Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara and Film Noir Lash Lacquer Photos and Review

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.

Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara

In true Hourglass style, the Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara tube is a luxurious feeling dark, heavy metal. It makes a mundane every day item like mascara seem like something special. Even the paper box it comes in is nice.

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.

For reference, these are my lashes 'before'- no mascara, no lash curler.

This is after two coats of Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara.

I wasn't expecting much from this mascara because it was touted as a lengthening formula and I normally don't like lengthening mascaras, so I was completely shocked by the results. This mascara is amazing. I like it as much as I like my holy grail Lash Blast mascara. It applies so gently but adds so much length and darkness and a surprisingly decent amount of volume. I know that mascara is a very personal thing; what works for me may not work for you and vice versa, but wow... I love this.

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

The Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer is an interesting idea. I've used mascara topcoats before, like the blue and green sparkly Bourjois ones from a few years back, but never one like this. It's a thick, glossy formula that's supposed to darken and intensify the look of your lashes after you've applied mascara.

It comes in a long, flat tube with a brush applicator like a lip gloss. Very unusual. The texture of it is thick and a little stringy, also very lipgloss-like.

Again, for reference, this is what my lashes look like with nothing on them...

...and these are my lashes after two coats of the Full Spectrum mascara.

This is how they look after applying the Film Noir Lash Lacquer over the Full Spectrum Mascara. There's some added darkness, a little extra volume and length in some spots and an overall extra glossy look.

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.

Both of these are available at Sephora. $28 each for the Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara (0.35 oz) or the Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer (0.17 oz).

(This was sent for review.)


  1. The Lash Lacquer seems kind of silly, honestly, but WOW that mascara looks amazing. Your lashes look drop-dead gorgeous. Such a shame about the hefty price tag. I could never spend that much money on a single product, being the frugalista that I am. :P I love Hourglass's packaging, though, it's so appealing.

  2. "Don't get it wet and don't feed it after midnight. " LOL! Great reference :)

  3. The mascara looks pretty darn sweet, but I'm not sure about the lacquer. Besides, what if it gets hungry after midnight? Are we just supposed to let it starve?

  4. The Lash Lacquer isn't doing anything for me at all. Another makeup step, and one that's extremely tetchy, convoluted, and has minimum impact AND makes a dire mess at the first sign of water (and I am super hot natured and my face sweats if it's over 70 freaking degrees)? No way.

    Also -- Benefit "They're Real." I'm in love. Only mascara I've been happy with since Chanel discontinued Extracils. And you're totally right, DiorShow is Crap On A Stick.

  5. The mascara is amazing & so lash lengthening. The Lash Lacquer is ridiculous to me. What a hot mess! Hourglass does have a nice product. I have their concealer. The packaging is really nice! So's the concealer.

  6. I laughed myself silly at the gremlin mascara line.
    I don't think I would ever purchase the lacquer, but the mascara itself... well, you had me at tubing! I think this is the first time I've ever seen naked Scrangie eye ^_^

  7. LOL at the Gremlins reference! ;-)

  8. I'm still laughing from the "Don't get it wet and don't feed it after midnight" comment - hilarious. I do love the hourglass mascara - one of my favorites!

  9. It really does look lovely, but you have great lashes to begin with so I'd imagine even quite basic mascaras can still look great with them. Totally jealous, I wear lash extensions!



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