Jun 032011

Even at their best, mascaras are a bit difficult to gauge. Very, very rarely do you find one that just “wows” you. If it doesn’t run and it doesn’t clump, it’s basically an awesome mascara, right? Even a really impactful mascara can be difficult to commit to, because you always want to find that really amazing curling, lifting, separating mascara.

Mascara also uniquely has the downside of degrading more quickly than any cosmetic. So sometimes a fantastic mascara will be amazing for ten days, before it turns into a flaky, goopy mess- which is such a shame, because when mascara is great, it can make your whole look feel exceptionally polished.

There are a few biggies in the mascara realm- some better than others and all with slightly different attributes. Let’s break down some of the best mascaras

MAC Zoom Lash: Zoom Lash holds a special place in my MUA heart, because it was introduced when I was just starting out as a MAC freelancer. It was one of my first coveted “big girl” products, and a lot of my affection for it is based in that memory.

Bear in mind this is a controversial mascara, in as much as a mascara can be controversial. But even though the staying power isn’t the best on the market, it solidly darkens and thickens lashes and holds a curl well.

Lancome Hypnose: Earlier in the week, we discussed Lancome’s Dual Finish Pressed Powder Foundation. In the GWP that came along with it, I received a sample of this formulation. A moderate Definicils fan, I thought Hypnose would be a nice twist on Lancome’s mostly solid mascara line. I was definitely underwhelmed by the flaky formula, which called to mind Halloween costumes from when I was a kid. This formula gets some decent reviews around the web, but there are far better options at the Lancome counter.

Maybelline Full n’ Soft: I love high-end makeup, but mascara has far less of a gulf between fancy and mass-market than color products like lipstick or eyeshadow. If you’re at the supermarket or drugstore and need a mascara option stat, Maybelline’s Full n’ Soft is far better an option than the much lauded Great Lash. It defines and separates lashes without clumping, and has a lengthy makeup bag life. Definitely a diamond in the rough.

Clinique Naturally Glossy: Not one of the more dominant mascaras, Clinique’s Naturally Glossy is often overlooked and certainly underrated. This formula is great for work because it goes on thinly, but separates and darkens lashes really well. It doesn’t flake, stays put, and washes off with a minimum of fuss.

Dior DiorShow: DiorShow is another divisive mascara- one of the higher-end options on the market, and very loved by some. The formula defines and separates, without getting too thick or intense – good for day and night.

Everyone has a standard mascara they come back to time and again- what’s yours?

  10 Responses to “Mascara Melee: Five Top Formulas, Road Tested”

  1. I love playing with new mascara. Dior Extase is a great one if you haven’t tried it.

  2. My current mascara that I can’t live without is Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl. I am dealing with the sudden desire to try as mani Asian mascaras as possible!

  3. i’ve used these mascaras. Zoom Lash was my go to since it came out…till Smashbox 3D. You gotta try it!

  4. I agree with you on several of these! Another one that is a favorite of mine is the YSL faux cils, if only it could last longer… ;)

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  9. I’m loving Armani Eyes to Kill Excess!

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