Monday, May 4, 2015

You Win Some, You Lose Some: Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara and Mascara Remover

I'm feeling very blah towards this review; but this is the mascara I've been using, so may as well share my thoughts on it with you, right? Last year, Jenni brought this mascara over for me from Hong Kong, saying this was one of her favorites and a must-try from Asian brands. We're talking about the Kiss Me Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara in Black (about $8-11 on eBay and Amazon, or $15 for the set) from Isehan, a Japanese company which is very popular in Asia. I had other mascaras I wanted to use up back then, but I was super excited to try it and filed it away for next summer since I had heard that Japanese mascaras were super longwearing as well as water and sweat-proof.
She actually picked up this duo pack for me, which also came with a mascara remover; I saw my dear friend Claire talking about mascara removers on her blog, so I was also curious to see how that would work for me. The packaging is a little excessive for two small tubes and maybe a bit too kawaii for my tastes, but hey - I won't judge a book by its cover. It's the mascara inside that counts.
Let's start with the Volume & Curl Mascara, shall we? As you can hopefully see, it's a typical wire-type brush in a somewhat conical shape that tapers at the end. It's a flattened cone though; the bristles are only longer on two sides when viewed in profile, not all around. The brush is just the right size for my eye, which is to say, it's a bit smaller than the length of my actual eyes, which makes it quite easy to manipulate.
The brush has a tendency to pick up a huge glob of mascara at the very tip, which usually results in my getting said glob on some part of my eyelid, while not holding a whole lot of product on the rest of the wand - quite annoying. It wouldn't be a deal breaker though IF I liked the formula of this mascara, but unfortunately, I don't. Despite the name, I don't find it particularly curling or volumizing, unless you mistake large clumps and spidery lashes for volume; can you tell I really wasn't impressed?
I'm not sure if maybe this would fare better on different lashes than mine; but on my relatively long, full, curly lashes, Heroine Make Volume & Curl actually gives the appearance of fewer lashes by clumping the existing ones together into uneven spider legs. Just to show you exactly what I mean, I've compared two coats of Heroine Make in the top photo to two coats of Laura Geller GlamLASH Dramatic Volumizing Mascara on the bottom - see the difference in fullness and definition? Mind you, Glam Lash is one of the better mascaras that I've tried in a while, but once you find a really, really nice mascara, it's a bit hard to accept something subpar. As for the longwearing part, I actually still find that the Heroine Make sometimes transfers onto my browbone and/or flakes slightly throughout the day (just like the Glam Lash); however, it also gives me stiff, crunchy lashes and is impossibly difficult to remove, unless you're using...
... their fabulous Mascara Remover. This unassuming plastic applicator with little grooves works incredibly well to coat the lashes with a clear make-up remover, which I then let sit on my lashes for a minute or two while I massage the rest of my face with a cleansing oil. I will then apply the small amount of cleansing oil I still have on my palms to my lashes, work it in for a while, and then all of my eye make-up comes off easily when I emulsify and rinse the cleanser with warm water. If you think that maybe it's my cleansing oil that's doing all the work here, you're wrong. I've tried using my Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi oil alone to remove the Heroine Make mascara, and it barely budged. Add the Mascara Remover to the equation - everything can be removed quickly and easily without losing precious lashes in the process.
All in all, I guess you win some (Mascara Remover) and you lose some (Volume & Curl Mascara). My pal Citrine has recently reviewed the Long & Curl version and had slightly better results, so maybe that's something worth looking into. However, after this first foray, I don't place a lot of trust in the Heroine Make brand; I may try a different company next time to see if there's another Japanese mascara I may like.

Have you tried any Japanese mascaras? What are your three top favorite mascaras of all time - because I know choosing just one is nigh on impossible :)


  1. Ohhh, you are supposed to use a metal comb for this kind of mascara. I don't need it for the long and curl but it really helps for the majolica majorca lash bone...which is essentially hard glue. I think these Japanese formula are quite friendly to people with small eyes (and lashes that retract into the lid) but since your natural lashes are already fan out like crazy, it doesn't make that much of a difference. I think I still want to try the older packaging because the tube is so much cuter...

    1. I tried it with a metal comb too, but the comb did very little to help with the clumps, they were already set so hard! I find that it looks better when I use just one coat, but it doesn't give me as much volume as the Laura Geller one :(

  2. Whoa!! I'm SO into checking the Glam Lash! It looks so good on you, almost like you are wearing falsies.

    I do wonder about the Heroine Mascara remover (I myself use used mascara wand to dip into makeup remover to remove stubborn waterproof mascaras), but I also wonder if there's something in the Heroine Mascara itself that needs Heroine Mascara remover to remove it (aka special magic ingredients?). Anyhow.. my tried and true Japanese mascara is Little Witch Mote Mascara (I'm a broken record on this one, if you read my MOTW ykwim). This is a tubing mascara that looks natural 1-2 coat, but can be layered as you go. It is an awesome bottom-lash mascara because it does not budge (being a tubing mascara). It also has fibre added for that extra length/volume. Removal is super easy with just micellar water/water-based cleanser (will also work with balm/oil cleanser but more messy).

    Another Japanese mascaras that I've enjoyed are from Maquillage (sadly discontinued, it is the lengthening one), and Majolica Majorca (the Lash Expander -- there are different types, the edge meister, the frame plus, etc. all good but do not buy the tubing type which is I think green/blue in packaging). These two are comb-type, so 1-2 coat will produce nice natural result, but more than that it tends to clump lashes together.

    I'm test-driving DUP Volume Extension mascara now, I found it from Uwajimaya for a very reasonable price (it is Japanese DS brand), I'll let you know how it goes.

  3. The reason I never tried anything from Heroine Make is the packaging. The OTT super kawaii packaging turns me off immediately. LOL at the mascara smudging on your brow bone, Monika. It only means you have super long lashes! I'd like them to smudge on my brow bone too. The best they could do is smudging my eye lid. HAHAHAH!!

  4. I'd be quite satisfied if my lashes looked like yours with the Volume & Curl, but the Laura Gellar is crazy beautiful and lush and fluttery. I see why you didn't think much of the Volume & Curl. I've been using all Japanese mascaras lately: Long & Curl, Fasio Smart Queen, and Fairydrops Scandal Queen Waterproof. Out of those, I'd repurchase the Fairydrops. --Angela

  5. The mascara remover seems to be an interesting tool. It's quite hard to remove mascara without losing lashes :-/

  6. mascara remover -- freaking brilliant! Also, I need your lashes in my life.

  7. mascara remover sound pretty schmick, but eck on the mascara for your long lashes. I've found that I get on well with certain mascaras that do nothing for my small-lashed friends, so I've learnt to remember that everyone's eye needs are different when it comes to this.