Sunday, October 5, 2014

Review: It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer

Hi, friends! It's been a little while since I last did a full review of a product, so today we'll be talking about the It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer. Phew, that's definitely a mouthful! As I'm typing this, I'm trying to say it out loud and I keep getting tongue-tied. I'll be referring to it as the It Cosmetics Mascara Primer for the rest of this review, just because who's got the time to say (or type) all of that?

Disclaimer: I received this as a gift from my mother. Not sponsored or affiliated with any mentioned brands. Then again, I might be sponsored by the mother, considering she gives me money sometimes. This post is quite possibly sponsored by my mother. 

About It Cosmetics: 

It Cosmetics is all about making products that not only look good on your skin, but also do good for your skin. Their products usually have some anti-aging aspect to them, as well as other vitamins. It's great having an added bonus, as well as justifying expanding your already-big-enough makeup collection!

About the It Cosmetics [Tightline Full Lash Length Black] Mascara Primer

Claims (from It Cosmetics' website)
  • A true game changer in mascara and eyeliner technology! It’s your eyeliner, black mascara primer and mascara in one! 
  • Unlike most other mascara brushes that are larger and leave the first 1/3 of your lash roots bare, this ultra-skinny wand gets to the root of your lashes for ultimate length, volume, and the look of a full lash line. 
  • The wand also allows the primer’s conditioning agents to nourish lashes at the roots giving your lashes the most effective dosage of lash-enhancement and protection ever! 
Ingredients of It Cosmetics [Tightline Full Lash Length Black] Mascara Primer

Camellia Sinesis Leaf Water, Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Water, Beeswax, Stearic Acid, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Glycerin, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Tromethamine, Glyceryl Stearate, Hectorite, Phenoxyrthanol, Dimethicone, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Cholesterol, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Lauroyl Lysine, Lecithin, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis (jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Asarum Siebildi Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower/Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Morifolium Flower Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Morus Alba Root Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojobs) Seed Extract, Thuja Occidentalis Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Vitex Trifola Fruit Extract, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Xanthan Gum. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77499). 

Let's go over a few of these:

Beeswax: Made by bees! If you're allergic to bee stings, you can still wear this because it doesn't contain bee venom or whatever is in their stingers (at least, I'm allergic to bees and I wear this, but I'm only mildly allergic, not like My Girl allergic,). This is generally used as a thickening agent, so it'll help thicken your lashes, and it's also a little emollient so it shouldn't make your eyelashes super crispy. Good stuff.

Stearic Acid: A fatty acid that serves as a thickening agent that also keeps the formula in tact. This is something you generally see in mascaras. Good stuff.

Dimenthicone: There seems to be a controversy when it comes to dimenthicone in pretty much anything beauty related. In makeup, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. In fact, mascaras that are made with silicones tend to be more water-resistant, since it sort of forms a "seal" over your lashes. Just make sure you use a waterproof makeup remover or good makeup-dissolving cleanser, because this won't just rinse off with water. Also, if you have a silicone allergy (you know who you are) you might want to stay away.

Jojoba Seed Oil: I love it! It's very moisturizing and it's nice in skincare, too.  Good stuff.

There are also some other good ingredients in here (avocado, for example), but they're so far down on the ingredients list that I'm wondering how much is really in there and how much they're actually benefiting me.

Ingredient Claims (from It Cosmetics' website)
  • The skinny wand also allows the conditioning serum to infuse a blend of lash-enhancing ingredients including Peptides, Collagen, Proteins, Biotin, Nettle Extract, Green Tea, Jojoba, and Vitamins.
My thoughts: This sounds great and all, but I just want to point out that although the "biotin craze" claims that biotin works to improve hair, skin, and nail health, there's no actual concrete proof that it does anything when applied topically to anything. Though, as a vitamin (part of the Vitamin B group, remember it as "B is for Biotin"), it's always good to ingest it orally for overall health and goodness. Either way, these are all good ingredients, and it definitely follows through with It Cosmetics' "mission statement" of selling makeup that is also good for you. But they aren't lying when they say it's a "skinny wand"! We'll talk about that later in the review.
  • Paraben-free, fragrance-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, and is it great for even the most sensitive eyes
My thoughts: I'm definitely going to do a post on this at some point, but everyone needs to stop freaking out about parabens. There was one (ONE) study that was poorly done, without a control and other key aspects of a well-done experiment, and the media got a hold of that information and it went viral. There really is no credible information out there that tells us that parabens are something to worry about, so calm your titties! Parabens are a preservative, and a good one at that. They help our makeup last longer so we can get more use out of it. Many other preservatives that companies are using now (because of all the bad hype over parabens) are actually not as effective and can cause problems that parabens never did, such as irritation. Luckily, I didn't experience any bad side effects with this mascara.

I do like that this is fragrance-free, because I prefer to put as less fragrance on my skin (especially my eyes) as possible.

The "sulfate-free" claim makes my laugh my ass off. Do you know what sulfates are? Soap. Sulfates are soap. Never have I ever seen a mascara with soap in it. Have you? I feel like companies have started putting "sulfate-free" on anything they can, because it is yet another marketing scheme, but I have no idea why they need to advertise that their mascara is soap-free. Isn't that a given? A mascara better be soap free! Marketing is too funny sometimes. I will mention, though, that as both a person with sensitive-eyes and a contacts-wearer, and I can say that this mascara does not irritate my eyes. 
Price and Availability: 
$24 for .118 oz at It CosmeticsUlta
$23.50 for .118 oz (wow, I know, what a bargain) at Amazon
$29 (+S&H) for 2 tubes at QVC

My Experience:

The Packaging:

The shiny metal aspect of the packaging does not lend itself well to photography, but let me tell you that this is incredibly reflective. I can look at this really close and see my glasses reflecting back at me. Crazy, right? The packaging makes this product look very luxurious (which makes sense, given that it's $24). I'm a fan.

Speaking of packaging, I feel the need to point out that the longer side of the tube contains the mascara wand. Normally when buying mascara, you get more product/formula in the tube, and the smaller side is the wand. This mascara contains .118 ounces of product, whereas the average tube of mascara contains at least double that. It Cosmetic's Hello Lashes Mascara contains .33 ounces for the same price of $24. Most people may argue that you need less primer than mascara, but you're not really using that much less. Plus, for that price, I should be getting at least double the amount. Tiny wand should not have to mean tiny everything! 

The Stuff Inside:

Let's talk about the formula. The first coat of this mascara primer glides on smoothly, which is probably to the credit of the oils and silicones in the formula. If you're trying to put on multiple coats, using it more like a mascara, that's when it gets tricky. It becomes slightly sticky once it dries (which I can understand, since it's a primer and is probably meant to allow the mascara to adhere to your lashes better). When applying this to my lashes, I work on one eye at a time, applying a second coat before the first coat has a chance to completely dry.

Can we talk about the brush? Have you ever SEEN a brush this thin in your whole life?

No, really, look at it! It's so cute! It's the cutest, tiniest, teeniest brush I have ever laid my eyes on. It's adorable. 

But does it get the job done? My short answer is yes: it does. It applies mascara and the short bristles allow you to get really close to the lashline without poking your eye. However, this mascara is advertised to be this small so you can tightline with it, which I give a big thumbs-down to. I've tried tightlining with this every time and never had much luck. When applying the mascara, it's obviously still wet, so trying to apply wet mascara to your already wet upper inner rim ("waterline"), it just doesn't work. I typically find that you need a pencil or a gel formula in order to do it, since they're dryer than a liquid eyeliner. That being said, it does allow you to get to the base of your lashes, making them look a little thicker, but the ultimate "tightlining" aspect that you think you might get with this mascara is not going to happen. 

The good thing about this tiny wand is that there's no real need to wipe the excess off your brush, since there is no excess. There's no room!

The Performance

Let's talk about the swatches.

(My left eye) No mascara, lashes are not curled.
These are my natural, dark blonde, straight-as-a-ruler eyelashes. I have not yet curled them in this picture. 

What I look for in a mascara is something to make them darker and make them curl. My eyelashes are surprisingly long, it's just that no one can tell because they grow straight out. And that's just not fair.  

(My right eye) Curled lashes, two coats of this mascara on top, one coat on bottom
Here are my amped-up lashes. I used my Revlon eyelash curler and then applied two coats of this to my top lashes and one coat to my bottom. You can pull out an eyelash comb if you want to separate out the lashes more, but I didn't for the purpose of this review. 

Left: Lashes curled, two coats of mascara on top, one coat on bottom.
Right: Natural lashes, not curled, no mascara

Let's compare. My eyelashes are definitely darker, have a bit more volume, and almost reach up to my eyebrow (which I cut out of these photos because, honestly, I had been lazy with my tweezing at this time). 

I wore this all day, and it wore surprisingly well. My curl held all day, as did the mascara on the top lashes. The mascara had smudged under my bottom lashes within a couple of hours, but it was far less than usual. I don't have oily skin, but I do have watery eyes, due to the fact that I have dry eyes (which just isn't fair). I don't really rub my eyes throughout the day, so I can say that it was the fault of the mascara. I'm ruling that this "waterproof" claim is more of a water-resistant formula. 

I don't really use an eyelash primer, just because I find that my mascara mostly stays on all day (minus the watery eyes part, but I've found that even with waterproof mascara, nothing gold can stay). Plus, this works as a mascara for me, since it does everything I need it to do. It lengthens, it darkens, and it volumizes somewhat (though mostly it's just good at combining my lashes together).

I will say that for a water"proof" mascara ,this is very easy to get off at night. I had no problem using Philosophy's Purity cleanser (a monthly favorite) to take this mascara off at night. All I need to do is use that and then go back in with a Q-Tip and a bit of two-part liquid eye makeup remover (mine is the CVS version of Neutrogena's) to get the remaining residue. (See my Evening Skincare Routine for more info on that, though it has changed somewhat since then). It works great! No rubbing at lashes needed! I know I love the Benefit They're Real Mascara for ultimate drama, but I always find that it grabs my eyelashes too harshly during application, and then it's nearly impossible to get off, and I would always see at least one coming out every night when I used it. This definitely does not do that! It's quite gentle on eyelashes, actually, which is wonderful. 

The Verdict: 

  • Nice natural-looking mascara, good for daytime
  • Gives nice length to lashes
  • More precision with tiny brush
  • Does not flake
  • Holds curl all day
  • No clumps
  • Good staying power overall
  • Brush is good at grabbing lashes at the roots and coating them all the way through
  • Soft lashes, not "crispy"
  • Good for people with sensitive eyes and/or contact wearers
  • Not difficult to remove

  • Not very dramatic/not a nighttime mascara (BUT you could top it with something else)
  • Doesn't give a ton of volume/thickness
  • Takes more time to apply because of tiny brush
  • Pricey (especially considering it's only .118 fl oz)
  • Hard to apply multiple coats ("sticky" if using as mascara)
  • Very little product (the longest part of the tube is the wand)
  • Difficult to actually tightline with (as advertised)
  • May still smudge on lower lashes--not completely waterproof
  • No real sense of "nourishment" or "lash-enhancement"

Overall, I really like this mascara primer as a mascara. I don't feel the need to use this as a mascara primer, because apart from my watery eyes (which can be met by no waterproof mascara, it seems) it stays all day. I always see light smudging under my eyes by the end of the day, but it's not as bad as I've gotten with other mascaras, so I really like the overall staying power. The baby mascara wand makes it very easy to get the bottom lashes without smearing it all over myself, which is great for the general population that don't have dry/watery eyes. It also lengthens my eyelashes very nicely, though the va-va volume aspect isn't there. I found it impossible to "tightline" my upper inner rim with this, because you're putting wet mascara on a wet waterline, but to each their own. But, it is easy to get to the base of your lashes with this, since the wand is so small. I don't get the nourishing or lash-enhancing aspect, but it doesn't dry out my lashes or make them fall out. I don't see myself repurchasing this in the near future, just because $24 is a lot to pay for what normally would be considered a deluxe sample size (.118oz). But, if if I were going to repurchase it, I would definitely go for the HSN duo since it looks like a way better deal (basically it's buy one, get one free before shipping costs are added into the mix). Overall, I've really been enjoying it, and it's worth a try if you want to test out a new mascara primer or if you're looking for a new long-wearing mascara. If you're on a budget and looking for a natural daytime mascara, you can take a trip to the drugstore instead.

What's your favorite mascara right now?

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Disclaimer: I received this as a gift from my mother. Not sponsored or affiliated with any mentioned brands. Then again, I might be sponsored by the mother, considering she gives me money sometimes. This post is quite possibly sponsored by my mother.