Gimmick or Godsend? I Tried the New MAC Dry Shampoo for Lashes (Yes, You Read That Right)

Ruby Feneley reviews MAC Lash Dry Shampoo Mascara Refresher
Supplied/MAC Cosmetics

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As a beauty editor, you rarely encounter a product you’ve never heard of. So, when I spotted the new MAC, Lash Dry Shampoo Mascara Refresher, ($45) I was intrigued and confused. I was also a little repulsed. While dry shampoo is a regular star in my week, I consider it a necessary evil and hate the sensation on my scalp. The idea of having it anywhere near my eyes made my skin crawl.  

I’m also sceptical about jazzy new product names. Whether it’s viral TikTok trends or cosmetic companies, relying on coming up with buzzy new names for totally standard products in the hope of going viral is common practice in the beauty industry. It’s one of the few ways to achieve cut-through when new products are launching every day, but it still makes my eyes roll back in my head when I see it.

After watching a few TikTok videos and scrolling through 142 five-star reviews on the MAC website, I went to my nearest counter and paid a full $45 for the teal tube. Cash invested, I was ready to trial the first lash dry shampoo of my beauty career. 

@odalydecena Thoughts on MAC’s new Lash Dry Shampoo Mascara?? #mascarareview #firstimpression #mascararoutine #browngirlmakeup ♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling

What MAC, Lash Dry Shampoo Mascara Refresher Promises 

Every mascara-wearing queen knows the feeling of making post-office plans, applying your makeup at 6am in the morning, and reaching the end of the day feeling like your mascara has not only dried to a crisp but has somehow also zapped all the moisture from your eye area. You rub your itchy eyes, and your dry lashes crackle. They have now flaked all over your under eyes and clumped into exactly three sections. You try to resuscitate your dull, brittle lashes by applying more. You’re treated to the sensation of dragging a boar bristle brush through a dread lock, you lose a lash, and the situation is considerably worse. You give up. 

This situation is unpleasant enough for me to cancel plans, scarper home, and double cleanse the pain away (I’m incredibly socially lazy). 

MAC promises to banish this common problem with their Lash Dry Shampoo Mascara Refresher. Sweep a brush through your lashes and unique polymers will emulsify dry, crusty mascara, allowing the spiralling, slightly feathery brush to loosen hardened mascara, reshape lashes and restore them to their soft, glossy, pitch-black start-of-the-day goodness.  

@abbeyyung Wowww #maclashdryshampoo #mascara #mascarahacks #mascarareview ♬ original sound – Abbey Yung

Trialling MAC, Lash Dry Shampoo Mascara Refresher 

MAC, Lash Dry Shampoo Mascara Refresher
MAC, Lash Dry Shampoo Mascara Refresher, ($45) Image Credit: MAC

I’m a stickler, so let’s note that what MAC promises is the opposite of a dry shampoo. Instead of soaking up moisture, Lash Refresher works by providing a moisture injection to dried out lashes. 

Nit-picking aside, I present my experience. 

I trialled MAC, Lash Dry Shampoo on a weekday when I knew I had dinner after work. As usual, I applied mascara around 6am (I am an objectionably early riser). I used one of my favourite mascaras: Rare Beauty, Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara ($35). This product gives a fluttery, full lash but, as with every mascara I’ve tried, by 5:30pm it’s dry and crusty. Given it’s an 11-hour day, I don’t bear Rare Beauty a grudge. I blame myself for waking up that early. 

Pre-refresh, with 17 hour old Rare Beauty Mascara
Pre MAC refresh with 17-hour old Rare Beauty Mascara, Image: Supplied

Another issue with waking up at 6am? I’m often half awake and scrambling. When I got to the office the day of my trial, I realised I had left my MAC, Lash Dry Shampoo at home. Flop. I was determined to try it that day so I tolerated my dry crunchy lashes all through dinner (I am a saint) and whipped it out as soon as I got home. By this time, it was 11pm. I had been wearing my mascara for a full 17 hours. My lashes were rock-hard and screaming for a meeting with my Alpha H, Melting Moment Cleansing Balm ($70),

Pre-refresh, with 17 hour old Rare Beauty Mascara
Post-refresh with MAC, Lash Dry Shampoo Mascara Refresher ($45) Image: Supplied

Honestly? I would have forgiven Lash Dry Shampoo if it had failed and given it another shot the next day. 

MAC Lash Dry Shampoo did not fail. Its soft brush swept through my cement lashes with ease. When I looked in the mirror, they were a rich, glossy black, fuller and more fanned out than they had been that morning. I added some more in disbelief. There was zero clumping or flaking, the mascara looked freshly applied, and my eyes felt less dry.

Does It Work? 

I’ve never been happier to see a product live up to its claims. If you keep obnoxiously long hours, I highly recommend MAC, Lash Dry Shampoo Mascara Refresher. I don’t know what kind of witchcraft they’ve put in the formula (it’s the “unique polymers”). It’s a genuinely innovative essential that, happily, feels nothing like dry shampoo on the eyes.

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