The Friday Five: Find Your Ideal Mascara

Beatrice Aidin has done the research and the results are in. Here are the five mascaras you need in your life - your make-up bag will thank you.

I recently commissioned a highly unscientific double-blind non-clinical trial amongst my Noon colleagues and friends that determined that the one make-up item that would be on our Desert Island list, should Lauren call, would be mascara.

But thank heavens things have moved on when it comes to this product. Does anyone remember the block you would spit on and use a brush to apply to your eyelashes in days of yore? Well, days of yore were perilous for eye health, imagine the number of bacteria from the saliva not to mention the exposed block. To quote Pheobe Buffett: ‘My eyes! My eyes!’

Today that tube is a staple of the make-up bag promising: Lifting! Volumising! Separating! Thickening! Oh and waterproofing! Mascaras come in every colour; picking black off the shelf may be a habit, but brown is often more softening on the complexion so why not give that a go.

The best way to apply mascara is to wiggle the brush – just a little bit, Acid groove, if you remember the tune – horizontally from the base of the upper lash downwards and then upwards as many times as looks good – but always end by pushing gently upwards so you don’t end up with lashes looking south.

As for the lower lashes, hold the brush vertically to coat them and finally, take the brush horizontally to fan out the lashes to the side of the face. Audrey Hepburn’s make-up artist used to separate her eyelashes using a safety pin – not recommended and not necessary with today’s mascaras…

Here are five of my favourites; yes – I have been on the lash…

The best for lasting power

1. A perpetual fave of mine is Stila Stay All Day Mascara which does just that, from morn till night. It doesn’t flake and gives great lash coverage. Now, when Noon founder Eleanor and I went through her make-up bag (still recovering but what FUN it was, she was SO clueless; after all, when you are commissioning war reporters as she had been doing, you may not think too much about your eyelashes), much to my delight Eleanor described the mascara wand shape as ‘the banana’. Dang it, I have been writing about beauty for 20 years and that is the perfect description, and the Stila Stay All Day Mascara is exemplary of the genre. Even better, it is currently on sale.

Stila Stay All Day Mascara £16.80, www.feelunique.com

The best waterproof option

2. When my late father was dying I took a great interest in waterproof mascara. Some were okay but Skin in Motion Lift It Waterproof Mascara is in the next league and is a new discovery. The founder Gia Mills is a make-up artist who does all the things I mean to do but, er… she runs marathons and is an adventure racer – not sure what that means but sounds impressive. And she does dragon races (I hear it takes place on a boat). When she heard that 75% of women are put off exercise because they are worried about their appearance Gia founded Skin in Motion. I’m seriously impressed by the brand. And love the mascara. And yes, it was on my eyelashes this Father’s Day and I was not let down. Sweat or tears – or it would be both were I attempting a marathon like Gia – it’s brilliant.

Skin in Motion Lift It Waterproof Mascara £20, skininmotion.com

The best budget-friendly

3. For a mascara under a tenner, I’m delighted to discover Sleek MakeUP Full Package All-In-One which claims that lashes appear up to 50% longer and nine times thicker with one coat. A complete all-rounder. And great for a Queenager who hasn’t used mascara before and wants to give it a whirl.

Sleek MakeUP Full Package All-In-One £9.99, boots.com

The best for a classic look

4. Can you imagine having the brilliant name Max Factor? In fact, born in Russia as Maksymilian Faktorowicz he moved to the US and worked as a make-up artist with Clara Bow, Joan Harlow and Joan Crawford giving them their distinctive looks, Factor invented the term ‘make-up’ when he started selling colour cosmetics to the masses outside the film industry to great success. In a fickle industry, and it’s sad that we are seeing the demise of Revlon, Max Factor Masterpiece Divine Lashes curls eyelashes, has great pigment and I would say is a homage to the great Mr. Factor.

Max Factor Masterpiece Divine Lashes £11.99, boots.com

The best for dramatic volume and length

5. The supermodel era saw a phase in the 90s when every supermodel would reference MAC Spice lip-liner. Despite that it really didn’t suit me – I felt like an All Saint, though never ever would I have been taken for one. I was happy to hear from MAC recently about MACStack Mascara which really really stacks up length and volume. Their testers found that 95% saw gravity-defying volume, lift, and length.

MACStack Mascara £26, mac.co.uk

– Beatrice Aidin

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