By the Southern Belle
“I saw some eye stuff called The Falsies. What is that? An eyeliner? A mascara?” The questions were poised by my co-worker Jemal, a consummate sports writer who, like most men, didn’t find it necessary to commit to memory the nuanced differences between mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow and other cosmetics that might fall under another general category – such as “eye stuff.”
“It’s a mascara,” I replied.
“That’s for your eyelashes, right?” he continued.
“Yep,” I said.
“I don’t get it. Why would anyone want to look like they have false eyelashes?” he asked, innocently.
The question is a good one. In a world centered around spending hours and millions on seemingly effortless, natural beauty, why the hell would a product blatantly tout itself as giving an appearance that’s anything other than natural?
“Because women wear false eyelashes all the time to improve on what nature gave them,” I explained. “Moving beyond a simple application of mascara, false lashes give a foundation of length and volume. In this case, being fake is fabulous.”
Jemal looked at me quizzically. I found myself at an unfamiliar loss for words as I attempted to describe how a mascara labeled The Falsies is like a dream come true for me and many women who would buy mascaras with labels such as “Ridiculous Length,” “Miss Piggy-Worthy Peepers” and, as I once joked with a friend “Camel-Envy Lashes.” (If you’ve never noticed, camels have some of the lushest lashes around.)
The faker the better in my opinion. Many of my friends have heard me pine for a long-lost mascara, I think it was a Clinique brand, that in my first days of wearing mascara gave me lashes that hit my eyebrows – an ideal I’ve never been able to replicate with any mascara since.
I let the conversation with Jemal slide, but I couldn’t stop thinking about The Falsies. “My husband always wants to know why I can’t just find a product I like and stick with it,” my friend Anna said of her habit for collecting beauty products. “He just doesn’t understand that with every new product that hits the shelves there’s something that might work better for me. You can’t just settle.”
Some women have their favorites. Even women who repeatedly cheat on their favorite beauty products by trying others generally still have a tried-and-true product they turn to when all else fails. The beauty backup, the stand-by boyfriend of products that will never let you down even when a new lip liner does. I’ve had a long love affair with Oil of Olay sensitive skin moisturizer with SPF 15. I have finicky combination skin and it’s just grown used to the formulation and I know I can slather it on, have a modicum of skin protection for my fair skin and I won’t be broken out in a few days time. Sure, I still stray. I’ve tried Anthelios, Laura Mercier, Clarins and dozens of other day and night-time moisturizers. But I always seem to return to that white bottle with the black top.
Revlon ColorStay black eyeliner is another personal favorite. I might have a cosmetic bag filled in the bottom with Urban Decay eyeliner shades from oil slick to electric, but I always return to Revlon ColorStay.
I’m more of a mascara whore, however. I tend to stick to drugstore brands because it’s an easier habit to supplement while allowing me options. It’s easier to ditch an $8 mascara than a $28 one. Plus, I’ve never been entirely impressed with many of the brands I’ve tried. Cargo wasn’t long enough (and I already have pretty darn long lashes). Stila wasn’t impactful enough. Lancome was so-so and it’s “oscillating” wand was gimmicky and a pain in the hand (to keep the vibration button depressed).
I generally play brands such as CoverGirl and Maybelline off one another when it comes to mascaras. For a long time I used the lash lengthening blends that offer a coat of white lengthening glue and then black mascara as a top coat. This does worlds for length but tends to flake at the end of the day sometimes revealing white tips on the lashes (from the extension glue). It’s a minor complaint, for sure, but aggravating just the same.
Most recently, I toured the CoverGirl selection of LashBlasts etc. Promising volume, then length, then a new formula with length and volume – they did the trick but I wasn’t in love either. We had a relatively long-term relationship, over a year in fact, but my eye strayed in the cosmetic aisles. I was always shopping for something new.
After speaking with Jemal, I knew I’d try The Falsies. My LashBlast mascara had nearly dried out anyway. So I bought some Falsies for around $6, returning the new, unopened tube of LashBlast I had purchased for around $8 days before.
I’d read mixed reviews for the formula online. Some loved it, some hated it. Some said The Falsies have a funky smell. Others claimed it clumps and flakes. Many liked the “spoon-shaped” wand. Others thought it was weird.
In one coat I was in love. Here at last were the nearly-eyebrow-hitting lashes I’d been seeking. The wand is unique and I do think the spoon-shaped curve allows the wand to more closely hug the lashes. The package warns that the mascara shouldn’t be allowed to dry between applications. I imagine doing so would increase the flaky factor. I’ve been wearing The Falsies for a few weeks now, and I’m pretty pleased. The ridiculous length of my first application seems to have abated a bit – must’ve been something to that first application with slippery, new solution. As any girl knows, like people, mascaras die a little every day. Even the most dry-out proof mascaras lose their luster over time and I argue that nothing beats the day a mascara is first twist open.
My LashBlast days are behind me. And I’m proud to say I’m sporting a pair of Falsies. And while it’s been a long time since my eyes were fringed so beautifully, my eyes still stray – searching for the next best thing.