Exclusive: We Try Nars's New "Climax" Mascara, and the Results Are Dramatic
Hold on to your leather harnesses: Nars, the creator of much-loved cult makeup products with subversive names, is releasing a brand-new mascara named—wait for it—Climax. Byrdie got the exclusive first look at the brand’s biggest launch of the year, and obviously, we coated our lashes with the naughty-looking, S&M-esque red tube immediately. The new mascara promises to deliver “maximum volume” by way of a whipped, airy formula, so you get major fullness without any clumping or smudging. But does it live up to its lofty claims? Will all the buildup lead to a mind-blowing, world-shaking explosion? (Sorry, we’ll stop now.) Keep scrolling for four editors’ honest reviews.
“As with any potential future partners, I expect a lot when trying new mascaras. Since my natural lashes are thin and not the longest, I need a formula that will add major volume without clumping, as well as hold a curl (most volumising formulas fail in this department). And like a potential partner, I need to know that it will stay with me through thick and thin and not abandon me in the changeable weather. Beyond the sexual-looking tube (is it butt plug–inspired? I’ll always wonder), I was immediately attracted to the Nars Climax mascara for the thick, fluffy brush. I know my lashes, and my lashes love this type of brush. Sure enough, after I curled my lashes and swiped the formula through, I was happy to see instant volume after just one coat. But one is never enough, so I kept applying and applying and applying. This stuff does not clump, no matter how many layers you apply. I probably applied about 10 layers before my arm got tired, and still, my lashes looked nice and airy and not at all spidery-looking. In terms of holding a curl, I’d give the mascara an 8 out of 10. It was much better than most volumising formulas I’ve tried, but because the formula is so light and whipped, it doesn’t necessarily ‘grab’ every lash and lift it up (this can be solved if you have the patience to apply a few coats, let them dry, and then apply more). As you can see in the photo below, my lashes still reached to the heavens, despite the wicked-looking product that brought them there.” — Faith, editorial director
“I’m always skeptical about new mascaras—I’m not exactly easy to please. See, my eyes are more watery than most, and even the highest-reviewed mascaras often leave me with below-the-lashline smudges. I swiped on Nars’s new offering, called Climax (pun intended), and was immediately taken with the large, thick-bristle brush. After a few brush strokes, my lashes looked so long. Then after a few more, they looked insanely thick. So much so that I had to lie when I received compliments at an industry event later that night (the product hadn’t launched until today, and I had to keep quiet about new secret weapon). I couldn’t believe the difference (see the before-and-after shots for yourself), but the real test came later. Would the mascara stay in place, without a smudge? I examined my face after coming home from dinner and was pleasantly surprised. No terrible smudges, no flakes. They don’t call Nars iconic for nothing.” — Hallie Gould, senior editor
“Leave it to Nars to come up with another sexual product, both in terms of name and effect. Let’s start with the packaging: Climax mascara comes in a suggestive blood-red tube with deep grooves and edges, and the wand, full and voluptuous, coats every lash with a glossy, inky formula. As you can tell by my before picture, my lashes are almost negligible without mascara, but after treating them with Climax, they reached their peak (sorry). I’m fond of tacky formulas because they tend to lift my lashes the most, and this mascara is quite wet, so I think I’ll love it more in a few weeks when it starts to dry out a bit. But in terms of first impressions, I was really into how full and fluttery my lashes turned out after brushing on several coats.” — Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
“My natural lashes feel quite lonely post–extensions life. I’m addicted to length, to say the least, and would choose extra-long lashes over short, subtle lashes any given day. My natural lashes need a lot of love and attention right now, so trying out Climax felt fitting (lol). I pulled the thick bristle out of this fire-red tube and was a little intimidated by the size of the applicator at first. I usually end up getting mascara everywhere with big bristles. However, to my surprise, after a few wiggles from the root to the tip of my lashes, I was in the clear—no clumps in sight. This formula felt like it instantly brought the drama to my eyes after two coats. Into it. My lashes also don’t feel heavy and tacky, which is something I usually deal with when trying out voluminous mascaras. I haven’t worn it long enough to judge if fall-out will be a thing or not after a long day. But this mascara is definitely as extra as I am, so I like it.” — Maya Allen, assistant editor