New Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer Nails the Color, But the Formula Could Use Some Help

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

hourglass film noir lash lacquer

Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer sure is interesting. I’ll give it that.


In my ceaseless pursuit of products to transform my mousy, stage-fright fringe into the lash equivalent of Cher on tour (complete with crazy wigs and pyrotechnics), I’ve tried a lot of different mascaras, but I can safely say I’ve never tried one quite like this.

Here's lookin' at you, kidLash Lacquer comes in a single shade, inky black Kohl. Not quite a mascara, Hourglass says it does for lashes what top coat does for nails (at least one of the things), giving them an almost wet look that’s supposed to ramp up the intensity of bare lashes and other mascaras when layered on top. Ya know, the old false lash look.

Basically, it’s supposed to perform like a thickening, jet black liquid mascara top coat that you apply with a brush. The brush, incidentally, looks like a nail polish brush, and it’s supposed to be used kinda like one, too, held horizontally, with each lash painted one by one.

For the most dramatic affect, pair it with a lengthening mascara, rather than a thickening mascara. I tried it with several lengthening mascaras (including Hourglass Film Noir), and basically got same effect with all of them. In these pictures I applied it over one layer of my current lengthening mascara crush, Urban Decay Cannonball.

hourglass film noir lash lacquer

hourglass film noir lash lacquer brush

hourglass film noir lash lacquer eye closeup
Time to paint!

hourglass film noir lash lacquer before and after
Before (top) and after (bottom)

I tip my fedora to Hourglass for the glossy, jet-black finish and smudge-proof formula, and I appreciate the little bit of extra curl hold it lends, but I actually think I notice more thickness and KAPOW! when I just apply an extra layer of Buxom Amplified Lash instead (a great thickener and my current mascara crush). It’s easier to apply, and at $22 also costs a little less.

And then there’s the matter of Lash Lacquer’s applicator brush. Novel, yes, but it takes a hefty helping of time, patience and coordination to properly use. I tried to rush it this morning and accidentally plopped a big blob of product on my waterline. Then, of course, I blinked, and saw the black liquid spread across my eyeball…


In a word: scary. I looked like one of those possessed town folk from True Blood, Season 2. Plus, it stung. Thankfully, it was easy to rinse out with water, and to be fair, Hourglass clearly says to avoid using it near the inner rim of the eye. My bad.

After giving Lash Lacquer a few tries, I have yet to find its sweet spot. When I use too much, my lashes get clumpy, spiky and thick (but not thick in a good mascara way). I seem to get the best results when I remove every shred of excess from the brush before applying by swiping it across the top of the tube, and then painting my lashes very slowly.


Overall, I like Lash Lacquer, especially the color and finish, but I think it would benefit from a price cut and an upgrade in the lash thickening department. Props to Hourglass, though, for coming up with something innovative that doesn’t involve vibrating wands and motors.

PRICE: $28
AVAILABILITY: Available now at Sephora stores and also online

I hope you managed to squeeze in some fun today. What does the rest of your week look like?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 43 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Britany B. says:

    GET IT GURL! With that Smooth Criminal hat and that smoke!

    *2 snaps in a circle*

  2. Radhika says:

    Woww..I loved that second pic..but I just cannot figure out how this is meant to be used!! I would be walking around with black and red eyeballs if I ever buy this πŸ˜€
    Radhika recently posted … MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass – Bloggers’ Obesessions Collection

  3. Jessi says:

    I have to admit this scares me. I poke myself enough in the eyeball with a regular mascara wand, I would just be begging for blindness if I used this. I value my vision slightly more than having awesome eyelashes.
    Jessi recently posted … Wet n Wild’s Blue Had Me At Hello Swatches and Review

  4. Ninjagato says:

    Sounds like waaaaaaaay too much of a pain in the butt.
    Ninjagato recently posted … 44/365 Days of Makeup

  5. Heidi says:

    Time? Patience? Coordination? Uh, don’t think this is the product for me!

    So, I meant to tell you about my trip to the Village the other day. Have you been to the new Ann Taylor Loft there yet? They apparently were still in grand opening mode as when we got there they had very handsome male model type guys out in front offering prosecco and mini cupcakes, a deejay spinning dance records inside, and a photographer wandering around taking photos. It was quite the production! Oh, and the $6 t-shirts and $5 tank tops were quite nice, too! At The Village! Mary tried not to cringe as I commented “hot men offering booze and chocolate, music, AND shopping? This is the BEST DAY EVER!”

    Oh, and I managed to behave myself at the Nordstroms makeup counters. I just got the Dior palette. I used it yesterday and it has wonderful wearable shades in it.

    • Karen says:

      I wish I was there! I haven’t been by in a few weeks… must make a mental note to visit (I doubt the hot guys will be there, but hey, one can always hope).

      It’s about time they finally got a store that’s actually useful. Remember when that mall had Express, Ann Taylor, Crate & Barrel and a food court?

      • Heidi says:

        Yes! I worked in Larkspur in the early 90s and would go to the Village on my lunch hour all the time! I bought a lot of stuff at Express!

  6. gio says:

    I love the concept but application seems to be a pain, what a shame!
    gio recently posted … Product Review: Sleek Makeup I-Divine Oh So Special Eyeshadow Palette

  7. cloudburst says:

    Maybe it would work better over a normal mascara…I like the idea of glossy lashes though.

  8. Deb says:

    Wow. To have that kind of time when applying makeup must be nice.

  9. Michelle says:

    I’m so glad you reviewed this. I’ve been searching for reviews and ratings on this. I wanted to know if it worked well enough to justify the hefty price tag. Not sure I have the patience, skill, or time to achieve the glossiness I’m looking for in an eyelash product.

  10. Chris25 says:

    An interesting concept, but a good mascara (like you mentioned) would bascially do the same thing. And it stings? Eek. I can handle Rocky’s love bites, but not the stinging of my eyeballs.

    How’s the weather in CA? Here in NYC, we’re experiencing a heat wave. The only plus side is I can justify pulling out a pint of Stonyfield Farms After Dark Chocolate ice cream.

    • Karen says:

      I heard that it’s hot out your way! It’s been very mild here in the North Bay Area — 79, not a cloud in the sky and just the slightest breeze.

  11. Nina says:

    uhm. that might be a bit too complicated for my klutzy hands.

    i like the effect on your lashes though, and it seems like this product will be less heavy than a regular mascara!

  12. Amber says:

    Danger! Danger! Heck no. But I love that b&w photo of you. πŸ™‚

  13. Sonya says:

    That looks… interesting! I’ve never seen a mascara that applies like a lacquer before!!
    Sonya recently posted … Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara Review + Swatches

  14. Shannon says:

    how interesting… did you try it layered over another mascara?
    From what I’ve read about beauty history, this seems to be hearkening back a bit to original mascaras. It’s a cool idea, but doesn’t seem too practical for everday wear.

  15. Kim says:

    It’s nice that the Hourglass folks are trying to differentiate. I have to say that I’m more the “quick shimmy with a wand” kind of gal, though. That said, it’s always fun to read your beauty adventures! πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      I’m with you on the quick shimmy! What mascara are you using these days?

      • Kim says:

        I’m still working through my Hypnose but I might go crazy and try DiorShow next time. I really loved the Faux Cils volume but I only got a couple of months out of it before it dried up. I keep thinking I may have had a bad tube and I’ll have to give it another try. My natural length is good but you know I’m after that thick, tranny fringe! πŸ™‚

  16. Marina says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this product ever since I first heard about it in winter. Thanks for your review, Karen.

  17. Chynna says:

    Le 2 de Guerlain Volume Mascara is double-ended and the second side has a glossy formula like this, but it applies with a doe foot type applicator instead of a brush. I have finally figured out that it’s perfect for bottom lashes. I don’t know if the brush on this Hourglass would work as well, but with the sponge applicator on the Guerlain one, I can swipe it down each lash, then brush it along the length of my lower lash line. I love it because it doesn’t flake or smudge and doesn’t give me volume, but makes my lower lashes remind the world that they exist. It might work with Hourglass’ Film Noir, too.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chynna,

      The brush applicator works on lower lashes (I’m wearing it on mine in these pics); the only thing is it tends to deposit excess product onto the skin unless I’m very careful.

      How is that Guerlain mascara for lengthening overall?

  18. Crystal says:

    Karen I love your hair in the first photo! What did you do?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Crystal,

      Thanks! I was having one of those rare good hair days. πŸ™‚ First, I applied Bumble & Bumble Texture on my bangs and then I blew them dry so that they looked side swept. Then, I scrunched a palmful of Deva’s AnGel gel into the rest of my hair and let it air dry.

  19. shannon says:

    This kind of just sounds like a watered-down mascara with a different applicator. Have you tried the new Covergirl mousse mascara? I’ve been curious about it. πŸ™‚

  20. morrigan says:

    Omg that haaaaiiirrrr!!! Any possibility of a tut??

  21. BB says:

    How does one pronounce “zomg?” Is it as spelled or more like Z-OMG

  22. Natalie says:

    I just busted out laughing at the part where the liquid spread across your eye.. Haha. Thats usually what happens when I attempt to use MAC Liquidlast Liner on my waterline.

    Maybe its easier to use if you have very short or sparse lashes? Who knows.

  23. Sam says:

    I agree with morrigan, your hairl looks even more fantastic than usual in these pictures! Please let us know how you styled it! πŸ™‚

  24. Jen says:

    Beautiful! and gorgeous hair πŸ™‚

  25. Adorei que tudo esse produto, que pena que aqui no Brasil é tao caro a marca, mais amei sua resenha


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