Mascara is my desert island beauty pick. It’s the essential I keep in my purse, gym bag, and office desk (or at least I did pre-pandemic).While I have my favorites—my go-to mascara of 9 years, my perfect clean pick, and my top waterproof option—I’m still always game to try something new, especially when it’s a highly anticipated mascara launch with a 45,000-person waitlist.
That’s how I ended up with Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Push-Up Lashes Mascara ($29; nordstrom.com). The latest addition to Charlotte Tilbury’s mascara lineup, the new formula promised length, volume, and shape for up to 24 hours of continuous wear—and the announcement led to the biggest waitlist the Meghan Markle-approved brand had ever seen on one of its products. When the company offered to send me a sample to test out, I joined the group of fans eagerly awaiting the mascara’s arrival.
The tube arrived at my door a couple weeks after launching on August 26 this year. Its soft pink packaging felt sturdy and luxurious in my hand, while the rose gold cap reminded me of the company’s signature lipsticks. Although I was impressed with the exterior packaging, I was more infatuated by the jet-black formula inside.
It’s made with a unique polymer derived from Larch tree that’s naturally gummy and stretchy. This allows the coated lashes to be lifted from root to tip for a noticeable extension. Carnauba wax then adds body and texture for noticeable volume without unwanted extra weight. The combination is rounded out with a keratin conditioner that not only nourishes lashes, but also makes them appear thicker for an end result that rivals falsies.
As a mascara fanatic, I know a solid formula is only half the battle; you also need a good brush to properly apply it. The Pillow Talk mascara succeeded on both fronts with a unique applicator that combines a flat paddle brush with volumizing, diamond-shape bristles. The best way to envision the brush is a cone applicator missing half of its bristles. While this might not sound conducive to fluffy lashes, it actually allows for a two-step application process that makes a noticeable difference with each coat.
Although it took a second to warm up to the new brush, I found that the end result was noticeable drama. My lashes looked amazing and I didn’t notice any flaking even as I started to hit the 12-hour wear mark. I didn’t test a full 24 hours in the mascara—I know the importance of removing my eye makeup before bed—but I did notice the “push-up” I got from the first application lasted all day. In fact, my only complaint was that the mascara was too good at its sticking power: I forgot I was wearing makeup and rubbed my eyes, causing serious clumping that took patience to carefully comb out.
Because of my less-is-more approach to beauty during the pandemic, my favorite part of the mascara is that it gives a made-up glam look with minimal effort. My va-va-voom lashes make it seem like I’m going after a full-glam look, when in reality I’m keeping my beauty products at a minimum. So while the price may be steep for mascara at $29, I’ve never been one to shy away from an investment—especially when it makes such a difference.
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