15 hottest products of 2008: Vibrating mascaras

Finally, a mascara that the masses can use with ease! Does that put vibrating mascara's debut along with the push-up bra and botox? Perhaps. At the very least, it ranks up there with the launch of the electronic toothbrush.

Both Estee Lauder's TurboLash and Lancome's Oscillation debuted in 2008 (TurboLash was first over the summer, and Oscillation came out in October), both to splashy launches, with celebrity trendsetters test-driving the products and touting their benefits. At one point, Lancome's waiting list numbered 21,000 and a company spokesperson says sales are off to a brisk start -- NPD says it was the number one mascara in dollar sales in department stores and Sephora combined.

The new category of beauty products operates by applying mascara with a battery-powered oscillating brush. TurboLash vibrates at an advertised 125 micropulses per minute and retails for $32. Oscillation revs up at 7000 vibrations per minute (does anyone really need to do the math to compare the pulse rates?) and retails for $34.

Fashion blogs were all over the products, panting over the release and giving product details. Many give out tips for using the gizmo, which make it not sound as easy as Estee Lauder's site make it out to be -- which is, "Turn it on.The brush does it all." Apparently, it takes a few tries to get used to it, much like traditional mascara (which sits unused in my makeup bag because I could never figure out how to do it right). So if you don't zig-zag or wiggle, don't overpump and use slow, straight and steady strokes, you will have long, beautiful, non-clumping lashes.

The Bitbythebeautybug blog even has a handy instructional video and the warning, "patience is the KEY" and the admonition "don't be scared."

Lancome Ôscillation Mascara Demo from The Beauty Bug on Vimeo.

For those looking for a budget power mascara, there's always the SpinLash by Akasha for just $19.99 (it's an "As Seen on TV" product). It doesn't pulse or vibrate, but rather spins like a chicken on a spit.

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