If you remember Maybelline's Dial-A-Lash from the '80s, then you already know the gimmick behind Almay's Dial Up Mascara. By turning the dial at the base, you control the size of the opening where the brush comes out of the container. A smaller opening means that more of the mascara is wiped off when the brush comes out, a larger opening means that less mascara is wiped off; that is, the smaller the opening the less mascara remains on the brush, the bigger the opening the more mascara is on the brush. This is an effective method for controlling the amount of mascara on the brush, giving you the potential to create looks that range from natural to dramatic with one product. But, when it comes to mascara, too much on the brush can spell instant trouble, so keeping it dialed down (i.e., a smaller opening ) ultimately produces better results. The rubber-bristled brush is flexible and nicely shaped, but the formula itself is too wet to make this an easy one-coat wonder. Even though it takes a couple of careful coats to keep lashes from clumping together, the result is lashes that have lots of thickness and moderate length. Disappointingly, after the lashes dry they feel stiff and somewhat brittle.
Long a standby for those with sensitive skin seeking hypoallergenic products (though that term is unregulated and can be applied to any product, regardless of ingredients), Almay continues to refine its comprehensive makeup line. In early 2006 the company repackaged its old favorites, and also relaunched several new makeup items. Everything now has a sleek new look and color-coded packaging. We admit, the makeover is effective, not just product-wise but visually too.
Shopping this drugstore line is now much easier because of the clearly defined product and color family groupings. Lamentably, testers and trial sizes of the makeup are still scarce regardless of where you shop. Almay has always been a reliable line for foundations, powder, and mascara. Within its current lineup you'll find that remains true. Their foundations are better than ever, and still offer full, broad-spectrum sun protection and a mostly neutral palette. We also found their concealers and mascaras have improved, as have the pencil options. When it comes to shopping for makeup staples with state-of-the-art formulas, Almay has many winners, and some innovative surprises that its competitors would be wise to learn from.
For more information about Almay, owned by Revlon, call (800) 992-5629 or visit www.almay.com.