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Can a mascara dye your eyelashes?

Posted on 6 min read

Rimmel Lonodn Volume Colourist Mascara with Lash Tint Complex: review
Can a mascara change your life?

That’s the question we’re here to ponder today, folks: although by “change your life”, I mean, “dye your eyelashes”. And by “we”, I mean “me” – because you’re probably way too smart to see a TV advert for a mascara, and have it ordered by the end of the ad break, because the ad said it would dye your eyelashes (and strongly implied that you’d look like Georgia May Jagger after using it, into the bargain), and if we can’t trust the advertising industry, we might as well just give up on life altogether, right?

No, you definitely wouldn’t do that. That’s why you have me, though, and luckily for you, I WOULD do that. And I DID do it. And when I say I was hoping it would change my life, I’m only exaggerating a little bit, because my pale eyelashes are the bane of my life, seriously. Or, at least they were, until I tried to take some ‘before’ photos for this post, and now my weirdly wrinkled eyelids are the bane of my life. But that’s a problem for another miracle product to fix: for now, here’s the mascara in question:

Rimmel London Volume Colourist Mascara with Lash Tint Complex: review
It’s Rimmel London’s Volume Colourist Mascara With Lash Tint Complex, and yet again I find myself impressed and amazed by how concise and to-the-point cosmetic companies are with their product names. Not that I’m in a position to judge ANYONE for being a bit long-winded, mind you…

Anyway, as I said, I saw an advert for this on TV one night, and I ordered it right away, because this is no ordinary mascara, people: this is a mascara THAT ALSO DYES YOUR EYELASHES. Picture me dancing around screaming like a One Direction fan right now: THAT’S how excited I was by this. I, you see, have been dyeing my own eyelashes for years now: I even wrote a tutorial on it and everything – and I hardly ever write tutorials (mostly because, much like Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, I know nothing. About anything.) so that shows you just how comfortable I was with the ol’ eyelash dye. Seriously, though: it was SO EASY – and so, so necessary, because, like most other redheads, I have lashes so pale they’re almost translucent. Mascara helps, obviously, but eyelash dye helps even more, because it doesn’t wash off (obviously), so you get to experience what it’s like to be a normal person, with lashes that aren’t invisible to the naked eye, and, as it turns out, I quite like that.

So, I’ve been dyeing my eyelashes on the regular for many long years now, and I’ve been using either this or this to do it. Then last year? Last year they changed their formula: yes, BOTH of them. Suddenly, the simple process I’d used for years, without any issues at all, became a long, tortuous procedure which invariably left me with tears streaming down my face (both from the dye and from sheer frustration), and eyelashes which were almost totally unchanged. I was gutted – and I wasn’t the only one, because a bit of Googling revealed a LOT of bad reviews from people who’d also used this product for years, and who were now really disappointed by the change. I gave it a few goes, and I tried both brands, but for some reason they’d both changed to the same, complicated, craptastic new formula, and it just didn’t work AT ALL. Bizarrely, I wasn’t able to find another product to replace it, either, so now I was left with two choices: either allow my lashes to revert to their natural, colourless state, or spend time and money driving to a salon to have a treatment I knew I could easily do at home, for a fraction of the price.

I went with option A: because I’m both cheap AND lazy, and if that’s not a winning combination, well, I don’t know what is.

Enter Rimmel Volume Colourist Mascara.

This product makes the extraordinary claim that, in addition to curling, volumising and lengthening your lashes while you’re wearing it, it will also gradually deposit small amounts of dye on them, so after a couple of week’s use, your lashes will look dark and, well, visible, even when you take your mascara off. I didn’t believe this claim for a second, but I WANTED to believe it, and that’s half all the battle for me, so I ordered it immediately, and started to fantasize about the glossy black lashes that would soon be mine.

I’ll be completely honest: I really didn’t care what the mascara looked like on. All I cared about was that it was going to dye my lashes and make me look like Georgia May Jagger, and I figured that if it did that, then even if it turned out to be a really crappy mascara in every other respect, it would still be worth buying, because I could just wear it at home, or layer some other mascara over the top of it or something. (And also because now I’d look like a supermodel, obvs.)  I had low expectations, basically, but low expectations aren’t always a bad thing, and in this case they turned out to be a good thing, because I was very pleasantly surprised by the mascara:

Maybelline mascara review
Review of Rimmel Volume Colourist Mascara with lash tint complex
I mean, it doesn’t give me lashes like a Disney Princess, and that’s a shame, because looking like a Disney Princess is all I’ve ever wanted from life. Well, that and a Smeg fridge. But it’s actually a really great mascara: it’s easy to apply (The brush is exactly the shape I like – not so fat that it’s impossible to use without getting product all over my face, not so thin that you feel like you have to apply half the tube just to get decent coverage), doesn’t clump, doesn’t smudge… For eveningwear, I’d want something with a bit more drama, obviously, but as an everyday mascara, I like it. A lot, actually.

But does it dye your eyelashes – that’s what you want to know, isn’t it?

LOL! Of course it doesn’t dye your eyelashes! Or it didn’t dye mine, rather – I guess it could dye yours, in which case, lucky you – you’ve got a decent mascara AND an eyelash dye in one! As for me, though, I’ve used it every day for the past few weeks (Yes, every single day: I don’t really do the “natural” look…) and there’s been absolutely no change to the colour of my eyelashes at all. None. Nada. Now, bear in mind that my lashes are super-pale, so even the slightest change would be noticeable, and I’m guessing that either I got a dud tube of mascara, or that it really doesn’t make a difference. I’m bitterly disappointed about this, obviously, but also kind of relived, because at least this means I don’t have to publish those weird ‘before’ shots of my creepy eyelids – every cloud, right?

In conclusion?

If you’re looking for a nice, non-clumpy mascara at an affordable price, this is your guy. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to dye your eyelashes without, you know, actually dyeing your eyelashes, this is not the droid you’re looking for. On the plus side though, now that someone has come up with this idea and attempted to put it on the market, it’s surely only a matter of time before everyone else tries to copy it, and someone does it better? We can but hope…

Related: I tried magnetic eyelashes – here’s what happened


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  • This made me laugh before 10am which is quite some feat. I’m with you in the redhead with transparent lashes gang and can rec the Julienne kit from Amazon. I discovered this via Sali Hughes & find it as good as a pro tint.

    • Amber
      June 1, 2016

      Ahhh, THANK YOU! I’ve been trying to find a replacement for literally months now, but everything I found seemed to have the same complicated application technique as the new Colourspot, and I got to the point where I didn’t want to spend any more money on something that probably wouldn’t work! Will definitely try this out – I’m sick of the lashless look!

  • Cali Clarke
    June 1, 2016

    As a fair lashed blonde I too was intrigued by this so thanks for testing it out and curses that it didn’t blinking work! Like Nic I’m also using a product from Amazon – Refectocil, after having to give up on on the reformulated crapness of Colorsport. It works the same, if not better, than the old 30-day stuff – I’ve kept the old kit for mixing on but now apply with a disposable spoolie (again amazon) which I find easier.

    • Amber
      June 1, 2016

      Oh, awesome, thanks for the recommendation! I was so disappointed when they changed the Colourspot formula – I even bought a second box of it just in case I’d got a dud the first time, but nope – still terrible! Will add this one to my list, too!

  • The Other Emma
    June 1, 2016

    I had high hopes for this at the start of your post because I too have a winning combination of disappearing lashes and being unwilling to spend money & time going to a salon to them tinted.

    I’m now off to explore Amazon tinting kits 🙂

  • Jo
    June 1, 2016

    I got all excited then… but now I feel deflated again! Hopefully other companies will work on this idea and redheads around the world can celebrate. In the meantime, I’ll continue to use eyebrow dye on my lashes! (It works JUST like the old Eyelash and Brow dye used to before they changed it). Here’s a link https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004TRKZ5A/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  • Veronica
    June 1, 2016

    I wish that the mascara would have worked out for you. It seems like such a good idea! I’m way too scared to use an eyelash tint kit on myself.

  • Carys
    June 1, 2016

    Someone really needs to develop a and lash tint that brushes on like mascara and, when washed off, leaves gloriously dark, glossy lashes. I’ve used Eyelure and Coloursport dye for years, but I do find it nigh on impossible to get the stuff to stay on my lashes to dye them! Have been caving and getting them done in a local salon, but that ain’t cheap. Such a shame the Rimmel mascara was a bust, the idea is such a good one.

  • Amanda
    June 1, 2016

    Noooooooooo. I SO wanted that mascara-dye to work. Next you’ll tell me that unicorns don’t exist (tra la la la, can’t hear you).

    Now, what about eyebrow dye? Mine are almost transparent, alas….

  • Wild Tea Party
    June 2, 2016

    Well I do feel like a silly chook, I just bought this after a little squeal in Priceline as I needed a new mascara and I’m sick of paying people to tint mine. If anything j was more concerned it would be too active and give me hideously irritated eyes. Then I opened my phone on the train and saw this. Oh well, I have a new mascara, I can’t really complain.

  • Jess
    June 7, 2016

    Are your eyebrows naturally dark/auburn? I haven’t given much thought about tinting my lashes – but I’m on the hunt for a great brow dye kit. I’m also a redhead but my brows are so fair that they’re practically invisible without some kind of powder or pencil!

    • Amber
      June 7, 2016

      They’re darker than my lashes, but I use a pencil to fill them in!

Good news! We took Max to hospital this morning, and saw two different surgeons, who agreed there was no need to go ahead with the surgery as his lip is healing really well on its own 😅  He’ll definitely have a scar, unfortunately, but that would’ve been the case whether he’d had the surgery or not, and if it turns out to be worse than anticipated, we’ll have the option to have it corrected under local anaesthetic when he’s older. 
I’m still really upset that this happened in the first place, obviously, but so relieved that we don’t have to put him through a general anaesthetic, and just incredibly grateful that it wasn’t anything worse. I know some parents have to deal with much more serious stuff than this, and my heart goes out to you all: it’s been a rough couple of days, and I’m really grateful to everyone who took the time to comment on yesterday’s post - your stories were so comforting when I was panicking yesterday ❤️ (Old photo, obviously: every time Max sees the selfie camera, he thinks it’s going to be one of those filters where you open your mouth and something happens 😂) #pbloggers #mummybloggers #mummybloggersuk #ukmumblog #mumblogsuk #mumblogs #mamablog #ukparentbloggers #parentbloggersuk #ukparentingblog #parentingbloggers #motherhoodblogger #motherhoodblog #ukblogger #ukofficialblogger #happyblogger #mummyblog #bloggerclubuk #instamum

Good news! We took Max...

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve just spent the morning in Accident & Emergency with Max, who fell on the path outside the house and split his lip open 😥 They tried to stitch it up at A&E, but it was totally impossible with him awake, so they’ve booked him in to have it done under general anaesthetic tomorrow ... Max is absolutely fine: the bleeding stopped quickly, he doesn’t seem to be in pain, and is just his normal, happy little self. I, on the other hand, am a complete wreck: the plastic surgeon he saw today reckons if we don’t have it fixed, his lip will be crooked when it heals, but I’m absolutely *terrified* of the thought of my baby having to have a GA. If you’re a long-time follower, you might know that I have a full-blown phobia of general anaesthetic (I literally had an elective c-section in order to eliminate the possibility of an emergency one, which might have had to be done under GA), so I just can’t get my head to accept that it’s safe and he’ll be fine 😥 Positive stories and advice very welcome: I’m just so terrified, I can’t even imagine how to get through the next 24 hours 😥😥😥

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve...

#throwbackthursday to last week, when I needed a sunhat and SPF 50 to leave the house, rather than the current raincoat and wellies situation. Can you tell the post-holiday blues are still in full swing over here? 🌧 .
#whatiwear #30plusblogs #everydaystyle #realoutfitgram  #scottishbloggers #fashionblogger  #fashionblog #fashionstyle #whatimwearing #stylegram  #outfitoftheday #personalstyle #todayiamwearing #styleinspiration 
#stylediaries #styleblogger #over30style

#throwbackthursday to last week, when...

I posted this on Stories over the weekend, but he looked so cute in it I figured it deserved a spot on the grid, too! This is Max all ready for his friend Eleah’s 1st birthday party on Saturday: despite the jetlag and his continuing obsession with doors of all kinds (He had an entire soft play at his disposal, but he mostly just wanted to open and close the gate into it...) he had an absolute ball, and spent the whole drive home shouting, “HAPPY! HAPPY!” Thanks to @thestirlingstyle for a great party 🥳 🎈 🎉 . (Oh, and that’s his hairbrush in his hand - boy likes to look his best 😉)
#littlepiecesofchildhood #cameramama #chikdhoodeveryday #childofig #celebrate_childhood #babieswithstyle #ootdkids #fashionbaby #trendykids

I posted this on Stories...

We’re back home in not-so-sunny Scotland, but my feed is still stuck in Florida... New post is up on the blog (direct link in Stories..), talking about how we’ve been dealing with toddler jetlag, and why I always hate coming home after a trip...
#myunicornlife #lifecolorfully #liveauthentic  #ABMlifeissweet #ABMhappylife #ABMlifeiscolorful #howyouglow #makeyousmilestyle #thegoodlist #thecolorwallproject #colorsplash #colorworld #colorsplurge #lovecolors #jj_colorlove #gf_colour #huntgramcolor #jj_colorful #tv_colors #pocketcolors #sunnypicchallenge #colorhunters #colorgram #colorfulllife #colorinspiration #brightcolors #colormyworld #colorinspiration #womeninframe #ihavethisthingforwalls

We’re back home in not-so-sunny...

James Bond as a toddler... .
#babyboy #toddler #toddlerfashion #toddlerlife #toddlers #toddlerstyle #toddlersofinstagram #toddlerphotography #17monthsold #babieswithstyle #ootdkids #fashionbaby #trendykids

James Bond as a toddler......

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Can a mascara dye your eyelashes?