Got this as part of Maybelline's HyperCouture Fashion Show last month, and it presided in its little baggie since then, till at length yesterday I decided to take it out and break it in.
But you can probably see why, can't you? I'm not that much of a Hello Kitty fan but even I gotta admit that the packaging is gorgeous. Like many Hello Kitty collaborations, this one is limited edition as well. I'm pretty ambivalent about LE stuff -- on one hand there's the exclusivity, but on the other hand this means if you actually love the product, it wouldn't be readily available! The kicker? It's only available in Asia, so readers from other parts of the world would have to scour Ebay in order to find it. : C
That aside, the packaging is almost entirely in Japanese as well, but this volume-boosting mascara claims to create up to 5x more volume with a sky-high curl, even without using an eyelash curler. Its Curl-Lock Technology also helps lashes stay curly for as long as 18 hours.
Luckily for us, at least the ingredients list is in English.
And on to the mascara itself.
The mascara wand is a comb-type applicator common to a lot of lengthening mascaras. Personally I thought the applicator didn't really work that well with the formulation. Like most volumizing mascaras, the formulation tends to clump, and a comb-type applicator isn't well-suited to applying thicker mascara evenly.
The formulation itself is thick and dry, which does well at volumizing individual lashes, but inevitably clump on the second coat onwards. It is decidedly smudge-proof and waterproof on the lashes though, good news for those who routinely rub their eyes out or get caught in torrential rains.
It stayed on the entire day for me, though trying to remove it as gently as possible was rather a pain. But nevertheless, a small trade-off for its lasting power.
Before and after application, respectively. Pardon the messiness (I was barely awake).
Side and bottom view.
I prefer a softer look so this isn't my favorite mascara, but it's certainly a decent one. Clearly though, its main selling point is its feline mascot, the actual effectiveness of the product itself is almost secondary.
Volumizing effect: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ (does volumize a little, but there are better ones in Maybelline's range)
Lasting power: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ (hold its own)
Ability to hold curls: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Overall: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Disclaimer: Product given as part of Maybelline's Hypercoulture Fashion Show 2011.