The next time you hear someone describe a woman as having a ‘magnetic beauty’, don’t assume they’re talking metaphorically. Because magnets are making their mark in the world of cosmetics in some very unusual ways.
Whether it’s using magnets to make geometric patterns in nail polish (as seen on actress Jodie Turner-Smith at this year’s Baftas), as an innovative alternative to eyelash glue, or to lift away impurities from the skin in the form of a space-age mask, the laws of attraction are being put to good use.
But is it all positive — or, as with magnets themselves, are there negatives, too? We put some magnetic beauty products to the test…
Magnets are making their mark in the world of cosmetics in some very unusual ways. Pictured, swirls and stripes created with the Rio Magnetic Magic Nail Polish set
HOW TO LOCK DOWN YOUR FALSIES
While once false lashes were just for special nights out, over recent years they’ve become part of many women’s daily make-up routine. In fact the global market in false eyelashes is predicted to be worth a staggering £1.23 billion by 2025.
Magnetic lashes are one of the latest innovations and are touted as a godsend for anyone who has found that the glue traditional lashes require irritates their skin, or if your forays into falsies (and those fiddly strips) have ended in a sticky mess.
Essence Lash On Lash Off Volumizing Magnetic False Eyelashes (£6, Wilko) are shorter and designed to be worn to enhance just the outer lashes
While a number of false lash brands including Ardell, Eylure and Lash Perfect offer magnetised versions, I decided to try Essence Lash On Lash Off Volumizing Magnetic False Eyelashes (£6, Wilko), which are shorter and designed to be worn to enhance just the outer lashes.
Like all magnetic lashes, they come in pairs — a top and bottom set — and each strip has a number of tiny magnets fixed to it along the band that sits closest to the lash line.
On the top set, they’re underneath the band and on the bottom set they’re above it. You place the top set on top of your own lashes as near to the roots as possible, and then put the bottom set underneath and they clip together.
The theory was easier than the reality — I struggled to get the magnets of the top lashes to stay close enough to the lash line that they didn’t look ridiculous.
There may be a cunning trick — or maybe it’s just practice.
LINER WITH STICKING POWER
If you struggle with getting false eyelashes to sit in a convincing way (see previous), you might be interested in a magnetic gel liner.
Ardell, which has been making false lashes for nearly 50 years, has brought them bang up to date with the launch of Ardell Magnetic Gel Liner (£11.99, feelunique.com).
At first glance it looks like any other black gel liner. It comes in a small pot, with a liner brush for application, and you apply as normal, creating a simple line along the lash line of the upper lid, or more ornate winged, or cat’s eye designs if that’s more your thing.
Ardell, which has been making false lashes for nearly 50 years, has brought them bang up to date with the launch of Ardell Magnetic Gel Liner (£11.99, feelunique.com)
After one coat has dried you apply another over the top, and when that’s dried, you’ve essentially coated a section of your eyelid with magnetic paint, which means pretty much anything magnetic that comes close to it will stick.
I tried it with Ardell’s magnetic lashes and managed to fix them easily in place.
I’m not particularly dextrous and found getting a neat line with the gel tricky, however, I also tried Eylure Pro Magnetic Eyeliner, which comes with its own lashes (£20, boots.com), and its more liquid formulation and thinner brush made it much easier to apply neatly, with the same results.
Both liners can be removed using an oil-based make-up remover.
FUTURISTIC FACE MASK
The idea of using the power of a magnet to ‘lift away surface impurities and minimise the appearance of pores’ is appealing.
And according to the people behind Elf’s Beauty Shield Recharging Magnetic Mask (£30, elfcosmetics.co.uk) that’s exactly what magnetic face masks can do.