Monday, February 18, 2013

Mascara Quicknotes V: multi-tasking mascaras

Mascara samples are probably some of the more commonly given away samples at every department store. While it's easy to create a little sample jar of foundation or moisturizer, most GWPs throw in a tiny mascara to add value. They're great when you really just want to try something new. In the last few years, I've been a little overwhelmed by the number of releases and have already thrown away samples that have been discontinued even before I got a chance to try them. This year, I'm determined that that's not going to happen.

Choose a brush L-R:
Guerlain Noir G, Benefit They're Real!, Sephora Collection Full Action Extreme Effect

I picked these mascaras to feature together as they all seem to make similar promises of added volume, length and curl. Seems reasonable to expect the perfect mascara from this bunch, no? When a mascara claims to basically do it all, I'm here to listen.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara ($23) - promises length, volume, lifting, curling and separation of lashes in a glossy, long-wearing formula. While I didn't get much volume from this, Benefit gets extra points for a really creative brush that has bristles all the way to the tip. I thought at first that this was going to be my dream mascara. It combines the best of your regular plastic brush with a ball tip like Givenchy's. It defines superbly but those tips are sharp! I feel like I'm hurting myself a little with each stroke that gets close to the roots. I'll say there's definite promise here if I can start with a volumizing mascara first. Benefit does lift and separate and the brush holds off clumps but when used by itself, I find that it takes a long time to thicken each lash. As far as the brand goes, however, this may be their best mascara. It's the only one that doesn't smudge on me.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara

Sephora Collection Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara $15 - the least expensive of the bunch, this boasts a seven in one formula that volumizes, lengthens, curves, separates, strengthens, protects and nourishes lashes. I find it hard to believe that it's supposed to do all these as this mascara barely does anything for me when I use it by itself. No added volume or length was noticeable. It just darkened the lashes a little but the effect is super natural that I may as well not be wearing any mascara.

Sephora Collection Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara

The brush isn't hard to use but doesn't seem particularly effective in doling out the product or it could be that the formula is simply too thin to do anything. With a day's wear, I was left with raccoon eyes. However, I found it interesting that when I used this combined with two other mascaras (I try layering each formula and using each one by itself), this made for a really good middle mascara. That is, I use a volumizing mascara first, define and de-clump a little with this as a second layer, and then I define further and lengthen with Benefit They're Real! as a third layer. Works super well! I think it's that the brush does separate lashes decently. I just don't like using it by itself.

Noir G de Guerlain Exceptional Complete Mascara

Noir G de Guerlain Exceptional Complete Mascara $49 - the jewel case version is the $49 one and it is refillable, the only one that I know is. It gives volume, length and curl and promises no smearing, smudging or clumping. The formula also contains a keratin-stimulating ingredient which should help regenerate lashes. Refills are $26. Mine is a sample mini.

I'm still not sure how I feel about this mascara on the whole. It seems I have a different experience with it everytime. The first time I used it, I thought it was the best of this bunch when used by itself. Subsequent uses saw me taking back that assessment as I started to experience uneven application and mild clumping. And naturally, because it's Guerlain, it's scented, which may or may not put you off.

While it's not a bad mascara, I have a hard time swallowing the humongous price tag when it falls short of perfection. I do see some volume and possibly a little length but it's not very good at defining lashes. When I attempted to use it in conjunction with the other mascaras in this review, it didn't work very well as a base layer, a middle layer or a top layer. If anything, it was better by itself. As I had just reviewed the Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara, I can't help but compare. While I didn't think that Maxi Lash was all that, it made an excellent base layer mascara and I use it constantly for that purpose. I would love to see the full effect of the keratin-stimulating ingredient in it but I don't think I'm going to get reliable results with a sample mini.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this review! I love mascara as I have short and sparse eyelashes and so far only Ramiel mascaras worked for me.