Tightlining is a step I never miss whenever I wear eye makeup. My routine normally starts with eyeshadow, then eyeliner for upper and lower lash lines, eyeliner for tightlining, lash primer, and mascara. Quite a few steps, right? So when I heard about the It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer (oh what a mouthful!) that supposedly acts as a 3-in-1 product — eyeliner, mascara primer, and mascara — I was curious! Who wouldn't want to simplify the whole process?! But does it do all 3 jobs equally well? Let's see it!
It's a fact. Taking photos of products that have highly reflective surface is not my cup of tea and this product comes in a super reflective tube! The most unique/innovative thing about it, though, is actually the wand. It is ultra-skinny! It's the thinnest, tiniest mascara wand I've ever seen! How tiny? Check out the picture below!
The brand calls this skinny brush a “Tightline Slim Wand” which supposedly allows you to:
- apply the mascara from the lash root to the tip of the lashes without missing a spot
- create a tightlined effect by filling in sparse spots between the lashes for an illusion of thicker and fuller lashes
- use it as a mascara primer for your favorite mascara to maximize the volume, thickness, and length of your lashes
- separate, define, thicken, and volumize each individual lash including those tiny corner lashes and bottom lashes with precision
- deposit lash-fortifying ingredients including Peptides, Collagen, Proteins, Biotin, Nettle Extract, Green Tea, Jojoba, and Vitamins right at the lash root
The formula itself is non-scented and a little on the dry side (which I prefer) as seen below. It still applies smoothly along the lashes, though. The pigment is black, but not the blackest I've seen, and dries down to a semi-matte finish. It's non-brittle, non-crispy, non-clumpy, and non-flaky. It holds curls and wears well throughout wear although I sometimes notice slight smudging in the outer corners at the end of a long day. Removing is easy as any eye makeup remover will take it right off.
As a tightliner
Using it to tightline definitely takes practice! The first time I tried it, I had smudges and smears all over my eyelid! Trick is to hold the wand horizontally to your lash line, then slowly deposit the mascara at the base of the lashes by “wiggling” it back and forth (to create a tightlined effect) before sweeping the wand outward to the tip of the lashes.
The fact that the formula is on the dry side and you are applying on the area that is rather wet, it's hard to get the pigment to stay on without creating a mess. I have to really press it in or else it won't look like it does anything. I find that the result is more of a “smudge-y” tightline than a “clean/traditional” tightline that you would normally get from a gel, liquid, or pencil eyeliner. This might work for those who prefer a “slept in” look or those who can't stand the ticklish feeling of a pencil or brush on the inner rim of the eyes.
I honestly find that I am much quicker using a separate eyeliner to tightline. It's too much of a hassle for me to use this little wand. I don't even have big eyes to begin with and it still takes time to finish one eye. I can't imagine how long it would take for those with much bigger eyes!
As a mascara primer and mascara
It is an awesome mascara primer! It coats my lashes just enough so that my mascara has something to adhere to. It definitely helps maximize the results of my mascara by adding volume, thickness, and length of my lashes. I love it!
But is it a good mascara on its own? I think we have to set a reasonable expectation here first. Having a really teeny tiny wand, it means it can only deposit so much pigment at a time. If you have thin and sparse lashes like mine, it won't take long to coat all the lashes but if your lashes are thick, lush, and full (oh how I envy you!), you may find yourself going back and forth to get more product.
In the Before and After photo below where I applied 3 coats of the product on my (curled) bare lashes (R), you can clearly see that it significantly darkens, lengthens, thickens, and volumizes my lashes as well as creates an illusion of a bigger and more-awake eye. I even attempted to apply the product on my bottom lashes, yes, even when I have about 4 lashes there, and you can see that the product helps bring them to life (even just a little)! On the Before photo, you can barely see any of my bottom lashes but they appear a bit more noticeable in the After photo! :)
If you prefer a “my lashes but better” look, then try applying just one or two coats of the product. It creates such natural effect that you don't even look like you're wearing anything. Perfect for a minimal/non-dramatic makeup day!
All in all, I like the It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer but only as a mascara or mascara primer. The tiny wand gives me a lot of control and precision which is important for someone who has small eyes and sparse lashes. As a tightliner, it gets the job done, but it takes practice, time, and patience. I rather much prefer using a separate liner for that just because I can get it done much faster and the final look is more polished. :)
Have you tried any mascara that has such tiny wand like this? Do you have any tips or tricks to share when using it to tightline?