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BEAUTY : HOPE OR HYPE

Magical wands?

September 21, 2008|Monica Corcoran

Cosmetic companies know that women expect more than a swath of pink from a tube of lipstick. Like NASA, the industry is always touting new technology and better formulas. With Hope or Hype, a new recurring beauty feature, we critique the next big thing at the beauty counter.

When IT comes to mascara, women -- like magicians -- have long known what makeup companies have finally realized: It's all in the wand. The latest technology in lash enhancement has applicators that shake, rattle and roll.

-- Monica Corcoran

What they are

The TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara from Estee Lauder ($30; exclusive to Saks and currently sold out, but soon to be restocked on esteelauder.com) and Spinlash ($19.99 for two tubes, online at spinlash.com) both feature wands that shimmy and promise an even coat that reaches those tiny inner lashes.

How they work

The TurboLash has a smooth electric purr and begins to hum as soon as you unscrew the cap. The movement mimes a hummingbird and flutters at 125 "micro-pulses" per second. Don't worry: You can't feel the activity on your lash line, and the wand itself is easy to control.

Spinlash offers a different approach. The applicator tip rotates slowly right or left, like a barbecue spit, and you control it by pressing a button with your thumb. The formula is housed in the cap, rather than in the tube, which holds a battery.

The promise

TurboLash vows to banish clumps and spikes and also separate lashes. The gel formula of water, olive oil and paraffin waxes is supposed to allow multiple coats that don't cause crusty buildup.

Spinlash claims to curl and separate lashes, but ups the ante by boasting it also applies liquid eyeliner. A news release reads: "Eyeliner can be difficult to apply -- especially the hot, liquid liner look!"

Our verdict

The technology may be magical, but there are no miracles. The TurboLash is fun to try, like a new toy, and the oscillating brush left each and every lash well-tipped. The creamy formula didn't dry or flake by day's end either. But a midafternoon reapplication proved to be clumpy and caused tarantula legs, so stick with a thorough initial coat.

The Spinlash is a victim of its ambitions -- kind of like that friend who tries to be everything to everyone and ultimately disappoints. The rotating wand works well, and the formula is soft and velvety. But the liquid liner delivery is messy and ruins the overall performance. You end up looking like you did your eye makeup on a bus.

Bottom line

Try the TurboLash for clump-free coverage and the novelty of being on the pulse -- no pun intended. Avoid the Spinlash until they refine the liquid liner.

--

monica.corcoran@latimes.com

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