[UPDATE 2: strayed occasionally over the years, but I've always returned to this. That rarest of products: does what it says it'll do. In this case, waterproof your mascara.]
[UPDATE (2009): This product used (2007) to be called Fix' Mascara (squidhy tube), called Double Fix' Mascara these days. Same formula, a little less product, better - rigid, non-squeezy - tube, slightly improved brush and neck/wipe mechanism.]
[original review] If I could give one product 6 stars, it would be the Fix. I have been using this "waterproofing seal" for years, and can report that it works. I use it on rainy and/or windy days, and regularly (at least 3 times a week) for swimming laps.
What is does is very simple. It waterproofs and smudgeproofs lashes. It leaves them soft and supple. It removes easily. On all three counts, performing better than any waterproof mascara I've ever tried. Better still, it works with any mascara - so no need to sacrifice all the benefits of one's favourite mascara.
The only other thing like this in existence is the Galoshes end of Urban Decay's Lingerie And Galoshes, but there's more of it in the Fix's tube, and it's a better deal if you'd rather not have the fluffy fibrous underwear. [UPDATE: Galoshes is not more.] I haven't compared it to other mascara sealants: comparing ingredient lists and brushes should help there? (ingredients follow at end of review)
Application: First, apply your usual mascara. Comb through (thin metal-toothed lash comb); allow to dry. Then paint a ***very very fine*** coat of the Fix on the top and bottom sides of both upper and lower lashes. It takes the form of a thin gel, at least on the first application it'll be clear, thereafter it will, like all good things, turn grey. A single fine coat will suffice; the main thing is to ensure coverage of all lashes, all round each one. Comb through fast, while this is still wet, before it sets.
The combing-through-immediately business is crucial. I tend to do one lot of lashes (say, top right), then comb through, then next lot (bottom right), then comb through, and so on. Voila - mascara will stay in place and be waterproof.
Remove with oily / waterproof make-up remover. I use a blend of sunflower and mineral oils (50:50), applied on a good "Swiss" non-flaky cotton-wool pad or small toweling pad (tip: no need to buy the expensive health-store type - make your own out of old wash-cloths). Then rinse with cool water and apply eye cream.
(1) Given that non-waterproof mascaras seem to be better formulated (less drying etc.) than waterproof ones, the Fix means that waterproof mascaras can be completely ignored now. And no, it isn't going to double one's time in front of the mirror; I find it might add about a minute.
(2) HUGE PRO: It is definitely waterproof. Withstands rain- and snow-storms, saunas, steam-rooms, hot kitchens, and swimming. I originally used this when rowing, for hours at a time, usually in rain, and with associated splashing. I've also tested out the Fix's performance against waterproof mascara, including Tubers like Blinc/Kiss Me and Clinique Lash Power. The Fix wins.
(3) Smudgeproof. Even in very hot sweaty weather.
(4) Fixes lashes in place, without making them dry and crunchy (but *do comb throug*). Taming waifs and strays and those obtuse individuals that insist on poking out sideways. Good for long nights out... or in...
(5) Can be used as an eyebrow-fixing gel.
(6) Like other Clarins products, not tested on animals, but tested on The Sensitive. Fully compatible with sensitive eyes, allergies, and contact lenses. No flaking, no fibres, nothing there to smudge, and no fragrance.
NOT PROPER CONS AS FIXABLE:
(1) Technique is - emphatically - key. Just one light coat, and comb through. One should beware of putting on more than a light coat. Bad things ensue: lashes will have visible gel tubes around them, and attractive blobs on the ends. But if worst comes to worst, still fixable with a lash comb.
(2) Tip for after swimming: the Fix will smudge and clump if you touch it while it is damp and warm. Leave it severely alone until it is cool and dry, then comb through lashes, then if need be touch up with regular mascara. This shouldn't weight your lashes down and make them crusty and crunchy, if you're using a decent (light, supple etc.) regular mascara with the Fix.
(3) One also needs to wipe off the excess on the end of the wand. There's also usually some excess at the other end of the brush - before brush becomes handle: to avoid this, wiggle the brush while pulling it out from the tube, to catch those bits on the inner collar of the tube's neck. The new "Double Fix" tube deals better with this issue (it's exactly the same stuff as the regular Fix, but in a smaller tube).
(4) Although the Fix will become darker with use, this darkening seems to stop at the stage of elderly-underwear-grey, and I haven't noticed it make any difference to mascara colour. Unless you don't comb through after application. So comb through...
THE FINAL PRO: The Fix is economically viable as it lasts for a very long time. The package claims 36 months. I've never kept it for that long, but at least 6 months and up to 9 (ignoring the 3 month rule for mascara but using the sniff test). Cost: around EUR 16.00 to 18.00 / GBP 13.50 / USD 18.00
INGREDIENTS: isodecane - polyethylene - disteardimonium hectorite - synthetic wax - vp/eicosene copolymer - propylene carbonate - trimethylsiloxysilicate - parfum - ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate continued >>
This is just the new name for Mascara Fix. I always use waterproof mascara but I still find that it smudges by the end of the day because of the moisturiser/sunscreen I use under my eyes so I was hoping this would strengthen the waterproofing. It does, but I find that as I have to apply several coats to ensure the waterproofness, it tends to undo the look of my lashes and clumps them together a bit. The product tends to dry on the wand like clag glue and you do have to wipe off the wand to prevent the rest of the gel from being contaminated black. This will lose you some product, and there's not a huge amount there for the price. At least the tube is an improvement as it's now a hard plastic case.
Update 18.04.2012: Having realised that the issues I was having with this product were largely due to the poor design of the mascara wand, I now brush the fix onto a favoured old mascara wand before applying to my lashes. This way, I can be assued of getting the waterproofing I need as well as maintaining the curl and definition on my lashes. So I'm upping this to four stars although I'm not sure that I would repurchase as I'd ideally like to find a waterproofer that's a bit more convenient to use.
i love this mascara. i wear it alone to just hold curl. it looks really natural at holds up in humid weather. sometimes i will apply a little brown mascara to just the lashes at the outer corners of my eyes to give a little "cat eye" effect. overall this is the best mascara for holding curl in stubborn straight lashes.
This product really did prevent smudging and definitely waterproof. the only problem is that when u apply it, it chages ur mascara's color and makes the color kinda fake. and it takes much more time to remove it. but it did a great job to prevent smudging. so i think ill repurchase it before i found a macara which is totally non-smudge!
What am I doing wrong???
I hate this product... It smells weird (like rubber) and it looks as if I've applied glue on my lashes, they actually turn white and stick to each other like crazy... Not a good product for me...
I have a terrible time keeping any mascara from running under my eyes. I touch up constantly, which, by the end the of the day, my makeup looks cakey under my eyes because of trying to cover up smudges from mascara. I tried this and I gave it 3 lippies. It isn't a miracle worker but it is the best I have tried. It still leaves a little bit of mascara under my eyes that I have to touch up, but works much, much better than any other product. It also dulls the rich black of your mascara. I will buy again because it is the best product I have found, but it isn't the perfect product.
UPDATE: I have to change my mind for the better on this product. It has tested fantastic in all kinds of climates and activities. I won't ever go w/o this product again. Best find ever!! Go purchase right away!!! You won't regret it and NO MORE RACCOON EYES!! I took off one lippie because it still does dull the rich black of your mascara--but it's definitely better than raccoon eyes.
This product changed my life. Well, my cosmetics life, at least. I have large, deep-set eyes that water like crazy sometimes, due to allergies. Also, the skin above and below my eyes tends toward the oily. This is the perfect recipe for smudged mascara. Most often, even the "smudge-proof" or "water-proof" versions of otherwise great mascaras find themselves all over my face. Not good.
I don't know why it took me so long to find this product. The minute I heard about it, tho, I jumped on the bandwagon. It isn't cheap, but I like having nice lashes, and I'm desperate.
It works! Diorshow normally runs very easily on me, and the waterproof version smudges after about an hour. Well, I applied the Mascara Fix today over it, and wore it in the rain, on my treadmill (yes, I got all sweaty), and in the very hot confines of my basement while doing laundry. No smudges! I've also tried it on top of Max Factor's 2000 Calorie and it worked like a charm there, too.
The tube is kind of an odd idea, but it's not a deal-breaker for me. Recommended.
The new version is called Double Fix, and supposedly you can use it on the brows too. I only use it on my mascara, and the product makes any mascara waterproof and smudgeproof. My biggest problem is having racoon eyes, and most of the time even waterproof, smudgeproof mascaras smudge on me. There are a lot of mascara out there that I would love to use if not for the smudging issue. Now, I don't have to compromise and just buy waterproof versions.
I have never been able to find a mascara that doesn't smudge. I have tried every mascara on the market it seems. Finally, I tried this over several different mascaras and no more smudges! This is one of the best products I've ever used.
Wow, crazy product. The SA was telling me how I could even go swimming and my mascara wouldn't smudge. After using for about 2 weeks, I have no doubt this is true. I have to say that I love the concept. Everyone has a favorite mascara that works for them and Mascara Fix lets you turn your favorite mascara into waterproof, ultra-long wearing mascara. This stuff delivers. No smudges, flakes, etc. Having said that, Mascara Fix is insanely difficult to remove. I have to use Bifacil eye makeup remover (which is excellent), then DHC cleansing oil, THEN Purpose face wash to get all traces of mascara off. I'm worried that if I use this everyday my lash line would end up bald. Also, this has a tendency to sort of glue your lashes together into a couple of fat lash spikes if you are not super careful, I have to comb out my lashes before it sets. Having said that, this is a great product to wear when you know it is going to be a long day, to special events like a wedding, on drizzly/rainy days, etc. Definitely an item that should be part of your makeup bag.