I recently had the chance to test out one an intriguing new item from Hourglass: a mascara topcoat called Film Noir Lash Lacquer. It's a product designed to be applied on top of mascara to create a dark, glossy, bold look. A mascara amplifier of sorts. Hourglass recommends that it be used over a lengthening mascara like their Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara, which I tested alongside the lacquer, and was very surprised by the results.
The brush is special as well. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but it's an hourglass shape. It's wider at the ends than it is in the middle. The bristles are short, fairly dense but soft.
One thing that isn't mentioned anywhere on the description of this is that it's a tubing mascara. I discovered that the first time I tried to remove it. It wouldn't dissolve with makeup remover, but when I got my lashes wet in the shower, it came off in long, stretchy pieces. Also surprising because tubing mascaras usually do nothing for my lashes.
What I liked:
- Gorgeous packaging.
- Soft, high-quality brush that gently grips my lashes and coats them thoroughly.
- Doesn't run or smudge even when it gets wet.
- Adds amazing length and definition, but also gives pretty good curl and volume.
- Looks super dark and glossy.
- Easy to remove without makeup remover.
- Apparently this mascara is gluten free. Huh. I think that's a plus... right?
- Everything about this mascara feels nice. Holding the tube, applying the product, feeling how soft my lashes feel with it on, removing it without black raccoon eyes.
What I didn't like:
- It could give a little more volume.
- It's $28. OUCH.
- I find that I lose a lot of lashes when I remove this. Since the mascara comes off in whole pieces instead of dissolving, it's hard not to tug a little when you're removing it.
- Can clump after the second coat when the tube is new. I didn't have any clumping problems with multiple coats after I'd used it 3-4 times.
Overall, I'm very shocked and very impressed by this mascara. This is the first high-end mascara since Benefit BadGal Lash that I have actually been satisfied with. This is coming from the person who returned DiorShow because it didn't do anything besides smell nice. I am always disappointed by high end mascaras, but not this one. Maybe since I didn't come into it with any expectations of performance I had more room to be impressed. Once I used it, I was hooked. It's absurdly expensive, especially considering how quickly I go through mascara, but I would buy this again. Only as a treat because it's nearly three times as much as my normal mascara, but, yes, would definitely spend my money on this, it's that nice.
Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer
Applying this wasn't as straightforward as I'd hoped. You have to brush it onto your lashes with the lipgloss-style applicator, but you need to have exactly the right amount of product. Too much and it gets all gooey and clumpy and your lashes look drippy. Too little and it makes chunky little clumps. With the correct amount, it should be able to coat your lash in an even, smooth stroke and leave you with thicker, glossier dark color.
It took me a lot of tries to get it to look as good as it does in the picture. Over my usual Lash Blast mascara it just clumped all my lashes together. I practiced with it several times over Lash Blast before trying the Hourglass Full Spectrum and I was able to get good results a few times, but not consistently. My recommendation is to keep a lash comb handy while using this. You will need it.
I have one warning about this before I go into my likes/dislikes. It is not waterproof, and that's an understatement. You do not want to get this wet. I mean it. Just a little bit of water on this stuff and it will create hilarious and frightening amounts of black liquid running down your face. The first time I removed it I was kinda freaked out by how much black liquid it produced and how quickly it happened. Do not wear this if you think you're going to cry or if there's any possibility of water making direct contact with your lashes. Don't wear it to a sad movie, don't wear it to a funeral, don't wear it to a pool party, don't wear it to the water park or the beach. I'm serious. Don't get it wet and don't feed it after midnight.
What I liked:
- It does add a really bold glossy look to my lashes that I can't get with any other product.
- The packaging is beautiful.
- It's interesting and unique, perhaps even innovative.
What I didn't like:
- Application was too tricky for me to want to use this very often.
- The results were not as dramatic as I'd hoped.
- It runs like crazy if you get it wet.
- It makes my lashes feel stiff and weird.
- It's too expensive for what it does; $28 for 0.17 oz.
- It clumps my lashes together or creates globs or chunks. I have to use a lash comb when I use this.
The best way I've found to apply this is to let my mascara dry fully. Then I take the Lacquer, remove all excess product from the wand, and gently brush over the tips of my lashes vertically. Little short strokes. That way I get a little volume and shine on the tips but I don't risk clumping my lashes together as much.
Overall, I'm not as wow'ed by this as I thought I'd be. It's a cool concept, sure, and it does give some dramatic results with a little practice, but it's just too finicky. I wouldn't buy it again unless it came in a mini tube for a quarter of the price. It's a cool novelty that I'd love to use for special occasions, but the tricky application and tendency to run keep me from wanting to use it regularly.
(This was sent for review.)