My journey to find Heroine mascara began when a way-too-cool Japanese girl told me, dismissively, that all the girls (and some of the boys) in Tokyo think American mascara doesn’t even count as black. It’s not nearly dark enough, they say. Really, it looks more like brown.
As a girl from New York — the capital of black, and also the most competitive place on Earth — I was immediately horrified by my own mascara, which suddenly looked brown and pathetic. I was desperate to get my hands on this super tube of Heroine mascara. Of course, I had been a bit turned off by the name (and the anime packaging), but that hadn’t stopped me from searching all of New York to find it. I was always under the impression that you could find anything here. (Nepalese food? Yup. Organic Chap Stick that was originally intended for babies from Paris? Please.) But Heroine? Impossible. Luckily, my best guy friend was about to fly to Tokyo for a once-in-a-lifetime father-son trip, so I gave him some homework: Walk around the city, asking pharmacy after pharmacy for “Heroine mascara” in his nonexistent Japanese. It wasn’t that easy in Tokyo either — it took my friend three pharmacies to find the brand, since the first places he visited were sold out. But after trying the three tubes of Heroine he brought home for me, I’m a believer. (I feel sheepish saying this, but I’ve since discovered that Heroine was available on Amazon the whole time, which I would’ve known if I’d seen the Cut’s roundup of Japanese-drugstore buys in 2015. I’ve apologized to my friend.)
Not only is the mascara the darkest black I’ve ever seen, but it doesn’t clump (a huge issue for most mascaras), even if you put on two coats. It has an incredible lengthening quality that expands your eyes. On top of that, it’s impossible to remove, which might sound like a negative — you have to go out and buy actual eye-makeup remover, rather than the basic face wash I once used — but you can take an actual swim, or sweat your face off at the gym, or get caught in a torrential rainstorm and emerge with your eyes totally intact. It almost makes you believe that badass lashes are something you’re born with.
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