Thursday, April 22, 2010

Product Review:
Diorshow &
Diorshow Blackout Mascaras

I'm a professional makeup artist who has always told people: if you want to save money on your beauty routine, buy drugstore mascara. Cheap mascara options abound, and in my general opinion, price is not indicative of quality when it comes to mascaras. Factor in the reality that mascara needs to be replaced every 3 months to keep it sanitary, and it seems downright silly to spend $25 on one tube!

Having said this, new technologies pop up constantly so I tend to look at every 3 month interval as a new chance to try the latest and greatest. When "greatest" is mentioned in the realm of mascara, for many people, one word comes to mind. Dior. The french fashion house dove into beauty decades ago when Christian Dior himself started designing perfumes. Since then, Dior's mascaras have reached cult status. After trying them recently for the first time, I now know why.

I tried two of Dior's legendary formulas- Diorshow and Diorshow Blackout. True to the claims, both mascaras gave me glamorous, almost false lash volume and length. To wit; normally I don't see a huge difference when I curl my lashes, but after wearing these mascaras a few times, I found myself digging that torturous contraption out of my case. The Dior mascaras simply defined my lashes so well that I needed a bit of curl- my lashes honestly looked a bit silly sticking straight up!

The original Diorshow formula is available in three shades: Chestnut, Azure Blue and Black. I always use black mascara on myself (and recommend it for everyone but the fairest blondes.) The black of Diorshow's original formula is almost black/brown looking in the tube, though on my light brown lashes, I'd say it reads as a soft black. It still packs a dramatic punch, but the softer shade keeps it suitable for daytime. The wand is a traditional bristle brush, average in length but much fatter than most. Despite the pudgy brush, I didn't have any issues applying the mascara, even with my relatively small eyes. In an odd turn for mascara, the original Diorshow has a distinct rose scent, which I'll admit made me apprehensive. Fragrance in any facial product gives my sensitive skin pause, but around the eyes, it's down right scary! Luckily, I didn't experience any sensitivity from the mascara, and I've actually become quite fond of the scent!

Diorshow Blackout is, as the name implies, an answer to the critics of the original Diorshow's "not-quite-black" black. More true black than the original Diorshow, with a glossier finish, Black-Kohl is actually the only shade Blackout comes in. Despite the addition of what the company calls "thickening powder" I thought the formula itself seemed thinner and more moist than the original. For the first few uses, I felt like the Blackout didn't adhere to my lash as well and tended to produce spikier lashes (spider-lash) especially w/ more than one coat. After a few uses though, as the formula dried down a bit, the differences in performance between the two formulas virtually disappeared.

Of course, nothing is all sunshine and roses, and Diorshow is nothing if not an example of this. Both formulas have a major pitfall: after 4-5 hours of wear, I was left with ring around the eyeball. This is not a common problem for me- among the 50 or so different mascaras I've tried in my lifetime, only two other formulas (neither Dior) have ever given me the dreaded "raccoon eyes". While I was massively disappointed by this factor, I have to admit that Diorshow mascaras look so amazing, I was willing to play around to find a fix for what I consider a fatal flaw. My best results were achieved by simply not applying the Diorshow to my bottom lashes- though even then I occasionally had some darkness at the end of the night. I also noticed that both mascaras had a tendency to flake if applied too heavily. To me, this isn't as much of an issue, since one good coat of Diorshow is really all that you need, but regardless, for a $25 tube of mascara, it's a fault nonetheless. I should mention that both formulas are available in a waterproof formula; I'm curious to see if the difference in formulation solves any of the issues that I had.

All in all, I'd say that Dior is definitely not over-rated in it's fame, even if it does have some pretty big issues. I'd give the product a 7.5 out of 10. It definitely performs above average, even with it's faults. The waterproof formula is definitely on my list- maybe it's my perfect 10!

-Both formulas define extremely well, both lengthening and thickening.
-The original Diorshow is available in 3 shades. The addition of Blackout brings the Diorshow range to 4 colors.
-Formula only requires one coat for full intensity.
-Both formulas are long wearing (though they can migrate).
-Dior is widely available online, in most upscale department stores, and at Sephora.

-Mascara can flake if applied to heavily.
-Both formulas have a tendency to migrate under the eyes, especially if applied to the lower lashes.
-The original formula of Diorshow is scented. This posed no problem for me, but it could be a consideration for those with known sensitivities to fragrance.
-The price ($24) is a bit steep, but reasonable compared to other high-end mascaras.


Musing on Beauty said...

I tried Diorshow twice at a several years of interval, and I'm not a fan, rally. I find the formulation too dry and flakey, and the brush so huge it's almost scary (although I love large mascara brushes).
I much prefer YSL Faux-Cils which is wetter and softer.

Unknown said...


I know, I know, YSL Faux-Cils is on my list... :)

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