La Réunion’s Sarah Nsikak on the $11 Drugstore Mascara That Beats False Lashes

Sarah Nsikak, the designer behind La Réunion’s patchworked pieces, has been stocking up on this drugstore mascara since high school.

In the head-spinning age of multi-step skin-care routines and mic-drop makeup launches, The One is a space for minimalists to sound off on the single beauty product that’s found a longtime spot in their carefully curated routines.

“I didn’t really have a backup plan,” Sarah Nsikak says from her Bushwick, Brooklyn studio. As it turns out, the 29-year-old Nigerian-American textile artist didn’t need one: soon after launching La Réunion in late 2019, Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Andrew Bolton came calling; now, one of her calling card patchworked dresses (a nod to the traditional designs of Namibia’s Herero women) is on display in the Costume Institute’s new exhibition “About Time: Fashion and Duration”.

Much like her distinctive creations, which incorporate often disparate deadstock and discarded fabric scraps sourced from across the country, her cosmetics arsenal is a mashup: one week, she’ll be slathering her skin with pure aloe vera (a tip picked up from her friend, Zola director Janicza Bravo), the next she’ll be testing out a trio of True Botanicals complexion heroes. But when it comes to makeup, she’s been reaching for the same drugstore lash lengthener since her high school years in Oklahoma City. 

“I’ve tried a lot of mascaras—even expensive ones—but they weren’t doing it for me… This is my holy grail,” Nsikak says of L’Oréal’s $11 Telescopic Mascara, which she swipes on whenever she has evening plans, be it dinner out in her local Bed-Stuy or the upstate opening of Tiwa Select’s group show, Big Plates. (The buildable, clump-free formula even doubles as a definition-adding brow gel, she notes.) Best of all, Nsikak insists, a single coat goes a long way: “I feel like I have false lashes on when I’m wearing it—and it lasts forever.” 

Below, shop Sarah Nsikak’s The One.

L'Oréal Telescopic Mascara

$11L'OREALShop Now

This story originally appeared on: Vogue - Author:Zoe Ruffner


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