Mascara Throwdown

I am a mascara girl.

It’s one of my “if you were stranded on a deserted island and you could bring only 3 things” items.


I know.

But the thing with mascara is that once I think I have found THE ONE…I always seem to find another ONE.

With that said, though I always come back to my tried and true Loreal Voluminous.  It’s been my go-to for, well, like 15 years?  Sigh.  I’m old.


Anyway I decided to get crazy and see if I could find a new favorite.

I kinda did, but kinda didn’t…

Let’s discuss.


I decided to try a few new “high end” mascaras.

By “high end” I mean, Mascara that costs more than $10 a tube.

Here we have (from left to right):

And here are the low end..I tried only a few low-end ones, because these were ones that I haven’t already tried in the past.  (I thought these new ones might be contenders against my Loreal Voluminous)

Obviously there are MANY other low-end mascaras, but I had already tried so many others on my own with Voluminous still coming out as my favorite. So I tried these other new ones to see how they measured up.

Here we have (from left to right):


Ok.  This is embarrassing but here are my lashes WITHOUT mascara:

They’re teeny!

Also, no one should have to look at my face that close up without makeup ever, ever again.  Sorry.


Now here are some of the differences in low end brushes:

Just going on looks I thought I would like the Loreal Power Volume Best.

The “Mega Plush” brush has a bendable wand or “Flexor Brush”…you can see it if you look close.  I have to say, that for me this feature made NO difference what-so-ever.  In fact I like the fact that the wands don’t bend.  I feel like I can really coat my lashes better without the bendable feature.

The False Fiber Brush looked the least interesting to me. BUT it provided the best results!

Here is the the Power Volume on the left and the False Fiber on the right:

I could actually see a difference.

The thing about mascaras after trying so many on side by side..the results are really marginal.  There are only a few out there that actually show a visible difference, in my opinion.

And those mascara commercials.  I hate them.

So, my favorite low-end mascara goes to Loreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes

Now let’s move on to 2 high end mascaras that I had high hopes for.

In the picture below, on the left is the d.j.v. beauatinizer Fiber Wig.  It came heavily hyped by the girl at Sephora.  She said it was one of their top selling, highest rated fiber lash mascara…she said people LOVED it.

I didn’t.  It was really pricey and didn’t give me any better results than the Loreal False Fibers above.

On the right is a freebie that I got in my Birchbox that I was REALLY excited to try.  It’s called blinc and says that with each swipe of the wand each lash is encased with a “tube” of mascara.

Well, you can see below on the right that it wasn’t great it you are going for volume.


I gave each one of my mascaras 2 swipes.

Next up let’s talk gimmicks.

I fall for a makeup gimmick every time.

On the left is the Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes.  This one also came heavily recommended by the girl at Sephora.

I have to say I really liked the results, BUT after using the mascara for about a month religiously I never got used to the application process.  I just didn’t love the “ball” applicator and felt like the results weren’t better than my Volumious.  But with that said, I did really like the results, just for me, the price and the process wasn’t worth it.

The top right is the “Flawless Definition” Waterproof from Bare Minerals.  It’s wand it very thin and has lots of tiny bristles.  If you are going for volume this one isn’t for you, unless you want to apply 14 coats.  It will, though, give you a pretty, natural fringe.  Just a slightly amped up version of your natural lashes.

The bottom is also by Bare Minerals, but it’s their Buxom line..Buxom Amplified Lash.  The wand as a twisty top..twisting it scrunches up the wand, supposedly allowing for better lash separation and untwisting makes the wand longer, giving more volume per lash… I liked the mascara, but never really used the twist feature, always keeping it untwisted for the most volume.  So it didn’t make sense to buy this one for me.


After trying all the High End Mascaras, I chose the Lancome Hypnose Drama as my most favorite…

Here’s the brush…

It’s a really creamy mascara and goes on very smooth.  It’s a thick formula, and can clump a little bit, but swipe over it a few times and I found that it gave me the thickest, most volume lashes off all the ones I tried…

A close second on the high-end was the Big Fatty from Urban DecayIt has a ton of bristles and even “ball” type end that you can use like the Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes.  I felt like it took a few more applications to get the same volume as the Lancome, but it’s still a good mascara, especially if you prefer that type of brush.


Next up let’s discuss Primer..Do you really need mascara primer?

Well, certainly the answer to that is no. You don’t NEED it.

BUT, I use it…because it does make a difference.

I use this one’s Sephora’s own line and it’s like $15…

I know there are a bunch of other brands out there and Kristan really loves the Tarte MultiplEYE Primer, but this one from Sephora is the one I use and really like.

It gives you lashes a boost from the bottom.  You apply it to your naked lashes and when you swipe your mascara on you are starting now with a thicker base to build on.  It makes sense.

Here are my mascaraed lashes below without primer on top and with primer on the bottom….

(Also note that on the left I have the Loreal Voluminous False Fibers and on the right I have the Lancome Hypnose Drama.)

The results are subtle, but noticeable, in my opinion.


And finally I applied the rest of my makeup including eyeliner and shadow and here’s how my lashes look with primer and mascara…

I have the Loreal False Fibers Volumunious on the left and the Lancome Hypnose Drama on the right.

I used primer on both and also swiped each lash 3 times with mascara.

If you like volume you HAVE to put multiple coats of mascara on!

So I hope to have saved you a little leg work with my very scientific mascara research.

I would love to hear you favorites too!

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  1. 1
    Sydney says:

    I love the Loreal Voluminous is my go to mascara too. However I love my Victoria Secrets volume mascara it make my lashes look fuller, longer and cleans off nicely and doesn’t clump. Also it doesn’t come off in the shower or pool unless rubbed which is nice in the summer.

  2. 2
    heather says:

    Voluminous is my favorite, ever! I’m such a makeup junkie and I love these kinds of posts.

  3. 3

    My favorite is Maybelline XXL Pro Extensions – It is a dual ended applicator with a lengthening primer on one end that does wonders for my short lashes! I gave up on trying high end mascaras awhile ago, because I could never find one I liked more than the Maybelline. I recently purchased Benefit’s “They’re Real!” with my Birchbox points though, because I know quite a few people who swear by it. I really like the applicator – it is a regular wand with that spiky ball type thing on the end, but I haven’t been able to apply it without my lashes looking clumpy and spidery. Boo. Two high end mascaras that I’d like to try, but just can’t justify the $$$, are Dior Show and Armani Eyes to Kill.

    • 3.1
      Shelly says:

      They’re Real is good, but Kristan and I have talked about it and we find it hard to remove..have you ever had that issue?

      • Yes! After owning this for a week now, I’ve mastered the clumping, but it is much harder to take off than my usual Maybelline. I thought my Almay makeup remover pads were running out of “juice” since I was to the bottom of the stack, but realized my mascara was the only thing that changed.

      • Katie says:

        I use coconut oil as eye makeup remover and it removes even waterproof mascara a so easily! I usually use They’re Real and it comes off easily with coconut oil, and I figure it’s probably good for lashes also!

    • 3.2
      wendy says:

      I am a mascara whore. I wouldn’t even go to Walmart without a few coats! I just wanted to let you know Dior Show is nothing special. I had a makeup lady talk me into it, and I was willing ti shell out the bucks because you can never have lashes too long. Sadly, NOT worth the price. Stick wtih L’Oreal.

  4. 4
    RachelJW says:

    I will always and forever be a DiorShow girl….I’ve tried that Loreal Voluminous and I do like it, but I always go back to DiorShow!

  5. 5
    ErinB says:

    I’ve been using Loreal Voluminous for about 12 years. I LOVE it.

  6. 6

    L’Oreal Voluminous ALL. THE. WAY. I can’t tell you how many times people have stopped me asking if my lashes are real when I’m wearing this stuff. And I’ve got thick glasses on 24/7, so I LOVE that my lashes are noticeable still beneath my frames. I always buy the Carbon Black version–it makes my lashes really dark and super thick and fringe-y.

    However, I was able to sample Lancome’s Hypnose Doll Lashes for free and I must say, I like that one, too. I don’t go for “natural” looks with my mascara, and this wasn’t natural or subtle. It delivered a thick, black fringe every time and I loved that the brush was kind of corkscrewed so it could reach the inner corners and bottom lashes.

  7. 7
    SNancyKat says:

    I too am a die hard L’Oreal Voluminous gir. They have made several great mascaras. But honestly, Cover Girl has made some decent ones too. I often use one coat of one brand, a 2nd coat of another. I have yet to find an upscale brand of mascara that really does better than L’Oreal or Cover Girl (and I am a BIG mascara fan). Don’t you just love that brand new tube?? Maybelline Colossal and Stilletto Lash are good. Here are my lashes today (at work). One coat of a cheaper brand that I can’t even recall and one coat of L’Oreal Lash Fiber. And LASH COMB, Shelly, LASH COMB! That is my top make up tool. Comb out each coat after it dries to get rid of clumps and make a feathery look.

  8. 8
    Erin F says:

    I am currently using Benefit Bad Gal Lash. It came in a set/kit called “I’m glam… therefore I am.” Totally cute packaging, which I am a complete sucker for! It works really well though. I would love to try some new ones though!

  9. 9
    Christina says:

    I like your final choice in the Loreal False Fibers but I found that it dries out real quick in the tube. The first time I used it I was in love & from then on it has never been as good & it clumps a lot. My daughter has been using the Benefit newer mascara They’re Real & she is in love so far. My daughter & I have also discussed that you can have a bad lash/mascara day just like you have a bad hair day. You go to put on your favorite go to mascara & it just turns out bad. Maybe the mascara is not to blame & it is our lashes they are hair & we think they have fussy days just like the hair on our heads.

    • 9.1
      SNancyKat says:

      I noticed it dried out too. But I read on Pintrest (or somewhere) about putting a few drops of saline solution in your mascara and it thins it out and so much better than water. It’s true. I’ve tried it. And I know what you mean about bad eyelash days. Like you slept on them wrong or something. A hot washcloth applied to your face will help straighten them out.

  10. 10
    Celestine says:

    I was really hoping that all of your hard work and testing would find me the greatest mascara ever…..but I already use Lancome Hypnose and L’Oreal Voluminous. I guess your tests prove to just stick with my current program. But in the future if you find anything better, PLEASE post it!!!!

  11. 11
    Chandra says:

    The very BEST mascara in my opinion is Noir by Guerlain. It made me look like I was wearing fake lashes it gave me so much volume and didn’t flake or clump. The huge drawback though is that it’s $50 a tube. So I can only afford maybe once a year lol.

  12. 12
    Jessica says:

    I am ALWAYS looking for a good mascara! I have weird, long, sort of “frizzy” and tangled eyelashes…I’ve been stuck on Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara for a while now and I really like it, but I think I’m going to try the Lorel one you suggested next time I need a new tube…thanks so much for this post!

  13. 13
    Casey says:

    This was such a helpful post! Thanks for all the good info! Ill be trying the L’Oreal mascara this week! I am usually just a MAC makeup girl but lately their mascaras have not impressed me at all. Time for a change! :)

  14. 14
    Kerry says:

    Loved reading this post! I am always looking for a low priced mascara that can compete with my absolute fave Lancome Definicil. I have never used anything that goes on so well and washes off easily. Good to hear that Lancome won because it doesn’t make me feel bad for spending so much on mascara.

  15. 15
    Cindy says:

    I hate switching mascaras, but I was sick of all the clumpiness and what I call spider eyes (where the lashes all stick together, so I was looking for something that gave volume and spread my lashes. So my recommendation is Sephora’s own Atomic Volume Mascara…it’s only like $12 and it’s better than those Maybelline volume mascaras.

  16. 16
    Emma says:

    Am I the only freak out there who really hates the way most mascara smells? It smells very strange and chemically and I don’t want that all near my eyes and nose. It is just weird! I also have sad little eyelashes that aren’t even visible if I don’t wear mascara…like seriously…..soo sad :( The two masacras that I have found that are decent are the Physician’s Formula organic mascara and the Mary Kay Ultimate mascara. I love the stuff with the primer on one end but, it just felt so heavy on. Alas….the search for the perfect mascara will continue for me.

  17. 17

    I’m ssoorrttta obsessed with mascara. It’s a real problem. I LOVE mascara reviews like this because it helps me narrow the field when I buy. Right now I’m using the Benefit Bad Gal mascara and it’s just so-so. It’s a thicker formula compared to some drugstore options but probably not worth the $19. I’m definitely giving primer and the Voluminous False Fibers a try next time. Thanks for the recommendation!

  18. 18
    Tammy says:

    I always use maybelline great lash untill I tried maybelline the falsies flared volumexpress it is awesome

  19. 19
    Heather says:

    I am a makeup horder and I’m a sucker for anything that is new, so of course I’ve tried like 10 mascara’s…the one I always come back to as my general mascara is Maybelline Lash Stiletto. It’s not super expensive, makes my lashes seem longer and fuller and it kinda smells like lilacs, which is nice for a change. I use it on top of Maybelline Great Lash, which just nicely lengthens and separates my lashes, to make them look even fuller.

  20. 20
    Victoria says:

    I have tried just about every mascara you have (including that awful Givency ball lol). Ever since trying Rimmel Volume Accelerator in Extreme Black, I haven’t gone back to L’Oreal. Cost about the same at any local drug store.

  21. 21
    rnikkig says:

    I like the natural look and use cover girl lash blast fusion in the purple tube. Its great and people can tell the difference if I’m not wearing it. I just had another layer for evening.

  22. 22
    tisha says:

    Have you tried the Too Faced brand?

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