Thursday, February 05, 2009

Ask the Non-Blonde: Mascara Mystery

Two readers emailed me this week with an almost identical question regarding mascara, a topic worth some discussion. Basically, we all want the same thing: long, thick, curly lashes. But reading reviews of mascaras you will find the same product getting the full range of reviews from the biggest raves to some serious trashing. My readers are wondering how it's possible, considering the end result is not a matter of taste. A mascara either performs well or it doesn't, right?

It's not that simple, actually. For the sake of this discussion, let's ignore reviews that aren't what they seem and are influenced by advertisers and other commercial interests. We'll only talk about user reviews and independent bloggers.

The biggest factor is the starting point. What's in the tube is the constant ,but a mascara will perform differently if your lashes are fine and sparse or thick but stubby. The level of coverage varies with the texture, which is why you need to experiment and learn what work better for your specific needs, because some great mascaras will not work for you if the material doesn't have much to cling to.

It would also affect the endurance: A heavy textured mascara on thin lashes is more likely to start flaking earlier if it doesn't have a good base. This is where a lash primer might be of help.

Another point to consider is the brush. Sparse lashes are less likely to benefit from those big brushes that are more likely to "miss a spot" and would do better with a delicate curved wand.

So there you have it. the very definition of "your mileage may vary", which I try to always mention my own lash stats (above average in length and thickness, but defying most curling efforts).


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