Tag Archives: Mascara

Lashing out - Vogue China

Secret Weapon: Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara

This has gone from being a really great mascara to a Secret Weapon in one fell swoop. Last week I was shooting a beauty story and for the second look we went for a clumpy lash, which is always a winner. So I reached for my now trusty companion, Max Factor 2000 Calorie mascara, and started to pile it on. Coat after coat after coat – it definitely added bulk, and the lashes were looking nice and big, but it was pretty much a clump-free zone. Incredible when it was only after about five coats on each eye that it started to really get cloggy. I had to go in with my CoverGirl Lash Blast to get the lashes nice and really mascara-saturated for that spiky 70’s feel. What that means for ordinary people who DON’T want to look like Liza Minelli on a daily basis, is that it’s pretty much lash perfection in a tube.

I started to use it on the recommendation from another makeup artist friend of mine, the fabulous Nicola Burford (who has done Cate Blanchett’s makeup as well as worked on Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Pecheux’s team at London Fashion Week, so she knows her stuff.) We met many years ago assisting Aussie makeup artist Kellie Stratton on an 80’s nightclub shoot. It was a bit of a baptism by fire for me as it was the first shoot I had ever done makeup on, and it was a riot of pseudo Adam Ants, 80’s Pierrots, black geisha brows, fuchsia contour and lacquer red mouths (and sometimes all at the same time). Let’s just say we got through a lot of white pancake makeup that day.

So when I was in the market for a new mascara, I asked Nicola and she said she swears by Max Factor 2000 Calorie – an oldie but a goodie. You can always rely on it – it doesn’t clump (until you seriously lay it on with a trowel – I can attest to that now) or smear or flake and just gives you lovely lashes quickly. You can dial it down for natural or up for a sexy lash so it’s a great one to have in your kit.

A quick note though – I didn’t love the waterproof version. The formula is a bit grabby and crunchy, and it just doesn’t go on smoothly like other waterproof classics like L’Oreal Voluminous or Full n’ Soft.

Lashing out - Vogue China Lashing out - Vogue China

The gorgeous pictures above are by photographer Nicholas Moore for Chinese Vogue, on a day I was assisting Kay Montano in London a few years ago. That was such a fun day – piles of fake lashes and the fabulous Neil Moodie on hair who (as usual) had me in stitches laughing. Neil also has a fabulous blog that you should check out http://www.neilmoodie.com/category/blog/ – it’s got hair! It’s got dogs wearing wigs! It’s got French and Saunders! It’s my kind of website!

 

* NB I checked that Nicola didn’t mind me putting her beauty secrets on the internet first. Mine I’m happy to throw out there on a regular basis, but other peoples are their own to keep unless they say I can do the big reveal.

Angelica Huston

In My Kit: Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara OR No More Trash Lash

Let’s talk about lashes shall we? Or more specifically, how to get gorgeous lashes. I haven’t tried an amazing new mascara for awhile. I’ve tested out a few, but they’ve all been
Meh
Next
Gloop city
Nothing to write home about
And I’m certainly not going to waste valuable blog time on those.

What I can tell you is the only one I have tried of late that I actually like, is Clinique’s new High Impact Extreme Volume mascara (or HIEV for short). It does not disappoint. Clinique are justly famed for their mascaras, and this new one is no exception.

It has a lovely big brush to allow you to coat the lashes quickly and easily. It’s got quite a thin formula which I like as you can do multiple coats and build it, and it doesn’t get crunchy. Thus you can go from au naturel in the day to va va voom in the evening with the same product. It won’t give what I call Trash Lash, where your lashes all start to stick together in unattractive, cheap and nasty looking clumps.

Sometimes when shooting beauty or editorial I do love a big, beautiful clumpy Trash Lash, as modeled by the inimitable Anjelica Huston here. However for real life, this is a lash that looks like you had too many drinks the night before and just couldn’t get it together at the bathroom mirror the next day. Sometimes this is so, in which case I hope you had fun, but sometimes it’s your mascara making life harder than it is. Clinique’s HIEV quite simply won’t let this happen. Unless you want to channel Angelica in all her 70’s Trash Lash fabulousness.

www.clinique.com.au

In My Makeup Kit: YSL Faux Cils mascara Noir Radical

Faux Cils mascara Noir Radical  I’m breaking some rules by posting this now, but I just couldn’t wait any longer… Usually I wait at least a month when testing mascara, to make sure that it keeps performing as expected. If it’s a crappy mascara, I check that it’s still flaky/smudgy/giving me tranny lash, and if it’s a good one I like to make sure it’s not a high performer for two weeks and then a dud (which has happened before, you know).

But this guy – well it’s got me so excited I’m only halfway through the testing period and I love it more every day, so I had to tell you all. It’s the new YSL Faux Cils mascara. I’ve used Faux Cils before and liked it as the product is quite slick and allows you to build without clumpiness. But this new dude, well it’s in a league of it’s own! Whatever they’ve been doing at YSL Beaute they just need to continue right on doing it. I love everything about it.

It’s really black, so it falls into the Carbon Black mascara category, but without a hint of blue in it, which can make us fairer types look punched out. It has a lovely big brush but with lots of surface area on it, so you get to every lash. Also, unlike Diorshow (another large brushed mascara), it doesn’t get gelatinous in the tube. Honestly I have bought brand new Diorshow before and the first time out of the wand it looked like I had nuggets (yes, nuggets, it’s the only way to describe it) of road tar on them. I may as well have given my money to a homeless person for all the good it did my lashes – and then at least my karma would be shiny – so I’m no longer a Diorshow shopper.

Best of all? it’s really hard to get clumpy. The result? You get thick AND long lashes, which is super rare in one product. You can go back in and add more at the base without it getting on your lid, it stays all day, no flaking OR smudging, and the smell makes me swoon. It’s like wearing little bursts of French perfume on your lashes. What better way to start your day?

So this is my new weapon in my mascara arsenal. A word of caution though – it is beautifully easy to remove but because it’s a slippy mascara there is a lot of product on those lashes (even if it doesn’t look that way). A nice gentle makeup remover – currently I’m loving Chantecaille’s Camomile Eye Makeup Remover – and LOTS of cotton balls is the way forward. But it’s a small price to pay for dream lashes.

YSL Faux Cils in Noir Radical is available now in the UK, US and Australia.
Visit www.yslbeautyus.com for further info.

The. Best. Mascara. Ever. Chanel Exceptionnel

Oh how do I love thee, let me count the ways:

 1.    Your fat, squidgy brush snuggles against my lashline and oh so gently follows the curve of the lashes until, hark! All the lashes are evenly distributed with a dense, perfect pigment, and not in any way spiky, clumpy or Liza Minelli-esque. The brush itself is like Chanel Inimitable on steroids – it solves the problems of that brush by adding in an extra layer of bristles so you don’t get spiky prongs for lashes.Chanel Exceptionnel

 2.    You don’t flake, smear or end up needing to be repaired halfway through a shoot (or a long day at work since I love you so much you are also in my personal makeup bag, which I might add is gradually improving since I shamed myself in a previous post with the sadness of my personal makeup collection).

 3.    You can be layered, for multiple coats that give full, glam lashes and not the crunchy ones that you can’t drag the wand through. (That is nasty!)

 4.    As well as brown and black you come in gorgeous colors with a hint of color, like Smoky Violine and my favourite, Smoky Marine which is amazing on blue eyes.  It’s not obvious that it’s a deep navy, it just makes blue eyes pop (fear not those who think this might be straying into Lady Di territory, it’s a deep, rich cobalt, not an electric Duran Duran turquoise).

 5.    Your packaging is exactly what we would expect in one of the greatest fashion brands ever – sleek, slick and iconic, and makes you feel like a rock star every time you pull it out.

 6.    Apparently it is an “intense volume and curl mascara”, which makes sense as thick, gorgeous lashes is what we’re all craving – it’s hard to bat your eyes seductively with a fringe that is stick straight and stumpy.

 7.    The ad, which can be viewed below is gorgeous enough to make me do pretty much anything this mascara asks. (Except maybe volunteer to talk to a clown at the circus, because I’m really scared of them).

 You really are Exceptionnel (Chanel that is)

 

 

Bin it – NARS mascara in Black Orchid

Nars Black Orchid Mascara  

 

 

Nars Black Orchid Mascara

 

I flat out hate this mascara (and that’s not a word I use lightly). It has a brush that looks like it escaped from 1985, and it performs so poorly compared to the rest of the NARS brand, I was quite staggered. OK, I think mascara manufacturers have gone a little OTT with all their rotating brushes, and fancy little combs, and rubber spikes and ones that look quite frankly like torture devices (hello Givenchy, I’m talking to you), but in 2009 something that low-tech just doesn’t cut it. Even Maybelline Great Lash (or Not So Great Lash as I like to call it) is fancier than this mo-fo.

In the interests of fairness, I’m just going to go and try it again: Nope, still made my eyelashes look like 5 little sticks. Its formula is thin and has an unerring ability to get at the ends of the lash and sort of clump, and then the crappy retro brush pushes your lashes together into aforementioned sticks. There is just no way to separate the lashes then to fan ‘em out and get ‘em fluffy. And we all know how much we love a full and fluffy lash!

In all honesty I wanted to love this because the square rubber packaging is so chic, and I have to admit to being a sucker for NARS in general (despite it’s excessively high price point). There’s just something about the witty names, gorgeous colors and the rubberized packaging that never seems to date that means a couple of times a year I find myself purchasing more sparkly eyeshadows and blushes I rarely use, but when I do, they make me happy (maybe because I’m actually justifying that hefty price tag? Not sure).

But this sad little mascara is one for the bin. Send it back to sing with Huey Lewis and the News – you know it wants to!

Bin it!