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Get 'romance-novel quality lashes'

I AM a mascara aficionado, so the fact that there are three five-star wands in this category is well worth taking note of.

If you want peepers that are framed by what I call 'romance-novel quality lashes' then any one of the products with the perfect score will give you a thicket of lashes from under which to fix your gaze upon your beloved. Or potential beloved.

LASH CONTROL Volumizing and Conditioning Mascara, €20 - The purple bit near the top of the container is for pinching: you pinch as you draw out the wand, with the idea being that you'll scrape off the excess.

It only works about half the time. But when you don't pinch, there is way too much mascara on the brush. An interesting idea, but not great execution.

MAYBELLINE Volum'Express The One by One, €14.99 - You've only to remove the wand and see that the brush is very clumpy. It's a brush like this, I reckon, that inspired the invention of the previous gizmo. Despite the excess of product, I found that many layers were required to get a good look. Hmm.

BENEFIT They're Real! Beyond Mascara, €25 - The San Francisco-based brand claimed that these made your lashes look like falsies. They told the absolute truth. One coat, let it dry, and a second to touch up, and you are rockin' some serious flutters.

CLARINS Instant Definition Mascara, €20.25 - This one boasts a tapered end, which allows you to get at those pesky lashes on the outside of your eye that are hard to address with a conventional wand. It works a treat, and the black of this is the blackest I've ever seen in a mascara.