Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mascara Wars

If I could only take one product with me on a deserted island, it would have to be mascara. Mascara gives the finished polish to every look and regardless of if you are doing neutral makeup or the boldest stage makeup, lashes are a must. Even if I am running late for class, a little concealer and mascara will keep me looking fresh and awake. 

So that brought up the question,  which one would I choose on that island? There are 4 traits that help to pin point what type of mascara is right for you.
  1. Type: First define what type of lashes you have. Are yours few and far between? Are they plentiful and puny? Do you have long thick dark lashes (If you do we all are secretly envious of you and you should just skip this post all together)? Categorizing your lash loot will help you select the type of mascara to look for when starting your search. The two main types are lengthening and volumizing. Many mascaras now a days will have a combination of both.
  2. Brush: The brush will make or break a mascara and has a lot of impact on the result of your final look. Generally speaking, brushes will either be plastic with little comb like brissles, or natural brissles which is the traditional style of brush. Plastic brushes are ideal for seperating while big full natural brushes work well for volumizing. Some brushes will have a curve in them which adds a curl to the lash.
  3. Formula: The formula is secondary to the brush but equally important. Your lashes are made of protien just like any other hair on your body and are sensitive to harsh chemicals. Its important that you find one that is gentil on your eye. Also, the forumla can be waterproof however these tend to be drying. The best formula dries quickly and does not flake.
  4. Price: The price of the mascara is not at all reflective of the quality. DON'T BE FOOLED! Many of my favorites are from the drug store and I genuinly hate some of the MAC mascaras which are classified as a luxury brand. Generally speaking, if you are willing to spend $10, you will be able to walk away with an amazing product.
So for the purposes of this recomendation, I will assume the following. I have long lashes but they are thin therefore, I like volumizing formulas that keep them full and dark. Also assume that I want the most bang for my buck. Lastly, I want dramatic lashes so even though some of the products I will discuss are nice, if they do not give me the drama and fullness I want, I will not recomend them. And here we go!
The four products above are all concidered luxury brand mascaras meaning they can not be found at your local drugstore and they are more expensive. The best of these is Dior Show. This is the best volumizing mascara I have ever had the privilege to work with but with its $30 price tag, its an investment. The formula is wonderful and the overall impact is gorgeous. The runner up is Lancome Oscillation. The wand literally vibrates resulting in freakishly long lashes. Its missing the volume part though which is why it is a runner up. 

Not a fan of big fatty by Urban Decay because too much product is left on the brush when its taken out of the tube. Hypnose by Lancome is a decent mascara but nothing better than what can be found at the drug store. And speaking of which... 
These 8 are all from the drug store and also work wonders. You can see when you compare the brushes to the luxury mascaras that they are pretty similar. I'm personally in love with the Cover Girl Lash Blast and it wins my top pick for drugstore mascara because it really does so much in one product. The wand looks like it should be made of natural fibers or bristles but really its plastic which helps ensure that not too much product comes off on the brush, that the lashes are separated, and that no clumps form. 

Runner up for me is the Maybelline XXL. I love this formula because it has the primer on one end that builds volume, and black on the other end which gives a rich dark coating to the lashes. The only gripe I have about XXL is that it dries out quickly and you do have to replace it ever 3 months, which is what you are supposed to do anyways due to bacteria etc. but honestly, I keep mine for longer if they are still working. I tend to just rotate my collection so none fade too quickly. 

Revlon 3D extreme deserves an honorable mention because it really surprised me with its lash growing power. This little brush had me thinking there was no hope in this little bottle but the brush allows you to get way deep into the inner corners to get even the smallest lashes that are left behind by the big bad mascaras of the world. It also works wonders on bottom lashes. 

Ok, I've said enough. Go pick out your best mascara and let me know what your favorites are. I hope this helps. Leave a comment with any questions!

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