Is Fenty Beauty's New Mascara Worth Trying? Here's Who It's Best For

Kirbie Johnson/Fenty Beauty

In case you missed the major lash news, Fenty Beauty just launched its Full Frontal Volume Lift & Curl Mascara on Jan. 16, promising "all-out volume, eye-opening lift and curl" and "ultimate longwear." Frankly, this isn't that different from most volumizing mascaras out there, but what makes this particular launch interesting for a mascara connoisseur, like myself, is the wand.

If you've worn mascara, you know the plight of finding the perfect product. It's like a modern-day version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears (minus having to break into a bear's home and steal its food, which, yikes). You have to test a gaggle of different products in order to find the one that's "just right," and for me, "just right" means a mascara that can separate my lashes, has a formula that isn't too wet, can volumize my lashes without weighing them down, and features a bristle wand.

Just like you can look at the consistency of ranch dressing and know if it's decent or not, you can typically look at a wand and know if it's a good match. The shape, how much product it holds, and what it's made of are of the utmost importance. I know that bristle wands work better for separating my lashes and nylon wands can be great for adding several coats. (Ultimately, I prefer bristles.) If a wand is too fat, I'll struggle applying it to my lash line and it will probably end up coating my eyelid as well. If the formula looks too wet or goopy, my lashes will clump together instead of my desired fanned-out look, so I prefer my mascara to have more of a dry versus wet consistency. However, I don't want it to be too dry and thus cause flaking. (Getting things "just right" can be a real struggle.)

Here's What Makes Fenty Beauty's Full Frontal Mascara So Different

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(Left: the wide side of the wand; Right: the flat side of the wand)

Full Frontal's wand hits different. At first glance, it looks like it could be like any traditional wand, with tapered bristles at the ends (to get the inner corners of your lashes) and a fatter midsection. But twist the wand and it goes from fat-to-flat. I haven't personally used a wand like this before — one that changes shape with the flick of the wrist — so I was initially intrigued to see how well it would work to fatten up my lashes and if the application process would be a breeze or not.

I have naturally long lashes and I also have a lash lift, so I can't speak to how well this product curled my lashes, unfortunately. But I will tell how the product fanned out my lashes, its clumping ability, and how much volume it provided.

Here's How It Works

To start, I used the flat side of the brush to dig into the base of my lashes, and to my delight, it worked better than even the skinniest of wands. Because it's flat, you're able to really wiggle and thicken up the base of your lashes, which helps with the illusion of them being longer looking. It did take me a few applications to learn how it felt to use the flat side vs. the fat side.

Then I coated the rest of my lashes with the fat side, from root to tip. It acts almost like a paddle, helping to guide your lashes, so I can see how it would help lift. The formula is not too wet and not too dry — as Goldilocks would say, it was "just right." It also has a nice grip to it, and because it's water-resistant, chances are it will hold a curl nicely.

(Left eye coated with Full Frontal, right eye bare)

The flat side is great for the inner and outers lashes — the tip gets in there without the worry of accidentally touching your skin. Unlike tree-shaped or even traditional brushes, you can maneuver the wand however you need without the fear of transferring product to your freshly made-up face. (I also held the wand vertically to help separate my lower lashes.)

(Both eyes coated, top and bottom)

The Verdict

In my humble opinion, this mascara delivers on volume, but what I appreciate the most is that it makes my lashes look feathery and natural. The way volumizing mascaras typically work is that they dry quickly so you can keep adding coats, which build up the lash and make it appear thicker. But most of the time, this gives me a clumped, spider-like effect, which isn't my cup of tea. With Full Frontal, I get a nice spread of lashes that look full and soft. And if I need to, I can load up on extra coats for a more dramatic look (but let's be honest — these lashes are pretty dramatic with just one).

(Left: before Full Frontal; Right: after Full Frontal)

Because the product is water-resistant, it does require some TLC to wash off, but it's nothing a little oil-based eye makeup remover can't handle. I noticed my lashes were perfectly in tact while washing off the rest of my makeup, and once I applied remover, the product almost slid off, similar to tubing mascaras.

Overall, I am a fan of this product. This mascara is best for someone who needs volume (not length), doesn't want to worry about flaking or transfer, and is looking for a formula that can hold a curl. The tube helps deposit the best amount of mascara to the wand, the wand shape is unique, and the formula delivers on full, volumized, fanned-out lashes without leaning too much into Tammy Faye Bakker territory (unless that's your intention, in which case, go on and add a few more coats!). So if you're looking for a mascara that can make you look glam, but not too overdone for running errands in your athleisure, consider picking up Rihanna's latest beauty creation.