Sensitised skin guide… a cautionary tale.

You heard it here, I wrote about my dry, parched Rhino hide of a skin last year in 2019. Today I’m writing about how I managed to sensitise my skin. I’ve also suffixed my post saying, that its a cautionary tale. It is! In my enthusiasm to blog about skincare, in my quest to find that next holy grail… I did a few things wrong. Badly wrong. And I wrecked my skin’s protective barrier. Its acid mantle. ( SPOILER ALERT :There’s a happy ending luckily). Here are the Top 5 mistakes that I made. Please don’t do what I did.

Top 5 Skin mistakes ( that sensitised my skin)

  • Overexfoliation– Do you read too many blogs where you are “told” that you need to use an acid toner every night? This could be very disastrous for a lot of skins. Mine was one of them. Apparently acid toner was one of the most googled search terms last year ( next to masking and Korean Skincare). If this is you, and you feel the need to exfoliate every night. Or have and dont know how to stop. Think! In the good ol’ days of walnut scrubs ( yes I went there, and I sure did that. You know who you are… don’t deny you didn’t use them. You are telling tales, I can see your nose growing from over here) Anyway in the golden days of ” physical” exfoliating, we were advised and knew to use it once or twice a week max. Nothing much in terms of the advice has changed much really. Overexfoliation/ scrubbing /mis-using of acids can lead to weakening of the skin’s acid mantle. (The top layer of the skin that protects us from the elements) This can lead to over sensitised skin that flares up, is weak and often has itchy rashes. Was this the case for me? Check, check and check. I did warn you about this being a cautionary tale right? Every other day is plenty enough. If you have hardy skin, lucky you. I envy you ūüėČ Quit showing off ūüėČ
  • Using too many new products at once – I have serious FOMO when it comes to seeing other people’s skincare. Funnily enough I don’t seem to have it in other aspects of my life. However, when it comes to skincare, I’m always thinking that other people have it better. I want to own every product that is hailed as being the next Holy Grail. I want to own every shiny new piece of skincare. And I will absurdly believe all the marketing spiel spun by a company.¬† Even if I know deep down that its cod science. Im the ultimate marketeer’s dream! I also then proceed to use all the new stuff on my skin at once. Thanks to the overexfoliation, and my already weakened acid mantle, my skin has being going into overdrive. From being as tough as a rhino hide, I now have rosacea, sensitised skin and constant breakouts. There is a moral of this story, add new ingredients or products one at a time, slowly. Caution against the temptation of the skincare magpie, and treat your skin as sensitive always. Even if it’s not.
  • Not giving your existing skincare time to work – This is really following on from the point above. But is a precautionary piece of advice in and of itself. I just jumped from product to product without allowing it time to work its magic. The skin cycle is 6-8 weeks, and because I was Icarus so busy chasing the sun ( aka the Holy grail serum in this case) I didn’t really didn’t allow anything to work their magic. Don’t get me wrong, if something doesn’t work; ie. reacts you should absolutely stop using it…immediately! But for serums that are otherwise not showing any immediate negative reactions ( nor any perceived positive ones) the idea is that they are trying to do their job. Just not one that is immediately noticeable. Give it time to work. ( I mean after 3 months, it does nothing then by all means it needs to be broken with.) Otherwise I’d say be patient. Also Alison Young, Skincare specialist and Beauty presenter QVC recommends that if you are changing your skincare, don’t change it during “that time of the month” . Your hormones will be up and down and it is not indicative of how it may necessarily react with your skin. This is one viewpoint of course. But worth bearing in mind?
Usually the following serums or antioxidants are used for their respective properties:

Vitamin C: Is an anti oxidant that is known to make skin brighter.

Vitamin B3: Niacinimide: Another antioxidant which is known to target brown spots and fade scars.

Vitamin B5: Helps with Hydration and another antioxidant that helps collagen repair and appearance of wrinkles is diminished.

Hyaluronic Acid: It is a molecule that is found widely naturally in the human body, it is known to hold 1000 times its own weight of water molecules. So topically applied its a powerful hydrator.

Vitamin A: ( collectively called retinols) Are known to help cell turnover increase and rebuild collagen.

Peptides: A variety of Vitamin B which help rebuild collagen and ” repair” the skin from within by helping heal scars and also wrinkles appear diminished.

The point is that, if your serum contains one or more of these ingredients, often it takes time for the effects to show. Especially with Peptides and Vitamin B3, B5. Don’t be hasty.

  • Don’t stockpile your favourite skincare – Now this is a toughie. For me and a lot of enthusiasts. And of course there is no real right answer. Just a (gentle) nudge towards this opinion. I should know. Buying tons of my favourite skincare in case they discontinue it, or just to get free shipping or worse… its the Black Friday sale( Often the latter in my case) is a lot like stocking up on milk during a snowstorm. ( A ) the deluge never happens ( B ) It often goes off before you can use it. Makeup and more importantly serums and the likes have a short life span, and shorter yet… if stored in warm bathrooms and cosy bedside vanities. That central heating that keeps you toasty at night? It cooks your skincare and shortens it’s lifespan. And no, storing it in the refrigerator is not the solution. The temperature is too low ( despite what some influencers may say.) The solution is to buy little and use it up. One backup or even two is acceptable, I think… 20 is a problem my friend. ( One noticeable exception is specials/ one off’s or seasonal edits)
  • Dont try to fix it if it ain’t broke baby – Argh, if the last point is a toughie…this one is Einstein level hard. * Throws self on sofa and weeps * I’m so guilty of this, I need skin rehab! ( I told you that it was a cautionary tale) On this road does sensitive skin lie. No…really! If you have a good thing going, don’t mess it up. Just don’t. I’m not sure who started that malarkey about your “skin getting used to skincare” but I won’t be surprised if it was an influencer trying to sell you the latest sponsored skincare they got for free. Do your research, and stick with your products for a good 3 months to see your results and if they work… stick with it. Sometimes your serums, lotions and potions can stop being effective or can get over reactive and this is when you look at changing it up. Otherwise just don’t mess around with a good thing. Just say NO!

There is a moral of the story here

Long and short.¬†KISS.¬†Keep¬†It¬†Simple¬†Silly. Don’t overdo it with actives. Let your serums work. Give it time. Don’t hoard skincare. And don’t be a Serum tart. Also never ever, ever, ever ( did I forget to say something? Oh yeah… EVER ;)) never forget your sunscreen. Now if only someone could imprint this in my conscious, so I could follow my own advice. I would be √ľber grateful. I would even name my first born after you. ( oh wait, he’s already got a name ;)) Never mind, you get the gist.

PS: Sensitivity can flare up at any time, and skincare and ingredients in skincare is only one reason. Hormones, Stress, Medication, Pregnancy are many other causes. I’m only exploring one cause. I’m not a medical professional and this advice is not to replace any given by your healthcare professional. Please make sure that you have ruled out underlying health issues before you embark on any skincare switch- up regime.

Do look out for the post for my skincare switch ups and products I’ve had to stop using. Also do please subscribe to my blog so that you don’t miss new posts ūüėČ

Let me know what you think of this post, I’d love to hear from you~~ Love Elle xx.

Further reading ( come on, you know you love it really) and guides that I love from well balanced viewpoints
Exfoliation : I love Michelle’s entire blog. Michelle could write about the phone book ( or talk about it in her youtube videos) and I’d be devouring her words. So it’s no surprise that I love her guide to exfoliation, both physical and chemical. Do read it, Michelle comes from a place of science. But manages to make it non condescending, high brow or geeky in an intimidating, incomprehensible way.
This post on Overexfoliating by the Skinnerd ( Jennifer Rock ) is another great post. Worth reading and bearing in mind.
Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money. If this was to change at any point, I will disclose this and it will not affect my opinion. Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.


A Mini Review: VBB- Victoria Beckham Beauty


After Victoria Beckham’s collab with Estee Lauder ran for two years straight and sold out. Really did. Not a faux limited edition like some collabs walking around these days seem to be.¬† This bronzer and this pressed powder are delicious! I’ve a friend who bought everything from the last two collabs and displays them like objets d’ art. This is why we’re friends. Beauty nerds like me get why people collect beautiful packaging like art! It is!

So when Victoria Beckham launched her own company, with three products only( for now- all eyes on her- no literally) A Lid Lustre ( a pot of pressed glitter eyeshadow-4 skews), a Kajal pencil ( with a smudger- 3 colours ) and a small handbag sized of pressed eyeshadow palette( 4 colour ways). Available on net-a-porter and her site . ( with a steep £5 shipping price, sob!) The Packaging is beautiful, with a tortoishell exterior, with the tagline of sustainability and clean at the forefront of the advertising.

Price: ¬£5 shipping , Kajal pencils retail at ¬£20 , Lid Lustre’s are ¬£28, and the smokey eye brick is ¬£48. It is bang in the middle of high end beauty. Cheaper in price from her collab with EL, but not cheap, cheap either. I’d say ¬£¬£¬£ though.

Shade range:

There are a decent number of shades in the kajal, the pressed shadows and the smokey shadow bricks.

MY ISSUE is with the eyeshadows. They come pressed, all the way from the USA. well mine was broken ūüė¶ and sorry but the swatches run very light. Not pigmented at all! Is this whether its cos I got a dud? Customer service gave me a refund, but I mean- i didnt get what the hoopla was all about. The swatch didnt run true, and I was disappointed as hell!


So fair to be fair, the good- The Bordeaux Pencil in the kajal line? It is BEA-YOO-TII-FUL. If you have read the previous post of beauty on the go, this would totally work as an eyeshadow stick. Line your eyes, wait for a few seconds and then use the smudger, actually I say use a clean blending brush to take it to your orbital bone. And suddenly your eyes will look multi-dimensional, like you had taken the time to sit down, blend ten shadows and look polished. Instead of hastily doing your eyes in a moving public loo. Its literally foolproof. The black one looks great from swatches I’ve seen as have the gold. I have the Bordeaux one…because I love purple-y , cranberry shades. I’m so feeling them – this autumn. Truthfully all the time.

The good too- Lid lustres. They are pigmented, come out glittery, one swipe has you at hello. And the shade I have, Midnight, is a great blue that comes out as it looks in the pot.

Which is why; I’m baffled as to what happened to the smokey eye brick. My colourway or the one I ordered, is Royal. I wanted it for the indigo that was sold out ( sob ) in her iconic collection . On the looks online, they swatched on all hues of womin’s everywhere. So apart from it coming in a soggy box, with powder everywhere from a chipped shade. I was puzzled as to why the swatches didnt swatch pigmented at all. It feels dusty, light and cheap. Did I get a dud? Was this a bad batch? Can someone please let me know in comments- If they have had the same experience with this?


It is touted as being clean. ( cue eyeroll) Is the latest in the way skincare / makeup is going?

Smokey Eye Brick- Royal  (Smoky Eye Brick in Royal features hues ranging from cobalt to rich navy for a bold, fashion-inspired smoky lid.
Crème is an off white
Denim is a steel blue
Marine is a rich navy
Cerulean is a cobalt blue)


Lid Lustre- Midnight (Lid Lustre in Midnight is navy blue with silver pearl and infused with Amethyst which is known to amplify the flow of prosperity and abundance.)



Satin Kajal Liner- Bordeaux ( Satin Kajal Liner in Bordeaux is a rich matte burgundy.)

Will I repurchase? urm, I’m sitting on the fence. 2 out of 3 aint bad to be honest. But when youre talking celeb launches and the money spent on influencer PR. You could have nailed IT. So I don’t know. Am I being too harsh? What do you think? It is a range that is going to be expanded to other skews- Lips, face, skin etc.¬† I think I will wait for a bit longer before jumping into a purchase.¬† Next time.

Have you tried Victoria Beckham Beauty What are your feelings about the range, celebrity makeup ranges in general? Until next time …¬†Love Elle xx

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money. If this was to change at any point, I will disclose this and it will not affect my opinion. Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.


A conversation with Sali Hughes- Top tips for Beauty on the go!

Don’t press pause, don’t press reset. I have indeed attended a workshop with Sali Hughes. No I am not kidding. I was this close. THIS, CLOSE. And she said Hi. I’m not a bezzie, but she knows I exist? Okay? I learnt some top Makeup Artist ( MUA) tricks for putting on beauty products on the move. And let’s be honest, a lot of us get most our slap done sometime between leaving home and arriving to work/ wherever it is we arrive at ) A lot of us peeps rush to work in the morning and side glances aside we do our faces( beauty( on the go.( Btw if you side eye anyone who is doing their makeup on the train- shame on you. Unless they spray POISON – and I mean the actual stuff not the perfume … in your face.If I don’t look askance at you for downloading Porn, lipstick is okay too ?) Anyway rants aside.

Love me some Sali Hughes’ advice. ( if you don’t know who she is! GIYF?) Take it from a chic who is a huge fangirl, Sali has amazing skin. Now whilst her advice is tailored to her dry skin, she also mentioned how to tailor it for us combi peeps.¬†¬†The only word of caution. Please do not try this in your car if you are driving that is. Follow the highway code lads.

Also Cue fangirl gush alert, Sali wasn’t given the brief about what she needed to do, and when she reached there, she was told that she had to makeover a person whilst talking us through the process; a live demo. Consummate professional that Sali is, she took this in her stride and sorted a person in the audience to be the model, and in five seconds flat, she sorted out the products needed; makeup and brushes included.

Sali Hughes top reccos:

  • Cream eyeshadow¬†sticks are your BFF

Formula is king as the clich√© goes, so is a great crease blending brush. You need a stick that will give you five seconds to line your eyes, and set with a buff brush ( using light car wiper motion movement. Do not forget to buff. Unless an eyelid glued shut is your thing. Sali reccomends Bobbi Brown taupe. The Beauty Pie sticks are very similar too. The VB pencils are great. I have the VB pencil in Bordeaux . May I suggest Kiko and NYX for affordable dupes? Don’t break your bank to get skincare/makeup guys.¬†

  • Don’t faff with concealer, go for a colour corrector

Colour correctors are genius. What wait? You are still in the era of Concealers? Is this the 80’s? Are you Linda Evangelista? Don’t skip this step. In fact read this. You can thank me later. This is simple genius. Bin your concealer! Ok Sali technically said choose your corrector not binning your¬†concealer. But, hear me out. You have 8 minutes, before your stop. 2 seconds before you wake the sleepyhead nodding next to you. And you want to look alive ( corrector) not embalmed and dragged through the 90’s along with the Glamazons.( This pic by Peter Lindbergh.) Please don’t live under a rock. ( concealer) If you are guilty of red wine the night before, you’re likely to be dehydrated. Give your skin a break and go for the opposite end of the colour wheel. Light pink- caucasian, Peach- brown girls, and orange- deep toned ladies. Dab a bit. You will look insane. At first. I promise it gets better. Let it set. Then go over the entire area with your normal foundation. VOILA- Tres Magique. You will look fresher than before you started, before you can say Balwinder is your uncleji! Oh and pop some Anadin. Drink 25 litres of water… Sali reccomends Bobbi brown for matching a corrector for skins. And ill also throw in Becca . And if you’re deeper toned- try a red lipstick. ( No kidding- watch this video¬†that will change your life!)

  • Forget a primer unless you have a lot of time, and oily skin

Sali has dry skin, no this is not a state secret. Its well documented, in her struggles as a kid ( Ichtyosis for those who need to look this up) and hates silicone primers. Not because it is bad ( Sali hates clean-washing more than anything else) but because it slips around on the face. And if you have dry skin, this is no fun. For us combination/Oily gals, this is the exact opposite. It looks like your face has been laminated. Pores appear to shrink and will give us that canvas to look polished. For dry skin girls, and if you have clear skin. ( I automatically hate you, but that’s beside’s the point) go for a primer with a bit of glow. Sali’s all time fave- is Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Filter. I would throw in a recco here- Milk’s Hydrogrip. And if you’re oily. Benefit’s porefessional is brilliant for all the reasons its terrible for drier skins.¬†

  • Mascara for the top and bottom lash

If you can get time for a mascara please make it one that you can do in a moving vehicle. Smaller brushes are better. You are less likely to poke your eyes out. Sali recommends : Clinique bottom lash mascara. Also read my previous post. Just been to my blog have ya? Right make a cuppa. Sit down. Read my previous posts. Love ya too. Interesting fact: Clinique bottom lash mascara is the same formula as their hero product High Impact, with a smaller brush. Save your cash. Buy only one. ALSO work from the outside of your eye…in. Also wait for the formula to dry. Give it a few seconds. And please don’t faff about with curlers. You’re in a moving PUBLIC transportation vehicle. Much as I shout about your right to makeup. I don’t intend to scare the co-passengers baby with an instrument that looks like a medieval torture device. Whilst we are here, also please don’t try putting on lashes. If it falls your fellow movers and shakers might pass out due to arachnophobia.

  • Powder is your second bff.

Many dry women make this mistake of skipping powder. They think its for the oilier amongst us. The right powder in the right places can make you look alive, and fresh. Sali reccomends Mac Mineralise SkinFinish, abd Charlotte Tilbury’s Pressed powder. I also reccomend Hourglass. Its invisible, blurring and makes you look like you’ve been sleeping 8 hours. When in reality; you’ve hit the red wine and apreŇõ work canapes at the local pub. Don’t skip this step. Also please don’t try elaborate baking, and contouring, ie: Instaglam look. This is a throwaway tip from me. Camera makeup is strictly front of YT makeup. Don’t try this anywhere lads!

  • Blotting papers over a second coat of foundation for oily gals.

if you are dry as the desert, don’t bother to read this bit. Skip to the next step. But oily/ combo peeps- have you noticed how your skin looks orange when you repowder through the day? This is not because you are imagining it. The sebum on your skin does actually oxidise any colour on your skin. So reapplying powder or foundation or any colour product to your face will exacerbate this issue. Instead, Sali recommends to blot with a blotting paper. Also her top tip is that these should be where you save your pennies. And buy cheap. Clean n Clear do brillint ones that do the job just as well as Chanel ( black book- ridiculously expensive but oh so beautiful. ) and MAC ( I have this one, it lasts an age. But would definitely save my money not repurchasing this.) Blotting your nose and forehead and other areas will do the job better than any powder. This I’m trying.

  • Ace that base!

LISTEN to the pro okay? Full coverage is best suited to… nobody. Sali Hughes says that often young people in their 20’s are looking for a full coverage foundation. ( Armani Power Fabric; if you’re interested.) But most skins do not need to be covered up entirely. That is the job of the concealer. And/ or corrector. Find a tinted moisturiser, or stick foundation that is an exact match to your skin tone. ( Nars tinted, Bobbi Brown stick) And this is important- Undertone. I’m a neutral. Sali matched me- so I know it to be correct . Get matched. Take a sample. Make sure it’s an exact shade. If you want to warm it up, you can go for a bronzer. If you want to lighten areas- a shine free highlighter. Your base should be¬† the exact shade of your skin. No more, no less. ( You fellow brown girls- DO NOT GO LIGHTER, you will look ashy!)

  • A good Bronzer.¬†

Sali is a big believer in a multitasker. If you can fit only one- fit in a bronzer, it can be used as a blush. Not the other way round though. ( Nars- multiples and Milk sticks come to her mind) Cream over powder formulae. And figure of 3. Do not use your bronzer as a contour. ( A good rule of the thumb is- Bronzer= warm, Contour= cool) Contour is to mimic shadows( which never warm up in sunlight) and bronzer is on the highest points of the face. Where the sun naturally would warm you up. If you’re sitting in the sun, without sunscreen ( Again we need to chat. about this… have you not read my blog?) If you’re asian and darker, this would happen to you in the shade too. Also, read my post on Sunscreens. You’re welcome. If you’re oily, you might want to reapply this when you reapply your lipstick. It will have shifted a bit. But hey, you will wrinkle less okay. Its a good trade off.

You can leave your hat on, and don’t invade personal space… No’s: Anything aerosol. ( see I read Sali’s books, columns and remember her advice ) Also totally unrelated. But relatable. We got a goodie bag. This one. And it really had great goodies.

Goodie Bag from the Sali Hughes event
Goodie Bag from the Sali Hughes event

All in all, it took Sali 8 minutes on herself. Now if you don’t want to look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards, I suggest that you trial this at home. Time yourself. And remember to add 2 minutes on top of that, to stare down the lad listening to loud music on his speakers. We are a polite society, if you please!

(I’ve written a mum on the run post about beauty on the move. It does have some tips on there.)

Do you have any tips for makeup on the go? I’d love to hear from you- Until next time- Love Elle xx¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post; pr samples have been kindly gifted by the company, but this has not affected my opinion, nor swayed it . And where gifted this is signposted as AD for clarity and transperancy  Please check the ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you may have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.

Goodie Bag from the Sali Hughes event
Goodie Bag from the Sali Hughes event




3 tricks to spot a tubing mascara, you need to read NOW

6Tubing mascaras all in a row
Tubing mascara all in a row

How to spot a tubing mascara… A teeny update.

Hola! Hello! Are you still there? If you are, I thank you… for your patience, for still sticking around and being patient. Life and turning 40 happened to me! And a blog name change…yikes! More on this coming up soon, no really really soon. I promise!

So if you follow me on the ‘gram ( you don’t? Why not? Go on, go to @running_in_red_lipstick on instagram and show us some love ‚̧ )you’ll know that I love a mascara. I mean anyone with eyes should really love a mascara. And anyone over 40 should make mascara their best friend. What’s not to love?¬† The right one will give make you look more awake, give you va-va-voom eyes ( and lashes) and often makes your eyes look lifted and less tired.

The key is the right mascara.

Ok, finding a mascara is like looking for a man on tinder. Or more difficult I’ve been told ( since I’ve never been on tinder I can’t speak for the app- Soz!) If you are anything like me and have oily eyelids… ( hello eye cream, I’m looking at you babe) or rub your eyes ( yep, that too), wear lenses ( urm, box checked), have dry eyes ( you talkin’ to me gurl?), live in a dry or humid climate?( urm yes to the first and holiday to the second) … winning the lottery here! All of the above apply to me, and I know from talking to my friends that they have similar problems too. So the right mascara is often elusive… or seasonally dependant. SIGH! What works in Summer might not work in Autumn etc etc.

Then the world discovers tubing mascara

Tubing mascara: Now what is that?

Marie Claire magazine * describes it as¬† being “… different from traditional formulas in the way they coat your lashes. Normal mascaras coat your lashes in pigment to darken and lengthen; but tubing formulas wrap polymers around your lashes, coating them in ‚Äėtubes‚Äô of the black stuff. Think of it as a life-proof jacket for your lashes“.¬† This is the most informative and easy definition I’ve read to describe tubing formula, of course GIYF ( Google Is Your Friend), I’ll leave a few links below. Feel free to let me know if you know of more mascaras in comments.

A little mascara history if you’re interested:
According to Maybelline Co., modern mascara was born in 1913 when Maybelline creator T.L. Williams marketed his sister’s recipe for makeup in Chicago. His sister Maybel used petroleum jelly mixed with coal dust to make eyelashes look more dramatic. Williams adapted the formula in a laboratory and produced a product sold locally called Lash-Brow-Ine, which became a local hit. In search of a catchier name, Williams renamed the product Maybelline, which is a combination of Maybel and Vaseline.In 1915, the company Maybelline was founded as a mail order company. In 1917, Williams’ company produced Maybelline Cake Mascara which was the first compact mascara and was very popular.

Why not use Waterproof Mascara?

A lot of people do. Waterproof formulae can often withstand gale force storms that may make men quake. The problem comes during the removal process. Many of them require a full force stab fest to remove. And since long-lasting coverage doesn’t always outweigh rubbing and scrubbing the beejeesus out of my lashes at the end of the night, I prefer tubing formula. Tubing formulae have been around since donkey’s years. Especially in J or was it K beauty. Then Kevyn Aucoin ” borrowed” the formula to make his iconic Mascara and legend was born. Of course now the high street and high end use it. And it is by no means perfect. It is also not new in K beauty/ or is it J? But when Sali Hughes, my beauty hero, a legendary beauty journalist and bestselling author was given a tube of Blinc, by a beauty PR way back in the day. It became a CULT, and started a trend that we are still grateful for as its now becoming sophisticated and more mainstream.

Ok… Ok lets get to the point, we still are trying to find it. DING!

Whenever I’ve tried to buy a tubing mascara in store or online, If I searched for tubing mascaras especially in store or online- I’d struggle to find it. I always have to have this list with me which is A-okay but hands up if you’ve ever had your phone die on you… midway through a shopping trip ( okay I’m guilty of forgetting to carry my Powerbank) and along with it; here’s your list.

So if you can’t search for it by description ( why oh why?) then these 3 points are the key tricks to spot a tubing mascara in a store or online.

3 MUA ( Makeup Artist) Tricks to Spot it

  • Looks for words like extension/ extended/ buildable: Either in the name or the description. Often it will say it right in the name ( L’Oreal Extended ) or in the blurb in the box. ( The description in fine print. Yeah, I know… I rarely read it either.)¬† But just like everything good in life, the devil does really lie in the details.
  • It‚Äôs advertised as easy to remove or washes off easily with water:¬†This is really key as tubing mascara unlike waterproof mascara comes off easily with warm water. ( and a bit of gentle elbow grease aka soaking and compressing with a warm flannel) If the above words are not in the description. This is key to knowing you’ve got the right bad boy.
  • It says smudge proof ( often doesn’t¬†say waterproof)¬†If you are looking for a waterproof mascara because… hey you do NOT have to justify your reasons to me. Okay? Anyway, this will often be marketed as smudge-proof. And people can get caught out on a technicality. There is a difference. Hear me out. Waterproof mascara is said to withstand proper water – think swimming outdoors in a thunderstorm and everything in between. And most can ONLY be removed with oil/dedicated makeup removers. Smudge-proof on the other hand can maybe withstand a bit of tears, allergy or bridal. But no more and comes off with warm mascara and a gentle soak. While no mascara is and should damage lashes in the long term. The removal process of waterproof mascaras can be a bit aggressive by some of the heavy handed ( head down-guilty) amongst us. This is why tubing mascaras win over waterproof ones in terms of overall lash health IMHO.

Oh and just to make things a little more interesting for you- here’s a bonus one. If you’re a mascara addict, and have been wearing it since the stone age. It’s a lot wetter than normal mascara and needs to dry between applications. If you’re a Mascara newbie, then good luck as wetter is so relative, and if you haven’t used other types of mascara. Or not many mascaras, then this will be a much of a muchness to you.

 Things to remember-

  • They provide a more natural look. If you want to look like you’re wearing falsies, tubing alone won’t do it.
  • Nothing is set in stone ( and definitely not mascara formulations) So as we speak formulations can be taken off the market- or new ones added!
  • Everything in makeup is relative, and eye makeup especially mascara and eyeliners seem to be more relative than others. None of these may be your jam. Or all or some may be. Please do let me know in comments if you have any faves that I havent tried or listed.
  • Prices are slightly higher. I think you are paying that slight extra bit for the formulation even in the drugstore/ pharma category. So you will find are slightly more expensive than the other mascaras in their brand.

So my top finds are:

( I tested them all under the same conditions: 100% humidity, 5 Mile run and 1 hour gym workout… not all at the same time! But all using the same controls, these babies are my personal faves.)


  1. Mac Extended Play Giga Black Mascara. Firstly let’s start with the name here shall we? I think they were having a bad day or something when this was named! Like from the creators of beauts like Ruby Woo and ‘Shroom ( okay, the latter is not as cool but ya get me?) comes this mouthful that I nearly have to always Google the name of. Why? You couldn’t call it Tubing… but extended play Giga was okay? Alright, rant over. Because that is the only negative thing about this, that I can think of.¬† (Apart from the price, but we have already cleared this, rightio?) It coats lashes evenly, very little clumping, and does provide a lift and grip. And your lashes look natural. Stunning. Every time. And DEFINED.

Mascara head: Thin brush head

Bristle: Wibbywobbly

  • 2. Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula: BEST FOR SENSTIVE AMONGST US.¬†If one of you wears contacts ( guilty gurrrrrl) or have easily irritated eyes, very dry eyes, this tubular mascara from Clinique is a smart choice. It’s both allergy tested and ophthalmologist tested. Not to mention 100 percent free of any fragrances, or phthalates. This long-wearing formula lengthens lashes, even the little corner ones, thanks to its unique shaped brush. And again, with the defined. It’s the Holy Grail of many. It has a fine thin brush head that grabs every

Mascara head: Thin brush head

Bristle: Wibbywobbly

Fairy Drops mascara
Fairy Drops mascara

  • 3. Fairy Drops Scandal Queen Mascara :This OG mascara with the coolest brand name ( I call dibs on Unicorn lashes gurl) comes from Japan, It was created by a Japanese TV personality and was one if its original imports that called to all eyes on J beauty before it became all the rage. It has a cool, (at the time 10 years and counting) ¬†3 bobbled ¬†head that coats every single lash. ¬†especially small lashes. Straight ones. ¬†Unfortunately and this is one of really unfortunate buying moments where (and the seller is already sending me one as we speak) I have been sent the waterproof and not the original tubing formula. So I can testify to its appearance and cannot personally talk about wear time here. Boo. Maybe an update at a later date?

Brush Head: Wibbly wobbly, to get the shortest hairs .

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  1. Nyx Doll Eye Mascara :¬†The second drugstore brand that made my cut. This is great if you want a a more waterproof tubing formula. The brush is not fat, so its great for those amongst us that get a mascara brush sidle past in our eyeball because of fat brushes, and short lashes. Plus it says waterproof. Though its not as waterproof as traditional formula… its pretty good. If this is your first time trying a tubing formula, and don’t want to go far budget wise, get this.


  • 4. Glossier Lash Slick: The much awaited and long teased mascara is like everything Glossier. Pink. Cool and modelled by their effortless gen Z and millennials models who flit around putting on a dab of this, a touch of that. This having said, Lash slick is great if you like natural looking lashes. So if you dont want that full on false lash effect. and yes there are some amongst us who dont want that. Often they can look a little full on in traditional corporate jobs. This is where Lash slick steps in. Like everything that Glossier offers, this is on brand. Your lashes look like yours, but better. And it really is a doddle to take off.

Brush Head: Slick, Small, quite easy to use for smaller eyes, or on the g

Milk Kush mascara
Milk Kush masara

  • 5. Milk Kush Mascara¬†This Mascara is the only newest offering in the beauty world and the second vegan one in the list, so if you’re after a vegan formula, this is what you should be going for.In a (innovative opinions my opinion) bold move Milk ( the new beauty disruptor) makeup added oils and plant based waxes. This is quite a milestone as most mascaras use beeswax or some form of it. So this is quite a eco and bee friendly direction for a brand to make. That an add cannabis to a mascara. yep you read it here lads. Your lashes will be guaranteed to get high. Ok kidding – CBD or Cannabidiol, the latest buzzword in the beauty world doesn’t contain more than 3% of the substance (THC) that gets you high. I love the Fat brush of the mascara wand. And my lashes do get a natural lift, but not sure about the claim of CBD helping in this formulation. Anti Inflammatory, Jumping onto a trend? You decide.

Brush Head: Big, Bushy. ( Stop. You know what I mean!)

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  • 6. L’Oreal Paris Double Extend Tubes the only double¬†formula in the bunch, The white end has the polymer fibres that you coat each and every lash with. Then use the other side to coat the lashes with a formula that adds volume and all that mascara jazz. This is a drugstore offering and these double type bottles were all the rage ( circa early 2000′ s) but now with everyone wanting and expecting their makeup/ skincare to be dinky, cute, sleek, travel friendly and very little faff. So if you are one of those people, then this is NOT for you. This however is still a great mascara, and if it aint broke and all that!

Other noteworthy ( read ICONIC) formulae

Blinc Mascara ( The OG, the most famous one that started the buzz) , Kevyn Aucoin The Curling Mascara (This was the east to west transition way ahead of its time!), Trish McEvoy High Volume Mascara, DHC Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection( yet again, whats with the name peeps?), Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Formula. (the name, SIGH!), Primark False Lash Queen

To cut a long (again keeping with the name theme here lads) story short!

If you are a serial smudger, but still want that sort of lifting action that lasts longer than the best curling tool can ever give you- Tubing Mascara’s are your answer. If you are a tad rough with the removal of makeup. Firstly. I’m going to find out who you are and totally snitch on ya to your mumma lads! Just kidding, but just saying it’s 2019 and we should know better. No? Ok to those of us who (occasionally) get heavy handed with eye makeup removal and regularly scrub our mascaras out- A ) The makeup Police is watching you (¬† b) Tubing formula’s are your baby. They come out easily with warm water. No scrubbing, no stabbing at your eyes, no harsh tugging of the delicate orbital area. If, whatever reason one is not looking for a false lash effect. ( Gasp! apparently said people exist?!) Guess what? Often I am one of those people… My Corporate day Job often requires makeup to be on the discreet side. I save the jewelled eyeshadows for the weekend. And my false effect mascara ( Essence if you’re interested) for girl’s nights out! I wear my tubing formula in the day time.

Have you tried a tubing mascara? Let me know what you think- or just pop in to say hi- Love Elle xx


Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post; pr samples have been kindly gifted by the company, but this has not affected my opinion, nor swayed it . And where gifted this is signposted as AD for clarity and transperancy  Please check the ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you may have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.

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Maybelline history reprinted from Freebeauty events


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