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My 24-Hour Investigation Into CoverGirl’s 24-Hour Mascara

Will you live up to your hype? Photo: Courtesy of Covergirl

They say you should always wash your makeup off before bed. And you shouldn’t wear makeup to the gym. But what if your makeup was designed for this kind of taboo behavior? CoverGirl’s new Outlast Active collection boldly claims to last “up to 24 hours.” I was immediately intrigued, and also a little angry at the idea that there’s not a single hour in the day that I shouldn’t be wearing mascara. So I set out to see if this makeup would really stay put for a full day.

The Claim

I tried the brand’s Lash Blast Active mascara in Extreme Black, Get In Line Active Eye Liner in Ink Black, and Outlast Active Cooling Setting Mist, all of which promised to be “sweatproof” and “smudgeproof.”

The Prep

On a particularly busy Saturday, I applied my new favorite moisturizer and my favorite CC cream as a base, and then moved on to my eyes. I struggled a bit with the eyeliner. It’s a liquid formula that uses a dip-and-brush application instead of a handy pen applicator, so it was less precise than I wanted it to be. Secretly I hoped that maybe it wouldn’t live up to its “up to 24 hour wear” claim and fade over time.

I’ve used the regular CoverGirl Lash Blast mascara before, and the new version looks and feels exactly the same. I curled my lashes before applying several coats to each lash. It built up volume nicely without getting too clumpy, and looked really good. I set my makeup with the setting spray, which smelled like cucumber and does indeed have a “cooling” effect. I did not necessarily need any additional “cooling” on a January morning but I really think this setting spray would be delightful in the summer.

The 24 Hours: Expectations

This is what I had planned for the 24-hour test window:

9:00 a.m.: Apply the makeup.
10:00 a.m.: Drive an hour to my friend’s house, play with two toddlers, and see a group of people I haven’t seen in almost a year.
5:00 p.m.: Drive another hour to my hometown and go out to dinner with my parents.
8:00–11:00 p.m.: Watch TV until my mom falls asleep in her chair and/or my dad decides he’s going to start turning off all the lights.
11:00 p.m.: Resist the urge to wash my makeup off and go to bed.
9:00 a.m. Wake up, look at my makeup, and take a photo.

The 24 Hours: Reality

This is what actually happened:

9:00 a.m.: Applied the makeup.
10:00 a.m.: Drove an hour to my friend’s house. Rang the doorbell and waited. After no response, I texted her “I’m here!” She called me and said, “Sorry, we’re getting together tomorrow, not today!” They weren’t even home. Hung up the phone, realized I had plans tomorrow, and, to my complete surprise, started crying. It had been a hard week, and I hadn’t realized how much I was looking forward to seeing these friends. At least now I’d really be able to test the premise of my eye makeup.
11:00 a.m.: Drove to my parents’ house while listening to ABBA Gold and contemplating my failures. Ran over the garbage can lid when I pulled into the garage and burst into tears again.
2:00 p.m.: Went for a long walk with my parents which ended up turning into an impromptu bar crawl. Are a lot of fried foods and cheese and drank several beers. Felt better, but bleary in a way that did not seem to bode well for my liner.
11:00 p.m.: Took the train back into the city. Crawled into bed and watched 30 Rock until I fall asleep.
12:00 p.m.: Woke up wondering what the hell my eye makeup looked like, and snapped this selfie:

Me, in bed, with all my eye makeup still on 27 hours later.

Consider me thoroughly impressed. I wore this mascara and eyeliner for 27 hours. I cried, I walked, I got drunk, and I slept for ten hours in a row. And aside from a little lower-lash smudging, it did not move at all! My eyelashes even kept their shape! Plus, at the end of it all, I was able to remove it easily with a cotton pad and some Bioderma.

I’m not sure what kind of scary miracle is going on here. CoverGirl, I am thoroughly impressed but also slightly afraid of the magic at hand. Although maybe I predicted my own fate. When the collection was launched, I joked about all the “intense” things that this mascara could “help us navigate” and included three types of crying: sad, happy, and “I don’t know why.” I definitely spent quality time in all three categories while wearing it. Maybe I should just wear it to the gym next time?

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My 24-Hour Investigation Into CoverGirl’s 24-Hour Mascara