Magic Mascara Wands and Brushes

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup, News, Product Reviews

It’s official: folks are gettin’ CRAZY with mascara brushes! Some of the biggest names in the biz, like Lancome, Cover Girl and MAC, are coming out with unusual mascara brushes, some that vibrate, and others shaped like miniature plastic combs or corkscrews.


Don’t throw out your old fashioned mascara brushes just yet, but you may want to give one of the newer breed of brushes a try.

Cover Girl’s Lash Blast and Lancome’s High Definicil mascaras sport short, stubby plastic bristles that look futuristic and efficient, while MAC Plushlash and Dior DiorShow supersize things with extra large brush heads and super long bristles.

Bristles in Motion

Beyond simple changes to brush size and bristle shape, some companies are coming out with battery-powered wands with vibrating brush heads. Look out, Harry Potter!

A few months ago, Spinlash ($15) released a powered wand with a spinning brush head (see it in action on Bellasugar’s blog), and since then several other lines have followed suit.

Estee Lauder’s vibrating Turbo Lash ($30) launched two weeks ago (currently sold out online), and Lancome’s much-hyped Oscillation Mascara ($34) arrives this November (but goes on early sale tomorrow for one day only).

An Irrational Fear

I’m careful about the products I’ll use around my eyes. If it emits heat, vibrates or drips (wax — so scary!), I keep it far, far away from my peepers. I can’t lie; I’m afraid I’ll poke an eye out. Maybe someday I’ll get over my clumsiness, but until then I’d rather avoid the inevitable 911 phone call (“Hello? I just poked my eye out with my vibrating mascara wand!”).

Despite my lack of coordination, Lancome’s Oscillation has already garnered rave reviews. The big beauty guns at Allure had very good things to say about it.

I haven’t gotten up the courage to wield it yet, but it is a highly anticipated product. Once you’ve used it, please let me know what you think. Just be careful you don’t poke your eye out.

Although its official launch isn’t until November, Lancome’s Oscillation Mascara will be available for purchase, one day only, on July 31. Find it online and at select Lancome counters nationwide.



  • Brea: The Lancome Boutique at the Brea Mall
  • Costa Mesa: Nordstrom at South Coast Plaza
  • San Francisco: Macy’s Union Square
  • Santa Clara: The Lancome Boutique at the Valley Fair Mall


  • Miami: Macy’s at the Dadeland Mall


  • Atlanta: Macy’s at the Lenox Square Mall


  • Chicago: Macy’s on State Street and Bon-Ton at the Yorktown Mall

New Jersey

  • Short Hills: The Lancome Boutique at the Short Hills Mall

New York

  • New York City: Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s 59th Street, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s Herald Square and the Lancome boutique on Columbus Avenue


  • Dallas: Dillard’s and the Lancome Boutique at NorthPark Center
  • Houston: Neiman Marcus at the Galleria

Crazy Brush Heads

I haven’t gotten on board the vibrating brush head train yet, but I am totally down for mascara brushes with unusually shaped heads.

Two recently caught my eye.

Sally Hansen Natural Makeup Lift and Define Mascara

Check out the teeny bristles on the Sally Hansen Lift and Define Mascara brush. The bristles wrap around the head like a spiral staircase.


This brush does a great job of thoroughly coating my lashes with mascara, but it’s not a great thickener. The tiny, dense bristles provide great separation, thoroughly covering my lashes from root to tip. It doesn’t have a very long head, which makes it easy to really get into corners.

I like the long and separated lashes I get using Lift and Define, but I’d like it to deliver more volume.

Price: $8
Use: To lengthen and separate lashes
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

If you’re one of those lucky ladies with naturally thick lashes and only need your mascara to lengthen and separate, give Lift and Define a look.

Chanel Exceptionnel De Chanel Intense Volume and Curl Mascara

Chanel’s newest mascara claims to create intense volume (yes!) and curl (yessss!). Fortunately, for the lash-challenged like moi, this baby lives up to the hype. One coat made my lashes amazingly thick, dark, long and full; two coats made me the envy of all fierce drag-queens in a ten-mile radius.

I suspect the results are due in part to the brush head, which contains two types of bristles. Rows of long, thin bristles alternate with short, densely packed ones. The long bristles separate and lengthen, while the short bristles add thickness.

Moving the brush head from the root to tip, you’re supposed to gently rotate it outward. The idea is to have each row of bristles come in contact with the lashes. It’s totally like the low-tech cave girl version of a spinning brush head.

The results blew me away! But there’s always a catch. This time it’s the price ($28), and it’s also hella messy. I got a little better with practice, but it never got easy to use. It could be that I’m just super clumsy, but I still got bits and bobs of mascara on my lids. Of course, they’re easy to clean up.

An interesting side note: I found it was easier to rotate and use the brush while applying the product with my right hand to my left eye (I’m right handed).

Price: $28
Use: To lengthen, separate, curl and add extreme volume to lashes
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

This is not the mascara I’d grab if I only had five minutes to get ready for work because it takes too long to use, but if you have the time and money, it’s a stunner.


Find Sally Hansen Natural Makeup Lift and Define Mascara at drugstores and, and Chanel Exceptionnel De Chanel Intense Volume and Curl Mascara’s available at Nordstrom stores and online.

It has been a long and tiring day for your girl. Work was mentally exhausting, and I’m worn out. It seemed like every task I did took twice as long as I thought it would. Does that ever happen to you?

I hope your day went well. Now we conquer Thursday!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 37 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Rachel says:

    what about the givenchy fantas’eyes? i’ve heard amazing things about that one!

  2. Rachel says:

    haha oops! gave it the wrong name. i MEANT phenom’eyes

  3. Irene says:

    hey karen, i totally have a small amount of short stubby eyelashes, but this thing by nuskin’s nucolor nurtriol eyellash treatment is making me grow more eyelashes!! i think you should try it, as it’s only $25 compared to revitalash. i don’t know where you can purchase it, though, because i bought it at one of those makeup version of a tupperware party.

  4. Marisol says:

    Those mascara wands that vibrate scare me.

  5. Karen B says:

    Those battery-chared, vibrating, rotating things frighten the living daylights out of me. I’d probably manage to simultaneously electrocute myself and stab myself in the eye while dropping the tube and making a huge mess… lol

    Wednesday was good ^^ I managed to get my shoulder tanlines to fad just a little bit and I didn’t burn. Wohoo!
    How was your day?

    Karen Bs last blog post..flist is ♥

  6. Sylvie says:

    Hi Karen, I was going to tell you about the Exceptionnel from Chanel but looks like you’ve already heard about it. I got a sample from the counter and it’s pretty good. Did you know that there’s a special way to apply it? Apparently you don’t really have to crimp your lashes (but I say do it anyway). Instead of doing the upwards sweeping motion, you can zigzag first and then from root to tip, rotate the wand clockwise (that means you’re turning it away from you). It’s kind of against your natural instinct but it is what the MA told me. Apparently, it says on the packaging that that’s the Exceptionnel method of application. Hope you get better results with this technique. =)

  7. ParisB says:

    Whatever will they think of next?! The rubbery ones like the Chanel one is pretty decent though. I reminds me of the Guerlain Le 2 Mascara. Great post as usual Karen πŸ™‚

  8. Louise Gray says:

    Hi Karen,
    I am lash-challenged in so far as mine are not as thick, dark, and long as I would like. I thought that I had hit paydirt with Chanel Inimitable mascaras. But maybe once you use a particular holy grail product, then you get used to the effect. I received the Lancome High Definicil mascara as a gift. For the present, I like it better than Chanel. The comb-type wand makes it easier to apply the mascara and keep if from clumping. The new Chanel mascara sounds too labor intensive for me. I have not tried lash extensions or falsh eyelashes. Perhaps I will venture into those areas since I would like to have a little more hair forestry in my eyeball area. Thanks for sharing your great finds. Louise

  9. Jaimie says:

    This product intruiges me. I’m not a big mascara girl at all, so I’ going to wait till its a commonly used product to test it out on myself lol, im scared too

  10. Brittany says:

    Vibrating mascara wands make me nervous! I can envision me putting on mascara right before I head out the door with one and A.) stabbing my eye out or B.) Somehow managing to like blink during the application and getting black gunk everywhere. I’m clumsy. Too futuristic for me πŸ˜›

    The Chanel mascara look amazing though. Right now I’m using Cover Girl Lash Blast. It works well on me. I just wish that the handle was skinnier. I find it difficult to hold.

  11. Dao says:

    WoW, Lift and Define reminds me of Maybelline Lash Discovery, the skinny version. It’s the brush that makes the difference and LD was not much of a volumizing mascara either.

    The Chanel looks hot! Look at your lashes, they’re looooooooooong! But 5 minutes to apply is about 5 minutes too long. I’m wondering what to do with the vibrating wand after the mascara dry up, toss it or keep it? I’m not entertained with this new concept either although I’m quite adventurous myself when it comes to mascaras.

    Daos last blog post..MAC Basic Brush Set: Great Brushes Without Breaking the Bank!

  12. gio says:

    Vibrating mascara wands scare me too. I’m so clumsy I’d probably stab myself in the eye lol.

    The Chanel mascara looks amazing!

    gios last blog post..How to apply false eyelashes

  13. J-Money says:

    This is really not about wands but….I was in Sonoma this past weekend for a bachelorette getaway for a friend and we had a day at the spa. While I was lounging I came across “Kiss Me” mascara. Apparantely, it creates a mascara tube around each lash. It’s waterproof and to remove you have to add a little pressure to each “tube” and remove it with water. Weird! I didn’t try it but my girlfriend did and she loved it. I’m intrigued but it just seems to high maintenance for me. You might want to check it out if you haven’t already.

    As far as these new hi-tech wands. I’m still in love with the Loreal Voluminous mascara (I think that’s what it’s called) that you suggested to me. It’s easy, looks great and doesn’t smudge.

  14. Music_Is_Freedom says:

    I’m a bit afraid of mascara (for the fear of poking one’s-eye-out reason), and the only kind I currently have is the clear mascara by Maybelline. I’m intrigued by the other shorter bristled-mascaras out there, though…they’re easier for me to use.

  15. Glosslizard says:

    Whoa Nellie! Look at those lashes after the Chanel mascara!! I gotta try it, and they’re going to come out with a purple shade (Smoky Violine)! How was the staying factor, does it smudge or migrate?

    BTW, that’s such a great song! I want your looooOooooOooOove! πŸ™‚

  16. Tania says:

    OMG Karen that’s how my week has been so far. Everything that I thought won’t take long took like friggin forever!!! I totally love my Maybelline Define a Lash though Bourjois Coupe de theatre rocks my world! I’m scarred of MAC mascara cuz everytime I’ve bought some it was a waste; but I think the moving mascara brush head has totally replaced it. That’s just scary! At Dillards they’ve been pushing the DiorShow all up in everyone’s face….hmmm….
    Happy Thursday! Oh, btw, how’s Tabs?

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Tania,

    LOL, I had this random tube of MAC Mascara X that I sort of forgot about — I’ve been using that on and off lately and I’ve been liking it.

    Tabs is okay. He hung out and wrote with me all morning. πŸ™‚

    Isn’t your surgery tomorrow? I hope it all goes smoothly.

  18. Rosemary says:

    I got the new Chanel mascara yesterday and LOVE it! I want to get the Lancome mascara if only for the novelty (same reason I want to try that new Givenchy one). My hand has been itching all day to order the Lancome one from their site. :/

  19. Tiffany says:

    Hey Karen! That Chanel one looks awesome! Also I really want to try the new Givenchy mascara that has a wand that looks like a spiky ball. Although, it does scare me a little, but not nealry as much as the vibrating wand idea! I would sooo hurt myself with that!

  20. Amanda says:

    Your lashes look fantastic with the Chanel! wow. are the 2 types of bristles different textures too? the longer ones look rubber while the shorter ones look regular. but then again I may be crazy.

    I will be passing on the lancome….too much $$$ for something that seems a little, well, gimicky. And like others have mentioned, what do you do with the fancy schmancy brush wand when your tube o’ mascara is dry?

    However, I must admit in full disclosure, that while gimicky looking I am very intrigued by Givency’s new too. πŸ™‚

  21. Karen says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I haven’t tried that one yet. The brush does look interesting and totally poke yer eye out worthy. I am official scared. πŸ™‚

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Irene,

    My friend has that, too. I am such a wimp, I tell ya. Those grow-a-lash tubes freak me out! But hey, if it works for you then that’s great. πŸ™‚

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    RIGHT? I will have to do some yoga or breathing exercise if/when I ever get the gusto to try it.

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    I hear ya, girl. It’s a recipe for disaster. How did you end up getting burnt? Get some aloe vera on those shoulders. πŸ™‚

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Sylvie,

    Yup, I used that same method!

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Paris B.,

    Thanks, m’dear! Who knew that the mascara wand would evolve like this? Those vibrating wands are like the Terminators of mascara. πŸ™‚

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Louise Gray,

    Ahh, so you feel my pain. I’ve tried both the Lancome and the Chanel, too. Both are really great at extending the lash. This new Chanel is labor intensive but the results are totally worth it.

    I have a few pairs of false lashes. I gotta figure out how to work ’em!

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Jaimie,

    Wow, really? You must have very beautiful natural lashes. I can’t go out without mascara on…

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Brittany,

    I know! They are freaky. I bet in the future they’ll have wands that will do stuff like play music and give you the weather report, LOL.

    I have a tube of Lash Blast! I used it once and I wasn’t wowed by it. I recall it being very hard to hold, too.

    My friend Megan (she comments on here sometimes) says that when you put it in the fridge it makes your lashes even bigger. I have yet to try that…

  30. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    Yeah, I know. In that five minutes I could be sleeping/eating/playing with the cat. But seriously, just go to the counter and try it for fun (or have the mua put it on ya). It’s like night and day!

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Gio,

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. πŸ™‚ Please give the Chanel a try! Just make sure you aren’t in a hurry when ya do it!

  32. Karen B says:

    they’re very brown now ^^ Put lotsa moisturizer on them for the past couple of days and sunblock when I had to get into the sun.

    Karen Bs last blog post..flist is ♥

  33. *Jen* says:

    Hey Karen!

    I got this, plus the new Givenchy mascara with the round applicator, and the new Chanel! Plus a few more…it’s been a crazy mascara month for me! The only one I’ve actually gotten around to reviewing is the Givenchy, but I plan to review the Chanel and this new Lancome within the next day or two—I love mascara!

    *Jen*s last blog post..MAC Starflash Collection: Swatches and Overview

  34. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    Oh, nice. Good to hear that they are looking and feeling better.

  35. Karen says:


    OMG – how was the test?

  36. *Jen* says:

    Hi again Karen!

    I know I’m digging up an old post here but I just wanted to answer you question–the test was blah. I’m trying to put it out of my mind since I won’t find out the results until November, but at least I did the best I could. And I just reviewed the Chanel mascara too-it’s great! =D

    *Jen*s last blog post..Mascara Series Part 7: Chanel Exceptionnel de Chanel Intense Volume and Curl Mascara Review & Photos

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