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Mascara wands have to be one of the most innovation-focused sectors of the beauty market; from swan-necked handles to vibrating bristles and hedgehog-shaped brushes, we’ve seen it all. Some fancy new models become flashes in the pan, but many endure to become lifelong favourites (all hail Maybelline Great Lash, £4.99, launched in 1971). Whether any of the following with go on to become cult classics, only time will tell, but I’m certainly loving this lot for bringing a fresh spin on things. Have a dabble in the following and see if you can call out the next big thing…
Inspired by Marc’s mother’s craftiness in making false lashes from ribbon, and with Winona Ryder as the face, Velvet Noir is certainly a bit of a quirky buy, but its effects are far from average. Newly launched in the UK, Marc’s makeup collection is all pretty special stuff, but from what I’ve tried so far, Velvet Noir takes the biscuit. Creating the kind of sweeping, fluffy yet somehow defined lashes that made women famous in the 60s, the sooty, semi-matte formula plays up what your mama gave you to the max. The generously bristled brush creates impressive length and curl, but it’s the rich, pitch black cream itself that gives MJ an edge. In short, this mascara is MAJOR.
Another film star worthy lash fluffer, Grand Entrance shimmied onto the scene last month, and its Oscar worthy performance ought to keep it in the spotlight for quite some time. An underdog in the mascara stakes, Elizabeth Arden have pulled out all of the stops here; the formula is highly pigmented, water resistant without requiring paintstripper for removal and fortified with a fatty acid and vitamin rich emollient to protect and strengthen delicate eyelashes. The subtly curved plastic wand glides through lashes, which is dreamy for the clump-averse amongst us, and while the idea is to use the wand in three different ‘directions’ (cradle lashes to add volume, flip the wand over to lift and push up to lengthen), I found that wielding it in a traditional manner produced glossy, defined results.
If you like your lashes long, Push Up will do exactly what it so bluntly says on the tin; of all the new to market mascaras I tested for this feature, Maybelline’s sent my lash fringe soaring. So much so that I ended up with quite a bit of mascara on my browbone. A wet wipe quickly dealt with that, and the inky, dramatic payoff was worth getting messy for. The straight wand doesn’t create a whole lot of curl, but from a thickness and drama point of view, Push Up is on point. If you’re a fan of au naturel looking lashes, however, possibly steer clear...
Onto the curl...if curvy is your calling card, So Curl’s half moon style wand will give lashes a bend; think pretty rather than overpowering. Clever polymers fix the curl in place, while the kind of nutrient rich ingredients you’d expect in your average night cream (think peptides, nourishing oils and health giving vitamins) help to minimise breakage over time. I do love it when a product works from the inside out; naturally strong and abundant lashes are definitely on my to do list. I’ll have to give So Curl time in that area, but the instant impact is pleasingly sophisticated, as is the Sisley way.
#Gains is one of the most popular social media hashtags doing the rounds currently, and while it makes me shudder slightly, it can assuredly be applied to Illamasqua’s newest Masquara incarnation. Part of the nature inspired Metamorph collection launching on 21st April, Masquara Gain boasts desirable mascara assets such as thickening, lengthening and separating, with the added bonus of building the colour intensity of your bare eyelashes with wear thanks to a natural walnut derived dye. Longevity wise it’s got it going on, and as you’d expect from a brand with a goth touch, it’s black as night. #Gains indeed.
Illamasqua Masquara Gain, £20, launches 21st April
The newest addition to the False Lash family is quite literally a twist on the original bestseller; the helter skelter shaped bristles lift lashes no matter how short they may be, although the chunky brush may take some getting used to. The formula layers smoothly without flaking, meaning that you can really go to town without looking ‘spidery’, and the long bristles allow you dig deep into the root of lash, creating the illusion of thickness. Just watch it with that brush; things can get a bit blotchy if you’re small of eye like myself. Otherwise, I suspect that Jessica Rabbit would rate this.
At the other end of the brush spectrum let me present Petite Precision; it gets into nooks and crannies that car wash style wands could never reach. For bottom lashes, lurkers at the corner of the eyes and little short ones, this small, skinny, super accurate wand builds definition and fullness where you need it most, lifting even weak lashes at the root without smudging, poking you in the eye or missing the point completely. Even if you are a fan of larger brushes, it’s worth keeping to hand for awkward areas; the devil’s in the detail.
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