The Mascara Diaries | A Catalog of Mascara Reviews

THE MASCARA DIARIES

NOTE: Mascaras listed alphabetically. Prices listed may vary depending on location and retailer.

Editor’s Favorites

Almay One Coat Triple Effect™ Mascara ($8.19, drugstores) –

Anastasia Lash Genius Waterproof Top Coat ($21, sephora.com) –

Anastasia Lash Lifting Mascara ($22, sephora.com)  –  Not much to say about this product. I have just about given up on “curling” mascaras. Its formula overall was nothing special; the brush was also nothing special. For $22 there should be something unique about it. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it either. It didn’t hold the curl (after I used a warmed eyelash curler) and while it did give my lashes a little oomph, I had to use it over a waterproof to get it to look right. Anastasia does make some great brow products though. ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Mascara ($18, sephora.com)

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Mascara ($22, benefitcosmetics.com) – This got good reviews (4 stars) at Sephora.com – so consider me the minority. I had high hopes for this mascara which ended up just being a $22 disappointment. It did not curl (but I have straight lashes), separate or volumize. It just gave me smudged, clumpy lashes. After several failed attempts – I returned it. ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Blinc Kiss Me Mascara ($24, blincinc.com) – One of the first tube mascaras on the market. This product is great for someone with naturally full and curled lashes since it is one of the only formulas that absolutely does not smudge and really does remove easily with warm water (with the normal gummy, oddly plastic residue). If you have to curl your lashes, forget it. They end up stick straight. You might also want to try the L’Oreal Beauty Tubes mascara which has a similar formula but with a better brush (skip the “primer” side though – see full review below). ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara ($24, bobbibrowncosmetics.com) –

Bobbi Brown Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara ($24, bobbibrowncosmetics.com) –

Buxom Buxom Lash Mascara ($19, sephora.com) – I’m openly not a fan of Bare Escentuals foundation – but I’ve been very happy with their Buxom line, with this mascara in particular. It has a full brush that separates and lengthens each lash without getting clumpy or flattening curl (I use it after a waterproof). Buxom Lash works particularly well when freshening eye makeup and layers well without getting heavy. The finish is also very glossy and black. ★★★★★★★★★★

Buxom Buxom Lash Waterproof Mascara ($19, sephora.com) –

Cargo LashActivator™ ($35, ulta.com) – Was I crazy spending this much on a Cargo mascara? I really wanted this to work! Its supposed to boost the appearance of lashes in 30 days and can be used alone or under other mascaras. How silly of me. Its rendered useless if used over another mascara and doesn’t hold curl, making it necessary for me to use a waterproof one under it – which negates any nourishing benefits. Plus I hated the brush – I don’t care how much peptide-biotin doo dads you put in it. ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Cargo TexasLash Mascara ($21, cargocosmetics.com) –

Cattiva Divino Lash Mascara ($24, dermstore.com) –

Chanel Inimitable Multi-Dimensional Mascara ($30, nordstrom.com) – I think Chanel Mascaras are my least favorite of the couture brands. While lashes weren’t stiff – the application was clumpy and the formula smudged. ★★★★★★☆☆☆

Chanel Exceptionnel de Chanel Intense Volume and Curl Mascara ($30, nordstrom.com) – This mascara was one of the clumpiest I’ve tried. It also flattened my curl and smudged. ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara ($42, nordstrom.com) –

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara ($10, clinique.com) – This tiny mascara works well in catching each little lash in the corners – but is way to clumpy and heavy for the bottom lashes. A bit expensive for what could easily be a sample sized mascara. ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Clinique High Definition Lashes Brush Then Comb Mascara ($14, clinque.com) – The two sided wand seemed like a good idea but both sides produced clumpy, stubby looking lashes that smudged. ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Clinique High Impact Mascara ($16, clinique.com) –

Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara ($15, clinique.com) – If you’re looking for natural lashes, this produces pretty, shiny lashes and minimal clumping thanks to the gel-based formula. It didn’t flake or look heavy – but did smudge a bit. ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

CoverGirl Lash Blast 24 Hour Mascara ($7.99, drugstores) – This mascara performs extraordinarily well for a drugstore mascara. It truly has the capability to last 24 hours while holding curl and remaining smudge free. There could be a bit more volumizing – but lashes still look lush. My only issue with this mascara is it is really difficult to take off – even with a good waterproof eye makeup remover – so minus one star for that. Otherwise, this is a solid drugstore choice. ★★★★★★★★★

CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion ($8.99, drugstores) – The perfectly purple middle child in the Lash Blast Family. This remarkable formula boasts the volume of original Lash Blast and the lengthening of its yellow predecessor. I love this. Its cheap, its in a purple tube (my favorite) and works. Its not as volumizing as the original, but definitely gives a professionally big lash look without clumping, smudging and flaking…but is easy to remove. Has the same big brush as the original.★★★★★★★★☆☆

POPULAR | CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Blasting Mascara Regular & Waterproof ($8.50, drugstores) – The infamous big, fat, bright orange (Garfield anyone?) tube. Its a good mascara. Huge stiff hedgehog looking brush that adds lots of volume and drama. I wish the formula was a tad bit thinner though, because after a few weeks it gets too thick and clumpy (and no, I don’t “pump” my applicator, so its not from air getting into the product). Another issue is the removal. Even after using cleansing oil and makeup remover it still left racoon-esque marks and was very difficult to remove.★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

CoverGirl Lash Blast Length Mascara Regular & Waterproof ($7.79, drugstores) – The skinny yellow sister of the original Lash Blast. I had high hopes that this would replace my Shu Uemura at a much lower price. Nope. I like the brush with its fine stiff bristles. The formula was nice and thin, but quickly developed into a strangely flaky mess that left little dots on my lashes that looked like tiny bugs (Ew, I know.). The waterproof formula didn’t even hold the curl. Boo. I would throw away the product and keep the brush.★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

CoverGirl LashBlast Luxe Mascara

CoverGirl Exact Eyelights Eye-Brightening Mascara

CoverGirl Lash Exact Mascara Regular and Waterproof

CoverGirl Remarkable Washable Waterproof Mascara

COSMETIC BLOG

DIOR DIORSHOW 360Dior DiorShow 360 ($36, DISCONTINUED) – I’m such a sucker for new fangled mascara gimmicks that if I were a lollipop – I would be the giant rainbow colored one. It would probably be easier to tell you which mascaras I haven’t tried! So – while this was insanely pricey (which is a lot coming from me) I dropped my $36 for the really cool rotating brush.Whoever does the product descriptions for Dior should be given a raise – because it entices even a seasoned and jaded makeup girl like me.

The brush itself is really cool. The detailed embossed “switch” is so Dior that it alone justifies the price. I actually leave it standing on my vanity – its that pretty. It has a helix shaped brush that has longer bristles to accommodate the “unprecedented Lash Wax™” formula which is thickening/curling/lengthening. Standing alone, the brush and the mascara formula are quite good. The brush really gets between each lash and effectively mimics the wiggle/zig zag motion; and the mascara is long wearing and very thickening. But put the two together – disaster. The main problem is the container does not remove enough of the product from the brush – literally clogging up every bristle. This alone makes it impossible to get a clump-free application or a curl to the lash (its too wet). Too bad – because that little detail made a potentially great mascara flop.

I’m going to wash the brush off and keep it separate. Luckily the mascara comes with a stopper to showcase the brush when you first buy it, so I’m going to actually use them separately.

the UPDATE (2/25/11): I’m returning this. For $36 it should do something more than give me clumpy, messy eyelashes.

COSMETIC BLOG

POPULAR | Dior DiorShow ($24, sephora.com) – One of the first big brush mascaras that promised runway lashes. I loved wearing this with the Dior Unlimited over it for massively big lashes. However, this formula gets too clumpy and because of the big brush, it can get messy. Its still the best out of their offerings. Its not my all time favorite, but one that I would buy again simply because I love Dior.★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Dior DiorShow Waterproof($24, sephora.com) – This super thickening mascara did a good job holding curl and adding a solid base for the DiorShow Unlimited which gave lashes a bit of a stretch. The only issue I have with the DiorShow mascaras are they get dry quickly and smudge a little. Still, its a good choice for those who want super volume and a lasting curl. ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Dior DiorShow Unlimited ($24, DISCONTINUED) – This stuff is pretty cool over another volumizing mascara. I used it over the DiorShow Waterproof and had pretty fabulous lashes. In fact, Dior was smart enough to market DiorShow and Unlimited as a pair, giving ladies multi-functional products depending on what order they were used in. On its own it was just average and did not hold the curl. ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (Rating based on use with DiorShow Waterproof).

Dior DiorShow Iconic ($28.50, dior.com) – This is much like the Chanel Exceptionnel which has a special brush and a “special” application technique that included wiggling and twirling and the cha cha cha. I for one, am not going to wrestle with my mascara – but gave it a fair shake anyway. Even while following directions, my lashes drooped, smudged and clumped together. Not pretty. ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Dior DiorShow Iconic Extreme Waterproof Mascara ($28.50, sephora.com) – I regularly curse Lancome for discontinuing Aquacils since it was the best waterproof ever. So I keep trying mascara after mascara in search of the ultimate. I have a few favorites…this is NOT one of them. You would think after trying the original formula, I would stay away from this. Nope. Not me. Totally obsessed. Still clumpy and gave the look of messy lashes…but without as much smudging. Its almost like Dior should have stopped with Diorshow. ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Dior DiorShow Extase ($28.50, sephora.com)- But still I bought this one too! Its tiered brush is inspired by tiered couture dresses. Ha ha! Whatever! It also has Metamorphosis powders that supposedly expand in size up to 50% after application. Hmm. Whoever wrote the verbiage on this is brilliant and very creative (Dior has brilliant marketing). It made me buy it! Unfortunately, it was disappointing. It didn’t hold my curl, even after using a curler and waterproof base. It got very clumpy when used alone. I continued to experiment with it (darn those Metamorphosis Powders!) and kept waiting for a butterfly-esque flutter of lashes. It’s nice to dream. ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Dior Dior Show Black Out Regular and Waterproof($25, nordstrom.com) – A “blacker” version of the original Dior Show. Its blacker in color, but it loses its impact in the formula which is unimpressive. Stick with the original. I’m really over the whole blacker black trend. It really doesn’t make that much of a difference if the formula isn’t up to par. You can get the same effect with L’Oreal’s Carbon Black Voluminous mascara for a fraction of the cost.★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

D.J.V. Beautenizer Fiberwig LX Mascara ($24, sephora.com) – One of the few mascaras with fibers that actually visibly lengthens lashes. I use this over a waterproof (it worked well with the original Shu Uemura Basic Mascara – it does not hold curl well on its own) using small, “flicking” strokes toward the ends of lashes to give them a bit of volume and length. It removes easily with warm water. ★★★★★★★★☆☆

D.J.V. Beautenizer Volume Lash Mascara ($24, DISCONTINUED) – A beefed up version of the original Fiberwig LX, Volume Lash has a thicker brush and deposits more product to lashes. I apply this by wiggling it at the lash line, then quickly pulling the brush up. For extra length, use Fiberwig LX on the tips.  ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Ellis Faas Mascara ($34, ellisfaas.com)

Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara ($22, esteelauder.com)

Estee Lauder MagnaScopic Maximum Volume Mascara ($21, esteelauder.com)

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara ($22, esteelauder.com)

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara ($25, esteelauder.com)

The Face Shop Face It Extreme EX Mascara Black Force

The Face Shop Face It Extreme EX Mascara Magic Eyelash Curler

The Face Shop Face It Waterproof Mascara Superproof 

Fresh Supernova Mascara ($25, fresh.com)

Fusion Beauty LashFusion XL ($24, ulta.com) –

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara ($30, nordstrom.com)

Givenchy Eye Fly Lash Extender Mascara ($27, sephora.com) – Meant to extend lashes, this mascara looked really nice initially, but smudged quite a bit by the end of the day. ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

NEW | Givenchy Noir Couture 4-in-1 Mascara ($32, sephora.com) –

Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara ($29.50, sephora.com) – The unique sphere brush did not work for my little lashes and clumped quite a bit and had a messy application even with practice. There was simply too much product on the brush – otherwise the brush was easy to use. ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Note: This products may still be available in Asia, but it is no longer sold in the US.

Hard Candy Flat to Fab Instant Curling & Volumizing Mascara ($7, walmart.com) –

COSMETIC BLOG

HELENARUBINSTEIN-LASHQUEEN-WATERPROOFHelena Rubinstein Lash Queen Sexy Blacks Waterproof Mascara ($36, travel retail or international locations) – This is by far, the prettiest when it comes to packaging. The matte gold tube is enhanced with a black lace overlay – more like Victoria’s Secret lingerie than a volumizing mascara. Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Sexy Blacks formula is equally as impressive – rich, dark with only a touch of smudging.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

At $36 a tube, however, even the effective hourglass brush and normally superior formula (HR is a L’Oreal brand) could not justify the elevated price. Lashes were still a little clumpy and didn’t maintain its integrity throughout a normal work day.

However, as a touch-up mascara based on appearance alone, I was not left with any buyers remorse.

COSMETIC BLOG

Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara ($28, sephora.com) –

Lancôme Cils Booster ($23, DISCONTINUED) –

TRY THIS: Lancôme Cils Booster XL

Lancôme Définicils High Definition Mascara ($26, lancome-usa.com) – The original defining mascara, this is the department store equivalent to Maybelline Great Lash. Its a great choice for those who have nice, curved lashes – but for those who require a bit more volume or need help preserving curl, this is not the way to go. I did like it as a last coat over waterproof mascaras, but there are better choices regardless of its popularity. Perhaps the waterproof version is worth taking a look at. ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Lancôme Hypnôse Custom Volume Mascara ($24.50, lancome-usa.com)

Lancôme Hypnôse Star Mascara ($28, sephora.com)

Lancôme Virtuôse Divine Lasting Curves Mascara ($24.50, DISCONTINUED)

COSMETIC BLOG

LANCOME VIRTUOSE PRECIOUS CELLSLancome Virtuose Precious Cells ($29, travel retail locations or amazon.com) – This is one of my latest purchases. It’s the Asian release in place of Definicils Precious Cells, which just released here or the Hypnose Precious Cells which released in Europe a few months ago. It basically has malus domestica (which is from the Uttweiler Spatlauber Swiss apple) but its almost at the bottom of the ingredient list – but at least we know it has some kind of actual precious cells. It also has arginine which is an amino found in keratin (another “hot” ingredient for hair) which is supposed to protect lashes. My first impression of this version wasn’t good. I didn’t see any of the listed benefits: high definition, curves, length or visibly regenerated lashes. The brush deposited too much color and made my lashes look painted – which might sound interesting, but it looked like Tammy Faye Baker lashes. Ew. I will play with this more – and perhaps give the Definicils, which I’m assuming will deposit less product, a try.

EDIT (6/27/10): I’m not sure if this has anything to do with my lashes looking longer and fuller – but I have to say they do. I’ve been using this fairly frequently (about 3x a week) and while it’s not a product I will buy again, it’s definitely one I will use up. ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

COSMETIC BLOG

Laura Mercier Thickening and Building Mascara ($20, DISCONTINUED) A very basic thickening mascara. ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

TRY THIS: Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara.

L’Oréal  Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara ($10.95, drugstores)

L’Oréal Double Extend Eye Illuminator Mascara ($8.76, drugstores) – L’Oreal should consider selling the shimmery top coat alone since works well over any mascara and adds just the right amount of shine.  The actual mascara side is average, neither adding substantial volume or length. ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

L’Oréal Double Extend Lash Boosting Serum + Mascara ($10.39, drugstores) – Didn’t do much boosting since the mascara itself produced mediocre results. Might work well on those with naturally pretty lashes – which doesn’t do much for those of use who are less endowed. ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

L’Oréal Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara Regular and Waterproof ($7.95, drugstores) – Yuck. Didn’t add volume, just a bunch of clumps. Both the regular and waterproof versions did not hold curl. ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

L’Oréal Power Volume Collagen Mascara Regular and Waterproof ($7.95, drugstores)

L’Oréal Telescopic Explosion Mascara ($9.50, drugstores) – This drugstore version of the Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara but at half the price. Clumpy (even with suggested application) and messy. They should consider just selling the brush to separate lashes. ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black Regular and Waterproof ($7.29, drugstores) – This is the ONLY drugstore mascara that I love! Its super duper black with a glossy finish. I can wear the waterproof alone and it holds my curl. The washable version gives lashes an extra boost. Gloriously volumized and pumped up lashes every time! I also like to buy several on sale so I can change them out regularly. While this is my favorite drugstore buy, I must warn you that it does smudge on occasion. So be warned. Better for when you’re doing a smoky eye vs. a natural one. ★★★★★★★★★

L’Oréal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Regular and Waterproof ($8.95, drugstores) – Decent mascara, although there have been reviews that it breaks lashes. I wouldn’t say it produces a truly false lash look – but It did add a bit of drama without being overly clumpy. The waterproof version also lasted all day. ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

L’Oréal Voluminous Full Definition Mascara ($5.54, drugstores)

L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara Regular and Waterproof ($7.29, drugstores)

L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara Regular and Waterproof ( $8.95, drugstores) – I know it isn’t supposed to clump…but it did. No millions here. ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

L’Oréal Lash Out  Mascara Regular and Waterproof ($8.48, DISCONTINUED) – With its signature “teddy bear” brush – this did a great job at grabbing every little lash and the waterproof version held the curl nicely. ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash ($22, sephora.com)

POPULAR | Maybelline Great Lash Mascara ($4.99, drustores) – Bleh. I don’t care how many makeup artists claim they use this – I think its awful. You have to basically have perfect lashes to begin with since it doesn’t hold your curl and smears everywhere. Out of almost 3,900 users, it rated a 2.1 out of 5 stars on makeupalley.com. It must have been good back in the day…when it was the only option! Yuck. I’m going to try the waterproof version just to be fair, but I’m pretty sure that it will be just as disappointing.

EDIT: I upped my original 1 star rating since I tried this basic mascara again – and when used over a good waterproof mascara, it added a little separation and a nice glossy black finish. It was still more smudgy than most, but for under $5, worth a try. ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes Mascara ($6.40, drugstores) –

Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara ($4.99, drugstores) – This is marginally better than the original. Considering how inexpensive it is, I would have considered this for my makeup kit since I used to change mascara on each client. It held the curl fairly well and since the brush is smaller, it was easy to control and hit each lash. The formula didn’t smudge too much, but it did make my lashes look “spidery” and felt stiff. The waterproof version was also a bit difficult to remove. I would rather spend a little more money on a product I like, but unlike the original pink and green, this would be a good kit staple – but not a staple in my personal makeup stash. ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Waterproof Mascara ($8.95, drugstores) –

Maybelline Lash Discovery Mini Brush Waterproof Mascara ($7.99, drugstores) – I like the skinny brush which makes it great for those with short lashes. It doesn’t clump too badly and holds the curl quite well. Not a WOW product, but a fairly good one. It’s similar to the waterproof Great Lash, but with a more narrow brush. I would prefer the Great Lash only because of the price. This isn’t $3 better. ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara Regular and Waterproof ($8.95, drugstores)

Maybelline One by One Volum’  Express Mascara Regular and Waterproof ($8.15, drugstores) –

Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara Regular and Waterproof ($7.77, drugstores)

Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express Cat Eyes MascaraRegular and Waterproof ($7.77, drugstores)

Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Flared Regular and Waterproof ($7.77, drugstores)

Maybelline The Mega Plush Volum’ Express Regular and Waterproof ($5.99, drugstores)

MAYBELLINE VOLUM EXPRESS HYPERCURL HELLO KITTY EDITIONMaybelline Volum’ Express Hypercurl Waterproof Mascara ($13, Asian market) –

Maybelline XXL Pro 24 HR Bold ($9.40, drugstores) – Of all the Maybelline mascaras, I like this one the best. Its super black, had minimal smudging and gave my lashes a solid boost. I think having two sides was kind of a waste, since they really didn’t seem to enhance the effects. However, it was like having two mascaras in one since both sides were super shiny black (one side has a fluffier brush, the other was more defining). Not a must-have, but a pretty darn good cheap mascara. ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Maybelline XXL Pro Curl Power Mascara Regular and Waterproof ($9.40, drugstores) – Boo. This mascara was so disappointing. Not only did it not create a curl, it killed the curl after I used a curler. Being that its waterproof, I expected it to at least hold the manufactured curl. Not only did it give me oddly straight lashes (they even looked straighter than my bare lashes) but they looked hard and stiff. (Ahem)  And not in a good way. ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Napoleon Perdis Peep Show Madame Prep ($25, beauty.com) –

Neutrogena® Healthy Volume® Regular and Waterproof ($6.39, drugstores) – I had high hopes for this mascara since it has a patent-pending waterproof formula that “penetrates and helps plump the core of each and every lash”. It also has a super huge plush brush much like the Diorshow (amongst others). However, the formula is very dry and just made a clumpy mess of stuck together lashes. Neutrogena has not impressed me in the mascara department (although they make decent products to remove them). ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Origins GinZing Brightening Mascara ($17.50, origins.com) –

Revlon 3D Extreme Regular and Waterproof ($8.99, DISCONTINUED).

Revlon Grow Luscious Regular and Waterproof ($7.99, drugstores)

Revlon Doubletwist Mascara Regular and Waterproof ($8.99, DISCONTINUED)

Sana Extra Large Mascara ($18.99, Don Quiote stores or import-action.com) –

Sephora Outrageous Volume Mascara ($15, sephora.com) –

Shiseido The Makeup Lasting Lift Mascara ($23, DISCONTINUED) – This was one of my favorites before I started layering mascara. I’ll probably go pick up a tube after doing this review because it was so awesome! Its more of a traditional waterproof, giving strong hold for curled lashes. Reminds me of a less stiff version of old school Lancome Aquacils (which I still miss). ★★★★★★★★★★

Shiseido the Makeup Mascara Base ($24, nordstrom.com) – This is another great base for other mascaras. It really holds the curl (other bases always kill the curl for me – which is why I opt for thinner waterproof formulas as a base), remains flexible enough to layer with other mascara, gives length and volume a boost without clumping. ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Shiseido Perfect Mascara Defining Volume ($23, nordstrom.com) – I love this mascara. I’m pretty surprised at how much I love Shiseido’s mascaras. This one is super smudge proof…but removes easily with soap and water (although I hope you use eye makeup remover). Love! Its formula also doesn’t clump, it doesn’t dry out and get crumby, it’s a glorious lacquer black color that doesn’t get “dull” and really creates believable length and volume. It really is mascara perfection. ★★★★★★★★★★

Shu Uemura Basic Mascara in Black($27.50, DISCONTINUED) – This is a staple for me, but only because I’m willing to layer mascaras to give me my desired look. It will not yield a fabulous look on its own, but it holds the curl, separates perfectly and is a great base for other “WOW ME” lash products. Its water-resistant and really doesn’t smudge or clump at all. If you want a really natural, but slightly fluffy lash look, or you have impossibly straight lashes, this lightweight gel based mascara is for you. ★★★★★★★★★★

TRY THIS: This has been discontinued and replaced with Ultimate Natural Mascara – which I haven’t tried yet but looks promising.

Smashbox Lash DNA Mascara ($19, DISCONTINUED) –  A mess. The “double helix” brush is supposed to grip and evenly coat each lash, but I just ended up with a big mess. ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Stila Forever Your Curl Curl Memory Mascara ($22, sephora.com) – Meh. Not really impressed by this mascara and I seriously doubt its “memory” abilities. I was hoping it would be a non-waterproof mascara that would hold my curl but be easily removed. It wasn’t clumpy or messy and didn’t smudge too badly during the day – just nothing special. ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Tarte Lights! Camera! Lashes ($19, sephora.com)

Tarte Lights, Camera Splashes! Waterproof Mascara ($19, sephora.com) – I can’t stand the cheesy denim and anchor packaging! But this formula is a good basic waterproof that isn’t stiff like others in its category. It did a decent job holding the curl and wasn’t overly clumpy or flaky. It holds up against more expensive products, but isn’t 2x better than L’Oréal Voluminous Waterproof which is less than half the price. ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Tarte Lash Hugger Natural Mascara ($18, DISCONTINUED) – Boo! I really wanted to like this mascara since it’s a more eco-friendly product and is housed in a recycled aluminum tube. But alas, form follows function and this natural wonder did nothing for my lashes. It might be a good product for someone with really full lashes who doesn’t have an issue with smudging. ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

TRY THIS: Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara ($19. sephora.com).

COSMETIC MONSTER SEAL CM AWARD WINNER! Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara ($20, urbandecay.com) – Awesome lashes in a tube. This mascara has surpassed all my expectations. It holds the curl, lenghtens, adds the right amount of volume, separates and just gives lashes a pretty look. Virtually smudge-free – I appreciate that one tube lasts over 3 months without the formula getting thick and clumpy. It is a bit hard to remove – but worth the extra effort. ★★★★★★★★★★

Thierry Mugler Cils Vinyle (DISCONTINUED) –

ULTIMATE LUXURY | Tom Ford Beauty Extreme Mascara ($42, neimanmarcus.com) –

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes ($35, toofaced.com) –

YSL Everlong Waterproof ($30, DISCONTINUED) – This is another great long lasting product, much like the Shu Uemura Basic, but with supposed lash enhancing properties and a bit more volume. I love the brush, it doesn’t clump, holds the curl, doesn’t smudge too much (but it does…a little) and it doesn’t dry out like its glorified sister Faux Cils. Pretty close to perfection. I’ve purchased this at least 6x since its release. Don’t bother with the non-waterproof version. Its too smudgy.★★★★★★★★★★

UPDATE: This has been discontinued and replaced with Singulier Waterproof (see below). Sigh. I picked up 2 on eBay to last me a bit.

YSL Mascara Singulier Regular and Waterproof($30, nordstrom.com) – Clumpy Clumpy Clumpy! Besides the Everlong Waterproof mascara, YSL hasn’t impressed me in the lash department. Even my previously loved Faux Cils (see below) has seemed clumpier and drier than normal. And no, I’m not using an old tube. This particular product claimed to fill in the lash line to mimic eye liner and supposedly gives lashes volume, curl and length. If it delivered I would be so impressed! I’ve tried it several times and keep ending up with a clumpy, smudgy mess. ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Luxurious Mascara ($30, nordstrom.com) – When this mascara first released, I jumped on it and quickly became a loyal user. It really gave me the false lash look I love! The downside to this is the formula. It tends to get thick and therefore clumpy. I understand that it’s a creamier consistency to give lashes volume, but I wish it would last longer in its original state like the Everlong Waterproof which stays clump free till its done. ★★★★★★★★☆☆

YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Waterproof Luxurious Mascara ($30, sephora.com) –

YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Noir Radical Luxurious Mascara ($30, nordstrom.com) – This has the same formula as the original Faux Cils, but in a deeper black (which seems to be the trend now). This does have a very rich and lacquered black look and is a little thinner than the aforementioned version. However, I don’t know if it’s from the extra pigment, but this smears like crazy on me, which normally isn’t a huge problem. It also “kills” my curl, even with a waterproof base. Save your money and pick up the L’Oréal Voluminous Carbon Black (the waterproof is better) for a similar look at a 1/3 the price. ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

8 thoughts on “The Mascara Diaries | A Catalog of Mascara Reviews

  1. Thanks – from the mascaras i have tried – not near what you’ve done – i can tell your reviews are spot on – and will save me a whole lot of money and irritation! Please keep it up!

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