If 40 shades of Audacious Lipstick (see my review of Juliette) released last year didn't make you feel audacious enough, maybe the new Audacious Mascara will! It promises to separate, lengthen, and amplify every single lash from roots to tips with the help of a meticulously-designed, lash-catching brush that contains over 200 molded rubber bristles and lengthening hooks! Since the focus of this mascara seems to fall largely on the brush, this post is going to be brush picture-heavy! :)
NARS Audacious Mascara sports the iconic rubberized, matte black exterior — signature of NARS's packaging — with a contrasting red end on the top of the lid. The cap closes with a click-lock mechanism and the tube has a stopper to reduce the excess mascara. Sleek, modern, and very clean-looking but yes, you guessed it, also a makeup and fingerprint magnet!
Now, are you ready for some close-up shots of the brush? Be warned, the thing looks so much like some sort of an unusual medieval weapon! ;)
The bristles are made of rubber of alternating length. As mentioned, there are over 200 molded bristles on this little wand! The shorter bristles are lengthening hooks that stick out between the longer bristles. They are supposed to help grip individual lashes and coat them evenly with the jet-black formula from roots to tips! The wand is slightly flexible and tapered at the top to aid in reaching the inner corners and lower lashes.
The red-colored wand is very nice to look at but once soaked with the mascara, you can't tell at all that it's red. I'm not really seeing the point of it but it sure does make for an aesthetic appearance.
One thing I'd like to mention right away is that the wand requires some getting used to especially if you have rather small eyes like mine. Due to the larger size and rather unusual shape of the brush, I have to be extra careful during application by applying the mascara gently and slowly upward to avoid the risk of poking my waterline. It wouldn't hurt if it did but it would make my eyes watery and things would get messy!
There's only one shade currently available and that is Black Moon. It is truly jet-black with a soft satin finish. The formula is lightweight, not too wet or dry, and non-scented (except the usual synthetic mascara scent). It does not make my lashes stiff, crunchy, or droopy during wear. It builds and holds curl like a champ. Though not waterproof, it's still ultra long-wearing without showing any signs of smudging or transferring later on in the day even in summer heat.
However, it isn't without any flaws. Here are a few things I think the mascara could be improved upon:
- The bristles could be a little less further apart, or in other word, more dense for people whose lashes are so thin and sparse like mine.
- Though not smudge-y, the formula tends to flake later on in the day. It's not too terrible, just a few tiny black flecks, but it's noticeable, and it could be better without.
- For me, I can't apply more than two coats. Any more than that, my lashes seem to get clumped together quickly and I will need to comb through them with a clean spoolie. (Good thing the formula is so well-pigmented so even at 2 coats, my lashes still appear jet-black!) But if you are into dramatic spidery lash look, then I think this will be a bonus point for you!
In the picture below, I applied 2 coats of the mascara on both eyes (bottom photo). The effect may not be dramatic but surely is noticeable. What can I say, my natural lashes are ridiculously thin and sparse to begin with. To see this much difference already says a lot about the mascara!
In the Before photo, My bare lashes are almost non-existent but with 2 coats of mascara, they are much more noticeable! The volumizing effect is moderate at best but you can't deny that my lashes appear thicker, fuller, and longer in the After photo. In person, they appear soft and fluttery as well. I look so much more alive and awake, funny how much a little black mascara can do! :) As for my bottom lashes? Well, there is simply none so I didn't bother applying the mascara there! ;D
Since the formula isn't waterproof, it takes no extra work to remove. A plain eye makeup remover will do the job just fine. There's no irritation of any kind during my testing experience. It's perfectly safe for contact lens wearer, too.
Overall, I think the Audacious Mascara is a pretty decent mascara if you don't over apply. I find 1-2 strokes to give the best and long-lasting results. Flaking can be minimized with the use of a good lash primer. As long as the formula is ultra black and non-smudge-y with a noticeable lash-enhancing effect, which the Audacious Mascara is, I'm gold! :)
Disclosure: The NARS Audacious Mascara was provided free of charge by NARS Thailand for review purposes. Opinions expressed herein are honest and my own.