Mascara Experimentation: Maybelline Volum'Express Colossal Smoky Eyes

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's been too long since you've last seen my droopy eyes up close!

I don't do these posts for all new drugstore mascaras, but I like to keep on top of the new Maybelline ones, since they're the only drugstore mascaras I generally get along with--Big Eyes is currently my favorite (see it here). If you're new to my blog, my eyelashes are long, but incredibly fine and wispy and they point straight down. Before applying mascara I always curl my lashes with my Shu Uemura lash curler, and my primary objective with mascara is to get it to retain the curl, but I also like my made-up lashes thick, dark, feathery and waterproof.

I promise this will be the last Mascara Experimentation post with pictures taken on my outdated digital. I literally just ordered my first DSLR, so hopefully starting next week you'll be seeing much better images on Materialistic Musings!

Before we get all up close and personal with my eyeballs, this new Smoky Eyes mascara is meant to deliver volumized, lush, thick lashes all in a washable formula. This is something of a concern for me, as any time a mascara formula claims to be volumizing, it almost always means a wet formula that piles too much product onto my lashes. On top of that, I'm a waterproof mascara kind of girl, so I admit to having a few reservations going into this. 

You know the drill. Here we are, at an obscenely early hour of the morning, with freshly curled lashes...


No idea why my skin looks so horrendous--it definitely didn't look like that in real life!

One coat of Colossal Smoky Eyes, and...




Eh, it's not terrible. The curl has definitely dropped out some, and my lashes are more spidery and stuck together than how I like them, but all in all it's not awful. Normally, a volumizing mascara immediately goops up my lashes and pulls the curl out straightaway (I'm looking at you, L'Oreal Voluminous!), but this is holding up alright. This is not what comes to mind when I think of sexy, volumized lashes, as it seems like the amount of product that goes on (and I scraped off the wand) makes my lashes stick together. I like a more fanned out, feathery look, but that's admittedly difficult to reconcile with the look of volumized eyelashes. The only potentially "smoky" thing about my eyelashes at this moment is how I kind of have a cat-eye look going on towards the outer corner, but again, that's the result of lashes sticking together. It's definitely not how I prefer my eyelashes to look, but for the type of formula it is and how wispy my lashes are, these are okay results.

I like to check in at the end of the day as well, since the first glance after application can be deceiving. Here we are again, around 11 pm.



Looking a little rough there, eh? The camera had a hard time focusing on my lashes (believe it or not, this was the best of roughly 30+ snaps) because at this point they were pointing straight out, and the lens got confused. The curl has fallen out considerably more than it had right after application, but it didn't come out completely. It might be hard to tell in the picture, but when you look at me dead-on, it doesn't even look like I've curled my lashes. They naturally point straight down, and at this time of night, they were pointing straight out with a bend at the top. This definitely doesn't have enough curl-holding abilities to satisfy me, and the overall slightly spidery and stuck-together look is just not what I want in a mascara. 

I did run a bit of blue eyeliner along my lower lash line, but the darkness you're seeing under my eyes is actually transfer from the "washable" mascara. I'm normally a die-hard waterproof mascara girl because I have tremendously oily skin, so I need that specific formula to prevent under-eye smudging. Lately, though, my skin's been completely out of whack and it's been much more normal/even a little dry(?!) so I haven't experienced that problem nearly as much. I did get smudging with this one as you can tell, but it wasn't too bad, and that darkness is without wiping my under-eye area all day. 


Standard natural bristle wand

Colossal Smoky Eyes will come off with just a bit of water and some rubbing with your fingers, which is actually my problem with it. It's great for lazy makeup-removers, but I like to know that my made-up face can withstand the elements or whatever soppy commercial my day may bring. It hasn't rained here recently, but I did experiment with sprinkling a bit of water at my eyes, and it smudged very quickly. You can always wipe away the smudges, but I find it leaves some grayish color behind which I always feel the need to cover with concealer--who wants gray shadows around their eyes? I appreciate the easy-removal of the "washable" formula, but I don't see why they couldn't make this in a waterproof version as well--especially considering this is for "smoky" or evening makeup, so it probably shouldn't be water-soluble. 

Bottom line: Considering that this is a wet, slightly goopy, volumizing formula, this wasn't as bad as it could have been. It didn't hold the curl in my lashes much, and the resulting appearance of non-clumpy, but stuck-together lashes isn't for me. However, for a volumizing formula--which normally means a train-wreck for my eyelashes--this held up a lot better than most of its kind. But it just doesn't check off any of my mascara requirement boxes, and also doesn't really seem to fit into any category of mascara. It's not really volumizing, not curl-holding, not lengthening--so I suppose its category is thickening washable mascara? It's not for me, but mascara is the most subjective kind of cosmetic there is. This might work well for you if you loathe waterproof formulas and like some (but not a lot of) oomph to your lashes. Wispy lashes like mine can't take much product, so if yours are denser and thicker (jealous!), you may want to give this a go. 

I haven't yet seen Smoky Eyes in my Duane Reade/CVS, but I'm sure this will be hitting the drugstore shelves soon!

Hope you're well!

NOTW will be posted on Saturday!

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