I’ve always been a drugstore mascara girl. As far as I can recall, this was not the result of any trauma with a couture mascara product or anything; I never ran out into the fields, thrust my fist up at the coppery sky, and cried throatily, “As God is my witness, I’ll never buy high-end mascara again!”
Over the years I tried a lot of drugstore brands, and most of them were more or less OK. Some were definitely “less,” but I thought that the brittle lashes and the undereye smudging and the little flaked-off bits of mascara that would get in my eyes at the end of the day and irritate the crap out of them were just what happened with mascara. So when I bought the “My First Makeup Kit” from Sephora (how I wish they would change that name!) and saw that it included two mascara samples, my eyelashes did not exactly prick up in anticipation. But my duty to you, dear readers, required me to at least pretend to be excited enough to try the products. Thank you for being so easy to blame things on, by the way. I appreciate it.
Of the two deluxe samples, the one I tried first was the Tarte “Lights, Camera, Lashes!” mascara, shown in the picture in its sample-size version for reasons that will become clear shortly. (The other sample was Korres’ Deep Colour Mascara, which I haven’t yet opened.) This mascara was a pleasant surprise, and/or I was very naive. As it turns out, brittle lashes, undereye smudging, and eye-irritating flakes are NOT automatically part and parcel of the mascara experience. Huh. Who knew?
Given how thick and bushy the brush is, Lights, Camera, Lashes! goes on surprisingly easily and cleanly. I expected there would be clumping, but not so. The brush does a good job of separating lashes and the formula goes on smooth and dark and lasts all day. My natural lashes are entirely unremarkable — not particularly long, or thick, or numerous, or curly. In short, thoroughly average. This mascara definitely makes them look both longer and thicker, though neither effect is outlandish. (Tarte refers to the product as “a push-up bra for your lashes.” I think I liked it better before I read that description.) According to Tarte, it is a “4-in-1” product: it lengthens, curls, volumizes, and conditions, and is clinically proven to increase lash volume by 430%. Statistics like that are kind of meaningless to me; not only do I not know what “lash volume” means exactly, but 430% of an eyelash is not really a quantity I can wrap my brain around.
On teaching days, my mascara is usually on before 8 in the morning, and Lights, Camera, Lashes! lasts over 14 hours without smearing, flaking, or making my eyelashes hard or brittle. It comes off relatively easily with cleanser and water, though I have to use a makeup remover if I’ve also used liquid eyeliner or heavier eye makeup. One coat is plenty for a daytime work look; I haven’t yet tried to build up multiple coats for evening but I suspect this product will perform well. A lovely side effect of its non-flakiness is that since I no longer have little black particles getting in my eyes every evening and irritating them, my eyes in the morning are less red than they usually are. (My eyes are on the dry side and have always been a little too bloodshot for my liking; I didn’t realize how much my flaking mascara was contributing to the irritation.)
I have nothing but praise for the product inside this tube.
When you buy one of the “Sephora Favorites” sampler kits, you get a coupon inside for an extra 50 Beauty Insider points if you buy a full-size version of one of the deluxe samples in the kit. The Sephora Friends and Family sale was coming up, so I could get this for 20% off and get an extra 50 points to boot! Which I did. The packaging of the sample was so clean and classy; as I said in yesterday’s post, I am a sucker for good packaging. For some reason — don’t ask me why — I expected the full-size version to have the same packaging as the sample size, except, well, bigger.
I have purchased a mascara that I love to wear but that I would not be caught dead carrying in my purse. Here is the full-size product. You may wish to avert your eyes.
It is metallic purple faux snakeskin. It is perhaps one of the most unappealing product exteriors I have ever come across. I’m really trying to think of a product exterior that’s worse than this and I just can’t come up with one. In addition to being fugly, the snakeskin wrapping makes the product annoyingly bulky and unwieldy; it has a SEAM, for God’s sake. Mascara should not have a seam. It’s just wrong. And speaking of “wrong,” I can’t believe I put the following words together in a sentence: metallic, purple, faux, snakeskin. The exterior of this product makes me feel like I should be putting on a pair of fringed cowboy boots and dancing the Electric Slide at a country & western bar. Which I have no intention of doing, so don’t even ask.
Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good, but I’d prefer to spend less money and lose the dubious benefit of the purple metallic snakeskin mascara condom
Purchase again? Yes, but only for use/display in the privacy of my home
(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Let us know in the comments!)