Sunday 22 April 2018

The beauty panel: Enjoy a Flutter - five favourite mascaras

With mascara, we keep coming back for more, says our beauty expert, so give it a lash with these five favourites

Pictured, from left, YSL Mascara Vinyl Couture; Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara; Max Factor Voluptuous False Lash Effect; Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection; Rimmel London Volume Colourist Mascara. Photo: Kip Carroll.
Pictured, from left, YSL Mascara Vinyl Couture; Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara; Max Factor Voluptuous False Lash Effect; Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection; Rimmel London Volume Colourist Mascara. Photo: Kip Carroll.

Sarah Caden

It could be the relative affordability of mascara that leads us to buy so many of them. It could be. Or it could be the fact that Irish people, with our traditional tendency to fairer hair and rubbish, straight and short eyelashes, are always looking for a miracle. Or maybe we're just greedy.

It always seems to be men and small babies who get the best of the eyelashes. They always seem to have the long, curled, fluttersome variety that women want and try to recreate, day after day, with mascara. But it's only mascara, despite the ever longer names applied to it, and the really quite remarkable claims that some of them make. A highly regarded make-up artist recently suggested to me that, really, the mascara-makers shouldn't try to fix everything with one product. As in, they should either focus on volume, or curl or length, instead of trying to fix all at once. All at once, she said, wasn't possible.

Of course, no matter what mascara you use (from your stockpile), you can boost the results of even the most rubbish one by using an eyelash curler first. Just make sure it's a decent one that's nicely cushioned with rubber strips, or you risk inadvertently snipping off what lashes you have.

Best Overall

YSL Mascara Vinyl Couture, €34, exclusive to Debenhams until May 22, then YSL counters nationwide

Some of you may have been unaware that gloss was something to aspire to for your eyelashes. Use of this mascara might convince you otherwise. The shiny, vinyl-like appearance of this product is flattering, even on short or meagre lashes. The shininess catches the light and makes the black shade seem more dramatic and glamorous. However, this comes in four other colours, too, including good old electric blue and an out-there pink. "Basically, this looks like mascara that hasn't dried," said one panellist, "which is a good thing. It's not clumpy, and it's not thick-looking - it's just very glam."

Best Pumped Up

Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara, €12.99, available nationwide

We have two mascaras with odd-looking wands this week. This mascara wand boasts spherical fibres, which claim to wrap the mascara all around the lash, and not just on one side. It also has straight bristles, which then comb apart and define the coated lashes. You get both volume and length, they promise, so long as you apply the mascara with a zig-zag motion. Don't say you weren't told. "The black is wonderfully black," said one panellist, "and the mascara has plenty of pumped-up oomph."

Best Fake Effect

Max Factor Voluptuous False Lash Effect, €16.99, available nationwide

False-lash effect without false-lash hassle is what a lot of people want from a mascara. This is asking a lot. It demands that the product bulks out the lashes to look like there are more of them, and it also asks for greater length. "The peculiar-shaped brush takes a little getting used to," said a panellist. "Because it's thicker than average, and has odd curves, you can tend to smudge the first few times, but practice makes for full and well-separated lashes."

Best Second Life

Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection, €13, House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Debenhams

Anyone who wears mascara knows the situation where you put some on in the morning and it's all grand for the day, but not if you're going out that night. This is a magic product in those situations, in that it cuts through clumps and thins out the first layer of mascara, leaving lashes more receptive to a fresh coat. "I like a good, oomph-y volumising mascara, but it can look thick and lumpy," said one panellist. "I use this product to tame down the thickness if I'm refreshing my make-up, or just to get rid of clumps if I've overdone it."

Best hint of a tint

Rimmel London Volume Colourist Mascara, €9.99, available nationwide

Now, before we go anywhere, it must be emphasised that you have to give this stuff time to work. You will not see results immediately. However, this does what it says, which is that it not only functions as a mascara but also, with daily use, it will tint your lashes. Really. Use has to be daily, though, and it will be two weeks before you see results. And they will not be permanent, either. "If your lashes are very fair, like mine, this is fantastic stuff," one panellist said. "The tint is not very dark, which suits me, but it's definite."


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