My Reviews

First Impressions: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara

In a recent Sephora order, I cashed in a 100-point perk to finally try out the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara. You guys seem to enjoy these quick first impressions, and I have been really enjoying Marc Jacobs products lately, so I thought I’d try putting them together and share my first impressions. The three areas I’ll be focusing on in my mascara review are application, wear, and removal.

The Basics: This mascara is described as “an ultra-volumizing mascara that delivers instant dimension for epic lashes”. The description continues, saying “the super-concentrated black pigment delivers the greatest visual impact, and the Flash Volume Complex™ creates instant, smudge-proof length and volume in three strokes or less”.

Ingredients (from Sephora)Water, Paraffin, Glyceryl Stearate, Synthetic Beeswax, Stearic Acid, Acacia Senegal Gum, Butylene Glycol, Palmitic Acid, Polybutene, Oryza Sativa Cera (Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax), VP/Eicosense Copolymer, Ozokerite, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Stearyl Stearate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Nitrate, Tropolone, Disodium Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Phosphate, Iron Oxides (CI 77499).

Now that we’re through with all the official stuff, let’s get to business. First things first, this is a very unique brush shape, reminiscent of a figure eight with a narrow middle and wider ends. It’s a smart design for the natural shape of lashes and makes application very easy, even for the inner and outer corner lashes that usually drive me nuts.

My general preference for mascara is a wetter formula, but I was really surprised by just how wet this one is when I first pulled out the wand. With a few seconds out of the tube, the mascara does dry ever so slightly and it’s kind of… perfect. It applies easily, lengthens and separates lashes, no clumping whatsoever. I did not curl my lashes and these guys were reaching for the sky.

My biggest issue with mascara is twofold (actually three, but I’ll mention the last one towards the end): one – once the mascara dries it will get stuck to my lashes in large pieces or will have multiple lashes stuck together even if there was no visible clumping upon application. I absolutely hate this feeling and will not be able to leave my lashes alone if this is happening. I will literally sit and (gently) pick at my lashes to get these pieces off. Often because of this, but sometimes of their own volition, nearly every mascara – even the formulas I otherwise love – either crumble or transfer under my eyes. I am constantly checking in any reflective surface to make sure I don’t have a black smudge or fleck in my already dark and hollow under-eye area.

Guys, this stuff did not budge the whole damn day. Not when I absent-mindedly picked at my lashes in the car (this was short-lived, no clumps!), not as I ran around Costco, and perhaps most impressively – not as I half-sobbed in my kitchen while cutting onions for dinner.

By this point I was already frantically texting my makeup-loving friends to let them know. I need to be honest here – I love mascara, it is easily my favorite category of makeup besides lipstick, but I rarely if ever buy a full size tube. I mostly rely on deluxe samples, 100 point perks, subscription boxes, and Sephora’s annual Lashstash set for my mascara needs. The last time I bought a full size tube of mascara was Black Friday 2015 because I am (correction: was) a huge fan of Tarte’s Lights Camera Flashes. This is still one of my favorite formulas, but it does give me the dreaded under-eye smudge situation.

My third and final conflict with mascara is removal. Please explain to me how a non-waterproof formula can crumble or smudge all over my pretty eyeshadow, but then will not leave my face with two passes of an oil-based cleanser and still requires a bi-phase makeup remover to finally release its death grip on my lashes. I’m talking about you, Tarte. I’m also kind of talking about Benefit’s They’re Real, which does not crumble or smudge, but is basically eyelash cement. If you are getting married or going to a funeral, that’s probably a good choice because that shit is not going anywhere.

All this to say, the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir mascara easily freed itself from my face with a single cleanse (using Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil) and left absolutely no residue on my lashes.

So, quick recap:
– no clumping
– made my lashes look huge
– no crumbling or smudging, even in the face of fresh onions
– easy to remove

Final verdict: Yes, yes I did order the full size (while Sephora had 8% cash back with Ebates!) I was really impressed with how this mascara held up throughout the day, particularly its survival through my kitchen adventures – an almost daily occurrence – and how easily the product came off. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants major lashes and is okay with bordering on the high-end price range.


Disclaimer: This was written during/after my first time trying this mascara, but some of the photos are from a second and third wear test.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I was not asked to write this, nor were any items provided to me free of charge or in exchange for a review. I receive a one-time referral  bonus when you sign up to earn cash back through Ebates using my link. Marc Jacobs Beauty products are available for cash-back purchases through Ebates from Sephora and the Marc Jacobs Beauty website. Marc Jacobs Beauty is a cruelty-free brand. Please note that while Marc Jacobs Beauty is cruelty free, the Marc Jacobs fragrance brand is not.

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