Nars Audacious Mascara

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I only became particularly conscious of my mascara usage during my senior year of high school. I finally made the plunge to contacts (a big step given my affinity for my glasses), and dealing with my face without large frames obscuring roughly half of it became an additional morning hassle. Really, it's amazing how much of your face you can miss when you wear glasses. For one, I couldn't see my face in the mirror without them. (I'd press my body across the counter in my bathroom for a better look at my pores, but even then, the angle was artificially too close for any real perspective.) But for two, talk about a security blanket. Without the glasses, there was nothing to distract from my tired eyes and what I perceived to be the early formation of intractable eye bags. Honestly, it still surprises me that early-bird AP classes and the college application process haven't been outlawed by the FDA yet.

Anyway, I started wearing mascara (brown, so it was only sort of noticeable) to make my eyes look less like holes in my face and more like things you'd actually want to see out of. (Side note: It was during one of those early morning classes, locked somewhere deep in the basement of my high school, that I learned the power of highlighter. One girl, who'd never been without makeup, did her face right in front of me, and I watched her transform from a tired compatriot to something more beautiful and adult than I am now with a minimal amount of Benefit High Beam.) These days, however, it's hit or miss for me with mascara. Sometimes, I swipe a little on to be ambitious; other days, I tell myself I'm going for a strong cheekbone. Wouldn't lashes look like too much with that?

Then Nars sent over their new Audacious Mascara, building upon what is already a rather prolific line of Audacious Lipsticks. This, my friends, is a game changer. It's what you wear when you want people to compliment your lashes (those who don't want that need not apply). The brush is rubberized, but it gives you that fluffiness I've heretofore only expected from bristle wands. Because it's rubber, with criss-crossing bits that hit every lash, you get the high-tech length and definition without it being too harsh. What's left is fluttery, doe-eyed perfection. Suitable at all times.

—Emily Ferber

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Look a little more alive with La Mer's Illuminating Eye Gel.