XXL 24HR Bold Mascara is a lash primer/mascara duo that involves a two-step process of a volumizing basecoat with a standard pointed bristle brush plus a color-rich topcoat with a fuller, curvy brush. Unlike Maybelline’s other XXL mascaras, the primer (basecoat) is also pigmented, which really blurs the line between primer and mascara, making the first step feel even more unnecessary than lash primers usually are! The truth is that the black basecoat, contrary to its claims of volumizing, did an adequate job of lengthening lashes all on its own, although the finish is slightly ashen, so the shiny black topcoat is mandatory. Once the topcoat went on, it was product overkill—my lashes quickly stuck together and appeared spidery. Used alone, the topcoat worked nicely (providing you apply at least two coats), though it lengthened far better than it thickened. As for its claims of lasting 24 hours, this mascara (with and without the basecoat) kept lashes soft and clump- and flake-free up until hour 10 before it began to show the usual signs of wear, but I recommend against anyone going 24 hours before removing their makeup.
Maybelline is one of the best-known and most recognized mass-market makeup lines in the world—it's available in 90 countries. Throughout its long history, which began in 1915 when T. L. Wilson founded the company and named it after his sister, Mabel, and Vaseline (which he combined with coal dust to concoct a mascara for her), the company has prided itself on bringing innovative products to the marketplace. L'Oreal purchased the company in early 1996 and that's when things really started getting much better. Both companies specialize in offering a large selection of lipsticks, nail polishes, and mascaras, and many of their foundations have the same strengths and weaknesses (smooth textures and finishes plus the inclusion of sunscreens that are often without much-needed UVA-protecting ingredients).
The powders, several mascaras, pencils, matte-finish concealers, and Superstay Lipcolor are impressive and inexpensive. Although L'Oreal remains the more sophisticated and refined of the two lines (and now they have credible products, not just sleek ads, to back this assertion), Maybelline's latest urban image is a positive step, as many of their latest launches have been innovative without resorting to "been-there, done-that" gimmicks. Price-wise, Maybelline is the least expensive of the L'Oreal-owned cosmetic lines (which also includes Lancome, Biotherm, Vichy, and Kiehl’s), and smart shoppers will note the similarities among brands that, with conscientious shopping, can really save you money without sacrificing quality or performance.
For more information about Maybelline New York, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 944-0730 or visit their interactive Web site at www.maybelline.com.