Bobbi Brown's No Smudge mascara is impressive for those who like the natural looks that some mascaras offer. The No Smudge mascara really does not smudge but that was not what I worried about. This mascara barely clumps and I'm not sure if it's the ingredients or something but you really can't tell that it's mascara that's enhancing your eyes! Oh, and this mascara makes your lashes look good in pictures. That definitely feeds the vain ego. The trick with mascaras is that if you think there's clumping, it's because the way you handle the product causes the clumps (unless at first usage, it's already clumpy). Make sure you don't pump the mascara in a up-and-down motion and close the opening of the mascara with one finger from the opposite hand after pulling off the wand. This prevents oxidation. Anywho, Bobbi Brown's No Smudge Mascara is my HG mascara so far.
UPDATE (2012-02-17): BOYCOTTING RE. CURRENT ANIMAL TESTING FOR CHINESE MARKET
Splendid everyday mascara, but ensure purchase from a source who gets in regular supplies; my first experience was an old tube, clumping unforgiveably soon (10 days!!!) after opening. And drying out, and being drying on the lashes. I've rewritten my old review (2010-11-08) after using a new tube bought from a different source; entirely better experience. Though there's still an issue with drying out too fast: perfect for a good 2-3 weeks, downhill from there, unusable at 6. Hence 1 lippie off; alternatives/faves at end of review.
For however long it lasts: a beautiful mascara. Think Clinique Naturally Glossy--my favourite and benchmark for other mascaras--but more volumising, and not only smudge-proof but waterproof. Cruelty-free, vegetarian (I *think* indeed vegan) ingredients, and--FYI if this is an issue for you, not one of mine but I know some folks look for this sort of thing--using a non-paraben preservative.
As waterproof mascaras go, this is also one of the least drying: lashes feel as soft and fluttery as they do with the best two waterproofs I'd found previously, Maybelline Full & Soft and Beauty Without Cruelty, but with less under-eye smudging, better hold, and more volume. I performed my usual tests*: for I live in fear of mascara smudging and running--I'm a redhead with pale lashes, and when this has happened in the past, it's been quite mortifying :(
The "no smudge" aspect is particularly impressive. I have quite dry skin, especially around the eyes, so tend not to smudge from sebum much. But in colder drier weather, I'm using heavier moisturiser than usual under my eyes, including a top-coat of shea butter, and I've had no smudging issues. Other w/ps have, however, been smudging very slightly under the lower lashes by the end of the day.
Short tube and wand--love or loathe, the short handle's great for the short-sighted "blind" application, taking advantage of our great close-up vision. The formula is quite thin and a little dry, in common with many another waterproof mascara. Brush: my favourite kind--very like those of Clinique Naturally Glossy, Origins Fringe Benefits, BWC--short, densely bristled, not too fat. Great for definition and separation, provides some volume.
Applies fast, excellent hold, feels light on the lashes, no flaking, and it is very tenacious indeed. Remove with oil (using a cotton-wool pad or similar). I've had no drying-out and/or falling-out of lashes. But I've seldom experienced either. Only if using something inappropriately wimpy to remove mascara, rubbing too vigorously, or using an overly-drying formula (not met one of them in years).
Application: (1) Just one coat leaves lashes are lovely and feathery, perfectly acceptable for everyday purposes and for those favouring a "less unnatural" look. Though my "one coat" involves coating upper and lower sides of top lashes, down to the roots, which means more than just one layer anyway. Waiting for that to dry then adding a second coat didn't make much difference, other than lashes started to clump and be dry to the touch. If building up, do it without waiting for the lashes to dry between coats: that works fine.
(2) Comb through immediately, as this mascara sets fast (but not as a fast as a tubing one); there will be the odd teeny ball-clump at ends of lashes, easily removed with a fine-toothed metal lash-comb. This is a very non-clumpy mascara, though, and the great brush makes it easy to work with.
(3) As with any decent waterproof mascara, remove any excess from surrounding skin immediately, otherwise it will take forever and a lot of rubbing once it's dried. I always end up with smudgy bits around the eyes, it seems inevitable when getting mascara down to the roots (pale lashes here, avoiding that roots-showing effect).
Cost: It is quite expensive--in the region of CAN 26.00--and dries out quite fast. Hence major peeve if you get a dodgy tube and it dries out in under two weeks...a drugstore mascara is second-rate if it only lasts that long; unforgivable from a pricier one. Not sure if it's worth the hefty price tag.
Alternatives: My main recent favourite mascaras, for reference, have been Clinique Naturally Glossy with Clarins Double' Fix Mascara on top, Maybelline Full & Soft Waterproof, and BWC waterproof (I've also reviewed many another long-term love, ex, brief lust-smiting, and lamented departed). Also Clinique & Bobbi Brown's tubing mascaras.
If you're on more of a budget, try out the F&S and BWC w/p first; though outside the US, F&S is either only available online (with high risk of getting older stock that hasn't travelled well), and BWC is available almost exclusively online. Other viable w/p options with good MUA reviews (but not cruelty-free): Lancôme, L'Oréal Voluminous, some Cover Girl.
INGREDIENTS: isodecane - water - trisiloxane - dimethicone silylate - ptfe - sorbitan olivate - sorbitan tristearate - polyisobutene - kaolin - silica silylate - trihydroxystearin - diisopropyl adipate - carnauba wax - quaternium-90 bentonite - microcrystalline wax - hectorite - cholesterol - caprylyl glycol - propylene carbonate - methicone - hexylene glycol - magnesium salicylate - phenoxyethanol - [ /- mica - iron oxides (ci 77491, 92, 99) - titanium dioxide (ci 77891) - manganese violet (ci 77742) - chromium oxide greens (ci 77288) - chromium hydroxide green (ci 77289) - carmine (ci 75470) - ferric ferrocyanide (ci 77510) - bismuth oxychoride (ci 77163) - ultramarines (ci 77007)]
* Tests: (1) 2 mascaras side-by-side, experiment repeated for each of the 3 mascara combinations. (2) Staying-power: mascara applied a.m., left on all day + overnight: lashes should not be left bent and crumpled the next morning--sign of over-dry mascaras. (3) Further tested waterproofness morning after in shower, making sure not to rub or touch eyes: masca continued >>
This is THE BEST smudge and flake and clump free mascara I've ever used, my HG, my search is over. I wish the Maybelline pink and green tube, which I've been faithful to for so many years, was as good as Bobbi's, it certainly would be easier on my pocket book, but it's not. I've never used any mascara that hasn't failed me and left big smudges under my eyes--ALL of them end up on my face and not on my lashes. But not this one. I have nothing but praise for the workability, reliability, comfort, and effect of this awesome mascara! I still like to use Diorshow for nights when I get dressed uip and go out, but for everyday, Bobbi Brown No Smudge is it.
Bobbi Brown mascaras stand out for me in that they are non-irritating and seem to hold up well over the course of the day. After a not-so-good experience with Everything Mascara, which I found too wet on application, I came back to Bobbi Brown. This was during a bout of allergies in which I really needed to minimize any extra irritation in the eye area. The sales associate directed me to this mascara. The formula is definitely drier and easier (for me) to work with, and I get nice volume and adequate length with just one coat. No flaking. None. Even after sleeping in this mascara. And no irritation! Just pretty lashes with minimal clumping, provided I use a light hand and build gradually.
BUT - and this is the reason for the 4 rating rather than 5 - I have to work too hard to get this mascara off. I normally prefer non-waterproof formulas simply because I dislike the removal step, but I made an exception in this case. I have to use an oil-based cleanser to get this off, and even so I feel like I am doing subtle damage to the delicate skin around my eyes with all the rubbing and tugging it takes to get it all off. So I'll enjoy the benefits of this mascara, and maybe I'll come back if my needs call more strongly for a no-budge mascara in the future, but after I'm done with this tube I'll switch to a formula that's easier to remove.
Got this as part of a set & WOW what a difference this stuff makes! My eyes are super sensitive, water a lot & are picky about any products that get near them so most mascaras ive used have gone into the trash. But this stuff is great, it hasn't irritated my eyes & my fair/tiny lashes look huge, dark & beautiful w/ just one coat! It hasn't dried out on me yet & ive had it for a few wks. No clumping either but the other reviewer is right that if you get this on your skin make sure you get it off right away because its hard to get off once it dries. Pricey so i prob won't repurchase but if it comes in a kit again i will most deff use it.
Changing my fairly positive former review to a very positive one! This mascara was the tortoise in the hare race and won overall. I used to use Clinique Lash Power, but realized it was too natural-looking. My fave Stila Convertible was discontinued and other tubing mascaras I tried were clumpy and terrible (you, Blinc and Fiberwig). Waterproof mascaras, from Dior and Chanel to Maybelline and CG, either wouldn't come off, smudged like crazy or clumped. Hourglass Superficial was great until I choked on food and it smeared! This guy is so dependable- no smudging even during summer exercise- and waterproof. It removes easily with jojoba oil or my Etival cleanser, no substantial lash loss. I've learned to only put more coats on when it's still wet and I completely avoid clumps. If applied that way, it provides great volume, no irritation. I'm very happy with this mascara and will certainly repurchase. It's pricey, but I'm willing to pay for the dependability and quality. It's available near me at Sephora and Holt Renfrew.
Meh - I would give this a 3.5 if I could and here is why...I love trying mascaras, but always d/s since I am so finicky that I am reticent to spend $ on mascara that chances are I won't like. It must be waterproof and wear like iron w/out clumping (I cannot be bothered by having to comb clumps out of or have to seperate my lashes post mascara application - I don't need the extra steps), must give me volume and length - I know - I expect too much! :P
I got this from a friend of mine who was purging, had tried 1x and didn't like = lucky me. I have used for 3 days - today, I put this on my right eye and one of my HGs L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof on the left - eyes looked identical after application. My lashes feel the same = not stiff/spikey. Neither product smell much of anything. I use either oil or Sonia Kashuk to remove my mascara = removes easily w/ both products.
I then spent the day running around helping my in-laws pack up to move in 80 degree, sunny weather. 9 hours later = only difference is that the BB coated lashes looked clumped togther on the bottom - definitely more so than the L'Oreal side. No smudging on either so that is good. But for more than 2x the price of my L'Oreal - this had better be da bomb for me to justify spending that kind of $ and it just isn't. I'm glad I got to try due to all the rave reviews here, but if I had purchased, I'd be PO'd. Definitely no to re-purchase.
I've been looking for a mascara that doesn't smudge, and this is it! No problems at all with smudging or flaking. It gives a natural look and it is difficult to build volume with more than one coat because it clumps. I wipe the brush with a tissue and comb through lashes with an eyelash comb after applying. I like it more for the fact that it doesn't smudge rather than how it applies and looks, I prefer Clinique's Naturally Glossy mascara but it smudges.
Love this stuff, can't get enough! I recently switched from Lancome Definicils Waterproof, which was hard to get on in a smooth coat, and very hard to get off. I love the Bobbi Brown version because it's CLUMP FREE! It also comes off nicely with a oil based eye makeup remover. I have been using this when I freelance wedding makeup and the consensus is brides and bridesmaids love it! Stays on really well through the tears, and I plan to use it while snorkeling in Hawaii next month!
**Edit** It is indeed smudge-proof but when I wore it on our snorkel cruise in Maui I did get some black smudges under my eyes. I don't know why you'd really wear this in water, but I wanted to give it a try to leave my review! I think it'd be suitable to wear to a wedding or special event where you feel you might cry, but check yourself in a mirror afterward just in case! Also I saw no flaking with this mascara, which can happen with some other waterproof/smudgeproof mascaras.
I am on my third tube of BB's No Smudge Mascara in black. It does what it says: It doesn't wilt under high heat or humidity. I can wear this after a day of work and go to the gym and don't find the standard "racoon eyes" post workout. Well worth the $20-plus dollars to pay for this product. This mascara volumizes my thin lashes and gives them a slight curl.