I've noticed something recently -- people are doing their makeup without mascara. Carina brought it up in her comment on my Take It or Leave It post. Then Lisa Eldridge mentions that she saw a lot of looks in Korea where girls didn't focus on lashes. And just last night I read Paris B's post on going without. Common theme here? Asian lashes.
Long, lush lashes are totally addictive -- I've been there with the lash extensions and false lashes, and I get it. They look good! But I've gotten to the point where I refuse to feel bad about my short, straight Asian lashes. It just feels like one of those beauty standard things that I will never meet, simply because I live in a place where you just don't see that many Asian people in mass media, so it is what it is. (In other news, Soo Joo Park signed on as the first Asian L'Oreal spokeswoman! Hell, she doesn't even have brows in that promo shot; how's that for bucking trends?)
All that being said, I'll probably always wear the stuff. It's not that I'm ruling out trying some looks sans mascara, but it just makes me feel better. I've tried a fair few, and I have OPINIONS, people.
THE TAPERED BRUSH
I really like this brush shape, because it feels the most manageable -- you can get the inner lashes without getting mascara all over your eyelid, but you can also cover a lot of real estate lash-wise by using the body of the brush head. The Lancome Hypnose Star (6.5ml, £22.50) has a flattened shape, while the & Other Stories Curling Black (8ml, not found on their site but was £12 at full price) has a round cross section. The Lancome clumps slightly on me, and I find that the tube opening isn't small enough to get rid of excess product. But it holds a curl fairly well, whereas the & Other Stories doesn't; disappointing when it calls itself a Curling product. Also, the silver on the packaging chips and flakes off like crappy nail polish.
THE CHUNKY PLASTIC BRUSH
Both the Makeup Revolution Awesome Lash (7ml, £3) and L'Oréal False Lash Wings Waterproof (7ml, £10.99) have giant plastic brush heads. The Awesome Lash has tiny, uniformly spaced bristles, with an opening that gets the excess formula off, but sadly the formula does nothing for me. Like, you literally can't tell that I have mascara on. If you had pale lashes it might work for you in terms of tinting them black, but it's not for me. The False Lash Wings has a curved, asymmetric brush head, with the idea that the wider bristles at the base fan out your lashes, while the short bristles catch the inner lashes. In practice, though, I feel like it's a little cumbersome to use. The formula is pretty good, being both voluminous and lengthening, as well as holding a curl (do you notice a theme here?). It does seem to make my lashes a bit crunchy though.
THE HYPED BEYOND ALL BELIEF
There is really nothing quite like the Benefit Cosmetics hype machine. People go nuts for the stuff on social media, so I try their products out because OMGWTFBBQ new things! However, very few of their products that I've tried have worked out for me -- I like the Girl Meets Pearl highlighter, and have a feeling Gimme Brow would suit me -- and I feel as if the hype just results in me feeling disproportionately disappointed, even though they probably have about an average strike rate in terms of dud products. Anyway, They're Real (8.5g full size, £19.50; I have the sample from this kit) is ok on me -- holds a curl, slightly lengthening, but is a little too clumpy for my liking. When you have about ten lashes, gluing them together into five just looks a bit silly. Roller Lash (8.5g full size, £18.50; sample from Elle magazine) looks pretty good immediately after application -- volumising and lengthening -- but it doesn't hold a curl, and it smudges on my under-eye area. The kicker is that it flakes off beyond all belief; big huge no-no with my sensitive contact-wearing eyes.
THE FIBRE FORMULAS
I like the idea of formulas containing lash-building fibres. In reality, though, it doesn't always work out. Case in point: Eyeko Sport Waterproof (8ml, £18) has a nice lengthening and curl-holding formula, but much like Roller Lash it flakes off and wreaks havoc on my eyeballs. L'Oréal False Lash Telescopic (9ml, £10.99), however, has all of the things about the Eyeko, and it stays on my lashes. It's my favourite of all the mascaras in this post, and gives a nice fluttery lash.
The new-to-me luxury pick
Instagram friends may have already seen a shot of this: I went kind of nuts at Liberty and bought all of the things, including the Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Mascara (10g, £26). I've been wearing it over the past couple of days, and it's a bit of an all-rounder. It performs very similarly to the Lancome Hypnose Star, right down to the fact that the opening isn't very good at getting rid of extra product so you can end up with random clumps clinging on to a lash. It's a proper, sooty black, and once it's on, it's on... until you go to remove it, and it slides off really easily. I believe it's meant to be a tubing mascara, but I didn't think to try sliding it off with just warm water. It is, however, the most expensive mascara of the lot, at least in terms of price-per-unit (Lancome Hypnose Star takes the cake in terms of price-per-ml; I don't have the density of the Kevyn Aucoin mascara so can't convert). It's good, but I don't think it's that good. Time will tell, because I intend on using this for, like, six months because holy hell that is a lot of money.
The One I No Longer Own
The original Lancome Hypnose was a favourite of mine. In fact, I went through a three-pack from duty free -- it was that good. The only reason I didn't repurchase it was because I found the L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic, which is a lot more affordable and I was trying to wean myself off ridiculously-priced luxury makeup at the time. If I wasn't such a product-junkie I'd probably buy it again!
Next up I would like to try mascaras from Japanese and Korean brands, because I feel like they would have the formula down pat for Asian lashes. Any recommendations? I've heard DHC and Fairy Drops are good!