Over the years, I’ve tried numerous mascaras from all sorts of brands – from French brands, to Western brands, to local brands and more… I’ve discovered some of the best surprises, and I’ve experienced some of the worst letdowns.
I’ve parted money with mascaras costing north of RM100, only to see my painstakingly-curled lashes droop straight down to the floor. Ouch.
But I’ve also bought some mascaras without any expectations at all, but ended up repurchasing them for the umpteenth time.
What I’ve noticed is that out of all the mascara brands I’ve tried, the Japanese ones work the best. I’m not saying there’s a 100% success rate, but 4 out of 5 times, they do what they say. My lashes stay curled all day without ‘deflating’, which is an awesome feat in itself – my lashes are about as Asian as they can get.
Must-have: Kiss Me Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara
I bought this out of desperation because I was in a funk – all the mascaras I had weren’t working well, and my friend suggested this. It was the best decision I’d ever made for my lashes. To be honest, Heroine Make’s mascaras are a different league altogether; lashes stay up all day long, and the price isn’t too cutthroat. Sadly, I don’t know why, but last year they made the (mis)informed decision to reformulate their bestselling pink-tube mascaras – see image below, adding fibres into both Curling and Lengthening formulas, which I don’t fancy – me and fibres don’t get along well.
Must-have: CANMAKE Quick Lash Curler in Black
I’m not exactly a CANMAKE fan, but I bought this mascara because of the comb brush and the nifty size – it’s half the size of your conventional mascara. Plus, it was on sale – the usual price is a bit steep (around RM48.90 for such a small tube). It’s available in clear and black, but I’ve only ever tried the black one. The dual-sided comb lets you control how much mascara you want to apply, but boy, do my lashes look glossy and black after that.
However, it’s also incredibly hard to remove, even with dual-phase eye makeup removers. But if you’re looking for a mascara that doesn’t go all flaky on you, even after a hot and sweaty day outside, this is it.
Must-have: BCL Browlash Ex Washable Mega Volume and Curl WP Mascara
OMG – what a mouthful! This BCL mascara is fairly new, and it’s the only mascara I own that has fibres infused into the formula. I bought this online, hoping to find a worthy replacement for my pink tube Kiss Me (yes, I still can’t get over the fact that they don’t exist anymore). The brush is kind of bristly, not the silicone-bristled type but more of a furry spoolie. Thankfully, it doesn’t impart that many fibres onto my lashes, especially if I apply with a really light hand. What I like about this, though, is that even though it’s smudge-proof, it removes easily with warm water or makeup remover – great when I’m feeling a little lazy. Bonus: unlike other mascaras, my lashes feel soft and lush, not ‘crunchy’ and stiff.
Also try: Dejavu Keep Style Mascara
When Dejavu first came out in the market, they marketed themselves as Fiberwig – and they did very well with their mascaras. The line has since expanded to include eyeliners, but the mascaras remain their bestsellers. Its technology lies in an ingredient called ‘fake water polymer’, which is a film type formula that keeps lashes curled upwards by coating them, all the while staying waterproof and budge-proof, until you remove it with warm water.
I recently spotted D.U.P. mascaras at Guardian – the selection is quite limited with only three types, and two contain fibres. The most promising one (for me, at least), is this Perfect Extension Mascara, with its tiny, super-slim brush. The only drawback, however, is that it will burn a RM70 hole in your pocket. I trawled the internet for reviews, and while almost everyone comments its curling and staying power, if you’re used to va-va-voom volume, this might appear a tad too natural for your liking. But for everyday wear, I really wouldn’t mind this at all, especially if the price is slashed by half.
(Images: reina-triendl.jp and respective brands)