Photo: Via Shu Uemura.
There are many reasons why I love Shu Uemura: its lightyears-ahead-of-its-time Cleansing Oil, the no-pinch lash curler everyone and their mother is addicted to, its crazy-good wave mousse. But, mascara has never been something I've excitedly sought out from the brand. It's not that its mascaras are bad; it's just that they've never really spoken to me. Ultimate Natural, Ultimate Expression, Stretch Xtreme — those all sound lovely, but they're not really the look I'm going for.
I'm the kind of girl who likes my mascara to toe the line between separated length and super-dark definition. I like long lashes that don't look clumpy or like they could be falsies. Just a soft, flexible, fluttery, lacquer-black fringe.
So, I guess I can blame some clever marketers for the reason why the brand's new Petal Lash immediately caught my attention. Featuring a super-dark formula and a crisscross brush that claims to grab every lash, it's billed as a volumizing mascara. Normally, I don't go for volume mascaras; in my experience, volume usually leads to gunked-up, stiff, clumpy lashes. But, the brush was slim, unlike those hairbrush-sized ones I had come to associate with volumizers, so I said, "What the hell!" and decided to give it a go.
Now, my big problem with most mascaras I've tried is that no matter how much I love the formula, their brushes grab too much product, meaning the only way I can get that clump-free look I crave is to wipe off the excess with a tissue before I swipe. Feels kind of wasteful, no? Not so with this little beauty: I pressed it into my lashline and then pulled it up through my lashes and was shocked to see how separated they still looked.
But, that's not all. It took my fringe and made it look equal parts longer, lusher, opened-up, and all-around darker. People, I had Disney-princess lashes. I had lashes that would have made poor Ariel sob right through her waterproof mascara.
I'm also somewhat obsessed with how the formula creates a flexible finish, so my lashes still move and feel soft — not caked-up and stuck in place. Better yet, it doesn't budge, even in some of the most brutal NYC humidity. I have a particularly, shall we say, grabby under-eye area in that it takes any sort of dark eye makeup I wear — liner, mascara, cream shadow — and draws it downward so that I have perpetual raccoon eyes. But, every time I wear my Petal Lash, my under-eye area remains shadow-free. Which is nice, because you can only handle people asking you if you're tired/sick/depressed so many times before you snap and start yelling loudly, "I'M FINE!" at your coworkers and loved ones.
Now, to the not-so-good part: Petal Lash does not come cheap. Twenty-eight dollars is kind of pricy for mascara, and I know a lot of you get by just fine with your beloved drugstore wands. I envy you for that. That's why, in my personal case — someone who is super picky and has a difficult time finding a product that works to her very exacting standards — I think it's money well spent. I'm amazed at how this mascara continues to elevate and transform all of my go-to eye-makeup looks. And, did I mention the princess lashes?
Shu Uemura Petal Lash Mascara, $28, available at Shu Uemura.
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