Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black - review and photos


I received two GWP travel-sizes of this mascara a while ago and this is my second one so I'm definitely ready to review it.

In sum, it's ok but I do have issues with it (I'll go into those below), plus it doesn't do much for my lashes so it's not one I would recommend. Indeed, I'm looking forward to finishing it so I can move on to something better that's also easier to use.

Clinique claims/product details:

  • This cult-favourite mascara injects instant drama into your eye look
  • The carefully sculpted wand kicks up the volume and length of each and every lash for a look that's lusher, plusher and bolder
  • Pure, deep colour adds to the impact
  • Ophthalmologist tested
  • RRP $39 AUD for 8g

Worth noting now is that this mascara has pretty polarising reviews online (see eg beautyheaven).

Some people love it while others think it's meh, and I suspect that a lot of this comes down to the brush. For me, this brush is difficult to use and it's not effective.

First, it's too fat for my hooded eyes so I can't get it close enough to the lashline and I often end up with mascara goo on my eye-hoods when I use this. Also, the bristles don't separate my lashes so I always need an eyelash comb or otherwise they look clumpy and weird. I just don't have time for all that so this mascara is out.

There's the brush:

And again (you can see how it might struggle to separate the lashes):

My bare lashes for reference:

Wearing the product (note how I can't get it close to the lashline):

And again (note the clump on the right side that I couldn't separate - this happens a lot and it doesn't look good!):


As mentioned above, I’ve been through two of these now so I’ve given it a good run and it's safe to say that it doesn't work for me.

It’s a wet formula and I find that it does nothing for my lashes for the first two weeks after opening, but after that the formula dries a little and gets better. So if you've just opened this and think it's rubbish, let it be and then go back to it later because it does improve with age.

In terms of effect, it offers an ok amount of length and volume but I’ve certainly used better mascaras that need less building. It also doesn't curl my lashes much and I prefer buying mascaras that do this for me (rather than using an eyelash curler), so that's another reason for me to avoid it.

I've already complained about the brush above, but let me reiterate that the wider the brush, the worse it is for hooded eyes. Indeed, I know people with normal eyes who struggle with fat brushes - so you can imagine how hard it must be for those of us with significant eye puff. It’s just not worth the risk of ruining a finished look, and I've been known to discount mascaras based on the brush alone. It doesn't help that it clumps my lashes together either. Indeed, this brush makes the whole application process not only more stressful, but also significantly longer because it's fiddly. Not ideal.

Otherwise the mascara doesn’t smudge or flake throughout the day so that’s a plus, and I can get it to look ok if I really put some time into it - so it's usable and I'll certainly finish my tube. Nevertheless I'm looking forward to finishing mine, and overall I don't think this product is worth the time or money.


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