At last! A mascara that doesn't make me tear up and look like an orphaned panda. Awake Stardom Escalate Lash Mascara ($23) not only enhances my eyes, it is kind to them.

Noteworthy is the application technique that concentrates (due to the curve of the brush) on the base of the lashes rather than the tip; the result is far more natural than achieved with most mascaras.

There are several emollient and moisturizing ingredients, including copernica cerfiera. This is usually (as it is here) combined with beeswax to give high shine, but it is also usefully an ant-caker and hypoallergenic. Sweet almond oil adds moisture and proteins to strengthen the lashes. Ginkgo Biloba is one of those plants that has suffered from hyperbole. While it can't solve world hunger and is unlikey to improve memory and concentration, it may well be an effective antoxidant and have the ability to improve circulation. I also like the inclusion of watercress (nasturtium officinale), which is rich in sulforaphane. This boosts protective and
detoxifying reactions in skin cells.

I shall be keeping an eye out for more information on pentaerythrityl rosinate, an emollient that is an irritant at relatively high (more than 7%) concentrations and, according to one study, is carcinogenic (the cosmetics industry body says that the data is insufficient to warrant concern).

Although this is another one of my obscure Japanese finds, it can easily be bought at

Ingredients in Awake Stardom Escalate Lash Mascara

Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Polyvinyl Acetate, C13 16 Isoparaffin,
Beeswax, Copernicia Cerifera Wax (Carnauba), Pentaerythrityl Rosinate,
Silica, Styrene/PVP Copolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Stearic Acid,
Sucrose Polystearate, Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer,
Polysorbate 80, Triethanolamine, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Nasturtium
Officinale Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (sweet almond),
Tocopherol, Acrylates Copolymer, Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl
Stearate SE, Phytoesterl, Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Sorbitan
Sesquioleate, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid, May Contain (+/-): Iron
Oxides (Cl 77499), Mica