some mascara updates

(Non-gingers and others not blessed with pale lashes might want to skip this… )

The proper state to which the right-thinking woman is supposed to aspire


Mascara is very important to me. I’ve worn it nearly every day (other than some lash-tinted days) for 25 years. I’ve tried, used, and abused hundreds of different ones. Not everything that’s ever been on the market, but everything that I’ve been able to use (so: minus my irritants of the time, and cruelty-free). And I’m fussy. Besides the usual criteria (cruelty-free, tested on sensitive-skinned humans, no daylight robbery, no BS, etc.), my requirements are:

  • No irritation to eyes or skin; no fragrance, no fibres, none of my other usual irritants
  • A good brush that actually gets every lash and gets down to the roots, all over and around the lashes, under and upper sides. All a matter of taste–like dark roots showing on hair–but I prefer not to have pale roots showing. While smaller is great for getting down to the lash-roots, most of my favourite mascaras have traditional brushes. But no to (American) footballs, giant furry caterpillars, curved spoolie things, and those rubber-tipped horrors.
  • Best-beloved brushes: Clinique Long Pretty Lashes, Maybelline Lash Discovery, Origins Fringe Benefits, Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined, Fresh Supernova, Lavera, Beauty Without Cruelty
  • No clogs or blobs or gunkiness on lashes. No spider legs or dryness. I’ve found dry lashes are more fragile and prone to falling out.
  • Shouldn’t be too wet either: never drying, lashes sticking to my glasses, smudging, etc.
  • The effect/resulting “look”: simply YBB. Lashes shouldn’t look thinner, sparser, and shorter than before I put on mascara; then again, I don’t like thick, clumpy, heavy, and phoney either.
  • Nice on and to lashes: they should feel soft and supple and, well, like lashes; not dry, stiff, and crunchy.
  • No smudging or flaking or otherwise needing touching-up or worrying during the day; must, I insist, still look impeccable by the end of the day, around about 16 hours after application.
  • Must stay on and be waterproof for most everyday purposes. I live in the Pacific northwest, where it’s usually damp and it rains quite a lot.
  • The tube should last a respectable time, around 3 months, without drying out or going off or otherwise becoming unusable.
  • Must must must contain decent preservatives that kill bugs (but no formaldehyde releasers): this is mascara, and these are the only pair of eyes I have. FFS.

Mascaras used and abused over the years: see posts tagged “mascara”


  • Reviva Labs Hypoallergenic in black
    ✻ application: a rapid once-over, all over; top and bottom lashes, upper and lower sides; probably more like two coats on upper lashes, but no going back over lashes in another full coat. Needs a couple more minutes for application; smudge-proof, water-resistant enough for everyday purposes, if not fully waterproof.
  • if very wet weather or doing watersports (or both): Clarins Double Fix’ Mascara on top for extra waterproofing


Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Mascara has been discontinued. Is no more. RIP. Anyone have news of why? I though the obvious: it’s very very very like Clinique Lash Power, which is a lot cheaper. Might explain low / insufficient sales. Any other news? Any news of plans for a revamp, reformulation, relaunch, etc.?


I went through a phase of brown mascara. This does happen to me from time to time. I’m now formally and officially BACK TO BLACK. I have new glasses (yay!) that are more conspicuous / statement / out-and-proud-speccy / Strict Librarian than the old ones. Brown just doesn’t work with them, and with the move to black, my eyes look more fantabulous and people claim I look more more rested. I’m not actually more rested at all.

Also, the Reviva Labs mascara in black has a better formula: thinner, longer-lasting. That’s the impression: it could simply be that I’m applying less, as it shows up more on just one coat; and that they produce and sell more black, so the stock is fresher.


Mascara experimenting time, over the next few months:

  • Couleur Caramel: I tested this out a while back (sample), liked it. Even though it has scent (very little). Lovely formula, lovely brush. Was reminded of it c/o a recent MUA Green Board discussion: my thanks to Veropie!
  • Sephora Le Waterproof
  • Tempted by Jane Iredale: the ordinary one and the Longest Lash Thickening & Lengthening one in the squeezy tube: I’ve been eyeing up the Plum one, as well as the obvious black. I’m hesitant because there are so many reports of smudging and of lashes remaining quite wet. Incompatible with long eyelashes and glasses. I wonder if those could be remedied with a coat of the Clarins Double Fix’mascara? But then again, JI’s stuff is pricey-issimo compared to the lovely Reviva Labs, so it’s got to massively out-perform it to be worth the difference. See, I used that JI mascara a while back, and though it looks like it’s not changed, I’m still curious…
  • Lavera: the revamped mascaras
  • Bobbi Brown Everything Mascara

Other suggestions, drop me a line…


This wonderful song, and remembering someone who did marvellous things with mascara:

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