The Ellis Faas E401 mascara was included in the recent Elle Beauty Box at Selfridges and gave me my first opportunity to try something from this Dutch brand named after the make up artist herself.
I consider myself a bit of an aficionado on mascaras, it's probably my favourite make up item and I actually love the ritual of putting on mascara everyday. I know what I like in a formula but am happy to put anything to the test-as long as it's black.
Ellis Faas only does one mascara-the E401. It comes encased in a sleek, slim and sexy silver 'bullet' with Ellis Faas imprinted on the tube. I feel like a lot of thought has gone into the packaging and really like the detail around the base and the pointed lid.
The mascara wand is undoubtedly the longest I have ever used and takes some mastering to avoid mascara smudges in places you don't want them-I seem to keep catching the top of my cheeks in error!
The brush itself looks unspectacular-it's quite small in size but is actually really easy to use to get to all the little lashes in the corners of your eye.
So here's the lowdown.
The mascara promises to lengthen and separate. It does! My lashes look nicely fanned out with this mascara. It has quite a wet formula (similar to Chanel Le Volume De Chanel) that takes a while to dry but it's easy to build up layers of the mascara without it clumping for a more dramatic effect. Once it's dry your lashes will still feel light, soft and flexible-no crispy lashes here-you don't even feel like you have mascara on! It's pretty much smudge and flake free throughout the day and still looks as good (and as black) at 8pm as it did at 8am.
It doesn't give a lot of volume but a lash primer underneath might help boost thickness. I also find it's not that good at holding a curl. I always curl my lashes before applying mascara but the wet formula seems to make the curl drop as you apply it.
The brush, once mastered is brilliant for getting to the base of your lashes and to coat even the tiniest little lashes.
There's two main downsides to this mascara. The first is that when you pull the wand out of the tube you get far too much mascara and excess product gathers around the rim of the tube. Easily fixed with a quick wipe of a tissue but an annoyance none the less.
The second is that it is an absolute nightmare to remove. For a non waterproof formula this is one of the toughest mascaras to remove I have ever used. I've been using 2 waterproof eye make up removers and double cleansing and I am still waking up with mascara smudges under my eyes the next morning. It's like it is welded on!
Would I repurchase? Probably not. I think the Maybelline The Falsies is still better for less than half the price. If it had been more volumising it would have been a more difficult decision but the fact it is so difficult to remove would have had me swaying back towards preferring the Maybelline.
Having said that, it's probably the most beautifully packaged mascara I have used for a while!