Sunday, 30 September 2012

Mascara Review: Fasio Ultra Curl Lock Volume BK001

In short: the neater and more intense but just as hard to remove version of Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus.

Yeah, those kooky Japanese companies and their polysyllabic mascara names, eh? After trying dozens over the years my eyes automatically skate over them looking for my personal mascara keywords -- and were recently arrested by this offering from Kosé drugstore offshoot Fasio: Ultra Curl Lock Volume.

My lashes: very straight and quite long; each individual lash is fine but there are quite a lot of them
Mascara requirements, in order of importance:

  2. Volume
  3. No flaking into my easily irritated contacts-wearing eyes
  4. Black (no wishy washy grey or potential pink-eye brown tones)

The combination of 1. and 2. seems to be the sticking point -- I've lost count of the number of mascaras which either volumise but weigh down my lashes OR hold a curl all day but make my lashes look spindly and spidery and generally spoiled.

Since the reformulation/suckification of my old favourite Majolica Majorca Lash Enamel Glamour, the best compromise formulas I've found are:

  • Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus -- not enough volume, too many fibres, requires a separate remover.
  • Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Waterproof -- formula is a bit too wet and can clump upon layering, so takes longer to apply and often requires some cleanup with a lashcomb. If I rub my watering eyes a lot throughout the day I can end up with a little bit of darkness at the outer edge of my lower lashline.

Fasio Ultra Curl Lock Volume Mascara is a compromise within a compromise, offering more volume and 'oomph' than Majolica Majorca while giving more definition than Lancôme, as well as being more tenacious and quicker to apply -- after the usual teething period, harhar, of learning to work with a new applicator. TIP: with comb mascaras, it's best not to wriggle the wand and just brush through from lash root to tip working from the outside of the eye inwards. A mascara guard / curved bit of cardboard held against the lid can prevent smudges.

The sleek gunmetal tube clicks shut and is effectively airtight, ensuring that the formula stayed consistent over two months of daily use.

Wand comparisons
Fasio and Lancôme applicators are larger and have gentler curves than Majo Majo; they are also longer from tip to handle.
Fasio and Majo Majo are plastic combs, while Lancôme is a bristle brush.

Wands close up
The Lancôme brush comes out of the tube coated with the most product; Fasio and Majo Majo are about equal, but the product is more evenly distributed along the Fasio wand.
The teeth of of Fasio's combs are much more finely spaced than Majo Majo's; it is easier to achieve separation and definition of each lash with Fasio. Sometimes Majo Majo can clump lashes together into two's or three's after a second coat.
Majo Majo's formula has fibres; the other two do not.

Lashes curled with Chanel lash curler
One coat of Fasio Ultra Curl Lock Volume Mascara BK001 (top lashes only) 
And that's how my lashes look until I take it off -- my testing has only gone up to 24 hours as I am no longer a wild young thing, just a highly disorganised-with-deadlines youngish thing but I don't doubt it would last for days if necessary....
I would prefer more volume but this is really pretty good for an Asian mascara -- and a step up from Majolica Majorca, which I'd been happily using for years. This Fasio formula is a little wetter and lacks fibres, which makes for smoother, neater application, and also doesn't set quite as 'crunchy' as the Majo Majo. The finer wand/neater formula even works well on lower lashes.

As with Majo Majo, and unlike Western waterproof formulas, I do need to use a separate Japanese mascara remover [old standby Kiss Me Heroine Make] as a pre-cleanse step to get this Fasio mascara off without losing lashes or half an hour of my life.

Fasio Ultra Curl Lock Volume mascara retails for ¥1260 in Japan; I ordered it from adambeauty for $15.50, and have repurchased since.


  1. I confess I have already mostly given up on Japanese mascaras because they are just TOO DIFFICULT to remove. Even with KMHM I find it a struggle to get it all off without rendering myself bald of eye. Also my lashes are quite naturally curly so I favour volumising formulas, and I haven't really found one I like in a Japanese brand yet. I have been getting on quite well with the new Lancome Hypnose Star mascara recently. I do quite like the look of this brush and the lack of fibres though -- your lashes look lovely and separated. I might have to try it out - how many mascaras is too many to have on the go at once do you think?!

    1. You may do this already but I find the best way to use KMHM is to slather it on, leave a few minutes, then apply cleansing oil straight over, working it into the lashes. No messing about with cottons/wiping like the box tells you!

    2. Ah, I suspect this is where I'm going wrong -- I don't use an oil-based eye make-up remover so I have been relying on KMHM alone to get mascara off. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Lovely review! Mascaras are always a pain for me to remove - no matter how gentle I try to be I always lose a few lashes in the process of getting it all off; maybe I should try the Heroine Make remover.

    1. ^as I said above I use the KMHM remover slightly idiosyncratically :) Otherwise it's saved me countless lashes

    2. Good to know, I'll try it!

  3. Is it weird that I love how your eyelashes look curled but without mascara? Yes. Probably weird.


    1. I'd say definitely weird considering what YOUR lashes look like :P

  4. I have eyelashes like yours, very straight and long. I too prefer more volume and use an oil cleanser to remove my mascara as I have suffered twice in my life broken eyelashes (Once recently), still waiting for them to grow more :(, xoxo.

    1. :( My Fancl oil cleanser gets rid of everything, including Western waterproof mascaras, but I do need the extra step with some J formulas

  5. How funny, I was just looking at this mascara last week and was too scared of the wand. It looks so difficult to use. Have you tried Nivea cream to remove japanese mascaras? It works great for me (thick layer on lashes, waiting about 1 to 2 minutes and it melts everything). You get your lashes perfectly curled btw, I am jealous! / Claire

    1. I find it much easier to use than LEFP; you would have no problems!

      No luck with Nivea though; tried it last night and my eyes were burning/watering like mad! :'(

  6. I love your mascara reviews!! After reading your review the other day, I had my dad bring me one back from Japan, and I'm in <3!! Like you, I have eyelashes that refuse to keep a curl, and although I had semi-luck with a few of the CoverGirl mascaras if I put just a smidgen on my lashes, with just a tad too much product, my curl falls within seconds.

    This Fasio mascara is my first Japanese mascara, but I'm sold! Natural looking volume and length with curl!! Btw, I was able to remove it easy and quickly at the end of the day with some Lancome Bi-Facil on a cotton pad, held on each eye for about 20 seconds.

    Thank you again!! You're my make up guru:)

    - Ivy

  7. the "not longer a wild young thing" makes me curious for the story when you still were, but girl...eyelash KABOW...I need this too because I agree on the possiblity of flakeyness with the fibres of MM

  8. I've never looked twice at the brand Fasio in the drugstore in Japan...I'm surprised that they have such a wonderful mascara. Totally agree on the Heroine Make mascara remover. It's the bomb.

  9. I was *this* close to buying Fasio when I realised that this mascara doesn't add much length. Damn you and your naturally long fluttery eyelashes! I don't think I've ever tried comparing how lengthening formulae work on my lashes vs volumising formulae, because I have never been willing to try something that isn't lengthening! The search for my HG mascara continues...

  10. We don't get Fasio in Singapore anymore as they pulled out of the market.

    I find Kiss Me long&curl with volume&curl layered over to give my straight, short lashes the perfect definition. I wish the tube closed airtight though because after about 2 months, the lengthening formula starts to clump.