May 092012

Lately I’ve been using very emollient eye creams (ah, the joys of beauty blogging!) Guess what’s in emollient eye creams? You guessed it–oil! Guess the best way to remove mascara (even waterproof mascara)? You guessed it again–oil!  The combination of an oily moisturizer and mascara is a recipe for disaster because you are wearing the mascara and a removing agent at the same time. Some eye creams gave me raccoon eyes as early as 10 a.m. Not a good situation, trust me. I decided to skip right over waterproof formulations and go the distance. I  checked out a fiber mascara.

Because I wasn’t sure that I’d like this type, I made a minimal investment of $8-9 at a drugstore to try out L’Oreal’s Voluminous False Lashes. I thought that if this worked well, I could go for some of the fiber mascara’s sold at Sephora (see here and here) and perhaps on some of the Asian makeup sites.

So, what’s the deal with fiber mascaras?

  • Your lashes are coated in little fibers like this (from the L’Oreal package):
  • Fiber mascaras tend to be super-waterproof  (although very hard to remove)
  • Some are said to give a more dramatic effect

For the L’Oreal, I found that the claim of super-waterproofness was solid. I was able to put drops into my eyes without any problem whatsoever. Even the most emollient eye cream did not create any smudging. These are truly all-day lashes.

As mascaras go, I found that the L’Oreal fiber was respectable but not the most dramatic or volumizing that I’ve ever used. It has a dry texture. The first coat is devastatingly natural looking (if you want a natural look, you won’t be quite as crushed). I usually built up using three coats toward a pretty good everyday eye. It’s no Armani or Guerlain. But it is absolutely smudge-free.

As is common with this type of mascara, removal is a challenge. I used the Sonia Kashuk Eye Makeup Remover from Target ($10). I soaked a cotton pad with the remover, held it over my closed eye for about 20 seconds, and then the mascara came off easily by gently sweeping the cotton pad over the mascara. I found that this remover worked better for me than my traditional Shu cleansing oil.

The Sonia Kashuk smells has a vague rubbery smell. You know the smell that Barbie heads have, when they’re new? It’s unavoidable, think back. Yeah, pretty much that same smell. I may switch to the Lancome Bi Facil Eye Makeup Remover when the Sonia Kashuk runs out.

Thanks for reading about my little fiber mascara adventure. I’m going to use up a few more of my standard mascaras, then likely try another fiber brand from Sephora later this year. And invest in the Lancome remover.


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  23 Responses to “Sketchbook: Playing with Fiber Mascara”

  1. Did you actually write this post, Amy? It doesn’t sound like your “voice” at all. And what’s this about a Barbie head?

    • I did Eileen! Just a little beauty experiment, less formal that usual. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it! 🙂

  2. I suggest getting a Japanese or other Asian fiber mascara. I know Sephora has one of the more expensive Japanese ones. My sister uses them and they are amazing. I think this idea mainly came from Asia where girls need bigger lashes or else it looks like we got no lashes so the Asian brands usually do it best. Its like BB Creams, I haven’t seen any really good Western ones. I have heard great things about the MAC one but its an Asia only product.

  3. That is my current favorite mascara! I use apricot kernel oil at night followed by a facial cleanser to remove everything. Unfortunately, the Lancôme remover irritated my eyes.

  4. I don’t wear waterproof mascara, but I love that Sonia Kushuk eye make up remover.
    Like you said, it $10.and does the job!
    Thanks for your little Adventures in Mascara!!

  5. When using these emollient eye creams, I would suggest that instead of these “fiber” mascaras, you try the “tube” mascaras that come off with plain old warm water. (They forms tubes around each lash and it’s quite a sight in the sink when you wash your face!) My personal favorite, which I have used for years and years, is Trish McEvoy Lash Curling mascara. If they ever discontinue this, I don’t know what Ill do. I believe one of the original versions is “Kiss Me” a Japanese brand. L’Oreal even had a version, but I can’t remember the name. I have a problem with mascara smearing under my eyes and the “tube” mascaras never smear and are so easy to remove!

    • Do you find the Trish McEvoy tubes actually remove easily? I keep yanking my lashes out with Blinc no matter how gentle I am.

      • Yes – I think the Trish Mascara tubes come off more easily than other brands. I have tried Blinc (is that the same as Kiss Me?) , Kanebo, L’Oreal, Bobbi Brown had one now discontinued, and Clinique. You have to get your lashes pretty wet with very warm water before you can start “pulling” off the tubes.

  6. Loved this mascara post…an honest, succinct and enjoyable read : ) As drugstore fiber mascaras go, the Voluminous is as good as it gets. I love Armani Eye to Kill Stretch and Mally Beauty Volumizing for major fiber effect. Koh Gen Do Spa Water takes it ALL off…it is deceptively powerful! Have a great afternoon! R

  7. I have found that the BEST eye make up remover is the Lierac Diopti Démaq: Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. It gets anything off gently and leaves no film in the eye. I used to love the Lancome Bi-Facil but no more. This is far superior.

  8. I haven’t tried that particular mascara, but every fiber mascara I’ve ever tried comes off easily with warm/hot water. Makeup removers don’t work. I thought that was how all fiber mascaras worked? I’m not trying to ask the obvious, but have you tried just hot water?

  9. I’ve either lived with a cop too long or it’s late…because I got stalled pondering why the eye remover would have a robbery smell and what a robbery would smell like. Lol!! I had to reread it three times to catch my mental error. Now I have to decide if a rubbery smell is better than a robbery smell….

  10. I’ve been having similar problems with mascara, so I’ll definitely give these products a try!

    By the way, I have tried the “tube” mascara (L’Oreal has one) and unfortunately I ended up with little tubes on my face by the end of the day. 😛 I hope the fibers work better!

    I love the reference to the Barbie heads. Funny how certain smells stay in one’s memory. 😀

  11. I tried the d.j.v. beautenizer Fiberwig LX sold at Sephora but the fibers went on at odd angles to my eyelashes. Maybe I should have tried it again, but I was so annoyed that I returned it.

  12. One of the links you had (Fiberwigs) is actually a tubing mascara. I love how they add crazy length and can be removed simply with warm water. Fiberwigs is my favorite tubing mascara formula. I know a lot of people complained that they pull their own lashes off when removing tubing mascaras, but I use Eve Lom cleanser and it does magic in makeup removal. Even though tubing mascara doesn’t usually budge with oil, Eve Lom still does the job… or perhaps it’s the warm water?

    First time leaving a message here–but I’ve been a loyal follower. 🙂

    • Eve Lom is oil-based.

      • Yes but it comes with these massaging techniques and you are supposed to finish them with warm water using the included cloth. That step really makes all the difference for me.

  13. I have very dry skin and have been faced with this same dilemma. Have wrinkly, old lady eyes or mascara all over my face. Thanks for this post. I’ll have to check this type of mascara out. For the record, I am currently using the new Bobbi Brown Long Wear Intensifying (I think she calls it) mascara. It’s not super impressive as far as dramatic lashes go, but it does seem to stay put. Now if I could just get eyeliner of any kind to stay on my lower lash line.

  14. I’m kind of confused and curious now by the comments – are my beloved “tube” mascaras that come off with just water and these “fiber” mascaras the same thing??

  15. Welcome to the world of Asian cosmetics 🙂 you can check out cosme (its like makeupalley) for rankings if you have a friend who can read japanese. For mascaras, these brands are quite famous: fairydrops, majolica majorca lash expander, Dejavu fibrewig
    I suggest buying from or

  16. You may not end up liking how indelibly waterproof it is, but if you really want to play with something unusual, THE fiber mascara to try is Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus. It even has an oddly shaped comb applicator, to please the visual sense that has always been the hallmark of your blog. =)

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