Oh My Lashes, I Think I’ve Found The One
Confession time: I have never used false lashes and I wouldn’t have the faintest clue where to begin with them. In the off chance that I ever take the plunge I am 100% certain I would look like a drag queen on steroids and at least one of the lashes would quickly slip down my face and find its way into my tea with a dramatic plop. I do, however, spend unhealthy amounts of time wishing my lashes didn’t look like Barbie’s sweeping broom (does she even have one?). It’s not that I don’t have lashes, I do. I am a regular human being. But I have them in the way, say, a newborn baby has lashes. Or a baby fly has lashes. There’s the picture in all its illustrative glory. Sparse, short, sad. Blink, no pun intended, and you’ll miss them.
Mascara is of course an absolute necessity. I love it for all its promises of fluttery, luscious, thick, strong and long lashes that hold on to colour and reach for the skies with more greed and ambition than an investment banker. But do they deliver? Hardly ever. It’s better these days than a few years ago when the choice was between clump and clumpier, but it’s still not easy to find a formula that pairs with the right wand shape _ this is really, really important _ to hug, lift and coat your lashes in that effortless way ballerinas are lifted on stage. Analogies aside, this is truly a quest, not least because every two minutes a new mascara is launched onto the market and you’re left dizzy with options and even less sure what to go for. I have lost count of how many brand new mascaras I have binned and whilst I have found a few I can rely on they are more in the pair-of-comfy-slippers-zone than wow-factor-land.
So when I picked up the newish L’Oreal False Lash Superstar X Fiber I did so with very little expectations after reading a pair of very positive reviews and during a promotion. My level of engagement with this mascara was such that it actually took me 4 uses to realise there were TWO SIDES to the thing, one with a lash coating primer and another with the actual mascara with different shaped wands. Insert a Homer Simpson-like DUH here. But in a way, that speaks to the first real achievement of this little gem _ I thought this was a decent mascara and I was only using the primer! Once I found out about the other little chamber I literally saw the light.
This is not an easy mascara. Because it is infused with the same fibers normally used to make false lashes it needs care and haste during application. The primer can dry quickly and make the already thick mascara application drag on the lashes and come out a little clumpy. But if you do one eye at a time, boy does it work. It coats lashes in a velvety, deep ebony black, it volumizes, amplifies and adds length to the point where you catch yourself doing double takes on the mirror wondering who invited Brigitte Bardot into your bathroom. You look awake, you still look real _ no drag queen in sight _ in short you look pretty good, even if you haven’t slept in forever, like me. A massive plus is the fact that unlike other similar two step mascaras the primer is black and not white, ensuring that if you miss a spot you won’t look like you have sleep in your eyes. This even passed the allergy/irritation test, which for my pollution assaulted, screen enslaved, sleep deprived eyes is a big bonus.
Alas, there are a couple of downsides to this little find. As stated above it dries a bit on both wands so you need to make sure any pesky flecks of product are cleared away before applying or risk clumps, and it smudges easily. If you’re having a bad day, suffer from hayfever or there is the potential for the odd tear don’t even come close to this. Unless of course you are channeling an Italian 60’s diva having a meltdown. Then totally go for this as it smudges in all the right places for movie like drama. These aside, this mascara will become a trusted ally in your beauty arsenal, both on office days as it still looks natural, and when you have one of those rare vavavoom days (I’m a mum, trust me these are rare) with a couple more coats lovingly added on top.
As with most brilliant products, chances are this could be discontinued to make room for something new and wholly unfit for purpose. I don’t know this for a fact but experience or just really bad luck tells me this is what happens to 80% of my holy grail products. So I’m stocking up for as long as you can stock up on unopened mascara. And you should too 😉.