Case Study: The Ultimate Mascara - Take Three

This frightening scene is the aftermath of trying to fill a mascara container with a syringe that was far too small for the job.

You: Why did you use a syringe that was too small for the job?
Me: Because I had run out of the size I normally use and didn't realize until after I had started making this batch.

Despite the messy worktable above, enough of batch 3 made it into the container to be tested.

Lucky thing too. This mascara is really getting close – so close that I A/B tested it against a commercial brand mascara (by Elizabeth Arden) for an entire day.

 We'll get into that in a sec. First, here's a close-up of batch 3 applied to one eye in 1 layer.

The pigments I used for this batch consisted of 50% activated charcoal (as used in batch 1) mixed with 50% brown pigment mix (as used in batch 2).

The base formula has been adjusted, but without sacrificing any of the actives (hydrolized wheat protein, panthenol, caffeine).


The positive: 

  • Good texture to work with
  • Good color intensity
  • Goes on smoothly 
  • Easy to layer up
  • Easy to remove
  • Doesn't smudge

The less positive:

  • Takes a tad too long to dry upon application
  • Some flaking off of color after hours of wear

How it Stacked Up Against Elizabeth Arden  (Ceramide Lash Extending Mascara)

To test, I applied 'Liz Arden' to one eye and mine to the other and wore all day. The color, build-up and feel were so similar I couldn't see or feel any difference upon application. It wasn't until some hours later that the difference became evident. Mine started flaking off (but nowhere nearly as badly as batch one).


If I can crack that bit of flaking color, we should be ready to rock and roll. I've already got an idea of what to do to adjust the formula and am on my way back to the lab to give it a whirl.

Extra Note

While developing and testing all these batches, I have been using only less-than-ideal mascara containers with lame-o application brushes from Urtegaarden (sorry Urtegaarden, but this really is the only product you carry that is sub standard). The good containers I have found and plan to use are pricey pricey pricey, so I'll be saving those for the final batch.

Stay tuned!


alicyn said…
i think a lot of mascara application and overall effect definitely depends on the brush... and while i haven't decided what works best for me, i know that the basic "spoolie" type that comes with the urtegaarden kit is not it. (apologies here too! i love the actual mascara made with the kit.)

i haven't tried yet, but i'm thinking of cleaning off a brush that i do like and hoping that i can screw it onto the urtegaarden tube.
LisaLise said…
Hey there Alicyn - I totally agree about the mascara brush. It makes a huge difference. If you find a brush that fits into the Urtegaarden container and seals properly, do let me know. I'm researching some new links for mascara containers as we speak.. might find something that doesn't cost an arm and a leg AND works this time! :)