Who's got the magic wand… tried and tested mascaras
21:12 GMT, 5 August 2012
Marianne Power admits to a mascara obsession
My friends have a running joke that if my house was burning down, I wouldn’t dash to save old family pictures or, indeed, family members — I’d be scrabbling for my mascara.
Anyone with pale, puny lashes like mine will relate to this. Although I tint them, they are so thin that without mascara I feel vulnerable and feature-less; but with just one dash of Maybelline I feel stronger, prettier, more feminine. And I’m not alone. The mascara market is worth 130 million a year, with women spending an average 20 a go to achieve thicker, longer, glossier lashes.
But how do you know which ones really live up to the claims Well, now in a scientific breakthrough to rival the Higgs boson (only joking — this is more important), we can give you a definitive answer.
Using skincare expert Nick Miedzianowski-Sinclair’s latest gadget — a machine called the Visia Gen 6 — I measured the length and volume of my eyelashes after using ten of the latest mascaras. The Visia measures with great accuracy: lengths are calculated to the millimetre and the volume is measured by a score out of 100.
First, the bad news — the machine confirms what I already know. Au naturel my lashes are pitiful — with a volume of 49 out of 100 (good thick lashes would be about 60) and their length is 4.7 mm (naturally long lashes would be about 5 mm).
Nick says that it is normal: ‘Just as the hair on our head thins as we get older, so do our eyelashes.’
Oh dear, how depressing — now my age is showing in ways I’d never even fathomed. So which mascaras will help give me beautiful, youthful lashes Here are my favourites . . .
Best anti-ageing mascara: L’Oreal False Lash Telescopic, 10.99
With a couple of coats my eyelashes looked dramatically thicker and longer. According to the high-tech test, this mascara added the most volume — and more volume means a younger- looking face. Stayed put throughout the day. A brilliant product.
Volume 59.849, length 5.3mm
LASH RATING: 10/10
Best eyelash curling: Benefit They’re Real! Beyond Mascara, 18.50
This wand has special rubber bristles that help you coat the tiny corner lashes and make them appear more curled. Quite thick, so might benefit from being used with a separate eyelash comb, but gave really thick, curled, pretty eyelashes. Great for a dramatic Sixties look.
Volume 58.814, length 5.2mm
LASH RATING: 9/10
Best glossy lashes: L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagene Mascara Black, 6.99
The bushy brush applies plenty of product to the lashes but it doesn’t clog and there’s lots of separation — all for a very reasonable price. According to our measurements, this was the second-best mascara when it came to lengthening and was the winner for creating glossy lashes.
Volume 56.552, length 5.5mm
LASH RATING: 8/10
L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic
Benefit They're Real! Beyond Mascara
L'Oreal Mega Volume Collagene Mascara Black
Best luxury buy: Lancome Hypnose Star, 21
This two-in-one brush has a flat edge on one side to fatten and darken, and a round edge on the other to separate and lengthen. The tapered wand was great for getting into the corners and went on smoothly, offering good volume and some extra length. Comes in a gorgeous black and silver shimmering tube.
Volume 57.916, length 5mm
LASH RATING: 7/10
Best for lengthening: Santhilea London’s 1-2-1 Magnetic lash mascara, 24.99, santhilea.com
This product comes with two tubes. The first contains mascara which you put on as normal, then you apply the second tube which contains strange candyfloss-like fibres that you gently roll down the length of the lash so they stick to the wet mascara.
Then you apply a final layer of mascara to finish off. Lashes are dramatically longer, and you can repeat the process as many times as you like depending on how long you want them.
Gave the longest lashes of all and is a good alternative for people who find false eyelashes too fiddly. However, be warned, it takes a bit of time to apply and the little fibres are prone to flying off and peppering your cheeks.
Volume 58.953, length 5.6mm
LASH RATING: 6/10
Best for bright eyes: Max Factor Eye Brightening Tonal Black Volumising Mascara, 6.99
This mascara contains light-reflecting particles that are meant to brighten the eye area, and it comes in three different shades depending on your eye colour: blueish-grey for blue eyes, dark grey for brown eyes and deep plum for green eyes.
I was sceptical, but it actually worked — my tired blue eyes looked brighter and bluer. It didn’t add much length, but with a couple of coats it built up the volume of the lashes.
Volume 58.552, length 4.8mm
LASH RATING: 5/10
Lancome Hypnose Star
Santhilea London's 1-2-1 Magnetic lash mascara
Max Factor Eye Brightening Tonal Black Volumising Mascara
Best bargain buy: MUA Every Lash, 3, Superdrug
MUA stands for Make Up Academy and is the new bargain brand. I was impressed with this mascara, which went on easily, and defined and lengthened lashes without clumping. Didn’t add much volume, but good value for money for everyday use.
Volume 51.760, length 5.2mm
LASH RATING: 4/10
Best party product: Dainty Doll Mascara and Eyeliner Duo, 17.50, Boots
The short wand made this hard to put on, but with a few coats it created very natural, full-looking lashes. The tube also contains an eyeliner. Good one to have in your handbag.
Volume 54.585, length 5.2 mm
LASH RATING: 3/10
Don’t bother: No 7 Fanomenal Lashes Mascara, 12.95
The star-shaped brush promises to coat from corner to corner while separating and adding volume. But we didn’t find it added much thickness and it added no length, plus the narrow wand made it time-consuming to apply. Wouldn’t recommend.
Volume 56.946, length 4.7 mm
LASH RATING: 2/10
MUA Every lash
Dainty Doll Mascara and Eyeliner duo
No. 7 Fanomenal Lashes
Fashionista:The Double Collection Mascara Exclusive, 8, Superdrug
A two-step mascara — with white lengthening base coat and then a layer of dark mascara to put on top. But it neither lengthened nor added enough volume to make a difference, and the white base coat dimmed the intensity of the black mascara.
Volume 51.923, length 4.9mm
LASH RATING: 1/10