Consider this post an open letter to the Makeup Company Who Shall Not Be Named, you know who I'm talking about. The one who makes the well-known pink-and-green packaged mascara of infamy, labeled as Great, but one that I would argue is Not-So-Great. This Birdy's not a hater -- I've tried on several occasions to give this product a try, but it always ends in smudgy, forest creature-eyed doom. Seriously, you'll look like a heroin chic model, but all heroin, no chic. It's like the tale of a bad relationship. I gave the mascara a try in my late teens to much disapointment, went back to it later in my mid-twenties, thinking it changed its ways, and you'd think being thirty-something, I'd have learned that twice-bitten should be a lesson, but no. Burned AGAIN. I was in need of a new mascara, decided to give it another try, and yet again - Epic Disappointment. With the holiday season coming around, I need makeup that will stand the cocktail party test!

It got me a-thinkin' about makeup companies in general. They really are good at spinning a good yarn about how a product can supposedly change your life. There are miracles in a bottle, magic in a cream, perfection in a little tube -- a veritable Harry Potter world of wizardry and every makeup counter is like a mini-Hogwarts, festooned with glitter. And we believe it. We want to believe it. Makeup is like the modern day Fairy Godmother, with the power to change ducklings into swans. It speaks a lot about our desires towards change and transformation, much the same with fashion. I could get all head-shrinky over it, but I'm just as guilty for wanting the same things from bottled products and clothing on hangers. But in the meantime, I think I need to clean up my smudgy eyes and run out to get some new mascara, because dammit, this Birdy will not be burned again!

Jaunty Fine Print:  illustration by Denise Sakaki


  1. Just gotta say I ADORE your illustration. Loved the post too,and the illustration is BEAUTIFUL. Did you do that ? Gorgeousness !!!

  2. @Lynne - thanks so much! Yes, I did the illustration in a fit of frustration after I threw the mascara away. Again. I can't believe I get suckered into buying this over and over. But I guess it's good that it provides artistic inspiration!

  3. Ive bought that mascara once and I was not impressed. I don't get why it always makes the top lists of mascaras.
    I have realized though that a lot of the smudging around my eyes was from my eyeliner! I just switched to the Revlon colorstay felt tip pen eye liner and it is the best thing EVER.
    Still on the hunt for the perfect mascara (waterproof) though.

  4. @Brooke - THANK YOU, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's had mixed results with this so-called miracle product. I'm not expecting makeup to be perfect, I'm just always surprised when stuff like this winds up on everyone's must-have list! :P

  5. Cute cute drawing!

    There are SOOOO many mascaras staring back when you enter the makeup isle that I never have a clue where to begin in trying them out. I have what seems like an endless supply of sample size estee lauder and clinique mascaras that my mom gives me because when she buys her face creams she gets them in the free gift and doesn't use mascara. I use those for the most part but when I need a water resistant one and I go buy a randomly selected choice from the drugstore makeup isle I have yet to be left feeling like I have found my brand. Maybe I need to start doing the same thing I do when I see people with great hair, I ask where they get their hair done. Why not ask people with beautifully coiffed eye lashes what brand of mascara they use? I think I will give this a try. If I end up with a common response I will report back :)

  6. @Dana - I need to really press my friends with amazing lashes to get the real truth. I realize it's good genes, but when I ask what products they use, I always get a nonchalant, "whatever's on sale." Conspiracy! There must be more to this... I continue to dig deeper into the secret cult of mascara.

  7. Is there anything worse than makeup that clumps, runs, smudges, or in any other way makes itself unpleasantly noticeable? Your mascara frustration sounds like my issue with foundation- I've never (in 12 or so years of searching) found one in my color with decent coverage and wear.

    I think I might be one of those amazing lash people though, so I offer my advice:
    I always curl first, and I use two types of mascara daily (I know, I'm crazy). First, a very careful coat of a Rimmel mascara with a narrow, straight brush. I use this to lightly coat and separate each lash, top and bottom. I let this dry, then use a Clinique mascara with a curved brush (LOVE this stuff, and it comes off easy with soap and water). Basically, shape, stiffen and separate, then add length and volume.


Merci buttercups! Your comments are appreciated! (hit the 'post comment' button twice, sometimes it's buggy)