What comes with batteries and vibrates? Your mascara

News that cosmetics behemoth Estée Lauder will be launching a battery-operated, vibrating mascara in the US this summer has caused a wave of eyelash batting the world over. Decorum dictates that we pass over the imposing legacy of female-orientated appliances that vibrate for no apparent reason, and focus instead on the magnitude that will be bestowed by the melodiously named TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara.

What comes with batteries and vibrates? Your mascara
Those inclined to scoff at the very notion that mascara might require battery power must be reminded that, in certain circles, the way you sweep your lash is everything.

For sure, the majority of us adopt the time-honoured British technique of taking drunken aim with some ancient, balding apparatus while endeavouring not to bodge out an eye. However, for true mascara devotees, lashes can be moulded into a multitude of guises: spiky, curly, chubby, swooshing, glitter-festooned, Bambi and glorious Technicolor. Only the naïve would assume that these individuals are endeavouring to make their lashes look longer, when they are, in fact, going after a complete eyelash "look".

For lashes are a small and imperfectly formed attribute about which the beauty industry harbours mighty ambitions. Doubtless, it is the very indistinguishability of mascaras - their rumoured origin in the same Polish factory regardless of brand - that causes their marketing to reach such sublime heights.

Accordingly, their advertising must boast nano technology, innumerate claims as to percentage boost, gimmickry in the way of binding, tubing, white underlays and the like, and additional advantages such as the securing of world peace.

The most sweeping instance of lash hyperbole occurred in the campaign for L'Oreal's Telescopic Mascara, in which the company clad Penelope Cruz in falsies, persuaded her to opine about "lashes that can reach for the stars", admitted its own ruse to the Advertising Standards Authority - and continued to reap the benefits in sales.

All this is considered acceptable because society deems that there is no length to which women should not strive to cultivate hirsuteness in some quarters, while neurotically policing it in others. If only Lauder and friends could devise a product that took hair from legs, 'tache, and nether regions and winningly relocated it about the head, lashes, and brows; vibration an optional extra.

Tuesday, December 2nd 2008

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