Tag Archives: mascara

Of All the Mascaras in my Makeup Bag

BENEFIT THEYRE REALThe Sephora lady foamed all over herself to sell me this Benefit They’re Real Mascara, but I think for all the hype it’s overrated.  There’s a spikey ball on the end of the brush meant to get at those little inner corner hairs, but instead it smears product on my nose and eyelid.  The mascara itself isn’t extraordinary.  After a couple hours of wear, it migrates under the eye which as far as I’m concerned isn’t acceptable mascara behavior.  Grade: CITS SO BIGIt’s So Big has quite the following on Amazon, but I don’t share in the fervor.  The packaging dispenses too much product on the brush.  I don’t have time for the double wipe.  Furthermore, the formula is drying.  Grade: C-


Boots No7 Extravagant Volume Mascara snuck into my cosmetics bag, and I kinda forgot it was in there.  Waaaaay to much product dispenses on the brush and makes for a very messy and unpleasant application experience.  The brush is so gunky this mascara is almost unusable.  Grade: DTOO FACED BETTER THAN SEX

Of all the mascaras tested, Too Faced Better Than Sex really gives good glam.  BTS delivers major length, non-clumping density, and a deep rich black color.  It’s a great mascara except for staying power.  I love the lash effect, but the under-eye migration ain’t cute. Grade: B+


I saved the best for last.  NYX Full Figured mascara is my favorite of the bunch.  I don’t usually go for waterproof, but NYX Full Figured possesses great staying power.  It lengthens softly.  The brush separates.  No clumping.  Deep Black.  Lasts all day.  Withstands my hot yoga class better than all the other mascaras on this list.  It’s also affordable.  Grade: AMASCARA LASHES


My girl Anne-Marie and I have a friendly rivalry going over which mascara is superior Blinc or FAIRYDROPS.  She recently tucked some FAIRYDROPS into a care package for me, and I have to admit FAIRYDROPS Scandal Queen is pretty fucking fantastic. Developed in Tokyo, FAIRYDROPS is extremely smudge-resistant as well as lengthening.  If you like the bright-eyed doll look (and really who doesn’t?), then FAIRYDROPS is for you.

When compared eye to eye with Blinc how did FAIRYDROPS fare?  In terms of hardcore durability, it goes to BlincBlinc withstands smudging under the harshest circumstances.  When it does dissolve, it releases in an avalanche of tiny spiderleg tubes.  Both FAIRYDROPS and Blinc are equally lengthening, but FAIRYDROPS definitely delivers more volume.  In addition, FAIRYDROPS has a far more conditioning formula compared to Blinc’s.  Ultimately, I think it makes sense to keep both top-shelf products in your arsenal and use them appropriately for each day’s different beauty demands.

Diorshow = The Great Lash of Prestige?

DIORSHOW Mascara has a cult following in the prestige market the way Great Lash does in the mass market.  A good friend of mine swears by the stuff, so I threw down $24 for a tube of the mascara with a magical reputation.  Some of you will consider this sacrilegious, but I don’t think this mascara is all that impressive.  The waxy, sticky formula caused an unfortunate lash clumping situation.   Even though my friend swears this stuff to be smudge-free, my experience did not sync with hers.  Ultimately DIORSHOW was a big fat disappointment.  I still prefer Blinc for my mascara splurge.

Blinc Mascara

Happy mascara Monday dolls!  Good news; after several disappointments, finally I have a worthy recommendation for you: Blinc Mascara (formerly Blinc Kiss Me Mascara).  Like nothing else, the formula hardens to form flexible tubes around lashes.  Remove with eye-appropriate cleanser, gentle massage, and warm water.  Extremely resistant to flaking, Blinc Mascara boldly boosts volume and length and provides a less shameful walk-of-shame type of non-smudgability.  Follow the application instructions.  Specifically, apply multiple coats in quick succession before the product dries.  Feel free to curl lashes before application and again once the formula sets. While the idea may seem gimmicky, Blinc Mascara actually performs with dramatic results, unmatched endurance, and freaky futuristic lash adherence. 

Tarte multiplEYE mascara

The claim: stimulates lashes for a 638% increase in lash volume and increased appearance of length, growth and strength.

The experience: For all the highfalutin promises, multiplEYE mascara ain’t all that.  (I’m specifically talking about the mascara and not the natural lash enhancer which is a totally different conversation.)

Let’s parse their claim for subtext, shall we?

Whenever you run up against the word “appearance” in a cosmetic or beauty add, use common sense.  “Appearance” usually equates to “temporary,” as in no lasting results.Tarte was careful to craft the statement to read that the product increases the appearance of growth.  Surmise from this linguistic trickery that no ingredients contained in this mascara will actually grow lashes à la the prescription lash stimulators.  In fact, Tarte disclaims in the small print:

multiplEYE™ clinically proven natural lash enhancing mascara is not intended to treat, prevent, cure, relieve, resolve, stop or reduce hair loss or to promote the growth of hair. Do not get in the eye. Rinse immediately if contact with eye occurs. If irritation or redness occurs, please discontinue use.

Well that explains the burning sensation.

As for the 638% increase in lash volume – in my experience, bollocks.  Don’t expect the rush of a major impact lash with Tarte multiplEYE mascara.  All in all, this one is a lashluster disappointment.

Josie Maran Cosmetics ~ GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara

Josie Maran, best known for her stint as a cheesy Maybelline spokesbitch and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, launched a “natural” beauty line with the goal of using sustainable, cruelty-free, and ethically sourced ingredients where possible.Let’s acknowledge the obvious: natural makeup doesn’t have the best reputation for performance.  Good face isn’t up for compromise.  Therefore, natural makeup must be judged against the same standards as its synthetic counterparts.When compared with other luxury brands, Josie Maran’s GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara fails to impress.  For starters, the brush isn’t great.  Add to that the clump of product that failed to disperse and sat on the end of the wand defiantly.  Third, the formula causes lashes to stick together into little spikes.  Not especially lengthening or thickening, GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara is utterly mediocre.Josie claims the mascara contains organic, cruelty-fragrance-toxin free ingredients, however glance below – some of the components are natural, but there are definitely a few WTFs on the list.

Water, Styrene/acrylates Copolymer, Organic Copernicia Cerifera Wax, Dilinoleic Acid/propanediol Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Oleic Acid, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Ci 77499, Tromethamine, Black 2, Kaolin, Pvp, Mica, Organic Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Organic Beeswax, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Aloe Barbadensis, Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol, Laureth-4, Panthenol, Simethicone, Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.At $22, GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara’s price point rivals that of Korres, Lancome, and Christian Dior’s mascaras, but in no way competes with any of these brands in lush-lashed results.

Sephora Mascara Sampler Part II: the last five

As promised and requested (C’est pour vous, AMP), please enjoy reviews of the second half of Sephora’s Mascara Sampler.  Loyal readers remember the first round; if you are new here, welcome, please feel free to browse.  You’ll find reviews for the first half of the sampler categorized under Beauty.

Laura Mercier Thickening and Building Mascara

Laura Mercier Thickening and Building Mascara has a soft, densely bristled large brush.  A no-clump formula provides above average lash lengthening and separating.  Overall, this is a non-flaking, quality mascara.  Bonus tip: if you like a mascara brush, save it.  Wash it, and use it to separate your lashes.  Clean mascara wands make the best declumpers.  Consider hanging on to this Laura Mercier brush.

Fresh Supernova

This little Fresh Supernova provides a pleasant surprise.  While diminutive in stature (it is the shortest of the tubes), this is one of the best of the box.  A small depression in the middle sets this brush apart.  The soft bristles and silky formula effortlessly glide over lashes, and it fantastically curls.  The result is natural and best for day.  Very Fresh indeed.

Sephora Lash Stretcher

The second best of these five, Sephora Lash Stretcher has a smooth, non-clumping texture.  The innovative brush design uses tiny hairs which protrude from the larger bristles to coat every angle of each lash.  Lash Stretcher is just that: a lengthener.  It doesn’t do much in the way of thickening.  Not super dramatic, this is another great formula for everyday.

Tarte 4 Day Stay Lash Stain

Me likey the idea of a stain, but not the execution.  Tarte 4 Day Lash Stain has a sharp pointed stiff brush.  The color is pitch black, and the formula very lengthening.  It isn’t exactly clumpy, but it does cause the lashes to stick together….like fucking glue.  It was extremely difficult and messy to separate the lashes.  Worse, smudges are damn near impossible to clean off due to the stain feature of this product.  My lashes still looked darker the next day, but this is for those nasty bitches who sleep in their makeup.

Cargo LashActivator

If you like the new, short, rubber bristled brushes, then Cargo LashActivator might be for you.  The brush design excels at reaching bottom and corner lashes.  The non-messy formula falls in the middle in terms of lengthening, but it does curl nicely.  The only drawback: slightly clumpy texture.  Overall, this one’s treading in the sea of mediocrity.

In totality, top honors go to Korres Abyssinia Oil Volumizing and Strengthening Mascara, with an almost equally strong showing from Fresh Supernova.

Sephora Mascara Sampler Part I: the first five

Mascara has always been a tricky product.  Since technically it should be replaced every three months; it doesn’t really make sense to splurge.  However, drugstore mascara can be very hit or miss.  Don’t even utter the words Great Lash me, it may be the single most overrated cosmetic product of the last twenty-five years.

Sephora has brilliantly addressed my concerns with the LashStash Mascara Deluxe Sampler.  This 10 piece sample size collection of Sephora’s best selling mascaras provides high-end quality at drugstore prices.  Below, see details on the first five formulations; I will follow up with the final five and an award for “best of” in a future post.

Hourglass Superficial Lash

Hourglass Superficial Lash has an old school style big brush with short bristles.  The length of the brush makes it a little messy, especially in the tight corners, but it coats the lashes nicely.  The formula dries quickly, it doesn’t clump with the application of a second coat, and it is easy to remove.  Not my top choice of the first five, but definitely better than anything you can get in the drugstore.

Urban Decay Skyscraper Multi-Benefit Mascara

Urban Decay Skyscraper has a modern short bristled rubber brush which allows for nimble use.  The non-clumpy formula takes way too many strokes to coat the lashes; more strokes equals more opportunity for mistakes.  Not my favorite, but not atrocious.

Korres Abyssinia Oil Volumizing and Strengthening Mascara

Admittedly, I wasn’t too familiar with Korres, but that’s the beauty of the sampler: it introduces you to products you wouldn’t ordinarily try.  This mascara fucking rules.  Best so far.  The tiny, thin, elegant brush reaches every eyelash.  The formula coats easily even on a second pass.  Genius.  Highly recommended.

Benefit A little Bit BADGal Lash Mascara

BADgal’s huge brush collects a significant amount of product on the tip, which means if you accidentally brush your nose you’ll have a huge glob of mascara on it.  Really good dark coverage on the lashes required several coats.  The bulky brush and tendency to glob lessened my overall enthusiasm for this product.

Smashbox Lash DNA

The name DNA comes from the double helix shaped brush with a flat, fat head.  Surprisingly, this brush design is fantastic for reaching tiny side lashes.  My only criticisms are that the consistency is a little clumpy and it did smudge a bit after an afternoon of cocktails in the sun.  A very decent mascara and my second favorite of the bunch.

At $39 for 10 generous sample size mascaras the LashStash Mascara Sampler can easily take care of your mascara needs for a year.  Even the mascaras I don’t love in this collection exceed the quality of drugstore brands.  The single biggest difference?  None of these high quality mascaras flake like the cheap ones do.  Consider me converted.