Humidity and I go together like chalk and cheese.
It sends my hair into a Monica-in-Barbados-worthy frizz ball and leaves me with smeared mascara the minute I step out of the door. Or at least it did – until I found the heat, sweat, humidity and tear-proof mascara that changed my life. (No, seriously.)
A warm round of applause for Kevyn Aucoin Volume Mascara, please.
Our paths crossed a day before I headed off to the Northern Territory. Forget crocodiles or sunburn, it was the looming threat of constant panda eyes that weighed on my mind, so I decided on a last-minute trip to Mecca Maxima to see if I could find a solution.
Watch: Our top three frizz-fighting hacks. Post continues after video.
Keen on an in-and-out-in-two-minutes job, I grabbed the first tube of mascara marked “waterproof” and was about to head to the checkout when a friendly sales assistant asked me if I needed any help.
About to shrug her off, I mentioned my task and asked if she had any recommendations. Within seconds she was pressing a tube of the Kevyn Aucoin Volume Mascara in my hand, singing its praises. With a price tag of $41, my drugstore-mascara-loving heart did skip a beat, but convinced by her advice (and her own enviable lashes) I handed over my card.
It may be the greatest decision I’ve made all year.
Through 35 degree heat, intense humidity, swimming pools, rockpools, waterfalls and a whole lot of body sweat, it did. Not. Budge. Not an inch, not even a millimetre. It's now the MVP of my makeup bag, both daily and travel.
The actual wand is thin and long, rather than wide and chunky, which allows you to catch and coat every single lash from root to tip. It gives great length, a little curl and a subtle boost of volume as well as actually lasting all day which makes it the perfect everyday mascara for me.
Lifted but not over the top - and totally water, sweat and tear proof.
It's not quite as va-va-voom, in your face as I'd want for going out, but it lifts lashes and opens up the eyes enough to make you notice. Think the kind of perfect "fake-natural" lashes only few are actually naturally blessed with.
The magic is largely thanks to its tubing formula, which uses a special polymer which when dried essentially shrink-wraps around the entire eyelash. The more you apply, the longer and more volume you add to the lash once it has dried - and it looks seriously smooth and shiny too.
Removing it is also simple - just add a splash of warm water and the tubes will swell and loosen, easily sliding off your lashes.
It's great for those with oily eyelids or people (ahem, me) who regularly forget they're wearing mascara and rub their eyes, smearing it everywhere. With this one (and other tubing formulas) it doesn't budge until you actually want to take it off. Those who wear contacts have also said it doesn't irritate their eyes the way others do.
It can also withstand an epic ugly cry as I discovered the other week. My eyes were red, my face blotchy but my mascara? Picture perfect. (Post continues after gallery.)
One warning though - I did have one instance where the tubing proved my undoing. There was one day where the ocean was very, very warm - we're talking bath temperature - and I did experience black bits of gunk in and around my eyes, which to be fair I didn't even notice until a male friend (who was thoroughly confused) brought it to my attention.
I'm putting this down to the unusually warm temperature of the water which was probably too similar to the water you'd use to remove it. Considering everything else it lasted through (particularly the tears and waterfalls) and the rarity of the situation, I'm not holding it against it and am still amazingly impressed.
Did I mention it withstood a Kim-Kardashian-worthy ugly
Once you go tubing, you can never go back. This is definitely the one mascara you need this summer - and beyond.