Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fall (mascara) has arrived!

I love this time of year!  Just when the dog days of summer are beginning, the beauty industry gives us a little bit of relief by anticipating fall.  Summer sales are ending and fall catalogs and shipments are arriving!  I love fall beauty for all of the richer textures and colors.

This week I had the good fortune of getting to try out two new mascaras that are being introduced this fall: Tarte's Lash Hugger and Fresh's Firebird.  

Firebird (in the blue tube shown above), is Fresh's answer to those clients for whom Supernova is too dramatic.  The press release for Firebird states that "Firebird mascara creates stunningly full, flirty, fluffy lashes for an alluring, feathery look.  Its uniquely shaped brush and ultra black formula delivers the gorgeous and lush feathered look of the 1970s.  In just one stroke of the wand, lashes are instantly curled and voluminous.  It's truly magical!  Plus, the ultra-nourishing formula includes restorative sea buckthorn oil and fortifying panthenol (vitamin B5) to help condition and strengthen each lash.  Supernova Mascara creates a dark, dramatic diva lash and Firebird Mascara delivers a full, flirty, fluffy lash."

You can see Firebird below on the right hand eye (my left eye; the one you see to the right).  It is a very lightweight mascara that is impossible to clump--I couldn't clump it if I tried! (and I did, with multiple coats).  The brush did an excellent job of separating my lashes into a feathery fan, which surprised me given that the brush's bristles are not that densely packed together.  I think that the finished effect is a nice combination of natural and dramatic; I'm not totally convinced that I like this better than my Tarte Lights Camera Lashes, which to date is my HG (holy grail) mascara, but it has potential.  The look is very demure, refined, and perfectly polished.  I would wear this to a job interview.  And I LOOOVE the tube!  It's so gorgeous!  Just the tube alone makes me want to pull this one out of my makeup bag.

You can check out Lash Hugger in the pictures below on the eye you see at left (my right eye).  The launch of this product reflects the Tarte brand's overall initiative to become increasingly more of a natural brand; in keeping with that effort, this mascara features no parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, propylene glycol, sulfates, synthetic dyes, and fragrances.  It's also eco-friendly; the tube is made of recycled aluminum, which prevents the clear cutting of trees which are used to produce bauxite ore, a component of aluminum.  It has a chubby, rounded brush not unlike the Smashbox Bionic Mascara brush, and the juice is a thick and rich black.  It was easier to create drama with this mascara; while the Fresh took multiple coats, just one coat of the Lash Hugger gave me drama.  The only drawback was that a little of this blinked off my lower lashes onto my under eye area immediately following application, a problem I didn't have with the Fresh.  Still, I would reach for this mascara again if I was going for a dramatic eye look or smokey eye because it has the potential to build upon itself and create more volume (for intentional clumping).  

I will update this post later today once I've seen how these mascaras wear over time!  Overall, based on the photos below, I'd say that the Fresh Firebird (seen at right) is the clear winner.  It's beautiful!  But if I was obsessed with natural products or going paraben-free, I think that the Tarte makes a great second choice.

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