Nu Evolution Mascara

I can’t think of a more polarizing beauty product than mascara. What’s celebrated as an icon by some, is deemed a fail by others. It’s incredibly subjective; everyone’s criteria on what makes a mascara great is really personal. (I still cannot understand what the fuss has been around Maybelline’s Great Lash the past few decades.)

Here’s my criteria:

  • Let me do a quick swipe and look natural.

  • Let me apply several coats, building so I’m *this close” to looking like I have lash extensions on.

  • Truly black pigment, nothing that looks dark grey in sunlight.

  • No black crumbs stuck to the tips of my lashes, no flakes accruing underneath my eye.

    (Lastly, the clincher that separates a winning formula from just about every other tube on the market.)

  • Holds a curl all day.

My lashes are blessedly thick and somewhat long, but really fine and stick straight. Which means a couple minutes post application, they flop down, defeated, underneath the weight of the mascara. This is even after a serious session with a Shu Uemura lash curler (the gold standard by many) used Kevyn-Aucoin-style (curl at the bottom, walk it out and keep lightly pressing as you angle the handle of the curler upwards each time. Feels weird at first, but really makes a difference!)

This tube, by Nu Evolution, has been a repeat buy several times. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write about it, it’s frankly brilliant. The formula and brush surpasses any other. It checks all my boxes and gets better with each use as the pigment dries down and gives me more control. I used to be able to buy this at Credo Beauty, who’s sadly stopped stocking the line. But it is still available from the brand’s website directly. ($28 Nu Evolution).

Plume Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum

Big, bold, fluttery lashes. Pretty much everyone these days are after them, and mascara isn't the onnly method to accomplish them.

There's Latisse (by prescription only), or the ubiquitous lash bars where you can get a custom set of faux lashes with a several week shelf life. But if like me, Latisse's myriad side effects (like changing eye color) unnerves you, or wearing fake eyelashes isn't your bag, there's a gentler approach in Plume's Lash & Brow Serum.  

The serum contains a nourishing cocktail of lash conditioners and obscure extracts (Coltsfoot Flower, Yarrow Flower, and Peruvian Bark Extract) to promote hair growth. Housed in a liquid eyeliner style wand, one application a night starts to yield results in as little as 17 days. That said, 60-90 days are recommended for full results.

And there are definitely results. Do a Google image search or check out their website to see the befores and afters shared by happy customers. My lashes – while fairly long – are pretty sparse and flimsy. After a couple months, they were blossomed, becoming noticeably thicker and voluminous. They were strengthened, holding up much more resiliently to the daily abuse I subject them to with a Shu Uemura lash curler each morning, with no kinks or broken lashes. 

I read somewhere that hair is as delicate as silk, and will of course eventually succumb to repeated damage inflicted from heat and styling. We fret over our split ends, slather our heads with buttery conditioning masks, and shell out for argan oil based styling serums. But we really didn't have anything to take care of our (much more fragile) lashes until now.