Mascara topcoat: Clarins vs bareMinerals

I use a mascara topcoat from time to time, when the non-waterproof mascara I’m using isn’t as water resistant or long wearing as I need it for the day.  Why don’t I just wear a waterproof mascara to begin with, you say?  Let me tell you a couple of reasons:
1) Waterproof mascaras are too harsh for me to wear daily – removing it causes my lashes to fall out more
2) Waterproof mascaras are hydrophobic, meaning it does not dissolve in water, however, by that very nature, it has oleophillic properties, meaning it dissolves in oil.  What happens when someone with oily eyelids wears a waterproof mascara?  Smudge city.

So my solution has been to add a mascara topcoat whenever the occasion calls for it.  Here’s a cross section of how wearing a mascara topcoat solves the above 2 issues I have regarding just using waterproof mascara:
1) When I remove waterproof mascara, the mascara is directly coating my lash hair, clinging onto it for dear life.  Whereas when I’m wearing a non-waterproof mascara + mascara topcoat, I’m only needing to melt off the topcoat, and the non-waterproof mascara underneath is removed much easier from my lash hair.
2)  The clear mascara topcoat is what is exposed to my skin, so even if it is slightly oleophillic and dissolves a little with my oily lids, there’s no colour transfer / smudging.
(contrary to my drawing skills, the topcoat does NOT add a thick layer over the mascara, it’s quite seamless and doesn’t make my lashes stiff or spidery)

Having said ALL THAT, this post is really about my favourite mascara topcoat, which is the Clarins Double Fix’ Mascara ($24 for 7ml).  It’s described as a “waterproof film” for lashes and eyebrows”.  It does a fantastic job of keeping my non-waterproof mascaras from getting smudgy.  It was a lifesaver for the Prestige My Biggest Lashes mascara – this topcoat elevated that mascara from a 7 to a 9 rating.
It is a natural bristle wand that deposits the clear product on top of my mascara. My method is to apply my mascara as per normal, let it dry, then comb it out with a lash comb. Then I apply the mascara topcoat. After that is dried, I comb it all through again.  This topcoat makes all of my less water resistant mascaras instantly waterproof and smudge-free.
The label shows a 36 month lifespan after opening, which is quite a long time for an eye product! I don’t use this product daily – on average I probably wear it about once a week, but mine is going on 12 months and it is definitely time to toss.  And while I love this, I was reluctant to shell out $24 for a replacement.

I turned to alternatives.  The only ones available to me were:
bareMinerals Locked & Coated Waterproof Lash Topcoat – $15 – cheaper than Clarins by $9, and 0.5ml more product
Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat – $28 – more expensive than the Clarins by $4
My decision was made for me – the bareMinerals it is! (which I purchased during the Sephora VIB sale).  The bareMinerals topcoat is made in Italy – the same as Clarins.
The wand is much smaller compared to the Clarins, and it is made of silicone.  The formula looked to be about the same – a milky gel that dries clear.  I tested this topcoat with the Prestige My Biggest Lashes for a week.  It performed very close to the Clarins, however, I noticed that it was inconsistent in terms of coating all of my lashes – I would sometimes get smudges by evening time, but only in certain areas.  I tried to combat this by being more diligent and thorough in coating all my lashes but the results weren’t the same.  I suspect that the short bristles of the bareMinerals wand make it more difficult to entirely coat each lash, compared to the fuller bristles of the Clarins.  My preference is still the Clarins for budge-proof lashes.
A couple of minor details that I love about the Clarins topcoat is that the tube is not a circle, but rather an oval, so it doesn’t roll on a table.  Also there’s a clicking mechanism when you twist the cap close. It’s the attention to the little details that get me!
So while they both performed very well, the delivery system – the wand – was just a touch better with the Clarins one.  Once I’m done using the bareMinerals, I may just go back to the Clarins, or I may try the NYX one which Bree reviewed!  I hope they sell that locally.

Do you wear waterproof or non-waterproof mascaras?  Do you wear a mascara topcoat?

21 thoughts on “Mascara topcoat: Clarins vs bareMinerals

  1. I am so tempted to try the bareMinerals as an undercoat so that I can actually use non-wp mascaras. 😀

    I’ve been using a wet wp formula (Maybelline Falsies, rec’d by some nice person on MUA) and then putting non-wp on top, but it’s just a bit much for me.

    Thanks for the review!

    (Oh, and I have skin that is dry like the Sahara, so I don’t get smudgies from wp mascaras!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should try it to see if you like it! I can’t imagine layering a wp under a non-wp… seems like a lot of product. But who am I to talk…
      I’m undecided if I prefer having oily skin or dry skin… I’m told that when I’m old, the oily skin will help with wrinkles…


    1. Omg you stalker. I’m literally working on it RIGHT NOW. LOL. Is there a time limit?
      One of my “what I hate” is going to be “when people pressure me to answer tag questions” 😛


  2. Great review! I think I’ll just stick with the Clarins and NYX for now! I love all the ‘technical details’ you include in your posts, very interesting! And thank you so much for linking me 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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