(Maybelline The Falsies in-store display)
Probably no other product in the entire beauty universe is as personal as mascara. I could sit here and say, "Yeah, this is great and here's why" but, chances are, half of you could buy the same mascara and find it to be a complete disaster. I attribute this to the fact that we all want different things from our mascara (thickening, lengthening, separating, curling, the list goes on...). Couple this with the fact there are a zillion and one ways to apply mascara (each of us has our own distinctive technique, I'm sure) and you've suddenly got a product that is going to work very differently depending on the user.
This is probably why it takes me so darn long to write mascara reviews. There's a lot to consider! But there was another reason why it took me so long to write this review. You see, I got many tips and warnings from fabulous beauty bloggers who had already encountered The Falsies, so I listened to their advice and applied it accordingly.
Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Express Mascara in Blackest Black
BeautyjunkieLondon told me very early on (the UK got this product way back in April) that this product gets better with age. After a few weeks, the formula thickens up, which makes it better to apply. I'm no stranger to letting a mascara thicken up (my beloved Max Factor Volume Couture would reach its peak and become absolutely perfect in every way after about two weeks of use). BeautyjunkieLondon also told me that she had better results by applying The Falsies using the flat, wider side of the brush. These two things needed to be tested, and that takes time!
Amber from Beauty Junkies Unite echoed BJL's thoughts and also said, in her great review, that she had better luck using the flat, wider side of the brush. So of course I had to alternate and try applying with the skinnier side on some days and the flatter side on other days, just to see if my results matched Amber's (newsflash: my results will never fully match Amber's because Amber's got thick dark lashes that make me cry tears of jealousy).
Speaking of thick dark lashes, Jamie at Maquilagem Masstige warned me that this mascara flaked like crazy for her, so again, this was something that I needed to pay close attention to while I tested this product.
Well that was a ridiculously long intro to this review, wasn't it? But I can honestly say that no other product I have reviewed on this blog has required so much preparation, planning and testing. So with that, let me show you some pics:
(click once to enlarge, again to magnify)
In the above collage, I showed you the difference between using the flat, wider side of the brush vs. using the narrow side of the brush. As you can see, depending on what side you use, the results are visibly different. I have found, after many, many uses, that the flatter, wider side of the brush is best for my short, straight lashes. The short bristles on the flat side of the brush, combined with the curavture of the brush, help to push my lashes up and out, and it keeps my lashes much more uniform. Using the narrower side of the brush actually yeilded less clumps, BUT, my lashes got all wonky, as you can see in these pics.
So...it's a toss-up. Wonky clump-free lashes, or fanned-out, uniform but clumpier lashes?
Some other things I've noticed:
According to the in-store display, The Falsies claims that it will give you "no gaps from any angle", which is where it gets its name (the gap-free look of false eyelashes). As you can see in the above pics, I still had gaps.
The brush itself is flimsy. It's not as sturdy as other brushes, so it's got a lot of give. This may or may not be a good thing depending on your personal application technique.
I really, really, REALLY like how this mascara works on my lower lashes. If you regularly apply mascara to your lower lashes, you know that certain formulas don't adhere as well to lower lashes, which can make you look like you have no mascara on at all. On the other side of the spectrum, some mascaras deposit far too much product and give your lower lashes the spider-lash syndrome. For me, The Falsies deposits the perfect amount of product on my lower lashes and really helps make them look long, defined and separated (I apply my mascara to my lower lashes by holding the brush in a vertical position and using just the tip of the brush--I haven't tried using this brush on my lower lashes by holding it in a horizontal position so your results may vary if that's your technique).
As for flaking, smudging, smearing and fading? That's where it gets weird. The first two or three times I used this product, it flaked. By end of day, I could see a few little flakes under my eyes. But, after using this for about a week, the flakes just suddenly went away. I do believe that as this formula thickens up, the tendency to flake decreases. Or at least that's how it has been for me. And since day one, I have had absolutely no issues with smudging, smearing or fading. In these respects, it performs just as beautifully as the wonderful Colossal Volum' Express (which I've raved about here several times in the past).
Final verdict: If you are already a fan of Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express, you might enjoy this mascara as well, but only after you figure out which way to use the brush. Despite the clumping issues I encounted, I still like this product. It gets sooooo much better after about two weeks, once the formula thickens up a bit. I don't regret my purchase at all (considering I got it on sale and also had coupons, I paid far less than retail for it). I'd wait for a sale and grab a tube and play around with it. It could end up being a fantastic product for you. And remember, I think it ROCKS for lower lashes, so definitely worth a shot just for that.
Have you used The Falsies yet? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this mascara!