Huge Extreme Lash Mascara
Stila's Huge Extreme Lash Mascara builds thicker, longer-looking lashes, but it doesn't exactly offer worry-free wear. The problem? The formula is prone to flaking and presents some other challenges as well, which we discuss below.
Right off the bat, you'll notice Huge Extreme Lash Mascara has a wet, malleable formula that takes a bit longer than usual to set, which increases the chance of it transferring onto any skin. That makes for messy application, but if you're careful, it's avoidable. Some may find the brush shape adds to the complication—it's thicker on the ends and narrows in the center, which isn't the most precise or well thought-out design in our opinion, but it's workable.
Where the real issues set in are after a couple hours of wear. We noticed flecks of flaked mascara under our eyes and even a bit of smudging by the end of the workday. It wasn't so bad that we had "raccoon eyes," but the combination of issues ultimately left us feeling disappointed. If you're going to spend this much on mascara, the least you can expect is worry-free wear, right?
The smudging and flaking were real bummers considering this fragrance-free mascara and its inky-black color does an excellent job of pumping up the drama by increasing lash thickness and length—all without much clumping. Considering you have to put up with the bad in order to get those results, Stila's Huge Extreme Lash Mascara is not worth the compromise. See our Best Mascaras list for superior options without the issues (some of which cost a lot less!).
- Pumps up volume and length, without much clumping.
- Fragrance-free formula.
- Prone to flaking and smudging.
- Some may find the wet formula and cumbersome brush make application tricky.
Makeup artist Jeanine Lobell has been at the helm of Stila since its inception in 1994, and her creations have an impressive history of blending innovation with eye-catching, fun packaging. Of course, this innovation is not without its price, and you will find some rather ordinary products where the packaging or dispensing method is the only thing that's exciting. Where Lobell struck gold is with her superlative collection of foundations. Weve examined hundreds of makeup lines for this and previous editions of this book, and Stila has had and continues to maintain one of the best collections of truly neutral foundation colors. For anyone confused about what we mean by "neutral tones," you need look no further, though we are pleased that more mainstream lines (including L'Oreal, Revlon, Clinique, and even Cover Girl) are now creating wonderfully neutral foundation colors. Stila's foundations aren't inexpensive, but it's critical to get a foundation that's right for you, and that may mean splurging. Other stellar categories include concealers, blush, eyeshadows, brushes, and much better mascaras than in years past.
Once an independent brand with a first-to-market approach to clever cardboard packaging that was sleek, urban, and utilitarian at the same time, Stila's presence and product lineup and distribution expanded (with mostly favorable results) when it was acquired by Estee Lauder in 1999. It was a bit perplexing when Lauder announced in late 2005 that it would sell Stila to "optimize our portfolio of brands" and put more attention (read: financial resources) into their M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown brands (Source: The Rose Sheet, April 17, 2006, page 4). Ironically, of those three brands, Stila has the most compelling collection of products. M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown are no slouches, but Stila always had a slight edge, at least in the complexion-enhancing categories.
An affiliate of Sun Capital Partners (naming itself Stila Corporation) bought the brand from Lauder in spring 2006 and has been at the helm since. Lauder's no longer owning Stila led to the brand's hasty exit from department stores, a move that left many shoppers wondering what the heck happened (and, at least in the stores we visited, the sales associates were vague about the line's future). Luckily, Stila still has a home in Sephora stores worldwide, and is randomly distributed in select department stores. That's great news, because there is much to love about this line, and the most recent crop of products proves that Stila has every intention of remaining a competitive player in the compelling game that is the cosmetics industry.
For more information about Stila, visit www.stilacosmetics.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.