I’m going to totally pan a product today, so I’ll start off by raving about Stranger Things, the new Netflix series that I started and finished last week. I am not much of a marathoner when it comes to television series (well, to be honest, not much when it comes to actual marathons, either!); the last thing I marathoned was Luther Series 4 last month, which is a cheat since it was only two episodes. Ha! (I cannot recommend the whole series enough if you like dark and disturbing shows. And Idris Elba. So you get two raves in one post.)
Stranger Things is a hybrid sci-fi/horror period piece that’s a total throwback to a slew of 1980s movies (I counted references and homages to E.T., Stand by Me, Aliens, Carrie, Poltergeist, and The Empire Strikes Back, just off the top of my head). Even its poster looks the part, i.e. like it was illustrated by Drew Struzan (it was actually done by Kyle Lambert) and the title treatment wouldn’t look out of place on a Stephen King book cover. The series also includes 80s stars Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine, to amplify the retro feel.
Even if you’re not much of a sci-fi or horror buff, Stranger Things is still worth watching since it’s well written and has incredibly impressive young talent. All of the series’ young stars are phenomenally good, and even the teens are pretty solid. Grown-ups Winona Ryder and David Harbour are fantastic. (Matthew Modine, sadly, has a smaller and fairly one-dimensional role.) This is absolutely my favorite Netflix series, so far, and I’m looking forward to the second season!
And now, onto the rant. It’s a Maybelline product, and let’s be honest, there’s something quintessentially 80s about Maybelline, isn’t there? Maybe it’s just me. Heh. Firstly, the product name is ludicrously long: Volum’Express The Colossal Chaotic Lash! Seriously. Just stop.
I bought it solely because it received good reviews on MUA, even from people who have the same kind of lashes I have: short and super-straight lashes that uncurl with regular, water-based mascaras. Well, that unfortunately didn’t work out so well for me. MUA, you have failed me!
I normally like Maybelline mascaras (Full n Soft Waterproof is an all-time fave, and thanks a lot for discontinuing it in Canada) so I expected this one to be, at the very worst, a mediocre mascara. It turned out to be one of my least favorites ever. If we compare mascaras to Netflix Originals, and Full n Soft is Stranger Things, then Colossal Chaotic is about ten times worse than Marco Polo (it’s very poorly written, do not be fooled by the IMDb rating).
A word on the packaging: I hate these big, bulbous mascara tubes with tapered caps. They’re such a pain in the butt to hold, don’t you think? I always find them slipping from my fingers at inopportune moments.
This mascara is thick, gloopy, and goes on in big clumps. I tried wiping off excess product from the weirdly thick and—yes, chaotically-placed—bristles on the mascara wand, to no avail. I used this product for about a month, trying to be extremely careful with application so I didn’t end up looking like I had four gigantic eyelashes on each eye. It’s basically a mediocre mascara if you take precautions and apply really, really slowly and deliberately. And if you like the spidery look, ’cause that’s what you’re gonna end up with. Awful, awful.
The only good things I can say about it are that it stayed on pretty well, held a curl strongly, and was quite waterproof. It definitely didn’t get better as it aged (you know, when wet mascaras dry out and suddenly become nice?). It just got clumpier.
I am going to feel so relieved to chuck this tube into the trash! Thank goodness I only paid CA$5.39 when it was on sale.
Maybelline Volum’Express The Colossal Chaotic Lash! Waterproof Mascara is 0.32 fl oz / 9.5 mL and retails for about US$7.99 / CA$8.99.
Maybelline’s parent company, L’Oréal, now claims that, with a caveat, they no longer test on animals:
L’Oréal no longer tests on animals any of its products or any of its ingredients, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others. An exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes.
Maybelline was started in 1915 by a teenage boy named Tom Lyle Williams. He named the company after his sister Mabel, who inspired him to create a mascara-like product. The company has been owned by L’Oréal since 1996, and is based in New York, NY, USA.