Tantejoan here! If you were to wake me up in the middle of the night, shine a strong light in my face and demand that I confess the one beauty product I could never do without, I’d probably say mascara. I love my entire arsenal of lip colors, foundations, shadows, blushes and what-have-yous, but the truth is that if I had to limit myself to one of each, I could do it. Give up my wardrobe of mascaras? I break into a cold sweat even thinking about it. My bathroom shelf has a 12-slot Lucite holder dedicated to housing my Wands of Many Colors, and that’s not even all of my collection.
I have blacks. And Extreme Blacks. And browns, which I like next to my blue, blue eyes. And burgundy, which I also like near my blue, blue — well, you get the picture. I have several of those formulas that wrap each lash into little tubes that are supposed to drop off at the mere hint of water. Don’t like ‘em, but I still buy them each time another company comes out with a version in the hope that I will like theirs. I have cake mascara, a true throwback to the days when I used to sit in my eldest sister’s bedroom and watch her spit — that’s right, spit — on her Maybelline cake and work at her lashes with a brush the size of a gnat. When you bear in mind the health advisory that recommends replacing mascaras every three months, you can appreciate that mine is a habit more insidious and expensive than gambling or drugs. In fact, I’m looking for a support group, so I hope that the similarly addicted among you will step forward.
Some of my favorite mascaras are luxurious department store brands, including the two that I pay tribute to on my profile page, Yves St. Laurent and Givenchy, but a recent piece here on the new Maybelline Stilletto (which does not meet my, or in fact many of my sisters’, standards) reminded me of one of my oldest and best drugstore favorites, Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Mascara. It’s been around forever, and at under $8 it’s a real steal. Now, in the first real breakthrough in Max Factor’s take on a winning formulation — their innovations having previously been confined to the shape of the brush — Max has come out with a truly new concept…. well, new for them.
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper Mascara will look familiar to those who have tried Cover Girl’s Lash Blast. Both have big, big plastic brushes and both promise a “big lash look.” While I’m not convinced that a brush the size of a helicopter blade is necessarily an advantage when working on objects as delicate as eyelashes, this Plumper’s brush bristles are significantly shorter than the Cover Girl version. This to me is an advantage, giving the user more control. The patented Fat Wrap Brush is designed to grab every single lash, even the little ones, and the patented Fat Wrap formula works with the Fat Wrap Brush as it wraps around each and every lash for an “extreme, voluptuous effect.” The shorter bristles allow me to get in closer to the base of my lashes and wiggle my way into a truly lush lash. And the web site offers two intriguing hints for getting that Fat effect all the way up: a) blink against the brush, and b) take a piece of card stock or a business card and hold it against your lid, then stroke the product onto your lashes against the card.
This is really hard-core, ladies, but it worked for me, with no clumping or smudging. And while I’m not a fan of waterproof mascara, and so have not tested that, I have been caught in the rain while wearing the standard version, and can testify it did not run.
At $7.99 Cover Girl’s Lash Blast is cheaper, it is true. But at under $11 my money is on Max. And I can buy their two blacks, Extreme Blackout and Black Velvet, and still have change left over from what my department store mascara would cost. I am actually quite pleased to see that my old standby’s new sibling is worthy of taking a place on my shelf. Or it would be if that big, fat barrel would only fit into the Lucite slot! Now if only I could form that 12-step program to help me curb my addiction. With Mascara Anonymous at my back, if I felt the urge to buy yet another tempting wand I could call a friend and be talked down from that precipice. Ah, but with great finds like this to curl and separate, do I really want to get straight?
Who else loves Max Factor mascara’s and and has tried this new formula?