The Eye of the Beholder: Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara in 01 Black

Greetings from the lair of a beholder, fellow rogues!

Mascara is an odd topic for me. Generally speaking, I find that they all look about the same on my eyelashes (in terms of length/volume/separation), so my concerns tend to err on the side of lastability/clumpiness and whether or not they will stay where I put them through two hours of ballet (or an intense mindflayer battle, whichever comes first).

Recently, as part of a larger haul of wonderful free things (no, not a thief’s idea of ‘free’, actually free – stop looking at me like that) from a recent Clinique GWP deal, I came across Clinique’s High Impact Waterproof Mascara, in #01, Black. Always keen to see if there is a mascara out there that will truly wow me, I dug in as soon as I was about to set off on my next exciting raid.


Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara Review Swatch

This was me trying to choose a nice base. For some reason, the base merchant had included a mascara sample, and a nest of poisonous scarabs. I think he might have been trolling me…


It struck me as oddly appropriate that I was off to raid a beholder lair actually, since they have eleven eyes – must go through some serious mascara down there in the Underdark!

Anyway, this mascara is, I am pleased to report, totally and utterly normal. Now, don’t take this as too much of a slight, Clinique – my standards are still high on those criteria I mentioned earlier! This mascara is lightweight, increases the length of my lashes marginally, and is just as waterproof as they say. It lasts through a whole day/raid, including a couple of hours of ballet, with nary a flake or smear, and it removes cleanly with my favourite eye makeup remover (Lancome Bi-Facil when I can afford it, Neutrogena’s knock-off in leaner times). It holds a curl reasonably well, too.


Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara Review Swatch

Base shopping is very complicated, you know. I was actually tempted to go with the nest of scarabs, just to see if I could ride them everywhere like my own personal travelator… also pictured, the brush of Clinique’s High Impact Waterproof Mascara!


Packaging-wise, I can’t technically speak to the usual packaging, since this is a travel/sample size product. However, I suspect it is very much like mascara tubes everywhere. This particular packaging is totally functional, although the neck could take a little more off the tip of the brush when you pull it out. The brush itself is nice and fat and bristly, which helps with nice application in the centre of the lashes, but makes application to the inner and outer corner lashes quite tricky. Fortunately, unlike some waterproof mascaras, you have a couple of seconds to wipe away any blobs or smears you make, before it sets.

But I’m sure you want to see this stuff in action, to decide for yourself whether it is worthy of your inner beholder:


Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara Review Swatch

Syl’s Stages of Lash Preparation: curl, then mascara. As you can see, the difference (for me) between curled lashes and curled +mascara’d lashes is small, but the mascara has gone on very cleanly, and has done noticeable things to the length. Clicking on the picture might help to zoom a bit.


So! As you can see, this mascara is totally functional. I actually quite like waterproof mascaras, since they stay put the whole day without smudging. I remove even non-waterproof mascaras with proper eye-makeup remover, since I don’t really feel like anything else really gets the stuff off, so it’s not that much extra effort for me to use waterproof.

One note: as you may have noticed, the effect in the above picture is not very extreme. This could be at least partially due to the fact that I wear/apply my mascara like I do my foundation, that is, very ‘naturally’ (well, at least my idea of naturally). So in the interests of seeing what might happen for those who like a bit more mascara in their lives, I applied more coats, for what I call the ‘bard’s version:


Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara Review Swatch

The Rogue (i.e. my) way of doing mascara, vs the ‘Bard’ way (i.e. three more coats, give or take)


Please allow a little leeway for my not being used to applying this much mascara! As you can see, there are a few specks here and there that I didn’t manage to wipe off my lids, but the mascara itself hasn’t clumped my lashes together too much – the only thing that’s really annoying me is the little microscopic clumps at the tips of some of the lashes. Otherwise, it’s done a decent job of adding volume to the base of the lashes – and I could probably pinch the little clumps off if I wanted.

The Verdict: A jolly good, general purpose mascara. It lengthens a bit, and you can build it up without getting *too* spidery. It holds true to its waterproof claim, and is no trouble to remove (more than any waterproof mascara). It has no particularly strong scent, and the brush is good for most of the job. If you already have a favourite mascara, I’m not sure if this will dethrone it for you, but it has gone into my pile of ‘mascaras to use on a daily basis’, and I can’t say fairer than that.

The Practicalities: I got a sample, but the full-size Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara costs NZD ~30.00 / USD 16.00 for 8 g/ 0.28 oz, is permanent, and may be acquired, along with the rest of the Clinique line, from Clinique counters in department stores the world over, and


Until next time, fellow adventurers, don’t forget to check for traps!


I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com., or use the contact form provided! All images on this blog, are the property of the author of this blog (unless otherwise stated) and may not be reproduced without permission. If you do, I’ll send minotaurs after you. Crazed ones.


18 thoughts on “The Eye of the Beholder: Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara in 01 Black

  1. Clinique HI was always one of those mascaras that I feel like I should love (I dunno why) but it’s always just average for me. I see what you mean when you say it’s functional.

    It feels like it should do more for my lashes when I use it. Maybe it’s the brush?


    • Possibly. It might just not be doing exactly what you or I need to go ‘wow!’. To be honest, I’m not even sure what that is for me. Still, I’ll take functional mascara samples any day! 😀


  2. Oh god, this is unfair! Your lashes look so good on their own after the curler anyways! I have recently laid my hands on the Clinique bottom lash mascara, and I really like it! I hate to use most regular mascaras on my bottom lashes, since I inevitably make a mess. This one actually gets to my lashes with its extra tiny wand! Doesn’t melt or smudge or anything, either! Must write about it soon 🙂


    • Ooh, I’d love to hear what you think! I’ve been eyeballing that for a while, actually.

      I wish I’d grasped the concept of eyelash curling earlier! It makes such a difference!


    • I really wish mascaras wowed me – I do! I just…they only ever really seem to be either ‘nicely normal’ or ‘horrible clumpy awfulness’. I gues it’s not really one of life’s great problems, but still 😉


  3. You have beautiful eyelashes. I have strawberry-blonde hair and, as a result, my eyelashes are clear. Awesome.
    That said this does look like a decent, non-clumpy mascara. I am also a fan of a more natural mascara due to the aforementioned clearness. Anything with drama looks ridiculous on me.


    • Why thank you! 🙂 Have you thought about getting your lashes tinted or something? I’ve never explored the possibility myself, but just having them darker might make life easier for you? This is indeed a nice mascara – and waterproof formulae are so helpful so that nothing travels and makes it obvious that you had mascara on…


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