--What does the promo say?--
"L'Oréal Paris Double Extension Renewal Serum Inside Mascara combines The Renewal Lash Serum inside a spectacular mascara. The new L'Oréal Paris Double Extension Renewal Serum Inside Mascara is a 2-step mascara that gives a multiplied lash effect and up to 80% longer-looking lashes.
Step 1: A serum enriched base coat with arginine and centella. Lashes feel fortified and nourished.
Step 2: An ultra-lengthening mascara for a lash extension effect. Up to 80% longer-looking lashes.
The packaging is gold and royal blue, with each side being embossed with text in the reverse colour. This is not to be confused with the red version, the Double Extension Beauty Tubes, although you have to sit with the products for a while to work out the true difference between the versions. The original Beauty Tubes contain a sort of primer for the lashes, whose primary purpose is to make the lashes appear longer; however, the new Double Extension variants have a serum, which is not only designed to make the lashes look longer in the short term but is also supposed to make your lashes longer on a long-term scale. The writing on the tube is a little bit cheap-feeling and prone to rubbing off even when the tube is new; I definitely like the use of the two colours either way, though.
Apply the serum to your lashes on one eye, and then add the mascara immediately afterwards. Repeat the process with the other eye. I do it this way because if my experiences with Lancôme's equivalent are anything to go by, if the serum is allowed to dry before the mascara is applied then there is a risk of the serum clumping or looking more obvious on the lashes (see below regarding appearance). Otherwise, this is fairly simple stuff.
The serum is white (sob - maybe one day the mascara companies will work out how to make it clear/transparent), which I suppose does distinguish from all those clear mascaras on the market. You therefore couldn't just put this on and then go out as it actually does make you look albino. However, once the mascara is applied over it, no white is visible at all. The mascara is of a good colour and the two used together deliver real showgirl lashes.
Arguably better than Lancôme's equivalent - overall application and results are smoother and with better separation and definity.
--Effects on lashes--
Now, this is where L'Oréal loses out to Lancôme. I'm a firm believer that the vibrating technology used for Lancôme's serum really helps to stimulate the lashes' roots for visible long-term growth results. While L'Oréal's version does definitely provide an excellent base and gives extra length and separation to the mascara (so good results on a day-to-day basis), I'm afraid I didn't notice the same degree of results when it came to long-term lash improvement. One of L'Oréal's key ingredients of the serum, arginine, is an amino acid that has been reported to boost growth hormones, but as yet there is no proof. I prefer the sound of the serum's other key ingredient, centella, which has been traditionally used in medicine and is thought to maintain youthfulness and aid healing. I did definitely see an improvement in just a few days of use - maybe just not as significant an improvement as with the Lancôme equivalent.
--Value for money--
Ultimately, despite Lancôme's winning stakes in the lash growth department, I still think I'd plump for this product instead: it is cheaper, has far fewer clumps, and comes in a handy travel format instead of two separate tubes. Following L'Oréal's copy of Givenchy's Phenomen'Eyes in the form of their Telescopic Explosion mascara, this is another successful replication of the higher-end market.
Renewal Lash Serum, £10.99