Rita Remark and Lancome Hypnose Mascara review

Pretty Damn Good: the cult mascara this celebrity manicurist relies on for long, fanned-out lashes

Welcome to Stylist’s Pretty Damn Good, a weekly series in which different women share the one product – across hair care, skincare, make-up, body and fragrance – that remains a forever staple in their beauty routines.

One of the things we learnt during lockdown? Nailing the perfect manicure is hard.

Manicurists and nail artists are skilled professionals and nothing will ever beat the finish and feeling of an in-salon manicure. One of these professionals is Rita Remark, editorial manicurist and global lead educator for iconic nail brand Essie.

In her role, which she took on in 2015, Rita has worked on the nails of a long list of celebrities, including Serena Williams, Meghan Markle, Annie Murphy, Jonathan Van Ness, Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Sarah Paulson and many more.

As part of her work for Essie, she has also designed the nail looks at countless fashion shows, including Erdem, Proenza Schouler, Christian Siriano, Brandon Maxwell and Reem Acra. It’s fair to say she’s done it all and despite the pandemic slowing down fashion weeks and red carpet events, her Instagram page is filled with plenty of nail inspiration.

So, as somebody who works on countless projects and events, what’s the one product that Rita relies on to get herself ready for the day? Here, she tells us.

Rita Remark
Rita Remark is a celebrity manicurist and has worked with Serena Williams and Meghan Markle.

“I started wearing Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara, £27.50, in my early 20s. I didn’t spend a lot of money on make-up at the time, so to spend $28 (around £20) on mascara at the time was a big deal – but it was worth it.

“Curiosity is what brought me to it. It had so many incredible reviews and anyone I knew who wore it, loved it. I travelled a lot for work, so I bought it for the first time at an airport duty-free. It became my tradition to scoop up a wand every few trips – always reaching for the deepest black shade they have.

“Honestly, I don’t wear a lot of make-up. I like to have just a few products and emphasise a few key areas. To me, if my lashes are long, fanned out and inky black, I need very little else.

“I feel like the perfect mascara is a combination of the best wand, formula, effect and wear – and this beauty does it all. Before Hypnôse, I was always on the hunt for the perfect mascara for my lashes. Mine are full and long but fair and thin.

“Other mascaras would be long-wearing but clumpy. Buildable but stiff, or the wand would poke me in the eye or the colour would bleed onto my skin. Hypnôse does everything I want and nothing I don’t. It just checks all the boxes.

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“Because I don’t wear a lot of make-up, having dramatic winged lashes just gives me the biggest confidence boost. Not to mention, it wakes up my face in a major way. Like a cup of coffee.

“I love building it up. I’ll probably put two and a half coats on each eye, making sure I catch every little lash. That’s what I really love about Hypnôse; it gives me that option. It’s super buildable without being clumpy.

“If I want even more drama, I’ll wear it above Lancôme’s super enhancing mascara primer which may seem like a gimmick, but it really makes a big difference! It’s worth a buy.”

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Main image: Rita Remark/brand