May 29, 2019

Mascara 101

Mascara is my #1 beauty product, without a doubt.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
I don't leave the house without it and over time have used and tested A LOT of different mascara 
products.Today's post has been one in the making for a long time, it's my run-down of popular mascara,
primers, removers and Mascara 101. Not too long ago I talked about why I stopped getting eyelash extensions and actually prefer using mascara on a daily basis. 
I'm sharing thoughts from the brand, my own opinions and a rating- let's get to it! There are affiliate links in this post.

My Mascara Technique:
 I start by curling my lashes with my lash curler and then continue with the L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Primer which will be mentioned below. I coat my lashes a few times, and while that sets in I'll fill my brows in. I then use the Essence Lash Princess False Effect Mascara and starting at the base of my lashes will blink in to the brush and wiggle upward. I think that this really helps to lift your lashes and make them long and full. I then continue with a second mascara and focus a bit more on the outer corners and ends to give them an extra boost. I alternate between whatever new I may be testing or using at the moment, but my go to is Stila Huge Extreme Lash!

from Sephora:  coats lashes with saturated black pigments and plumping polymers for a rich effect that makes lashes look thicker and bolder. 
my thoughts: I think the plumping polymers need a raise, because they really do their job well ;) I had not heard of this mascara before receiving the "kit" for Christmas and was really WOW-ED by it. This isn't necessarily drug store priced, but also isn't crazy expensive at $14 I think it's well worth the money!
Smashbox Super Fan Mascara 3/5
from Smashbox: gives you modern, fanned-out volume without any heaviness or clumping.
my thoughts: I really liked this one, still not a top favorite-but it's close. It does a great job of lengthening and adding volume and does it well without clumping as advertised. I still get better volume from some other mascara loves and for that reason I rated it a little lower.
Benefit BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara 4/5
from Benefit:  layers easily to build massive volume without weighing down lashes.
my thoughts: I'd say this is more lengthening than volumizing and that's partially why I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. This mascara did an excellent job at separating while lengthening the lashes, but I wouldn't say it's too build-able as it tends to spread lashes out too much if you repeat to build.
Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara 3/5
from Marc Jacobs: ultra-volumizing-delivers instant dimension for epic lashes and the lash-maximizing, curvy brush places the most volume at the hard-to-reach center lash line, and the defining tip styles lashes for major drama. The super-concentrated black pigment creates instant, smudge-proof length and volume in three strokes or less. 
my thoughts: I can't 
ITCosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Mascara 5/5
from ITCosmetics: gives lashes the appearance of volume, length, and elastic stretch in just one coat.
my thoughts: WOW, absolutely love this one. I remember using an ITCosmetics mascara several years ago and not being a fan. I'm not sure if it was this exact one or if the formula was changed...but either way, this is a must have. It really does lengthen and give great volume to your lashes without being clumpy. Highly impressed!
Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Black Drama Mascara 4/5
from Maybelline: the patented spoon brush loads every lash with extra long fibers and carbon black pigments instantly build volume for a dramatic false lash look.
my thoughts: I really loved how the fibers seemed to build up my lashes, but it wasn't the most dramatic look. It definitely provided great results considering the price- a good buy!
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara 5/5
from Essence: conic shape fiber brush provides lashes with dramatic volume and sculpted length.
my thoughts: this is my absolute favorite drugstore mascara- it's SO cheap and does a great job of really covering my lashes and lengthening them at the same time. It applies easily and evenly and you just can't beat the price too!
Essence I Love Extreme Volume Mascara 1/5
from Essence: the large fiber brush coats every lash for splash-proof volume.
my thoughts: I wanted to try this out since I LOVE the Lash Princess mascara from Essence. This product fell way short in my opinion, although the reviews online are pretty good. I didn't think it added length or volume, and barely any product seemed to come out. I did like that it didn't clump, but this was not a good buy in my opinion.
from Urban Decay: ultra-creamy, lengthening, and volumizing mascara for stand-out lashes. Meant to layer throughout the day if needed- they say to pile on coat after coat and there will be no clumping!
my thoughts: I love how good of a job it does at lengthening, but I found it a bit sticky and easy to smudge. Other than those two things, I really love this one!
L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara 3/5
from L'Oreal: features a special brush with a flat side to lengthen lashes up to 60%, and a comb side to separate lashes with precision.
my thoughts: this is another mascara that people rave about that fell short for me. I did like that it did not clump, but it felt very tacky and hard to make my lashes look good. They were stuck together in a weird way no matter how I played with the brush. I would still recommend people to try this one, the reviews are excellent.
Stila Huge Extreme Lash 5/5
from Stila: a blend of soft malleable waxes keep lashes feeling flexible and soft, while allowing you to apply multiple coats without lashes feeling clumpy or crunchy.
my thoughts: this is my favorite higher end mascara! It darkens and pigments your lashes SO well and really makes them POP! I always get a ton of compliments when I use this one, and you can sometimes score it as a set with my favorite Stila Stay All Day Eyeliner, which is a bonus.
from Sephora: high-volume mascara with nourishing, hemp-derived cannabis seed oil, thickening heart-shaped fibers, and pure pigments for a clump-free, intense black finish.
my thoughts: this is really good for thickening lashes, and the fibers seem to do their job well- I wouldn't say it's clump-free because I did have to put in work to make sure that didn't happen.
from Sephora: volumizing mascara with an hourglass-shaped brush that separates, coats, and curls each lash to voluptuous perfection.
my thoughts: I love how fuller this mascara makes your lashes, it does a great job-but I honestly don't find it to separate much. I've used this on and off for years and I really love it in a trial/smaller size more than anything. This is a popular mascara among women and I can see why.
Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Flared Mascara 3/5
from Maybelline: volumizes lashes up and out for a flared look. the flexible wand lifts and separates.
my thoughts: this was okay... I wasn't wow-ed, but also wasn't totally disappointed. The description makes it sound amazing but I think it fell short in color. It didn't seem dark enough, but it did a good job of lengthening lashes.

L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Primer 5/5
from L'Oreal: the pink primer is infused with rose oil helps prepare the lashes for the best mascara wear
my thoughts: a few dollars more than my OG beloved L'Oreal primer and I think this does an awesome job. It does really get a lot of product on your lashes, but being the mascara junkie that I am- I LOVE that about it. It does a great job of helping mascara adhere to your winner!
from L'Oreal: instantly builds dramatic volume and length on each lash. Creates a boosting effect
my thoughts: I've used this for YEARS, so obviously I love it. It applies well and I don't use mascara without's a MUST HAVE!
Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer 1/5 (say that 5 times fast-HA!)
from Dior: lash primer that coats each lash with a dense, lightweight layer to intensify the effects of the mascara.
my thoughts: NOT impressed. I couldn't believe how much better my trusty L'oreal primer performed over this Dior one! It did not apply well at all- to the point that I thought maybe something was wrong with the tube I got. I played around with it a few different times and was not impressed with the consistency and lack of priming it did. Total thumbs down for this one!
Essence Volume Booster Lash Primer 4/5
from Essence:instantly increases the volume of any mascara. Infused with acai oil and mango butter for nurtured lashes.
my thoughts: the first thing I noticed was the smell, it's lovely! It does a good job of priming the lashes and applies really well. I noticed it wasn't as thick as the L'Oreal so that's why I gave 4 stars. An AWESOME budget buy!

Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil 5/5
from Too Facedthe wand coats lashes from base-to-tip with the conditioning, oil-based formula, ridding of even the most stubborn waterproof mascara. There’s no need to rub or tug the eye area, and the formula is infused with antioxidant-rich green tea extract to help protect lashes while other ingredients condition them.
my thoughts: I don't see this as a must have, but it really is great at getting your product off. I purchased it for half off during an Ulta sale to try and enjoy it, but don't use it every day. You put it on like mascara, and let the product sit for about a minute and wipe off. No residue is left, which is pretty impressive and a huge bonus for the price. 
Makeup Eraser Makeup Cloth 3/5
from Sephoraremove smear-proof, waterproof makeup and mascara with the cloth.This makeup remover gets rid of all types of makeup, including stage, sports, and theatrical makeup. Each cloth will last a thousand washes, and you only need to add warm water and then remove makeup.
my thoughts: it does an OK job of getting off mascara, it took A LOT of wipes to remove mine. Honestly, a washcloth does the same job as this and doesn't smell or get funky since you can throw it in the wash. I'm not big on this one, but some seem to love it!
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-In-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover 5/5
from Garnier: micelles capture and lift away dirt, oil and makeup without harsh rubbing. This no-rinse micellar water leaves the skin clean and without a greasy residue.
my thoughts: I love love love this stuff & talked about it in my 10 must have drugstore beauty buys! It is so inexpensive, lasts forever and removes makeup all in one swipe with a cotton square or cotton ball- super easy!

from Revitalash features the company’s proprietary Biopeptin™ Complex, a breakthrough cosmetic technology. Combined with  antioxidants and  amino acids, it works to enhance the beauty and create the impression of iconic-looking lashes.
my thoughts: I used this after getting eyelash extensions for a long time. I needed to repair and rebuild my lashes, and this did help- but it didn't wow me. For the price, I would expect the serum to really lengthen and strengthen lashes as it advertises. You can get a better serum for the same price!
Essy Eyelash Serum 5/5
from Essy: a nourishing serum to help frail lashes to strengthen, magnify and grow in as quick as 2 weeks.
my thoughts: you guys- this is a STEAL. I'm telling you- for under $30, this works just as good as the pricey, high dollar serums! I had heard great things, so finally tried it for myself and will never use another because you can literally save $100 over other serums. I was using it every night, but now that my lashes are long and strong (insert baby got back lyrics here)...I only use it a few times a week for great results!
Rodan & Fields Lash Boost 5/5
from R&F: get the appearance of lush, longer-looking lashes in as little as 4 weeks
my thoughts: I had to share this one since I used it. I had finally given in to the hype and the amazing results you see from women everywhere about the beloved Lash Boost. Well, it does work- quickly and well. My lashes grew in no time! But- $155 for a product is just too much for me to justify as a regular purchase. I'm so glad I found Essy, mentioned above!
*Some things to mention about each serum- you must follow directions and apply as advised.Some can irritate your eyes easily, so it's important to pay attention when you use them. Also, once you stop using them your lashes will go back to normal- you can slow down the usage like I do with the Essy, but still need to use it a few times a week to get results!

To summarize, here's a round-up of the top picks in their respective categories:
Primer- L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Primer

High-End-IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch & Stila Huge Extreme Lash

Budget Buy- Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect & Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Black Drama

Lengthening- Urban Decay Perversion

Volumizing- Sephora Lashcraft Big Volume

Removal- Too Faced Mascara Melt Off & Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Serum- Essy Eyelash Serum

I hope this helps you the next time you're shopping for a mascara or wondering if one is worth the money! Let me know what you use, I'd love to hear your thoughts and favorites!


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