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  • Melissa


Updated: Dec 30, 2021

Mascara is another one of my "stranded on an island" products. If I could only have a couple makeup products, I think mascara would be important. Mascara makes your lashes more noticeable by making them look darker, longer, and fuller. This draws attention to your eyes and makes them look more open.

I've tried many mascaras and firmly believe in buying them from the drugstore. Although one of the best mascaras I've ever tried is Too Faced Better Than Sex, I've only owned it once because it makes so much more sense to buy great affordable mascaras. Mascara is something that we go through quickly so it is hard to justify spending a lot of money on it. It is recommended to replace your mascara every 3-6 months and while I've definitely pushed some past 6 months, I've noticed that others lose their quality after 3 months, so mascara definitely has a short shelf life.

As you try more mascaras, you will probably find that you like certain style brushes more than others. You might like waterproof more than regular formulas. You might like brown mascara better than black, or maybe you'll like colored mascaras like purple or blue. My preference is the blackest black color and non-waterproof formulas. I like sturdy brushes with lots of bristles (like the Better Than Sex brush), but I'm lucky enough to have pretty long lashes so I've had success with a lot of different mascaras.

Here are some before and after pictures of mascaras I've used:

Benefit Roller Lash ($24 for full size): A great mascara that makes your lashes look like they're multiplying as you apply it. I don't typically like this style of brush but it ended up working fine and the mascara was great overall.

Covergirl Lashblast Clean Mascara ($10.99): I didn't use this too much because I'm hooked on the Thrive mascara but it was a pretty good clean, affordable option.

Covergirl Lash Blast The Supersizer ($7.49): This is a good mascara that gives me a lot of length and really separates my lashes. It's not my favorite ever but definitely a good one.

Essence Bye Bye Panda Eyes Mascara ($4.99): I like this! I wanted to find something cheaper than my Thrive mascara that still came off in a similar way so I don’t have panda eyes in the morning and this mascara is literally named for that! It is not as much of a tubing mascara as Thrive. It comes off easily but doesn’t actually come off in tubes. I feel like it smudges a tinyyy bit because I thought I looked tired and then realized my undereyes were a little darker than usual from some light smudging. I actually liked the way it looked on my lashes better than Thrive though! More volume whereas Thrive is mostly just length. It reminded me a lot of the Ilia Limitless mascara. I’d say it’s a pretty good dupe for that, just not a “clean” product like Ilia.

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara ($4.99): It's not the best I've tried, but for the price, it's really great!

L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black ($7.99): I loved this mascara because it really gave me long, full lashes and I always got compliments when I wore it. The formula also doesn't dry out quickly- I think I used mine for almost a year (which probably isn't hygienic but whatever). However, it transferred onto my lid pretty often so I haven't repurchased it.

L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise ($9.99): A really great mascara- the closest to Too Faced Better Than Sex (my fave) that I've ever found. The only complaint I have is that it transfers onto the top of my lid which can mess up my eyeshadow so definitely make sure it dries really well if you have long lashes.

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes ($8.99): Really good! Gave me a lot of volume. Only complaint is that it was a little messy to take off.

L'Oreal Voluminous Original ($7.99): Good but didn't blow me away. At least it didn't transfer like Carbon Black does.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara ($24 for full size): The brush was pretty cool and the formula was good but it just wasn't my favorite. It got clumpy when I did the second coat.

Maybelline Colossal Big Shot ($7.99): Good but not great. Maybelline makes great mascaras but out of all the ones I've tried, this one did the least for me.

Maybelline Lash Sensational ($8.99): My favorite Maybelline mascara! It makes my lashes really long and full and I like the shape of the brush.

Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies ($6.99): The first Maybelline mascara that I tried and it made me a believer! This isn't my favorite Maybelline mascara but it is a great one and very affordable.

Maybelline Volum' Express Mega Plush ($6.99): I didn't like that the brush was so flexible but it was a nice everyday mascara. It won't give you super dramatic lashes, but gives you a soft, full look.

Maybelline Volum' Express The Rocket ($6.99): Another good Maybelline mascara. Makes your lashes nice and long but doesn't give me as much volume as it does length.

Milani Highly Rated 10-in-1 Volume Mascara ($9.99): This one was pretty good. It gave me good volume and length. The formula was very wet so it gave me soft layers of product that you can build up.

Milani Most Wanted Lashes ($9.99): I didn't love this. It grew on me from when I first started using it but I won't repurchase. Gave more length than volume.

Neutrogena Healthy Volume ($8.99): It's okay but didn't do a lot for my lashes. Actually gave me more length than volume, despite the name.

NYX Double Stacked ($15): This requires a couple more steps than regular mascaras do, but I think it's worth it. You apply the black mascara, then the fibers, then the black mascara again. The fibers latch onto your lashes so it's actually like adding material onto them so they look longer and fuller. Whenever I wore this, people thought I was wearing false lashes.

NYX On The Rise Liftscara ($11): NYX killed it with this formula! My favorite affordable and cruelty-free mascara hands down! Gives really nice volume while lifting your lashes, doesn't clump when you apply multiple coats. I get a lot of compliments when I wear it.

NYX Worth The Hype ($8): A great mascara that volumizes and lengthens. It's just as good as all my beloved Maybelline mascaras but I still think L'Oreal Lash Paradise is slightly better.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara ($9.95): I liked this for an everyday mascara because it's nothing dramatic but it wasn't anything amazing. The brush is also too big for my liking.

Rimmel Lash Accelerator ($7.99): I was always repurchasing this as my bottom lash mascara. Yes, I was that high maintenance that I needed a separate mascara for my bottom lashes. Overall this mascara isn't great but the brush gets all my little bottom lashes perfectly.

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions, Brynn (rich black) ($24): I didn't know this was a tubing mascara nor did I even know what a tubing mascara was. It isn't the best mascara I've used in terms of the way my lashes look- it gives pretty good length but the volume isn't great and sometimes it clumps lashes together. It lasts all day, doesn't smear or smudge and holds a curl pretty well. The BEST part is the way it comes off as if the mascara creates a tube around each lash. It falls off in clumps/fibers and leaves no residue at all when it's all off. It's been so great to wake up with no smudgy raccoon eyes from leftover mascara residue.

Too Faced Better Than Sex ($23 for full size): My favorite! Your lashes look like they're multiplying as you apply it. So much volume and it's nice and black.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara ($24): A good mascara but I wasn't in love with it. Got better as it dried out a little.

Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara ($24): Another good mascara that I liked but didn't love.

Wet n Wild Mascaras: I'm just going to group all of these together because I wasn't a fan of any of them. They just clumped my lashes and I only used them a couple times before giving up and tossing them.

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