When it comes to mascara, I’m a tough customer. I want length and definition but not too much volume. But I also don’t want a mascara that’s too subtle — otherwise, what’s the point? My list of demands were so long I never considered adding on the requirement of being opthamologist-approved — until now. I have a pretty tight roster of mascars I regularly repurchase (L’Oréal Lash Paradise, Glossier Lash Slick, Tarte Surfer Curl, Kosas The Big Clean), but I’m making room for a new arrival: Twenty/twenty’s Clean Sweep Mascara.
I wasn’t familiar with the brand prior to trying Clean Sweep, but it didn’t take long for me to be a convert. The brand was founded by Diane Hilal-Campo, MD, a New Jersey-based, board-certified ophthalmologist who was inspired to launch Twenty/Twenty (the name checks out) after decades of connecting the dots between cosmetics and eye irritation. With a curated range of ophthalmologist-developed and tested formulas, Twenty/Twenty beauty was born.
Right off the bat, I loved that it was a vegan, cruelty-free formula (I’m particular with anything that goes around my eyes), and that it was infused with conditioning ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and biotin. The pigmentation was a true, inky black — a big mascara pet peeve of mine is when the formula is closer to charcoal than a light-swallowing noir.
Then there was the wand: I prefer comb-like wands that grip and fan out each individual lash for maximum brow-grazing effect versus thick, bushy ones that deposit a ton of product. Twenty/Twenty’s had a skinny, slightly curved brush with short bristles, making it ideal for separation and buildable length. When it comes to application, I always start by wiggling the wand at the roots to create fullness and definition at the upper lash line. From there, I sweep the wand through a few times with whatever product is left to lightly coat my lashes with pigment. For my naturally dark, long lashes, less is more when it comes to mascara; buildable formulas allow me to subtly enhance my favorite feature while not weighing them down. (In the rare instance that I want more dramatic volume, I'm more likely to pop on a faux lash in lieu of an intense mascara.)
I have to say, after testing out Twenty/twenty's Clean Sweep Mascara, I'm impressed. Is it the most dramatic, volumizing mascara I've ever tried? Definitely not — but it's not trying to be. And while I wouldn't recommend poking your eyeball with the wand, I can confirm that it didn't irritate my sensitive eyes one bit. That's a big deal! (FYI, Twenty/twenty products are free from potential eye irritants like glitter, mica, fragrance, and benzalkonium chloride, to name a few.)
We've seen many a dermatologist crossover into the beauty space with namesake brands or in consulting capacities, so it's a natural fit for ophalmologists to lend their wisdom to the eye makeup category. With lash serums, liquid eyeliners, and shimmery eyeshadow crayons also in the lineup, I for one can't wait to try more Twenty/Twenty — even if my visual acuity is closer to...20/100.
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