I have naturally curvy, mid-length lashes and therefore I've never been fussy about a type of mascara or brand - Loreal, Rimmel, Max Factor all worked for me as long as they were black and waterproof. I don't remember ever having a bad experience with mascara, no matter how cheap or expensive it was.
This time I was going to try Revlon's 3D Extreme Waterproof Mascara in Blackest Black at £8.99 from Boots (this was a year ago and Boots don't store these anymore, but it can be purchased from online shops for less than £6). The other colours available are Black and Black Brown and you can also buy it in non-waterproof version. I was slightly concerned with the word 'extreme' on the packaging. I didn't want my lashes to look false, just wanted some added length and volume, not a lot to ask. However, I was in a bit of rush and had no time to look through all of the other mascaras in the store. The tube is shiny silver in colour, looked very attractive and nicely fit in my hand, so I popped it into my basket.
----- Packaging -----
The mascara is protected with a transparent foil, which you have to peel before the first use, so you are sure no one before used it. There is no outer packaging, something I'm glad to report, as I would consider it unnecessary waste. There isn't a lot of information on the packaging - only the name of the product Revlon 3D Extreme Waterproof Mascara in black lettering, no mention about main benefits or any other information.
Only after careful examination at home, I noticed that you have to peel the barcode sticker layer to read a little more about the product - what it does, how to use and ingredients. It's a shame this information is not more visible, because unless you buy the product, you cannot really find out what it is supposed to do or if it is what you are looking for. Also, many people won't even notice that this information is hidden behind the barcode label.
Revlon 3D Extreme mascara is very small comparing to a standard size - it contains only 6.2ml and is 10cm (4 inches) long. The length of the wand is only 6 cm but the handle is good size and nicely fits in my hands. Although I suspect someone with bigger hands might find it too small and uncomfortable to use.
The wand is short, thick and inflexible. I personally prefer a shorter and thicker wand as it gives me more control and makes it easier to apply mascara accurately - you can precisely apply it to the lashes.
The handle of the mascara is texturized, so it is much easier to open it.
----- What does it claim to do? -----
After I've peeled the barcode label I found the intended properties of this mascara. Revlon 3D Extreme promises 17x fuller lashes, 50% visibly longer 70% more curvy, also separated lashes. I must say I was very surprised to read this claim - it is so ambitious that even before I applied the first coat I knew no mascara could ever achieve this.
Instructions to use are brush through from base to tip of the eyelashes and repeat to achieve greater impact.
----- My first experience with 3D -----
I decided to try it out immediately after returning home from Boots. I always do this with new mascara, in case I apply it and look ridiculously fake - not the look I want to portray at work really and this mascara was supposed to be extreme!
I peeled the protective foil, opened the mascara and checked the brush. It looked really strange, as if someone had shaven all the bristles on two opposite sides of the brush... They were completely bald! I thought it was a bit weird, but nowadays manufacturers try to invent a wheel and create all sorts of brush shapes. I thought that maybe this was the latest innovation to give extremely long and thick lashes?
I brushed my eyelashes once with the non-bald side, but didn't even feel like any bristles were touching the lashes and haven't seen any difference in how they looked. The first coat dried very quickly so I brushed again, this time pressing harder against the lashes, which was a little bit unpleasant, but at least I could feel the brush was touching the lashes. I looked in the mirror and... nothing. I touched the brush with my finger - was there really any mascara on it, maybe it is a faulty one? No, my finger was stained black from the mascara. OK, I thought "third time lucky", and applied another coat to the same lashes once again but this hasn't changed much.
My lashes looked almost as if no make-up was applied. There was no added length, slightly ticker lashes but hardly noticeable, and slightly darker coloured. They weren't any more curvy than my natural shape of lashes. Yes, they looked very natural and there were no clumps at all but what is the point? I don't require a lot of length and volume but I expect to see a change without having to check with my face 5 cm from the mirror, especially if the name of the mascara is 3D Extreme!
I left the mascara on for the rest of the day to see if there would be any allergic reaction, which occurs sometimes when I use mascara. There wasn't any.
I have used this mascara several times since then and the effects are always the same.
----- Other important points -----
This mascara doesn't smudge even after an intensive workout. I haven't tested it in a swimming pool but I did wash my eyes with the other day when I forgot I had it on and not much happened, just a few dots of mascara around my eyes, but I was rubbing a little. Although 3D Extreme doesn't smudge, I find that it crumbles slightly. It makes no difference whether I touch the lashes during the day, rub my eyes or not, it still crumbles after a few hours and leaves tiny dots on my face. Not that they are much visible, but it still should not happen with good mascara.
I forgot a few times to wash it off before going to bed, but not once had the panda eyes in the morning - only a few tiny dots of mascara under my eyes - no different to what I experience after a four hours during the day.
*Feel of lashes
A good thing about this mascara is that lashes are soft and flexible after application of it, even after 2 or 3 coats of mascara
* How long will it last?
I am not a heavy user of mascara, so mine was thrown out before I got the chance to use it up. I suspect for someone who applies mascara every day this wouldn't last very long, especially if you are a heavy user of such products, as it contains only 6.2ml of the liquid (most standard mascaras contain 8-12ml). I say, I suspect because, I have never used the whole tube of any mascara before the use by date, so cannot make a comparison. This mascara actually doesn't have thick liquid consistency, but rather that of a very thick cream, so you use more with each application than with different mascara.
As with any similar product, it should be used within 6 months of opening.
There is nothing inside the mascara to limit the amount of product on the brush when you pull it out of the tube (the tube opening is also quite big), so the brush is all covered in the mascara and you can hardly see individual bristles. In fact, there are visible clumps on the bristles but in my case, they don't transfer onto my lashes. I have read, though, that many people have problems with clumps on eyelashes when using this product. Finally, the tip of the brush is quite chunky and makes it difficult to apply the product to tiny lashes in the eye corners, trying to avoid poking your eye out at the same time or leaving a big black dot of mascara on the skin.
* Ease of removing
I should better say - difficulty in removing. The mascara doesn't come off easily and you need to have a really good waterproof make up remover to get rid of it. Some rubbing might be needed anyway.
----- Summary -----
Lashes look very natural
Doesn't clump (in my case)
Easy to handle - good thickness of the handle, good length of the wand
Doesn't seem to irritate my eyes
Looks TOO natural - cannot see much difference between no mascara
Feels unpleasant during application
Shape of applicator brush - cannot reach all lashes
Although doesn't smudge, it does crumble a little after a few hours. After a few hours I notice tiny bits of it on my nose and cheeks.
Difficult to remove, even with waterproof eye make-up remover
Expensive if you take into account brand, size and quality
----- Recommended? Hmm... let me think... no -----
In all honesty, this is the worst mascara that I have ever come across. I didn't even know there could be such a difference in the effects and quality, as it have always been more or less happy with any mascara I used. The only good thing about this product is that it doesn't clump and looks natural, but there are many more odd and bad things about it. I keeped using this mascara for almost a year as I hate waste, but eventually bought a new one (of course not another 3D Extreme) and threw this one away.
Would I recommend? If you're reading this review I assume you are after an extreme look. This mascara WILL NOT give you that look, so search elsewhere - not recommended.