Volcanic Minerals Volumizing Mascara
Last Updated:06.13.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This good, but basic, mascara defines lashes with clean, clump-free application and dramatic black pigment, but it doesn't provide an impressive amount of length or volume. To achieve voluminous lashes you'll have to layer this mascara, and although it does layer well, a top-notch volumizing mascara should thicken lashes with just a couple strokes of the brush.

As for the "volcanic minerals," the truth is that this mascara isn't any more mineral-based than many other mascaras, and even if it were, there isn't any legitimate benefit to using a mascara with minerals from a volcano—What nonsense! Still, this is a good mascara for well-defined lashes of average length, although you can find less expensive alternatives from all the major drugstore brands.

  • Good separation; clean, clump-free application.
  • Long-wearing.
  • Doesn't smudge.
  • Layers well.
  • Requires multiple coats to add significant volume to lashes.
  • Pricey.
Brand Overview

Korres At-A-Glance

Strengths: Excellent powder blush and lip glosses; some good makeup removers; praiseworthy powder foundation; an impressive mascara.

Weaknesses: Blatantly dishonest claims; several products contain irritating ingredients, including volatile fragrance chemicals; no products for managing acne or skin discolorations; jar packaging; disappointing foundation primers.

Korres is a Greek cosmetics line, and if memory serves, we believe this is the first line from that country we've ever reviewed, and given how long we've been reviewing products, that's saying something! The line was started by a husband and wife team, George Korres (a pharmacist) and his wife Lena. They wanted to build a product line based on the principles of homeopathy, a form of alternative medicine involving the administration of various herbal tinctures. As the story goes, the products concocted in the couple's Athens pharmacy became a hit with the locals and within a few years the Korres skin-care and makeup product line was created—its concept being to take a natural approach. Now, where have we heard that before, h-m-m-m-m, let me think, oh yeah, EVERYWHERE!

Homeopathy is a specific style of alternative medicine that is far more a mystery than science because very little research exists proving its efficacy. Plus, none of the studies have been duplicated, and one study alone proves nothing. Anecdotally, there are followers who strongly believe in this method of healing. The theory behind these treatments assumes that you can treat disease with minute amounts of watered down substances that are meant to cause effects similar to the disease's symptoms. You then build up an immunity to these effects, and then to the disease, much the way you would with an inoculation. Even if this were the case, however, skin care in general is unrelated to a disease state.

In terms of "natural," Korres formulas are indeed packed with plant extracts, a veritable cornucopia of plants that make it sound more like you're wandering in an arboretum than looking at a skin-care product. As attractive and natural as the ingredient list appears, there is no research whether or not these combinations have any impact on improving the appearance of your skin. Alternative medicine is certainly an option, but without more evidence you are spending a lot of money hoping you will get results. Cleaning skin, exfoliating, reducing skin discolorations, protecting skin from the sun, reducing acne, and giving skin the substances it has lost as a result of sun damage is not alternative, it is mainstream knowledge, and the ingredients that do these things can be natural or synthetic.

If anything, what you end up getting from many Korres products are ordinary formulations with a mix of questionable exotic and ordinary plant extracts. While Korres boasts of not using synthetic ingredients in their products, they actually use quite a few, making lots of their products about as natural as polyester. They also include plant extracts that are problematic for skin. What is it with these companies, claiming that their products are all natural and claiming that they exclude all the "evil" synthetic ingredients other companies use, but then they turn right around and include those synthetic ingredients that they claimed were bad for your skin?!

There also are other problems with Korres products that are just foolish and speak to the lack of science on any level in the formularies (e.g., jar packaging that won't keep the plant extracts stable and below-par sunscreens—we mean really limited sun protection, which is just dangerous). All of the salespeople we encountered at Sephora (the primary sales location for Korres products in the United States) echoed the same sales pitch, that Korres is as natural as picking an apple from a tree; but we wouldn't sit down and eat these as a snack, that's for sure.

Overall the Korres skin-care options leave much to be desired, especially if you're trying to avoid irritating ingredients or are struggling with acne, rosacea, or skin discolorations. Some of the sun protection products are sketchy due to their below-standard SPF ratings (so much for homeopathy and alternative medicine being good for skin; this is bad medicine from any perspective). However, Korres did hit several home runs with their makeup, and the price point isn't unreasonable.

For more information about Korres Natural whose U.S branch is now owned by Johnson & Johnson, visit www.korres.com or call 1-888-9KORRES.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Natural looking...as I prefer

I am not a fan of super lengthening mascaras as I don't like the way they look...I prefer a more natural but dark black application which this does. There is no irritation as there is with many other mascaras with me either so I really like this product. The only downside to it is, that it in fact, does smudge. At least on me it does...maybe it's the under eye product I'm using but it definitely smudges. As long as I stay on top of that we're good.

Reviewed by
El J
Finally a Mascara that doesn't hurt my eyes

I LOve this mascara. My eyes are super sensitive and I thought I would just have to stop using mascara. A sephora associate recommend this to me and I was very very surprised at how it lasted all day, does not smudge, goes on really well and doesn't hurt my eyes. Two draw backs: the smell is odd but dissipates but the worst is they test on animals. I didn't know this and can't imagine all the animals that had to endure this in their eyes so I could have darker longer lashes. Trying PC next.

Reviewed by
Good stuff

I have very sensitive eyes, contact lenses, prone to dry spots on lids. This product looked good on -length without looking too fake, didn't dry too quick when applying so you can get it looking nice and removes well with little irritation. I even slept with it on and didn't react.

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