My Birchbox subscription has taught me a lot about the cosmetics industry.
For example, a lot of women will apparently pay $18 an ounce for a “molecular mist” purported to do everything from keeping skin hydrated to protecting it from “ionizing radiation” emitted from the sun and cellphones.
I thought it smelled like that one perfume that every lady over 75 is contractually obligated to wear, so I tossed it.
Come at me, ionizing radiation.
I’ve also learned that oil-based moisturizers, even those containing lavender-scented unicorn tears of happiness, make my eyes swell, which I guess puffs the tiny wrinkles right out.
Overall, the Birchbox experiment has been loads of fun, especially when the $10-a-month box of samples includes makeup. My first box held a full-size container of Laura Geller Baked Blush N’ Brighten blusher/highlighter, and this month I received stila’s Smudge Stick liner in Lionfish (that’s a coppery brown for those of you unfamiliar with hilarious names for cosmetics shades).
The Birchbox item that’s changed my makeup routine, however, is blinc mascara (and no, the cosmetics industry absolutely CANNOT afford to purchase uppercase letters for their company names).
I had been having trouble with mascara for a while. L’Oreal either stopped making or stopped distributing my favorite mascara, FeatherLash, a few years ago, and while other varieties were certainly waterproof, they weren’t anywhere NEAR smudgeproof or flakeproof. By midday, especially in the summer, I was almost guaranteed to have light black smudges under my eyes. Of course, I couldn’t remove waterproof smudges without removing any foundation or concealer that I might be wearing, so sometimes I would just skip mascara in the morning, especially if I was planning on wearing makeup on an evening outing and didn’t want to start over.
The blinc sample promised to form smudgeproof tubes of color around my lashes instead of painting them. It also pointed out a DUH factoid about waterproof mascara: Your skin’s oil makes it smudge because it’s waterproof, not oilproof (oil is a central ingredient in many of the very products that REMOVE waterproof mascara, after all).
So how DO you remove mascara that’s waterproof AND oilproof? It turns out that blinc is actually water-resistant rather than waterproof. Sweat, rain and tears shouldn’t affect it, however, since it requires a combination of water AND pressure for removal. I’ve found that a few concentrated splashes of warm water, followed by gentle tugging with my fingertips, takes it right off. This method actually results in fewer lashes getting tugged out, too.
So, yeah, I totally spent $25 on a tube of mascara for the first time ever. Wonders never cease.