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Tue, Jan 13, 2009
The New Paper
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Wave the magic wand
by Angeline Neo

I NEVER thought a day would come where I would gladly trade my martini glass for a cup of herbal tea.

But I'm actually looking forward to detox if not for the January babies I know who are still keeping me locked in the celebratory mood.

Still, there is no reason to look like an extra who walked off a zombie movie.

My fallback plan is good camouflage (I swear by Benefit's Boi-ing Concealer and Lemon Aid Colour Correcting Eyelid Primer, both from Tangs Orchard) and clever make-up tricks like curling your lashes and wearing mascara.

Why? It exposes more eye whites, thereby 'opening up' tired eyes, making you appear less sleepy. Besides, upping your batting average never hurts a girl's date card either.

But like most Chinese girls, I've always had a love-hate relationship with my lashes.

Length isn't so much of an issue as volume. Don't talk about curl, there's none whatsoever.

While I've perfected the smoky-eye look (a skill for most women), I've never been too adept with a mascara wand, and an eyelash curler just makes me nervous.

But doing your lashes is an essential finishing touch. If an eye pencil defines the lids, it's a full flutter that makes the eyes pop.

I'm always looking for solutions, especially ones that can cut short my lack-of-lash angst.

For a long time, I lived in lash extensions. Little faux fibres that are glued on to your natural lashes, they stay on for a good month or so, depending on how well you look after them (don't even think about rubbing your lids) and whether your lids are naturally oily (these can affect how long they stay put).

It was pure bliss. I never had to buy mascara, and my batting curve was ace. Boys just do what you want, at a mere flutter.

Of course the upkeep - it can cost $88 to $120 for extensions, touch-ups range from $10 to $15 - can be a downside.

So it was back to wielding the wand for general days, saving the extensions for really special occasions.

Which of course means a mascara that is nothing short of perfect, from formula (it should lengthen, voluminise, and curl) to wand (the brush head has to coat, lift and separate).

Lash make-up that is basically idiot-proof: no smudges, no clumps, and preferably water-resistant too.

The classic wand for me is the pink tube Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, which doesn't retail here (get friends returning from the US to stock up).

The curved brush makes application a cinch, and the formula fattens up lashes.

Then there's M.A.C Zoom Lash ($22 from Tangs) that makes skinny lashes look plush. It gets brownie points for a good wand that has tightly-packed bristles that coat every lash, and lifting polymers in the formula that allow you to skip curling tool.

But my newest love - it's so good that I think every woman's make-up pouch needs it - is Lancome's Oscillation Mascara.

At $68 a wand, it is a lot pricier than most mascaras in the market. But it is as good as having a professional make-up artist do your lashes, thanks to its vibrating wand.

The battery-operated applicator delivers 7,000 vibrations per minute, to fully coat even the tiniest Asian hair with the mascara formula that lengthens, fattens and defines lashes.

All you need to do is bring the brush head from the root of your lash line to the lash tip.

There's no need for special techniques (like the zig-zag application motion to thicken up lashes), and you don't get a gloop of make-up that clumps up the hair or unsightly smudging.

This power mascara hits stores only in April, but the early bird can catch the worm.

There's a special pre-launch this weekend at the Lancome counter at Takashimaya this weekend, and another one at the Lancome counter at Tangs Orchard (16 to 18 Jan).

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