Thursday, June 08, 2006

Colored Mascaras: NARS & Smashbox



Just before leaving for my vacation I ran out of my brown mascara. Since it was May, the month of the Great Mascara Hunt, I was feeling adventurous. Instead of running to the nearest Clinique counter I headed to Sephora to look at the more interesting brands.

As I said, what I needed was a brown mascara, which I like to use for a softer daytime look. But I was also interested in green/khaki colors, because one of my favorite eye liner pencils is a beautiful sage green that works great with my skin and eyes. Since I'm also very much in love with Bourjois iridescence khaki eye shadow, I was glad to discover that they make their Pump Up the Volume mascara in a color named Kaki Bomb, that looked very pretty. With all the hype around Smashbox, I also chose their "That's a wrap" brown mascara.

As I've written here before, my lashes are full, dark brown and above average in length. What I'm looking for in mascaras is a good color (definition), a little length and a lot of curling. I don't wear primer (seriously, how many products can one load on one's face?) and I don't use a curler (for neurotic reasons).
Here are the results:

Color
Smashbox: Almost invisible. Definitely too light/not pigmented enough for my dark brown lashes.
Bourjois: It's khaki, alright. A little lighter when applied than what it seems on the brush (or on the tube). It will probably stand out more on someone with fair skin/lashes, but was visible enough on me.

Brush
Smashbox: Nothing special, just a regular brush that makes it hard for me to reach the corners, but coats evenly otherwise.
Bourjois: The same thing. No innovations there.

Texture
Smashbox: Good and even, just the right thickness.
Bourjois: On the thick side. Required combing to separate the lashes.

What it does/ How it looks
Smashbox: Even though it didn't add any color, so my lashes didn't pop out, this mascara did some serious lengthening and defining. The look is soft enough and my lashes do look pretty.
Bourjois: It promises volume and it delivers. Probably a little too much for my needs. It does a fine job in curling and adds some length. The problem is the color- it's too light and looks a bit dusty on me.

Lower lashes
Smashbox: Perfect. I need very little color on my very long lower lashes, and this barely-there brown is exactly right.
Bourjois: What looks weird on the upper lashes looks worse on the lower ones.

Clumping/Smearing/Dotting
Smashbox: None
Bourjois: A little clumping. This is thick stuff.

How it holds
Smashbox: Pretty well, though the curling not so much.
Bourjois: Extremely well, hours later the curling is still there.

Final thoughts
Smashbox: Though this isn't the best brown mascara (both my High Impact Clinique and Chanel's mascara are better color-wise), this is still a very good one and I might want to try it in black.
Bourjois:It goes well with my sage green liner, and I discovered that if I use the brown Smashbox first and then apply this one only to the tips of my lashes, I get the right effect- nice soft, long lashes with a hint of green and a curl that holds.

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