FACE Stockholm - first stop on the mascara quest
Well this is rather anti-climactic. I've spent a lifetime searching for a mascara that I'm happy with, with no luck. I've tried them all, high and low, big and small, and anything I can just about stand gets discontinued as soon as I find it. Consistently, like it's a conspiracy. So I thought I would chronicle my harrowing and danger-fraught quest as I waded through dozens, nay hundreds, of mascaras, in search of the holy grail of feathery separation.
These are the very first I've tried for my long and painful journey to perfect lashes - newly released products that FACE Stockholm graciously sent me to try. And they're wonderfully good. It all just seems a bit too easy, and now what am I going to write about?
FACE Stockholm's Lash Lift has a very narrow brush with extremely short bristles - not a dreaded comb, but it still is a bit fiddly to use - you can't just swipe it on quickly, you have to pay attention. HOWEVER - when you do it correctly, and take your time, the results are fantastic. Incredibly long, shiny, separated lashes - a very doll-like effect. The formula is quite liquidy, which is what I like, so you may need to wipe the brush a few times until you get the hang of it. And I will say I tend to get a lot of the mascara on my upper waterline when I apply it, because the bristles are very short - I don't mind this because I line my waterline most of the time anyway, and the formula is non-irritating. I end up looking like I'm wearing a bit of eyeliner, which is fine. God knows I can use any extra sprucing up I can manage lately. One would assume that Luxe Lash would be more high impact of the two - but not so! The lifting version is the more dramatic - this is actually best for easy, soft lashes - it has a fat brush with a similar formula that coats lashes nicely with minimal clumping, and looks more natural and soft. It does start to flake on me a bit by the end of the day, but I think that 8 - 10 hours is plenty of wear, and I'm just so relieved to have a mascara in my bag that I don't loathe, I'm not going to ruin it by being overly picky.
Lastly, we have the Lash Thickener. I am not a fan of layering mascara over top of glumpy thickening formulas, that end up making a mess and wasting my time. So I left this until last to try. Well, that will teach me to be close-minded. This goes on wonderfully smooth, and I let it dry for about a minute before I apply the Luxe Lash over top - it just pumps up the volume a bit without any "glumping" as I so delicately put it, and it really does seem to make my lashes softer and healthier feeling. It's lovely, basically, and totally worth the extra time and effort - about 10 seconds, in fairness. And I love the packaging design on this one, it looks like lucite, very Art Deco.
I'm very happy with both of these mascaras, and unless I find something else that's really remarkable, they're my new favorites, and I'll definitely repurchase. The cons are that they're pricey - $32 for each mascara, $28 for the primer - however they're on par with the high end formulas like YSL and Dior, and for me, perform better. I've been using one or the other for several weeks now, and my lashes are much softer and healthier than before, so there is definitely a conditioning effect. Neither formula holds a curl particularly well - this is the toss up you get with the softer, smoother consistency - I prefer that, but if curl is very important to you, these might not be the best choice. What I really love? None of these leave those horrible, stringy black bits inside your eyeball. Don't pretend you don't know what I mean. They both wash off easily and gently with a cream cleanser, and no unpleasant bits left behind.
I don't know how I'd never tried FACE Stockholm before - I love the look of their sleek, minimalist products and professionals rave about their high quality formulas - plus I love that they're an independent company, and cruelty-free. The only suggestion I have for them? Give the products made-up, Ikea-style names that sound ridiculous when you read them in a silly accent - like Ekstörpp lipgloss and Grunnvark eyeliner. Though that's not mandatory, I'd just really enjoy it.
Do you have your ultimate mascara, or are you still looking? Any recommendations for which I should try next? Any to avoid like the plague?
(all products were PR samples)