It never occurred to me that I might want topcoat for mascara. Like many makeup problems, I considered that flaking mascara to be the kind of chronic issue with no solution. Or, rather, I’d gotten so used to it that it didn’t occur to me that I didn’t have to live this way.
Then Anastasia Beverly Hills sent their Clear Waterproof Topcoat ($8.99, amazon.com). It’s intended to waterproof mascara and refresh old mascara. And while it’s not exactly perfect, it’s definitely the kind of niche product that you might consider
Why it Works: Anastasia Beverly Hills
Anastasia Beverly Hills really does create a nice seal over lashes. After rubbing my eyelashes (not the skin around my eyes, because the skin around them is extra thin!) I didn’t see any of the flecks of mascara that I’d usually get.
What makes this so good for coating? There are several ingredients including isododecane, polyethylene, and trimethylsiloxysilicate. This trio, along with several others in the formulation, such as synthetic wax, work to provide a phenomenal seal over eyelashes.
The first ingredient, isododecane is an emollient used for its smoothness and for being silky without being greasy (Cosmetics and Toiletries, Dermal Institute). It’s good for repelling water (Belsil).
The real superstar ingredient is polyethylene, which is actually a type of polymer or plastic that became popular during World War II when it was used for coating underwater cables (Science Daily, Plastics Industry Trade Association). That’s why it’s the most widely used plastic today in everything from cosmetics to grocery bags. In cosmetics it’s used for many things, including as a stabilizer and viscosity-increasing ingredient. It has not been found to be absorbed in to the skin or toxic and the Cosmetics Ingredient Review has found the incidence of impurities to be quite low (International Journal of Toxicology).
It’s third ingredient, trimethylsiloxysilicate is a silicone derivative and emollient that’s good for forming films and repelling water (Cosmetics and Toiletries). It’s also known for it’s long-lasting effects.
The Upside of the Mascara Topcoat
The ingredients have, appreciably, been formulated so that they are both sealing, water resistant, and non-drying. They aren’t necessarily moisturizing, and they don’t have a greasy feel, but because the formulation involves quite a few emollients, the topcoat doesn’t dry out.
This works for a few reasons. One is that the makeup won’t simple rub off, or come off when your eyes water. The second reason is that your makeup won’t become so dry that it flakes off.
The Downside of the Mascara Topcoat
For what it does, Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Waterproof Topcoat is fantastic, but it’s not perfect. The formula does a fair job of not clumping eyelashes and the brush has a harder bristle, almost certainly for that purpose, but it can still clump lashes a little bit. That’s the main issue and it is, generally speaking, not particularly problematic.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Waterproof Topcoat ($8.99, amazon.com) can be a total lifesaver when it comes to mascara. It’s got the right ingredients to make any mascara long-wear and waterproof without doing too much clumping. It’s a great product to keep on-hand, just in case, particularly if you’re going to an event or have a day when you need your makeup to look pristine.