The Magic of Mascara

For years, I’ve read in magazines and newspapers about all the different kinds of mascara out in the market. By now, it’s probably the worst-kept secret of any makeup maven out there. What populates the literature are reviews for high-end brands of this cosmetic that usually boast French-sounding names. And while I haven’t tried them all, I’d like to offer my own point-of-view as to the evolution of mascara and my favorite kind.

FYI, it was Maybelline that started the whole thing. This guy was inspired to make the very first mascara upon seeing his sister use coal and Vaseline to plump up her lashes. So this brand is always the first thing that comes to my mind when the subject of mascara is mentioned. I’ve been a fan of their products since Full n’ Soft, which is what I used to learn the proper application technique.

I just had to get myself a tube after seeing  the ads with Sarah Michelle Gellar’s gorgeous eyes. True to its promise, the formula resulted in soft lashes. As for overall effect, I’d give it a 3 out of 5. It was good for its time.

After that, I tried and loved Volum’ Express Turbo Boost Waterproof. I ache for long, lush lashes and Volum’ Express delivered. On a spectrum of achieving either fuller or longer lashes, I would opt for longer. This kind happens to offer a bit of both. I give it 4 out of 5.

My Technique: I swipe the wand along the lashes repeatedly without stopping or waiting for it to dry first. The formula builds up on itself and it becomes thicker. The same repeating motion also allows the fibers to stretch out and extend, so you get the length.

By the way, beginners should start out with a washable formula. I learned that the hard way. But once mastery is achieved, grab some waterproof formulas ASAP. It’s incredible and stays on the whole day, so you worry less about the running and “raccoon eyes”.  Also, if you’re a person who tends to rub your eyes, you’re about to learn some control when you see how icky and smooshed together they can get when you touch them.

The upside is the definition you get from a few swipes of mascara. It’s become a staple of my makeup habits, so I feel incomplete if I leave the house without it. Need convincing? I have some photos to prove the difference it makes:





For these shots, I used Maybelline’s Volum’ Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara in Very Black. I only did a light coat here to keep it natural-looking but to still demonstrate the difference. Usually, I opt for a thicker, more dramatic look.

Truth be told, I’ve been using this long before it became locally available. I used to ask people who went abroad to get it for me. It has all the same effects of  Turbo Boost, but better. It takes half the amount of swipes to achieve the same dramatic effect that I demand from Turbo Boost.

I’m not one to wear false lashes, even at parties, so this is the closest I can get.

At Php490+, I’m perfectly happy with this mascara. I give it a complete 5 out of 5 because it totally exceeded my expectations. The first time I tried it, I was amazed by how falsie-like it looked. (Truth in advertising!)

Maybelline has a rap in the States for being an inexpensive drugstore brand, but you can’t go wrong with this mascara. I’ve read in countless magazines that some Hollywood celebrities still think of this as their go-to brand, even with all the high-end choices within reach.

It’s worth every penny, plus, it’s cheaper, less painful, and low maintenance compared to getting eyelash extensions. 🙂


Review: L’Oreal Renewal Lash Serum

Lash beautification is a serious task for women. If it wasn’t, would there be such an influx of products and services dedicated to making those short strands look thick and pretty? Going the natural route, the simplest way to maintain lash health would be to use a topical serum. It works similarly to conditioner for your hair but is, of course, safe on the eye area.

Hollywood beauties love Talika Lipocils, but the best local alternative I’ve heard of is L’Oreal’s Renewal Lash Serum (PHP800+). I’ve been using it for months now, and a review is long overdue.

Use it just like mascara

Like the usual lash serum, the packaging promises nutrients for your eyelashes that are meant to make them stronger, thicker, and fuller. The smooth blue lid of the product is a sleek touch, while the see-through body allows the user to keep track of how much serum there is left. The wand applicator isn’t hard to figure out. It looks like a small, fluffy scythe that transfers the product on to the lashes like mascara.

For months, I’ve been using this as part of my nightly beauty rituals. I swipe a thick layer on before going to bed. Though the instructions indicate that it’s okay to have this on under mascara, I’ve just never tried it myself. I don’t like the idea of the serum and mascara mixing together, because I’m afraid it’ll alter the mascara formulation and, subsequently, the way the black pigments cling to my lashes.

Most noticeably, the “hair fall” in my lash area has decreased. Usually, when I’m using makeup remover and cotton balls to eliminate eyeshadow and mascara, there are a few strands of lashes that get stuck to the cotton. This occurence has become less frequent over time. I find that waterproof mascara is drying, so the serum works as a moisturizer. In terms of length, I noticed slightly longer-looking lashes–nothing too extreme. To me, L’Oreal has delivered what it promised. ‘Nuff said.

Caveat: The biggest enemy here is consistency of usage. Daily mascara users, especially those like me who go with waterproof mascara, should be conscious with the regularity of their application. That’s when results start to appear.



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