Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mascara Showdown!

Somehow between reader suggestions and Sephora orders I ended up with five new mascaras. Five! I think I might have a problem. A mascara problem. The obvious solution seemed to be this: Try them on and take deeply horrifying close-up photos to show you guys because blog science. The problem is, they all kind of look alike in the photos. Dammit.  But, I'm hoping maybe you guys will be able to see a difference? Please just lie because this took forever.

(Also, if you want to see a much more in-depth and adorable version of this, I'd be a jerk if I didn't recommend The Patron Saint of Mascara, also a reader suggestion. You guys are the best.)

So, to start, I tried the following three reader-recommended mascaras:

L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes - This was recommended by Natalie and Francie.

Maybelline Full 'n Soft - This was recommended by three readers including Katie who said, “I can't buy it in Germany, so every time I have to fly back from the US I strap tubes to my body a la Midnight Express.”

Shiseido Integrate Gracy Mascara - This was recommended so highly by an anonymous reader that I felt like I had no choice but to buy it. Blog science!

And two recent samples:

Lancôme HYPNÔSE DRAMA Instant Full Body Volume Mascara - I got this as a deluxe sample in one of the Sephora SEASONSET sample bags.

Dior Iconic Overcurl (or as Marianne recently called it, "Diorshow Iconic Glambast Lashexplosion." Mascara names are ridiculous but I think Lancôme gets the side-eye for most insanely unnecessarily long name.) - I got this from Sephora as a 100 Point Perk.

And now, because this is FOR SCIENCE, here I am with no mascara:

wispy sadness
Sad mole creature

And now, here are the individual results. This took forever and I have a new respect for beauty bloggers:


L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes. This is a tubing mascara with a separate primer which qualifies it as an Advanced Product as far as I'm concerned. I've had terrible luck with tubing mascaras but I was will to give this one a try. As you can see, this shit works like gangbusters. It takes more time because of the primer, but if you do it right, you'll have long lashy lashes all day long. They'll feel a little crunchy, but just don't touch them. My main issue - you cannot "wiggle" this one on the way you do with regular mascara. Brush it on straight and work fast - two coats per eye, one right after the other. If you don't do this your lashes will all stick together into three big points and it looks weird. But, if you have the time, this stuff is worth the effort.

Maybelline Full 'n Soft. I know you guys love this stuff but I wasn't blown away. I did really appreciate the super-long wand which made left-eye application much easier. It's really a pretty standard mascara and I had to do three coats to get any kind of volume. But, it's inexpensive and doesn't flake, so it's a solid drugstore option if you're just looking for a basic, no-frills mascara.

Shiseido Integrate Gracy Mascara. Another one that underwhelmed me. I loved the teeny-tiny wand, which made it easy to get all my sad, short lashes coated, but I had to work and work to get any kind of volume action. Again, three coats! Too much work. This would be a good choice for someone who already has long lashes, I think.

Lancôme HYPNÔSE DRAMA Instant Full Body Volume Mascara. Now we're talking! This stuff is volume HEAVEN. It's got a weird curvy brush and it's super thick and volume-crazy with one coat. My only concern is that it seems like the kind of mascara that dries up almost immediately, as the formula is already kind of dry.


Dior Iconic Overcurl. This is good mascara, despite the annoying curved brush which doesn't really help as much as you'd think it would. It goes on a bit more subtle than the Lancôme but I got nice volume and length with two coats and it stays super-black all day. Interestingly, I don't really think it holds curl all that well? Hmph.

Of all these, I honestly think my favorites are the L'Oreal Double Extend and the Lancôme HYPNÔSE DRAMA. So, one reader suggestion and one random sample. I didn't hate any of them, which says a lot for you guys and your solid recommendations. Thanks, y'all!


  1. Oh my god, spot on with the Lancôme. I was recommended it by the department store bot because I started to have an allergic elephant woman reaction to another store brand (goodbye, Max Factor, I will miss your lash volume sing wondrous ness!) and not only does it dry fast but it flakes off and blinds me throughout he day (I wear contacts) and bloody smudges like hell. So I got the waterproof Lancôme because, stupid, and you nearly have to rip your lashes off at the end of the day to get it off. However I got a sample and am in love with Estée Lauder sumptuous extreme mascara, lasts, does not smudge, no blindness and easy to remove.

  2. Yay! Glad you liked the L'Oreal Double Extend. It's a little difficult to remove with only soap and water, but other than that, I've been pleased with it. Next, I'm going to try the L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly mascara that a friend recommended.

  3. I'm a huge fan of that Beauty Tubes mascara because it doesn't flake off on my cheeks like 50% of mascaras, yet is really easy to remove, unlike the other 50% of mascaras, making it basically my perfect mascara. If they ever discontinue it, I'll just look horrible forever.

    Speaking of, the one thing I think would have been really useful here would be notes on ease of removal. for future mascara posts, perhaps?

    1. I'd not even thought about that, mostly because by the time I take off my mascara it's mostly gone anyway. I don't recall any of them being hard to remove.

  4. "Sad mole creature" had me dying. Out of this bunch - L'Oreal. But seriously... take 'em all back and get Buxom! For god's sake woman! It's the bee's knees!

  5. Based on a tip from one of your commenters, I purchased this:

    It's surprisingly pricey but also surprisingly effective. I like the curved brush (I guess it matches the curve of my eyelids). It has a drier texture than most mascaras, but goes on much less gloopy (it's a word) and flakey. It holds the curl amazingly well -- I could see it in a full-length mirror 6-8 hours later. Also I notice that my eyes have been less stingy, which also helps them look more open!

    Like the bottle, too. Pleasant to look at, hold & use. Thanks lgfb et al commenters!

  6. Also a key to luscious-looking lashes is really eyeliner which makes the lashline look thicker. (Check out the globs of it in mascara commercials.)

    When I have time, this eyeliner is the bomb. You barely have to touch it to the skin and you get a perfectly precise opaque line:
    It stays all day, but mistakes correct easily in the moment (I put a smidge of eye cream on a Q-tip).

    Then I blend out with brow powder (daft but it has better staying power than eyeshadow, which is good for a dark color I don't need drifting south to under my eyes). I've been buying the Shisheido one for a decade:
    When I'm in a rush, this is great for a quick smoky eyeliner effect by itself, too. (Plus brows, obvs. depending on your coloring.)

  7. aw shame that the Gracy didn't work so well for you. My lashes are rather fine too, so I'm a big fan of skinny brushes (anything else and I get mascara all over everywhere) so maybe that's why it works so well for me; I can actually get to the lashes.

    Just so you get some use out of it; use it on your teeny tiny lashes- corners and thicken the base of them- with the Gracey, than then one-two punch with something more fortifying perhaps. Also, use the Gracy brush with another mascara. Also, dust your lashes lightly before putting on mascara with whatever setting powder you might use. It thickens them, and the mascara catches on better and stays on better.

    (The good thing about the Gracy is that you can actually touch up with it- like add some to your wing-lashes at the end of the day- and it doesn't do that weird clumpy thing. So it's a handy- have-in-your-bag mascara.)

    Finally- have you tried Mavala double lash? It's not mascara, it's a conditioner for lashes and brows and it's very good. Whenever I feel exasperated with my thinning lashes and brows I get some more (actually, now I just use it all the time) and it makes a real difference. (also on amazon)

    BTW, coconut oil is the best eye makeup remover! Including for WP mascaras. Bonus; it helps your eyelashes grow, is wonderful for around the eye area, and is good for ze actual eyeball :)

    (And I've also loved EL Sumptuous Stuff. I think I remember it gave simply...sumptuous, full thick long gorgeous lashes- like serious movie-star stuff- but it smudged? Or something? I was working off a sample, something kept me from buying it. Maybe it wasn't WP....? It wasn't, I think! It was before the WP even came out. Now I'm going to have to go and look for it in WP :)

    1. Thanks for the tips! It's definitely growing on me and I love the tiny wand for getting all the bitty lashes. I haven't tried Mavala but I'll check it out. Thanks!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.