Nars Audacious Mascara in Black Moon - review and swatches


I received this travel-sized Nars Audacious Mascara in one of my Mecca Beauty Loop Boxes, and I was thrilled to have the chance to try it without committing to a (sizeable) mascara purchase.

Mascara is one of those things that I'll likely never buy in high-end: I just don't see the point in throwing big bucks at something I'll be chucking out in a few months to avoid eye infection, when the offerings at the pharmacy can be just as good - often better - and won't break the bank.

Nevertheless, I'm always pleased to wind up with a fancy sample to test out, and I must say I was intrigued to try this particular mascara because I'd seen lots of comments about it online - most of them not good. I'd heard that the wand was spiky to the point of being scary, and now that I've seen it, I do see what people are talking about.

While I do feel that I can use the product without being frightened of poking my eyes out, I have other issues with this mascara so it's one I'm forcing myself to use, purely because I'd much rather reach for something that yields a better result. 

Nars claims/product details:
  • Winner of the Prix Beauté Stars Madame Figaro
  • From instant definition to blind-siding impact, every layer multiplies, lenthens and amplifies
  • Designed with over 200 bristles and lengthening hooks, Nars' lash-catching brush evenly grips and coats lashes from roots to tips
  • Tapered brush tip finishes off the inner and outer reaches of your lashes, and enhances lower lashes
  • Lightweight, buildable and long-wearing
  • Voluminses and separates
  • Smudge, clump and flake-proof formula
  • Contains nourishing and conditioning ingredients
  • Buildable formula allows for reapplication throughout the day if your lashes need a boost
  • RRP $41 AUD for 9g

There's the wand above and below. You can see that it is indeed spiky, and you can also see that the longer bristles are too widely spaced to catch and separate each lash.

What's hard to see from photos is that the shorter bristles are indeed shaped like hooks, but they do lose their shape quickly and they're also too widely spaced to help separate your lashes.

My bare lashes for reference:

Wearing one coat of product below, and note I've had to use an eyelash comb to remove all the clumps and separate each individual lash:

One more for good measure, and you can see there's not much lengthening or thickening action to speak of:


This is a bad mascara. I've given it a 'disappointing products' tag, purely because it's Nars and it's expensive, and I was expecting a lot more from a product at this price-point.

Two things happen every time I use this: first, I get blobs of mascara all along my upper eye area (in particular the lashline) that need to be removed; and second, it's so clumpy that I need to whip out my eyelash comb. Every single time. I'm far too lazy for that extra step.

On top of that, it's so bad at doing your lower lashes - I'm talking about the clumping and too much product being deposited everywhere, which always ends up on my under-eyes - that I don't even bother using it for that anymore because it's just not worth the headache.

Indeed, I reckon the design of this brush is an epic fail, and it spoils what could otherwise be a passable formula, because the brush maketh the mascara and this one just doesn't cut the mustard.

The mascara also doesn't do much for lengthening and thickening, and it doesn't build well. I mean, if you're getting serious clumping issues with the first coat, what hope do you have if you try building the damn thing?!

Also, I've seen a lot of people complain about smudging and flaking. Mostly this doesn't happen to me, but if I rub my eyes or put my feet up for 20 minutes while my daughter is napping, then it absolutely does - so much so that I need to reapply it, which never happens to me with mascara. 

On that, the fact that Nars claims you can 'reapply this throughout the day if your lashes need a boost' sounds a little fishy to me (as in, perhaps they know it doesn't last). I personally think that mascara should never need to be reapplied: it's one of those makeup products that almost always stays put and doesn't need refreshing, or at least it should be!

All in all, this is a bad product and it's just not worth the price. I have a feeling it will end up in my 2016 'disappointing products' list, and I reckon it will show up on a few others' lists too.


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