Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Find Me a Mascara: 7 Top Mascara Brands Battle it Out

A 7 Day Experiment, putting each of these products to the test...

The Contenders
  1. MAC, Zoom Lash                                                              RRP: €19.00
  2. Loreal Paris, Voluminous (with Ceramide-                        RRP: €15.50
  3. Maxfactor False Lash Effect 24                                        RRP: €17.00
  4. Yves Saint Laurent, Luxurious WaterProof Mascara            RRP: €31.50  
  5. Estee Lauder, Sumptuous Bold Volume, Lifting Mascara     RRP: €24.00  
  6. Clinique, High Lengths Mascara                                      RRP: €19.50 
  7. Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara                                      RRP: €19.50

*All of the above were purchased in black.

Day 1:
Product:         MAC Zoom Lash
Rating:           3/10
Brush Type:   Thin/Narrow with bristles.

I am not a fan of this mascara at all. Though I can see it’s potential I really really dislike the brush. Any time I find myself using Zoom Lash I always have to brush my lashes through with a separate lash brush or wand from a different mascara, which frankly seems a lot like hard work. The brush itself when removed from the tube is clumpy and overloaded with product, and leaves a similar look on your eyelashes. I feel that this product with a wider brush where the mascara can be more evenly distributed may be a winner. But as it is, very poor performance for a steep €19.00. Not a winner in my books by any stretch of the imagination!

Day 2

Product:          Loreal Paris Voluminous (with Ceramide-R)
Rating:            7/10
Brush Type:    Average width/with bristles.


Well I'm up and out with a full face of make-up after snoozing on my alarm twice! Today it was a blast from the past using Loreal's Voluminous. I used to use this Mascara years ago after getting a present of it for my birthday from my sister. First impressions the packaging is a bit old school.....grey and gold it just kind of looks like something my mother would have had in a make up bag 15 years ago....but we'll excuse Loreal for this! The brush once removed from the container again looks a little overloaded with product similar to MAC Zoom Lash, however once applied to the lashes distributes far more evenly. In fact I have to say this mascara is a lot better than I remember. No spider-lashes and my lashes did look thick without looking clumpy. I don't love this brush though, in fact I don't like it! I felt I had to pull it through my lashes a few times in order to remove any excess product. All in all as the cheapest mascara of the bunch, this has earned a permanent place in my make-up bag!


Day 3
Product:          Max Factor False Lash Effect 24
Rating:            9.5/10
Brush Type:    Large, wide brush, plastic, with textured plastic grooves instead of bristles

Given that the day started off with the unnerving feeling that only got 7 hours sleep last night, I have to say I perked up when it came to doing my make up this morning. Max Factor False Lash Effect's packaging is sleek and modern. There are a number of mascara's available in the False Lash Effect range, but this morning I am testing False Lash Effect 24 in black. On removing the wand from its container I note that the brush is loaded with an appropriate amount of product....even when brand new! This is such a welcome change from the other two mascaras I have reviewed so far this week. The brush is large so I question it's suitability for a person with very short lashes, however for me (mid-long lashes) it is indeed the perfect fit! This mascara is so quick and easy to apply. I think the key is the brush. The brush evenly distributes the product through my lashes without having to repeatedly pull it through to evenly distribute. Two quick flicks, one up, one down and you really are ready to go! All in all my lashes look great, look long and full without looking overloaded. As far as I am concerned this is the mascara to have at arms reach at all times...I can't really fault it. The only thing I will say is that given you can buy it in Boots and other pharmacies, it's pretty pricey at  roughly€17.00 (depending where you buy). That said in comparison to some of the high end products it really holds its own. Just to let everyone know, False Lash Effect 24 is actually on special offer this week in Boots pharmacies for €11....and at this price, its a bargain! 

Day 4
Product:         Yves Saint Laurent, Luxurious WaterProof Mascara
Rating:            8/10
Brush Type:    Medium width brush with bristles.

First and foremost I just love the packaging on this mascara. The sleek gold casing feels luxurious and expensive (probably because it is!). When removed the wand has an appropriate amount of product on the brush. The brush pulls through the lashes easily. With this mascara you need to try and limit yourself to a few strokes as if you keep pulling the brush through your lashes when the brush is loaded with product they can start to look a bit thick and 'spider' like. That said this can be easily avoided if you know this and use a minimal amount of product. In relation to the 'waterproof' element of this product, I can officially report after my mini-melt down this morning that this is 100% accurate. So much so however that taking this mascara off is actually quite difficult and you will need a good eye make-up remover solution to do so properly. All in all this mascara is very effective and very waterproof, but at €31 also very expensive. It's definitely in the splurge category but a very good mascara particularly if looking for one that is 100% waterproof.

Day 5
Product:         Estee Lauder, Sumptuous Bold Volume, Lifting Mascara
Rating:            5/10
Brush Type:    Narrow width brush with sparse bristles (conical shaped brush).

Comment:I didn't know very much about this mascara until this morning. I've never heard anyone I know mention it or I don't recall seeing it in a shop before I went looking for it. After using the mascara though I have a better insight as to why; this mascara is nothing exciting, exceptional or amazing. The packaging is gold and black, somewhat similar to that of Yves Saint Laurent but just not quite as nice. The brush when removed from the container appeared quite sparse in terms of the number of bristles compared to other mascara brushes seen this week. There was an adequate amount of product on the brush upon removal from the container. I needed to pull the brush through my lashes 7-8times in order to get even distribution and any kind of length effect. On completion, my lashes looked black however I cannot say that they looked thicker or volumised and I definitely wouldn't use the word 'sumptuous' to describe them! All in all I would say I was a little underwhelmed by this mascara given the price (RRP €24). Also to note I got caught in the rain whilst wearing this mascara and it smudged under my eyes. I am aware that this mascara does not purport to be water proof, that said I would hope it would withstand a couple of rain drops without running. 

Day 6
Product:         Clinique, High Lenths Mascara
Rating:            4/10
Brush Type:   Flexible curved, thin plastic brush. Plastic Flexible textured grooves instead of 

I was first made aware of this mascara in early 2010. The packaging gets this mascara noticed as it is all white which for me was intriguing. Being honest I picked this mascara up wondering what it was initially. The wand itself is somewhat unusual. It is arched or curved upwards and is bright green underneath all the product. Upon removal from the container the brush is coated with a nice thin layer of product and is in no way overloaded. Upon application the mascara distributes well but has no volumising effect on the lashes. Now given that I had my eight hours sleep and I'm pretty upbeat for a Monday morning I'm not sure how I managed this....but I poked myself in the eye with the wand. Painful you say? Well yes it was, very. So one would wonder how I managed to do it a second time in one morning, but I did when applying it to my other eye. I think it may be to do with the brush shape. To be honest maybe my eyes are the wrong shape for this brush but then again I have never considered my eyes to be in any way unusual! The curved angle of the brush makes in difficult to touch up the edges of your eyelashes on their own. In total I just found the brush awkward and fiddly. Given that I like most girls am used to using a straight brush I just found this brush difficult to use when applying the product. The overall effect of the mascara was adequate. Even distribution, some length effect and some clumping requiring 5-6 brush throughs to distribute the product evenly. Also to note when poked in the eye obviously I shed some tears (I seem to be in the habit of that when testing mascara) and this mascara is by no means tear or splash proof. Panda eyes on a Monday morning, not my best look!
Day 7
Product:         Clinique, Lash Doubling Mascara
Rating:            3/10
Brush Type:   Tapered brush with bristles, medium width.

Anyone who has ever bought anything from Clinique should be familiar with this mascara as they put it into every Clinique gift bag going. The packaging for this product is unexciting and to be honest the packaging in this case truly reflects the formula which lies within. This mascara is 'unexciting' and not one I would willingly spend my money on. It's grand if someone were to give it to you for free, but even then I'm not sure I would use it. When removed from the container the brush appears lightly coated with the product. I found I needed to put the wand back in to the container to re-coat the brush for my second eye. The mascara had some lengthening effect but this was in no way dramatic. As for the 'doubling' effect, I can't say that I noted any volumising effect at all. This mascara smudges easily and seems to wear as the say goes on. All in all I am not a big fan of this under achieving notorious freebie!


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