Mascara Melee : Round Five!

FACE OFF

THE SAGA CONTINUES. This time, let’s look at Armani Eyes To Kill and Dolce & Gabbana PassionEyes! So that I can share my pain / disappointment! Join me in this non-epic journey of mild frustration and faint misfortune!

THE RULES : All will be applied in my “normal” fashion, to freshly-washed face with a little serum or light moisturizer — nothing oily, and no foundation or powder or other makeup in the eye area. No eye makeup either, just mascara alone, because I don’t want to blame a product for smears or flecks that were caused by a misbehaving eyeliner or shadow. I’ll generally use full-size products, or minis as long as they have the same brush as the regular size, and aren’t more difficult to use for any reason. I’ll probably also test out mascaras I’ve had for a while, but I certainly won’t use anything that’s old, dried out, or otherwise not applying/behaving as is “normal” for that product.

THE CONTENDERS :

Armani Eyes To Kill ($32/.22oz at Sephora) is … OOPS, apparently this one has new packaging! This is the original ETK non-waterproof mascara, so I’m going to guess that it’s the same formula in a new tube to match Armani’s liquid lip and eyeshadows? It’s got a straight medium-width bristle-type brush with a slight taper at the tip :

UPDATE : The amazing and ever-helpful Dana pointed out in the comments that her [newer package] version has a brush that’s kind of a flattened tapered rectangle, and from one side view has longer bristles, but when rotated 90 degrees has much shorter bristles on the other two surfaces! THANKS, DANA!

Dolce & Gabbana Passioneyes ($30/.27oz), which is billed as a “curl and volume” formula, and damn it, it looks like this one’s been discontinued because I’m only seeing the waterproof version in stores now. UGH, whatever, it comes in a shiny gold tube and has a curved and tapered rubber spiky brush and if you’re motivated you can grab it on eBay but I don’t recommend it because SPOILER it’s not all that.

WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE ON :

Armani ETK on the left, D&G Passioneyes on the right.

Armani ETK, freshly applied. This one is fairly good (if not spectacular) on both length and volume for me. It doesn’t provide a ton of lift, but it also doesn’t weigh my lashes down. Application was fairly simple and non-messy, and it’s not prone to clumping or making multi-lash clots.

D&G Passioneyes, freshly applied. Despite its brush — which is similar to that of many other mascaras I like quite well — it’s a right pain in the ass to apply. The formula seems both kinda thin and kinda dry, or maybe the formula just isn’t suited to this brush type and would do better with a bristle brush? Either way, it’s more work than usual to get each lash coated. And despite being billed as “volume and curl,” this is extremely lackluster on both fronts.

HOW DO THEY WEAR THO?

I think the mid-range and shadow part of the tone curves are off in that photo — but yes, both of these do smudge quite a bit, and the Armani also drops some flakes, bleh.

Armani ETK, after about eight hours or so. Quite a few flakes, quite a bit of smudging. :(

D&G Passioneyes, after eight hours or so. This one didn’t flake a lot, but did smudge quite a bit. BOOOO.

BEHOLD THE FILTHY QTIPS OF SHAME. Since “zero smudging” is a non-negotiable requirement for me, both of these fall into the Regrettably Expensive Failure category. I mean look at these pathetic bastards. Those two stupid plastic tubes o’ gack represent over sixty bucks plus tax and probably shipping, and I loathe them and only ever use them for when I’m just taking makeup pics or only need to look decent (and without black pits under my eyes) for an hour or two. LAME, Y’ALL BOTH SUCK OUT LOUD.

THE WINNER : Armani, I guess, because even though it smudges and even flakes a little, it at least provides pretty good volume and length without a lot of futzing around. But I guess this whole two-pronged minor debacle was an [unneeded] object lesson in “fancy label =/= fancy performance,” right?

TRIED ‘EM? Hate ’em as much as I do? Diiiiiiscuss.