Mascara's having a moment

She’s the most popular item in everyone’s makeup kit, and little miss mascara is back on our radar once again. Here are the new magic wands to fall in love with

A few months ago I met Victoria Beckham in the decadent Claridges Hotel, where she presented her latest makeup collection in collaboration Estee Lauder. “It’s been a long time coming, but finally I’ve made my dream mascara,” she said. The room practically ‘ooooh-ed’ in unison, as all the journalists followed the glossy wand being waved in front of us like a gleaming jewel, our heads swaying like hypnotised snakes. Of all the delicious goodies she showed us that day, this was the one I wanted to get my hands on. Mascara is the most seminal, transformative and joyous of all the makeup products, transcending trends and always pepping you up even on the most sleepless of mornings. And if the woman who is photographed and scrutinised daily has found her ‘dream’ one, you can bet it’s going to be stunning in every way. So why the wait VB? It’s because every few years there are leaps forward in textures and applicator technology (remember the flurry of vibrating wands?!), and right now is one of them. Several brands are launching incredible new ones this season, but this time it’s not just about gimmicks; there are modern silky formulas and long-lasting gels with cleverly designed tubes that keep your mascara fresh and clump-free until the very last swoop. Here are the hottest new ones to seek out, slick on and send your lashes to sexy new heights.


MAC Bold & Bad Lash Mascara in Black
This multi-tasking mascara might sound extreme, but it’s cleverly designed to offer a variety of looks from a very subtle flutter to XXL megalashes akin to a strip of fakes. That’s down to two things: first, the traditional bristle brush delivers a thickening formula that can be built up easily without getting stuck together, providing low to high coverage looks. Secondly, a clever little extra: a tiny, skinny little lower lash brush in a chamber all on its own built into the main wand vessel, with it’s own thinner formula for perfectly lacquered lower lashes and zero flecks or clumps.


L’Oreal Paris Paradise Extatic Mascara
Often a mascara takes a few layers to build up punchy colour; but with its rich, caster oil-infused gel this one gets to it instantly, making it a dream to swipe-and-go. The wand is complete pleasure to use, as its traditional bristles are ultra soft and flexible and just the right length to dig right into the roots yet avoid dotting mascara onto your eyelids. The end result is far superior to most other mascaras within this price bracket, as they’re left beautifully separated, feather-soft to the touch, clump free and thick enough to look ‘done’ - but not alarmingly so.


Givenchy Noir Interdit Lash Extension Mascara in Deep Black
Ok we lied; this one involves a tiny gimmick but it’s brilliant nevertheless. As you pull out the wand from the tube, you’ll see a pivot point so that you can bend the wand backwards to create a 90-degree L-shaped angle. It means that when you apply the mascara, you get a good strong vertical push from below (rather than the side) deep into your lash roots. The dome-shaped plastic bristle head delivers a fantastic dose of ultra-black tint to the start of each lash, so once you’ve finished your second coat your lash line is so intense it looks like you’ve applied liquid eyeliner. The formula contains lash-enhancing black rose oil and fortifying vitamins, and gives them a flattering volume boost and stretch thanks to thickening and lengthening fibres.


Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder Eye Ink Mascara in Blackest
Having sat in the makeup chair for over two decades, Victoria Beckham has had her lashes sculpted, tinted, extended and lacquered by every top artist in the land, so she knows instinctively what tools and textures deliver the prettiest lashes imaginable. This labour-of-mascara-love was inspired by a painting technique she experienced on set in Asia, and individually coats the hairs in a tube of microfibres for a clump-free, silky smooth effect. As it dries, it lifts, lengthens and thickens, and stays put for almost 15 smudge-resistant hours. The surprisingly short bristles ensure even those tiny, close-to-root lashes are coated too. It’s removed with water and can be applied over lash extensions.


NARS The Audacious Mascara in Black Moon
Confident mascara users will love this wow-factor brush, as its plastic bristles are insanely long and sharp and could scare the life out of a nervous newbie. It’s crafted with over 200 spikes and hooks, ensuring each lash is separated and coated evenly and smoothly. Keep it simple with just two coats for a daytime look, or go nuts with several layers and watch your lashes radiate with each swipe. The lightweight, thin formula gives a soft Bambie-esque touch to the hairs too, and do check out the new Autumn shades launching soon, including a gorgeous rich navy and intense violet.


   Alice du Parcq

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