MAC Opulash Optimum Black Mascara: More of a Good Thing with Even Better Curl Hold

Published in: MAC Makeup, Product Reviews

It looks like Prep + Prime Powder and Turquatic aren’t the only MAC products getting makeovers next month.


Last year’s totally tubular MAC Opulash mascara started out, like, totally rad, but now it’s getting even radder with a souped-up sibling called Opulash Optimum Black ($16).

It’s basically like the original, except in a darker, more intense shade of black.

Both the original formulation and the new MAC Opulash Optimum Black are referred to as “tube mascaras.” The formulas envelop lashes in a “tube” of mascara. Generally, the term is used to describe long-wearing, durable products ideal for humid climates, yet most are removable with warm water (counterintuitive, I know, considering how well they usually handle humidity).

I’ve used the original Opulash on and off since the first time I tried it last year, and I like the look. It’s very distinct, with uniform thickness from lash root to tip.

The original one’s also great with lifts – like Patrick Swazye was for Jennifer Gray in the last scene from Dirty Dancing (one of the BEST moments in movie history!) — and I reach for it sometimes when I want a lifted, even fringe with good volume. It delivers pumped up, noticeble lashes that are just shy of drag.

And based on the time I’ve spent with it, this newer version, Opulash Optimum Black, lifts lashes while volumizing just as well as the older version, with the added bonus of better curl hold.

Bare lashes (top); with two coats of Opulash Optimum Black (bottom)

Swatches of Opulash (left) and Opulash Optimum Black (right)

As far as color, I do see a slight difference between the two versions in swatches on the back of my hand, but on my naturally black lashes, I can’t. Does Optimum Black look darker and more intense? I’m not sure. If there is a difference, it might be more obvious on gals with lighter lashes than mine.

Man, what I wouldn’t give to see what it looks like on El Hub’s long, blond fringe, but something tells me the odds of that happening are less likely than Tabs not wanting gravy for dinner tonight.

Even though the supposed darker black of the new Opulash Optimum is kinda lost on me, I still like it a lot. I think it’s just as great as the original one with even better curl hold.

I’m a little salty about the price rising $1, but hey, at least it wasn’t $5.

PRICE: $15 US; $18 CDN
AVAILABILITY: Coming soon to MAC counters and stores August 25 in North America and internationally this September

MAC Bloggers’ Obsessions: Take Two

If your cat, dog, hamster, snake, rabbit, muskrat or vole stole your tube of MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass and you need another one for your stash, FYI, it’s back! — available again online along with the other colors in the MAC Bloggers’ Obsessions Collection. 🙂

And this time around, MAC published some pages with pics and video of the collection’s creation.


My interview is near the middle, but be warned: I’m a little spazzy in front of the camera.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. So, True Blood – what did you think? I know Pam’s not the nicest girl in the graveyard, but poor thing!


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So far, 49 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Brooke says:

    LOVE mascaras, can’t wait to try this one.

    And I love Pam… I haven’t seen this episode yet (waiting for a friend to come over so he can watch too!) but I am team Eric.. and he’s team pam… so I’m on her side lol

  2. Vijaya says:

    Wow, your lashes look incredible. I’ve never given much notice to MAC mascaras. Might do so now. BTW, loved your interview. =]
    Vijaya recently posted … MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Semi Precious Goldstone

  3. Tally says:

    I’m a long time Karen and Christine fan so it’s almost weird to see you guys on video! You both are so pretty, even prettier than in photos :). It also made me want to buy all of the lipglasses haha.

  4. Jessi says:

    I’m in the market for a new mascara so I’ll have to try this one out!

    And you are absolutely adorable Karen! I love EvRev. I keep trying to take a picture of my dogs with it but they keep wanting to eat it. :-/ I’m glad MAC brought them back because I need to pick up a backup!
    Jessi recently posted … Mmm, My Nails Smell Like Grapes

  5. Samantha says:

    Karen, I loved your interview! I didn’t think you were spazzy at all, if that were me I’d be tripping over my own words. You speak so eloquently and it’s so neat to see your passion about your creation, and just goes to show how well your writing really encompasses your personality!

  6. Your lashes look really good! I’ve never tried a MAC mascara before, might be time to start. And LOL I honestly cannot tell the difference between the two colors! I actually thought the original looked just a smidge darker at first.

    Love the video and your interview 🙂 It was so cool to watch them make the lipsticks!

  7. Audrey says:

    I didn’t find you spazzy either! But I never imagined your voice so high-pitched! It’s cute and feminine!

  8. Mia says:

    Great review — I’ve been looking for a mascara with good curl hold for ages! I hope our stores get this soon.

    And how exciting is it that the Bloggers’ Obsessions collection is back! Will be asking a friend to CP EvRev and a couple of eyeshadows for me, can’t wait to finally get them ♥!

  9. jennifer s says:

    hey karen omg i hope you already watched the new true blood episode because…. YUM! lol
    how would you say this mascara compares to mac X mascara? thats my hg mascara 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      I really like MAC X, too. This one seems to be a little better at length, and it distributes the volume throughout the length of the lash. With Mascara X I seem to get more thickness at the roots.

  10. Whitney L. says:

    This particular rating miffs me a little bit, I’ve seen your lashes look much better with mascaras you rate lower… What made you give this one an A? Is it just the curl hold, or something else?

    This one doesn’t seem to give the volume it purports to, maybe it will look better layered with another mascara!

    How’d the curl hold up with wear? Surprising for a non-water proof to hold curl so well!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Whitney L.,

      It’s a bunch of things in addition to the curl hold that take it to the next level for me:

      — No smudging, smearing or flaking
      — Doesn’t feel heavy on the lashes (almost featherlight, like I’m not wearing any mascara at all)
      — Smooth, non-clumpy formula
      — Sturdy, incredibly long wear time (I can have this on from the crack of dawn until midnight and it looks great from the second I put it on to the second I take it off)

      It’s very good for when you want your lashes to stand out, but not be too draggy. I love it especially for work or conservative events. Hope that helps clear up the rating for you.

      • Whitney L. says:

        It does for sure– I suppose even though I’m like, drag-lashes all day all the time, I respect the need for non-drag, work-friendly lashes. Good to know these other strong suits of the new mascara!

  11. Emily says:

    I don’t know, high end mascaras just don’t do it for me…but I DO appreciate super dark lashes, so it could be a winner.

    TB – I have to say that Pam was looking mighty bad the other night…had to laugh at the lipstick comment though! I don’t think they should kill Marnie, if anyone can at least try and undo the spell, she can.

    • Karen says:

      What’s your favorite budget mascara, Emily?

      Pam was lookin’ pretty tow up… I must say, though, that she pulls of the beekeeper look quite well.

  12. Biba says:

    You’re so beautiful, Karen!

  13. I like dark lashes but wonder your this one is just the curl hold, or something else? Karen has been all time fav. Would get one for myself too.


    • Karen says:

      It’s a bunch of things — mostly it’s very sturdy. It never smears, smudges or flakes. Plus, it’s very smooth and doesn’t clump AND it’s feather light, too.

  14. Crystal says:

    Wow I might have to try this!
    Crystal recently posted … NYX Black Label Lipstick Plum #144

  15. Chris25 says:

    I don’t think you’re spazzy at all. You look great on camera! It’s funny, I never thought of you as having a soft voice. I always imagined you had a louder voice. 🙂

  16. Naj says:

    I’m not sure if I can see the difference in black-ness, but it looks like it’s doing a great job seperating your lashes.

    Oh, and I actually think that Mac seriously needs to make the Bloggers’ Obsessions Collection permanent AND available international. 🙁

  17. Nina says:

    you are totally adorable in that interview ya’know!

  18. Kaelin Chan says:

    Love the video Karen, you’re so adorable 😀

    For me, the bigger the lashes the better. Drag queen in disguise? i think so
    Kaelin Chan recently posted … I do recall now, the smell of the rain…

  19. Sarahc says:

    I love Evolution Revolution Karen, and you are not a spazz! It’s wearable with personality and the only one of the mac bloggers’ obsessions collection items I wanted to get.

  20. becca says:

    Regular Opulash is my HG – can’t wait to try this one! I also want to add that I use it over Prep and Prime Lash and it’s the best for holding curl! It never flakes OR smudges either!

  21. Allie says:

    Saw your face in my email this morning from MAC!
    And I loved your interview about the sunset 🙂

  22. Ruchita says:

    Glad to see that EvRev is back! I missed getting it the first time around.

    I’m really enjoying True Blood this season – especially the softer side of Eric. I do feel bad for Pam and I hope that spell gets reversed. As always, looking forward to next week!

    • Karen says:

      Me too! I think the writers are doing a really great job. I wasn’t crazy about last season and this one has re-ignited my love for the show.

      I know a lot of fans aren’t into sweet Eric but I <3 him. "I had a bad dream." AWWW!

  23. Kim says:

    Oh, be quiet! You are spunky and expressive and great in the video. Nobody wants to see Ben Stein saying “Bueller… Bueller…”. 🙂 It’s clear that you’re excited to be there and passionate about the whole experience. Well done!

    I think my favorite part of TB was “I had a bad dream”. Of course. I agree about Pam, though. Her comments and expressions always make me laugh, even when her ear is falling off. HAHA!

    • Karen says:

      I dunno, dude. Sometimes I hear my voice in video and can’t believe that it’s me. In my mind I’m much cooler. Anywho, I just re-watched True Blood this morning! I love that scene with Bill and Pam.

      “Maybe more lipstick?”


      • Kim says:

        I feel like that too (video and answering machines). I’m always like “do I really sound that dorky?”. I must, because everyone else thinks I sound normal. 🙂

        That was definitely funny. Though I still like Bill’s “oh, good, we need more bee keepers” comment best! HAHA!

        Oh, btw, are you still reading Game of Thrones? I finished the 5th book last week. Now just 5 more years until the next one! Ug. 🙂

  24. haiku says:

    Hey karen, can you do a review of your favorite eye lash curler? And what is comparable to shu umeru one since its not for sale anymore in the states.

    Great blog btw!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Haiku,

      I’ve tried a lot of different curlers and for me nothing compares to the Shu. I’ve heard that Shiseido’s is comparable, but I haven’t tried it yet because I love the Shu so much!

      If you don’t mind paying shipping you can still purchase the Shu online. Here’s a link: Shu Uemura Lash Curler.

      I really do think it’s the best one out there. It never pinches and the curl looks very natural.

  25. Barbara says:

    Karen! I LOVE the ending of Dirty Dancing!! So amazing. I did a blog post on it, it’s so awesome:

    Thanks, also for reviewing the new Opulash. I’ve been curious about this one.

  26. Barbara says:

    Karen! I LOVE the ending of Dirty Dancing, it’s the BEST!! I did a blog post on it too –

    And thanks for the review of the new Opulash. I’ve been curious about this one.

  27. Jill says:

    For me, Opulash is hands-down my favorite MAC mascara. I’ve recently been cheating on it with Dior, Lancome, Clinique and Estee Lauder, but I think I’m going to have to go back and try the new one out!

  28. Elle says:

    Saw the vid of you last night – I love hearing you talk about EvRev! I can’t tell you how tempted I am to go get a third tube…how long are the products going to be available again?

    I’m so glad I got this mascara during the Nordstrom early sale. I’ve fallen hard for Opulash, so I’m so happy to hear this is good too!

  29. Sheena says:

    My all time favorite mascara is Great Lash(Pink bottle, green top lol) but I’ll def give this one a try!

  30. Savannah says:

    It’s so wierd to hear your voice for the first time. I’ve read your blog for such a long time and you know how you get that made up voice in your head? Lol. You’re so pretty in camera! Love your blog 🙂

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