As promised, here’s your roundup of all of the mascaras I reviewed. Take a look at all of my “after” photos and see if you’ve got a favorite product in the bunch.
To jog your memory, here’s what my eyelashes look like when they’re as naked as centerfold:
And then here are all of the “after” photos next to one another:
I’m going to go ahead and declare a tie between Fresh and Urban Decay, since it didn’t take a ton of time to get my peepers to look defined and full of dramz. I guess. You want to know what I really think, though?
The only mascara I reviewed that was under $20 was the L’Oreal Telescopic. And honestly, unless you’re comparing these photos side-by-side, you can’t tell that it’s any worse than the others. So here’s the question: is it worth it to shell out the big bucks for a mascara that’s only marginally better than your average drug-store loot? When it comes down to it, I think the only thing you should look for in your mascara is a good formula that won’t dry out as soon as you open the tube, and a brush that distributes the product evenly and separates your lashes. Hell, as far as I’m concerned, you could use CoverGirl LashBlast in the giant orange tube that looks like a sex toy. It’s got all of the right components – firm bristles and a nice wet product. The best mascara for you really comes down to your personal preference: do you like a small brush (like Cargo or L’Oreal) that gives you a lot of control but will require more application time, or do you like a large brush (like Urban Decay or Benefit Bad Gal) that will be quicker but more sloppy? Do you want a mascara that looks natural on its first coat (L’Oreal or Maybelline Great Lash) or one that immediately looks like false lashes (Lancome Fatale)?
By the way, a word on Bad Gal: a lot of people swear by it and I like it just fine (especially the blue version). The brush is HUGE so it’s not great for precision, but the formula is fine and you can have almost fake-looking lashes in under a minute. Is it better than Maybelline’s Great Lash? Not once you’ve got it on. Will it save you a couple of minutes in the morning if you like to wear a lot of makeup? Sure. The only decision you need to make is how much you’re willing to pay for those extra minutes.
I know what I’ve just written is sort of anti-climactic, but I did this series to prove a point: whatever mascara I’m currently using is my favorite. I have yet to discover one that I remain loyal to after the first use. In my opinion, there are a lot of other products that I could spend more money on. Cheap eyeshadow, for example, simply isn’t as good as the more expensive stuff. Same with foundation. But mascara is, I believe, the one cosmetic that you can completely skimp on and never miss the high-end brands. Oh, and for the record? DiorShow sucks. Some people will try to convince you otherwise, but don’t be swayed. I didn’t even bother reviewing it because I didn’t want to risk one of you buying it and then hunting me down for revenge.
If you want the nice stuff, do what I do: get it as part of a set. That way you’re saving money and you get some other totally sweet products. This is also how I’ve gotten most of the nice makeup brushes I own. Here are a couple of sets that I recommend if you’re interested in trying some “nice” mascara:
Cargo blu-ray High Definition Makeup Essentials ($49 – this one has the blush/highlighter that I wear nearly every day)
Fresh Magic Wands Mini-Mascara Duo (only 10 bucks, people, so you can see if you like the shizz without marrying it)
Urban Decay Trifecta ($22 – includes their eyeshadow primer that I can’t live without)
Lancome Best Lashes Mascara Set (includes 5 mascaras and makeup remover for $25. It doesn’t have Fatale, but it has Definicils, which a lot of people love. It’s a solid mascara, in my opinion.)
YSL Touche Eclat Set ($68 – includes Touche Eclat, which at a whopping $40 on its own has changed my life. This is a great value if you want to try YSL mascara, eyeliner, and makeup remover as well. FYI, people who have tried the mascara won’t shut the hell up about how great it is; I have yet to jump on the bandwagon, though.)
Bare Escentuals Buxom Betty Collection ($35 – includes their Buxom Mascara, which is great for people who are sensitive to non-mineral makeup. Bare Escentuals – the makers of bareMinerals, which I use as my foundation and zit coverup – has some of the best gift sets I’ve ever come across. Most of them include NICE brushes, and they’re very reasonably priced. Check out their gift set page to see what I mean.)
Sephora Lash Stash (This is the holy grail of mascara sets. A couple of the products I reviewed this week are included in it, like Urban Decay and DuWop. You get 10 mascaras for $35, so you can really see what you like. The only obvious brands they’re missing are Benefit, Dior, and YSL, but as I said before, Dior is not worth your time.)
Clinique Lash Power Set ($18.50 – if you’re in the market for a solid new mascara, you should try this set. Clinique’s mascara is the only kind that people seem to stick with. It’s not trendy and doesn’t feature some new-fangled brush that vibrates and paints your nails while you put your mascara on. A number of my readers love this stuff, judging by the emails and comments I’ve received, and if you buy this set you get a sample of Clinique’s faaaaabulous eye cream as well as a double-ended highlighter stick.)
Anyway. There you have it. As much as I’m willing to write on mascara in one week.
Now a question for you people: what kind of mascara should I try next? I’m in the market for a new tube, and as usual, I don’t give a rip about sticking with my current brand. All I care about is being able to make myself look like a trollop (meaning TONS of mascara without turning into a tarantula). I’ll do a review of whatever you guys tell me to buy!