I Tried 3 of the Buzziest Mascaras and I Have Some Thoughts | Mascara Review with Photos
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I’ve been wanting to do this post for a long, long time. Mascara is probably my number-one desert island product, and while I can’t say I’ve tried them all, I’ve come pretty close. While there are plenty of awesome new options in the drugstore, I usually use higher-end mascaras for one simple reason: Sephora Beauty Insider rewards.
I use a (relatively) inexpensive hack to try a lot of different prestige mascaras without breaking the bank. Basically, I cash in my Beauty Insider points on the 100-point sample size mascaras. Surprisingly, they go a long way - I usually get at least a month's worth out of one tiny tube. Whenever I stock up on my skincare products or need a foundation refill, I redeem my points for whatever mascara is offered that day (and there are usually some really great picks!)
Thanks to Sephora, I was recently able to try Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara, Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extension Mascara (not at Sephora - I purchased this one), and Kat Von D Go Big or Go Home. I tried each mascara with no primer or false lashes. I curled my lashes beforehand with my Tweezerman curler and then applied two light coats of mascara.
First up: Hourglass Caution™ Extreme Lash Mascara ($29)
The good: The formula strikes the perfect balance between wet and dry - it’s not goopy, but it’s not so dry that I have to keep pumping the tube to get any onto my lashes. This is hard to find in a formula, so kudos to Hourglass for getting this right. I loved that it gave my eyelashes a soft, fluffy type of volume while holding my curl. All in all, it makes lashes look pretty - not too black or intense, but not so natural that it looks like you have nothing on. And thanks to the no-clump formula, I was able to build this up for more intensity.
The bad: With a name like Caution: Extreme Lashes, TBH I was expecting just a teensy bit more…oomph. What can I say, I expect a lot out of my mascaras.
The verdict: This mascara is perfect for work/daytime or when you don’t want to look too overdone. Especially because I love Hourglass and was psyched to try their mascara, I wanted this to outshine my OG Too Faced Better than Sex and Lancome’s Monsieur Big. While I really liked it for a natural, daytime look, it won’t be replacing my faves right now. But, it will definitely be on regular rotation.
Bottom line - if you want length + volume without looking clumpy or overdone, this might be a hit for you.
The good: When applied correctly, this mascara does give good length - my eyelashes practically grazed my eyebrows. The formula is a rich, pigmented black and gives an intense look. It really is a good substitute for false lashes when you don’t feel like dealing with the glue.
The bad: When applied incorrectly, this can quickly turn into a mess. It’s a very wet formula and can easily start to clump or just kind of look wonky on lashes, not to mention smear all over your lids. Also, if you wear contact lenses, beware - some particles flaked into my eye a couple hours after applying and were extremely uncomfortable. Keep in mind this is a tube-building mascara, so don’t be alarmed to see giant black flakes on your cheeks when you wash it off :)
The verdict: If you have time to apply it carefully and want length above all else, this is a great choice.
The good: This gave pretty decent volume without piling on coat after coat, and kept my lashes pretty soft. It also gives pretty good definition. I would compare it to Milk Makeup’s Kush mascara; they have similar formulas and brushes. It was also super easy to wash off, which is always a plus.
The bad: Honestly, this didn’t wow me. It was not as high-impact as the other two, and I most likely would not purchase this. There are simply too many other similar or slightly better mascaras out there.
The verdict: If you want a simple, natural lash look for work/daytime, give this a try.
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