Thursday, January 22, 2009

Here's the rub about mascara

Like many women out there I seek out the best products my money can buy. I'm not able to fit high end cosmetics into my budget. That being said, when there's a buy 1 get 1 sale, I take advantage of it. Utilizing store coupons on make-up is always advised when you're on a shoestring budget. Making use of that super saver card you have dangling from your key chain comes in very handy.

For the most part, I am happy with my purchases. Sure, there are instances when a deep wine shade of lipstick ends up my baskets that is not a flattering shade on me. Sometimes I'll be daring and buy an eyeshadow hue that is deeper than my norm, but all in all, I rarely take issue with my cosmetics. That is if you don't include mascara. When it comes to finding a make and model of the eyelash enhancement, I have yet to find one I've been sold on 100%.

When I was a teen, I used Maybelline's Great Lash -- the one with the pink bottle and bright green lid. Then, cosmetics manufacturers decided to get wise and increase their marketing strategy. Along came new formulas and, the all important, wand design.

I recall my first run in with Cover Girl's Professional Lash with the Curved Brush. The promise was that while thickening and lengthening, (sounds like an add for something else, huh guys?) my lashes would also curl. Lies, lies, lies. My puny little lashes got blacker and goopier but still shot straight out.

Purchase after purchase; application after application my lashes never EVER looked like any of those demonstrated in the commercials or magazine ads. Isn't there supposed to be some truth in advertising? Yeah, I know: READ THE FINE PRINT. L'Oreal's Panoramic Curl was one such failure. I believe it was supposed to lengthen, thicken and visibly curl the lashes leaving no need for the additional step of the eyelash curler. WRONG! Luckily, while still in high school, I learned how to use a lash curler. Although it appears quite barbaric, it does make a huge difference even when the mascara isn't fulfilling the promises of the ads.

Over the last 25 plus years, I have used countless mascaras. I found that the pricier ones are not necessarily better than the cheapies found at CVS or Walgreen's. Everytime one of the major over the counter cosmetics companies comes out with a new one, you can bet I'm investigating it's Riss worthiness. A coupon makes my research more palatable.

In my vast research, I've come to find that a formula can work for me while its brush/applicator leaves little to be desired and vice versa. Sometimes the mascara flakes or smudges easily, but my lashes look fuller, etc... I've even tried out falsies. Yes, when I'm on stage, I use fake eyelashes. There's an enormous variety of lengths, fullness and novelty lashes to choose from. The key is not over using the adhesive and knowing when to snip. Being a spectacle wearer, however, makes fake eyelashes cumbersome.
See caterpillar results of falsies:
Here's a list of mascaras I can recall using. **indicates one I like and will use again.
  • Cover Girl: Professional with curved brush, Volume Exact, Fantastic Lash, Lash Blast, Super Thick Lash
  • Maybelline: Great Lash**, Volum' Express, Sky High, Define-a-Lash, Intense XXL, The Colossal**, XXL Extension
  • L'Oreal: Voluminous**, Lash Out, Double Extend, Panoramic Curl, Volume Shocking, Double Extend Beauty Tube Technology
  • Revlon: FabuLash, Lash Fantasy

The most recent purchase was the Beauty Tube Technology variety. Boy, what a crock that turned out to be. First of all, it doesn't really thicken or lengthen my lashes. I followed the directions on the packaging to not let the first step layer to dry before applying the color (step 2.) The result was clumpy; yet wimpy lashes. Not giving up, I tried letting the white, step one layer dry before putting on the color. The result was similar, but not as goopy. This was not of the waterproof variety and the claim on the package is that removal is easy with soap and water. BAH! Lies again! I had to pull on my lashes to get the 'tube technology' to come off. It's not as if I have lashes to spare by yanking half of them out. Sheesh!

I fortunately had a back up tube of Voluminous by L'Oreal. It's fairly basic with a brush thick with varied length bristles. I'm not exactly pleased with the outcome, but it'll do in a pinch.

I know I should just return to the tried and true Great Lash. But I'm going to try another fancy shmancy advertised brand before giving up. Have you seen the ads for Maybelline Stiletto Mascara? It boasts
Brand NEW !!
Gives lashes provocative length and black-patent shine.
The elastic formula visibly stretches lashes to the extreme with every stroke.
Exclusive Grip & Extend brush firmly grasps each lash to coat from every angle, easily separating, elongating and sliding on length with each stroke.
The product's patented formula with provitamin B5 conditions and smooths, giving lashes a glossy finish and shine.

OK, is it just me and my perverse mind or are they using some sexual wording in that claim?
What's your favorite mascara? Do you spend a small fortune on a cosmetic that has the shortest shelf life (2-3 months) and needs to be discarded if you've had a cold or any kind of occular infection? Or are you uber thrifty and purchase your goods at the Dollar Tree?


  1. Maybe it's Maybelline?

    I like this topic. Actually, dirty-talkin' Maybelline flakes off all over my cheeks. Hate when that happens.

    I agree >Voluminous works well. I also like MaxFactor 2000 Calorie Dramatic Look Intense.

    My new current fave that I got in a Christmas gift basket is > Prescriptives "False Eyelashes" Plush Black. It REALLY makes a difference in fullness & length. Strangers have even commented. I don't know where they sell it. I hope it never runs out.

  2. I don't know much about makeup. I've tried to learn what I can from the Makeup Artists (MUAs) that I use for my models. The MUA I've worked the most with loves Sephora. She almost always uses falsies for the models instead of fighting mascara.

  3. I don't wear mascara anymore, but when I did it was Maybelline. I like this entry - product comparisons are always interesting to me... and useful.

  4. This makes me think of...

    How lovely to be a woman
    The wait was well worthwhile
    How lovely to wear mascara
    And smile a woman's smile
    How lovely to have a figure
    That's round instead of flat
    Whenever you hear boys whistle
    You're what they're whistling at!

  5. Lancome Definicils is divine, but upon snooping through makeup kits of Hollywood makeup artists, every single one of them swears by Maybelline's Great Lash. Every single one of them.


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