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Flash the lashes

Mascara wands have changed in the past few years. While many manufacturers have stayed with the tried and true brush, others have begun using a comb-like applicator. It may look a little scary, but it creates an amazing effect, coating each and every lash. This in turn has caused the brush applicators to be improved . . . in some cases, anyway.

BOURJOIS Coup de Theatre! 2 in 1 False Lash Effect Mascara, €10 * * * * * Ooh, this is very cool! No wonder Bourjois have put an exclamation point in the name! This is the only one in this category that features the poke-yer-eye look applicator, but boy, does it work. This one is as good as the brands you'd pay four times as much to enjoy. Try it! You'll love it!

L'ORÉAL Double Extension Renewal Serum Ultra-lengthening and Renewed Look Mascara, €14.99 * * * This technique -- a base layer of white undercoat to boost the thickness and length of your lashes for the more conventional black layer -- was really useful a number of years ago. Now that the pointy-edged applicator has been created, we don't really need to go through this process. The serum claims to care for your lashes from root to tip. I'm not convinced.

MAYBELLINE The Colossal Volum' Express Mascara, €9.99 * * * Once you get this warmed up, it works a treat. I object to the fact that every time I use a Maybelline mascara, it requires several goes before it reaches full strength. Since I have used this brand growing up in America, I know of what I speak. Otherwise, if thick and black lashes is your goal, this will get you there.

BD BARBARA DALY Full-on Mascara, €6.99 * * * * This is the Tesco brand, and it's really, really good. If you don't want to look like you're going clubbing in the middle of the day, this will give you thickness rather than length. This gives an excellent impression of volume, although it does wear off a little too fast for my liking.

BENEFIT Bad Gal Lash, €22.50 * * * * * Immediate volume and length can be yours with Benefit's offering, and the black is dark, dark, dark. It's so rich that you could get away without putting on any liner or shadow. But why would you? Bad Gal Lash encourages you to make your eyes the focal point (ha, ha) of your look, so don't let it down.