Beauty review: Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extension Mascara

Unlike many other times of great stress for the world’s population, the current pandemic hasn’t seen us buying more lipstick – my own favourite beauty product has been rendered pretty much redundant thanks to the advent of masks as a non-negotiable. More and more of us are now all about the eyes - the only facial feature others can see, thanks to our newfound friend.
Which brings me to my favourite mascara discovery of late – Hourglass’s instantly-iconic, all new Unlocked Instant Extension Mascara. If you’ve been hiding under a rock, Hourglass – available in New Zealand at Mecca stores and online at - was established in 2004 when founder and CEO, Carisa Janes, set about developing a luxury cosmetics brand that had a true focus on active ingredients, modern design and exceptional functionality. Debuting first at Barneys New York, the brand has since expanded into Bergdorf Goodman, Sephora, Nordstrom, and Space NK in the US and more than 500 stores worldwide including its flagship in Venice, California. Hourglass products are also 100 per cent vegan, free from parabens and sulfates and never tested on animals, all of which gets a big tick from me.

But back to the new mascara, which promises the “look of lash extensions in an instant”. Designed as the ultimate formula of choice for when more is more - more definition, more lift and more length – it’s a cruelty-free wonder in a tube and I was obsessed from the first time I slicked it on. And it seems I’m not alone, with Unlocked soon becoming the brand’s bestselling mascara EVER. The equivalent of 1.6 tubes per minute are being snapped up by customers, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (who is an ambassador for the brand) has also name checked it as her favourite product in the line.
Having received a sample a few weeks before lockdown 2.0, I’ve had a decent amount of time to play with it and definitely love its versatility. Unlocked is easily buildable, and all you have to do is layer up for extra definition, volume and drama that really does give that lash extension effect. For an even more dramatic and lengthened look, use your favourite lash curler before applying the mascara and watch those lashes go through the roof.
So how does it work? By using film-forming technology, it coats each lash in lightweight fibres that lock in place for a high-impact, fanned-out finish and totally smudge-proof wear. However, note that since it's a fibre or “tubing” formula, it's smudge-proof but not waterproof, which is why it just takes a little warm water for the mascara to slide right off,. For this very reason I wouldn’t be wearing it poolside or at the beach, but there are plenty of formulas for that, even if they don’t deliver on the drama like this one does.
Hourglass Unlocked Mascara is available now in New Zealand with an RRP of $51, and exclusively at MECCA. It comes highly recommended for those that love a little drama on the lash, but can definitely live without any more of it in real life ATM!


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