Beauty

This breakthrough mascara costs £58, but is it worth it? Stylist’s beauty team investigates

Mascara is up there with the most popular, couldn’t-live-without products, but finding the perfect formula is no mean feat. Could Westman Atelier’s be the one we’ve been looking for?

As a beauty journalist, the product I’m asked about the most is mascara. What’s the best? Which won’t smudge? Is there one that doesn’t flake? The questions are endless, and if I’m being completely honest, I don’t have the answer.

I’m yet to find my perfect, holy grail mascara: I have my favourites, sure, but they’re not perfect. I’ve recently discovered Kevyn Aucoin’s The Volumizing Mascara, £23, which shot straight to the top of my most-used list, but the jury is still out on whether it’s my ultimate. 

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I went through phases of using waterproof formulas in the hope they wouldn’t smudge, I’ve tried every affordable brand you can name and, before I worked in beauty, I spent more money than I’d care to think about on luxury brands and yet, I’m still searching for The One.

That means that whenever a new launch comes into the office I’m eager to try it, especially if there’s a point of difference or if it ticks all my long-lasting, blacker-than-black, lengthening, thickening and volumising boxes.

So, when a press release for Westman Atelier’s debut mascara, aptly named Eye Love You, appeared in my inbox, I was intrigued. Not by its 96% natural origin ingredients, or the expensive-looking, shiny gold tube or the promise that it would not only improve the quality of lashes but would also give them a ‘lush, fluffy, super clean finish’. 

Instead, it was the £58 price tag that caught my eye.

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I was immediately curious: what exactly could a £58 mascara offer that something half of its price couldn’t? Was the tube made from actual gold? Westman Atelier describe it as, “A breakthrough mascara that forges new ground in luxury makeup: the clean-performance power curl.”

Meanwhile, the brand also claims that it’s “The first truly ingredient-conscious contender to rival its synthetic high-end counterparts. It is made without parabens, formaldehyde donors, carbon black or silicones.”

Sounds good - but the real proof is in the testing. So, along with the rest of the Stylist beauty team, I did just that - and here are the honest reviews, along with the all-important before and after pictures. 

Shannon Peter, beauty director

Beauty director Shannon tries Westman Atelier's debut mascara
Beauty director Shannon tries Westman Atelier's debut mascara

I used to be a mascara fiend, layering up to three different formulas on any one given day. But more recently, I’ve really dialled it down, and some days, I go without mascara completely. 

There’s just something about a mascara-less lash that feels fresh. This mascara, however, felt like a good middle ground – the brush gently coerced my lashes apart and extended them ever so slightly at the tip, all without giving them extra girth (gross word, sorry!). 

It’s the subtle effect I’ve been looking for.

Lucy Partington, beauty editor

Beauty editor Lucy's before and after pictures of Westman Atelier Eye Love You mascara
Beauty editor Lucy's before and after pictures of Westman Atelier Eye Love You mascara

I’m always sceptical before I try any new product and this mascara was no different. The gold tube was lighter than I expected, and the short handle means it’s harder to grasp than most mascaras. The brush was also bigger than I’d usually like, but I was actually pleasantly surprised when it came to using it. The handle didn’t make much difference and I managed to get the brush right to the root without ending up with little black splodges dotted over my lids. It combed through my lashes easily and separated them nicely, too.

One coat gave a light, fluttery, natural finish that I liked, but I prefer a more defined look so I added a couple more and it didn’t clump, instead it was as if the formula was being applied onto bare lashes. I think I did about three layers in total and although it still gave a fairly natural finish, I liked it. It didn’t feel heavy and it just added the right amount of definition.

One of my main mascara bugbears is that it’ll smudge and leave me with black bags below my eyes within minutes. However, even after a good six or seven hours of wear, this one stayed put and didn’t migrate around my face. It was also super easy to wash off at the end of the day which is always a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

But, would I pay £58 for a tube? I’m not sure, but it did tick the majority of my boxes so maybe, just maybe, I would…

Hanna Ibraheem, beauty writer

Beauty writer Hanna reviews Westman Atelier Eye Love You mascara
Beauty writer Hanna reviews Westman Atelier Eye Love You mascara

When I was interviewed for my role at Stylist, I was asked the one question I’ve never had a problem answering: “What is your desert island beauty product?”

“Mascara. Without it, I look like an egg,” I replied, minus hesitation – and a year and a half later, it’s still true. I actually have pretty long lashes, but they have a tendency to lie as straight as a Helix ruler. Meaning, even if I (had the time to) put hours of effort into perfecting my base, eyes and lips; my face would still look flat without a lick of mascara on my lashes.

With Gucci Westman’s Eye Love You mascara, I was intrigued by the packaging alone – and it’s hard not to be. The lightweight tube is coloured in shiny gold and it’s slightly shorter than your average mascara. When I opened it, I noticed that the handle on the wand was smaller than I’m used to, which, admittedly, made applying the mascara to my lashes slightly fiddlier than usual.

But the results are worth it. The wand caught each lash and combed through them smoothly, sweeping them upwards into an eye-widening curl that stayed put throughout the day. Plus, my lashes looked longer and longer with every swoop of the wand and there wasn’t a single clump in sight. Though perhaps the biggest plus for me is that, because the formula made the roots of my lashes look thicker, it gave the impression that I had eyeliner on – meaning I could skip the process of scribbling along my lashline entirely. A big plus.

Ava Welsing-Kitcher, junior beauty writer

Junior beauty writer Ava on Westman Atelier's Eye Love You mascara
Junior beauty writer Ava on Westman Atelier's Eye Love You mascara

I almost always hate fresh mascaras - they’re too wet, clump my lashes together and need to dry out a little to fan the hairs out while still slicking on the formula. This one caught me completely unaware; I didn’t expect to get such defined yet subtle lashes with the first swipe.

I did two coats, and even tried my usual layer over the top side of the lashes, which didn’t end in clumpy thick ends like it always does. Wiggling the wand from root to tip did deposit some of the formula onto my lids, as the brush is a little bit hefty, but other than that it was pretty nice. I wasn’t blown away, though, and I don’t know if I’d pay that much money for “nice” lashes. 

Westman Atelier Eye Love You Mascara, £58, will be available at Net-a-Porter from 2 September.

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Images: Westman Atelier / Stylist

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