(Julia Ewan - The Washington Post)
  Enlarge Photo     Buy Photo
Sunday, November 2, 2008


As a fairly uncoordinated person, I found that applying mascara with a vibrating brush incited nightmares of looking like a walking Jackson Pollock painting. Estee Lauder's TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara, touted as having the world's first self-powered brush, claimed to be the ultimate lash booster: lengthening, adding volume, curling and separating all at once. But my stick-straight lashes had heard those promises before, and I usually wound up with clumps or raccoon eyes by the end of the day.

It took some time to get accustomed to the incessant buzz of the wand's motor, which sounded like a fly circling my head. But after a week, my doubts had disappeared, and my lashes were curlier and thicker. In the end, I'm not sure what I love more about this mascara: its clump-free formula or the vibrating brush. But no matter, I have bigger worries, such as keeping up with these new va-va-voom lashes.

-- Kathleen Hom

$30 at Saks Fifth Avenue stores and http://www.esteelauder.com.


My makeup routine has seven (yes, seven) mascaras in rotation. They're all different formulas and shades, of course: volume-enhancing, lengthening, soft black, jet black. I even have three varieties of Benefit's BadGal mascara. But the real way to my heart (er, lashes) is through the brush. I like my lashes full and lush, and a thin, wimpy-bristled brush just won't do.

So when I heard that Givenchy had reimagined the traditional brush with a shape seemingly inspired by a medieval mace, I was immediately intrigued. And I really wanted to love it. Indeed, the brush gets an A-plus: Its spherical tip is easy to maneuver into the very corners of the lash lines, and the spikes, while somewhat intimidating, excel at grasping each and every lash. But sadly, this is one instance when the formula fails. The watery solution smudged quickly and clumped my lashes into spidery spokes.

Good thing I still have seven other options.

-- Michelle Thomas

$27 at Sephora stores

and http://www.sephora.com.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company