Collage of Hanna with no mascara (left), MAC's Magic Extension Mascara (middle) and the mascara on both eyes (right).

Mac Magic Extension Mascara review: “This lengthening formula makes it look like I’m wearing falsies”

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It gathered a 132,000-person waitlist but does Mac’s new Magic Extension Mascara live up to its big claims? Stylist’s senior beauty writer Hanna Ibraheem tried it.

I love mascaras. If you’ve read any of the other mascara reviews I’ve written, you’ll have no doubt already read me waxing lyrical about how transformative a product they are in my eyes.

Nowadays, there are so many mascara options to choose from. There are lots of different finishes, from lengthening and curling to volumising, defining and natural, as well as so many innovative formulas, including waterproof iterations, clever tubing mascaras (meaning they come off with warm water) and ones created specifically for sensitive eyes.

There are also certain brands that just really nail mascara, one of them being MacCosmetics. Creators of Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara, one of my all-time favourites, Mac has now launched its latest lash innovation: Magic Extension Mascara, £20.

MAC Magic Extension Mascara review
MAC's Magic Extension Mascara had a 132,000-person waitlist.

As the name suggests, this formula was created to lengthen and lift lashes to help give them the same appearance as eyelash extensions.

 So how does it work? Magic Extension is a fibre mascara, meaning they contain little fibres – usually made of rayon, nylon or silk – to give your lashes a fuller, longer and more volumised look. Mac’s new formula contains 5mm fibres, one of the longest fibres available on the mascara market. It also contains crystal elixir powder, an ingredient that amplifies the intensity of the inky black pigment to define your lashes even more.

Then, there’s the brush. For me, a mascara wand is really what makes or breaks a product and is the key to ensuring good application. Mac claims this wand is a “tapered 5D brush”, which helped to stretch your lashes from root to tip.

MAC Magic Extension Mascara review
MAC's Magic Extension Mascara has a tapered brush.

After hearing all of its claims, it’s no surprise that this mascara gathered over 132,000 sign-ups to its waitlist. What’s more, it has quickly become a popular product in the US and Germany, where it has broken sales records. As a self-proclaimed mascara veteran, I decided to put Magic Extension to the test and see whether it lived up to the hype.

When I took the brush out of the wand, I was pleased to see it had a conical shape to it. This makes it easier to customise your lash look. I like to use the thicker end to really amp up my outer lashes with lots of formula. I then use the narrow end to flick the most outer lashes to guide them into a lifted, fluttery finish. The narrow end is also handy to apply mascara on your inner corners, as you’re less likely to smudge the formula and, consequently, ruin your handy eyeshadow/eyeliner work.

Hanna with no mascara (left), MAC's Magic Extension Mascara on one eye (middle) and the mascara on both eyes (right).
Hanna with no mascara (left), MAC's Magic Extension Mascara on one eye (middle) and the mascara on both eyes (right).

As I began to follow this trusted application technique, I was impressed by the second coat. I have quite long lashes already but they’re very straight, meaning without mascara, you can barely see them. The brush swept them up into a very dramatic curl and each lash hair was instantly defined the moment it was coated in the deep black formula. It also gave them more volume, giving me a fuller look at the roots which blended in nicely with my eyeliner. When I was done, it looked like I was wearing false lashes, and as somebody who can’t get to grips with lash glue, this made me so happy.

One thing I would say though, is that this mascara dries down quite quickly, meaning if you like to apply layer upon layer of mascara (like me), you have to work quite fast. Once it’s dry, it does leave your lashes feeling slightly crispy (and adding on more mascara at this point can make it clumpy) but this also means that the mascara is more likely to stay put and keep your lashes lifted. In fact, even after a sweaty train journey, a humid walk around Oxford Circus, drinks, dinner and a rush back for the last train home, there was zero smudging, no flaking and my lashes maintained their impressive curl.

OK Mac, I get the hype.

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Main image: Hanna Ibraheem

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