Wand Magic

15th November 2008

Mary Linehan looks at innovations in mascara

Question: What’s battery powered with 7,000 vibrations per minute? You might guess toothbrush, or hedge trimmer, but it seems that the term ‘power tools’ refers not to an aisle in B&Q, but to Lancôme’s latest multi-patented mascara technology. Designed to give a 360° coating to each individual lash from root to tip, Lancôme Ôscillation apparently reaches those lashes that other mascaras can’t – ie the short and curly ones – with a controlled application. You use it much like an electric toothbrush, activating the oscillation, or vibration, by pressing and holding the applicator with your thumb, and brush on as you would normal mascara.

Lancôme itself has patented the superfine formulation for Ôscillation which allows for even coverage, separating and lengthening without any clumping. Sadly, at the time of writing, I was unable to actually road test the product, so I can’t report on its performance, but Lancôme mascaras are generally excellent, so if the idea of using the first ‘powermascara’appeals, it’s got to be worth checking out.

Not to be left behind in mascara innovation, Givenchy has been busy at work, too. Nicolas Degennes, Givenchy’s Artistic Director comments, “Our vision of mascaras has changed. Today we strive to get that perfect eyeliner effect. I often notice that lashes are only partially made up, at the tip, or in the middle, which obviously doesn’t give the eyes the same impact.”

Cue Phenomen’Eyes Mascara, with a wand that looks more like a chimney sweep’s brush so that you can apply mascara horizontally, vertically, or even on a slant. Again, the claim is that this new wand technology means you can fully coat each individual lash, for an impression of extra length and thickness.

Givenchy’s formulation is based on water, which evaporates to leave a polymer that builds a dense, structured network on the lashes creating a curl. It also contains D-Penthenol to fortify the lashes for extra volume. Phenomen’Eyes comes in two shades – Phenomen’Brown and Phenomen’Black, also formulated with Carbon Black, a finer, more concentrated pigment for extra impact.

It’s good to know that technology is not confined to the luxury brands. Colour cosmetics superbrand, Revlon has created the 3D Extreme™ Mascara and even named its new wand Bold Impact™ Brush. This is a 3-step application to lift, ‘amplify’ and separate. And it’s great. You simply use the flat edge to apply the product at the root, then comb through using the brush edge of the applicator, before finally defining and separating each lash using the specially tapered tip. Revlon has developed a patented gel to deliver its intense colour pigments.

Lancôme Ôscillation comes in Black, retails at £28 and is available from chemists and department stores nationwide. Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes is £17.50 and is available nationwide in major department stores and Boots. Revlon 3D Extreme™ Mascara comes in Blackest Black and Black Brown, retails at £8.99 and is available in Boots and other Revlon retailers nationwide.

And, on the subject of lashes, to what lengths would you go…?

Study the small print in the masses of mascara ads and you’ll find they’re wearing lash extensions as well as product.

Cheat: Xtreme Lashes™ (at the top of this column) are semi-permanent eyelash extensions, curved and sized to look as if they are your own. They need to be applied professionally and last for up to 2 months.

Treat: Revitalash™ is a conditioner for thicker, fuller lashes that you apply nightly as you would eyeliner. Desperate Housewives Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross and Will & Grace actress Debra Messing are devotees.

See www.xtremelashes.uk.com for more information on Extreme Lashes™. Call 020 8997 8541 for more information on Revitalash™.

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