When I think back to the first time I started consuming beauty youtube it was very early – around about 2008-2009, I remember sitting down looking for an easy hair-up design I could do on myself before heading down to go to a ball at my husband’s university (boyfriend at the time). I stumbled into then finding reviews and people talking about makeup and I began following people – Fleur De Force and Miss Budget Beauty are two who have stuck around in my subscriptions ever since – there’s a handful of products I remember being talked about early on and one of which was the Dolly Wink Volume Mascara, which I remember Fleur raving about, and it’s never been something I’ve forgotten.
Dolly Wink is an Japanese brand and whilst we could get it here at the time, my student budget never stretched to it/I was a lazy student and couldn’t be bothered to go out of my way for it, but it was never a product that was gotten. Now if we rewind a little back to June 2017, I travelled to Asia for the first time on my honeymoon, and I managed to pick up one of these mascaras that I had never forgotten about. I’m not sure how it’s managed to sit in my drawer unopened for the past 3 years, but I only cracked it open in late July 2020 (and it’s a good job too – as the expiry was listed as October 2020 on the back of the packaging which I didn’t realise!).
The mascara featured in my “Recent Favourites” in early August – but having been freshly opened it was too early doors to leave a full review of this mascara. I mention this in almost every mascara review, but a mascara can change it’s performance a lot in a matter of weeks once it’s had air flowing through the tube. As I’ve not been wearing mascara on the daily, I’ve given this a good road test since late July and feel ready to talk about my thoughts with you now. It always makes me a little nervous when a mascara is good from the first open as it seems to mean that they will dry out very quickly, but this seems to have been at a peak from day one until now.
Dolly Wink is a brand created by Japanese Model, Tsubasa Masuwaka. I know little about J/K culture, so I’m not going to pretend to know all the ins-and-outs of her, but from what I gather she was pretty popular in the early 2010’s era. There are a few different products within the line and they are mostly eye focused, I’ve heard good things about her liquid liners too, but I only picked up one mascara in my preferred type of formula : volume.
The packaging of this feels a little over the top for me, we don’t tend to get mascaras packaged within plastic or cardboard within the UK, but it feels quite akin to how I remember drugstores in the US. The paper insert features an elaborate and almost regal looking golden frame, whilst the mascara tube itself doesn’t seen to quite match up with an almost cutesy looking tube. I do enjoy the detailing of the tube which has a raised pattern design across the pastel blue hue. in an unusual shape that’s different to the norm.
The brush on the Dolly Wink Volume Mascara in pictures doesn’t really show how unusual it is, it looks pretty rounded but infact it’s more like opposite sides match, with two sides being more rounded and the other two being quite short and stumpy. The brush has quite a pointed tip, and is made of a hair bristle. I really love the wand shape and I think it does a lot to help; get into the corners with that pointy end, the rounded edges help push up the lash and create a curl, whilst the flat edges are great for getting product on and building up the volume.
The colour is super black and the formula feels kind of whipped yet wet – product picks up easily onto the brush and I find myself having to sometimes wipe product off, particularly on the tip edge otherwise it will overload the tiny lashes on my inner corners where that shape is most handy. One coat creates a good boost of length with some additional volume and a second coat I’ve found to be a little heavy, creating that kind of pretty-clumpy lash, a look I loved about 4/5 years ago, but I’m more inclined to stick with the one coat now-a-days.
I’m wearing full faces of makeup so infrequently at the moment but put on mascara probably 3-4 days a week. When I have a full face of makeup on I often forget I have it on as it’s happening so infrequently and have gone to bed on more than one occasion with makeup still on. This holds up all the way through and has been on my lashes for a full 24 hours and STILL – LOOKED – GOOD. Incredible.
As mentioned the shape of the brush helps push up the lash and create a really pretty curled effect which holds in place all day. I’ve mentioned in passing a few times that I’ve been going through some high-stress personally recently and this mascara has been very well tear-tested and I can confirm that it’s waterproof claims are true. If it starts to budge it’s more because it’s almost crumbling, but I find that’s only prone to happen if you go in with a second coat and it tends to be where there’s a little clump of product. One coat holds in place perfectly until I’m ready to hit it with a cleanser.
It’s a little stubborn to remove and using something that’s a balm or oily does work best. I’ve tried a few “standard” gel formulas in the past few weeks with it and it’s been quite a scrub to get it off the eyes, but as soon as you use something that makes light work of breaking down makeup it comes off with almost one swipe. I’ve been in the shower and realised oh, I’m out of cleanser and other than some slight panda right under the lower lash line it pretty much could fool me as a waterproof mascara.
Now Dolly Wink isn’t the easiest to get hold of in the UK (or probably where ever you are), so the question is is this worth it? The answer, quite possibly yes. Now I’ll preface this by saying I love reviewing mascaras and rarely revisit the same ones as I want to try something new for the blog all the time, but when I think back to favourites pre-blogging that I repurchased over and over, this would be a contender for knocking off the likes of Hypnose Drama from Lancome which til this day is still the best mascara I’ve ever used. Now when I picked this up in Kuala Lumpur it converted to being around £12.80 – I’m prone to buying mascaras in the £20 price bracket, and to buy this via Amazon in the UK it’s coming in at around £18 / £15 from Yes Style.
Dolly Wink Volume Mascara Applied
(Eyeshadow is the Natasha Denona Love Palette for anyone wondering!)
Am I going to buy it again? No probably not but only because the mascara-reviewer in me has a drawer full of other mascaras (one of which was also purchased on the same trip!) to try and I’ll always be looking for content with something new for the next blog post. But if you love a volumising mascara and you’ve been wanting to try some J-Beauty, or Asian beauty in general then this is a fabulous mascara to start with. I am however going to covet this until it’s very last drop.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried this brand before, I’m intrigued if so. And what your current favourite mascara is and whether I need to give it a whirl!