I've learned, through communication with lots of ladies over the years, that mascara is a very subjective topic. Have you ever noticed that you can think a mascara is the greatest thing in the world yet someone else can just totally hate it? This is because our lashes are so different from one another. What works well on my lashes may not work for yours, given the texture of one's lashes and what their expectations are. I personally expect the whole sha-bang from a mascara: I want it to volumize, thicken, lengthen, separate, and remove cellulite and sun damage. Simply put, I need a mascara that will basically perform miracles. I've tried a gazillion of them and I have chosen to categorize them into love and hate. This is easy to do because I find with mascara, I pretty much know instantly whether or not its a keeper.
Mascara Loves List!
YSL Faux Cilis Volume Effect:
I die for this mascara. It volumizes like nobodies business and actually creates the illusion that I have double the lashes that I really have. It smells great too! As for the color, I've only tried black and boy does it go on BLACK. The only downside to this mascara has nothing to do with performance but happens to be the reason why I don't just purchase over and over: It dries up very quickly. I can get a few good weeks out of this mascara and then I feel that it gets dry. I thought I had "a bad tube" but its happened all three times. This brings me much sadness because this is my fave mascara to date.
This has been referred to as an iconic and award winning mascara. I definitely see why. Definicils lengthens like crazy and separates your lashes beautifully. The grooved bristles are designed to hold the right amount of product, thus eliminating that excess goop that gets strategically placed in all the wrong areas. This is one of those mascaras that most people love and won't be disappointed with.
Bare Escentuals Buxom:
This one is love or hate. I happen to love it, especially with my Dior Lash Primer. I love big brushes and in this case, Buxom doesn't disappoint. The brush has lots and lots of tiny bristles and tapers in the middle slightly. This mascara is known for volumizing and I find that it does what it claims with my lashes while also providing length. Buxom is also paraben free and claims to hold your lash style for around 12 hours. In my opinion, the downside is that being such a buildable mascara also makes your lashes a tad vulnerable to rubbing off or flaking. Buxom doesn't come in waterproof and I wish it would because this version will not hold up if a single tear is shed or if pool time is in the equation. The moral of the story, this mascara isn't for criers or the emotionally unstable.
Dior Diorshow Blackout:
Lots of people swoon over the original Diorshow but I was definitely un-swoonable when it came to my own experience with the cult-favorite. Personally, I prefer the Diorshow Blackout. Reason being is that its infused with kohl pigments and applies super black for a much more dramatic and glammed up effect. Some people say they like Blackout for evening wear because its too dramatic for daytime. I don't understand this concept. How could someone not want dramatic lashes 24/7?
Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition:
If you want top notch separation, this is the best mascara I've tried for that particular quality. Its pretty amazing to see how many lashes you actually have once they are all fanned out. Flawless Def doesn't do much for volumizing but its a great separator and lengthener. This isn't a mascara that will give you a lot of drama, but its a very solid performer and perfect for those that like to keep their lashes natural in appearance. And even thought I'm not that girl, I still love it! BE also makes a volumizing Flawless Def which I am very anxious to try and seems to perform, according to reviews, as well as the original. At least so far..
More Honorable Mentions:
Maybelline Full and Soft
L'Oreal Voluminous (after blotting the wand)
L'Oreal Lash Definition Telescopic
Mascara Hate List!
Almay One Coat Triple Effect Nourishing:
That's a whole lot of words to describe a very underwhelming mascara. I could have summed up the name with just one word: Crap. First of all, I don't buy this whole "one coat" business. What constitutes one coat anyways? Does one coat mean that you don't go over the same spot more than one time? In this case, you wouldn't even be able to see that I had eyelashes much less have the "triple effect" claim. Almay claims you will get volume, length, and thickening, hence the name "triple effect". I certainly did experience a triple effect but my version was: wimpy, dull, and lifeless. Basically this mascara was just one notch about not wearing any mascara at all. No lift, no volume, certainly no length, and dull black pigmentation.
Maybelline One by One Volume Express:
I hated this mascara so much that I felt compelled to dedicated an entire post to describe my hatred in detail (on my blog somewhere if you want to search). I have never liked Maybelline mascaras and this one was no different. I had to apply coat after coat to even get the damn stuff to show up. There was less than zero amount of volumizing and even less lengthening. The only thing it did, in a very minute and forgetable way, was separate a little bit. But since this mascara isn't called "Separating Express", this is hardly noteworthy. I watched some YT videos where one woman was just blow away by how great this mascara was. Personally, I was blown away by someone being blown away by how great this mascara was. And if this wasn't enough to hate the mascara, it left my lashes crispy. I hate mascaras that don't perform in the first two coats but yet don't allow you to continue to build on it before your lashes are crispy and dry.
L'Oreal Hip High Drama Volumizing:
I did a review on MakeupAlley.com over two years ago so I will just copy and paste that into this post because its not like anything has changed! And boy it looks like I was steamed up over this stuff:
"This mascara is total crap. I was excited to try the blue black color because that is a hard to find shade. However, I was so distracted by the crapiness of the mascara to even remember it was supposed to have a blue tint. So when I did look for it, I couldn't find it. It's more of a dull dull black that just looks.... dull. It makes my lashes feel soft and flimsy. And you have to pile on the coats to even notice you're wearing mascara. And then by that time, your lashes are all crappy and clumped together as well as being flimsy and dull in color. I wish I could have the last 2 days of my life back so I could rewind time, go back to Ulta where I purchased it, and walk right past it without giving it a second glance."
Too Faced Lash Injection:
I wanted so badly to make this mascara work. So much so that after trying it the first time over a couple of years ago, I put my bad experience behind me and purchased the travel size versions.. twice. I loved the concept of this mascara, that it applied little tubules, which are elastic polymers, that surround each lash to make it look like the lashes are thicker and longer. And to top it all off, it had a wonderful citrus smell. The Ulta lady said that as long as the mascara smelled like citrus, it was still fresh and didn't need repurchasing. The good thing is that this mascara is highly buildable. You can apply coat after coat after coat and your lashes will never feel stiff. The bad thing is that without any stiffness, your lashes don't exactly hold the curl and therefor end up flopping by mid-day. But the worst part was what was supposed to be the best part. Those "tubules" that are supposed to add volume and dimension end up flaking and lining up to form a bunch of mascara debris all over your face and under eye area. Perhaps the flimsiness of the formula is due to the conditioning properties of the mascara softening things up. By the end of the day your mascara goes from being on your lashes to on your face. If you wonder where your mascara went, just look down.
MAC Zoom Lash:
I could write an entire post dedicated to how bad MAC mascara's are. I have another post on the Opulash formula if you are interested in delving further into my expressed hatred for MAC mascaras. But I will just stick to Zoom Lash for this entry. Zoom Lash is the consistency of tap water. Its extremely runny, goopy, messy, and clumpy. It is an absolute necessity to wipe off the brush with a paper towl of some sort to sop up some of the excess product before applying it to your lashes. How did this mascara formula even get approved to go into the packaging phase? I could throw some black paint in a tube and call it mascara and achieve the same results. Thank God this was a free sample because I would have gone right back to return it. I know better now than to purchase a MAC mascara in a full size tube. That's just begging for a trip back to MAC to make a return. Stick to lipsticks and MSF's MAC, hang up the mascara hat and save yourself further humiliation.
Maybelline Great Lash (original formula):
Someone please tell me why this is a cult-favorite among generation after generation. I am still dying to know the answer to this question. This mascara does absolutely nothing for me. I've seen Great Lash in several magazines over the years boasting how its such a fan favorite and the love of many celebrities. Someone better check their sources because according to Makeupalley, out of over 4,000 reviews, only 25% would purchase this mascara again. Anyone who does a review on Makeupalley is a serious makeup lover and therefor makes up the audience that Maybelline seeks to target. And they hate the stuff. So that begs the question, how did it get so popular? I think someone is making things up. Its like saying that American Idol is the most watched show of the year but then finding out it has 12 viewers.
Other (not very) Honorable Mentions:
Rimmel Sexy Curves
Urban Decay Big Fatty
Maybelline Lash Stilleto
On the Fence (neither love or hate)
The infamous and beloved Lashblast. Perhaps the current best selling drugstore mascara to date. This is not a fact, but rather, a presumption. I've been trying to decide whether I like this stuff for the last year or more. Something I do like about it is the large brush, but on the flipside the large brush makes it hard to get the lower lashes without looking like you've applied eyeliner instead of mascara. I do think Lashblast holds the curl very well and stays throughout the day. The downside is that it makes my lashes crispy and spiky if I don't hurry the hell up and put a few coats on back to back to back before it dries. Lashblast is rather volumizing but not sure sure about lengthening. I am proud of CG for finally being a frontrunner for drugstore mascara when the category has always (in my opinion) belonged to L'Oreal.
Mascaras That I'm Dying to Try!
YSL Faux Cilis in Fascination Violet
Target Lights Camera Lashes!
In The Spirit Of Judgment Placing, Mascara Review Videos You May Enjoy!