Review: Clinique High Lengths Mascara

In the past, I have tried numerous Clinique mascaras, including their popular "High Impact" brand and haven't liked one of them. I've found them to be clumpy upon application and have also noticed that they tend to dry out faster than other brands. A few months ago, I received a sample of their newest mascara, the "High Lengths" version, and to be honest, I almost threw it right into the trash because I knew how negatively I feel about Clinique mascaras. But then something stopped me and I opened the tube on a whim and quickly saw that this was nothing like what I had tried before.

Here's what the Clinique Web site says about this product:

"Stretch limp, lifeless lashes to lengths beyond your wildest expectations. And wow - eyes look noticeably wider, fully energized. Our curved, fine-toothed comb finds the tiniest lashes and brings them out of hiding. Ophthalmologist tested and appropriate for sensitive eyes."

Here's what I think:
First and foremost, the wand truly is dramatically different from typical mascara wands and is very thin with just three ultra tiny rows of plastic (to give you some perspective, I had to use the digital macro feature on my camera to get a zoomed-in enough view of the wand to where the detail was visible). The plus to this feature is that it's virtually impossible for your mascara to clump, and the comb also separates lashes very easily because there are only a few rows of plastic for your lashes to adhere to. This "plastic" is another differentiator, as the wand doesn't have any of that fluffy spooli material that you might be used to.

Another interesting point is that unlike most wands, the comb is only on one side with the other side made of a smooth plastic. The downside to this is that you're not really able to use this wand in the much-loved "rolling" motion that helps curl lashes and provide extra coats with just one swipe. One final thing I noticed is that the wand is a bit bendy on the end, although I honestly haven't yet figured out how this aids in the application.

After several uses, I've decided that in many ways, I really like this brush -- as I said, it allows for excellent lengthening without clumps, which is always my first requirement in my mascaras. There are a few things, though, that I don't like. Firstly, the design of the brush has the little plastic combs ending slightly before the smooth plastic part ends (if that makes sense), which means that it's very hard to reach the tiny little lashes that are close to your tear ducts without poking the side of your face with the end of the brush (this has resulted in me getting mascara on the inside corner of my eye a couple of times, which can make for messy fix-ups, especially if you've already spent time perfecting an eye shadow look). For this reason, it's also a bit more difficult to use this mascara on your lower lashes without making a mess under your eyes.

All in all, for $14, this mascara really isn't that much more expensive than some drugstore brands, so I'd say it's worth a purchase, if only to check out the super cool wand, which in the end makes the product what it is. Truth be told, I'm not sure that the actual mascara does anything different or better than any other product I've used. I certainly didn't notice that my eyes looked more energized, as Clinique claims.

To recap:

Pros:
- The wand is really cool and different from anything I've seen or used before.
- Three rows of small plastic prongs on the wand make for smooth, lengthening application without clumps
- The mascara is only $14, which isn't much more than drugstore brands.
- All Clinique products are hypoallergenic and opthamologist tested, so if you have sensitive eyes, this is a plus.

Cons:
- The design of the brush makes it difficult to reach the tiny inner lashes near your tear ducts
- Because the comb is only on one side of the brush, you can't roll the mascara on to achieve a curling effect
- The shape of the brush makes applying mascara to your lower lashes more difficult

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