OK, what’s a 3D printed mascara?


Frankie Graddon | The Pool

In my book, when it comes to mascara there are three key things that it needs to do. It needs to make my lashes longer, it needs to make them thicker and it needs to make them darker. I do not want it to smudge, flake, come off all over my cheeks or clump – that might have worked for Twiggy, but the spidery look is not for me. For months, I have been wedded to By Terry Lash-Expert Twist Brush. It’s pretty spendy, at £25, but it does all of the former, none of the latter and I think I might actually love it. However, to quote Love Island (sorry), my "head has been turned" by something else. It’s Chanel, it’s brand new and it’s apparently the first mascara to have been made using 3D printing.

Wow! A 3D-printed mascara! Great… What does that mean? Let me explain.

The 3D printing is all to do with the brush. It has been "printed" in a whizzy criss-cross structure with little dips, so that it holds more mascara than your average brush. This means that with just one pump of the wand you can, in theory, do both top and bottom lashes, no need for re-dipping. Why does this matter? Because re-dipping causes mascara to dry out, which leads to the dreaded clumps. Rather than bristles, the 3D-printed brush has little nodules that are supposed to coat the lashes thoroughly for maximum length, volume and general oomph.

So, does it?

The short answer is yes. The slightly longer answer is that it goes on smoothly, the chunky (but not unwieldy) brush catching several lashes in each stroke. It certainly lengthens, certainly thickens and turns lashes smoky black. As for the double-dipping theory, it stands up. I did both eyes, top and bottom lashes, with just one pump. To be certain, I made my desk partner, Hannah, try it and she also found that both eyes were successfully serviced in one go. And as for the clumping? Not one. Not even when I went back in for a second coat a few hours later. 

So, to conclude, while anything "3D printed" might have a touch of the gimmick about it, in the case of Chanel’s new mascara it works. Obviously, it isn’t cheap – it’s Chanel – but if mascara is your thing and you’re in need of a new one, it’s worth checking out.

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