M: I don’t know what it is about magazine freebies, E.
E: Flip flops. Endless canvas totes.
M: Body cream you will never use.
E: Crap sunglasses. I’d rather they stuck a pound coin to the cover. “Here, buy yourself something nice. Like a Kitkat.”
M: Yes. Or a nice pack of generic ibuprofen, perhaps. SOMETHING USEFUL. So I was pretty excited when I saw this month’s gift with purchase (GWP) in Elle.
M: It will be of no interest to you, I fear. It is Mascara.
E: Oh, pff. They did that here with Belgian Elle. It was Chanel. I felt cheated of my GWP.
M: This is from Benefit. How do we feel about Benefit, E?
E: We are ambivalent. We own three half finished Benetints.
M: At first I thought their packaging was nice, their products intriguing. Then I started working right next to one of their London boutiques. They will. Not. Stop. Harrassing. People. About. their. EYEBROWS.
E: Ha, my friend Valerie swears by the Benefit brow bar and she is a proper beauty person.
M: It’s like some sort of weird eyebrow perversion. If you even glance in their direction, they will pounce upon you clad in those weird striped benetint aprons (what are you – BUTCHERS?), tweezers in hand.
E: They are brow fiends, feasting on stray brows.
M: Anyway, this mascara is “amusingly” called They’re Real! Please to be noting the annoying exclamation point.
E: I am singularly unamused by these jokey product names. SOAP AND GLORY, I AM LOOKING AT YOU.
M: Oh yes, Benetint and Soap and Glory clearly went to the same boarding school of perky cheeky hilariousness.
E: Playing lacrosse. Bliss was Head Girl.
M: Unscrew “They’re real”, though, and you’ll find a rather sinister little brush, like a mediaeval mace, but shrunken.
E: Ha. Is it full sized, this mascara?
M: No, it is pint sized.
E: “Shrunken medieval mace wand” Make a joy ad of that, Benetint.
M: It’s basically the mascara equivalent of one of those Lord of the Rings dwarves getting ready for battle.
E: Your nerd reference is lost on me, but no matter. How is the mascara itself?
M: It is good. Rich, glossy, dark. Defines your lashes well. The mace does a good job of separating them.
M: It starts smudging half way through the day. Panda eyes, E. THE PANDA EYES OF DOOM.
E: Poor show, Benedwarves.
M: Poor show indeed.
E: Would you buy it with your actual money? I’m guessing that’s a no.
M: No. I need my mascara to stay where it’s put. Mace or no mace.
E: Ok M. I’m quite excited. Are you going to take me on a voyage of discovery to the land of … Mascara? Alittle known Balkan state.
M: Get your facts right. It’s an Island in the Maldives.
E: Oh yes, sorry. Owned by the Pope who is himself partial to the fruits of the mascara tree.
M: To be completely honest, I must admit I am Not That Bothered With Mascara (NTBM). I’ll use whatever is at hand.
E: NTBM. Like NTM but more polite.
M: Nique Ton Mascara. That’s gross, E.
E: Ouais, grave. Ok, come on, tell me more about the Island of Mascara.
M: Also, I can’t use eyelash curlers. They give me the fucking creeps. You might as well try to lawnmow my face.
E: They look like something from Clockwork Orange.
M: The result would be the same: hyperventilation. Blacking out. Manic screaming.
E: A normal Monday chez Facegoop.
M: So, this is my technique for mascar. Start with a naked eye.
M: Find a mascara tube that isn’t 3 years old.
E: Good start. Conjunctivitis is never a good look.
M: Dab it on, apprehensively. Usually get some right in my eye. Cry a bit. Curse. Then push the lashes up, while they’re still wet, so they curl up a little. The end.
E: So. None of this crazy shit oscillating brush business for you? Vibrations?
Infrared? Small pixies creeping out of the tube to stroke your lashes?
M: No. I mean, if someone wants to give me one, I’ll use it. I’ll even be polite to the pixies. AS LONG AS THEY DON’T STROKE MY EYEBALLS.
E: Ew. You’d be fully entitled to kick the little fuckers in their tiny pixie nuts if they did that.
M: But really, I demand two things out of a mascara:
1. Do not give me panda eyes. I mean, really. If I wanted panda eyes, I’d be eating bamboo.
2. Get the fuck off my lashes when I tell you to, mascara. None of this staying around for a “night cap” business.
E: We do not want to see your etchings. Or hear about how you and your wife ‘live separate lives’.
M: And we definitely don’t want to see you “tasteful nudes”. With that in mind. Here are the 4 mascaras I found in my pile of crap cosmetic drawer.
Definie-a-lash in Black Waterproof
No clumps, separated, seriously long lashes
Recommended by my sister, the actress slash moddle. Perfectly long, fluttery, defined lashes on her. Unfortunately I made the mistake of buying the waterproof version. Gives quite stiff, crispy lashes, and is impossible to remove – no amount of eye make up remover, oil cleanser, soaking, wiping, scraping or praying to the gods will prevent next day panda eyes.
It’s good stuff. But stay away from the waterproof.
E says: You look pretty good, but it’s not science fiction uber lashes, is it? Whatevs.
Define-a-lash mascara, £7.99
No7 Intense Volume in 02 Brown/Black
Fantastic volume with perfect separation and curl for lusher lashes
Not sure why I bought this. Probably a £5offno7 voucher.
Nondescript. Lashes look natural. Bit pointless really.
E says: This is RUBBISH. Throw it away. The end.
No.7 Intense volume mascara, £11
Great Lash Blackest Black mascara
Lash building brush helps build even the tiniest lashes for a cleaner, more separated lash finish.
I used this when I was a teenager. That and those giant glue sticks of Palmer’s Cocoa butter balm we used to rub on our lips obsessively. Good times.
It’s actually very good, the brush is quite small and does tackle even the tiniest lashes. I seem to remember this melting onto my face pretty fast though, which is probably why I haven’t used it in ages.
E says: Yeah, this looks very good. The name is like a Whitney Houston song though. The Greatest Lash of All.
Great Lash blackest black mascara, £4.99
Topshop mascara in Raven
Super volumising mascara for false lash effect dramatically thicker and fuller lashes.
As recommended by the Topshop makeup artiste. The brush is chunky and always loaded with lots of gloopy product. I usually get some around my lids. It’s very clumpy too so I have to use my fingers to get the worst of it off.
In spite of its rebellious teenager behaviour, I like it for its high impact, and have been using it daily. It lasts until the evening with no smudging or melting. It gets to the lash roots like no mascara I’ve ever tried, but it’s not so good on the small outer corners.
E says: I don’t understand why you like something that gloops on you, but whatever, dude. This looks like Old Skool mascara to me, like quite heavy in a sultry temptress kind of way. Looks kind of lengthening. Does that even make sense? Urgh, my head hurts.
Topshop mascara, £8
Bonus! Armani Eyes to Kill in 01
Dress the eye with powerful, plush, voluminous lashes.
I don’t actually own this, but the gentle lovely FACE DESIGNER at Armani made me try it. I have no idea how she put it on, because my eyes were closed during the application. She could have told me, but she probably would have had to kill me.
Go away. My lash extensions and I have some fluttering to do.
E says: See, when I see you wearing this, I wonder why you bother with the others. This is KING MASCARA. King Mascara of Lizardland. BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP HIM.
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara, £23
Before M heads to the Armani counter like a crack addict, any preference, facegoopists?