Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Washing away my mascara woes

Mascara is king. It's my one stop beauty product I can't live without. You could take it all away but you would have to leave me with my mazzie. I would not like to be in a world that is without mascara and nor would my eyes or the rest of my make-up because without it, everything just looks wrong.

So you can imagine my utter distress when my eyes started playing funny beggars on me two years ago. I am a contact lens wearer so am prone to dry eyes, but this was worse, much, much worse. My eyes developed blepharitis. A nasty beastie of a condition that is basically dried and blocked tear ducts and eyelash follicles resulting in puffy, scaly red eyes and eyelids,  something like this heinous picture;

Bah- nasty blepharitis
I went through a few months of sheer distress and a process of trial and error eliminating eye products to try and relieve the condition. The very last trial I did was mascara, because I did not want to know the answer. Turns out its not so much the mascara but the removal of mascara that flares me up, even with the gentlest most sensitive removers. Bummer Maximus.

What the hell was I supposed to do now?

Then like a port in the storm I got wind of wash off mascaras. A nifty invention that seemed newish to the market, whereby they use polymers and waxes and the like in the formula so it forms a tube-like seal around each lash. These seals then dissolve on contact with warm water and effortlessly wash away down the sink like magic. No rubbing, smudging or panda eyes involved. I gave it a go, I would have given anything a  go back then.

By George it worked. The mascara wasn't the issue at all. It was in fact something to do with the rubbing    and dissolving of my mascara. Two years on I am blepharitis free, but if I do stray back to a standard mascara, it creeps back in no time. That does however make me quite informed on the subject of washable mascaras so I feel I must share.

Now please bear in mind I was trying to replace my ideal mascara, which would float between YSL Le Faux Cils, DiorShow and L'Oreal Double Extend so my bar was set high. Very, very high.

Here are my findings.

Mirenesse 24 HR Secret Weapon Ranks 4th out of 4
  • It is very long lasting and your lashes stay a little flexible which is nice for a change
  • You really see the tubes come off your eyes and down the sink
  • It comes in a variety of brush heads and formulas to suit your lash wishes
  • Dries out very quickly, they suggest thinning with some sterile warm water which works but not for long
  • Some flaking particularly if you have clumped it. It takes a while to set so you are prone to clumping by brushing off it when not fully dry
  • It separated and gave length but didn't give the thickness I was used to
  • Quite a watery formula, takes some getting used to applying
  • You can't reapply a layer later on the formulas juss clumps if you do
Shiseido - The Mascara  Ranks 3rd out of 4

  • Shiseido make great mascaras and the thickness of the brush sent me into excitement overdrive
  • It really does amp up your lashes, thickness, depth of colour, length. I was quite amazed by the results
  •  I was quite saddened by this con as the results were so so good but its an absolute nightmare to get off. It really doesn't dissolve like the others, making me need to rub . It would take me another attempt the next morning at which stage my eyes felt really dry and like they may just slip back into blephy-yuckness again
Clinque Lash Power Ranks a close 2nd out of 4

  • Smaller brush than what I am used to but actaully I got used to it and it gives great, buildable separation and length, and you can get right in there to the corner lashes and bottom ones.
  • Quite dense pigment
  • Holy budgeproof. It takes at least 15 seconds of holding warm water to the eyes to get this baby to slip. Great for holidays, gym, hot yoga etc
  • Formula lasted in the tube for months
  • You really need to get the water warm enough and held against the eye (either by cupping in your hand or I use a face washer)
  • Still didn't get the really good volume I was after. I did have great length though
MAC Opulash
Ranks 1st out of 4
The winner!! MAC Opulash
Sweeps the trifecta, length, volume, separation

MAC don't really market this as a wash-off mazzie but it sure is
    This is today's MAC Opulash that I threw on.
    One coat, rush job,this morning at 7am. No curling.
    This pic was taken at 4:30pm
  • Really large head with thick bristles. you know its going to amp your lashes before you even use it.
  • Really good black pigment
  • The trifecta. Lengthens, separates add volume.
  • Layers well and sets quickly enough
  • No flaking, lasts all day and evening
  • Washes off really easily, no rubbing required
  • Formula stays true for ages. I've had this tube since December and had it in the heat in Bali for 3 weeks and its still going
I actually can't find one..........it is that good.

To be honest, the Clinique is also a real goodie. I always have one of each on the go. Heavens forbid I misplace one!! Opulash is what I would reach to for night time or more dressed up day wear.

So in summary washable mascaras are for you if;

  • You want something smudge proof and non flaking
  • Your eyes get irritated if you rub them/remove make-up from them
  • You need something long-wearing for the gym/holidays etc
  • If you hate panda eyes and taking mascara off

So have you ever had blah Blepharitis? I hope not?
Would you use a washable mascara? tried any?
Would you rather receive 100 lashes with a naily leather whip than go out of the house without your mazzie. Yes me too!


  1. Interesting post!! I'm glad u found some alternatives.. A life without mascara, oh my! Lol

  2. Thanks :)
    I don't miss eye-make-up remover and cotton pads thats for sure though!! Every cloud!!

  3. Ooh, interesting. never heard of washable mascaras before :)

  4. You don't believe it until you try Ling!! You don't even need soap!!

  5. Great post, I've yet to try a tube/washable mascara yet, will definitely keep Opulash in mind :)

  6. Great to hear- if you give it a whirl, let us all know how you get on.

  7. Very informative, thanks Julie! You have made me even more keen to try MAC Opulash with this post

  8. Thanks!! So even if you wear that mascara for the whole day your eyes are fine?

    1. Yes totally - doesnt irritate at all - I think its the dissolving of the other regular mascaras when removing that used to cause the irritation

    2. I've been fighting blepheritis for a few years. At 1st, I'd get a bout once a year. Now, I get it regularly and I keep telling my ophthamologist I think mascara, or removing of it is a culprit (so is smoke, concert smoke, cigatette smoke, wildfire smoke....they all trigger it). I HATE not being able to wear eyemakep, but found anything to wear that won't keep the blepheritis active or cause it to recur. Will give the Clinique a whirl. Out of curiosity, what have you done to treat your blepheritis? Besides no makeup, I have to use warm compresses and eye drops and avoid triggers.

    3. Oh no - its a terrible thing to have. Removal of masacra was definitely my trigger, once I chose the tube formula wash away versions it stopped. While suffering i treated it with washing eyes with a gentle anti-dandruff shampoo with warm compresses, a hydrocortisone expecially for eyes and also flaxseed oils upplements which really helped. I also avoid any sulfates or fragranced products near my face and switched to mineral makeup most of the time

  9. Do you wear eyliner? Did you ever loose lashes? I have tried Blink and it stays on but the smell stings. Do you think Mac would be best? I can only wear the tube formula. Thanks!

    1. Hi- I do wear eyeliner (just a pencil, like Clinique Quickliner- this washes off easily with usual cleansing so doesn't irritate me). I don't think I loose any more lashes than normal!! I haven't tried Blinc - My 3 favs are Mac Opulash (like the fat brush) Clinique Lash Power, really stays, very natural defined lashes , great for day and melts off with warm to hot water, or lately Ive tried the Kevyn Aucoin - this is a great allrounder and is the most easiest to dissolve off with least rubbing, Hope that helps :)

  10. Hi. I just found this blog entry. Are you still currently using Opulash? I just wanted to make sure that the formula hadn't changed recently? How are you taking the mascara off? I also have blepharitis and am trying to figure out what to try next. I have tried so many mascaras.

    Thanks! Nikki


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