If you’re a fan of CoverGirl’s two-step Bombshell Volume mascara, you may be curious how this “Curvaceous” edition pans out. Short answer: Although the formula and concept are the same, Curvaceous doesn’t produce as much volume due to differences with its Step 1 brush. If you want thicker lashes, stick with the original, although both have caveats. If you’re still curious, read on.
This fragrance-free mascara has a dual-sided component housing two formulas. Step 1 features a curved, rubber-bristled brush that is excellent for defining lashes and offers clump-free application. You get an appreciable amount of length, but thickness is minimal at best. As for the “curvaceous” curling ability, there’s nothing inherently curling about this formula, but at least it doesn’t weigh lashes down. That’s not exactly on par with what CoverGirl promises with this “volume + curl” step, but on to the what has proven to be the polarizing part of this 2-step mascara.
Step 2, which is touted as the “dark intensifying topcoat” lives up to that claim, but not as elegantly as we’d like. The nylon-bristle mascara brush coats lashes with a lacquer-like mascara that locks them in place but can leave lashes feeling unusually stiff. Where this extra step delivers is in terms of intensifying the dark black color and imparting more volume and length than Step 1 does on its own. You may get a little clumping along the way, but that’s the tradeoff.
When all is said and done, Bombshell Curvaceous wears well throughout the day without smearing or flaking, but it isn’t completely worry-free. Why? The major issue we faced with this mascara, as well as the original “Volume” formula is that it’s extremely difficult to remove, even when using an oil- or silicone-based remover. This stems from the Step 2 lacquer-like coating. All the extra tugging and wiping to get this mascara off is not only annoying, but it also isn’t a good idea for the delicate skin around the eyes, as it can encourage sagging skin and may even cause you to loose a few lashes along the way. If you’re going to give this mascara a go, you’ll need several attempts to remove it completely with either a pure oil (like mineral oil) or that combined with a silicone-based makeup remover designed to remove long-wearing makeup. The effort it takes to remove this mascara when step 2 is applied (step 1 alone comes off easily) is why it isn’t rated higher.
Strengths: Inexpensive and widely available; a hugely improved selection of foundations, several with reliable sunscreen; good concealers; enviable pressed powders; some fantastic Lash Blast mascaras; mostly great eyelining options; a vast selection of lip color options, from the long-wearing Outlast to sheer lip glosses to the wholly impressive Lip Perfection lipstick; several great options in the Queen Collection.
Weaknesses: The older foundations are seriously lacking; the newer Advanced Radiance foundation has great texture but disappointing SPF rating; powder blush and eyeshadows; terrible makeup brushes; all of the "Clean" products contain irritating ingredients.
Since 1961, CoverGirl has been slowly building a portfolio of cosmetics that today is about as all-encompassing as a makeup line can be. Originating from the same "medicated" ingredients found in Noxzema Skin Cream (which was never medicated in the least, but seriously irritating for skin), the debut products are still available, albeit with slight modifications. The good news is that for the past several years CoverGirl has consistently updated their line with some very impressive products, especially their foundations, concealers, and vastly improved pressed powders. They also offer some excellent eye and lip pencils, lipsticks and lip gloss, and one of the all-time best long-wearing lip paints, Outlast.
What's puzzling is that although many of CoverGirl's latest products are progressive, they tend to hang on to the lackluster-to-poor options, including abysmal powder blush and eyeshadows and their long-standing, very irritating Clean Makeup. These items may be part of CoverGirl's humble beginnings, but you certainly don't see parent company Proctor & Gamble adding eucalyptus oil and menthol to their Olay products or to products of any of the other cosmetics companies they own. If those ingredients were so important, why not use them everywhere? Needless to say, the great products outnumber the disappointments, and the prices make it easy for those on a budget to be beautiful and enjoy some state-of-the-art products, provided they shop wisely.
CoverGirl's Web site is extremely easy to navigate, and presents a wealth of product information, along with practical (if somewhat cutesy) tips and tricks for successful makeup application and for finding the shades that work best for you. CoverGirl's consumer relations department is consistently helpful if you have any questions or concerns. For example, if one of your favorite items was discontinued, you might want to know what replaced it, and they will let you know. Such service and customer concern is yet another powerful reason to believe CoverGirl really has its (class) act together.
For more information about CoverGirl, owned by Coty, call (800) 426-8374 or visit the Web site at www.covergirl.com.
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