Monday, May 2, 2011

L’Oreal Paris Double Extend Eye Illuminator #440 Black Quartz

Double Extend Eye Illuminator is a mascara designed as a two-step lengthening formula meant to illuminate your eyes based upon your specific eye color. I have it in #440 Black Quartz which is intended for brown eyed wearers.

The two-step process includes a lengthening mascara at one end and an illuminating topcoat at the other.

The first step is to lengthen and intensify the lashes using the black mascara "infused with a hint of color" to add "volume and length to lashes while intensifying eyes" according to the packaging. I have to be honest. I couldn't see the "hint of color", so after carefully examining the product again in the light I have convinced myself that I may be able to make out what could possibly be a bit of a puple-ish or grey-ish tint to the product? (Stare closely at the swirls of product on the stem of the wand. Do you see any hint of color?)

The second step is to Illuminate the eyes using the "illuminating top coat infused with light-reflecting pearls" to highlight the eye color with the sphere tip brush. The packaging indicates that for an everyday look just to use the top coat at the tips only or for a more intense dramatic look to use it from root to tip. They also encourage you to apply it immediately after applying the black mascara without waiting for it to dry to get the best results. This makes me wonder if the top coat doesn't adhere as well to the lashes alone and utilizes the wet mascara to help it stick? I don't know for sure, but that is my initial thought as my scientific brain tries to figure out why that process would provide the best results. As you can see the top coat clearly has a coppery/brassy/plum wine sort of color to it. While the mascara wand felt comfortable to use although the stem is a bit short, I found the sphere tip brush to be a bit awkward to use. It also catches a lot more product coming out of the container which some folks may or may not like.

This photo is of my bare eye for comparison. It feels so naked! (I have baby fine strawberry blond hair, so good luck finding my lashes in this picture.)

I was a dunce and did not think to take a photo of my eye with just the first step complete until it was too late, so that is a fail on my part. First I must say that I can't really get on board with the lengthening claims of this mascara. It does separate your lashes very nicely, so if you are looking for something that doesn't clump the lashes together this may be the product for you. With that said, I have decently long lashes to begin with and while this product does coat them from root to tip nicely, in my opinion they don't look any longer with it on outside of actually being able to see them. The picture below is the finished product after completing step two. This was the moment where I realized I should have taken a picture after step one because the coppery finish to the top coat actually lightened the overall color of my lashes and made them less dramatic similar to the difference you would see between wearing a brown mascara versus a black mascara. The shimmer of the top coat and the light-reflecting pearls (aka glitter) did provide a nice affect, although it is very subtle and might be something only noticed by someone up close and VERY personal or by a makeup junkie like myself who will investigate your face from top to bottom without you noticing to see what you have on and how you have applied it. The affect is so subtle in fact that I'm not sure that it is enough to really enhance your eye color at all. I could see it quite clearly while looking directly at it with my nose stuck to the mirror, but from a normal distance it might go completely undetected and while I could see my practically invisible strawberry blond lashes now, I didn't really feel that it made my eye color pop any more than it did on my eye that still remained naked. In fact, the affect is so subtle that it didn't really photograph in the picture well so I tried again.

This is another photo in different lighting where I am trying to get the color of the top coat to be visible. The color still didn't photograph well unfortunately, but if you look VERY closely towards the outer corner in my eye you can just barely make out a few points of light that are reflecting off of the glitter...errr...light-reflecting pearls in the top coat.

I'm not sure about the lengthening and illuminating claims of this mascara, but there are a few things that I can tell you for sure. I would agree that the product is clump-free, flake and smudge resistant at least with this initial use. This product did a great job of separating my lashes and it is just fun to wear. I compare it to wearing sexy undergarments under a stuffy business suit. Who cares if anyone else knows it is there? As long as you know it is there and it makes you feel happy then go for it!

I was sent this product to review as a bzzagent. For more information about this product go to:

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