my MUA reviews: mascara

SEE FURTHER AND MORE RECENTLY:

There are quite a lot of these, I’m afraid.

Reviva – Hypoallergenic Mascara  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 5/18/2011 6:33:00 PM

Actual name: Hypoallergenic Mascara–the Liquid seems to have been an old version.
I am a redhead in natural-lash denial with a lifelong–well, 25-year-long–mascara habit. Worse, I am a mascara wh**e. Not serially monogamous; it’s more like polygamy, with a harem, and long-term friends with benefits, and every once in a while–periodic phases of curiosity and urges to experiment–some down and dirty cheating. Which is just as well, as it’s the best way to discover gems like this Reviva mascara. It’s a simple, basic, everyday, YBB mascara. Available in brown and black. Odourless. Zero irritation, nice light feel, no smudging, good day-long last. Cheap.
It’s packaged in a short stocky plastic tube, and has a short wand–great for controlled close-up work–very similar to those of Beauty Without Cruelty, Origins, Fresh, MAC. The brush is an old-fashioned one, the classic fairly short head, bushy without being teddy-bear. Formula: very gloopy when first opened, but wipe the brush clean, and for the first few uses, spiral it and act fast when pulling it out of the tube. As with pretty much any mascara, a lash-comb is advisable.
The formula itself: slightly thick without being too wet. I’m applying two coats to the top lashes (and doing both the underside and the top side, getting right down to the roots–I have pale lashes, looks silly otherwise) and one to the bottom lashes. It applies evenly, without clumps or globs or flakes: nice clean separation of lashes with a little volume, but nothing over the top. Coats can be layered. Any overspill on surrounding skin cleans up fast; not too much of it, and it is something that happens if you’re applying mascara right down to the lash-line so as to avoid showing your roots / true colours…
On the lashes, this mascara feels light, supple, and fluttery; but lashes stay well in place–with some of the lightest flutteriest mascaras, I’d found that lashes went all over the place: you’d look in the mirror a couple of hours later and find some were tangled up and others were poking out in eccentric directions. Not so with this stuff. No flaking or running into eyes; at least, if there’s been any, it’s not noticeable on the lashes–they’re still all nicely dark–and hasn’t caused any irritation on the eye. A bonus right now, in allergy season.
Dries fairly fast; once dry, it stays on well all day, without flaking or smudging. It passed my standard smudge-and-general-wear test with flying colours: left on for 24 hours including sleeping in it. Lashes were still nice and soft the next morning, though in place: neither crunchy and brittle (can happen with some waterproofs and drier mascaras), nor poking out all over the place at weird angles. I tested it further, applying another coat (top lashes and the odd bottom one that had reverted to its natural state), and got 48 hour wear out of the stuff. Making Reviva at least as long-lasting as some of the other great standards out there, like Clinique Naturally Glossy.
It’s also as resistant to moisture as any waterproof ones I’ve used. It’s not completely waterproof–I tested it out in the shower–but it does resist everyday rain. I also tested it out in the shower against two other non-WP mascaras, and it outperformed them by a long stretch: Honeybee Gardens and Ecco Bella. Tested out in the gym and running: sweatproof.
It can, like pretty much any mascara, also be waterproofed with the addition of an “overcoat” such as Clarins Double’ Fix.
Removal: comes off easily with oil, using a cotton-wool pad (or substitute, ex. reusable washable cotton pads).
UPDATE up to 5 lippies. The tube has lasted nearly 3 months now, and is only showing signs of improving with age: less gloop on the brush when you pull it out the tube; still impeccable application and wear. Used on a weekend-long hike, deploying a little in the mornings (Sat & Sun) to touch up eyes: great stuff.
Cruelty-free, and pretty decent simple ingredients; though not vegan (beeswax). Cheap as chips: the regular price is around USD 7.50-9.00, and it’s often on special for around USD 4.00-6.00; 0.25 oz tube. I haven’t seen it in B&M stores here (Vancouver, Canada) but got it online; Google for current best prices and shipping and so on… The packaging isn’t anything to write home about, being plain black with gold lettering on a plastic label (can be removed if you feel like an even more minimalist approach to your mascara).
INGREDIENTS: Water, beeswax, copolymer, isododecane, PEG-20, Sorbitan Beeswax, glyceryl stearate S.E., wheat germ oil, magnesium silicate, kaolin, cetyl phosphate, carnauba, stearyl alcohol, panthenol, cetyl alcohol, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, sodium dehydroacetate. May contain iron oxides, mica, titanium dioxide, ultramarine blue.
Note that the old formula (and name) had a different formula, using different preservatives.

Clinique – Bottom Lash Mascara  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 3/18/2011 6:29:00 PM

This is nearly the same formula as Clinique’s Lash Power (full ingredients for both at end of review)–their main “tubing” mascara–but repackaged in a smaller tube, with a teeny brush.
Being a liker of Clinique mascaras and always keen to try out new mascaras anyway, I tried this one out when it first appeared. Overall conclusions: not impressed.
The pros: some of the same pros of Lash Power (see reviews): good formula, good on sensitive eyes, resists humidity (rain, sweat, swimming), easy to remove (warm water + pressure–and no, makeup remover or oil won’t work, this being a different kind of mascara, functioning differently…)
Added possible pro: smaller tube, for travel purposes or, I don’t know, going to the gym. Though the Lash Power tube is pretty dinky to start with, not exactly back-breaking or TSA-approved-plastic-bag-overstuffing.
Con (1): the brush. Tested out on lower lashes (as intended) and on top ones. It’s nowhere near as good, on either lot of lashes, as the original LP brush. It’s slimmer overall and tapers down to its bottom, whereas BLM is a tiny Christmas tree. Result–lashes catch on its wider base. I get better definition right down to the lash-roots with the LP brush; and the best shape I’ve used on lower and corner lashes is the spiky ball (note difference with Christmas tree: tapering back in at the bottom), ex. Givenchy Phenomen’eyes and, best of all, L’Oréal Telescopic Explosion. Now, if Clinique were to do one of these mini-mace brushes, with this formula or the Naturally Glossy one: that would be mascara heaven on a stick.
Con (2): is it really necessary? Being a redhead with naturally pale lashes, I’ve been using mascara for most of my life. Including lower lashes, as it looks really odd/silly/”off” to have dark top lashes and apparently nothing on the bottom, then realising they’re invisible when you look at them up close. So I’m quite used to using mascara on lower lashes, in the habit of applying it, and have always used the same mascara for top and bottom. Any mascara brush that’s up to the task of finicky detailed application right down to the roots of top lashes is also up to the task of application to lower lashes: similar issues of getting down to the roots, using brush at angles other than parallel to lash-line, and best brushes being slimmer and shorter–with small spherical ones as the extreme.
Con (3): less easy to work with and not as layerable as LP. 2nd other comments below on dry, crunchy effect. Lovely and smooth for one coat, but on most people that one coat–even on bottom lashes–is going to be barely discernible. Sure, on us pale-lashed folks, anything is immediately different from nothing; but let’s face it, the vast majority of the population already have visible lashes. On them, one coat of The Bottom will make no visible difference at all. And it is a disaster if you try for more, more definition, or a top-up later in the day.
However. It’s mercifully cheap. About the same price (here in Canada) as most decent drugstore regular (non-tubing) mascaras. But for the money, I’d say spend a few more bucks, get Lash Power and use it for both top *and* bottom.
“Buy again”? No, or at least, not until they rename it properly and accurately as “Lash Power Bottom.” Might take a while to get past any marketing department, though…
Like other Clinique mascaras, it’s fragrance-free, cruelty-free, sensitive-human-friendly, and fairly readily available. Costs CAD10.00-12.00 (LP=CAD17.50).
INGREDIENTS: water – acrylates copolymer – kaolin – beeswax – silica – butylene glycol – peg-15 glyceryl stearate – alcohol – carnauba wax – hydrogenated rapeseed alcohol – bentonite – tocopherol – jojoba seed oil – dimethicone – simethicone – stearic acid – sucrose distearate – aminomethyl propanediol – aminomethyl propanol – disodium edta – sodium citrate – phenoxyethanol – methylparaben – butylparaben – propylparaben – ethylparaben [ /- mica – titanium dioxide (ci 77891) – iron oxides (ci 77491, 77492, 77499) – manganese violet (ci 77742) – yellow 5 lake (ci 19140) – chromium oxide greens (ci 77288) – chromium hydroxide green (ci 77289) – carmine (ci 75470) – bismuth oxychloride (ci 77163) – blue 1 lake (ci 42090) – ultramarines (ci 77007)]
LASH POWER (for comparison)
INGREDIENTS: water – acrylates copolymer – kaolin – silica – beeswax – butylene glycol – peg-15 glycerl stearate – carnauba wax – alcohol denat. – hydrogenated rapeseed oil – polyvinyl alcohol – bentonite – tocopherol – jojoba seed oil – dimethicone – simethicone – stearic acid – sucrose distearate – aminomethyl propanediol – aminoethyl propanediol – sodium citrate – disodium edta – phenoxyethanol – methylparaben – ethylparaben – propylparaben – butylparaben – [± mica – iron oxides (ci 77491, 77492, 77499) – titanium dioxide (ci 77891) – ultramarines (ci 77007) – blue lake 1 (ci 42090) – bismuth oxychloride (ci 77163) – carmine (ci 75470) – chromium hydroxide green (ci 77289) – chromium oxide greens (ci 77288) – yellow 5 lake (ci 19140) – manganese violet (ci 77742).

Beauty Without Cruelty – Waterproof Mascara  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 2/9/2011 1:23:00 AM

UPDATE (2011-05): got hold of the new version–relief and delight: it’s at least as good as the old one; maybe even a little better, even more soft and silky feeling.
The best waterproof mascara on the “greener”–more environmentally and ethically conscious–market. Indeed, the only “green” one I’ve found that is actually waterproof. And as good as more mainstream waterproof mascaras: my other regular staple was Maybelline Full & Soft w/p.
Well-tolerated on sensitive eyes and skin: no irritation to report. No fragrance. Might not classify as super-green (depending on one’s criteria), as it does contain paraben preservatives, petrochemical derivatives, and other synthetic ingredients. On the other hand: it works and doesn’t go off, is vegan and cruelty-free, and comes from the grand-daddies of cruelty-free cosmetics.*
Two shades: black and brown. The black is a soft black–not too grey, though–and the brown is a lovely mid-depth slightly russet brown (again, no grey tinge): great with lighter lashes. I’ve bought and used both: brown if wearing contacts, black if glasses.
The brush is simple, the traditional sort, not too thick, bristles packed quite close together. Formula: easy to work with, quite thin, not too dry. The stuff is very easy to apply, barely needs a comb through, yet isn’t too wet and sloppy. Multiple layers are possible, but without dramatic effect: no spider-legs. Dries fast, leaving lashes soft and supple to the touch. No bobbles, smudges, crunchiness, or flakes. Stays on impeccably. Not sure whether it’s actively good to lashes, or just not bad to them: I find they’re in good condition, neither dried out nor falling out.
Gorgeous simple basic everyday YBB mascara and can be layered to some extent, but the end result is a “natural” effect, like Clinique Naturally Glossy (another of my favourites). Look elsewhere for va-va-voom: this is light, subtle, discreet, tinted-looking.
Removes, as with any waterproof mascara, quick and easy using plain oil (mineral, sunflower, almond, olive, jojoba, whatever takes your fancy…) or an oil-based m/u remover on a cotton-wool pad.
A tube lasts for a good 3 or 4 months without going gruesome, cakey, flaky, cruddy, or otherwise unusable. Even used daily. Which is very impressive, especially for a waterproof mascara–they often tend to be drier and dry out faster.
Costs around $9.00-15.00 for 8 ml, mainly available online, though some health-food/eco-stores stock it.
INGREDIENTS (NEW VERSION, BLACK/BLUE PATTERNED TUBE): Aqua (Water), Isododecane, C11-12 Isoparaffin, Oryza Sativa Bran Cera (Rice Wax), Cera Carnauba (Carnauba Wax), VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polyethylene, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Rhus Verniciflua Peel Cera (Wild Japanese Berry Wax), Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Alcohol Denat, Panthenyl Triacetate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Triethanolamine, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), CL 77499, 5018744027011.
Main differences, on paper: water as ing #1 (hmmm, in a WP)–alcohol lower down the ing list (though I’ve had no drying issues with the older version)–no talc–*some* petrochemicals replaced by plant-derived waxes–fewer pigments–more silicones, so possibly silkier-feeling formula–no parabens
INGREDIENTS–old version in silver tube: c13-14 isoparaffin, alcohol, quaternium-18 hectorite, pvp/eicosenecopolymer, kaolin (natural clay), hydroxypropylcellulose (plant fiber), aqua (water), acrylates/octylacrylamide copolymer, polyvinyl methyl ether, propylene glycol, panthenyl ethyl ether, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), propylparaben, imidazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, phytantriol, talc, [+/- (may contain) ci 77007, ci 77289, ci 77491, ci 77492, ci 77499 (iron oxide), ci 77510, ci 77742, ci 77891, mica (crystallized minerals)].
INGREDIENTS–same older version–alternative list: Petroleum distillates, alcohol denat (sd alcohol 40-b), hydrogenated caster oil), cera microcristallina (microcrystalline wax), candelilla cera (candelilla wax), pvp/eicosene copolymer, c11-12 isoparaffin, silica, cera alba (beeswax), talc, quaternium-18 hectorite, phenoxyethanol, propylparaben, serica (silk) +/- may contain ci 77491, ci 77492, ci 77499 (iron oxides), ci 77019 (mica).
* Like all BWC products, this mascara is cruelty-free: and indeed BWC was/is a pioneering company for cruelty-free-ness, about as far from greenwashing as you can get. Others of similarly venerable and ancient status would include Weleda, Dr. Hauschka, Lavera–but the former doesn’t do makeup, and the latter two have mascaras that aren’t a patch on this and are massively more expensive. BWC was founded in the UK in 1963, making and selling products containing no animal ingredients and not tested on animals. Suffered a slight historical hiatus, has been around in its present US-based incarnation for the last 20 years or so.

Bobbi Brown – Perfectly Defined Mascara  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 12/8/2010 1:57:00 PM

Seriously good tubing mascara with a first-class brush. Zero irritation. The formula is very very very like that of Clinique Lash Power (see ingredient list and comparison at end of review), at a higher price, but Perfectly Defined offers more volume and better staying-power, with far less flakeage (on me, anyway).
Like other tubing mascaras, this forms polymer tubes around lashes, which dry and stay: smudgeproof and waterproof; resistant to smudging and running c/o tears, sweat, oily eye creams. One issue with some other tubing mascaras is that they can dry very fast, not giving you time to comb through lashes, and resulting in clumping and the 5-legged spider effect. Perfectly Defined is (so far) the slowest-drying I’ve used, allowing time to comb and tweak, and indeed to add a coat. Also means the tube lasts longer before starting to dry out. Clinique’s Lash Power would be the second-best on this (and Blinc etc. not as good).
Note that this is a natural-look mascara: look elsewhere for false-lash effects, Tammy Faye, and so on. It’s a mascara for everyday wear. YBB. This stuff is lovely with one coat only; and tested side by side with the Clinique tuber, the Bobbi Brown one gives a slightly lusher fuller effect.
The brush is fabulous: short, slim, perfection for getting every lash. It’s slightly less curved at the ends than the Lash Power brush (see photo at end of review). Both are great brushes for getting colour right down to the lash-roots–an issue for us paler-lashed folks–and the short wand helps steady control. The combination is as good as it gets for precise application.
Lashes feel nice and soft, even the morning after being left on overnight. Much softer than with even the flutteriest of old-style waterproof mascaras. Waterproof–tested this in heavy rain and swimming–and long-lasting–tested out by partying then sleeping in it. Tested out side by side with the Clinique version, Perfectly Defined is less flaky. That is: the next morning, there were a few flakes (about 3 for an eye, but 99% of the mascara was still there, top and bottom) but they were larger than the Clinique ones, could be picked off cheek, and actually that previous day’s mascara would have been wearable the next. For the Clinique, though, there was far more flaking, with smaller flakes (also got in eyes, annoyingly). Maybe 5% of mascara left on lower lashes and 75% on top ones. So for endurance: the Bobbi Brown version wins.
Removal is, as with other tubing mascaras, the big issue. If you’re new to this, give yourself a little time and several attempts to learn how. This stuff will only come off with warm water (at above body temperature, for reasons that ought to be obvious) accompanied by light pressure. Just use fingers, be gentle. Try one eye at a time: splash lots of warm water on it (should be at least 38-39C), cup water in hand and pour over closed eye, then start using fingers directly on the lashes. Pinch, hold, pull gently. This is the tricky part: but once you’ve got the technique working, it’s plain sailing. If there’s no budging, DON’T resort fo brute force: keep adding more water, hold water and whole hand over eye, and if all else fails, fill a basin of water, stick the relevant sections of face in it, place hand underwater and continue the pressure business with fingers from there, underwater. Not needing extra makeup removers* and cotton-wool pads can save money in the long run, and cutting cotton-wool pad consumption give the tubers a slight environmental plus point.
Costs around USD22.00 / CAD 29.00 for a 6 ml tube. The Clinique version is a better buy. Both are fragrance-free, properly tested on sensitive humans, and cruelty-free (as is Blinc, but not Kanebo, and I’ve yet to find any information on Imju’s animal-testing status).
INGREDIENTS AND COMPARISON WITH CLINIQUE LASH POWER ING (main difference = preservatives: BB = no disodium EDTA & parabens; worth knowing if that’s an issue for you): BOBBI BROWN PERFECTLY DEFINING
water – acrylates copolymer – kaolin – silica – beeswax – butylene glycol – peg-15 glycerl stearate – alcohol denat. – carnauba wax – hydrogenated rapeseed alcohol – polyvinyl alcohol – bentonite – tocopherol – jojoba seed oil – dimethicone – simethicone – stearic acid – sucrose distearate – aminomethyl propanediol – aminomethyl propanol – sodium citrate – phenoxyethanol – chlorphenesin – sodium dehydroacetate [ +/- mica – titanium dioxide (ci 77891) – iron oxides (ci 77491, 77492, 77499) – manganese violet (ci 77742) – yellow 5 lake (ci 19140) – chromium oxide greens (ci 77288) – chromium hydroxide green (ci 77289) – carmine (ci 75470) – bismuth oxychloride (ci 77163) – blue lake 1 (ci 42090) – ultramarines (ci 77007)].
CLINIQUE LASH POWER
water – acrylates copolymer – kaolin – silica – beeswax – butylene glycol – peg-15 glycerl stearate – carnauba wax – alcohol denat. – hydrogenated rapeseed oil – polyvinyl alcohol – bentonite – tocopherol – jojoba seed oil – dimethicone – simethicone – stearic acid – sucrose distearate – aminomethyl propanediol – aminoethyl propanediol – sodium citrate – disodium edta – phenoxyethanol – methylparaben – ethylparaben – propylparaben – butylparaben – [+ /- mica – iron oxides (ci 77491, 77492, 77499) – titanium dioxide (ci 77891) – ultramarines (ci 77007) – blue lake 1 (ci 42090) – bismuth oxychloride (ci 77163) – carmine (ci 75470) – chromium hydroxide green (ci 77289) – chromium oxide greens (ci 77288) – yellow 5 lake (ci 19140) – manganese violet (ci 77742)].
Comparison of brushes and wands (click “continued” to view):
*Though I tend to use oil for makeup removal anyhow, which works out cheap: using the same oil mix for eye makeup removal, shaving, body moisturising, occasional face mousturiser top-up in cold weather.

Bobbi Brown – No Smudge Mascara  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 11/27/2010 4:49:00 PM

Splendid everyday mascara, but ensure purchase from a source who gets in regular supplies; my first experience was an old tube, clumping unforgiveably soon (10 days!!!) after opening. And drying out, and being drying on the lashes. I’ve rewritten my old review (2010-11-08) after using a new tube bought from a different source; entirely better experience. Though there’s still an issue with drying out too fast: perfect for a good 2-3 weeks, downhill from there, unusable at 6. Hence 1 lippie off; alternatives/faves at end of review.
For however long it lasts: a beautiful mascara. Think Clinique Naturally Glossy–my favourite and benchmark for other mascaras–but more volumising, and not only smudge-proof but waterproof. Cruelty-free, vegetarian (I *think* indeed vegan) ingredients, and–FYI if this is an issue for you, not one of mine but I know some folks look for this sort of thing–using a non-paraben preservative.
As waterproof mascaras go, this is also one of the least drying: lashes feel as soft and fluttery as they do with the best two waterproofs I’d found previously, Maybelline Full & Soft and Beauty Without Cruelty, but with less under-eye smudging, better hold, and more volume. I performed my usual tests*: for I live in fear of mascara smudging and running–I’m a redhead with pale lashes, and when this has happened in the past, it’s been quite mortifying 😦
The “no smudge” aspect is particularly impressive. I have quite dry skin, especially around the eyes, so tend not to smudge from sebum much. But in colder drier weather, I’m using heavier moisturiser than usual under my eyes, including a top-coat of shea butter, and I’ve had no smudging issues. Other w/ps have, however, been smudging very slightly under the lower lashes by the end of the day.
Short tube and wand–love or loathe, the short handle’s great for the short-sighted “blind” application, taking advantage of our great close-up vision. The formula is quite thin and a little dry, in common with many another waterproof mascara. Brush: my favourite kind–very like those of Clinique Naturally Glossy, Origins Fringe Benefits, BWC–short, densely bristled, not too fat. Great for definition and separation, provides some volume.
Applies fast, excellent hold, feels light on the lashes, no flaking, and it is very tenacious indeed. Remove with oil (using a cotton-wool pad or similar). I’ve had no drying-out and/or falling-out of lashes. But I’ve seldom experienced either. Only if using something inappropriately wimpy to remove mascara, rubbing too vigorously, or using an overly-drying formula (not met one of them in years).
Application: (1) Just one coat leaves lashes are lovely and feathery, perfectly acceptable for everyday purposes and for those favouring a “less unnatural” look. Though my “one coat” involves coating upper and lower sides of top lashes, down to the roots, which means more than just one layer anyway. Waiting for that to dry then adding a second coat didn’t make much difference, other than lashes started to clump and be dry to the touch. If building up, do it without waiting for the lashes to dry between coats: that works fine.
(2) Comb through immediately, as this mascara sets fast (but not as a fast as a tubing one); there will be the odd teeny ball-clump at ends of lashes, easily removed with a fine-toothed metal lash-comb. This is a very non-clumpy mascara, though, and the great brush makes it easy to work with.
(3) As with any decent waterproof mascara, remove any excess from surrounding skin immediately, otherwise it will take forever and a lot of rubbing once it’s dried. I always end up with smudgy bits around the eyes, it seems inevitable when getting mascara down to the roots (pale lashes here, avoiding that roots-showing effect).
Cost: It is quite expensive–in the region of CAN 26.00–and dries out quite fast. Hence major peeve if you get a dodgy tube and it dries out in under two weeks…a drugstore mascara is second-rate if it only lasts that long; unforgivable from a pricier one. Not sure if it’s worth the hefty price tag.
Alternatives: My main recent favourite mascaras, for reference, have been Clinique Naturally Glossy with Clarins Double’ Fix Mascara on top, Maybelline Full & Soft Waterproof, and BWC waterproof (I’ve also reviewed many another long-term love, ex, brief lust-smiting, and lamented departed). Also Clinique & Bobbi Brown’s tubing mascaras.
If you’re on more of a budget, try out the F&S and BWC w/p first; though outside the US, F&S is either only available online (with high risk of getting older stock that hasn’t travelled well), and BWC is available almost exclusively online. Other viable w/p options with good MUA reviews (but not cruelty-free): Lancôme, L’Oréal Voluminous, some Cover Girl.
INGREDIENTS: isodecane – water – trisiloxane – dimethicone silylate – ptfe – sorbitan olivate – sorbitan tristearate – polyisobutene – kaolin – silica silylate – trihydroxystearin – diisopropyl adipate – carnauba wax – quaternium-90 bentonite – microcrystalline wax – hectorite – cholesterol – caprylyl glycol – propylene carbonate – methicone – hexylene glycol – magnesium salicylate – phenoxyethanol – [ /- mica – iron oxides (ci 77491, 92, 99) – titanium dioxide (ci 77891) – manganese violet (ci 77742) – chromium oxide greens (ci 77288) – chromium hydroxide green (ci 77289) – carmine (ci 75470) – ferric ferrocyanide (ci 77510) – bismuth oxychoride (ci 77163) – ultramarines (ci 77007)]
* Tests: (1) 2 mascaras side-by-side, experiment repeated for each of the 3 mascara combinations.
(2) Staying-power: mascara applied a.m., left on all day + overnight: lashes should not be left bent and crumpled the next morning–sign of over-dry mascaras.
(3) Further tested waterproofness morning after in shower, making sure not to rub or touch eyes: mascara should still be there afterwards, and if lashes have clumped together slightly, should be disentanglable once dried with a lash-comb.

Too Faced – Lash Injection PinPoint  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 4/28/2010 3:15:00 PM

The PinPoint is a tubing mascara, available in black and brown (both good deep colours). As allergy season is upon us, it was time to move back to tubing mascara, which is the best solution I’ve found to runny eyes. I bought it as my local Sephora was out of what I meant to buy (Clinique Lash Power) and I was in a hurry so didn’t have time to try elsewhere. This might be one of these fortuitous accidents…
PRO #1: decent formula, not too thick, not too thin. Coats lashes well, leaving them defined but with more volume than other tubing mascaras I’ve used. Can be layered successfully: definitely better than Blinc/Kiss Me and Lash Power (the latter s layerable, but it’s tricky). There is some scent–beeswax/honey, to my nose–but inoffensive, indeed pleasant, and disappears anyway. No irritation to report, and my eyes can be pretty irritable.
PRO #2: the brush. Wonderful brush. Short head, fine quite close-packed bristles. Great for getting down to the lash roots. Other good brushes out there: Lash Power (slightly longer head), there’s a Clarins one (but the wand is way too long), Korres Abyssinia (disliked the formula): only the first of these is a tuber, though. I’d tried the other Lash Injection mascara before and disliked it precisely because of the giant brush; the PinPoint alternative is in a different league.
PRO #3: practicalities. PinPoint is easy to apply, easy to tidy up the odd teeny glob on lash-ends (sorry, I see these too clearly as short-sighted and fussy…), and next to no smearing on surrounding skin to tidy up. Easy to remove too: like other tubing mascaras, just use warm water and gentle pressure (pinch lashes between fingertips, in shower), plus oil on cotton pad to remove the rest (and other eye make-up).
PRO #4: like other tubing mascaras, lasts all day without running, flaking, or smearing. Can be worn overnight, still there the next day. I know you’re not supposed to, but these things do happen. Note that I have drier skin, and no oily lid issues. That might change things.
PRO #5: the feel and finish on lashes is superb: soft, supple, light, feathery, fluffy. Feels like there’s nothing there. With heavier mascaras, I can actually hear lashes click on my glasses. This is one of the lightest I’ve used.
PRO #6: good tube design, with a narrow aperture to remove excess product, a sort of compartment at the top of the tube. Tube closes well, with a convincing click. We’ll see how well this lasts before drying out, that will be the next major test.
CON #1: not convinced at the tube-technique. Yes, this stuff comes off with warm water; but it also comes off with regular make-up remover (in my case, oil)–super easily. That isn’t the case with other tubing mascaras I’ve used. Hence suspicious.
CON #2: some smudging and flaking in rain. Again, not the case with other tubers. But better staying power than regular mascara, I’ll grant you that.
CON #3: Dry, dry, dry. Very soon. Making this a very bad deal.
I would buy it again, but in the tubing stakes, give me Clinique Lash Power instead any day: I may have cheated briefly, but I am not seduced, and the Power is a stayer. As it *is* a stayer: does a better job as a tubing mascara, and–bonus–happens to be cheaper.
PinPoint price: about CAD20.00. Which is not prohibitive, and I wear next to no makeup so it won’t bankrupt me. In Sephora, online, and in some drugstores and boutiques here in Vancouver too. Cruelty-free. Does have parabens, worth knowing if you’re avoiding them, also worth knowing if you’re looking for them (I admit I do, in mascara).
INGREDIENTS: Fragrance, Water, Polyurethane-2 Beeswax, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Dimethylimidazolidinone Rice Starch, PEG-6 Beeswax, VP/Eicosene, Copolymer, Alcohol Denat., Sorbitol, Diethylhexyl Sebacate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Laureth-2 Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, VP/Hexadecane Copolymer, Tocopherol, Polybutene, Dimethicone PEG-8 Polyacrylate, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Dipropylene Glycol, Laureth-23. May Contain: Iron Oxides (77491), Iron Oxides (77492), Iron Oxides (77499), Benzyl Alcohol, Iodopropynyl, Butylcarbamate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben.

Clinique – High Lengths Mascara  rated 2 of 5 gingerrama on 4/20/2010 10:52:00 PM

Tried when it came out, tried again recently. Epic fail. Do not be fooled: this is no substitute for the gorgeousness that was Long Pretty Lashes.
PROS: The formula is nice, not too liquid, not too dry. No irritation. Little smudging. Decent wear. Price is good, the regular Clinique CAD19.00, a good deal for quality stuff and a good deal cheaper than department-store ones that aren’t necessarily as good. Like other Clinique products, cruelty-free but with good human-testing record. The tube is pretty: white with silver lettering and silver cap.
CONS:
#1 I can get more fullness/volume with a couple of coats of Naturally Glossy, and a far nicer separated, sleek finish with Lash Power. Either of these (especially the latter) is closer in feel to the fluttery feathery fine softness of Long Pretty. In comparison, High Lengths leaves the lashes (mine anyway) drier and crunchier.
#2 The brush is a disaster. The fine teeth and flexible head are all very well, but the head itself is about twice the optimal length, and the wand is too long (same issue with all Clarins’ mascaras except Double Fix). I can see the aim, but if you like a comb, try High Definition; and if you like the finesse, try Lash Power (one of the best mascaras Clinique has ever made, and my favourite “tubing” one, for the record). Indeed, either of these and several other non-Clinique mascaras get colour deep down closer to the roots. As my lashes are pale and I’m short-sighted, I do see these things and the difference, clearer than–well, darker-lashed lovelies with normal vision.
Sorry to bring the score down, but this stuff was a big disappointment. That’s speaking as a fan of Clinique mascaras for, let’s see, a solid couple of decades. I’m sticking with my regulars from them: Naturally Glossy (combined with Clarins Double Fix) alternating with Lash Power. Both these, now, I’d recommend wholeheartedly to anyone.

Lavera – Volume Mascara  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 1/19/2010 3:58:00 PM

[REVIEW UPDATED 2010-02-17] Super light, but layerable. Like a combination of my two favourite mascaras, Clinique Naturally Glossy and Origins Fringe Benefits. The aim here: a pseudo-natural effect, the “clean modern lash” with soft, fluttery, feathery lashes.

Criteria: certainly no clumps, globs, spiders’ legs, flakes, running, smearing, smudging; not in this day and age. I’ll tolerate having to comb through (have nice Tweezerman metal fine-toothed lash comb for the purpose), but a really good mascara–such as the Lavera–needs none or next to none. The basic state of affairs here in a state of nature: lashes that are basically in good condition and quite long and thick, but fine, and pale; irritable eyes and skin. I do find staying-power is helped by wearing Clarins Double Fix on top for waterproofing and, well, mascara-fixing; sometimes Shiseido Base underneath instead. Not bothered about curling lashes, certainly bothered about mascara being easy to remove without losing lashes in the process. And the Lavera ticks all these boxes.
Except… a slight con: it does flake a little–certainly more than either the Glossy or the Fringe (which don’t flake on me at all, so any flaking would be more than with them). Noticeable if you wear the Lavera with just Base underneath, solved completely by putting Fix on top (hence a 4 not a 5).
Lavera’s mascara is like Naturally Glossy re. fairly short dense slim brush and ease of precise application, right down to the lash roots. This is important on pale lashes, especially on the top side of upper lashes; done well, gives the impression of super-long lashes and a denseness at the roots like you get with tightlining. The Lavera is lighter-weight, more fluid, and more buildable and thickening than the Glossy. It leaves lashes less dry (NB the Glossy is very far from a dry and crusty mascara!!!), more supple, as though wearing nothing. But the Glossy is cheaper. The Lavera’s tube is nearly as pretty as that of the Glossy–plain, slim, silvery; the Glossy is absolutely unadorned and has a polished-chrome look, but is slightly heavier.
It’s also slightly lighter on the lashes than Origins Fringe Benefits, producing a more feathery effect, but needs a second coat for a similar effect to one coat of the Fringe. And, again, the Lavera has a nicer brush (for my purposes). But the Fringe, too, is cheaper. Though its packaging is not as nice (slightly chunky, and that odd greenish tinge).
There are two cons: (1) scent, (2) price.
Scent: It is fragranced, something I’s usually avoid in skincare let alone anything going near my eyes and nose. The scent is the Lavera classic–mainly rosewater and witch hazel–which I’m used to (ex. in the Basis range) and to which I don’t usually react. I’d tried the mascara out, loved it for a day, then was hit by allergies. Eye irritation, then sneezing when applying (first thing in the morning, everything’s more sensitive). I didn’t throw it out, but waited until allergic state had returned to normal. And lo–it’s a lovely issue-free mascara.
Price: CAD 27.00 + tax, for a 6.5 ml tube (pretty, shiny, silvery). USD 20.00 / EU 12.00-15.00. So a good deal in the EU (find it in lots of green/independent/health-food shops, and in some supermarkets, where it’s higher drugstore to mid-range prices) and a lousy one here in Canada (health-food shops and London Drugs, but high-end luxury prices).
Decent colours on offer: a deep black, a very lush brown, and navy blue (lovely too: not electric royal, more inky ultramarine/Prussian). Good company with decent ethics (sustainability, human, cruelty-free – and one of the oldest eco-companies around). I’ve been using Lavera skincare for decades, off and on, though I hadn’t tried any of their other cosmetics recently as the face stuff has no colours appropriate for a pale person, and the formulae haven’t changed since I last tried them out in 2007 and had reactions and breakouts back then … But the mascara has undergone changes since I last looked at it (2007, again): it now has an excellent short slim brush, and the formula actually feels like mascara now.
INGREDIENTS: Aqua, Alcohol, Sorbitol, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Simondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Tricaprylin, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Hectorite, Lysolecithin, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Water, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Fragrance (Parfum) [+/- Iron Oxides (Cl 77499, Cl77491, Cl 77492), Ultramarines (Cl 77007)].

Unlisted Brand – Gabriel   rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 1/2/2010 8:37:00 PM

I got this and the ZuZu Luxe mascara (same parent company) at the same time, and have been testing them out side by side. Continuing experiments with vegan, minimal-formula mascaras.* And this is, like the ZuZu, a splendid basic mascara – both are keepers. Not just as “greener” cosmetics go, but compared to the general mascara market. But I’d stress it’s very much a basic mascara, like Clinique Naturally Glossy or Tarte Lash Hugger in end results: look elsewhere if you want va-va-voom volume.
Available in dark brown and black. Both are good, solid, well-pigmented, richly tinted. Comes in a shortish matte black tube with gold lettering; not as chic as the ZuZu Luxe tube, but really quite inoffensive, especially by eco-branding standards…
Good brush (maybe better than the ZuZu one), separates, defines, and lengthens. Quite bushy, but fairly slim, with a tapered end. Covers all lashes nicely, and easy to get right down to the roots on the upper side of the top lashes. More of a “natural-look” defining and lengthening result, with very little volume – and while this can be layered, 3 or more layers leave some clumpiness and globs at the ends of lashes. This is certainly a keeper for a fast-on one-coat everyday mascara, though – applies in very little time.
The formula is rather wet, which I like; but less wet than the ZuZu Luxe. Basic and minimal: wax, fatty acids, gum, panthenol, vit. E & grapeseed extract as the preservatives.** No fragrance, sensitive-friendly colours. Lashes feel good: soft, smooth, supple – less soft than with the ZuZu if you use multiple coats, but as soft if you just go for a little. Though not as feathery and fine as with my current main favourite, Origins Fringe Benefits; and not as thickening as my other current mascara, Ecco Bella (minimal formula again, though more waxy and with paraben preservatives, FYI in case that’s an issue).
Stays on nicely all day, and lashes stay put. No smudging to report. I’m wearing this with Clarins Double Fix’ Mascara on top, though, for waterproofing.
Removes easily with oil. (Comparison: the ZuZu Luxe one flakes on removal, needs more poking around with Q-tips to remove all debris.)
Lashes here: long, fine, not too thick but quite a lot of them; some grow in weird directions and need taming. And they’re pale (being a redhead), so need colour all the way down.
Available online and from Whole Foods; we’ll see how long a tube lasts. CAD 25.99 / USD 15.20 for a .025 oz / 7 g. tube: pricey, more in the range of dept-store/Sephora mascaras. Gabriel gets full marks for general company ethics, though – and recommended if you’re looking for a fairly readily-available, cruelty-free, vegan mascara. And other makeup.
INGREDIENTS: deionized water, carnauba wax, stearic acid, panthenol, tocopherol acetate, iron oxides, ultramarines, cellulose gum, grapeseed extract
*That also happen, yes, to count as “green” and “natural” – for those bothered about such things – seeing as how they’re mainly plant- and mineral-based. The day mascara grows on trees, I’ll be one happy bunny. Or maybe more likely just very, very worried.
**Preservatives: I wear mascara every day. Not getting assorted bugs in it, and around/on my eyes, is a concern. It is therefore important to me for mascara to contain preservatives with antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It is also important that these preservatives be decent ones, so I don’t have to replace my mascara every week (or day, and/or sterilise between uses) – not at 20 bucks or so a pop!!!
Thus far, parabens are a winner – and of the vegan, “natural” mascaras, rarer on the ground: ex. Ecco Bella and Beauty Without Cruelty.
Things like potassium sorbate – in the ZuZu and Origins – a close second.
The grapefruit extract in Gabriel mascara, I’m afraid, comes a rather dodgier third.
Based on the evidence from published research, inc. the Great Armpit Debate materials, much of that c/o the lovely people of The Beauty Brains and of course c/o the joyous Google.

Unlisted Brand – Zuzu Luxe – Thickening Mascara  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 1/2/2010 8:18:00 PM

Bought and tested side by side with Gabriel mascara (same parent company). Continuing experiments with vegan, minimal-formula mascaras.* Excellent basic mascara – not just as “greener” ones go, but compared to the general mascara market. Not called “thickening”, though – just “The Mascara”.
Available in Onyx (black), Espresso (good rich brown), Navy, and Clear. Comes in a shortish tube with silver lettering and silver cap. Probably the most stylish design I’ve seen recently, of the cosmetics brands available in health-food/eco shops: most are a bit grim and old-fashioned, some don’t seem to have bothered at all, and many have useless brushes.
Decent brush, separates, defines, and lengthens. Quite bushy, but fairly slim, with a tapered end. Covers all lashes nicely, and easy to get right down to the roots on the upper side of the top lashes. One con: when first used, the brush was covered in surplus mascara – I think from being stored horizontally in the shop – but that was easily removed with a tissue. The brush does continue to have a tendency to accumulate surplus at the tip – not drastic, but an irritation. Gabriel scores higher on the brush.
Result: defines and lengthens. Some volume too, on me anyway: very similar effect to the Gabriel mascara, but the ZuZu gives more volume faster, and leaves lashes softer (compared to more coats of the Gabriel). And glossy! Especially in the lush Onyx black. Also fewer clumps – the ZuZu leaves zero, as opposed to a few globby bits on ends of lashes with the Gabriel (though, again, this is with multiple coats: with less, the Gabriel is nice and soft, but more natural-just-tinted-looking).
The formula is rather wet, which I like. Basic and minimal, though not as minimal as the Gabriel: mainly coconut oil-derived fatty acids, gums, and clay, with vitamin E and potassium sorbate as the preservatives.** No fragrance, the most sensitive-friendly colours (iron oxides and titanium dioxide), and a couple of pretty inoffensive plant extracts plus panthenol. Lashes feel good: soft, smooth, supple. A fairly feathery effect with a couple of coats, though not as feathery and fine as with my current main favourite, Origins Fringe Benefits; and not as thickening as my other current mascara, Ecco Bella (minimal formula again, though more waxy and contains methylparaben & propylparaben FYI in case that’s an issue either way…).
Stays on nicely all day, and lashes stay put. No smudging to report. I’m wearing this with Clarins Double Fix’ Mascara on top, though, for waterproofing.
Removes easily with oil. It is a little flaky on removal: the Gabriel doesn’t flake at all, in comparison.
Lashes here: long, fine, not too thick but quite a lot of them; some grow in weird directions and need taming. And they’re pale (being a redhead), so need colour all the way down.
Available online and from Whole Foods; we’ll see how long a tube lasts. CAD 25.99 / USD 16.70 for a .025 oz / 7 g. tube: pricey, more in the range of dept-store/Sephora mascaras. The Origins one is cheaper here in Canada, though the US prices make them about the same price. Overall, on a 4 for the moment, and a 3 for price. Gabriel gets full marks for general company ethics, though – and recommended if you’re looking for a fairly readily-available, cruelty-free, vegan mascara. And other makeup.
INGREDIENTS: Aqua (infusion of Aloe Vera juice), Cellulose Gum, Sorbitol, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lecithin, Panthenol, Crithmum Maritimum (Sea Fennel) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright) Extract, Xanthan Gum, Iron Oxides, Hectorite, Titanium Dioxide, Potassium Sorbate
*Mascaras that happen, yes, to count as “green” and “natural” – for those bothered about such things – as being mainly plant- and mineral-based. Not a major issue here: I’m also happy with ingredients synthesized in labs, but am unhappy about animal testing and animal-derived ingredients, and prefer where possible to opt for sustainability and friendliness to environment(s) vegetable, animal, and human.
**Preservatives: I wear mascara every day. Not getting assorted bugs in it, and around/on my eyes, is a concern. It is therefore important to me for mascara to contain preservatives with antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It is also important that these preservatives be decent ones, so I don’t have to replace my mascara every week (or day, and/or sterilise between uses) – not at 20 bucks or so a pop!!!
Thus far, parabens are a winner – and of the vegan, “natural” mascaras, rarer on the ground: ex. Ecco Bella and Beauty Without Cruelty.
Things like potassium sorbate – in the ZuZu and Origins – a close second.
The grapefruit extract in Gabriel mascara, I’m afraid, comes a rather dodgier third.
Based on the evidence from published research, inc. the Great Armpit Debate materials, much of that c/o the lovely people of The Beauty Brains and of course c/o the joyous Google

Ecco Bella – FlowerColor Natural Mascara  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 12/7/2009 3:13:00 PM

Very very very impressed indeed.
I’ve used many mascaras in my time, in over 20 years’ daily use. Having pale lashes, this is a necessity of everyday life. This is one of the best I’ve used – “green” or otherwise – and by far the best “green” one. I tried it back in about 2004/05 and was not impressed. I am now converted. And this is speaking as a regular user of Clinique Naturally Glossy, Origins Fringe Benefits, and a recent devotee of Fresh Supernova.
FlowerColor satisfies my basic criteria admirably:
– a fairly wet formula
– easy and fast to apply
– no clumping, no globs at ends of lashes, no spikiness or spiders’ legs, no monolash horrors, ability to apply a second coat on the top lashes (though using a lash comb does help)
– a brush allowing application right down to the roots on the upper-side of the top lashes (I was sceptical when I first saw the brush, but it’s fine)
– no irritation, stinging, other agony…
– no flaking and smudging (though Clarins Double Fix on top usually fixes that anyway)
– and of course the end result: lashes that are at least darkened as though tinted, in a natural-looking way; ideally, with a bit of length and volume; soft, supple, feathery rather than crispy.
Better still, there’s some volume. Happy happy happy.
It’s available in brown and black. The brown is a very good rich one, and can also be used for tightlining (with old brush from Clinique brush-on cream liner). The black is lovely and lush, nearly a true black, no trace of grey, though with a slight hint of navy blue. The formula is wet, and takes a few seconds to dry (maybe 15-20). Comb through after maybe 5 seconds or so. It doesn’t dry super-dry – so you can still comb through a little later – but once dry, lashes stay in place: fluttery but not going all over the place (I tested this out without the Clarins Fix on top, just to check; and also to check for flaking and smudging).
Further: though the gilded top is of questionable taste, there’s a fabulous little mirror down the side of the tube (see picture) – fabulous, that is, for short-sighted people like me. And I’ve nearly had an “ecco bella” complement: a couple of women in shops have commented on my lashes. Nearly an actual “hello there gorgeous” – but no need to go off on a “Roman Holiday” for that, the tube says it to you every day. So: not only does it perform, and does so well and beyond expectations: as yet another bonus, this mascara lifts the spirits in the morning.
Best of all is the minimal formula; though still with decent preservatives, which I like, and like a lot better than eye infections. No animal testing; vegan; and a very virtuous company all round. Costs around CAD 16-20 (inc. tax -the brown costs less), slightly less in the US; regularly available in Whole Foods (and Capers here). Note that this is for a 0.38oz / 11g tube, which makes the price very competitive when compared to other mascaras’ smaller 6 to 8 ml tubes. Especially when even drugstore basics are at least 10 bucks these days (here, anyway) for anything that works and doesn’t bug my eyes; and 17-18 for Clinique.
INGREDIENTS: purified water, carnauba wax, palmitic acid (fatty acid from palm oil), kaolin (clay), methylparaben, propylparaben, iron oxides.

Tarte – Lash Hugger Mascara  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 11/30/2009 5:03:00 PM

Decent basic mascara – and one of the better “green” ones. Though in my case this was not so successful: as the main preservatives are alcohol. And this had to be removed due to major irritation. However, in the name of scientific experimentation, and for the greater good of the greater number, even though I know my habitual irritants, I thought I’d try this anyway …
Irritation aside, the results: It’s a fairly wet mascara, and goes on quite smoothly. Not super-smoothly, but well enough. Next to no clumps or globs, and all easily and rapidly dealt with thanks to metal lash comb.The Hugger applies very thin, so you can opt for a nearly-naked one-coat look, or try for more oomph.
While adding more coats works fine, it took more coats and more time than with comparable “less green” mascaras of a pseudo-natural-look persuasion, such as Clinique Naturally Glossy. Took about as many coats as with Shu Basic, which is the most minimal mascara I’ve met – though the Hugger stays softer than it througb multiple coats, less dry and crusty. So thumbs down for the rapid early-morning routine: Origins Fringe Benefits still wins there (and is cheaper), and my new best friend Fresh Supernova.
Other con: while the brush is good at separating lashes, and coating them fairly evenly, it’s not great at getting down to the roots on the top side. For pale-lahed folks, this is important. The Fringe does better there, and best of all (so far) Clinique Lash Power.
The end result is pretty, though – and lashes stay quite soft (quite: not as soft as with Origins Fringe Benefits or Fresh Supernova) but, as others below have said, very similar to Clinique Naturally Glossy. So unless you have a good reason to avoid certain of Clinique’s ingredients, or some objections to the company, I’d say to go for it instead: nearly indistinguishable end result, in less time, with less product used, and cheaper (and not bad company ethics, inc. no animal testing for decades).
Thumbs up to Tarte for moving in the Direction of Niceness, with this one but also with their other mascaras. Very pretty tube, too: recycled aluminium, lovely eggplant shade, and similar hand-feel to the Supernova.
Alas: the alcohol and my irritation – there are other “greener” mascaras out there, that don’t do this (the Fringe, again). Also, not that easy to get hold of – Sephora exclusive here in Canada, I think – and pricey: works out about CAD 27.00 inc tax. Bearing in mind there’ll be a lot used every day, compared to the Clinique for the same end result; and bearing in mind that the Clinique lasts and lasts and lasts for ever. Only available in black.
INGREDIENTS: Water, Alcohol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Cera Carnauba, Hydrogenated Stearyl Olive Esters, Stearic Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Shellac, Triethanolamine, Candelilla Cera, Acacia Senegal Gum, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorophenesin, Iron Oxides (CI 77499).

Fresh – Supernova  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 11/30/2009 4:27:00 PM

A great mascara. Only available in black – but golly, what a rich and lustrous black that is.
Wet formula, decent brush – looked nearly too thick for my likings, but it works very well, getting down to lash roots on top (pale lashes here, so need to do this or else roots show). Easy to apply. Nice and smooth, needs minimal combing through. A first coat leaves lashes long, defined, slightly thickened. A second – lots of volume, whilst maintaing definition. None of that spiky monolash effect. And some curling upwards (good as I wear glasses, and obv. good as lashes look splendid).
Best of all, lashes feel incredibly light once this has dried. Feathery and fluffy. Soft. The general effect isn’t super-volumising, though as this mascara layers well, if you’re into really thick lashes, give it a try. Two fast coats produces a somewhat similar effect to Maybelline Full & Soft (my old favourite, but the current version irritates my eyes) or Origins Fringe Benefits. I’m wearing Clarins Double’Fix on top, as usual, for waterproofing; so I can’t comment on how well this wears on its own.
And now for the major downside. It’s fiendishly expensive. Nearly CAD 35.00 (Sephora) inc. taxes. We’ll see how long the tube lasts,We’ll see how long the tube lasts, after which I’d see if I buy it again – the big question: is it twice as good as the Fringe, for twice the price? Right now, I’m thinking no: it’s a little better – approximately 15-20%? – and a tube of the Fringe does last a good three months. Will update later.
INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Polybutene, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Euphorbia Cerifera, (Candelilla) Wax, Cetyl Palmitate, Pvp, Steareth-21, Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Nylon-12, Panthenol Steareth-2, Tilia Tomentosa Bud Extract, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Korres – Abyssinia Oil Mascara – Volumising/Strengthening  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 11/30/2009 4:03:00 PM

The Abyssinia is quite a wet mascara, and one of the better “green” ones on the market. Fragrance-free, a formula containing various things that sound good, and good (or less awful) for one’s lashes and surrounding skin: carnauba and rice bran waxes, abyssinia seed oil, and the usual silicones and polymers. For those worried about sich things, there’s no mineral oil, propylene glycol, ethanolamine, and parabens. And no animal testing.
It also features what looks like a really good brush: quite short, slim, with a slight bulge in the middle. Looking very like the brush to Clinique’s Lash Power. The sort of brush that is marvellous on lighter-coloured lashes: allowing you to get right down to the roots on the top, and not, well, have your natural roots showing …
Other pro is the range of colours available: a good black, but also a pleasant brown, a gorgeous plum/eggplant, and a lurid cobalt blue.
That’s the good. Now for the rest. Firstly, appearances are deceptive: the brush isn’t as good as it looks. I got it no further down my lashes than a more regular-shaped (though still smallish) brush; comparing with my two regulars, Clinique Naturally Glossy and Origins Fringe Benefits.
The Abyssinia’s brush is rather poor at separating lashes; the bristles sometimes even tangle them. Not impressed. A combination of that and the mascara itself leaves clumps and blobs on the lashes (not removed entirely with metal lash comb), and while I’ve met far worse mascaras in my time, I’m not prepared to spend an extra 15 minutes fixing problems that just don’t occur with other (better) mascaras.
OK: so it’s poor at separating lashes. But this is supposed to be a volumising mascara. Fail here too – less volume than with Clinique Naturally Glossy, or indeed Shu Basic. Both of which are as near as you’ll get to anti-volume mascaras. I experimented with adding coats (with yet more time combing out blobs). Lashes just went mono-lash. Tried various finishes – just one coat, loads of coats, intermediates …
And to clinch it all, once the mascara has dried, while the lashes don’t feel as crusty and brittle as with worse mascaras, they don’t feel as soft, supple, and smooth as they do with the likes of Fringe Benefits.
So: not a bad mascara, but not a good one. CAD26.00 plus tax. For less money, Origins Fringe Benefits and the Aveda one are better mascaras (and around about as green and so on). For a couple of bucks less than the Abyssinia, one of the others I tested out recently, Tarte Lash Hugger, is considerably more beauteous (though I’ve had issues with stinging). I’d still rate the Abyssinia higher than, say, Dr. Hauschka, Lavera, Ecco Bella; and it’s as good as many “less green” mascaras out there. But there’s no need to be suckered into paying that much for what is basically marketing, especially when “less green” companies – from luxury to department-store to drugstore – are greening-up their products.
INGREDIENTS: Water, Sorbitan Olivate, Glycerin, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Stearic Acid, VP/VA Copolymer, Sorbitol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Dimethicone, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Isopropyl Myristate, Methyl Pyrrolidone, o-Cymen-5-ol, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Polyurethane-2, Tocopherol, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, [+/- (May Contain) Mica, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Carmine, Titanium Dioxide, Ferric Ferrocyanide].

Shu Uemura – Mascara Basic  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 8/23/2009 8:35:00 PM

Exquisite gel mascara. Fine gel formula, no scent, no irritation. Good brush: nice and small, gets all the lashes and right down to the roots (important for those of us who are pale of lash, and want to avoid roots issues). Good tube, minimally chic design, with a satisfying click to the opening (i.e. a decent lock to keep air out).
Best of all, it works: Incredibly light on the lashes, feels lovely and soft, barely there – probably the most “natural” mascara I’ve used. If you’re looking for volume, or thick lashes (too often as several have stuck together), or other drama: look elsewhere. This is for heightening what one’s got: subtle and elegant. On pale lashes, accompanied by tightlining, it looks like a really well-done lash tint.

Very easy and fast to apply. No clumps or globs (I blame the good brush). Smears on surrounding skin are easy to wipe off – no rubbing and tearing at skin – but once this mascara’s set, it is very set indeed. While it’s only claimed to be water-resistant, I’ve found it to be properly water-proof: against rain, showers, sweat, and swimming in the ocean – waves and all. It feels better on the lashes than any other declared-waterproof mascara I’ve used: none of that dry, crusty, brittle feel; and no lash breakage, nor greater loss when removing this.
Application: coat upper and lower sides of all lashes, top and bottom. Then comb through (Tweezerman metal-toothed folding icomb), dab off any surplus on surrounding skin (Q-tip/cotton-wool bud, dabbed in water). I’ll often add a layer of Clinique Naturally Glossy – underside of top lashes only – then another light one of the Basic, for a teensy bit more volume. Just as often, I’ll just add a light second layer of the Basic, for everyday purposes.
Not only waterproof, but smudge-proof and very long-lasting. On a recent hiking trip, I didn’t take this off at night, had a comb-through and a little dabbing to do in the undereye area the next morning (about 10 seconds’ worth), some more and some reapplication to do on the third day (where some had worn off – again, seconds’ worth). Eyes and eye area fine; I know wearing one’s makeup for more than a day isn’t recommended, but it’s nice to know that when you have to, you can. This stuff is reliable, and that’s why I love it.
Having seen the good reviews, I had been curious to try the Basic for years – but unavailable in Ireland, and hard to get hold of elsewhere in Europe. Easier to find here in Canada, and it was recommended by several friends and colleagues – independently – for withstanding BC rain and camping trips.
Costs – a lot. CAN$ 32.00 / USD 27.50 for 4.5g / 0.15 oz. Apparently expensive and time-consuming to produce, made by a process resembling that used for making calligraphy ink.
Whatever, excuses excuses – it *is* too expensive for a mascara, though cheaper than buying a good mascara and a good separate waterproofer (base or topcoat), having found no waterproof mascara as good. Anywhere. Ever. Searching for a way to justify the expense, I’ve started making charity donations equivalent to the price difference between a more expensive product and a cheap simple version; so my donations are going up through the year thanks to the Basic.
The tube has lasted well so far. Unless it dies before 3 months are up, I’d definitely rebuy. I might still have a very slight preference for the Naturally Glossy, and loyalty to it, but applying the Glossy over Shiseido Base takes longer than just Shu Basic. Though for a more voluminous effect. So it’s the Basic for everyday, and the Shiseido Base/Naturally Glossy combo for days with longer in the morning for makeup.
Reason for not buying this again: ethical issues. I’m only buying cruelty-free. The 4 lippie rating remains, because this works, and that’s a separate issue.
INGREDIENTS: cyclopentasiloxane , paraffin , c11-12 isoparaffin , polybutene , hydrogenated cottonseed oil , ceresin , ozokerite , cera microcristallina / microcrystalline wax , simmondsia chinensis / simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil , tocopherol , ascorbyl palmitate
may contain: mica , ci 77492, ci 77491, ci 77499 / iron oxides , ci 77891 / titanium dioxide , ci 77007 / ultramarines , ci 77742 / manganese violet , ci 77510 / ferric ferrocyanide , ci 75470 / carmine

Mascara -Shiseido – The Makeup Mascara Base [DISCONTINUED]  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 6/22/2009 8:10:00 AM

Count me another convert. I’m kicking myself for not trying this earlier. It’s brilliant. I’ve worn mascara every day for nearly 25 years (redhead, blonde lashes), been round the mascara block, and I do hereby formally declare myself Very Impressed Indeed.
This is a primer, applied underneath one’s regular mascara. Renders that other mascara smudgeproof and (pretty darn impressively) waterproof. Others have sung The Base’s praises on the curl-holding front; I don’t curl my lashes so can’t comment on that, but lashes seem to curl up more just with this and regular mascara. Lashes also stay in place nicely, and I note a clear increase in volume and length. No fibers, and zero stinging, migratory irritation, or anything other than luscious gorgeousness to report.
I’d used waterproof mascaras for years – partly for rowing and swimming, partly as living in rainy places. More recently, had been using Clarins Fix’Mascara and its successor, Double Fix, on top of regular mascara. Alternating with Clinique Lash Power; and used various other tubing mascaras before that (e.g. Blinc / Kiss Me). This stuff is as good as these on the plain waterproofing front. Unlike the tubes, it doesn’t come off in showers and steaminess: an advantage after swimming; it’s also a lot easier and faster to apply, more tolerant of minor errors, and doesn’t do their things of drying out and becoming unusable rather fast. Lasts longer and better than the Clarins. And leaves lashes in better condition than regular waterproof mascaras. Indeed, my lashes feel *more* soft than they do with just my usual mascara.
I’m using this under Clinique Naturally Glossy. The Base is clear (unlike many other primers that are white/grey), just waxes and silicones (no fibers), unscented, and has a dense-ish brush. Easy to apply, but – as others note below – it’s important to work fast, use a thin layer, comb through, and apply usual mascara on top fast too, while The Base is still damp. I haven’t experimented with other mascaras, but can vouch for Naturally Glossy working well; other reviewers below observe that waterproof mascaras don’t work so well on top.
Application method here: I tightline first, then brush through lashes. So as to move between them fast, I keep both tubes of mascara in my non-writing/painting hand; loosening their tops before I start, so I can open and partly reclose each one between coats (and then tighten both properly at the end). Apply thin layer of The Base to upper right lashes: on upper then under sides. Comb through (Tweezerman folding metal iLash comb). Rapidly, so The Base hasn’t time to dry. Apply usual mascara on top of the damp Base: again upper then under sides, down to the roots, and comb through. Lower right lashes: The Base on both sides of lashes, as before; comb through fast; then regular mascara on the upper side only. Same again for the other eye. Tested out over the last 6 weeks, inc. other methods – letting the base dry first, using a thicker coat. One can add another layer of regular mascara on top, and comb through, for even thicker effects; one coat is already Bambi aplenty, I found.
The Base + mascara lasts and lasts – overnight, and indeed a second day and night when hiking and camping; no smudging at all; no flaky bits coming off and into eye (which one does sometimes get with the Clarins Fix); zero irritation. It’s also faster to apply, partly as working rapidly before the stuff dries. More effect with The Base and one layer of Naturally Glossy than with several coats of the Glossy; lashes are as thick and lush as with a more fluffifying mascara – but without clumping, spideriness, and the impression of giant but sparse lashes. Here, on the contrary, it’s fanning and fluttering …
Anyhoo. Count me a delighted fan, and consider this a 6-lippie rave review. Cost me EUR 20.00, apparently the regular price is 24.00, for a 7 ml tube (lovely packaging, by the way – shiny but simple chocolate-brown tube, solid and comfortable to handle). USD 23.00 / GBP 15.00-17.00 ish. The stuff’s fine 6 weeks on, will update review if it suddenly dries out or otherwise misbehaves such as to cause unhappiness and lower its rating.
Reason for not buying this again: ethical issues. I’m only buying cruelty-free. The 5 lippie rating remains, because this works, and that’s a separate issue.
INGREDIENTS (from the box): C11-12 ISOPARAFFIN – DEXTRIN PALMITATE – POLYETHYLENE – CYCLOMETHICONE – TRIMETHYLSILOXYSILICATE – POLYMETHYLSILSESQUIOXANE – MICROCRYSTALLINE WAX – ISOSTEARIC ACID – TRIOCTANOIN – PHYTOSTERYL/OCTYLDODECYL LAUROYL GLUTAMATE – TOCOPHERYL ACETATE – SILICA – MACADAMIA TERNIFOLIA NUT OIL – METHICONE – TETRADECENE – IRON OXIDES – TITANIUM DIOXIDE – MICA

Revlon – 3D Extreme Mascara – Blackest Black  rated 1 of 5 gingerrama on 10/22/2008 2:32:00 PM

Lovely shiny tube. Pity about everything else.
Being a sucker for shiny things (especially if they’re on special offer and don’t look as cheap as they are), I tried this. Fortunately I was not financially ruined. Hands down, one of the worst mascaras I’ve ever tried. Made even my worst so far – the Body Shop and Just For Redheads ones – look almost acceptable, in comparison. Where to begin? I’m all in favour of small brushes: but not when they’re covered in mascara, with no scraping device built into the neck of the tube. So you have the choice of applying straight to lashes (clump central), wiping on paper/tissue (massive waste of 80% of what’s on the brush), or scraping it on the neck of the tube. The old trick of bringing the wand out slowly while spiral-swirling it doesn’t work (thought works well for other “clumpy-end” mascaras, like Clinique Long Pretty). The applicator itself looks like a cross between those flat spoolies (often work brilliantly) and the tiny ones with short teeth, or combs (ditto). But has none of their merits. I’d do better using my fingers.
The formula looked fine and fairly standard on the ingredients list, and managed the remarkable feat of combining the worst features of wetness with the worst ones of dryness. Pretty impressive. Goes on gloopy and too thick. Combing through between coats – yes, one can eventually separate lashes from one another, but by this stage the mascara’s drying. It goes from too wet on application, through to too dry. We’re talking crusty, crumbly, flaky dry.
End result: ugly lashes, and one very annoyed person underneath them, who’s spent too long getting said crap result. I took it all straight off and put the good old Clinique Naturally Glossy back on again. Takes a fraction of the time, feels and looks gorgeous.
Pros? Not perfumed. When the flaky bits got in my eyes, no irritation. Not tested on animals. Mind you, the same can be said of many things, that would be about as much use as mascara: cocoa powder or coal dust mixed with shea butter for example; and there are many mascaras that are cruelty-free and ten bazillion times better. It did come off easily enough using oil. Last but not least, the tube made a satisfying clunk when thrown in the bin.

Clarins – Double Fix  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 9/14/2008 10:38:00 AM

Well, I beg leave to differ with the previous reviewer. I’ve been using the old Fix’ Mascara for years, and loved it – except for the squeezy tube, and issues with the brush getting clogged up at the ends. I complained about that in my old review for the old version
Yes, the new version is the same formula as the old one. Thank goodness for that: it’s ace. Does the job. Waterproofs against Irish [update: and Vancouver] rain and swimming pools.
There’s marginally less of it in the tube, but even using this daily, I never finished off one of the old tubes – way too big.
But this is superior to the old version as it’s now in a proper rigid tube, with a better narrower neck, that scrapes off some of the surplus from the end of the wand. The wand itself is the same as the old one, but the handle is silvery rather than red, and the shaft might be a teensy bit shorter (and thus even easier to manipulate for us short-sighted people).
Thumbs up. Shame it’s a bit hit or miss with Clarins’ reformulations / repackagings / reissues – wrecked the UV Plus 40, and reduced the face-slap colour range available where I live. Some marketing genius thought Ireland, home of the pasty pale-blue people, was a sensible place to discontinue all 01 shades. Boo hiss.
Costs around CAD23.00. As with other Clarins products, cruelty-free.
INGREDIENTS: isododecane – polyethylene – disteardimonium hectorite – synthetic wax – vp/eicosene copolymer – propylene carbonate – trimethylsiloxysilicate – parfum – ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate

Clinique – Long Pretty Lashes Mascara  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 8/4/2008 3:32:00 PM

UPDATED REVIEW: rewrite of 2007-08-24 first version, with the hindsight of another year’s delighted use and returns after infidelities – that is, comparative experimentation …
UPDATE 2: being discontinued in at least the UK & Ireland, rumours of rest of Europe.
UPDATE 3: (11/2009) being discontinued worldwide, though Clinique is bringing in a “replacement” in Spring 2010. But it’a got one of those rubber brushes, so not quite the same. We’ll see. Not rebuying, though, due to impending disappearance.
One of the best mascaras I’ve ever used: very very like my favourite, Maybelline Full & Soft WP. Which, alas and alack, is not available here in Ireland (or in the UK, as far as I can see). Similar: Origins Fringe Benefits. Pale-lashes people: these three give the illusion of natural fabulousness combined with tinting. I get asked a lot: folks observe that hair and lashes don’t match, then work out the hair’s natural, so the lashes can’t be.
Good regular mascara, that does exactly what it says on the tin. Suitable for a natural / less-unnatural look, if you have lighter lashes and are too pale to carry a stronger / less natural / more-unnatural look.
Comparisons to some near-relatives (for quite sensitive eyes, preference for cruelty-free cosmetics, and only comparing to those that didn’t irritate and that are availabe here in Ireland)*:
More volumising and plushifying than Clinique Naturally Glossy or Lash Power (my other current/recent favourites, the other two in my current Holy Trinity) – the Pretty leaves lashes softer and thicker.
Not as thick as Clinique’s Lash Doubling or High Impact – but the Pretty has a better brush, and doesn’t leave lashes as dry and crunchy as they do.
Very like Origins Fringe Benefits – the Pretty has a similar brush, leaves lashes as soft, but isn’t as wet and smudgy. Origins is stopping selling its cosmetics range in the UK and Ireland, *sob* – so the Pretty is a double-whammy in the nearest-approximation stakes [but see UPDATE 2 above: I seem to curse beauty products…]
Easy to apply, though you do need to remove blobs from both ends of wand onto a tissue first. This is annoyaning; but if you do end up with these bits on lashes, they comb out easily. Blobs congregating on the end of the brush where it meets the wand stick can mostly be avoided by wriggling the wand in a spiralling motion as you remove it from the tube. Not a big issue, but not as good as Naturally Glossy or Lash Power.
One coat on top of lashes, one on underside, one on lower lashes, and you have a natural look. The brush is dense enough to get every lash, and fine enough to get lashes right down to the roots (it’s almost identical to the Naturally Glossy brush: same shape and size, slightly less dense bristles; to my eye, identical to the Fringe Benefits brush, and it was a near-dupe for F&S). Going *right* down, there will be mascara on surrounding skin and inner eyelid rims: one of the few mascaras where it’s not a problem – easy to tidy off, and zero irritation. Another coat on top and it’s more lush. Texture remains light and feathery. All very You But Better.
It comes in a good brown and a proper deep black. None of this slight-grey-tinge nonsense you get with some mascaras that will remain unnamed. Doesn’t clump, or flake, and stays fresh in the tube for a lot longer than many mascaras I won’t mention. Has no fibers, so it won’t thicken your eyelashes massively but then again fibers won’t fall into your eyes.
I usually don a coat of Clarins Fix’Mascara over this, as it rains a lot where I live. That holds it in place well (and is waterproof and smudgeproofing).
Costs EUR 19.00. As it lasts a decent length of time, and as it works, a bargain.**
Minimal ingredients, free of most of the commner known irritants, and not tested on animals.
INGREDIENTS: water – beeswax – ozokerite – glyceryl stearate – sucrose distearate – stearic acid – acrylates copolymer – talc – macadamia seed oil – aminomethyl propanediol – pvp – hydrolyzed wheat protein/pvp crosspolymer – nylon-66 – panthenol – sorbitan sesquioleate – bisabolol – sucrose stearate – pantethine – hydroxypropyl nethylcellulose – sodium hyaluronate – apple extract – butylene glycol – chitin – pvp/polycarbamyl polyglycol ester – cyclopentasiloxane – sodium laureth sulfate – simethicone – silica – hdi/trimethylol hexyllactone crosspolymer – triclosan – trisodium edta – potassium sorbate – imidazolidinyl urea – phenoxyethanol – methylparaben – propylparaben – butylparaben – [+/- iron oxides (ci 77491, 77492, 77499) – titanium dioxide (ci 77891) – mica – blue 1 lake (ci 42090) – bismuth (ci 77163) – chromium oxide greens (ci 77288) – yellow 5 lake (ci 19140) – chromium hydroxide green (ci 77289) – red 40 (ci 16035) – ultramarines (ci 77007) – ferric ferrocyanide (ci 77510)
* Others tried more or less recently: see notepad and reviews. Pathetic fraction of the Maybelline range available here (only about 3 of them *weeps*): none as “full and soft.”
** I use mascara every day (being one of the gingerry persuasion), and count a mascara as a acceptable if it lasts at least 6 weeks, a favourite if it lasts 3 months (= 1-2 on price). This gets a 2 on price as it doesn’t last quite as long and perfectly as the Glossy (3-4 months, then forcibly thrown out: so a 1). Even though it’s expensive as compared to many other mascaras, it works out not too badly as it lasts longer, and definitely cheaper in the long run if it works for you and you thus save money on experimental purchases. Also cheaper than buying a mascara that doesn’t agree with your eyes; one hears horror stories of massive allergic reactions, inflammation, pustulating sores, and consequent medical expenses. Let alone the public embarrassment.

Chanel – Inimitable Mascara Multi-Dimensionnel  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 6/24/2008 11:26:00 AM

I tried out samples of this in brown and “noir indigo” – a gorgeous blue-black (as well as the waterproof version in bronze and black). This also comes in black. As seems often to be the case with Chanel, the colours are a marvel and drool-worthy. The Noir Indigo is particularly praiseworthy – just enough blue to make your eyes look whiter (and bring out their colour), but lashes still look black. Cunning.
This was not a good mascara for me, as I hate the brush, profoundly and passionately. One of those silly rubbery fetish-wear things, which would all be very well if it wasn’t fat and floppy. It may be fine if you have lovely lush dark lashes to start with, and just sort of waft the brush in their vague direction, but it’s absolutely rubbish if you need to do some surgically precise close-up work. I have pale lashes (albeit long, fine, quite a lot of them, and nicely naturally curled) and want to get mascara right down to the roots, to bring out the lashes’ full length and – well, not have one’s roots showing!
The formula is much better than the waterproof version, and I found it slightly less wet and globby, and slightly more resistant to water. That was weird and unexpected. Still, the unwieldy brush and combings-through means that this mascara takes for ever to apply in a presentable manner.
So that’s one lippie for the colours (which are really very good), a second for being better than the waterproof version and thus nearly an acceptable mascara (if you also find the brush acceptable), and a third for not animal testing.
But – and especially for this kind of money – there are many far better, and cheaper, mascaras out there.

Chanel – Inimitable Mascara Multi-Dimensionnel (Waterproof Version)  rated 2 of 5 gingerrama on 6/24/2008 11:16:00 AM

I can’t believe I’m reviewing the same product as other below.
Overpriced and overrated. I tried out samples of this recently – the waterproof in bronze and in black, as well as the non-waterproof. I thought it would be charitable to warn people to save their money.
This is yet another of those mascaras featuring the fetishistic spiky rubbery bendy-brush, once again, too big and unwieldy. No use at all on fine pale lashes, when one is trying to get right down to the roots. It is just about usable with lots of combing through between coats, but takes a very long time to apply in a satisfactory manner.
The formula is very wet and smeary. Once smears have been cleaned up, there’s leakage and smudging under the eyes through the day. Also, I did not find this to be waterproof, in that it started to come off with a little rain and came off easy as pie as soon as I splashed water at it. Maybe I have different standards for waterproofness, but mine include not coming off when hit by water, as happens with, say, rain. Even the kind of mild rain we have frequently here in Ireland. If a mascara doesn’t stand up to rain, there’s no way it’ll hold up when swimming (and that’s what I, for one, call “waterproof”).
The one thing this mascara might have going for it (unless you’re into collecting mascaras or love packaging) is the bronze. The colour is beautiful in the tube; but barely noticeable other than as a pleasant brown once it’s on the lashes. You get a very faint glimmer, but no more than with any mascara with a nice glossy formula. I thought this might be like my very first mascara (ooh, twenty-odd years ago), Bourjois’ Vison Doré – a gorgeous lighter tawny golden brown. No such luck.
This also comes in a lovely black and some other colours that look very good: an emerald green, a burgundy/plum, and a truly beautiful deep navy blue.
One lippie for the colour selection, and one lippie for not testing on animals. No reactions, even with the many bits in eyes (but I would take that for granted in this day and age).
Looking for a good mascara? Try elsewhere on MUA.
Good mascara for pale lashes? Go for one with a tiny thin brush (Clinique Lash power – hybrid silicone brush, which I love, and happens to come in a very nice brown; also Maybelline Lash Discovery or Clarins Wonder Long; slightly bushier brushes, but still excellent, from Clinique Naturally Glossy, Origins Fringe Benefits, and Maybelline Full & Soft).
Good browns? Clinique have several, as do more economical options Maybelline if you’re in North America, and Bourjois if you’re in Europe.

Chanel – Inimitable Waterproof Mascara BRONZE 20  rated 2 of 5 gingerrama on 6/24/2008 11:06:00 AM

Overpriced and overrated. I tried out a sample of this recently and thought it would be charitable to warn people to save their money.
This is yet another of those mascaras featuring the fetishistic spiky rubbery bendy-brush, once again, too big and unwieldy. No use at all on fine pale lashes, when one is trying to get right down to the roots. It is just about usable with lots of combing through between coats, but takes a very long time to apply in a satisfactory manner.
The formula is very wet and smeary. Once smears have been cleaned up, there’s leakage and smudging under the eyes through the day. Also, I did not find this to be waterproof, in that it started to come off with a little rain and came off easy as pie as soon as I splashed water at it.
The one thing this mascara might have going for it (unless you’re into collecting mascaras or love packaging) is the bronze. The colour is beautiful in the tube; but barely noticeable other than as a pleasant brown once it’s on the lashes. You get a very faint glimmer, but no more than with any mascara with a nice glossy formula. I thought this might be like my very first mascara (ooh, twenty-odd years ago), Bourjois’ Vison Doré – a gorgeous lighter tawny golden brown. No such luck.
One lippie for the bronze, and one lippie for not testing on animals. No reactions, even with the many bits in eyes (but I would take that for granted in this day and age).
Looking for a good mascara? Try elsewhere on MUA.
Good mascara for pale lashes? Go for one with a tiny thin brush (Clinique Lash power – hybrid silicone brush, which I love, and happens to come in a very nice brown; also Maybelline Lash Discovery or Clarins Wonder Long; slightly bushier brushes, but still excellent, from Clinique Naturally Glossy, Origins Fringe Benefits, and Maybelline Full & Soft).
Good browns? Clinique have several, as do more economical options Maybelline if you’re in North America, and Bourjois if you’re in Europe.

The Body Shop – Waterproof Mascara  rated 2 of 5 gingerrama on 6/20/2008 3:37:00 PM

And… it’s back to Clinique Naturally Glossy with Clarins Fix’ Mascara on top.
This stuff looked good. The formula looked very interesting. Nice tube. Nice company ethics.
Where to start on practicalities? The brush is downright bad: it’s too chunky and the bristles aren’t fine and dense enough, so it’s very hard to get right down to the base of lashes, and to apply this stuff evenly. The formula is dry, and the mascara starts to flake as soon as it hits lashes. It seems to get drier as you go along – i.e. as you redip and apply another coat, or a coat elsewhere. Bottom lashes looked sad and crumbly. Combing through between coats didn’t help. Adding more coats made things worse. Trying to apply it super-fast, or super-slow and waiting between coats – nope. Wiggling the brush, rotating it upwards – no go. You name it, I tried it. I really did want to like this mascara.
If you can get around the brush, formula, and application – this is actually genuinely seriously waterproof. Apart from the crumbly, flaky, clumpy, clotty bits. Which just stayed that way. Lawks, how I suffer in the name of science.
So one lippie for actually being waterproof, and a second because I’ve always liked The Body Shop and what they stand for, and continue to support them under current ownership. (I’m one of those who believe that Big Boys buying up smaller ethical companies is a good thing, as I gather they are often keen to learn ethics from The Small, which is never a bad thing.)
Also, this is ridiculously overpriced. It’s only a couple of euros cheaper than my beloved Clinique (*hugs it and promises not to stray again*). For goodness sake, I used to buy TBS with pocket-money when I was young, in the 80s… And this was EUR 15.40!!! And the prices are even worse in the US (if you’re there, go buy Maybelline or Almay or Ecco Bella or something home-grown of that excellent ilk, and thank your lucky stars you have such good stuff on your doorstep). Daylight robbery. Especially when it’s c**p.
INGREDIENTS: Dimethicone (Skin Conditioning Agent), Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax) (Stabiliser/Emollient), Candelilla Cera (Candelilla Wax) (Stabiliser), C24-28 Alkyl Dimethicone (Skin Conditioning Agent), C30-38 Olefin/Isopropyl Maleate/MA Copolymer (Film Former), C20-40 Alcohols (Skin Conditioning Agent), Silica Silylate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Polyethylene (Opacifier), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Cyclomethicone (Emollient), CI 77499 (Colour).

Maybelline – Volum’ Express Turbo Boost Waterproof   rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 3/28/2008 7:04:00 AM

Fairly impressed with this mascara. Criteria: a waterproof mascara (that IS actually waterproof). With a decent brush to get down to the lash roots (as I’m pale of lash). A formula that leaves lashes soft to the touch, defines, and gives some length and volume – no spider-legs, mono-lashes, or Tammy F. Not clumpy, no smudging or flaking. No irritation. Not tested on animals (Maybelline currently has a moratorium – parent L’Oreal group doesn’t, some subsidiaries like M. and The Body Shop do). The Boost ticks all these boxes. Including passing the crucial shower and swimming-pool tests.
The only reason I’m not repurchasing it for the moment is that my lashes look and feel better with my regular mascara (currently Clinique Naturally Glossy or Long Pretty) and Clarins Fix’ Mascara on top; and the Fix is just as waterproof as the Boost.
Some slight caveats and cons:
(1) If you find the mascara is dry, or dries up within a few days, return it if you can: you’ve been sold an old tube. If like us poor unfortunates here in Ireland you can’t do this (no returning opened cosmetics and the like), then take action. Complain to the shop in question about their stocking old stuff, and make a mental note never to buy mascara from that shop again. Previous reviewers who’ve had the dry mascara problem have my sympathy. Been there all too often, especially in the UK in days of yore, when Maybelline was imported from further, and sold more slowly, before it was Big. Life’s better now as what’s sold on the European market now comes from Gemey-Maybelline in France.
You could also try steaming the tube gently in a bain-marie.
(2) Only available in black. Grrr. Discrimination against the pale – brown is often better on the pale of lash. But this was actually fine, rather good behind glasses. Pleasant surprise.
(3) The Boost *does* need to be combed through after each coat; but then, so does every mascara I’ve ever tried over the last 20-odd years. Its brush is good – short enough (1 inch long), dense bushy bristles, not too fat, nice shorter handle, easy to use: I can get right down to lash roots on the upper side of the top lashes.
(4) Needs careful removal, as very waterproof. Swiss-style cotton wool pads, dampened with water then oil (50:50 mineral/sunflower blend right now – I also use olive, safflower, jojoba, avocado, etc. on occasion). Or, to be more environmentally-friendly, use a small toweling pad, a fresh one each time obviously (tip: no need to buy the expensive health-store type – make your own out of old wash-cloths). Placed on top of closed eye and held there for a good couple of minutes. Next, swept down over eye – gently but firmly. Then, with eye opened, pad between thumb and first couple of fingers and squeeze it gently around the lashes, top then bottom. Again, taking care not to rub. Use a wet washcloth (cool water) and cotton wool buds/Q-tips to rinse off and get rid of any remaining debris. Wash rest of face, moisturise, eye cream, etc., and so to bed.
(5) Doesn’t last very long before it dries up and goes on crusty, crunchy, blobby, etc. Count about 4 weeks, no more. This makes it more expensive than mascaras that are 2.5 x the price but last 5 x as long…
(6) It IS waterproof, but so is my regular non-WP mascara with Clarins Fix’ Mascara on top. And the Fix lasts for a good 6 months and has many advantages over any WP mascara (see review…).
I used the old, non-turbo version many years ago. I’ve used waterproof for years, in one form or another, due to living in rainy countries and/or practising water sports. Defected to Full & Soft when in the US (and it remains the standard against which I judge all other mascara). Alas, not available in Ireland, so moved over to various other mascaras.
Far superior to the non-turbo boost old version. Cheap enough to try out and throw away, even here – EUR 7.50 (North Americans count your blessings!). The tube doesn’t last that well though – used every day, I’d count about 4 weeks’ decent usage, after which it becomes dry and unpleasant. Hence 3 lippies on price and 4 all round: this works out more expensive than a mascara that is perfect for many months (ex. Clinique).
INGREDIENTS: isodecane, microcrystalline wax, c8-9 isoparaffin, beeswax, disteardimonium hectorite, carnauba wax, water, propylene carbonate, allyl stearate/va copolymer, lecithin, ethylenediamine/stearyl dimer dilinoleate copolymer, rice starch, polyvinyl laurate, sodium polymethacrylate, propylparaben, peg/ppg-17/18 dimethicone, hydrogenated jojoba oil, polyquaternium-10, silica, panthenol, calcium sodium borosilicate, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben (± may contain ci 77492, 77491, 77499/iron oxides, ci 77891/titanium dioxide, ci 75470/carmine, ci 77007/ultramarines, ci 77288/chromium oxide greens, ci 77289/chromium hydroxide green, ci 77742/manganese violet, mica, ci 77510/ferric ferrocyanide).

Clinique – Lash Power  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 1/30/2008 6:12:00 AM

Big thumbs up. A current everyday slap-it-on-fast mascara for looking human in record time. Living in Ireland means the rain makes this a good daily mascara. Good for a natural look – so if your lashes are pale, this simply gives them colour. On non-pale lashes, there may well be no discernible effect! Current joint favourite with Clinique’s Naturally Glossy (04/2009).
The Power is a “tube” mascara: polymer forms tubes around lashes, rather than “painting” them. Comes off with warm (39C) water. Waterproof for the purpose of being in the rain and swimming. Same technology as Blinc/Kiss Me, Kanebo 38, and some other Asian-market ones; The Power was – as you’ll see in earlier reviews here – first developed in East Asia (for fine lashes + hot humid climate). Launched there early 2005; US a while later; ***just*** arrived in Europe: official launch date is February 2008 – the same, I think, in Australia.
It comes in brown (Dark Chocolate) and black (Onyx) so far. The brown is a good one, nice and rich, and none of the greyness you can get with brown/blacks (and I love it!!!). The black is good too, properly deep and glossy.
Tiny brush – short, thin, but dense bristles, and slightly bulgy/tapering – like MAC X’s “football” brush, but slender version. The brush alone is superb. You get every lash, right down to the roots. For pale-lashed people, this is brilliant.
It has several advantages over Blinc and Kanebo.
(1) Easy to find in Europe – being Clinique.
(2) The cheapest “tube” mascara on the market; the same price as other Clinique mascaras. While Clinique is roughly double the price here as in the US, that’s still a lot less than available parallels. Blinc online is at least double that with postage, and as for Kanebo…
(3) I’ve used Blinc before when living in the US. Not as good as this. Never did Kanebo, as shockingly pricey plus the company is reticent about animal testing.
(4) Better slimmer brush than Blinc – indeed, the best mascara brush I’ve ever used. The next best was Maybelling Lash Discovery.
Comparing the Power to my usual mascaras (and old flames) and the Blinc: Similar pseudo-natural effect. Nice soft lashes, slightly shiny, lengthened, not thickened. Every single lash is visible, an effect similar to actual lash tinting. Lashes stay in place; a coat of Clarins waterproofing double/fix’mascara does the same thing. The Power’s beauty: providing all this with one coat, rapidly applied, making this a great everyday mascara – halving mascara application time. Even applying right down to the roots, there’s little residue around the eye (which I get with every other mascara – worst of all with waterproof), so make-up time is further reduced by spending less time cleaning that up.
Following much experimentation, I find this is best applied on dry lashes; apply other eye MU afterwards. It dries at just the right speed (Blinc – too fast): but once it dries, it’s set. So you do need to work swiftly but steadily. When the mascara is fresh, there’s a teeny surplus at end of brush: tap off on a piece of paper. Also, pull the wand straight out, fairly rapidly – unlike other mascaras where you get a cleaner non-overloaded brush by doing so more slowly and swirling it in the tube.
Two tips, or rather, two urges to resist. This is the slightly tricky business, and may need some practice, but once mastered one does end up with lovely lashes:
(1) A single coat. Applied smoothly and steadily: upper side of top lashes right down to the roots, then their underside, then bottom lashes.
(2) Do not comb through.
Otherwise it globbifies and starts to come off. Mind you, I’m not really into the volume – not into the “thick lashes, but only five of them” look. As the formula is a decent texture – thin enough for even application – and the brush is perfection, it goes on very smoothly. And you can tweak off any stray bits on ends of lashes (there’s always one, however microscopic, and however marvellous the mascara!).
Feels wayyyy lighter on the lashes – like you’re not wearing any mascara. Gentle, no reactions from eyes, lids, under-eye. Fantastic with allergic eye-watering and the like. Removal: see my notepad (short version: use warm water and downwards squeezing – not regular make-up remover, waterproof make-up remover, or oil; and no side-to-side rubbing).
Waterproof for everyday purposes of being rained on? Yes. Fine for the gym? Yes. Swimming? Yes, but comes off in warm showers. Once it starts coming off, one needs to take the lot off and reapply completely. I fear it might well also come off in a sauna or steam room. Naturally Glossy with Clarins Fix’ Mascara on top stays impeccable in these conditions, though.
Costs EUR 19.00; USD 14.00; GBP12.50??? 2 lippies for price, as this is one of only 2 mascaras I’ve ever used that last the full 6 months they should be able to – the other is the Naturally Glossy. (NB the oft-quoted 3-4 months is an average guideline; we’ve all met mascaras that barely last 3-4 weeks…).
INGREDIENTS: water – acrylates copolymer – kaolin – silica – beeswax – butylene glycol – peg-15 glycerl stearate – carnauba wax – alcohol denat. – hydrogenated rapeseed oil – polyvinyl alcohol – bentonite – tocopherol – jojoba seed oil – dimethicone – simethicone – stearic acid – sucrose distearate – aminomethyl propanediol – aminoethyl propanediol – sodium citrate – disodium edta – phenoxyethanol – methylparaben – ethylparaben – propylparaben – butylparaben – [± mica – iron oxides (ci 77491, 77492, 77499) – titanium dioxide (ci 77891) – ultramarines (ci 77007) – blue lake 1 (ci 42090) – bismuth oxychloride (ci 77163) – carmine (ci 75470) – chromium hydroxide green (ci 77289) – chromium oxide greens (ci 77288) – yellow 5 lake (ci 19140) – manganese violet (ci 77742).

Lancôme – Définicils Mascara  rated 2 of 5 gingerrama on 1/6/2008 9:51:00 AM

I’d nearly pushed this successfully to the back of my mind. Dry, dry, dry. And then it’ll dry out in the tube some more. And the brush is too long.
This stuff has been known to be good for about the first week of use. That happened to me once, a long time ago. Since then, I’ve gone over to mascaras that don’t flake, render the lashes stiff and brittle, and leave little clumpy bits at the end of your lashes. Instead, I’m all in favour of mascaras that leave your lashes soft, supple, evenly coloured… YBB and not-too-unnatural. Clinique Naturally Glossy or Maybelline Lash Discovery, for instance.
Save yourself the money. There’s far better out there, including almost anything (i.e. not Great Lash) from the drugstore.
If you feel loyal to Lancome, please try to persuade them to rethink this, their most classic/basic mascara, and join the 21st century. Fatale and Hypnose are much better formulae – nicer to the lashes, leaving them softer – although the brushes still leave a lot to be desired (tho’ this can be helped by using a different mascara brush instead), and the end effect tends towards the gloopy monolash. I exaggerate, maybe five clumpy lashes. And while combing the lashes out helps, it also cancels out the whole thick lashes thing, giving you an end result like other non-thickening mascaras… except the whole process has taken longer and used up more product.

Clinique – High Impact Mascara  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 1/6/2008 9:41:00 AM

I tried a sample of this; won’t be buying. It’s simply not as good for my purposes as some of their others – Naturally Glossy, Long Pretty, Lash Power. Nor as good as my favourites elewhere (see other reviews).
PROS: doesn’t irritate eyes; not as clumpy as some others (Lancome, for ex.)
CONS: The formula was too thick, clogged and blobbed, and left lashes clumpy. The brush was thicker than any of my usual favourites, so didn’t get mascara right down to the roots of my top lashes, and was generally less easy to handle. After combing through (with a fine metal-toothed lash comb), the result was better, but to my eye resembled either of my other usual Clinique mascaras, except it had required more effort. Lashes were slightly dry.
I didn’t like, as it didn’t fulfill my purposes. But I’d certainly recommend this for anyone looking for really thick lashes; an Occasionwear for lashes. The results were comparable to some of the lusher Lancome, Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, and Maybelline mascaras.

Clinique – Gentle waterproof mascara  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 11/29/2007 9:57:00 AM

(updated 01/30/08 and 12/12/07) Not as good as Clinique Lash Power, or regular mascara + Clarins Fix’ Mascara on top. Not buying again, and not using this up. It’s out.
(1) It is waterproof – passed the swimming + shower test.
(2) Goes on OK: no irritation + leaves lashes feeling like lashes – quite soft – better in this way than other waterproof mascaras tried recently. But slightly clumpy, needs a lot of combing-through. Can be removed afterwards without eyelashes breaking or coming out.
(3) Exists in brown: a rare thing for waterproof mascaras.
(4) Doesn’t dry out in the tube in 3 weeks. It still doesn’t last as long as my favourite everyday mascaras – Clinique Naturally Glossy + Long Pretty + Origins Fringe Benefits – that keep going for 3 months. But that seems to be in the nature of waterproof mascaras, alas.
(5) Nice natural effect. So if you’re looking for lots of length and volume, try elsewhere.
Cons: (1) My big peeve is the brush (hence giving a 2 for packaging), which is too bushy for easy application right down to the roots. I prefer a thinner brush for that purpose. But the brush is short, which is fairly helpful for fast and easy application. For a waterproof mascara that I also found too dry, Stila Lash Visor has a far nicer brush (and formula).
(2) It starts out dry-ish and gets drier. Hence more clumps. Hence why it’s down to a 3. And why I’m back to one of my three HT mascaras with the Fix on top.
Price: the usual Clinique prices – EUR 19.00 / GBP 12.50 / USD 14.00
INGREDIENTS: water – candelilla wax – carnauba wax – c8-9 isoparaffin – beeswax – oleic/linleic/linolenic polyglycerides – peg-20 sorbitan beeswax – dimethicone silyate – ozokerite – trimethylsiloxysilicate – nylon-12 – pvp/eicosene copolymer – ammonium stearate – ammonium isostearate – cyclopentasiloxane – ammonium lauryl sulfate – disodium edta – phenoxyethanol – potassium sorbate – methylparaben – ethylparaben – propylparaben – butylparaben – isobutylparaben – [+/- iron oxides 9ci 77491, 77492, 77499) – mica ultramarine blue (ci 77007) – titanium dioxide (ci 77891)]

Boots – Intense Volume Waterproof  rated 2 of 5 gingerrama on 11/29/2007 9:06:00 AM

This is supposed to be Boots No. 7’s replacement for the Ultimate Waterproof mascara.
Not bad, not great, and not as good as its predecessor. The Brown/Black is a good brown, not too grey. The brush is a little bushy for my tastes, but short, which ensures ease of application. The formula is a little dry – as is often the case for waterproof mascaras of an older-fashioned formula (compared to the more gel-based ones, ex. Stila and Shu Uemura). It dries out in the tube quite fast: 3 weeks before it starts to be crusty and flaky, and comes off during the day. Lashes were dessicated.
Worse, it flaked off on me during the day, and was utterly incompetent when faced with a swimming-pool and a shower. As that was why I had bought it in the first place, I was most discontent.
If you’re in the US, and looking for a decent waterproof mascara in brown or brown/black, I would suggest Maybelline Full & Soft Waterproof or Volume Express. If in the UK and Ireland, Boots 17 Waterproof (Volume Express is available in black only, as far as I’ve found, though you can sometimes be lucky in the UK in Superdrug).
More expensive and generally available alternatives that work and leave your lashes nice and supple: Stila (but it dries out fast in the tube), Clinique Gentle Waterproof; or one of the tubing mascaras – Clinique Lash Power (fab fab fab), or Blinc/Kiss Me (the tubing one – but warning, zero volume and a certain spikiness). Or put a waterproofing sealant on top of your regular mascara – Clarins Fix’ Mascara or Urban Galoshes Galoshes (from Underwear And ~), for example.
It does work out expensive, as like all No. 7 mascaras in my experience it dries out fast. You’re lucky to get a month’s daily use out of this stuff before it goes crusty. In the UK and Ireland, it’s about 25% cheaper than, say, Clinique (EUR 14 vs. 19), but has 1/3 of the latter’s lifespan…

Boots – Intense Volume Waterproof  rated 2 of 5 gingerrama on 11/29/2007 9:04:00 AM

This review is for the waterproof version. It is supposed to be Boots No. 7’s replacement for the Ultimate Waterproof mascara.
Not bad, not great, and not as good as its predecessor. The Brown/Black is a good brown, not too grey. The brush is a little bushy for my tastes, but short, which ensures ease of application. The formula is a little dry – as is often the case for waterproof mascaras of an older-fashioned formula (compared to the more gel-based ones, ex. Stila and Shu Uemura). It dries out in the tube quite fast: 3 weeks before it starts to be crusty and flaky, and comes off during the day. Lashes were dessicated.
Worse, it flaked off on me during the day, and was utterly incompetent when faced with a swimming-pool and a shower. As that was why I had bought it in the first place, I was most discontent.
If you’re in the US, and looking for a decent waterproof mascara in brown or brown/black, I would suggest Maybelline Full & Soft Waterproof or Volume Express. If in the UK and Ireland, Boots 17 Waterproof (Volume Express is available in black only, as far as I’ve found, though you can sometimes be lucky in the UK in Superdrug).
More expensive and generally available alternatives that work and leave your lashes nice and supple: Stila (but it dries out fast in the tube), Clinique Gentle Waterproof, Blinc/Kiss Me (the tubing one – but warning, zero volume and a certain spikiness). Or put a waterproofing sealant on top of your regular mascara – Clarins Fix’ Mascara or Urban Galoshes Galoshes (from Underwear And ~), for example.

Boots – No7 Ultimate Waterproof Mascara  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 11/29/2007 8:50:00 AM

FYI – Now replaced by Boots No. 7 Intense Volume Waterproof mascara. Which is not as good – be warned off it. See review; there are also some comments on it under the main “Intense Volume” reviews.
This was a very good waterproof mascara: slightly crunchy, but performed very well. It was one of my staples when rowing. It withstood many hours a day, in the rain, with the odd splash, and occasionally falling in when sculling. That’s a pretty good test of a mascara.

Boots – No7 Stay Perfect Mascara  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 11/29/2007 8:23:00 AM

Decent basic everyday mascara, at a very reasonable price for its performance. It does work out expensive, as like all No. 7 mascaras in my experience it dries out fast. You’re lucky to get a month’s daily use out of this stuff before it goes crusty. In the UK and Ireland, it’s about 25% cheaper than, say, Clinique (EUR 14 vs. 19), but has 1/3 of the latter’s lifespan…
Bought as a replacement (a while back), in brown/black, when in between Maybelline Full & Soft (not available in Ireland) and Clinique Naturally Glossy.
The colour is not as good as the other two – slightly darker and greyer – but still very good on pale/redhead lashes, and not as weird as black.
Good brush: dense, quite short, slim. The formula is slightly dry, and does dry out faster than the Glossy, resulting in flakes and blobs at the ends of lashes (even with combing between and after coats). This simply means that a tube won’t last you a full 2 to 3 months: it works nicely for 3 weeks or so, then over weeks 4 to 5 it gets too dry and need to be replaced. Even using it every day, the tube therefore doesn’t get used up. Which is a bit wasteful.
Natural effect – very like Clinique Long Pretty Lashes, perhaps less full than Maybelline Full & Soft – but not quite as soft as either. But acceptable, and didn’t make lashes fall out or anything drastic. Also, no problems of irritation, whether of bits getting into the eye or bits on skin around the eye. Slightly funny smell though.
I found it lasted very well – as per the name – all day and through the evening, not smudging or flaking, just staying perfect.
So: a good stop-gap if your favourite is out of stock (especially if you’re in the UK or Ireland, where this is easy to get hold of and affordable). I would certainly buy it again for that reason. But not, in my opinion, as good as the Full & Soft, the Naturally Glossy, or Origins Fringe Benefits for my particular purposes.
Price: EUR 13.50 (I think?) / GBP 10.00 / USD 8.99 (at Target

Stila – Lash Visor (New- Fall 2004)  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 10/30/2007 4:13:00 PM

This review is for STILA LASH VISOR. Ingredients follow at end of review. I’m posting a copy of this same review on the other “lash visor” product entry. This has now gone through experimental stages, ups and downs, and several review updates…
Bought in BROWN and specifically as a waterproof mascara. I usually wear Origins Fringe Benefits (or Clinique Naturally Glossy), and Clarins Fix’ Mascara on top for everyday waterproofing. I hadn’t bought a waterproof mascara for some years, since converting to the Fix. But I’d seen good reviews of the Visor (here and elsewhere) and was curious to see whether waterproof mascara formulae had indeed improved recently.* Especially if it goes on very fast, which would assist in getting out the house and on my way to early morning swim…
The Visor fulfills most of my key mascara criteria satisfactorily TO START WITH, AND FOR A WHILE:
(1) a proper brown colour, not one of those brownish-blacks with a hint of grey (as I’m a redhead with pale lashes);
(2) good formula, non-irritating, no fibres;
(3) not too wet (so it stays on), not too dry (so it doesn’t flake off); no flakes, clumps, globs;
(4) good brush: smaller and shorter (max. about an inch/2.5 cm), not too thick (indeed, the thinner the better), fairly densely-packed bushy shorter bristles;
(5) easy to apply, including right down to the lash roots;
(6) leaves lashes soft and feathery, YBB, the redhead’s version of “the natural look” being “not-too-unnatural”;
(7) stays on while swimming;
(8) cruelty-free.
PROS: The Visor is a little on the drier side, compared to the wetter Glossy and Fringe I’m more used to. The Visor needs rapid application: combing through the minute one has finished applying a coat, and applying a second coat immediately after (though just one coat on bottom lashes, obviously). Wiggling the brush is a good thing with this mascara (unlike the Fringe). Lovely brush, very like the Fringe and the Glossy. Lashes are really nice and soft, with no smudging: an end result like the lovely Maybelline Full & Soft Waterproof that I remember with fondness (it’s NOT AVAILABLE in Ireland, boo hiss…).
ANOTHER PRO: It IS waterproof while swimming.
MORE PROS: Presentation/packaging: slim brushed silvery tube with minimal verbiage – almost the dimensions of the Glossy but less shiny – in a slightly retro Courrier-style font. Price: around $10.00-12.50 / EUR15.00. This makes it a good buy in Europe, for a quality performance mascara – less than most of the higher-end brands, more in the range of Boots No 7. If, that is, you have a fresh tube and it works for you.
MAJOR CON: dries out way too fast in the tube. I expect a mascara to last for two months; a non-drugstore one for three. This worked well for just under a month, and is now dry and crusty, horrid and unuseable (bought October 30, 2007; this update is on November 29). I would conclude that the Visor is worth buying for a vacation, but not as a regular thing.
NB It does NOT work with Clarins Fix’ Mascara on top. Do not follow my mistake of thinking that would make it extra-waterproof. No. Dramatically no: the Visor flaked while I was applying the Fix, and stuck to the Fix, so I ended up with uneven application on each lash, as some bits of lash are covered in mascara and others aren’t. Ladies – Visor and Fix don’t mix.
INGREDIENTS: isodecane, cyclopentasiloxane, carnauba wax, trimethylsiloxysilicate, pvp/eicosene copolymer, purified water, disteardimonium hectorite, paraffin, ceresin, polyethylene, glyceryl stearate, magnesium carbonate, beeswax, propylene carbonate, chamomile/matricaria extract, hops extract, rosemary extract, wheat germ oil, apricot kernel oil, ascorbyl palmitate, tocopherol, ethylhexylglycerin, tea-stearate, dimethicone, propylene glycol, sodium dehydroacetate, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben [+/- may contain mica, iron oxides (ci 77491, 77492, 77499), titanium dioxide (ci 77891), ferric ferrocyanide (ci 77510), ultramarines (ci 77007), bismuth oxychloride (ci 77163), carmine (ci 75470), chromium oxide greens (ci 77288), manganese violet (ci 77742)]

*The Visor, for instance, is a gel-wax, moister and leaving lashes more supple than the old-fashioned waterproof mascaras (c. 1986-2000) that were mainly wax, with water as the sole moistening ingredient, present in varying quantities. The more waterproof ones had more wax and less or no water, leaving lashes stiff; less waterproof ones had water as one of the first 1-3 ingredients, and weren’t satisfactorily waterproof.
Other gel-formula waterproof mascaras that are supposed to be good: Shu Uemura. Alas hard to find here, and prohibitively expensive for experimental purposes.

Origins – Fringe Benefits Lash loving mascara  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 10/17/2007 10:24:00 AM

Current favourite mascara, and an off-and-on favourite for some time, depending on availability. Other main one being Clinique Naturally Glossy. Older favourites were Maybelline Full & Soft WP up to about 2007 – tried again in 2009 and irritated, formula may have changed in the last three years – and Clinique Long Pretty Lashes. The Pretty and the Fringe were found through my exhaustive experiment to find a replacement for F&S after I moved to Ireland, as F&S is unavailable there and in the UK. UPDATE (11/2009): stopped using this when Origins pulled out of Europe (moved to Clinique Naturally Glossy), then moved to Canada, and am delighted to be reunited with the lovely Fringe.*
The Fringe has a great brush and colour, and lasts for ages, staying lovely and moist and still going on like a dream into its 4th month (after which I feel obliged to throw it out, for hygiene/paranoia reasons).
The Fringe is excellent if you’re looking for a natural-looking mascara for YBB soft supple lashes. Comes in brown and black. A pleasant surprise, bought on impulse. I didn’t actually need another mascara, but it happened to be on special in a local store, and I remembered the good (but oddly few) reviews here on MUA.
Key mascara criteria to fulfill:
(1) good colours: a black and a brown that don’t verge on the grey. The brown Fringe is one of the best true chestnut browns out there, rich without being too deep/dark – tip for blondes and pale redheads with very light lashes. I use both, but brown in deepest winter when I look like a ghost at the best of times, and black mascara makes me look like a ghoul.
(2) good formula, non-irritating, no fibres;
(3) not too wet (so it stays on), not too dry (so it doesn’t flake off); no flakes, clumps, globs;
(4) good brush: smaller and shorter (max. about an inch/2.5 cm), not too thick (indeed, the thinner the better), fairly densely-packed bushy shorter bristles;
(5) easy to apply, including right down to the lash roots;
(6) leaves lashes soft and feathery, YBB, the redhead’s version of “the natural look” being “not-too-unnatural”;
(7) stays on – admittedly, either with a good proofer on top or a good base underneath;
(8) cruelty-free.
The Fringe is really very nice indeed. Beautifully smooth application, goes on like a dream, “wet” formula, no clumps or globs or blobbules on tips of lashes, barely needs combing through. Two coats on top and one below leave lashes as thick and plushy as the Pretty and F&S. Combing through after each coat. The brush is very like that of the Pretty, but a fraction (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cm?) shorter. Which I happen to like.
The formula is quite wet – more water and humectants and less wax in the formula. Not a bad thing, and nice and gentle to your lashes and surrounding skin. It does mean that this mascara takes slightly longer to dry between coats; and the bottom lashes will smudge unless you “fix” them (even on drier skin). I use a waterproof sealant on top (Clarins Double Fix’ Mascara): makes even a rather wet mascara like this one fully smudge- and waterproof. Recommend this with Shiseido Base underneath: fixes and proofs pretty well, and looks like false lashes!!!
Costs less than the Clinique: around $13.50 / EUR17.00 / GBP11.00. The real joy is the formula, which may satisfy many looking for a “more natural” mascara, that is cruelty-free, or one avoiding beeswax (if, say, vegan) or parabens. Indeed, the new packaging (2009) and SA are very keen to draw your attention to this product being “formulated without: parabens – phthalates – propylene glycol – mineral oil – PABA – petrolatum – paraffin – DEA – synthetic fragrance – animal ingredients.” It does still have some preservatives, which is generally acknowledged to be a sensible thing in a mascara …
INGREDIENTS (2009): water; rosa damascena (rose) flower water, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower water – copernica cerifera (carnauba) wax – silica – glyceryl stearate – stearic acid – polyisobutene – acrylates/ethylhexyl crosspolymer –
aminomethyl propanediol – oleic acid – sodium hyaluronate – lauroyl lysine – trehalose – panthenol – hydroxyethylcellulose – laureth-20 – simethicone – caprylyl glycol – 1,2-hexanediol – disodium edta – potassium sorbate – phenoxyethanol – chloroxylenol – [+/- titanium dioxide (ci 77891) – iron oxides (ci 77491, 77492, 77499) – ultramarines (ci 77007)]
OLD (2007/08) INGREDIENTS:
water; rosa damascena (rose) flower water, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower water – copernica cerifera (carnauba) wax – silica – glyceryl stearate – stearic acid – polyisobutene – oleic acid – acrylates copolymer – amino-methyl propanediol – sodium hyaluronate – lauroyl lysine – glycerin – trehalose – ethylhexylglycerin – panthenol – hydroxyethylcellulose – caprylyl glycol – pvp-polycarbamyl polyglycol ester – simethicone – chlorphenesin – phenoxyethanol – [+/- titanium dioxide (ci 77891) – iron oxides (ci 77491, 77492, 77499) – ultramarines (ci 77007)]
* UPDATE: Origins cosmetics are being discontinued on the UK and Irish markets, so it’s bye-bye to this one and no more buying it… Nearest available alternative: Clinique Long Pretty Lashes.
UPDATE TO UPDATE: curses, LPL being discontinued. Beware, as any mascara I like seems to get discontinued … OK, yes, there is still the glorious Naturally Glossy, what am I complaining about.
UPDATE (3): back to this – moved to Canada, and lo! Origins cosmetics are here!!

Prescriptives – Here To Stay  rated 2 of 5 gingerrama on 10/10/2007 10:00:00 AM

Full name: Prescriptives Here To Stay 24 Hour Longwear.
I was punished for curiosity, infidelity, and laziness. Curiosity: shiny new product, good reviews. Laziness: skipping my waterproofing-coat step. I succumbed to temptation. After suitable flagellation, I’m back to Clinique Naturally Glossy + Clarins Fix’Mascara.
Attractive but clunky tube; handle very thick, not the easiest to hold and manoeuver. Good colour, a decent proper brown (that is, good for redhead with pale lashes). Formula seemed OK, not too thin, not too thick. Prescriptives have a good track record on my essential Double Sensitivity: products suited to sensitive skin, and cruelty-free. All seemed well.
But there’s this brush. It’s one of those new-fangled rubbery things, with short flexible spikes in several rows going all the way round. It’s supposed to make mascara application easier and more glob-free. Even though I’ve been donning mascara for over 20 years, I’m willing to admit that, faced with a new technology and technique, I’m in the same boat as everyone else: newbie. I tried several ways of applying this stuff, including wiping excess from the tip or from all over, wiggling, no wiggling, slow sweep, fast, … Disasters: clumps of stuff and lashes clumped together. The real pain is the end of the wand, which is baldish, and useless except for accumulating extra mascara. With much combing-through (using lash comb), I could achieve satisfactory results. But no better than with any other good mascara I’d used recently, and the whole process took far longer. Not counting the extra time for trying to train myself in new techniques.
Here to Stay is not a disastrous mascara (see GREAT LASH). There are good points. Once on, it does stay on all day, beautifully. No smudges under the eyes. Lashes stay nice and supple (nearly up to the standards of Maybelline Full & Soft or Clinique Naturally Glossy/Long Pretty). I did a few waterproofing tests, which it passed. I found it easy to remove – contrary to some reviews, with no loss of lashes or pulling and irritation of skin, even when removing and reapplying the mascara several times.
I should add something here on removal, as this does seems to be an issue, and I see Prescriptives are providing a special remover for this mascara; very cunning of them… but here’s how to save a bit of money. Dampen a good cotton-wool pad (one of the double-sided, smooth, non-flaking ones). Soak it in a mix of mineral and olive oils. Apply to your chosen (closed) eye, keep on the eye for a minute or so, then smooth off firmly. Take pad between fingers and thumb and apply around top lashes; keep there for about a minute, then pull down gently. Repeat for lower lashes. Repeat whole process for other eye. Use a cotton-wool bud/Q-tip – wetted then dipped in the oils – to remove any residual bit of mascara from lashes, around the eye, in the corners, and inside the lid. Finally, take two more cotton-wool pads, dampen with cold water, and hold over closed eyes for a few seconds. Done.
I wondered if there was some funny technique to this application business. I looked through the reviews (here on Makeupalley and elsewhere). No joy; worse, many reviews (sites elsewhere) – when reread carefully – suggest the reviewer received a sample and had not actually tried it out. Some key phrases turn up again and again, suggesting a copy/paste job from company promotional material.
So I’m not altogether convinced. I’m not buying this again (well, this is a brand-new tube), but I’m not throwing it out either. It’s early days yet on rubbery-brush technology, so I’ll keep an eye out on reviews and boards for tips on technique. If you do try this, please do tell us about it, especially its application.

Bourjois – Talons Aguilles  rated 2 of 5 gingerrama on 10/3/2007 3:25:00 PM

Not bad. Not great.
Excellent colour in the tube – true brown with slight bronze glints. Just looks brown on the lashes, especially once one has applied enough for it to show (pale lashes).
Reasonable formula – didn’t clump, run, smudge, irritate eyes, etc. Lashes were somewhat defined (as they are with nearly any mascara), but nothing dramatic. But dry and stiff (compared to Maybelline Full & Soft or Clinique Naturally Glossy/Long Pretty).
Bad brush: too big – too long and too thick; bristles too short and sparse. Result: one can’t get right down to the lash roots (I do obsess about this, but feel entitled to do so as I am a redhead) or catch all the little corner lashes.
I may keep this, and try using it with another brush – a good old one, cleaned up etc. – in case the dryness is down to brush rather than formula. If it’s the formula, Talons is out! But I’m giving it a second chance, as this is such a good colour, and there are so few good browns out there at normal human prices.
UPDATE: it’s in the bin. I tried this out with a Glossy brush (cleaned etc. etc.), and achieved a similar mediocre and dry result to previous efforts with the Talons’ own brush. I’ll be sticking to the Glossy.

Other notes: Bourjois are cruelty-free + the mascaras are not perfumed.

Maybelline – Full ‘N Soft Mascara Waterproof  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 9/27/2007 12:32:00 PM

UPDATE (05/2010): being now in a country where I can get my grubby little hands on this again, I bought some. It’s still lovely. UPDATE (01/2011): tried out some more mascaras last year, F&S still stands strong as favourite. If I could give 6 lippies to just one product, this would be The One.

HG
[Back to my original review…] The best mascara I have ever used. I have used many mascaras: been wearing them for over twenty years, am a redhead with light lashes, of a sensitive disposition, so generally A Bit Fussy.
The Full does what it says on the tin. Easy to apply, nice plushy brush (but without being too thick), tube lasts at least 4 weeks before drying out, produces lovely lush feathery supple lashes, which stay that way all day. I used this for several years (with the odd break to see if anything better did indeed exist, usually followed by returns to this). Best w/p I’ve met for feel, finish, and niceness to lashes: best of the traditional w/p ones, and equal to the nicest tubing mascaras.
Available in black and a pleasant brown, suitable for the lighter-lashed among us.
Better than the non-WP version, leaving lashes just as lush, but plus no smudges and, well, the waterproof business. And F&S is truly, properly waterproof. Survives rain, snow, swimming, water-sports, the shower, being left on overnight post-party, and indeed longer: personal record of 72 hours (with one touch-up) when travelling or camping. Needs to be removed with oil. No lash loss here (but I am careful and thorough in removal).
Maybelline currently has a moratorium on animal testing, but their parent company and some other of its subsidiaries don’t. Shops in the US don’t always carry the brown, but it’s easy to find online (and bargainaceous either way).
The Waterproof version is very good, and a true waterproof that is mainly wax but – as is often the case with waterproofs – dries out faster than the non-waterproof version. Having said that, it does still last my personal acceptable minimum of 6 weeks. Used daily, I’ll have 3 months’ smooth wear out of it.
CON: ISSUES OF AVAILABILITY. It’s hard to find in Canada, as the main drugstores don’t carry it (only whatever the newest Maybelline cr*p releases are, sigh). Some Save-on-Foods have it, though, and it’s available online. I stopped using the Full Waterproof from early 2007 through to summer 2009, due to living in Ireland where this beloved delight is unavailable. I’ve rarely seen it in the UK. Unavailable elsewhere in Europe. I couldn’t find it in any online stores that ship to Ireland.*
But my tragic deprivation was a good excuse to try out lots of other mascaras: F&S w/p was a very useful standard against which to compare all other mascaras. Given how many other mascaras I’ve played around with and still come back to the F&S, that’s some indication of what a Gold Standard it is.
Costs around CAD5.00-9.00 depending on sales being on and suchlike. Similar price in the US. Worth every penny.
INGREDIENTS (in 2010): petroleum distillates, c8-9 isoparaffin, disteardimonium hectorite, beeswax, carnauba wax, water, synthetic beeswax, allyl stearate copolymer, paraffin, propylene carbonate, polyvinyl laurate, silica, rice starch, panthenol, hydrolyzed corn starch, methylparaben, isoceteth-20, lecithin, octylacrylamide/acrylates/butylaminoethyl methacrylate copolymer, totpheryl acetate, disodium cocoamphoacetate, 2-oleamido-1, 3-octadecanediol, simethicone, diazolidinyl urea, propylparaben, disodium edta [+/- ci 77492, ci 77499, ci 77491 / iron oxides, ci 75470 / carmine, ci 77007 / ultramarines, ci 77288 / chromium oxide greens, ci 77289 / chromium hydroxide green, mica, ci 77891 / titanium dioxide, 77510 / ferric ferrocyanide]
* I emailed Maybelline about this, asking why it wasn’t available, mentioning that the F&S (both versions) has rave reviews here on MUA, making comparisons to The Pink Tube Crap (which is very much available here in Europe, and not cheap – the same price as Mabelline’s other cheaper mascaras, like EUR 7.50 or so – that’s about USD 12.00!!!), and wondering what their marketing and research departments were doing seeing as how they clearly weren’t monitoring the actual opinions of actual users. I did eventually get these “replies”:
“Thank you for taking the time to contact us concerning the Discontinued Full and Soft mascara, your comments will be passed to our Marketing Department in this respect.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further advice or assistance concerning our products through one of the channels below.”
“Thank you for your recent e-mail. We are sorry to inform you that we no longer manufacture and distribute this particular product in the UK. However if you require further assistance please find enclosed the Consumer Advisory details for the US and Canada who will assist you further on any query you have with Maybelline Full and Soft Mascara.”
Nearly made me boycott Maybelline for ever.

Maybelline – Lash Discovery Mascara  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 9/27/2007 12:25:00 PM

The Discovery does what it says on the tin. Easy to apply, its principal attribute is the brilliant slim brush allowing you to get right down to the roots, especially on the upper side of the top lashes. This makes lashes look their longest possible, and is absolutely vital if the natural lash colour is a lot lighter than the mascara. A tube lasts at least 6 weeks before drying out, produces lovely lush feathery supple lashes, which stay that way all day. I used this for several years (with the odd break to see if anything better did indeed exist, usually followed by returns to this, or to Maybelline Full & Soft).
A 4 rather than a 5 as I prefer F&S WP -for fuller, lusher, and softer lashes.
It’s very smudgeproof, though not completely waterproof. So I’d use a mascara waterproofer on top (I used Clarins Fix’ Mascara: NB upper and under sides, of both top and bottom lashes).
Available in black and a pleasant brown, suitable for the lighter-lashed among us. Not tested on animals: Maybelline have a moratorium, though their parent company and some of its other subsidiaries don’t. Bargainaceous. Shops in the US don’t always carry the brown, but it’s easy to find online.
Sadly, unavailable in Ireland, the UK, or the rest of Europe (to the best of my knowledge), including any online stores that ship to Ireland.

Maybelline – Full ‘N Soft Mascara  rated 3 of 5 gingerrama on 9/27/2007 12:21:00 PM

UPDATE (fall 2009): being now in a country where I can get my grubby little hands on this again, I bought some – both the WP and standard versions. (It may be being discontinued in North America too – vague noises from SA in stores here in Canada, as it’s getting hard to obtain, and stocks are low and not being replenished.) And something’s changed. The main something being an irritant. The lesser something being that it isn’t as good as the mascaras I’d bought in between, as substituted, when deprived of FNS due to its unavailability in Ireland.
[Back to my original review… but bear in mind, this refers to the version of 2006-07.]
Quite good, but smudges somewhat, especially in the under-eye area. Came off a little on my glasses. Not as good as the waterproof version. The WP leaves lashes just as fluttery and soft to the touch as this one; but does take a little more time and patience to remove, if that’s an issue. Oh yes, and the WP version is the best mascara I’ve ever used.
The smudging issues are quite easily resolved, though, by applying a mascara waterproofer on top (I used Clarins Fix’ Mascara: NB upper and under sides, of both top and bottom lashes).
The Full does what it says on the tin. Easy to apply, nice plushy brush (but without being too thick), tube lasts at least 6 weeks before drying out, produces lovely lush feathery supple lashes, which stay that way all day.
Available in black and a pleasant brown, suitable for the lighter-lashed among us. Not tested on animals: Maybelline have a moratorium, though their parent company and some of its other subsidiaries don’t. Bargainaceous. Shops in the US don’t always carry the brown, but it’s easy to find online.
Sadly, not available here in Ireland, or (to the best of my knowledge) in the UK or elsewhere in Europe, including any online stores that ship to Ireland.
I emailed Maybelline about this, asking why it wasn’t available, mentioning that the F&S (both versions) has rave reviews here on MUA, making comparisons to The Crap in the Pink Tube (which is very much available here in Europe, and not cheap – the same price as Mabelline’s other cheaper mascaras, such as VE), and wondering what their marketing and research departments were doing seeing as how they clearly weren’t monitoring the actual opinions of actual users. I did eventually get these “replies”:
“Thank you for taking the time to contact us concerning the Discontinued Full and Soft mascara, your comments will be passed to our Marketing Department in this respect.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further advice or assistance concerning our products through one of the channels below.”
“Thank you for your recent e-mail. We are sorry to inform you that we no longer manufacture and distribute this particular product in the UK. However if you require further assistance please find enclosed the Consumer Advisory details for the US and Canada who will assist you further on any query you have with Maybelline Full and Soft Mascara.”
Nearly made me boycott Maybelline for ever.

Just for Redheads – Studio Mascara  rated 1 of 5 gingerrama on 9/27/2007 8:42:00 AM

I thought that mascara formulated specially for redheads was a fantastic idea, and really looked forward to trying Just For Redheads out. Very disappointing.
I haven’t given 0 as customer service was excellent, and the idea’s good, and fellow redheads should support one another in this anti-redhead cosmetic world.
I bought the Studio Mascara in the two lighter (of three) shades, GingerRed and GingerHenna. My hair is what JFR classifies as “strawberry blonde,” my lashes fair but not invisible – constant use of mascara has saved them from bleaching by the sun, hah! So GingerRed was too light, the Henna about right. These are all true browns – i.e. with no blackish-grey tinge – with a reddish tint, here a golden-ginger tone and a russet-cherrywood. JFR’s colours are excellent in the tube, and smeared on a tissue, and match the colour on their website exactly. All good things.
And now for the less good. The packaging, first. Plastic see-through tube, good for showing off the lovely colour. The top has a black lash brush/comb inside. Good idea, bad in practice: the bristles and teeth are too short and break, and whole thing feels flimsy. Stick with a separate lash and brow brush/comb. Writing and some decorative bands/stripes are in gold. Naff, and rubbing off already. Maybe silver, and some work on the script/font? [NB this is pure subjective opinion and a matter of taste, so has not affected lippies.]
The formula is at once too thin and too drying. The brush is downright bad. Bad quality, bad design. Too stiff and not densely enough packed, so not bushy, so good for clumping and lousy for separation and definition. Too thick, so useless for ensuring even distribution of mascara and application right down to the roots, which is absolutely vital on paler lashes.
It took me three times the usual time to get adequate coverage, and even with much brushing and combing, so many coats that the lashes felt dry, brittle, and crunchy. Once a second coat was on, the colour deepened to a regular brown, and the red tones were barely discernible. I am very short-sighted and apply my eye-makeup “blind” – I can see as well that way as an averagely-sighted person can with a magnifying glass – so if anyone could see maximum detail such as the sadly lost red, it would be me. Humph.
The result was dry, flaky lashes, barely covered, no volume, no length, and little colour. Even adding a coat of Clarins Fix’Mascara all over didn’t help. That’s really dire: it’s helped even very average mascaras when, for example, I’ve had the regular stuff confiscated at airport security and had to find what I could at short notice (picking up whatever brown mascara I could, though the Fix is always easy to find, thank goodness)
I applied one colour on each eye, and waited for partner to get home to ask him for his considered judgement. This seemed fair, as he had been very patient with my great excitement about JFR mascara, and had put up nicely with my rants about discrimination against redheads and long histories of personal mascara woes. We agreed: poor.
By this stage, my eyes had also started to sting and run, and the surrounding skin to go pink. Given that all the other ingredients were things my eyes had encountered before, I put this down to “may contain: iron oxides” (that’s all that was given on the colours used) and/or the crappy brush. I removed the mascara, stuck on cold wet teabags for a few minutes, and once the irritation had died down, put my good old regular Clinique Naturally Glossy again. All was well, and we seem to have returned to living happily ever after.
CONCLUSION: Instead of this, if you a redhead and looking for a “less unnatural”look, try one of the following in brown:
Clinique Naturally Glossy/Long Pretty (Clinique’s brown/black is still quite brown)
Maybelline Full & Soft/Lash Discovery (harder to find in brown or even brown/black).

Clarins – Double Fix  rated 4 of 5 gingerrama on 8/24/2007 2:23:00 PM

[UPDATE 2: I’ve defected – Shiseido Mascara Base underneath rather than The Fix on top. Alas, The Fix must then go down to a comparative 4, compared to the transcendental life-changing revelation that is The Base. The Fix is still recommended, though, as A Good Thing. And I still wear it on top when it’s pouring with rain–better safe than sorry.]
[UPDATE (2009): This product has long been discontinued, superceded (c. 2007) by Double Fix’ Mascara. Same formula, a little less product, better – rigid, non-squeezy – tube, slightly improved brush and neck/wipe mechanism.]
[original review] If I could give one product 6 stars, it would be the Fix. I have been using this “waterproofing seal” for years, and can report that it works. I use it on rainy and/or windy days, and regularly (at least 3 times a week) for swimming laps.
What is does is very simple. It waterproofs and smudgeproofs lashes. It leaves them soft and supple. It removes easily. On all three counts, performing better than any waterproof mascara I’ve ever tried. Better still, it works with any mascara – so no need to sacrifice all the benefits of one’s favourite mascara.
The only other thing like this in existence is the Galoshes end of Urban Decay’s Lingerie And Galoshes, but there’s more of it in the Fix’s tube, and it’s a better deal if you’d rather not have the fluffy fibrous underwear. I haven’t compared it to other mascara sealants: comparing ingredient lists and brushes should help there? (ingredients follow at end of review)
Application: First, apply your usual mascara. Comb through (thin metal-toothed lash comb); allow to dry. Then paint a ***very very fine*** coat of the Fix on the top and bottom sides of both upper and lower lashes. It takes the form of a thin gel, at least on the first application it’ll be clear, thereafter it will, like all good things, turn grey. A single fine coat will suffice; the main thing is to ensure coverage of all lashes, all round each one. Comb through fast, while this is still wet, before it sets.
The combing-through-immediately business is crucial. I tend to do one lot of lashes (say, top right), then comb through, then next lot (bottom right), then comb through, and so on. Voila – mascara will stay in place and be waterproof.
Remove with oily / waterproof make-up remover. I use a blend of sunflower and mineral oils (50:50), applied on a good “Swiss” non-flaky cotton-wool pad or small toweling pad (tip: no need to buy the expensive health-store type – make your own out of old wash-cloths). Then rinse with cool water and apply eye cream.
PROS:
(1) Given that non-waterproof mascaras seem to be better formulated (less drying etc.) than waterproof ones, the Fix means that waterproof mascaras can be completely ignored now. And no, it isn’t going to double one’s time in front of the mirror; I find it might add about a minute.
(2) HUGE PRO: It is definitely waterproof. Withstands rain- and snow-storms, saunas, steam-rooms, hot kitchens, and swimming. I originally used this when rowing, for hours at a time, usually in rain, and with associated splashing. I’ve also tested out the Fix’s performance against waterproof mascara, including Tubers like Blinc/Kiss Me and Clinique Lash Power. The Fix wins.
(3) Smudgeproof. Even in very hot sweaty weather.
(4) Fixes lashes in place, without making them dry and crunchy (but *do comb throug*). Taming waifs and strays and those obtuse individuals that insist on poking out sideways. Good for long nights out… or in…
(5) Can be used as an eyebrow-fixing gel.
(6) Like other Clarins products, not tested on animals, but tested on The Sensitive. Fully compatible with sensitive eyes, allergies, and contact lenses. No flaking, no fibres, nothing there to smudge, and no fragrance.
NOT PROPER CONS AS FIXABLE:
(1) Technique is – emphatically – key. Just one light coat, and comb through. One should beware of putting on more than a light coat. Bad things ensue: lashes will have visible gel tubes around them, and attractive blobs on the ends. But if worst comes to worst, still fixable with a lash comb.
(2) Tip for after swimming: the Fix will smudge and clump if you touch it while it is damp and warm. Leave it severely alone until it is cool and dry, then comb through lashes, then if need be touch up with regular mascara. This shouldn’t weight your lashes down and make them crusty and crunchy, if you’re using a decent (light, supple etc.) regular mascara with the Fix.
(3) One also needs to wipe off the excess on the end of the wand. There’s also usually some excess at the other end of the brush – before brush becomes handle: to avoid this, wiggle the brush while pulling it out from the tube, to catch those bits on the inner collar of the tube’s neck. The new “Double Fix” tube deals better with this issue (it’s exactly the same stuff as the regular Fix, but in a smaller tube).
(4) Although the Fix will become darker with use, this darkening seems to stop at the stage of elderly-underwear-grey, and I haven’t noticed it make any difference to mascara colour. Unless you don’t comb through after application. So comb through…
THE FINAL PRO: The Fix is economically viable as it lasts for a very long time. The package claims 36 months. I’ve never kept it for that long, but at least 6 months and up to 9 (ignoring the 3 month rule for mascara but using the sniff test). Cost: around EUR 16.00 to 18.00 / GBP 13.50 / USD 18.00
INGREDIENTS: isodecane – polyethylene – disteardimonium hectorite – synthetic wax – vp/eicosene copolymer – propylene carbonate – trimethylsiloxysilicate – parfum – ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate

Clinique – Naturally Glossy Mascara  rated 5 of 5 gingerrama on 8/24/2007 2:02:00 PM

6-lippie favourite mascara ever, and the one to which all others are compared. Always smooth, never clumps, utterly dependable. Hence a 5 – even though it’s not as beautiful an immediate result as my other 5-rated mascaras. The Glossy’s tube lasts forever without drying out. At least 4 months, easily and impeccably: so a 1 on price.
The Glossy does what it says: it will make your lashes look naturally glossy. The brown is more of a brownish-black (i.e. no chestnut/russet undertones); the black is lovely, very luscious and shiny. One coat gives the effect of a tint, but it’s also very layerable, as two or more produce a thicker result–apply one after another while they’re still damp, don’t wait between coats.
Suitable for a natural / less-unnatural look, if you have lighter lashes and are too pale to carry a stronger / less natural / more-unnatural look. Lashes will be soft and supple, feathery and fluttery. The Glossy won’t make a dramatic difference. It will give a little length and volume – subtle – and better definition. Lashes will be shiny, and look like your own lashes. This may not be a very useful mascara for the majority of the population with lashes in the brown-to-black spectrum, and indeed might not make any more difference to your lashes than, say, a clear mascara/brow gel. But this is a good mascara for those of us (I am a natural redhead) with lighter lashes looking for a YBB look, where the difference between naked and mascaraed is more obvious.
The Glossy comes in an elegant plain slim silver tube. The narrow neck prevents too much mascara being deposited on the brush, so you don’t spend all day wiping off excess on tissues and then getting tissue fragments into mascara and eyes, etc., etc.
The brush itself is itself quite slender, yet bushy. The bushiness gives even application of mascara along the length of the lash. The formula feels just right to me: not too wet, not too dry. No clumps and blobs. Good definition and separation. The slender brush means that it is very easy to get mascara on the top of the upper lashes right down to the roots. On lighter lashes, this is an important factor, as the blonde roots not only show up but make your lashes look less long; whereas mascara down to the roots gives you a similar effect to tinted lashes, and indeed to lined eyes.
Easy to apply, stays on, lasts all day (and all night if need be!), doesn’t flake or smudge, no fibres to fall into eyes, great with contact lenses, and basically doesn’t do anything mean to one’s eyes. Tried and tested – as I apply mascara right down to lash roots, I inevitably end up with some mascara on the surrounding skin and eye-rims: no irritation, and easy to remove.
While it lasts decently and is one of the least smudgy of mascaras, but not completely weatherproof, hence suggest wearing a waterproof base/primer underneath or a waterproofing fixer on top. Clarins Fix’Mascara waterproofing gel on top of mascara (thin layer on both sides of both top and bottom lashes), prevents flaking and smudging on most mascara, and helps holding power. Also makes mascara fully waterproof, for instance for swimming. Indeed, I’ve found this combo works better than any WP mascara. Having said that, if a mascara is sufficiently crap, even the Fix won’t fix it (see Just For Redheads review). The same is true for Shiseido’s Base.
Comparisons: first tried as a substitute for Maybelline Full & Soft (unavailable in Europe); I actually prefer the Glossy – better texture, never drying, and cheaper as it lasts longer. The Glossy is quite like Clinique’s Long Pretty Lashes and Origins Fringe Benefits, which produce thicker, softer lashes; but a tube of the Glossy lasts longer than one of the Pretty before drying out, and the Glossy has way the best staying-power.
Cost: EUR 19.00 / GBP 12.50 / USD 14.00. Worth every cent. Cruelty-free.
INGREDIENTS (2011): water – beeswax – copernica cerifera (carnauba) wax – styrene/acrylates/ammonium methacrylate copolymer – stearic acid – pvp – acrylates copolymer – tromethamine – peg-20 sorbitan beeswax – butylene glycol – glyceryl stearate se – hydroxyethylcellulose – ethylhexylglycerin – glycerin – lecithin – nylon-12 – sodium lauryl sulfate – isostearic acid – caprylyl glycol – c11-15 pareth-7 – potassium stearate – disodium edta – phenoxyethanol – sorbic acid – chlorphenesin- [+/- iron oxides (ci 77491, ci 77492, ci 77499) – chromium oxide greens (ci 77288) – carmine (ci 75470) – ultramarines (ci 77007) – titanium dioxide (ci 77891) – mica] [iln36361]
INGREDIENTS (older versions): water – beeswax – copernica cerifera (carnauba) wax – ammonium acrylates copolymer – stearic acid – pvp – acrylates copolymer – tromethamine – peg-20 sorbitan beeswax – butylene glycol – glyceryl stearate se – hydroxyethylcellulose – lecithin – nylon-12 – sodium laureth-12 sulfate – isostearic acid – potassium stearate – disodium edta – phenoxyethanol – methylparaben – ethylparaben – propylparaben – butylparaben – isobutylparaben – [+/- iron oxides (ci 77491, ci 77492, ci 77499) – chromium oxide greens (ci 77288) – carmine (ci 75470) – ultramarines (ci 77007) – titanium dioxide (ci 77891) – mica] [iln32140]

Image at top: Cooking With Sin

One comment

  1. beautywithouttheblade.com

    When I wasn’t around to do that, my clients walked around on their daily life with a few long lashes picking out from their natural ones.  . My lashes started to look longer and when I was applying mascara this time, the result was great.

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