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

Friday Round-up

Ok so I’m working on a pretty mammoth post right now so it’s taking up a lot of time! But I don’t like getting slack on updates so I thought I’d do a round-up of the past week.

Okay so everyone always talks about ‘shopping your stash’: looking through all the products you own and seeing them with fresh eyes. This week I rediscovered Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Lily-Rose. The Illamasqua Sheer lipglosses are the least sticky lipglosses I’ve tried. They still have a little ‘tackiness’ to them but I can actually wear them without getting my hair glued to my face. I can’t say the same for the Intense Lipgloss formula – I find that pretty sticky. I would use lipgloss a lot more if someone could invent one that wasn’t, in effect, tinted glue. In fact I thought that Japan would have a bunch of perfect lipglosses considering that glossy lips seem to be pretty important in most Japanese looks. Alas Alack, no such luck. But I’ll keep trying!

I have a very low patience threshold – I like my make-up to be low maintenance, I don’t want it to actually make my life worse. For example, fake nails. I’m sure there have been many times when someone’s fake nails have been so natural that I haven’t even known they were fake, but one instance comes to mind every time I see them in shops. I used to work for a cinema, selling hot dogs, popcorn, cleaning up sick – you know, rewarding kind of stuff. Anyway I was on the retail counter one day and witnessed a lady leaning down to get a bag of sweets and being physically unable to pick them up. Her fake nails were so crazy that she actually couldn’t perform simple movements like…um…grasping. That, to me, is too much. Make-up should be fun and should make you feel good, not impaired.

Oops, that was a little longer than I had intended. I just have a lot feelings (Is it wrong to quote Mean Girls on your blog?). Anyway so it was Illamasqua’s new collection that made me dig out Lily-Rose again, this picture to be exact.

I love this look. Ok I wouldn’t exactly wear the eyebrows out but I still think they are pretty cool. It makes me think of a grown-up version of Cicely Mary Barker’s flower fairies (I used to love those books! The iris fairy was my favourite).

Reading a look breakdown, I  saw that Lily-Rose was used on the lips, so I immediately fetched mine. It’s not quite the colour I wanted (like the one in the picture) but I do have a renewed appreciation for it. Also it looks great over liner to make a 50s red lip (I use MAC’s Cherry liner under it).

The pictures aren’t great (not sharp enough for my liking) but you get the idea. Also I look a bit like Tobey Maguire in the 2nd one. Is this a look I should cultivate?

So here are some interesting posts I’ve found this week: some aren’t very recent, but I’m posting them because I like them.

Beauty

Deconstructing Winged Eyelinera thorough and I’d say scientific post on the uber difficult  (for me anyway) winged eyeliner.

September Favourites – Matryoshka Doll beauty has a post of her september favourites, I’ve always meant to do one of these but now I guess I’ll have to wait until next month!

Tubing Mascara Info – packed with information on Tubing Mascaras, I thought it would be particularly useful after my post on Mascara Smudging – check out the tubing mascara reviews as well!

General

For the grammar lovers – my boyfriend introduced this post to me, and I’m so glad he did: this entire blog is amazing.

A catchy internet meme – I’m not usually such a fan of internet memes (especially when people say them in real life) but I actually find this one funny. Even my mum likes it.

Click for full-size

Definitely click for full-size

Here’s Matsujun advertising Fasio mascara. I wonder if it’s any good – or tubing…

Don’t know who Matsujun is? Then you should be watching more Japanese TV shows!

Check out Hana Yori Dango!

And for another drama that everyone I’ve recommended it to has loved, check out Hana Kimi – it’s beyond amazing.

So that was my week! I hope you’ve had a good one!


/H

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.

What to do when Mascara Smudges on you ALL THE DAMN TIME

So I had the idea for this post a few days ago when I went out on a date with the boyfriend: I had an awesome time (we had sushi! My chopstick skills were on par with that of a goat/ any other hoofed animal) and we were out, in public, for at least 4 or 5 hours. I mention this whole ‘in public’ thing to heighten the embarrassment you will no doubt (you’d better) feel for me when I tell you that when I got home my mascara was everywhere. Not just under my eyes in that endearing panda way. It also made some nice little spackles (kind of like this Chanel look but without the high fashion excuse) just below my eyebrow as well.

chanel

And no one ever tells you! I’ve been out with friends (ie. my mum) so many times and they just politely ignore the fact you look like an extra from a movie about eye plague (yes it exists! …don’t look it up though ok? it’s a secret). This is like the whole ‘broccoli in the teeth’ thing – yes it’s a little embarrassing but it’s better to know sooner rather than later.

Anyway. So your mascara smudges. You’ve tried waterproof, and that does too. That’s because waterproof mascara is just that: water proof. So while it works for weepy films, waterproof mascara isn’t going to stand a chance against oil and that’s what could be making your mascara smudge.

You don’t have to be an oily person (that sounds gross) to have smudgy mascara, in reality it’s often down to the skin care you use. If your mascara  didn’t smudge before, what’s changed in your skin care recently? Did you switch eye cream, moisturiser or sunscreen? My mascara smudges because of my sunscreen. To me, wearing sunscreen is more important than having pretty eyelashes so I continue to use it, but for you guys you might decide that your new face product isn’t worth all that trouble.

But if you want to have your face cream and eat it (…ew) you’re going to need to make some changes to your mascara.

Option 1: Use a sealing product. Apply your usual mascara and wait for it to dry. Then apply another product over the top which will ‘seal’ the mascara in. This works for me to an extent: if I touch my eyelashes for whatever reason I do get a mark on my finger, but the mascara doesn’t end up around my eyes. I only really use this method now and then because it is a total pain to remove. Even with an eye make-up remover it takes such a lot of effort that I think in the long-term it probably wouldn’t be good for your eyelashes at all.

Products: I use Clarins Double Fix Mascara as a sealant; it’s pricy but you can use it with any mascara and it doubles as an eyebrow groomer too. Alternatively Urban Decay has a product (I think it’s called Lingerie and Galoshes) which is a primer on one end and a sealant on the other. I used this one for a while but I still got a few smudges with it so I moved to the Clarins.

Option 2: Buy a tubing mascara. Normal mascaras are made of wax or oil and some pigment. Tubing mascaras are kind of space age: they use a ‘flexible polymer’. See? Now makes total sense…basically tubing mascaras form plastic tubes around your entire lash. The tubes are waterproof and, more importantly, because they’re plasticy I guess (?) they don’t react with the oils on your skin and so they stay put without smudging. In my opinion they’re also better for your lashes but that’s not based on any of that cool polymer science jazz; I just think that it’s much better to put on a wig than to dye your hair a different colour all the time. In the same way (yeah this is going somewhere), using a tubing mascara to form tubes around the lashes is better than using a normal mascara to paint on the lashes. In addition, it’s so easy to tell if a tubing mascara is all off your lashes whereas with normal mascara some could be left on and go unnoticed.

Tubing mascaras can be taken off without a make-up remover: all you need is warm water and some pressure. When washing my face I gently stroke my lashes in circular motions with warm water added. This gets all the tubes off your lashes (and it looks pretty exciting too). Don’t pull on your lashes or you could pull one out. In my experience of tubing mascaras, they don’t make your lashes fall out any more than usual, it can just look a little scary in the sink when you see all those eyelash-shaped tubes all over the place.

Products: Clinique Lash Power mascara is tubing, as is L’oreal Beauty tubes (though personally I HATED this one –flakey and ugly). If these ones smudge on you, you may want to get a sample of Blinc mascara online and see how that works (in my opinion it has more staying power). I’ll be reviewing many tubing mascaras when I get to Japan so keep checking back or do a search for ‘mascara’ in my blog!

…My mascara’s still smudging :(

Okay so you’ve done all that, got the tubing mascara etc. and your mascara is still smudging all over the place. You’re lucky because this happened to me too: I got the Blinc sample, had total faith in its efficacy, but out shopping I caught sight of myself in a mirror and sure enough there were smudges near my eyebrows and under my eyes. Sad face :(.panda eyes

POWDER. While I powdered my face daily, I usually avoided my eye area because it would just look cakey and lame when I applied it there. But I figured: if powder works to absorb oil on my face, why not around my eye area? So I sashayed (I just wanted to use that word) over to Laura Mercier and got the Secret Brightening Powder, which is made for the under-eye area. This powder is so fine that it just doesn’t seem to cake at all – and trust me, I apply a lot.

Even better, it sets my concealer so it doesn’t crease during the day.

EVEN better, my mascara stopped smudging.

I apply the powder with a concealer brush (No. 7 concealer brush from boots) above and below my eyes. I apply a LOT but it blends into skin really easily when you pat it with the brush. The one downside of this powder is that it has little shiny bits in it. They’re hardly visible at all in real life but in flash photography they make your under-eye area look really white compared to the rest of your face. I haven’t tried any other powders so I can’t vouch for them but if you’re in a department store check out the Laura Mercier Powder (to see how fine it is) and then check out other counters to see if you can find something similar (and tell me about it!).