Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer Proof Mascara: Shiseido Full Lash Volume Review

Summer heat and humidity is already upon us here in New York, which creates the perfect conditions to test the wear of a make-up product. Having recently finished off my sample tubes of mascara, I dug this one out of my stash: the Shiseido Full Lash Volume Mascara in Black ($25 for 8ml/ 0.29 oz). I haven't had great luck with Asian mascara in the past (click here for my review of Heroine Make Volume & Curl) but they do often wear much longer than the ones from Western brands, so I thought now would be the perfect time to give the Shiseido a try.
The mascara is packaged in an interesting 'twisted' tube, which reminds me of the Frank Gehry building in Lower Manhattan. It's quite sleek and not too bulky, something I really appreciate in make-up packaging in general. The brush itself has a curved shape with lots of short natural bristles all the way around; nothing innovative but very functional nonetheless.

Shiseido's Full Lash Volume promises 'flexible' volume (whatever that means) with a natural-looking curl and soft, touchable finish. It also claims to separate lashes for a 'stunning fan effect' with no clumps. All of those things sound great to me, but does the product actually deliver?
Well, yes and no. The formula of this mascara is a bit on the wet side right when you open the packaging, but now that I've been using it for about three weeks, it has definitely dried out to a significant degree. The brush is designed very well to separate lashes from roots to tips, but as the time goes by, I have noticed more and more clumping. I would say the volume I get from this mascara is quite good, but nothing dramatic - I usually have to build it up in two coats, and really concentrate the tip of the brush, which has more mascara on it than the rest of the brush, on my outer lashes to get any product there.
I don't find that the curved shape of this brush gives my lashes any more curl - if anything, I think they look a bit less curled than they usually do, maybe because of the wetness of the formula? Another downside is that I don't think it actually fans out lashes very well; they seem to all go in one direction instead. However, where this mascara absolutely excels for me is the wear. As you may remember, my perpetual struggle with mascara is getting transfer onto my browbone, and I have had absolutely no smearing there. I also haven't noticed any flakes or fading throughout the day. I would have thought this mascara was waterproof if it weren't for the fact that it's also very easy to remove at the end of the day with just about any make-up remover/ facial cleanser.
Top: bare uncurled lashes, bottom: after 2 coats of Shiseido Full Lash Volume
All in all, I really enjoy not having to worry about flaking or smudging when I wear this mascara, although I have used other mascaras in the past that have given my lashes a fuller, longer and more dramatic look. While it's not my Holy Grail, I may revisit it next summer if I don't find anything better with similar longevity. Have you tried any mascaras from Shiseido? What is your favorite mascara to wear in the summertime?


  1. Hi! I'm a long time reader, first time commenter. :) x

    I haven't tried any mascara from Shiseido, but probably some drug store brands that are owned by the parent company. I think the volume on your lashes looks very nice, it's good to know if something is fool proof although not a HG status.

  2. Great review, I haven't tried anything from Shiseido although they seem like a good brand, my favourite mascara to wear in the summertime is Lash Sensational Waterproof from Maybelline. Xx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

  3. I've read good things about Shiseido's Perfect Mascara, but I haven't tried any from them. I'm still loving my Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir and already bought a backup when there was a sale. Have you tried Kiss Me Heroine Make waterproof mascara before? That one's good :-)

  4. Good to know that this is a formula that stays put, but I'm not a fan of mascaras that don't fan my lashes out as much as I like. I have a few Asian mascaras I bought on a trip to Thailand but I still haven't used them, tsk tsk

  5. I'm impressed, this sounds really good to me, esp the easy remove with any makeup remover. I'm still into my tubing mascara, the Little Witch. I'm looking to stock up some more mascara after my trip to Asia.