Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Mascara Diaries, by Rachel

mascaras


Let's face it, we all spend a ton of money on mascara. It's probably the number one makeup commercial you'll see on TV on a daily basis. It's like a small little treat you can buy yourself on a whim without breaking your bank, and the makeup companies know this and inundate us with ads constantly. (Drew Barrymore in orange foundation for Cover Girl Lash Blast anyone?) But in all reality, these ads always feature models wearing false lashes. Sometimes over the top, sometimes more natural looking. As a makeup artist, this really makes me mad. It's false advertisement, and I always wonder if Jane Q. Public knows that they're wearing falsies. I myself had recently stopped wearing lash extensions, and was feeling a little inferior in that department after having such long dramatic ones every day when I rolled out of bed. So I decided to go on a mission to find the best mascaras out there. It was expensive. it was messy, and sometimes not pretty. I put down my Cover Girl Lash Blast that I have been using since it came out and went out of my comfort zone, and tried several new ones. The following are my notes and thoughts, totally unbiased.
For a really great basic everyday natural mascara, you still can't beat Maybelline Great Lash in the pink and green tube. It has been around for over 40 years, and is still a staple in many households, as well as pro makeup artist kits everywhere. It won't really lengthen or thicken, but you'll get great dark lashes with no clumping or stiffness. The formula has been tweaked here and there over the years, but it's still a great product that always delivers, and is very affordable at drugstores everywhere. If you just want to swipe on a little bit of color before running errands, this is your girl.
Speaking of drugstore mascara, let's go back to my old standby, Cover Girl Lash Blast in the fat orange tube. This stuff is pretty darn good, especially for the price- I often find that Target has a package of 2 for around $10. STEAL! I keep this in my kit and use it on all of my clients. It really makes your lashes look nice and thick, especially after 2 coats. I love the rubber brush in it...makes for very sleek non-clumping lashes. Not a whole lot of lengthening ,though, and who doesn't want that? But I knew I could do better, and I wanted to experiment a little.
So I went high-dollar. I got the cult fave, Dior Show ($24.50 at Nordstrom). I was so not impressed. It didn't do anything my Lash Blast didn't do. In fact, it wasn't even as good as the drugstore one I had been using. It made them nice and dark, but barely thickened, didn't do much for the length, and definitely didn't curl them. It claim to do all three. Also, it's REALLY hard to get off...not just your lashes, but your skin as well.I felt like I was sloughing off skin I had had from the Clinton Administration trying to remove it. Fail.
Onto the one I was REALLY excited to try...the new mascara from Benefit, called "They're Real!". ($22 at sephora.com) After the first coat, I thought it was so-so. But holy moley, I put that second coat on, and I'm a believer! My lashes looked so stinking LONG! And it's so black, it actually almost does double duty as an eyeliner when you get it all the way down to the base of your lashes. I love this stuff. The only thing that' a bit of a downer is that it does make your lashes feel stiff, but I shouldn't rub them anyway and just shut up. The brush is great,too. It's rubber, so no clumping, but it also has this little spiky ball at the end for getting those unruly lashes on the outer corner of your eyes to behave and join the party. If you're a friend of mine, you just might be getting this for Christmas.
So even though I was loving my Benefit mascara, I saw one more I wanted to try, so I gave the Dior 'Iconic' mascara a day in court ($28, Nordstrom). Simply because it promised to curl my lashes, which is important to me. Curling your lashes actually makes them look twice as long. My lashes are indeed decent, but very straight, so that makes them almost unnoticeable. And as I'm the laziest makeup artist when it comes to doing my own makeup, I never want to curl them manually. I'm always afraid they'll break. Probably not true, but hey, we all have our fears in life. So when I read the reviews on the Iconic, I knew I had to try it. I was not disappointed! This medium rubber wand actually has the bristles on the bias, so it really does lift your lashes sky-high! And they stay! No real thickening or lengthening to get excited about, but hey, those bad boys were curly! So impressed, which I was happy about after my disappointment with the Dior Show. So I am now using one coat of the Dior Iconic, followed by two coats of Benefit's "They're Real!" mascara. They are long, thick,dark as John Mayer's heart, and uber curled. And $92 later I love my lashes.
Keep in mind, this is some work, and if you're just running around during the day or just want a natural look, stick with the Maybelline or Cover Girl. But if you want some awesomely glam lashes, go for it. Layer different mascaras. Mix and match. Makeup artists have been doing it forever, plus it's fun to have a mascara 'wardrobe' to suit your mood. Whatever mascara you use, just be sure to use a pretty heavy duty eye makeup remover...even if you're stumbling in from a long day at work or a night out with the girls. Take it off, sister! I find the ones that are the dual-layered that you have to shake work the best, getting all the makeup off with minimal pulling on your eye area. I personally am a big fan of MAC's Gently Off Eye and Lip Remover ($19, and MAC store or Nordstrom). It get's the gunk off without tearing your eyes apart.
Here's looking at you, kid!

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