Smashbox Muse Spring 2009: Bionic Mascara in Black Violet

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

Before Smashbox’s Bionic Mascara in Violet ($19) entered into my life, my favorite violet was Ms. Violet Beauregard of 1971’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971) fame.


I’ve always wondered how the Oompa Loompas de-juiced her after she chewed that gum and turned into a berry, and whether or not her eyelashes turn violet, too. Hmm…

Well, it only took 38 years, but scientists at Smashbox Cosmetics have finally duplicated Willy Wonka’s secret violet process, huzzah!

Behold: Black Violet! It’s one of those elusive purple mascaras that actually looks purple on the wand *and* the lashes.

Several cosmetics lines have recently released purple mascaras (Benefit, Dior, Clarins to name a few), but most failed (I liked the Dior) to really deliver color.

Black Violet, on the other hand, delivers loads of juicy color. In the pics below I’m wearing three layers.

And the purple tint shows up in both natural…

…and flash lighting.

Pretty, yah?

Aside from the intriguing hue, Black Violet’s just slightly above average in terms of lash thickness, length and curl, but the color… ooh, the color…


Bionic Mascara in Black Violet

Price: $19
Use: A purple/violet mascara
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B+/A-

Other things to consider

Black Violet doesn’t smudge or flake (big pluses) and doesn’t leave my lashes feeling crunchy. In the end, the color is the big draw for me. It’s another way to mix things up with my mascara when I’m not in the mood for simple black. Every girl’s gotta have options, ya know?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 24 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. YadiQ says:

    this collection has really been calling out to me

    i just ordered their halo powder along with the shadow collection for muse

    i regret not having ordered this mascara too – oh well i may just have to splurge again

    cosmetic therapy is so soothing – this turning 30 in 2 months thing is kinda bumming me out lately and alli have been doing is buying makeup to soothe my inner beast lol

    this color looks soooo pretty – definitely by far the prettiest purple mascara since its undertone is more blue rather than magenta like the other plummy mascaras

    i likes! i a m so seriously having chapped lip syndrome i have tried EVERYTHING and i am still chapped luckily i dont have any peeling or cracking just that burn feeling this cold weather has got to calm down lol and give this girl a break from the chapped lips – what have you been using these days? can you offer a miracle ?

  2. Karen says:

    Hi YadiQ,

    Oh cool! The Halo powder is the one you have to “shave,” huh? I have an Elizabeth Arden one that’s like that and it’s SO FUN… okay, I need to get out more, LOL.

    If it’s any consolation you barely look 24. 🙂 I remember getting pretty worked up before my 30th birthday, too. I talked to a bunch of women about it and found out that it’s common to be anxious when that milestone rolls around. You aren’t alone!

    Regarding dry lips, Philosophy’s Kiss Me Balm is my savior! It’s the one in the tube. I put it on before I go to sleep and in the morning my lips are soft and flake-free. I carry one around in my purse, too.

  3. p. potter says:

    I’ve always been curious to try colored mascaras–but fear they will look exactly like their black/brown counterparts once I put them on.

    I’m always surprised when something works like it says it will!

    I think I’ll put this in my virtual-Sephora basket, that way I know it’s plummy goodness is only a click away.

    p. potter´s last blog post..Booby Trap

  4. Glosslizard says:

    I haven’t tried this one, but my fave purple mascara by a mile is Chanel’s Exceptionnel in Smoky Violine! It’s a subtle, yet visible purple that definitely trends more toward the blue-violet than reddish or burgundy (read: does not make me look like I’ve been crying or suffering from allergies 😉 )! I absolutely love it as a softer alternative to black! Plus it has that Exceptionnel-licious mascara goodness!

    That said, I’ll have to try this one out and see how it compares! 🙂

  5. Shefali says:

    Hot dizzam!! I was really disappointed by the purple Guerlain mascara that was released with Midnight Butterfly, and also disappointed by badGal Plum. But this…this looks interesting. Purple is supposed to be great for brown eyes, which I have. I’m definitely going to check this out!

  6. Nessa says:

    This is so nice with a hint of purple. Have you tried Max Factor’s Vivid Impact Highlighting Mascara? I have the bronze one and I believe there is a purple one out there and it might be similiar.

    Nessa´s last blog post..A Sinful Colors System Challenge (Day 2)

  7. YadiQ says:

    thanks karen for the lip balm i’m going to grab a tube tonight – this girl needs some help

    thanks for the consoling 🙂 i am sure everyone goes thru this i just see differences ya know like skin

    changes especially under the eyes aahhhhh…pass me a huge tub of under eye cream STAT !!!

    LOL!!! ces’t la vie !!

  8. Amanda says:

    so pretty Karen! I need to see if ulta has it…I’ve seen the collection there but didn’t look for this specifically. BTW, have I mentioned how happy I am to have an ulta now??? it only opened in the fall! BUT-it gets even better. Just found out my town is getting a real, live, honest to goodness Sephora!!! I can’t believe it and I’m sooo excited. The closest one has been an hour away…now this one will literally be between my house and my work. 🙂

  9. Michelle says:

    Ooh I want this! I want the whole collection 🙂

  10. Karen4 says:

    Hi Karen!

    Back in the 80’s Lancome had a purple mascara that looked just like the color of this Smashbox Black Violet. It was my absolute favorite, and I was very disappointed when they discontinued the color (it was a Defencils.) Lately, I’ve been using CG Exact Eyelights Mascara in Black Ruby. It really does give a bit of sparkle and enhancement to my green eyes! I want to try the Lash Blash Luxe in Black Cabernet next, but the color on the Smashbox looks intriguing!

  11. Roxy says:

    Oh nice! You can really see the violet color in this one. Usually I find they all look black or the color is hardly noticeable. It looks smashing on your brown eyes by the way! xo

    Roxy´s last blog post..GIVEAWAY: Red Lips by Jouer Cosmetics

  12. MiMi says:

    Hola Karen!

    I am really lovin this color! I recently had a gift certificate and ordered something I really wanted and had some left over money and decided to get a Sephora brand blue mascara (on sale)…well what a disappointment! I didn’t even give it a second coat because the first was disastrous. You know it was as if it was old and expired. So I tossed it, but I’m thrilled about trying this one! Looks great on you.
    Thanx a bunch

  13. Jinnzor says:

    Holy crap, I NEED that. It looks gorgeous.

    Jinnzor´s last blog post..NOTD: Konad fail with Zoya Pasha, Sally Hansen Platinum French, and Konad m15

  14. Karen says:

    Hi P. Potter,


    LOL, I have a virtual Sephora basket, too. I am kind of embarrassed about how it seems to exponentially grow every day.

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Yah, I remember you mentioning how Smoky Violine’s your number 1! One of these days she’s coming to live with me, LOL.

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Shefali,

    I think it adds a lil’ something-something! If you look really closely you can even see lil’ flecks of color. I’m crushing on this big time!

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Nessa,

    I haven’t tried it but I’ve heard great things about it! I think Max Factor makes some of the best drugstore mascaras so I hope to check it out!

  18. Karen says:

    Hi YadiQ,

    Sure! I hope it helps. 🙂 I know some of the tubes are scented and have a lil’ bit of flavor, so you have a variety to choose from.

    I have definitely been seeing a change in my skin. Dang, I wish I knew how good I had it when I was in my early 20s, LOL!

    Will you be doing anything special to celebrate your birthday? When I turned 30 parents threw me a party held at Filipino tranny karaoke bar. I’m SOOOO not joking!

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    WOO HOO! I remember you telling me that it’s a real trek for you get to makeup. This is very exciting news. Girl, I bet you’re going to be hitting up that store like every other day (I know I would).

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I hope you try it! It’s a lovely mascara!

  21. Karen says:

    Hi Karen4,

    I was thinking the other day that colored lashes are a throwback to the 80s. 🙂 I remember my friend’s older sister wearing colored mascara and thinking it was the coolest thing, ever (I was eight).

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Roxy,

    Yah! I was surprised. At first I thought it wasn’t anything special but after you pack it on you can really see it’s there. 🙂

    Have a great Friday!

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Mimi,

    That’s a bummer about your mascara. I hope this one works better for you. 🙂

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Jinnzor,

    I hope you try it! It’s a very luscious purple mascara.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge