I’m going to just be honest with you, and say that I get most of my mascaras either through beauty boxes (hey Sephora Play!) or as gifts with purchase. If I had to pick a favorite, holy grail mascara of the ones I have tried so far, it would probably be the Benefit Roller Lash. I don’t currently own this mascara because I think that mascara is probably one of those things that may not be worth spending lots of money on. The Roller Lash is $24, and I do absolutely think it is worth that money. It makes my lashes long, full, but also keeps them separated. I don’t curl my lashes, but I have heard from people who do that it is one of the best mascaras as far as holding a curl.
That aside, I’ve been wanting to branch out into other mascaras because I’ve noticed little difference between high-end and drugstore in terms of quality. Each mascara is different, and you have to find the formula and the type of mascara that addresses your needs. I personally go for length, because I have found that mascaras that target thickening tend to flake all over and leave me with raccoon eyes (I’m looking at you Better Than Sex). I prefer plastic wands with thin bristles/spikes as I think it keeps my lashes more separated; I don’t like the clumpy lash look. If any of that appeals to you, keep reading!
- Lancome Cils Booster XL: I know I just said you can skimp on mascara and then went ahead and shoved a $25 lash primer in your face. A lot of people think this step is unnecessary, and that’s totally fine. I did too until I got a sample of this as a gift with purchase. I’m now on my second full-size tube. This primer claims to add extra length and thickness to your lashes, maximizing the benefits of any mascara you put on top of it. I fully agree with those claims. I do not wear false lashes, so I really put in the effort to make sure my natural lashes look good. This primer makes my lashes longer, makes them appear thicker, and I’ve noticed that it keeps mascara from flaking despite that not being one of its claims. I get longer wear time out of my mascaras with this primer than without it. I have tried a few lash primers, but this one remains my favorite and I will keep repurchasing it.
- Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara: This mascara claims to be “smart” in that it will uniquely treat and target your individual lash concerns. That is pretty silly and it most certainly does not do that, but this is nevertheless a solid mascara. It’s $21, but I bought it when Tarte was doing a promotion for $60 for 5 items (or something like that). I do absolutely think it’s a great mascara though. This mascara has a thick, bristle wand which I usually don’t like. It smells pretty strongly of clay. This type of a wand is usually more targeting for thickness, but because of the formula, I can get this mascara to deliver some nice length with minimal flaking throughout the day. I never use bristle wands on my lower lashes because I always smudge it when I do, but it’s great for my top lashes. I don’t know if I will repurchase this just because I want to try more mascaras and see what’s out there, and this one does feel somewhat generic and reminds me of the Maybelline Great Lash, which I can get for much cheaper.
- e.l.f. Mineral Infused Mascara: This one honestly surprised me. I got this full-size mascara as a free sample from e.l.f. so I wasn’t expecting much if they were willing to just give it away for free. I was wrong. This mascara has a flexible, thin, silicone wand which I enjoy, although I feel it is almost *too* flexible, and sometimes I can’t wiggle it under my lashes like I would want to. But that’s just me being a diva. This mascara is $3.00 (!!!) but it is honestly worth more than that. This mascara will not give you clumpy thickness so don’t get it if that’s what you’re after, but it will give you fabulous length while keeping lashes separated. I actually may repurchase this one!
- Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara Volume: This mascara is a deluxe sample I received on Black Friday. A full-size retails for $27.50. The wand is thick and bristled but with a slight curve to it. I’m actually not generally a fan of curved mascara wands. This mascara will build volume, but when I try to get it to build lots of length, it gets a little clumpy. Not my favorite and won’t be repurchasing.
- Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara: This was a deluxe sample from December’s Sephora Play bag. A full size of this is $30, which is more than I will ever likely spend on a mascara. It’s supposed to be kohl-pigmented and give you dark, smokey lashes. This stayed on really well without flaking, which was surpsing because I thought the kohl pigment would give me raccoon eyes. This is another thick, bristled wand so I’m meh on that, but it works nicely. It lengthens and thickens my lashes and makes them look dark. I won’t be repurchasing this though because the price is too much for me for a mascara.
That concludes the mascaras currently in my rotation! Let me know if you have any recommendations for me.