High-Tech Mascaras for Every Look

With clever brushes, bristles and upgraded pigments, these lash enhancers are feats of technical wizardry

By Lauren Kerbel

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara, $29, at Benefit counters

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara, $29, at Benefit counters

THE CURLER: Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

THE PROMISE: Originally developed in Asia to suit the needs of stick-straight lashes, this mascara wand’s unusual bristles aim to replace the need for traditional clamp curlers.

THE TECH: Tiny hooks are placed at different levels around the patent-pending brush to grab and roll every lash. The “curve-setting formula” then constricts around the lash as it dries, enhancing and sealing the shape.

THE TEST-DRIVE: “After watching my lashes magically curl, I tested this on a single strand of hair to make sure I wasn’t going crazy. When I saw it form a ringlet, I was officially impressed.” Lauren Kerbel, Assistant Editor, Cosmetics Magazine

Estée Lauder Little Black Primer,  $27, at Estée Lauder counters

Estée Lauder Little Black Primer, $27, at Estée Lauder counters

THE MULTI-TASKER: Estée Lauder Little Black Primer

THE PROMISE: This three-in-one, black-tinted product vows to plump lashes when used pre-mascara, give subtle definition when worn solo, or form a water-resistant topcoat when applied over mascara.

THE TECH: A combination of polymers and plant waxes thickens as the product dries, creating a flexible coating around lashes. The waxes also prevent the film from becoming brittle, to avert flaking. 

THE TEST-DRIVE: “My usual lash primer is white, which requires meticulous mascara coverage to hide. Not so with this practical black option. And it did give my go-to mascara noticeably more staying power.” —Wing Sze Tang, Editor, Cosmetics Magazine

Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection,  $26, at Sephora and select Shoppers Drug Mart stores

Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection, $26, at Sephora and select Shoppers Drug Mart stores

THE GO-BETWEEN: Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection

THE PROMISE: For those who want midday touch-ups, this lightweight serum is meant to revive dried coats of mascara. It makes lashes pliable again—so more product can be layered on.

THE TECH: The oil-free formula contains copper powder and panthenol to soften old mascara and moisturize lashes. The fibre brush is curved to help grab even teensy hairs.

THE TEST-DRIVE: “I love this serum. It does what it claims to do: revive lashes throughout the day. Plus, the brush design really helps separate and lengthen, too.” Kate Gertner, Associate Style Editor, Chatelaine Magazine

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara,  $13, at drugstores

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara, $13, at drugstores

THE SUPERSIZER: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara

THE PROMISE: The latest generation of the popular Butterfly mascara claims to add up to nine times more volume than the original, as well as more intensity courtesy of darker, velvet-matte “neo-black” pigments.

THE TECH: Like the original Butterfly, the double-winged wand shape hugs the lash line for precise application, while sweeping outer lashes up and out for an eye-opening effect.

THE TEST-DRIVE: “Herein lies the answer to my perpetual mascara plight: something that separates my tangly lashes and plumps them up. The only catch is it can flake if you rub your eyes, so hands off!” —Caitlin Kenny, Associate Beauty Editor, FLARE Magazine

Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch Mascara, $28, at Sephora

Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch Mascara, $28, at Sephora

THE SOFT TOUCH: Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch Mascara

THE PROMISE: Designed to retain its flexibility as it sets, this elastic formula extends lashes with each coat for a fluttery, flake-free fringe.

THE TECH: Locust tree alginate jelly acts as a thickening agent to boost volume without adding heaviness or brittleness. The formula also has silk protein to strengthen and condition lashes.

THE TEST-DRIVE: “This left my lashes long, defined and clump-free. Although I prefer a bolder look for evening, the formula is ideal for everyday wear.” —Ally Dean, Fashion & Beauty Editor, Hello! Canada Magazine


This article was originally published in the Spring 2015 issue of Cosmetics magazine. For more, download our iPad edition.