We have to hand it to Flower Beauty: Zoom-In Ultimate Mascara has an intriguing concept. Unfortunately, the execution is lacking, and that's why it gets an AVERAGE rating.
This mascara's main selling point is that it has an adjustable brush, making it essentially three brushes in one. When you pull it out of the tube, the brush is straight, with small rubberized bristles up and down. There's a twist mechanism at the bottom of the wand (or the top of the mascara, if the wand is still in the tube) that you click to change the shape of the brush. One click, and the brush is a spiral shape, a second click, and it compresses to become a more compact brush with tightly-packed bristles.
While this is definitely a cool concept, and the idea of three brushes in one is great, the formula just isn't up to the task. Applied when the brush is straight, this mascara adds good length to lashes, but does little in the way of volume. Using the brush in its spiral form and in its more compact form, there's definitely a good amount of volume added, but the formula tends to clump because the brush picks up a lot more mascara. Zoom-In wears throughout the day without smudging, but it does flake some after about five hours of wear.
In the end, while we like the customizable brush idea behind this mascara, we simply can't recommend it over the many other options on our list of Best Mascaras; they aren't customizable, but they work much better.
Strengths: Most products are either minimally fragranced or fragrance-free; some excellent lip products; very good liquid eyeliners; good and long-lasting blushes and powder products; affordable.
Weaknesses: The majority of foundations are mediocre; no products offering SPF; exaggerated anti-aging claims with one foundation and one concealer; a lipliner that tugs on lips; some so-so 2-in-1 products; a lack of foundations for oily skin.
Regardless of how much technology has advanced or how much cosmetics formulas have improved, for many it’s still the allure of a celebrity name behind a beauty brand that’s the draw, not anything else. That’s the hook for Flower Beauty, backed by Hollywood doyenne Drew Barrymore.
Barrymore’s is a story many of us saw played out in the media. She was famous early on as a child actress (her first job was when she was just 11 months old), became a superstar thanks to Steven Spielberg’s film E.T, then succumbed to drug addiction and went through rehab at the tender age of 14. After successful treatment, she returned to acting, working steadily in both independent projects and blockbuster films. She gained a reputation as a largely good-natured, girl-next-door actress with a “flower child” free spirit persona, and she still comes across that way in interviews. In the mid-1990s, she formed her own production company, Flower Films, and has gone on to both direct and produce movies while still acting.
Barrymore’s commercial appeal didn’t go unnoticed by cosmetics companies, and in 2007 she became a brand ambassador for the makeup brand CoverGirl, appearing in both print and television ads that she helped create. After five successful years as one of the faces of CoverGirl, Barrymore parted ways with the brand to create Flower Beauty, a Wal-Mart-exclusive line that competes directly with CoverGirl, which is also sold at Wal-Mart. Flower Beauty makeup is manufactured by Maesa, a company that also produces the Benefit Cosmetics skincare line and Saks Fifth Avenue’s in-house cosmetics.
Clicking around on Flower Beauty’s site, you won’t see much about exactly why Barrymore chose this particular endeavor, save that she wanted to offer people high-end quality makeup at drugstore prices. That’s not really much of a reason, however, as many drugstore lines already offer department store-quality cosmetics, although “department store quality” isn’t much of a guideline, given that there are plenty of department store brands that aren’t as good as their drugstore counterparts!
The Flower Beauty brand’s strong suit is definitely its lip products, most of which pack a potent color punch and feel great. There are some beautiful matte options, as well as a great gloss and some moisturizing colored lip balms.
Most of the mascaras perform well and don’t clump or flake, and their powder products (blush, eyeshadow, and foundation) are good across the board. The liquid liners are also excellent, offering fine-point tips for precision lining with no-smudge wear. We’re also happy to say that even for this brand, with the name Flower, most of the products are either fragrance-free or contain minimal fragrance.
On the other hand, just like not all of Barrymore’s films have been crowd-pleasers, her makeup line also has some missteps, the biggest being that the majority of the foundations aren’t impressive. Though both a tinted moisturizer and a BB cream are part of Flower’s offerings, neither has the SPF or antioxidants that have become the selling points for such multi-tasking products. Some of the foundations are difficult to blend, while others tend to draw attention to lines on the face, and we didn’t find viable options for those with oily skin. There’s also the issue that a couple of the products are touted on the website for their anti-aging benefits, but Flower’s products contain only small amounts of the beneficial ingredients that would make them a wise choice for anti-aging benefits, especially in comparison to the amounts in other products we rate highly.
Flower also offers some 2-in-1 combo products that could add convenience to your makeup routine, but in many cases, such as the combo eyeliner and mascara or the eyeliner and eyeshadow duo, one of the products performs well, while the other is lackluster, which means even though the prices are reasonable, you’re not getting your money’s worth.
As a whole, though, Flower Beauty has a lot of strong suits, and it’s definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for lower-cost makeup products that offer solid performance.
For more information, visit www.flowerbeauty.com.
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