Friday, 25 June 2010

Review: Rimmel 123 Looks Mascara

As a Rimmel VIP, I was sent their latest mascara to review. I posted a brief review of my initial thoughts which you can click here to see. I like to take a decent amount of time before reviewing, which can seem frustrating for some people, but I like to know a product inside out and really give it a chance to work (or not work) before letting you know how I feel about it. For any of you who don't know about the 123 Looks mascara, it features a twisty tube, which can be set to level 1 (for 3x more volume), level 2 (for 5x) or level 3 for full impact (10x more volume). My first thought (well after thinking this 'level' nonsense was a load of bull) was "wouldn't everyone want it set permanently to level 3, because we all want bigger lashes?". Well, I've actually found myself most days using it on level 1, but I'll go on to explain each level in more detail.
I mentioned in my brief review about how different the brush looks on each level, so I've taken images of each to show that and I hope you can see the difference-although level 2 looks more sparse than level 1 here for some reason (click images for really large pics).
The brush in general is a fine size (I don't like my brushes too big or bushy), on level 1 there isn't as much mascara on it as the other levels, but still ample for application. If this is only 3 times more volume, it's fine by me. I really like this look, there's plenty of extra length, no clumping and it's black enough to make my lashes look more defined. Even with heavier eye makeup than shown here, it's still a great look mascara.
So on level 2, the brush has more mascara on it and you need less work to achieve the finish you want i.e. you don't feel the need to really work the mascara into your lashes with coat after coat. This level is probably the best if you don't have a long time to spend on your lashes, but still want some wow factor. I didn't think there was much difference in length compared to level 1, but my lashes were definitely thicker. I did need to brush through afterwards with a lash comb, whereas that wasn't required on level 1.
Now Level 3 is the big guns. The brush is saturated in mascara and that kinda scares me when there's more liquid than bristles. You really only need to carefully swipe lashes once with this, any more and it clumps lashes together. For me, this is too much, perhaps some people like this look, it certainly packs a punch, but it's too clumpy for my liking. I felt I had no control over the mascara and I also had to be careful not to get any around my eye (on the lids etc). I would much prefer building up using level 2, than one quick swipe of level 3-even if it takes longer. The mascara dries really quickly though, even on this level and it's generally what I'd consider to be quite a 'wet mascara', so that's good.
This mascara pretty much had me at "hello"! Although I felt over time my love for it lessened. Some days it proved to be a little unpredictable, not giving the great lashes it did the day before or clumping or generally playing up (hence the reason I like to use products for weeks before raving about them)-but then I'd use a different brand the next day and realise actually 123 Looks was pretty good. I love it's versatility, you really do get three different looks in one tube. It's certainly not a gimmick, it really does work-I just have to avoid level 3! Below are some freaky comparison images of me wearing level 2 on one eye and level 3 on the other. Rimmel 123 Looks is £7.99, currently on offer at Boots with £2 off!
*update* I found another couple of pictures of me wearing level 2 which I thought might be helpful. I had a few more images but had forgotten to label them, so can't be sure which level they were, so I've not included them.


  1. Good review girl! I think I might give it a try next time I need to buy a mascara.

    I like level 2 most I think...I don't like taking lots of time doing make-up so I don't like it when I need to put lots of layers on.
    I reeeeeally don't like level 3 though...way to clumpy for me and looks a bit "hi-I'm-15-and-haven't-used-mascara-often-but-I-think-this-spiderleg-look-is-pretty-cool"-ish hehe

    But mascara can be very personal, like if a friend has a new mascara and it looks totally fab on her, and then I try it and it's a lot less great. Guess I'll still have to see for myself ;) right now I'm still a big fan of Rimmels The Max flash...the bright pink bottle one...LOVE that one! :)

  2. Haha, I thought exactly the same thing...those litle girls with the white lips, too much bronzer and caked lashes!

    I do really like it, you should definitey give it a go. I've been using the waterproof max volume pink one, but didn't like it so well. I'll be reviewing it next week.

  3. I always wondered how these kind of mascaras work. Mascara is one of the only make-up items I use, so I like to get the best where possible. Thank you for such a detailed review :)


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