26 August, 2010

A Tale of Two Mascaras

26 August, 2010

I don’t switch up my makeup routine very often – I’ve got the quick version down to around four minutes, and I’m not all that interested in spending a whole lot longer on my face in the morning! I’m pretty loyal to the brands I like: Bare Escentuals, Laura Mercier and Benefit. The one exception to the more expensive products I use on the rest of my face is my mascara; I’ve been using Maybelline’s Great Lash for years. It gives really black lashes and a nice balance of volume and length. However, after all these years, I was sure that there must have been something more hi-tech released – after all, the product names have become fancier and fancier and the mascara ads more ridiculous with models clearly wearing false lashes in most of them!

I checked out SaSa’s selection and picked up the two products making the biggest splash in terms of shelf presence and claims: Max Factor’s False Lash Effect (HK$128) and L’Oréal’s Double Extension (HK$108). Max Factor False Lash Effect is a more traditional mascara, with just one brush and a chunky black tube that feels pleasant to hold. The L’Oréal product has two brushes on either end – one of which contains a “Serum Re-Activant” (a white liquid which apparently “fortifies” the lashes before you apply the colour). The version I picked up came in a blue tube, but there was also an similar product in a red tube. A few minutes of confusion later and I still hadn’t figured out the difference, so just picked up the blue version.

Onto the test! First I tried out L’Oréal’s Double Extension. It was definitely strange to see my lashes coated first with the white serum – with my current memory of a goldfish induced by pregnancy, did have a horrible vision of me forgetting to complete the second step and venturing out onto the streets with white eyelashes! The brushes on both sides of the product are a fairly typical shape, and the results I got definitely gave me a lot of length to my lashes. However, despite initially being pleased with the effect, it was really hard to build up any volume so my lashes looked spindly and a bit sad, and the colour was not a true black but more of a dark grey. It also spread all over my pillow that night, even though I had used makeup remover. I did consider that this could be my daytime mascara, but to be honest, I think big black lashes work for daytime and nighttime so I think this will just languish in my makeup bag.

Next I tried out the Max Factor False Lash Effect product, which comes with a very strange brush that is super-fat and with almost no bristles. When you first apply the mascara it goes on in quite a clumpy way, so I was all ready to give up on this too and go back to my regular Maybelline. I gave it another try the next day though and realized I kind of loved it. This mascara definitely gives you lots of volume without the bad kind of clumping, and it is really a true black to give emphasis to you bat-able, heavy lashes. It is a little more difficult to remove than my usual Maybelline, but that can only be a good thing in the hot weather as it means it won’t end up under my eyes instead!

The winner then is Max Factor False Lash Effect – I’m happy to have discovered something that improves upon Maybelline Great Lash!

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