Konglish Beauty

Mascara ramble, carbon black pigment and Review: Makeup Forever Smoky Lash Mascara

Posted in mascara, MUFE, review by konglishbeauty on June 11, 2009

After mascara base, comes mascara.

I’m not loyal when it comes to mascara. One tube of mascara lasts 3 months, so I can go through maximum 4 in a year. There are more than 4 new mascaras released every year, all of which I want to test and try so I rarely buy the same mascara twice.

Products I have bought more than once and I can recommend include; Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils- expensive, dries out quickly, tube is big and bulky but for soot black thick lash drama, this does it; MAC Prolash- cheap, clumpy but gives thick punky lashes in quick time, plus the empty tubes count towards “Back to Mac” for a free eyeshadow, lipstick, or lipgloss.

For all my excess, I really hate waste. Unless a mascara is absolute shit I will hold onto it and use it for the full three months. It also means that I don’t like to have too many mascaras on the go as I feel I haven’t got the full use out of them before having to toss them.

For anyone daring to ask why you have to chuck them out after three months, it comes down to hygiene and safety. We all have bacteria living on our lashes and when we apply mascara, some of those bacteria transfer to the wand and back into our tube. Mascara formula usually contains water and so in those wet, dark conditions, bacteria breeds. Yuck. Most formulas do contain preservatives so it’s not as dire as I’m making out. But even so, with mascara, freshness is key. Putting dry old product near your eye where it can flake and fall onto our delicate eye balls, tear ducts and mucous membranes is just silly. Yes, I know our bodies are equipped with great defences and the risk of having to get a corneal transplant from a mascara mishap is low but still, don’t play in traffic, you know? I always wondered if Mad Eye Moody from Harry Potter didn’t have to get his fake eyeball due to a brush with bad mascara. Great mascaras come cheap these days so don’t risk it by trying to save a few bad pennies.

I’ve recently been trying out Makeup Forever’s Smoky Lash mascara. For those in the UK, getting your hands on it might be tricky as Makeup Forever’s not readily stocked in the UK. To my knowledge you’ll have to try P.A.M(Professional Artists of Make-up) which is a small make-up artist stockist near the BBC serving their needs in West London. There’s always eBay and CPs.In Korea it’s readily available and a consistent best selling brand. I used to stock up on brushes and the like when I came here years ago. Before Christmas I bought some HD powder and a synthetic Kabuki brush and was given some small gift with purchases by the lovely make-up artist, which included the Smoky Lash mascara.

I’ve been using the trial size for the last two months and have had a good time with it. It does volumise, it’s very black and gives a matte finish to the lashes, giving depth to the look of your lashes. I suspect MUFE released this mascara to take advantage of the FDA approving carbon black pigments to be eyesafe a couple of years. Do you remember the slew of “Carbon Black”, “Extra black” and “Blacker than black” variations of mascara that all launched a few years ago? That was all from the availability of new black and darker pigments safe for eye use. And you cynical types thought it was all about marketing. Oh ye of little faith.

So MUFE Smoky lash is all about the black. The volumising is good. I get little to no clumps, no problems with flaking or smudging with normal use. There was an unattractive incident when I slept in my make-up with it on, but that was an occasional misdemeanor, I promise. The formula does make the lashes look quite hard and stiff. It’s definitely not a natural look and it you have short stubby lashes I’m not sure if it will work as it might give you the dreaded spider leg look. It’s not the smoothest formula but I’ve been wearing it daily for normal daytime work wear and it’s not been too much.

The brush is the traditional spoolie brush. It’s medium thickness/length, not DiorShow massive wand proportions and the bristles are fairly densely packed which helps to avoid the clumps. I found it very easy to get through to the roots of the lashes with this brush. The bristles are quite stiff so if you have sensitive lash rims or eyelids them be careful; if you poke yourself you’ll definitely feel it.Overall I enjoyed using this mascara. I’m not sure it’s special enough to repurchase at full price but I can recommend it. However if you want other views, Musings of a Muse reviewed the full size version of this mascara. She had a dreadful time with it. Even accounting for personal differences I was puzzled as to the complete difference in our experiences with this product. My only conclusion is that the size had something to do with it. Trial size mascaras are small and I hypothesize that there is less air getting into the tube and so doesn’t dry out as quickly. I was suprised myself that my tube stayed fresh for two months with daily use. Only after 7 weeks did it start to feel extra dry and not much product transfered with application, a sure sign that the mascaras reached its use by date.

Beauty Bitch rating: 4 out of 5.

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