Tuesday, July 13, 2010

30 Before 30: # 15 Find a "Good" mascara- Round 1

This one is going to take a while, so I figured I would do this post in installments. I have a few things that God has blessed me with (skin, legs) but eyelashes is NOT one of those. I have the piddliest, shortest, thinnest lashes. I look dead without mascara. So, finding a volume building mascara is a constant pursuit. Thankfully, all the companies are constantly coming out with the next "big" thing for us mascara fiends. Here are some I tried before I started "the search".

Recently, I tried Maybelline XXL Pro, a double-wanded applicator with lash builder on one side and lash tint on the other. Crap. The builder makes your lashes clumpy. The tint doesn't really cover the builder well, and if you wait longer than 2 seconds, the builder dries, making for a rough tint application.
A few years ago, I used the standard Maybelline Great Lash, but I noticed that it did only a ho-hum job of building that voluminous "fanned-out" action on my lashes. I looked more Twiggy than Sophia Loren, if you know what I mean. You can even see how that would happened based on the wand brush. Lots of space between brush extensions.
Loreal Collagen Enhanced Volumizer is the mascara I was using right before I started my "search". It does a pretty good job at building volume, but it too was clumpy. I liked the brush, but it seemed to get clogged with mascara easily. I was told that I can take a clean one-time mascara applicator and rake out the clumps from the brush, but I had already decided to get a new one at the time. So, I might actually re-visit this one.
I went to Sephora, thinking my problem was that the mascaras I was purchasing were "cheap" ($5-8). I actually worked up the gall to buy this "cult-following" volumizer by Dior. It's called Dior Show. The brush is super thick, and the formula was smooth, but not any fabulous, "wow- I-gotta-have-this" reaction occurred. Plus, I was really having buyer's remorse at coughing up $24 to have a one ounce tube of black gunk. I returned it. Of course, Tim, being the sweetest guy, bought it for me for Christmas- he went to Sephora and asked for a good volume mascara, and this is what he got me. So sweet, but he was also relieved when I returned it (If $24 was a lot to me, you can understand what it takes for him to buy this =) It was after the Dior splurge that I decided a few things: 1. I have never once gone through a whole tube of mascara, so why spend more than I have to? 2. Most mascaras work well for the first two or three weeks, after that, the brushes seem to clump up and the formulas start oxidizing, so why spend more than I have to? 3. I should replace my mascara more often anyway (especially since I wear contacts, and have since learned I have sensitive eyes), so...why spend more than I have to?
I really wanted to like Cover Girl's Lash Blast (they kinda kicked off the anything but black mascara tube trend) but their "breakthrough" nylon brush just did not apply the way I wanted it to, and again, I did not notice any significant increase in length or volume. Yet, I saw a girl at Costco with amazing lashes, and asked her what mascara she used...this was it:
I have also used Loreal's Voluminous, and to be honest, I think the formula was a little thick leading to sticky lashes that would clump into three large lashes, but it was so long ago, that I feel this one deserves another try at some point. I do like the brush on this one though.
My first mascara was Lancome Definicils; my mom wore it, and I would always get great results. But, about 5 years ago, they changed the formula and it isn't the same. I even discussed this with the girl at the Stila counter in the mall, and she agreed. So, Definicils from 1997, I love you...but now you stink.
Okay, now on to the contenders: I went to Walmart and spent about $26 on three new mascaras. I also checked their policy on make-up returns. Of course, being who I am, I feel guilty knowing that I can't just return these and know they will be used. It is utterly wasteful to return opened mascaras...but I'm getting desperate, AND (and this is a huge issue) when you go to "try" out mascara at Sephora or the mall, they use a universal applicator!! How in the world are you supposed to know how the mascara goes on if you are really only testing the formula, I mean, doesn't the applicator make up like 85% of the mascara's ability to actually lengthen and volumize? If it wasn't so, they would just sell universal applicators with your specific formula. Ugh, so frustrating!
So, I bought Cover Girl Lash Blast Luxe. I was persuaded, even though I did not like CG Lash Blast (orange). A few reasons for the try: it has shimmer in it! so fun! and it is supposed to be a volumizer (as opposed to their Lash Blast Lengths [yellow]-which I also tried, but forgot to post about). It was that darn nylon brush again, I just don't like the way it applies the mascara. I also can't get a hold on the applicator, the thing is so big in my hand, I would rather have more control of the brush. So, bye-bye CG Lash Blast Luxe.
The next contestant was Maybelline's Lash Stilleto. Delaney suggested it, and I had seen it, but believed it was a lengthening mascara. Well, the one below is, but there is a red tubed one that is length and volume, so that's actually the one I tried. Crap. I had to work SO hard to get the lashes to take the mascara, and it took about 4 coats to get them just "normal". I tried this one once, then it was gone. Sorry.The last one was Maybelline Colossal Volume Express. It worked pretty good. But again, I had to work pretty hard to get the mascara on all my lashes. Just not for me.

So, I have a few more options out there that will go into round 2 of "the search".
I just bought Maybelline's Define-A-Lash lengthening and volumizer, and I'm fairly impressed so far. Plus, it comes in a lovely green tube!
I found Maybelline Great BIG Lash while searching for pictures, so I'll have to give that a try. It's the great lash formula, with a volumizing brush.
I might just try some cheaper options, like NYC or Wet 'N Wild (are they even around?) or I might just find a nice, modest pair of false lashes...

Love, Lauren


Sarah said...

I am finding this process fascinating, and I am now wondering if my standards for my mascara are way too low. I have never really given any thought to this... I went through a Lancome phase while teaching and in general, loved all of it. But it is too pricey now to justify as a SAHM. So I've been using cheap stuff. I have heard that you can aid any mascara's application by taking a q-tip and using it to spread the lashes back out after putting on the mascara. I've done that before, but I think it has limited results. Anyway, please keep us posted: if you end up finding one you like for cheap, I will probably end up going out to try it! Thanks for doing the research for the rest of us!

Beth said...

I think I have tried every brand that you mentioned plus Almay, Cover Girl, etc. But I am back to Lancome Definicils... just the plain one, not the one that vibrates or whatever. As you say, after about a month, the cheaper ones start to clump up, but Lancome doesn't seem to do that. They say you shouldn't use any mascara more than 3 months due to bacteria build-up (and that you shouldn't pump the brush into the tube because it introduces air and bacteria). So I figure 3 at $8 apiece or one for $24 that really lasts 3 months comes out about the same. I'm sticking with Lancome... though you have now made me want to try Dior. Good grief! All this over mascara! Let's not even THINK of starting on bras! :)

Shar said...

Still sad that Lancome felt the need to reinvent their mascara that was good just the way it was :( I've never found anything to replace it, so let me know if it's out there.