Wednesday, February 17, 2010

mascara detective!

so i went a little wild on makeup purchases in january, and two of the items from my january mega-haul were rimmel mascaras:

they are "volume flash" in 005 extreme black and "eye magnifier" in 003 extreme black, and the second came with a black eye pencil wasn't super optimistic about but is not bad (i use it to tightline).  i bought them because they were crazy on sale at CVS: $1.87 for volume flash and $1.82 for eye magnifier. 

even though i won't be opening either of these until i get through my current covergirl lash blast, i think it's really interesting to begin to compare the two, especially since they are the same brand, age, and color. volume flash claims to increase volume by 5x, and eye magnifier claims to increase length by 70%.  

but let's look at the ingredient lists (links are to paula begoun's excellent ingredient dictionary):
seeing double?  i italicized the only difference between these two mascaras, which is the reversed order of talc and methylparaben.  makeup ingredients are listed in order of volume (read more here) except for anything under 1% which can be in any order, so that means talc and methylparaben are probably very similar amounts in these two mascaras.

possible conclusions:
  • (pfefi's best bet) most of what rimmel and probably other cosmetic companies change from mascara to mascara product is the wand.  volume flash has a regular spoolie wand, and eye magnifier has a rubber wand.  (but my covergirl lash blast, which promotes volume, has a rubber wand, so clearly different brands have a different strategy?)
  • the ratio of talc and methylparaben is key in determining what happens to your lashes
  • rimmel's mascara marketing and packaging is a giant genius ploy to get you to repurchase within the brand
in any case, i feel so jaded now with this information.  what do you think?  how much do you usually believe in what the package says to you?  how cynical are you about rimmel or other cosmetic companies?

i know the comparison of these 2 mascaras from 1 brand doesn't effect many people personally, but it caught my attention and motivated me to look more into cosmetics ingredients in general.  in any case, i think this means pfefi has had enough science / coffee for today~ xD


Andi said...

Wow, super interesting post! I am going to compare a few of my faves now...very, very cool post.

nihrida said...

It's not all about the ingredients, you know. I learned that the shape of the brush is the most important. Big brush gives you volume, lean brush gives you length, curved brush gives you curve... and so on. =)

Ashwini said...

Nice investigation of the mascaras! I also got suckered into trying a L'Oreal mascara that was on ridiculous sale (2.99 instead of 15.99!). It turned out pretty alright. Here's the review if you want:

CrystalS said...

Great post!!

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