Mascara magic: Code VLM


The other week,  at the Look Good Feel Better ‘Theatre of Beauty’ event at Harvey Nichols, I was asked a question about ‘What’s the best mascara?’ (how long is a piece of string? Some of the many I love include Maybelline Great Lash for a clean, natural look, Diego Dalla Palma’s Mascara Tecnico Semi-Permanente for its heavy blackness, and Eyeko’s Sport Waterproof Mascara which simply doesn’t budge, even when I’m cycling around London in the rain).

Anyway while I was saying all this, a hand went up at the back and its owner, Sarah, proclaimed that we should really all try Code VLM which was the best mascara in the world – she knew because it was her company. Right. Of course she would say that. But I was intrigued. 

Sarah got in touch after the event and sent me a sample so I could give it a whirl.

“You won’t recognise your own lashes!” proclaims the packaging, along with promises to lengthen and volumize lashes without clumping, flaking or smudging, and to nourish lashes, and even encourage growth, with vitamins and waxes – claims made by dozens of other mascaras.

 So I put it on, using the suggested ‘roots, wriggle and roll’ technique (wedge the brush into your lashes as close to the root as you can, give the brush a good wriggle back and forth, then roll the brush up to the lash tips) — a good suggestion, though I prefer a roots-wriggle-rake and looked in the mirror expecting to be amazed.

To be honest, I wasn’t blown away by it. Maybe I was just having a grumpy day. But I looked back at Sarah’s email and saw that one of the product’s selling points is that it’s very buildable. One coat gives a natural look, but if you apply more, it builds well without clogging or clumping, and she’s absolutely right. That gave much more or a result without making my lashes look overloaded. By the end of the day, I have to concede that it’s very good – it’s all still there and by some miracle hasn’t shifted off my lower lashes onto the skin beneath, which happens with 99% of other mascaras.

So it’s great. It’s also expensive (£19.95) but if you feel like experimenting, there’s a 15% discount today from