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Answer Angel: Comb-on mascara?

Ellen Warren, Tribune News Service on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: In the ‘70s there was an amazing comb-on mascara by Max Factor. I have been searching for decades for a similar product. The teeth on the recent comb-on applicators are not nearly as deep/long as the one by Max Factor.

Are you aware of any comb-on mascaras with a good size comb?

--Susan T.

Dear Susan: Your question brought back fond memories of my first mascara: Maybelline, a dry block of black gunk, which you wet with water!

Back to your question: In your search for mascara combs, you do have good options. Consider Nailen brand mascara (, $6.79). It comes in a tube and the wand comb applicator has two sides to choose from. One side has long teeth (for “intense length”) and the other has short, uneven teeth for more “voluminous” lashes. There's also Farmasi Zen Mascara, also in a tube with a two-sided comb applicator (, $8.88).

If those aren’t to your liking, maybe your best option is to buy a separate lash comb to unclump your lashes after applying mascara with the conventional brush that comes with virtually all mascaras in a tube. The four-piece set of two combs and two brushes (“Folding Eyebrow Comb Eyelash Separator Eyelash Grooming Brush”) from Boao brand (, $5.99) is a small investment. Also Gaosenlonk brand has a two-piece set: a metal-tooth comb with a long handle and a curved metal-tooth comb with a shorter handle (, $4.99). If none of those meet your high standards, check out Dolcolor’s Foldable Eyelash Comb (, $5.99) or MSQ’s Eyelash Comb (also curved) (, $4.99). And if one of these is ideal, let me know so I can share the good news!

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I like to serve bubbles — Champagne, Prosecco, cava — in the warm months. But what a chore it is to pop the cork to open the bottle. I just don’t have the strength to do it and I wind up trying to pry the cork out with a number of different methods, none of them very safe or remotely successful. I’ve bought a couple of devices that also have been unsatisfactory (although the online ad copy sounded persuasive). Don’t bother advising me to use a towel or one of those rubber jar gripper pads. They don’t work either. I need your help!

--Bella P.

Dear Bella: I have tossed out a couple of useless openers that weren’t up to the job, but since I found this one, I’ve gifted this incredibly useful tool to several of my friends. The Hakuna Champagne Bottle Opener Cork Puller (, $15.99) works beautifully.


You didn’t ask, but I also have a stopper that actually keeps the content bubbly after you open it: Cuisinart Champagne Stopper (, $7.99), which works where all the others I tried (that cost a lot more) have failed miserably. Cheers!

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I’m looking for some games to play with my 6-year-old niece that aren’t mind-numbingly boring (Chutes and Ladders being a prime example) or way too complicated for me to try to figure out (Pokémon!).

--Joan L.

Dear Joan: Here’s a couple suggestions from my friend Mitch, who has researched this to find options that are easy enough for a kindergartner and even fun for his grandpa. He likes Rummikub (under $24 at big box, toy stores and, Sequence (“Easy enough for children, challenging for adults!” says the ads) (Target, toys stores,, $15 and up) and Qwirkle (Kohl’s, Walmart,, $15 and up)

Angelic Readers 1

From Jean L.: “A hint to extend the life of your mascara is to run the tube under hot water for a minute or two. It will last another week or so.”

Angelic Readers 2

“Kris C. from AZ” writes: “In your response about it being OK if your tops and bottoms are different shades of black, you mentioned why there are variations of tones of black but you forgot to mention the reason blacks often don't match. Different fabrics take dye differently, so a black cotton item may not match a piece of black rayon, black silk, black polyester, black nylon, black linen, etc.

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