Sunday, May 21, 2006

Mascara Review: Sonia Kashuk’s Lashify Mascara

Graphic by Katie at Scentzilla!

When I was at Target the other day, after I put back the Almay One Coat mascara and traded it for Neutrogena’s Weightless Volume, I decided I would also put back the Maybelline Full & Soft (another old favorite) I was going to review and get something else, something new that I hadn’t tried. After walking around a bit and looking at the standard stuff, I remembered the Sonia Kashuk line. I have a couple of her eye shadow palettes, and I’ve been impressed with the quality. She has a great shadow base for no creasing, and the colors are lovely. Her Sweet Nothings palette has soft shimmery highlighters that are great for summer, with other shadows or on their own.

But I am not here to review eye shadow, so on with the show. Sonia Kashuk offers several versions of her Lashify mascara: black and brown, in regular and waterproof formulas. The black comes with either a lash comb or a matching eyeliner in the lid; the brown comes with a lash comb only (or at least, I couldn’t find one with a liner, and I didn’t see a tag indicating one existed). I nabbed the black with the lash comb; I have plenty of black eyeliner at home. Of course, I also have a lash comb, so…I’m not sure about the benefit of offering either. It’s a little gimmicky, but for travel, I suppose either one could come in handy.

One thing I liked about this mascara was the minimal packaging. I hate those stiff plastic things a lot of drugstore mascaras come in--if you aren’t careful, you are bound to cut off a finger trying to get the thing open. And while I love some of the pretty packaging other companies have, I feel guilty throwing away the boxes. The Sonia Kashuk mascara tube was wrapped in cellophane only. One quick pull, and you’re in. Not much to throw away, either.

The “tube” is square, but not difficult to hold as I apply the mascara. The brush is a nice marriage between the brushes on the last two mascaras I reviewed: about an inch long and tapered at the end, the bristles are more separate and spiral down the brush like they do on the Bobbi Brown wand, but these bristles are fuller, like the Neutrogena wand. The mascara seemed to collect a bit between layers, but a quick swipe of tissue removed the excess.

I decided to try two coats, like I did with the Neutrogena. I followed the routine: comb, curl, comb again, apply mascara one eye at a time (thanks Neutrogena!). The first coat went on beautifully. I didn’t even need to comb. I went about my business for a few minutes, and then I went back in for a second coat.

This is where things got ugly. On the second coat, my lashes started to clump together. I had waited about three minutes between coats--possibly not enough time? In the middle of the left eye (cliquey, mean girl lashes), it looked like I had glued on one giant false eyelash. Down at the end, on the outside, it looked as though I had applied the mascara and then stuck my finger in there and rubbed my eye. Even on my right eye, my pretty, well-behaved lashes started to stick together. Combing only made things worse.

And so I had to resort to the oldest trick in the book: the safety pin. I know, I know. You’ll poke your eye out! Not to worry, folks. I am a professional accupuncturist. (Lie.)

I used the safety pin to straighten out the muddled mess (To be clear, you understand I’m using the pin part, right? Not the little hook part. Ahem.) and separate everybody, get them back in order. I waited a minute or so, and then I combed my lashes one final time.

And I was astounded. First, the back of this mascara is one of the prettiest blacks I have seen. My lashes looked neither sooty nor spidery. They were long, long. I don’t think they were volumized or thickened, necessarily. (Oh, another aside. No packaging means nothing to write any claims on: “Thickens! Lengthens! Makes you thinner!” There was a little sign posted at Target, but I didn’t write down what it said, because I thought I could look it up on the Internet, but the mascara is for sale in stores only…hence, no claims here and no graphic, either!)

But they sort of fanned out. They really popped, and my eyes looked great. I would say they were on the dramatic end of natural, but not moving into Va-Va-Va-Voom! territory. AND (drum roll please): My lashes held their curl. Now how often does that happen? I also had no flaking, and even after all the trouble, my lashes did not migrate back to their usual wonky positions. I experienced the tiniest bit of smudging by evening (nothing like with the Bobbi Brown), but to be fair, my allergies had kicked in, so it was to be expected since I wasn’t wearing the waterproof version.

This mascara came off very easily, only one cotton ball and my Neutrogena remover.

It’s a tough call. I found this mascara difficult to apply, but the look of it was so great, it almost makes up for it. And, of course, user error was probably part of the problem. Between my nutty lashes and the fact that I may have not waited long enough (or too long?) to apply the second coat…well…You may have better luck with it than I did, if you’re an expert, with normal lashes! At $8 a tube for really pretty lashes, I say give it a shot.

Product Rating: 9 (It’s all about looks with me. *sigh*)