Tubing Mascara Review: Lavshuca Separate Keep Mascara Volume

As you may know from this article about mascara smudging all the time, I’m a big fan of tubing mascaras. They’re getting more popular in the west at the moment, but the level of choice is still much higher in Japan (and, I’d assume, the rest of East Asia?). I think I’ll have to write a ‘What to Buy in Japan’ post on it, because it’s a little too tangential for this post.

Lavshuca Separate Keep

This is Lavshuca’s Separate Keep Mascara Volume which, according to the blurb, keeps lashes pointing upwards, defines each lash, and volumises. It is smudge-proof and can be removed with water (like all tubing mascaras). It is scent-free, and it contains ingredients that are good for your eyelashes.

Here’s how I got on with it.

Click the pictures to zoom in (and you should, because I didn’t buy a macro lens for nothing (no, I bought it to take poorly-lit close-ups of flowers, because that hasn’t been done before))

Obligatory artsy shot

Pros

  • The brush is small – my eyes are quite small I think, so I get bothered by big mascara brushes. They’re very unwieldy and I when I use them I tend to get more mascara on my eyelids than on my eyelashes. AND they make it mega difficult to coat the smaller lashes on the outer corners of my eyes. This Lavshuca brush is easy to maneuver.Lavshuca Fluffy bit
  • It doesn’t smudge or flake – all tubing mascaras claim not to smudge, but some are better than others, and many of them just flake instead. I haven’t experienced any flakes or smudges with this mascara (when using under-eye powder as outlined in this post).
  • It gives some volume – It’s not the most volumising mascara I’ve ever tried, but it’s also not one of those mascaras that’s just designed to look like natural lashes (like Clinique Lash Power).
  • It does separate lashes quite well – I bought this mascara mainly because it claimed to separate lashes, and it does the job better than most other mascaras I’ve tried.

Cons

  • It doesn’t separate as well as I’d like – it’s good at separation, but not great. I think my quest for each eyelash to be defined is pretty futile but hey, I’m picky and I’m not going to say something is perfect if it isn’t.
  • It doesn’t lengthen – I don’t mind this, because length is the one area where my eyelashes don’t need help. Also, the mascara doesn’t claim to lengthen. But, for those of you looking for lengthening, look elsewhere.
  • It is a total butthead to remove (excuse the offensive language) – OK so it’s not as bad as that Cezanne Volume Comb Mascara I reviewed, but it’s not exactly easy like Blinc or Fiberwig Extra Long. You need quite a hefty bit of rubbing to remove all traces of this mascara, which I imagine is quite damaging in the long run. A warm shower helps.

In Action

Lavshuca Separate Keep In Action

 

Why do I never smile in these photos

Overall

I like this mascara a lot, primarily because of the separation. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do for now. You may like it if you don’t have length issues and you want your lashes more clearly defined. It’s not for you if your lashes are sparse to begin with, or short. They do have a ‘long’ version that you might like to try.

You can buy this mascara from Adambeauty for HK$75 (£5.95, $9.67, €7.45)

Review: Cezanne Volume Comb Mascara

As I have yet to take pictures of lovely Kate mascara I mentioned in my last post, I thought I’d give a review of one that did not impress me so much: Cezanne Volume Comb Mascara. My eyelashes are quite long, and usually I look for mascaras which promise volume rather than length. On reading that Cezanne had a tubing mascara that promised volume (and all for 500 yen), I bought it with high hopes.

Sadly I was disappointed.

Appearance

So this mascara comes in a chunky, pretty nondescript, tube. It’s kind of clumsy looking, but meh, I’m not buying it to put on display on my mantelpiece, so I don’t really care.

Cezanne Volume Comb

The applicator is *eeegads*, a comb. I’ve used comb mascaras before but on seeing the applicator for the first time I was a little confused –  I thought I’d somehow managed to break it on its way out of the tube…

Applicator

It’s a very…minimal comb. In fact, it’s more a stick with some grooves on it really…

Close up Applicator

Here it is close-up.

Intriguing right?

But how does it perform?

Application

This mascara is very wet. The first time I applied it I applied straight from the tube and it went everywhere. It was also so wet and thick it unified all my eyelashes into one, super eyelash. I was not best pleased.

So on my next attempt I scraped off a lot of the product on to the tube, and tried again. It was ok. It didn’t really do anything well. That’s not to say it looked nice and natural – it didn’t – but it gave a tiny bit of length, it didn’t really volumise my eyelashes at all (apart from by joining a few together), it was just…underwhelming.

Here’s the before and after

Before After

This is when it applies nicely.

This mascara has a high failure rate. Sometimes it will just choose to be difficult and end up looking like this:

Problem

(excuse the scruffy eyebrow!)

Not cool.

When I’m getting ready for uni in the morning, I don’t want to take a gamble on whether my mascara will behave or not – it’s just too much effort. And it’s not like you can wash it off easily if it goes wrong, but more on that later.

Okay so for ease of application it gets a 4/20. That may seem brutal but really I think it’s fair: you have to scrape 90% of the product off the wand, and even then there’s a high probability your eyelashes will end up looking rubbish.

For appearance I’d give it an 9/20. It isn’t terrible, but even at its best it doesn’t look spectacular and it doesn’t do what it says (volumise).

I suppose you could wear it everyday with no complaints, and perhaps if everything else about the mascara was great then maybe I would. But sadly, it’s not.

Removal

This stuff stays on like glue. Not in a good way.

Every night after removing it my eyes were red and swollen because I had to work so hard to get it off my lashes. For a while I thought maybe it wasn’t a tubing mascara after all. Sure the package said it was, and when it did finally come off it was kind of in tubes, but I’ve never encountered a tubing mascara so difficult to remove. I resorted to trying normal eye make-up remover as I was convinced it wasn’t a tubing mascara, but it resisted that even more than it did the hot water. So, I concluded, it was most definitely a tubing mascara, but it was a tubing mascara that had been made in hell.

Removal gets 1/20. Why 1? Because it does come off eventually.

Lasting Power

Lasting power is satisfactory. I did have a few flakes in the day (and by a few, I mean about 3) so 19/20 for lasting power.

Bear in mind this is with my smudge prevention measures (oooh that sounds nifty) I mention here: loose powder piled on above and below the eye.

subheadconc

This mascara is not terrible. I could make do with it in a pinch: sometimes it doesn’t clump, it is capable of making lashes look better (if it works) than normal, it is mediocre but not abominable. However, I have never had as much trouble removing a mascara than with Cezanne Volume Comb. I’m sure I lost more eyelashes in those few days than in the past 3 months combined!

So overall this mascara gets 33/80 or (rounding down) 8/20

Review: Fiberwig Extra Long Mascara

From my post on mascara smudging you’ll know that I am restricted to using tubing mascaras. That’s fine with me as I like their formula, but the main problem I’ve found with the ones I’ve tried so far is that, while they do coat the lashes well, they do very little else. Staying power was my top concern so it didn’t bother me too much that the tubing mascaras I was using lacked the oomph of normal mascara. I assumed that it was impossible to have a mascara that was both tubing and dramatic. That’s where Fiberwig Extra Long comes in. It’s a tubing mascara but it has these weird little fibres on it that get added to your lashes  to make them look longer.

On the packaging the mascara is hailed as ‘paint-on false eyelashes’ that lengthens and defines each lash. It comes off with warm water and ‘without becoming a panda’ (don’t you just hate it when that happens?).

On the back of the pack it reiterates all that and adds 3 tips:

1) Fiberwig won’t come off with your everyday eye-makeup remover, so don’t rub it too much and use warm water instead.

2) Curling lashes should be done after application and when the mascara has dried. [Usually the advice is to curl before mascara application, but perhaps because Fiberwig is tubing it’s ok to curl them after? I’m not sure as I don’t curl my eyelashes.]

3)  If you’ve made a mistake when applying [as I often do] the best thing is to do is to rub gently with a cotton bud after it has dried.

Fiberwig Extra Long Mascara has better staying power than any other tubing mascara I’ve tried (including Blinc). Even with eye powder Blinc would sometimes flake a tiny bit – not enough to be a problem though – whereas I have yet to notice a single flake or smudge in 2 weeks of using Fiberwig (and the weather has been gross and sticky – ideal for smudging!). Yup, just examined my eyes in the mirror and all the mascara is on my lashes, nowhere else. So I guess this means Fiberwig gets a 10/10 for staying power. I’m reluctant to give it full marks because of my limited experience with tubing mascaras but rationally, if there are no smudges or flakes after 14 hours of wear, could it really get much better?

I’d say this is Fiberwig Extra Long’s weakest area. The brush is quite bulky so coating lashes on in the inner and outer corners of the eyes without getting mascara on the surrounding skin can be quite difficult. Ideally I’d like my eyelashes to be longer at the outer corners but I have yet to achieve this with fiberwig because, though it has the perfect formula for this look, it’s hard to get a good coating on the harder-to-reach lashes. In general though, this does a good job of defining the lashes without sticking them all together, and I can’t say the same for some of the other tubing mascaras I’ve tried.

However, Fiberwig does offer something rare: the ability to build layers without losing definition or clumping. In fact you’re supposed to build it up. The more you build, the longer your lashes get because more fibres are being added on to them. Because my eyelashes are already quite long this can look a bit ridiculous, but for people with shorter lashes this is a total blessing. Usually I just go over my eyelashes once and get a little extra length and a natural look, but if I really want to add drama I apply more coats to get a more glamourous look.

So what rating should this be? I’ve never had a mascara that has built upon itself so well – most just clump or give me about 5 eyelashes when I try to layer them. So for that, Fiberwig gets a 10. However the brush is an issue, and when you fail to coat a whole lash – which can often happen with such a big brush – the eyelash ends up looking really spidery and weird. So let’s say that’s a 5 out of 10. Averaging them out would give us 7.5/10

As I said above, this really lives up to its name – it makes your eyelashes extra extra long. I do find that it can make my eyelashes look a little sparse though, but I suppose it’s not intended to be volumising. I was worried that the tiny fibres might look obvious (and weird) but I can’t notice them at all when I look in the mirror, they blend in completely. I’d give appearance an 8/10 because while it does lengthen, I think part of the reason my eyelashes look more sparse is because it doesn’t define all the lashes as well as I’d like.

I got the Extra Long version because that was the only one at the store, I would be interested in a volumising version (which I think is available but I can’t remember the name at the moment) as my eyelashes are already long. Even so, this mascara is the best tubing mascara I’ve tried so far and definitely worth the price. It is not, however, a natural-looking mascara. For that you could try Clinique Lash Power (though on me this was flakey and smudgey) or Blinc.