Friday, November 7, 2008

Tubing Mascaras: Imju Fiberwig vs. Blinc Kiss Me, Clinique Lash Power, Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero Smudge Lengthening

ju Fiberwig has replaced Blinc Kiss Me as the top selling mascara in Japan. It advertises "paint on false eyelashes" to tout its lengthening effect. Like the typical fiber based mascaras on the market (think Magic Lash--Pursebuzz does a great review), Imju Fiberwig also contains fibers that attach to your lashes with each stroke. As a result, Fiberwig is like a fiber based primer and mascara in one.
In addition, Fiberwig promises to be water-oil-sweat resistant, and thereby, smudge proof. It is easily removed with warm water (no soap necessary, like with Clinique Lash Power). Much like Blinc Kiss Me, the mascara wraps around your lash to form tubes, rather than merely depositing pigment like most mascaras.

I've been using this mascara for about a month now.
As I pointed out in my Blinc Kiss Me mascara review, I have trouble finding mascara that doesn't smudge underneath my eyes. I hopped onto the fiber/tubing mascara band wagon with excitement. While Blinc definitely held up to its promise of not smudging, it wasn't perfect. The mascara clumped on my thin, sparse lashes, creating spikes. My lashes looked as they were stuck to each other in little sections. Thus, Blinc isn't dependable for perfectly separated, long's a bit of a gamble every time use it, I reach for it hoping that it'll distribute evenly. Since the wand deposits too much product on my lashes, they also end up feeling hard and spiky. Not like this is a huge problem, since I don't go around touching my eyelashes, but this makes them actually harder to curl since they're weighed down with product (I have stick straight short lashes).

So, I was a bit skeptical trying the Imju Fiberwig. When I opened the tube, the first thing I noticed was how HUGE the brush was. It reminded me of Benefit's Badgal, which also has a huge, plump brush. The photo in the picture above doesn't really show you how dense the wand is. The wand itself looks denser because of all the fibers it picks up when you take it out of the tube. (I would take a photo, but my camera is broken...incase you're wondering why I haven't shown any pictures so far!)

Despite the big size of the brush, I was still able to get to the base of my eyelashes and brush the mascara very nicely from base to tip. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my lashes did not clump at all. If there was the slightest bit of excessive product, a couple more swipes of mascara and I was able to brush the clumps away. No matter how many coats of mascara I put on my lashes, this stuff NEVER got clumpy. I kept adding on many, many coats so the fibers would continue to lengthen my lashes. I didn't count, but I wouldn't be surprised if I applied about 2 0 coats. My lashes were always perfectly separated and defined. I also liked how they felt flexible to the touch, never brittle, after the mascara dried. My lashes are so straight that I have to curl them AFTER I apply mascara (I know this is a taboo, but my lashes do not curl otherwise). The Fiberwig held the curl, while Blinc did not.
Also, speaking of drying, this mascara dries very quickly...and I mean, like in 7 seconds. This is probably because it's more liquidy than Blinc, which is somewhat thicker. So, I apply this mascara to my lashes in sections, working on the inner corner and middle section until I ge t my desired length and thickness, and then the outer corner. You have to reapply the coats when the mascara is wet, just like with Blinc, or the mascara will not go on smoothly. The difference with Blinc is that Blinc takes a lot longer to dry. This was a source of frustration for me because I would blink when my Blinc wasn't dry yet, and have to wet a cotton swab to get the mascara off my under eyes. With Fiberwig, that doesn't happen, thankfully.

Like all the tubing mascaras, Imju Fiberwig came off with warm water and my r egular cleanser. I didn't have to rub my eyes with makeup remover. Also, the fibers in mascara didn't get in my eyes, nor did the mascara sting my eyes, so Fiberwig should be perfectly safe for contacts wearers. I've heard that Magic Lash can get messy with all the fibers, so definitely look to this mascara as an alternative. The fibers never flaked off or smudged onto my face either, so Fiberwig definitely has equally amazing staying power as Blinc.

OK, so you're thinking, there has to be something bad about it. Yes, my only complaint is that Fiberwig does not get your eyelashes anywhere near "false eyelash long." Maybe there's a trick to applying the mascara that I haven't discovered yet? I've resorted to rotating the mascara wand as I stroke it from base to tip--my own manual Spin Lash, haha--but the results are yet to be seen! Though I'm not terribly bothered by this since I never expected my lashes to magically morph into false lash length in the first place....but I'll keep trying and let you guys know later if I was successful.

Now, this mascara worked for me, but it might not work for you. My lashes are short, sparse, and stick straight. I have no idea how well this mascara would work on people who have full, lush lashes already. This mascara costs $22 at Sephora (the only place you can buy it in the US, perhaps Little Tokyo or K-town might carry them though? I've never looked there) and only comes in black. Definitely try Blinc and Fiberwig both at the store before you purchase if you can't decide. If anyone is interested, I could organize a Fiberwig haul from Asia at a lower cost and have it shipped to you. If I get enough emails or comments I'll look into it.

Now, there are two other alternatives that I know of, if you've tried both Blinc and Fiberwig. Clinique Lash Power Mascara uses similar tubing technology and vows to stay put for 24 hours without flaking, smearing, smudging, and removes with warm water. What attracted me to trying this mascara was the tiny little brush, which reminded me of Maybelline's Lash Discovery. I think Lash Discovery is discontinued now except in the waterproof version...which is unfortunate.

You can't really tell how tiny the brush is in the picture, but trust me, it's tiny!

Pursebuzz has a great video reviewing Clinique Lash Power Mascara, in which she shows you the comparison with Lash Discovery in the beginning. Though she highly recommends the product, I do not recommend it.
I tried this product twice--once at Nordstrom's, the second time at Macy's. The first time was around August 2008, the product worked great on me--no flaking, smudging, my lashes were defined and separated perfectly. I thought I was going to replace Blinc with the Clinique. The second time was around a month and a half ago, and this time, the mascara flaked all over my undereyes! There might have been a little smearing going on. I notice the reviews for this mascara are quite mixed, so again, try the mascara before you buy it. At $14.00 a pop, it is cheaper than all the other tubing mascaras, but don't make your decision based on price alone. Since I have oilier lids than most people, I can definitely attest to how effective a mascara's staying power is..and Lash Power just doesn't cut it.

Estee Lauder's Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara comes in second place for cheapest tubing/polymer mascara, at $19.50. In contrast to Clinique's Lash Power which claims 24 hour staying power, Zero Smudge claims it stays put for 15 hours. However, it also is only removable with warm water, so you do NOT remove it with eye makeup remover.

Like Clinique Lash Power, I only tried this mascara twice. It came in one of those free gifts with purchase--concealer on one end, and mascara on the other. The double ended feature compelled me to immediately stash it in my makeup bag--who doesn't love convenience? The first time I tried the mascara, I was wary because the wand was definitely bigger than Lash Power's, so I thought it might clump. However, it also didn't clump my lashes at all--it defined them perfectly and stayed on all day! The second time I used this mascara was when I stayed overnight at a friend's and was putting on my makeup the next morning. Later that day, when I looked in the mirror, I saw that the mascara had smeared underneath my eyes. I was extremely disappointed. So in terms of effectiveness and price, this mascara is the worst out of the three. Whereas the Clinique mascara merely FLAKED, this one actually SMEARED, which shows that something is amiss in its polymer formula. I do NOT recommend Estee Lauder's Double Wear Zero-Smudge mascara.

So ultimately, the only mascara that gets my complete stamp of approval is Imju Fiberwig Mascara. Blinc Kiss Me Mascara I also like, but not love. Fiberwig has made it into my list of holy grail makeup items and I will definitely repurchase it when I run out.

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