Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend
Sep 25, 2012
When Max Factor closed their U.S. operation, I was heartbroken. Their 2000 Calorie Mascara had been my mascara of choice for nearly 15 years. And once my small stockpile ran out, I was forced to go looking for a suitable replacement.
Over the course of two years, I tried and was disappointed by dozens of brands. DiorShow was a flop. BadGal Lash was just bad. And Benefit “They’re Real” was full of broken promises.
Smudgy. Clumpy. Sticky. Crusty. Nasty and drying. Every mascara I tried only strengthened my longing for 2000 Calorie.
So imagine the giddy, Bieber-fan girl cheers that filled my apartment last Wednesday when three tubes of 2000 Calorie arrived on my doorstep.
After my recent experience with Benefit “They’re Real” Mascara, a reader dropped me an e-mail and said: “I see you are also a fan of Max Factor 2000 Calorie. You know that you can buy it on Amazon, don’t you? Airmail is pricey. But worth it.”
I stared at my screen for a moment, and asked myself, “What kind of person orders mascara from Europe?”
The voice in my head replied, “The kind of person who has wasted hundreds of dollars on disappointing mascaras.”
So I trotted over to Amazon, and ordered three tubes. Two for myself, one for my Mother, who also longed for the good ole’ days. Cost? $30 for the mascara, $10 for the shipping.
During the two weeks before my package arrived, I wondered whether the mascara would be as good as I remembered. Had they changed the formula? Because if things went wrong, I wouldn’t just be disappointed — I’d be heartbroken. And out $40.
The morning after the package arrived, I applied my makeup as usual and reached for the tube of 2000 Calorie with a mix of excitement and trepidation. The formula was just as glossy and thick as I remembered. The color, as black as could be. The application, as smooth as glass.
After two good coats, I examined my lashes. Full. Dark. Lightly curled at the ends. Perfect. And I thought to myself, “Hello, my old friend, I’ve missed you desperately.”
While CoverGirl LashBlast is as close to a replacement as I have ever found state side, my primary complaint about that mascara is that by the end of the day, my lower lids are covered in worn off mascara. Something about the formula just does not stay put forcing me to touch up my under-eye makeup several times per day.
The Max Factor can be worn for four hours or fourteen hours and it never smudges a bit. Not one fleck appears on my lids, even after a long night. In short, this mascara is exactly as I remember. Glorious.
Don’t get me wrong, I admit that buying drugstore cosmetics from overseas is a bit over the top. But I can either buy the product I love and pay through the nose for shipping, or I can continue to waste money on so-called miracle mascaras that go right into the trash. For me, the choice is simple.