Review of Clarins Double Fix by gingerrama
[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