A Year of Mascara: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Hi everybody,

Last night, I went through my makeup inventory and realized I still haven't thrown a lot of my old mascaras out. I know, scary! But please don't yell at me. Let me explain, ok? Usually, a mascara lasts for about 3 months before I throw it to the pile that one day I will put on the big recycle bin. So far, I haven't emptied the pile yet, which gives me a chance to do a mass review on all the mascaras I've used this year.

How many of them have I used? 12! You see, by not throwing away stuff, I know what I have been using.

Here are the mascaras I've been using in 2010, all 12 of them
 For those who are wondering if I use a mascara a month, the answer is no. For some weird and unknown reasons, I have 2 or 3 open tubes of mascaras at the same time. Considering most of them are drugstore products, I don't feel too guilty using them. Some of the mascaras I already reviewed while others I have not done so yet. Therefore, this post is a comprehensive review as well as a comparison.

The Good

In order to be qualified as "The Good", the mascaras have to (a) volumize, (b) lengthen, and (c) hold the curls of my lashes. Well, none of the mascaras I've tried this year actually meet all of the qualifications. If they meet two out of three, I am happy. Which means I haven't met The One Mascara yet.

The chubby kids
(top-bottom): L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes, Cover Girl LashBlast Fusion, and Rimmel London The Max Volume Lash
 This year is the year for big mascaras. At the beginning of the year, Rimmel London released The Max Volume Lash. I enjoyed this mascara very much as it almost meets all three categories. It does lengthen, volumize, and hold the curl pretty well. However, the downfall is the wax in the formula. Under the sweltering sun, this mascara will melt.

Cover Girl LashBlast Fusion is a let down compared to the original LashBlast. Although it is a lengthening/volumizing hybrid mascara, it manages to do so only when you apply 3 layers of mascara on your lashes. If you go for a natural-looking mascara, this may be a nice product. It also smudges like hell. If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would go for the original LashBlast. It's a bit cheaper and my lashes look a lot bolder.

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes is another flank-out product from the original Voluminous. I will mention about it in a short while so please stay with me. I guess L'Oreal finally realized they did not have a mascara with a no-clump plastic brush in their Voluminous lineup while the rest of the world already have theirs. Hence, it explained the existence of this Million Lashes mascara. Compared to the original, the juice of this one is thinner, the brush is better, and the packaging is bigger. However, this is a lengthening mascara, not a volumizing one. It does a nice job making my lashes look longer. However, since the formula is wet, the lashes clump like none of your business. I would not say this is a let-down since it does not flake or smudge. However, compared to the original Voluminous, this one is pale.
The thin and original kids
(top-bottom): Lancome Definicils, e.l.f Lengthening and Defining, L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black,  and CoverGirl VolumeExact
 I received the Lancome Definicils as a part of the prize package from Tammy. It is very comparable to CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion, although I would say the Definicils has an edge since the brush is a lot thinner and smaller. It manages to darken my lashes without making them look too dramatic. Like many other Lancome mascaras, this one smudges like crazy. However, it seems to make my eyes look smokier, not raccoon-ier :)

I already reviewed the e.l.f Lengthening and Defining mascara. Still like it, though. Considering the price, this one is a steal. (Review here.)

L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara by far is the mascara. I cannot praise it enough and I am surprised I have never done a formal review of this mascara before. If you have wimpy lashes, this one will make them pop like no other. It lengthens and volumizes your lashes to a point they will look like falsies. The downfalls? The messy brush and the heavy formula. You can go up to two coats before your lashes decide they have enough and droop down. Unlike a lot of other mascaras, the non-waterproof Voluminous Carbon Black is quite smudge-proof. If you decide to go with the waterproof version, make sure to have a good eye makeup remover because it is one tough mascara.

The last one in the list is Cover Girl VolumeExact mascara. This one is the second time I bought it, which is rare of me. I buy a mascara once, use it, and only buy it again if it is very close to my standard. Well, this one does a much better job than the LashBlast Fusion in making my lashes look more noticeable. However, it does not hold the curl and if you go overboard, your lashes will look clumpy and spiky, despite having the no-clumping plastic brush.

The Bad
(top-bottom): Almay Pure Blends, DiorShow, and Sephora mascaras
I spent a dollar on the Almay Pure Blends mascara. The DiorShow and Sephora mascaras I got for free. The former was a prize from Tammy while the later came in the birthday gift set I got as a Sephora Insider.

All three of these mascaras have a few things in common: (1) they make my lashes look the same, despite how many coats I piled on, (2) the DiorShow and Sephora ones are expensive, and (3) I will not buy any of them again.

Well, the Almay Pure Blends one is already discontinued. Despite the fancy packaging, this is one sad mascara. The juice is quite goopy, the brush is scratchy, and at the end of the day, it smudges and flakes all over my face. For a dollar, it's not worth it. However, this product was originally priced around the $8-9 neighborhood. Unbelievable!

The Sephora mascara has a nice oblong shaped brush. If only the brush managed to grab some of the material! It managed to make my already straight lashes look straighter. To the recycle pile it went.

For those who have not read my epic DiorShow bashfulness review, click here.

And finally, the downright ugly
Thank God we only have two: NYC Lash Precise Defining Mascara and Physicians Formula Aquawear Mascara
For the life of me, I want to get my money back on these two mascaras. The NYC Lash Precise Defining mascara is still on sale, I believe. It has a plastic brush that's very similar to the one in CG VolumeExact. However, it manages to be scratchy. The juice is weak and makes my lashes look non-existence despite my effort of piling layers on top of layers.

However, it is not the saddest mascara I've tried this year. The Physicians Formula Aquawear takes the cake on this. Although it is a waterproof mascara, it manages to smudge! Also, the brush is really weird and scratchy. I have used disposable mascara spoolies that apply mascara much better. I am not sure if this product is discontinued or not but it should. This mascara gives other mascaras a bad name.

One interesting note: when I first started blogging, I wanted to review a mascara a month. I never got around to do it until now. This is totally unintentional and I still can't believe I've used 12 mascaras this year. The only explanation I have is since I am an Asian, I need mascaras to make my eyes look more noticeable. Also, I have a tendency to use 2 mascaras at the same time and I like to overlap them. Hence, the overload of mascaras.

I am just going to throw this out there and pray that it will work: for 2011, I would like to receive more mascaras to review and giveaway to my readers. Mascaras, I need you!


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