The latest thing in mascara comes in tubes. No, not the container itself: the product actually gives each lash its own little tube-like sheath, lengthening and thickening eyelashes. That’s the theory, at least; in practice, not all tubing mascaras are alike. At worst, they’re little different from conventional waxy mascaras. At best, they really do emphasize lashes in a way that thinner one-step applications can’t, giving you the look of false lashes without the fuss.
L’Oreal’s version, Double Extension Beauty Tubes, has a significant price advantage over its department store cousins. While tubing mascaras are pricier than traditional formulas, Beauty Tubes still fits a drugstore budget. The package, a sleek red and white affair with curves reminescent of a classic Corvette Stingray, is a little bulkier than most mascaras. It has to be large to contain both the conditioning primer and the mascara itself.
About that primer…L’Oreal claims it will “nourish” my lashes. My lashes may be one of the few skinny parts of me, but they won’t benefit from any kind of nourishment. My eyelashes don’t eat; they don’t need to be fed like kittens or baby birds. (I’m peevish about that term; in fact, I’m so peevish about “nourishing” beauty products that I wrote about it in another article; L’Oreal is not alone in their misuse of a perfectly good word.)
To find out what the primer coat really does, I tried wearing Beauty Tubes both with and without the primer. As far as I can tell, it adds some thickness to lashes and makes removal easier. However, if you’re in a rush you can skip it without worry; your mascara will still “tube up” and stay put, but won’t look as lush as it does over its primer.
The real magic happens on the other end of the wand with the mascara itself. Beauty Tubes mascara comes in “Black” and “Blackest Black.” Not everyone will be thrilled to read that, but as the ultimate aim of tubing mascara is to give you lashes so huge and bold that they almost look false, L’Oreal apparently figured there was no need to make them in whisper-soft nature-girl shades. I went with “Blackest Black” and wished for even more black; over the white primer, it looked a little grayish for my taste.
Application took a little practice. I learned that waiting for the primer to dry led to bumpy tubes, so I tried it while the white primer was still damp and got a nice sleek sheath on each lash. The unassuming spiral brush isn’t anything special, but is easy enough to use. I originally used both the primer and the mascara, but now stick with the mascara alone as the primer extended my lashes enough to make them bump against my glasses.
The real test of a mascara, though, is its durability. In that regard, Beauty Tubes is a big winner. It outlasted hours of wear, watery eyes, a hot day in the French Quarter, and even some accidental eye-knuckling without flaking or smearing. At the end of the day, it looked little different from the beginning of the day aside from a little sticking together of finer lashes.
Removal was a breeze. Warm water loosens the tubes and allows them to slide right off your eyelashes. You’re left with little tubes in your sink and nothing on your eyes. If any of you are as in touch with your inner mad scientist as I am, you’ll enjoy the oddly satisfying experience of tube removal; watching the little gobs of tubes go down the drain like so many itsy-bitsy spiders getting washed down the water-spout is more fun than it probably should be.
If you’re looking for a mascara that doesn’t flake off, washes away easily, and gives you a lush, dramatic look, try L’Oreal’s Beauty Tubes.