Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Essence All Eyes on Me Multi-Effect Mascara in Soft Black Review and Swatches

I've spoken before of my dislike of mascara, but I've recently found myself wishing I had a cheap, easy mascara for those rare times when I want to do a full eye and look super done-up.  So what's a beauty-addicted blogger to do?  Research and purchase, of course!  My obsession with Essence is still on-going, so I started my research with them.  Imagine my delight when I read positive reviews for their super-cheap $1.99 mascara!  At that price point, I don't even feeling bad knowing most of it will go bad before I get around to using it.  I've worn it some the past few days so I could let you all know if this is the answer to all your unaired mascara prayers, and hark!  Here are my thoughts.
I have naturally long, thick, dark lashes (doesn't quite make up for the fact that my face is an oily cesspool, but it does help!), so I'm not looking for anything dramatic when wearing a mascara.  My goal is natural-looking defined, separated lashes, and if there were cheapo options for it, I would gladly be one of those weirdos who wears clear mascara.  Clumps are a big no-no, and I need something that holds the curl from my beloved eyelash curler, since curl is the one thing my lashes lack.  So how does Essence hold up?

Firstly, the brush: I like it.
Sorry it's out of focus––couldn't get my camera to realize I wanted the brush in focus, not the brush's shadow...
It's not too big, so I don't wind up with mascara all over my eyes (and nose, and face), and the clustering of the bristles makes it really easy to get nicely defined and separated lashes.  The result is very much "my lashes but better" (which could also be abbreviated MLBB, but that already has an accepted meaning! What's a girl to do?!), exactly what I'm going for.  As far as the color goes, I really can't see any difference between this "soft black" and the "blackest black" mascaras I've used in the past, so make of that what you will!  The one drawback is that it loosens the curl of my lashes, but I've found that applying my mascara first thing (after moisturizer, before everything else) and letting it dry until I'm done with everything else, then using my curler, solves the problem.
Uncurled, un-mascara-ed lashes (with Prestige Total Intensity eyeliner in Fierce Blue on upper lashes, review to come)
Uncurled, mascara-ed lashes
Curled, mascara-ed lashes
And here's a picture of my lashes curled without mascara:
I wish I could remember how I got the lighting to be like this without blinding myself...

The other drawback (whoops, I lied) is that it's not waterproof, so if I have an allergic reaction to the trees or break down in tears over the lack of cake in my life, I'll end up with raccoon eyes.  It's a shortcoming I'm willing to put up with, given the infrequency of wear.  Barring waterworks, it wears all day without smudging or flaking, and comes off relatively easily with an oil-based cleanser (or a dedicated eye makeup remover).

$1.99 for 0.27 oz, available at Fred Meyer, Ulta, HEB, and drugstores in Deutschland

Pros: Natural-looking, easy application, no clumping!
Cons: Not waterproof, not dramatic (if you want fake-looking lashes, look elsewhere), doesn't hold curl as well as it could

Quality: 8
Effectiveness: 4.5 (supposed to provide "extra volume and breathtaking length"; I do see the length, but the volume is lacking)
Ease of Use: 5
Senses: 5 (doesn't irritate my eyes)
Pigmentation: 5
Duration: 5
Consistency: 5
Price: 5
Value: 4.5 (0.27 oz is on the lower end of mascara sizes, but since you're supposed to throw your mascara out after ~3 months for sanitation reasons, it's extremely unlikely you'd get through the tube; and since I wear mascara so infrequently, I really appreciate how dirt-cheap this one is)
Grade: A

This is a great, cheap choice for natural-looking lashes.  I will definitely buy again when the time comes!

Do you like natural looking mascara, or more dramatic lashes?  What's your favorite mascara?  Have you tried Essence's?  Comments make lashes long and lush!
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