Thursday, September 2, 2010

The great mascara search Part 2 - High End brand

Ok so part two, craziness.  Originally I thought I'd wait to do the second part but I figured might as well keep the momentum going now that I've gotten the hang of it.  The product in this post will be those mascaras that would be found at Sephora, department store counters, etc.  Quite a few on this list came from a Sephora set of 10 (or something like this) trial sizes of different mascaras, but as far as I know the brush and product inside are identical to that it's full size counterpart.  So let's get this started!

1.  Anastasia Lash Lifting Mascara - black
price:  USD 22.00  CAN 29.00
Lash lifting you say?  I like the sounds of that and honestly that's exactly what this mascara does!  I could see a huge difference in the curl of my lashes after I applied this mascara.  It didn't weigh down the lashes at all and it made them look longer and fuller.  The wand is pretty typical and nothing amazing but I mean you can't ask much more from a product than doing what it says in the name.  Uberly impressed.  But not with the price tag, which makes me want to cry but I won't because my eyelashes look too damn good right now.  $29 bucks.  I think I'll just pay my phone bill instead.
Ranking:  4/5

2.  Benefit Bad Gal Lash - black
price:  USD 19.00  CAN 26.00
I had a major love affair with this mascara for a good while,  I loved the natural feathery feeling of my lashes yet they looked thick and long and just plain awesome.  Then 3 weeks later the tube was more or less dried out and I thought hmmm what have I done wrong here.  So I went and bought another one.  Fell in love yet again with how I could build up my lashes with this GIANT brush yet little to no clumping occurred.  Then again 3 weeks later, there seems to be no product left in the tube.  Wait a damn minute.  You mean to tell me that I'm going to spend $26.00 on something that lasts MAYBE a month?  No merci.  After realizing this, I started to fall out of love with the Bad Gal lash, started to notice things that bothered me about it... the way if i laughed too hard, squinted in the sun, had watery eyes from an especially emotional episode of Ghost Hunters (I'm going to try to mention Ghost Hunters in every single post from now on just to see if I can) I'd end up looking a hot mess with mascara all under my eyes and down my face.  Uncool.... uncool.  
Rating: 3/5

3.  Benefit Bad Gal Waterproof - black
price:  USD 19.00  CAN 26.00
Calm yourself KC... things are not that good for us.  While I appreciate the Benefit people deciding to do the whole waterproof Bad Gal thing, it's not the sammmmmeeeeeeee.  Different packaging, different brush, LIES!  There is one thing the same though... friggin' dry as the Sahara after a month of usage.  
If you have the money to spend $26.00 EVERY MONTH on a mascara... then you go right ahead... I don't, but if you wanted to buy it for me I'd accept and give you a wee kiss of the damn cheek.  Bad Gal waterproof didn't give me the same soft lashes that the original did and the product flaked through out the day.  But upon attempting to remove it I found that the best solution is a chisel and about 4 hours spare time*.  
*please note I don't recommend this and if you took this as a real recommendation I'd come to your house and punch your mouth.
Rating:  2/5

4.  BUXOM Lash by Bare Escentuals - blackest black
price:  USD 18.00  CAN 23.00
So this is one of those mascaras that include nourishing vitamins and conditioners for your lashes.  BUXOM does a liner with the same idea I believe.  To be honest I think it's an amazing idea!  If you're going to be wearing the mascara it might as well be doing something great for you lashes at the same time.  I am a HUGE fan of this mascara.  It makes my lashes look insanely long and if I just tap the product at the end of my lashes a few times it adds insane amounts of length.  And I have seen a difference in my lashes when I use it.  They seem less breakable, fewer of them fall out through the day and during makeup removal and they look shinier and softer without mascara on.  The wand is plastic which separates nicely but it's still quite large which makes application quick and easy.  The one major downfall I've seen is flaking.  I get a good amount of it throughout the day with this mascara and honestly it breaks my heart (I'm a sensitive soul you know... hahahaha I can hear my friends and family laughing at me already).  The price for the size of the tube is actually something that I'm super impressed about, I feel like this is a really good deal.  
Rating: 4.5/5

5.  DuWop Lash Venom - black
price:  USD 24.00  CAN 27.00
When I first tried this mascara I wanted to whip it across the room, burn it in a fire and then whip the ashes of the burned mascara across the room once again.  Yeah.  I have anger about it... deal with it.  It straightened my lashes to the point where they were straighter than they are before I even touch a lash curler, it clumped, it smeared all over my face, BAD TIMES.  BUT I didn't burn it... nor did I throw it.  I simply forgot about it.  It went into the land of things I've bought and forgot about and it hid there with its other random mascara friends until I decided to start this blog.  When I opened the drawer and saw the Lash Venom sitting there a shiver went down my spine and I remembered the horror of it from the first time I tried it.  But I grew a pair and thought no... this will not control my life I MUST TRY AGAIN.  So I did... just for you... and I didn't want to punch it in the stupid mascara face!  Allowing the product to dry out for a little while made it that much better!  Many freshly opened mascaras are too liquidy and thus are hard to apply and all they need is a little time in the timeout corner and they'll come around.  Still not my favourite but it doesn't cause me rage issues.  So yeah. 
Rating: 2/5

6.  MAC Studio Fix Lash - Studio Brown
price:  USD 14.00  CAN 16.50
BROWN MASCARA WHY... why.  Whatever, I got over the fact that this was brown and tried it.  I bought it for my kit but then decided I would give it a try for my own personal use and you know it wasn't all that different from black mascara.  I expected to hate how my lashes look but really I could barely see that it wasn't black... probably because my lashes are naturally pretty light so anything helps.  MAC mascaras have a pretty nasty reputation... I know they do... but I wanted to be fair and I have used quite a few of them.  This one was actually a really nice formula.  I LOVE this brush actually, it's plastic with pretty well spaced bristles but I love the separation it gives my lashes and it brushes out any possible clumps before they get the chance to even start forming.  I believe this a newer mascara for MAC and I actually like it and can see myself using it with cool smokey brown and bronze looks.  
Rating 3/5

7.  MAC Splashproof Lash - blacksplash
price:  USD 14.00  CAN 16.50
Ok so here's what you're going to notice with this set of photos... ummm I kinda ripped the wand off this bad boy... sorry.  This is my kit waterproof mascara so yeah the wand was gone with one good yank.  However, I wanted to include it in this entry because it's actually a really nice mascara.  The disposable wands I use have a very similar shape to the Splashproof's original one so I don't feel like that would cause any issues in my review of this mascara.  I use this for my clients because the waterproof factor is great.  It doesn't budge once it's on but with the help of an oil based remover it comes off cleanly.  The effect is super black and makes the lashes look how they should... no special tricks needed.  it's a good all around waterproof mascara.  
Rating: 3.5/5

8.  Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash - Extra Black
price:  USD 22.00  CAN 24.00

I wish I could leave it at that but I can't I have to give a reason for this explanation.  This mascara is what I've been looking for in a mascara since I was ummm what like maybe 13?  SOOO over ten years ago?!? I can't say that I've found a product in general before that gives me exactly what I'm looking for in it... not just mascara I'm talking EVERYTHING.  It gives me the lashes I'm looking for, super defined, extra thick, length and it stays put!  No flaking, no smearing, no wearing off on the outer lashes by 5:00.  Plus it comes off easily with normal eye makeup remover.  I don't know if it will be perfect for everyone but I highly recommend you try this mascara.  As soon as I can I'll be going to pick up the regular formula for the time of year when it's not blistering hot and random pool parties aren't likely to break out.  I'm starting a fund for anyone who wants to help me handle the $24.00 price though?  Donations?  No?  Well a girl can dream can't she?
Rating: 5/5 (gold stars, happy faces, bells ringing the whole thing)

9.  Sephora Brand Atomic Volume Mascara - black
price: USD 15.00  CAN 20.00
The wand on this mascara is similar to that of the MAC Studio Fix lash, well spaced bristles made of plastic.  This wand just looks like it's going to give you well separated lashes.  And it does.  Makes the lashes look like they've been combed through after applying the product which is something I rarely do as I tend to like a bit of gathering in the lashes (not clumping... gathering... get it straight).  But if this is a look you are fond of you might like this mascara.  ACTUALLY if you are one of those INSANE people who like applied their mascara and then separates the lashes one by one with a friggin' pin (don't lie I know you're out there) you would like this mascara a lot.  However it's lacking in the lengthening department and weighs down my curl soooo yeah.  $20 I think not.
Rating: 2/5

10.  Smashbox Bionic Mascara - black
price:  USD 19.00  CAN 22.00
Ok is it just me or is something weird with this mascara?  Like I'm completely unable to get it to look remotely good... like MEH good enough good.  Nowhere even close to that.  It smears all over my face within maybe 2 hours of wear and clumps like a mother father.  I feel like it so completely uncurls my lashes that it nearly curls them into my eye... like the opposite way.  Ridiculous.  The thing is too that I'll apply it and I'm like oh ok this looks good and I walk away from the mirror and two minutes later it's completely different from how it was when I just applied it!  So the pictures do it more justice than it deserves to be honest.  If you've figured out this mascara and I'm completely wrong then please leave me a message but I just don't get it.  Oh and then next one on the list is another Smashbox and I'll give you a wee hint about it.  I hate it too... oh I guess that wasn't a hint... SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!  
Rating: 1/5

11.  Smashbox Lash DNA - black
price:  USD 19.00  CAN 22.00
Not only do I not like this one... the brush is weird and the tube dries out really fast.  So I'm not going to waste your time with jabber about this one as well.  Here's the picture... again... does it more justice than it deserves. 
Rating: 1/5

12.  Stila Multi-effect Mascara - black
price:  USD 22.00  CAN 29.00
So this is another one of those random curved brushes and I know they are supposed to curl your lashes but let me tell you something.  JUST because the wand is shaped how I want my lashes to look doesn't mean it's going to be achieved.  This mascara seriously flaked on me but it did make my lashes look really fluttery and natural which was nice despite the mess.  The product itself was a little dry which I feel like probably lead to the flaking and was probably why I wasn't a huge fan.  And I mean come on $29 for a tube of mascara that's not that great?  Someone better come to my house to apply it for me to make up for this situation. 
Rating: 2/5

13.  Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4 in 1 Mascara - black
price:  USD 19.00  CAN 25.00
HOLY LONG NAME BATMAN.  But other than that I have less complaints about this mascara than the last three.  I'm sorry you had to see me like that but I take my mascara very seriously (who am I kidding I don't take anything seriously ).  The Tarte mascara has a consistency similar to that of the Bad Gal lash which makes me fear for its lifespan but it provides similar full, feathery, dramatic lashes.  The classic wand might make it easier to use than the Bad Gal gigantor brush.  So not all that great not all that bad but not worth 25 bucks.  I like the packaging though... and then name even though it's long it's wicked cute... well done Tarte creative team. 
Rating 3.5/5

So that's it for high end mascara brands.  Again I thank you for taking the time to read this I know it's long and some people just don't have the passion for lashes that I do but I do really appreciate it and hope it's helpful.  

I'll probably be adding mascaras as time goes on (I already picked up another drug store mascara today oops... freaking SALES!!!) but I'll probably just add them as smaller posts throughout the blog and I might even update these posts so you can go back and check in on them before heading out mascara shopping!  

Thanks so much!

mascara posts have been brought to you by:
3:00 am mascara application
L'oreal lash serum (you'll see a post about this at some point)
all different kinds of makeup removers
and the lives of many many brave cotton buds. 


  1. This made my day reading this. Please continue these updates. WOW! I'm so impressed by you. Please next: Lip gloss.

  2. This is great! After everything, I always go back to Maybelline GreatLash. Works every time!

  3. Have you tried the Maybelline Great Lash Big Lash? The wand looks a bit more "fluffy" hahahah! I'm wondering if I'd like it better with a different brush...

    Thanks for your comment!