Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Maybelline 'The Falsies' mascara - deliberate provocation?

There's a lot to get your goat about beauty advertising, I think. Celebrity endorsements of products particularly annoy me because so many of them are obviously a steaming pile of horse manure. Cheryl Cole's beautifully volumised hair? Oh yeah, it's all shampoo and nothing to do with the extensions. Jane Fonda's well-preserved skin? Oh yeah, it's all face cream and nothing to do with surgical enhancement. There are more I could name, but I think you know what I'm talking about.

The one I find the most seethe-makingly infuriating is mascara adverts. For years many mascara advertisers seemed to expect us to believe that one coat of their magical potion would really make our lashes look like the model's. The same model who anyone with an ounce of make-up nous could see was wearing false lashes, either a few individuals or a full on strip. This kind of false (geddit?) advertising used to drive me up the wall and the fact advertisers now have to admit the enhancement hasn't helped matters. It now seems lashes in adverts are even more amped up than before yet this is excused by the 'styled using lash inserts' disclaimer which now appears in an almost invisible font and point size at the bottom of the picture.

Little wonder then that when I saw the name of Maybelline's new mascara I took it as a personal challenge. Were Maybelline deliberately provoking me with their new 'The Falsies Volum' Express' (don't even get me started on the use of the word Volum'). There was only one way to find out.

A quick trawl in Boots turned up nothing - the racks had been wiped clean by what I can only assume were other similarly agog shoppers, incredulous at Maybelline's chutzpah in throwing down this gauntlet. I slunk into Superdrug with a heavy heart, certain the tweens that seem to prowl my local branch would have fallen upon 'The Falsies' like Edward Cullen on a mountain lion. Surprisingly, there were three tubes left. As they were at a special introductory price of £5.99,  I grabbed one and ran for the till.

The packaging promises a 'full set of voluminous lashes corner to corner. Get false lash volume look everyday'. Apparently, 'the pro-keratin and fibre enriched formula attaches to lashes you didn't know you had'. I need more fibre in my diet, so was happy to hear I could get extra through a beauty product. I was also perturbed in case the lashes I 'didn't know I had' turned out to be on the end of my nose or dangling from my ears as I definitely would not want to emphasise them.

All joshing aside (OK, I'm lying, there may be more joshing), the bit I was most intrigued by was the 'patented Spoon Brush'. A brush that is also a spoon?! Blimey, I know of the 'spork' and have found one useful with a Shapers pasta salad from Boots, but a utensil for applying mascara and then eating my Muller Light? Genius.

As you can see in the pics, the 'Spoon Brush' - Maybelline's caps there, not mine - is just slightly curved, so not as revolutionary as you might be forgiven for expecting.

After curling my lashes, I applied one coat and stood back to look at my false lashes. I was not blown away, to be honest. Another coat gave more oomph but nothing amazing. The mascara applied smoothly and the brush is nice as it curves around your eye, allowing you to get to the inner corner easily.

I did like the mascara and it lengthened well, but it did not make my lashes look the way they do when I wear false lashes, not that I really expected it to. I still prefer Rimmel Sexy Curves as you can go from subtle to dramatic with a few coats and it does not go flakey, clumpy or claggy. I will continue to use 'The Falsies' and at an introductory price of £5.99 I'd definitely recommend it to others. It is a good mascara, but by giving it a name so heavy with the promise of amazement, Maybelline are on the back foot from the outset, in my opinion.

I love mascara, it's one of my four make-up essentials (along with brow powder, concealer and lip balm) but I know it can't look like false eyelashes unless I'm wearing it on top of false eyelashes. I apply the Public Enemy rule to mascara: Don't Believe the Hype.


  1. A great, honest review! Just out of curiosity, what are your personal fave mascaras? x

  2. Hi FivebyFive - glad you liked the review :-)

    My personal faves fluctuate quite a bit, but Rimmel Sexy Curves has definitely been top of my list for quite a while now.

    For volume and the brush I also really like Max Factor Masterpiece Max.

    L'Oreal double extend tubes is also pretty good if you don't mind those double ended primer & mascara products. Once it's on, it won't budge until you use warm water on it and the little 'tubes' peel off your lashes.