Mascara is definitely my desert island product. If I were to have only one cosmetic for the rest of my life, it would be mascara. Not only do I have sparse, droopy Asian lashes, they are very short too. I definitely got the worst eyelash genes, no doubt about it.
As a result, I am very fond of fiber and "volume" mascaras. Unfortunately, very wet or heavy formulations make my lashes droop, so the formulation has to be just right. I curl my lashes with a Shu Uemura eyelash curler before mascara application, and with a heated eyelash curler afterwards.
I must admit that my top mascaras are all Japanese, but I also have some European brands (and Tom Ford) that I'm quite fond of. More on those later.
My personal favorites, from left to right:
- RMK Separate Curl Mascara: It does everything, and holds a curl like it claims. My No. 1 Japanese department store mascara which is available from Amazon for $24.99. Waterproof.
- Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Fatal Blacks WP: This lengthens my lashes dramatically, but you must follow up with a heated eyelash curler. Available on Amazon for $33.04. Amazon is actually cheaper than a Japanese department store, where this mascara retails for over $50.
- Dolly Wink Volume Mascara: Another fiber -based Japanese Mascara, which does a brilliant job of thickening your lashes. Sometimes I layer this on top of another mascara. $22.74 at Amazon.
- Majolica Majorca Gorgeous Wing: Another classic, with a brush applicator rather than a comb. Gives you long, swoopy lashes. $18.99 at Amazon.
- Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus: This is probably the best known Majo Majo mascara. This comes with the comb applicator which is a bit fiddly, but delivers definition and length. $24.00 at Amazon.
Two more excellent, fiber-based Japanese Mascaras: Majolica Majorca Lash King and Fiberwig Extra Long Mascara. I bought these in Tokyo, but you can purchase them at Amazon. Lash King is $22.99 at Amazon and Fiberwig Extra Long is $19.88, also at Amazon. There will be differences between the Japanese and U.S. packaging, but it's the same product.
My favorite drug store mascaras are all by L'Oreal. I love the Volume (called Voluminous in the US) Million Lashes in regular, waterproof and extra black; and Lash Architect 4D (a European product) which is a fiber type mascara. All do the job, at an excellent price.
Three more favorites: Tom Ford - great for length and precise definition; Make Up Forever Smoky Lash, for that sooty-eyed look; and YSL Shocking Mascara in No. 3, an eye-popping violet.
As far as European department store brands go, I like Lancome mascaras. I have Hypnose drama, a volume-type mascara, in a purple shade that was only offered in Europe. I recently picked up the Alber Elbaz limited edition versions of Hypnose Star and Hypnose Doll Lashes. Star is a volumizing mascara, and Doll Lashes give you spidery, defined lashes.
I hope you enjoyed my little mascara tour.