similar to tube mascaras, Fiberwig forms a film around your lashes instead of painting them. Unlike Kiss Me mascara, however, it coats your eyes with fine micro fibers to give your lashes more length and thickness.

Pros: Provides a much more dramatic look then Blinc Kiss Me. This is a good mascara for everyday and for going out. When I first wore it Fiance said "your lashes look really long." And another friend I hadn't seen in a while commented on how long my lashes looked. It's easy to remove (cetaphil and a wash cloth). It has withstood the tear test and NO SMUDGING.

Cons: The biggest Con for me is that even though there isn't smudging, there is FLAKING. By the end of the day I always have few specs of black under my eyes from the mascara falling off my lashes. It's nothing major and way better then smudging, but still kind of annoying. This mascara is also slightly irritating to my eyes if I've worn it for a while.

4^Kevyn Aucoin "The Mascara"-Curling - Kevyn Aucoin based this mascara off of Japanese mascaras like Fiberwig. It's another type of "tubing" mascara but as it dries it "shrink-wraps" around your eyelashes to make them curl.

The Pros: Definitely the most dramatic lashes of all the other mascaras I've mentioned. You will definitely have super dark and long lashes. Easy to remove (cetaphil/washcloth). It has withstood the tear test and there is No Smudging! I've also gotten compliments with this mascara on how long my lashes look. It flakes much much less then Fiberwig.

The Cons: I've never really noticed that it makes my lashes curl anymore then any other mascara. Some flaking but less then Fiberwig. Even though this flakes less the Fiberwig it can also be REALLY clumpy. You HAVE to wipe it with a tissue or along the rim before you apply or your lashes will stick together and be clump city. This kind of annoys me. This does irritate my eyes after I've worn it all day.

5^Giorgio Arman Maestro Mascara - This is just a normal mascara but it has a really unique brush. The brush actually looks a little scary. It's not soft and fluffy like other mascara brushes...it's a hard wand with rigid teeth. I know this sounds horrible but it doesn't hurt and it's pretty easy to apply.

Pros: Hands down this is for SUPER DRAMATIC lashes. I've never really noticed if mascaras are "thickening" or not but THIS is thickening. I already have a lot of long lashes but with this mascara I felt almost like I was wearing fake lashes they were so dramatic. This is for a special night out or if you are use to having diva makeup on.

Cons: I only had a one day sample of this so I really can't speak to whether or not it will withstand the tear test. I can say, though, that it didn't smudge (even after a day on an airplane). It does irritate my eyes after a day of wear.

6) P.S. Two mascaras that often get raves that I just didn't really "get" are 1- Maybelline Great Lash Mascara- I know it's the best selling mascara in the U.S. but it seemed clumpy and smudgy to me. I just don't understand the popularity. And 2 - Dior Show Mascara - I know it gets rave reviews and everyone loves it, but I just didn't see what was so special. My lashes weren't any longer, darker, or thicker then with any other mascara. What am I missing about this, why is it so popular?

So what's your favorite mascara? Got any recs for me to test drive? Remember I like non-irritating, non-smudging and preferably water resistant but not a "waterproof" mascara.



Blogger X said...

The latest one I purchased was MAC pro lash, and while it gets the job done, it has the tendency to clump in a major way. The consistency is more on the goopy side, making my lashes a little spiderish. I've resorted to using an extra applicator wand to clean out the goop after application - such a hassle.

My step mom always has great tips on the best products and cosmetics, and her most recent purchase was DiorShow Blackout.

Sunday, April 13, 2008 4:34:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Miss Shirlington's stepmom also recommended the DiorShow to me, and it's simply stupendous.

Although I normally go for washable, for my wedding, as I'm a big crier, I got the waterproof. I've been completely, 100% satisfied. I have ultra-sensitive, allergy-prone, contact-wearing eyes and I've never had a problem with it. It doesn't flake, doesn't clump and I've never had it smear or melt. Even with all of this, it still lengthened AND thickened my lashes like no mascara I have ever used (and I've tried A LOT to enhance my very short, very sparse, very light colored lashes).

Plus, there has to be a reason it's Sephora's best selling mascara! :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008 5:41:00 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

This is one of the best posts on mascara I have ever seen! I can't wait to order some of these and give them a try. I agree with you on the Maybelline and the Dior, neither work for me and I really can't see what all the hype is about. EVERYTHING falls and smudges under my eyes except Kiss Me. I can't wait to try these other, more dramatic tube style mascaras.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 7:32:00 PM  
Blogger omc said...

Can I empathise with your allergies and add that I have (apparently) a latex allergy, so I cannot use certain mascara brushes--the ones that are combs, and the new wands that promise "no clumps". i'll never know if they work, because my eyes swell up so fast... I do like Diorshow, but I wear it in Chestnut for everyday because I'm fair & black looks too dramatic. My new favorite is Bad Gal Blue by Benefit. The blue shade really does make me look more awake, perky. If you have green eyes, there are several green mascaras available at Sephora, and I cannot begin to tell you how amazingly big they make my green-eyed friends green eyes!
All the best.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 12:58:00 AM  

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