I don’t have an amazing track record with mascara-testing. Firstly, I am massively picky when it comes to what I put on my lashes, which means that I hate most mascaras and quickly become disgruntled when I have to test a whole run of them. (I like my mascaras to be just tacky enough to give volume but not require a blowtorch and chisel to remove, I like the brush to be precise enough not to spread product all over my eyelids but big enough to create lift and length. The list continues but I wouldn’t want you to fall asleep.)
So as I said, I’m picky, which means that I relegate most test samples to the sin bin after a couple of uses, but I’m also sensitive around the eye area which means that I can only test one or two a day before my eyes start streaming and the skin gets red and raw. It’s a slow and arduous process, then, and one that I’ll only drum up the enthusiasm for once in a blue moon.
Fortunately for you (if you’re interested in mascaras!) it’s that blue moon kind of time and I’ve been putting up with eyes that look as though they’ve been weeping battery fluid just so that I can bring you the best of the new luxury mascara launches.
The idea was to rate all of these with scores out of ten for various things like longevity, ease of application, depth of colour, but let’s be frank: they’re all black, none of them come off easily and the wand size and flexibility (hoho) is all about personal preference, so vaguely irrelevant.
But if you have flattish, fine and fair lashes like mine and tend to coat your eyelid in product when applying then you’re in a similar beauty boat to me and you’ll hopefully love these new launches as much as I do.
Charlotte Tilbury Push Up Lashes Mascara, £12/£23 at SpaceNK here*. Best for flat, drab lashes that refuse to go upwards, this really does push up by depositing a load of mascara at the base of the lash before sweeping the volume through to the ends. I find this one the messiest, so be warned on that front if you tend to need an hour to clean up after you’ve put on your mascara! Out of the four this is the one that gives me a tiny but of dropping and flaking towards the end of a long wear, but it’s nothing massively noticeable.
Dior Iconic Overcurl Mascara, £28 at Selfridges here*. I think that this is my favourite of the lot. I’m not sure it beats Dior’s Pump ‘n’ Volume, which is one of the greatest mascaras of all time, but it’s up there. Pump ‘n’ Volume (find it at FeelUnique here*) is like the Batman of mascaras, with its rubbery suit packaging and its ability to coat each and every lash with about a kilo of product without any clumping; the Iconic Overcurl is just ever so slightly more refined. I need to do a side-by-side comparison on these don’t I?
Marc Jacobs At Lash’d Mascara, £25 at Harvey Nichols here*. I’d say that this mascara is perfect for the smaller-lash’d amongst us as the brush is ever-so-slightly more petite. I get the least amount of lid-painting carnage with this one but I still get great volume and brilliant lash separation. For those who can’t abide the formation of those lash-fans that you get when all of your lashes start off nicely separated but then five or six of them join together at the ends to form a super-clump, this is important. Because when you get a lash-fan it follows that you then have to find something sharp and pointy to separate them out again, which inevitably is the pin from one of those freebie hotel sewing kits, and then it’s so fine you can’t actually see it, because you’re long-sighted and anything within a foot of your face is invisible, and then you pierce your own eyeball and it’s all game over and who needs mascara anyway when you have to permanently wear an eye patch.
NARS Climax Extreme Mascara, £22 at SpaceNK here*. Annoying name, because honestly, I’m not a prude, but I don’t want everything to be about sex. What has mascara got to do with sex? Unless you like to groom your private areas with your mascara (brings a new meaning to the term “bottom lashes”), but that would be weird. Anyway, this is a very good mascara with huge volume and a sort of matte, rubbery finish on the lashes rather than a shiny one. You could get away with one coat of this (and the Dior Iconic, come to think of it) but as with most mascaras this really comes into its own on the second.
Watch the video to see all of these mascaras in action – I’m going to do the same thing for some high street launches too, when I get a second and my eyes have recovered. Honestly it’s as though someone’s brillo-padded the skin off my undereyes.
After writing off my “daily essentials” makeup bag, thinking I had lost it at a hotel, I was excited to find that it was, in fact, stowed away right at the back of the glovebox in my car. Behind the owner’s manual and the pile of old MOT certificates and the broken umbrella and – joy! – a sweet bag with a singular Percy Pig from M&S in it. I ate the pig, despite the fact that it must have been at least six months old and had probably been heated and then frozen, heated then frozen, about sixty times.
Anyway I’m still here to tell the tale, so God only knows what they put into those pigs – I think they’d survive the apocalypse! Unlike Clinique’s excellent Pep-Start Lip Balm, which had the dead and dessicated body of a woodlouse stuck into the top of it. Not Clinique’s fault, of course – mine for losing the lid many eons ago – but still, gross.
You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve cut the contaminated top off the balm with my extra-sharp Global kitchen knife (how I’ve longed to slip a mention of my knife into this blog, I can die happy) and I’m contemplating using it again. The thing is, before you go all hysterical, I’m pretty sure that the louse was dead before it stuck to the balm. It’s not as though it crawled on, got its little legs stuck and then slowly expired from thirst and hunger.
How do I know this? It’s an educated guess. The louse corpse has no legs, so the chances of it crawling on and getting its legs stuck are virtually nil; I looked closely with my magnifying glass and there’s no evidence of leg material whatsoever.
So I don’t think it’s as though the woodlouse died of some terrible disease and leached all of its germs and whatnot into the balm and I’m sure now that I’ve cut off 5mm of product all will be fine. Vote now.
Good grief, that went off on a tangent. If Clinique haven’t already discontinued that balm then they probably will now. It’s tainted. Tainted I tell you!
Click to watch the video and find out what was in my Time Capsule makeup bag. I could equally have called this my “Lost and Found” edition, or “Daily Essentials I Didn’t Appreciate Until They’d Gone”, because it’s a bit farfetched to call something from only a few months ago a “Time Capsule”, but seeing as though I didn’t have the foresight to keep a bag filled with makeup favourites from 1995 and bury it in my parents’ garden, this will have to do.
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, £49 here*: http://bit.ly/2zWfFZK
Charlotte Tilbury Mini Brush Set, here*: http://bit.ly/2SfAAke This is actually really good, usually mini brush sets are a bit hit and miss! If she does them again next Christmas and they are the same, I’d get them!
Chanel Powder Brush No3 – discontinued?
Karen Walker Necklace*: http://bit.ly/2OX1wn1
Zoeva Buffer Brush, £17 here*: http://bit.ly/2vkEGif
Rodial Banana Lowlighter, £38 here*: http://bit.ly/2Hd3Ce5
Glossier Boy Brow in Blonde, £14 here*: http://bit.ly/2vkEGif
L’Oreal Unlimited Mascara, currently £5.99 here*: https://amzn.to/37jyzrJ
Clinique Pep Start Lip Balm – can’t find this at all! Where has it gone? It’s REALLY GOOD! Apart from the dead woodlouse body.
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Liner in Hot Gossip, £17 here*: http://bit.ly/38u3Jy5
NARS Voyageur Palette in Suede, £28 here*: https://bit.ly/2w8Z7Pv
Ah, there’s nothing that marks the passing of the seasons quite like one of my makeup bag videos. You could set your clock by them. (I’m being facetious, obviously; I never get these seasonal makeup videos out at the right time.)
This (un)timely makeup offering is for autumn, and I present it to you on a day that began with a thick carpet of frost all over the lawn. AKA, winter. When is winter, actually? I always thought that November, December and January were winter, but that would make February a spring month which would be absurd. So November is surely still in autumn. Surely?
I could have researched all of this before starting to write, but it will have given some of you something to rant about and others something to think about, so it’s all good. Let me just…type…into…Google… I can tell you that winter officially begins on: Sunday 22nd December.
I’m sorry, but surely that cannot be right. Wait. More Googling is obviously required here.
OK, so there are numerous dates and I seem to have gone down a mind-boggling rabbit hole of solstices, meteorological things and hemispheres. The astrological start date for winter is the 22nd of December, but the meteorological date is December 1st. I know which one I’m going with – I can’t bloody well keep saying that it’s autumn until a few days before Christmas! That goes against everything I know! Have these astrologers never heard of the Christmas carol In The Bleak Midwinter?
Anyway, here’s what’s in my makeup bag this autumn. If you’re after all-new autumn beauty launches and russety-toned eyeshadows then prepare to be disappointed; as usual this video has a mix of old favourites and new discoveries, but there’s no real theme. It’s just what I’ve genuinely been using – hence the “what’s in my makeup bag” title.
Products are listed below the video pane, but please do take the time to watch. And if you want to flick back through previous seasons, you can find all of the makeup bag videos here.
Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter 04*: https://bit.ly/2O3AM2V
Pro Glow shade 204*: https://amzn.to/328YvUt
BareMineralsUK Invisible Bronze in Tan*: http://bit.ly/2pUQ0zf
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette*: https://bit.ly/32EPPFA
Charlotte Tilbury Darling Palette*: http://bit.ly/2QdzqFw
Marc Jacobs HiLiner in RoCocoa*: http://bit.ly/2H4FklS
L’Oreal Unlimited Mascara*: https://amzn.to/34eEzAE
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Fresh Melon*: http://bit.ly/2N6jO4K
BenefitCosmeticsUK Gimme Brow in shade 1*: http://bit.ly/31e9c8z
Lanolips 101 Ointment*: http://bit.ly/34VWQTI
Beauty Pie Lip Liner Wondergel in Vanilla Nude*: http://bit.ly/31hmvVu
Zoeva Foundation Brush
Zoeva Shadow Brush
Real Techniques XS Point Brush – no longer available in the UK! BOOOOOOO!