Thursday, April 05, 2007

Old School

Take a second and try to answer this:
How many mini tubes of Lancome's Defincils mascara do you have right now in several makeup bags, purses and emergency stashes?

I'm old enough to remember the days that Defincils was the default "good" mascara. It has pretty much set the standard for a hard-working, non-clumping lash defining product, giving just a bit of everything: length, volume and color, without being over-the-top. Which was probably the reason why in recent years bolder and sexier mascaras have taken center stage. Also, drugstore brands have improved so much that one doesn't necessarily have to buy an everyday mascara at the department stores.

I guess that this is why Defincils has become that mascara that you get in all those GWP deals, but never actually buy. You use it because it's there, but nobody gets excited about. However, this old standard has gotten an interesting face lift with Defincils Pro. Not of the formula, but of the brush. And the results are surprisingly good, reminding us why this mascara is still worthy of our drawer space.

The new brush is curved and lets you access the corners and shorter lashes easily. It's easy to apply and coats the lashes perfectly. The results are full and beautifully defined lashes. It holds a curl nicely, and is up to the usual Lancome standard of no smudging, no clumping and no smearing.

A brand new mascara comes from Besame Cosmetics. It's no secret that I adore many of their products (their lip glaze is still a favorite, and I hope for more colors), and the new mascara is worthy of their makeup line. From the beautiful packaging to the rich black of the mascara itself, the tube sings of old school glamor. Unlike the Defincils Pro and many other modern mascaras, the brush here is thick, wide and barely tapers at the tip. It's harder to control and reach the corner and finer lashes, so I wasn't expecting the beautiful result I saw after just one coat. My lashes looked instantly fuller and bolder, with just a bit of extra length.

There was no clumping or dotting, it holds a curl just fine (though it actually curls enough by itself, so the Shu wasn't really necessary) and stays for hours. However, there are two drwbacks: First, rubbing your eyes by accident may result in a serious case of raccoon eyes. Second: The color is so rich and the formula so thick that it takes quite a bit of grease- elbow and product, to get it off. Almay oil-free eye makeup remover pads barely touch this mascara, so I had to revert to the oily ones, which did an excellent job removing it. Lancome Bi-Facil also works, but it takes more effort and several cotton pads to take it all off.


  1. After all my grueling research and your advice, I bought the Lancome and it's great!

    BTW they are having a GREAT special at Nordstrom right now if you're into auxiliary crap -- a black faux alligator train case for $45(?) with purchase. It's a big ol' thing with fold-outs.

  2. What other Besame products do you really like? What mascaras would you recommend for those of us who wear contacts (i.e. of the waterproof variety) Curl is less of a concern because my eyelashes are naturally very curly (I once had an make-up artist say that she needed and eyelash un-curler on me)

  3. March- I'm so glad that the mascara works for you. It really is great. I'll pass on the faux gator. I have a cute metallic train case that has already traveled half way around the world and is holding nicely. Nothing exclusive: I bought it at Target, of all places.

    AMillion Paths- My other favorite Besame products are the lip glazes. They feel amazing on the lips, like the richest, most luxurious balms. I hope they will add more colors. Generally speaking, their makeup products are phenomenal. Their moisturizer, however, made my skin break out big time.

    I rarely wear w/p mascara except in the height of summer, but when I do, I reach for Max Factor Lash Perfection. It's durable and looks great. The tube tends o get dry quickly, but since it's so cheap it's not that big of a problem.


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