Ahh... Tammy Faye-Baker; the mascara icon! I tried to find a picture of what I remember her as, the blackened tear-stained wife of the tv evangelist - not one pic could I find - but holy layers of mascara! If you are a mascara lover but want to avoid the smears, clumps and raccoon look, well, what's a girl to do?
Mascara is often one of the answers to 'what would you take on a deserted island'? Which suggests that mascara is the ONE thing us woman do for ourselves and not for men and not for other women. (ah- yes, I say for other women as we can be competitive bitches - go on admit it! (At least to yourself - no one is listening.)
" The first mascara product was invented by Eugene Rimmel in the 19th century. The word "rimmel" still means "mascara" in several languages, including Portuguese (rímel), Turkish (rimel), Romanian (rimel), Dutch (rimel), Italian (rimmel), Persian (rimel) etc." (Thanks Wiki!)
Well, we have come a long way Baby, from coal dust mixed with petroleum jelly! (maybe the term 'love is blind' came from reality and the reason why marriage stats are lower is because we have the gift of sight since there is no longer coal dust impeding our vision?)
No matter what ingredients make a curling mascara - as a make up artist with 18 years in my back pocket, you MUST CURL your lashes and the only tool - Shu Uemura's eyelash curler. I have tried them all - there is no real competition out there for this tried, tested and true tool. Don't waste your time and money - just get this one. And, yes - curling makes the world of difference. How and why? Well...
- It opens up your eyes and pops them out more (in the pretty sense, not the literal one)
- Upper lashes get turned away from the lower lashes therefore less mixing of mascara, less bleeding of colour
- Why curl if the mascara says 'curling'? Frankly, I don't find curling mascaras really curl and if they do it is so subtle, if anything, the curling agent will reinforce the curl you put in
- Trust me.
Cake - the original application technique (now without coal dust). Frankly, I haven't had much experience with this one. I've tried it - I'm not a fan of the technique - not for any particular reason. If you want my opinion - it looks chic when people watch you apply it, but I would settle for a tube. Try Paula Dorf's Cake Mascara
Waterproof - THE MYTH: It will make your lashes fall out! NO, it won't. If your lashes fall out from too many layers then try washing your face daily. ANDREA Eye Q's Make up remover pads are the BEST and cheap and cheerful. (no, I do not have anything to do with the company.) Try L'Oreal Voluminous in Waterproof
Semi-permanent - This new innovation in mascara is gentle on the eyes and can last up to 7 days. The downfall, if you are a Tammy Faye-r, then you will not see lushes lashes as it strictly coats for colour. Try Jemma Kidd's Semi Permanent Lash Tint
Thickening or Volumizing - my personal favourite as I want to see lashes! L'Oreal Voluminous or SmashBox DNA are the must-haves here; I use these both personally and in my kit: I find they don't flake or bleed.
Separating - this mascara puzzles me as generally it creates thin, spikey lashes - great for editorials but who wants spidery looking lashes? And if you are blessed with such thick lashes that you need to separate them, well, that leaves me just plain jealous.
Clear - see above! If your lashes are so thick and naturally dark, I will slither out of my jealousy shell and suggest a clear mascara and a lash comb. The clear mascara will give your lashes hold for the curl without darkening them. Try MAC's Brow Set in Clear
Vibrating - 'I know, how can we charge a gazillion dollars for mascara and get women to buy them??' Ok, maybe I am being totally unfair here but COME ON! We had an economy crash - spend the $12 on the other mascaras and put the rest on your VISA bill. I tried a few of these so called 'innovative vibrations' - the only one I found really did the trick - Estee Lauder's Turbolash, so if you are Ms FancyPants with extra money and need a gimmick in your make up bag - this is the one for you.
Those little extras:
* My 2-cents on bleeding mascara?? Give your skincare 15 mins to absorb . The emollients in the creams can break down your mascara creating the undesired raccooning.
* Line your bottom lashes with clear lipliner ON TOP of your finished make up– the wax helps minimize smudging. Try Maybelline's Color Sensational Lipliner
* Reapply layers of mascara vs too much on your wand which will clump and smudge - Tweezerman's Folding Eyelash Comb works to de-clump
* Mascara primers - do they work? Yes. Try Milani - I LOVE plugging the cheap and cheerful - this is a GREAT make up line!
* Loose fiber lash builders - do they work? YES! But they are scary at first! If you are a contact wearer, apply this first and then pop in your peepers. I have tried this, I do like it but for the life of me can't find a specific product to recommend. They seem to be random brands and available all over as I have seen them in Canada, the US and Asia.
I always love a new product so, if you come across something GRAND be it a mascara or something else beauty - please share!
Thanks for reading!
A version of this was printed in Motherhood Magazine, Singapore