Almay's One Coat Multi-Benefit Mascara promises "the ultimate lash look" that includes length, volume, definition, and conditioning. Fanfare aside, none of Almay's claims aren't exactly groundbreaking, and the formula falters on the thickening and volumizing part.
The standard nylon-bristle brush works well to grab and define each lash, while the formula adds appreciable length and, as claimed, definition. Successive coats can be layered without clumping being an issue, but the formula dries so quickly that you have to apply fast or the brush drags through lashes, leading to an uneven look (but still, no clumps!).
The formula's tendency to set very quickly means if you like to comb through lashes to soften the effect you must do so after the first coat; otherwise, creating a softer look is next to impossible and you might even see some flaking.
When it's time to take this mascara off, a water-soluble cleanser works well, no separate makeup remover required. Once set, this wore well the entire day—no smudging or smearing, though as stated above, flaking can occur if you try to comb through the lashes after the mascara has dried.
For a mascara that's said to condition lashes, it's worth noting that this one leaves lashes feeling stiff and borderline dry. The feeling isn't uncomfortable nor does it seem to effect how the formula wears, but if by "conditioning" you were thinking soft, fringed lashes, what you get is decidedly different! In fact, it's this mascara's primary downfall.
In the end, Almay's fragrance free One Coat Multi-Benefit Mascara was mostly good but not great. It's not in the same league as the best mascaras from this or its sister brand, Revlon, not to mention any of those that earned a place on our list of Best Mascaras.
Strengths: An excellent assortment of mascaras; several exceptional foundation options to choose from; a phenomenal liquid eyeliner; a selection of good makeup removers.
Weaknesses: Some of the Intense i-color products do the exact opposite of enhancing eye color; mediocre blushes; “Smart Shade” products don’t automatically adapt to skin’s color as claimed.
Long a standby for those with sensitive skin seeking hypoallergenic products (though that term is unregulated and can be applied to any product, regardless of ingredients), Almay continues to refine its comprehensive makeup line. In early 2006 the company repackaged its old favorites, and also relaunched several new makeup items. Everything now has a sleek new look and color-coded packaging. We admit, the makeover is effective, not just product-wise but visually too.
Shopping this drugstore line is now much easier because of the clearly defined product and color family groupings. Lamentably, testers and trial sizes of the makeup are still scarce regardless of where you shop. Almay has always been a reliable line for foundations, powder, and mascara. Within its current lineup you'll find that remains true. Their foundations are better than ever, and still offer full, broad-spectrum sun protection and a mostly neutral palette. We also found their concealers and mascaras have improved, as have the pencil options. When it comes to shopping for makeup staples with state-of-the-art formulas, Almay has many winners, and some innovative surprises that its competitors would be wise to learn from.
For more information about Almay, owned by Revlon, call (800) 992-5629 or visit www.almay.com.
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