So, I decided to try try again and I ordered the FairyDrops Platinum Volume & Curl Mascara from an eBay seller. The Platinum formula also has the weird "dumpling" brush and is also waterproof:
It took weeks to arrive (eBay is cheaper, but slower) but finally I had it in my grubby grabby mitts. Here are some terrible before and after close-ups:
This is what I look like with eyeliner but no mascara. Believe it or not, my lashes have been curled. I applied two coats of the FairyDrops Platinum. The first went on pretty thin and the formula seemed kind of wet but it definitely lengthened. Feeling confident, I went in for a second coat and ohhh, no. Things got bad. Lashes stuck together, mascara went everywhere, reinforcements were called in. It was everywhere! I am bad at this! I actually wondered if I'd accidentally bought one of those ridiculous spiky lash mascaras. (WHY IS THIS A THING.) I cleaned it up and started over and finally got two successful coats going on. The results were good:
But yikes, I think this is one of those formulas that needs a little age on it first. Has anyone noticed that with some mascaras? That initially it was messy and hard to work with but after it dries out a bit it's way, way better? I think this is one of those. I will report back in a few weeks. In the meantime, I've also been using L'Oreal Voluminous Superstar Mascara with decent results. I don't always have time for all the steps, but it's pretty decent.