Konglish Beauty

Review: Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus mascara

Posted in Japanese brands, Majolica Majorca, mascara, review by konglishbeauty on May 21, 2010

I was lucky enough to spend some time in Japan earlier this year (first time!) and whilst I was too busy to really do much shopping, I did manage to sneak into a Japanese drugstore and pickup some of the famed Japanese drugstore make-up products. I love exploring Asian make-up brands because ideas of beauty and beauty ideals are different between countries and this means that I see real new innovations and gadgets I haven’t come across before. In Korea and Japan, you’ll be hard pressed to find bronzers, fake tan or undereye concealers which you get in the West. What you will find are a vast superior range of sunscreens, BB creams, fiber mascaras and variety of baked mineralized eyeshadows and blushers that MAC can only dream of.

Majolica Majorca and Kate are the most popular of the Japanese drugstore brands and so I did a quick swoop of the aisles and grabbed a few things. I literally only had about 10 minutes to do my shop. Luckily being an avid reader of Musings of a Muse and Lotus Palace, I was able to hone in on a few things I’d been interested in trying.

I bought two MJ (as Majolica Majorca is popularly refered to) mascaras, the Lash Expander Frame Plus and Lash Enamel Glamour Neo. The Lash Enamel Glamour Neo is supposed to on its way out, to be replaced with a new version which is a damn shame as it’s a fine fine mascara and all reports suggest the new one is significantly and unsatisfactorily different.

I tried out the Lash Expander Frame Plus for a month giving it a good run every day. The main things about this mascara are that it’s a fiber mascara, it’s got a comb applicator and it’s very very tenacious.

If you peer carefully at my close-up of the comb applicator you might be able to see the fibers sticking out. The formula isn’t overly stuffed with fibers and as such I didn’t find wearing it irritating or uncomfortable. I would still advise caution if you’re a contact lens wearer but compared to MAC’s Fiber Rich mascara which I couldn’t stand, it’s completely wearable.

My favourite thing about this formula is that it’s a lovely intense black with a beautiful glossy finish. Even one light coat adds significant definition to the eyes purely from its depth of pigment. I also like the comb applicator particularly with the fibers in the formula as it means you can comb through, separate any stuck together lashes, remove clumps and also line up the fibers clinging to your lashes so they aren’t stuck at odd angles.

However I have no love for this mascara due to the quick drying formula. It’s so fast that I barely had time to comb through the lashes before it set hard and woe betide my lashes which happen to be lying in an undesireable position as it dries. Once dry, the finish on lashes is stiff and rigid so that’s that until you remove the mascara. If you dawdle for even one minute, getting a lash comb out of a make-up bag, you’re done for. It also means I couldn’t apply more than one or two light coats. Normally I like to load my lashes up but there was no option to do that here.

This mascara is definitely a lengthening not thickening mascara. I got next to no thickening with this so I turned to a different mascara for evening or bright eyeshadow looks. Unfortunately due to the stiff nature of the formula, layering with another formula was no go for me as everything formed a stuck together mess.

Removal of this baby is hardcore. I’m a cleansing oil user (Holy Grail: DHC) so most long-wear make-up doesn’t phase me but this mascara tested even my patience. Usually one step with the cleansing oil gets most make-up off but I had to get out a dual phase eye make-up remover to use on my eyes prior to using cleansing oil to get everything off. Even then occasionally I could feel bits of mascara still clinging on to my lashes. The Lash Enamel Glamour Neo is the same deal and I think MJ must employ car paint polymers in their mascaras or something to get them so shiny and so durable.

+ points:

  • Holds a curl well. I had no need for my usual HG Shiseido Mascara base with this.
  • Very black  pigment
  • No smudging, smearing or flaking whatsoever. It looked pristine at the end of the day.
  • Great comb applicator (which I’ve saved and rinsed to use with other products).
  • Shiny glossy finish to lashes.
  • No clump smooth formula.

– points:

  • No playtime whatsoever so very unforgiving in application.
  • Lack of playtime can lead to stuck together lashes.
  • No chance to layer with another product.
  • Leaves lashes stiff.
  • No thickening at all
  • A complete pain in the ass to remove.

Overall rating: 2 out of 5. I’d skip this and try the Lash Enamel Glamour Neo if you can get your hands on it.

Final note: am I the only person who thinks the name “Majolica Majorca” is a strange strange name????

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