July 14, 2024

Makeup Monday: Mascara Madness

Mascara is my refuse-to-live-without-it makeup product. I want eyelashes so long I can reach out and grab you with them. Although I’m pretty happy with my current mascara, I’m always searching for improvement.

For the past few years, I’ve used Benefit They’re Real mascara. It is darker than your mood when your team gets a beat down and full of drama. Maybe they should have named it ‘It’s Twitter’.

It’s also somewhat difficult to apply. The formula is so thick that it goes on like glue and it’s difficult to finesse my lashes into the shape I want without glopping on product. It’s also harder to remove despite not being advertised as waterproof.

So I set out to try four new mascaras and compared them all to They’re Real. All of the photos below show my current mascara on the top and the sampled one on the bottom.

Let’s get one last thing out of the way: no one is allowed to comment on my under-eye colors. It was Thanksgiving week and I was tired. What under-eye colors, you say? Exactly.

Benefit Roller Lash Curling and Lifting Mascara

0.3 oz, $24.00 at major beauty retailers

My first non-drugstore mascara was Benefit Bad Gal Lash and then I moved on to They’re Real so I’ve had a lot of great experience with Benefit mascaras. I’ve been curious to try this since it came out, but never did because I worried that I didn’t really need a curling mascara.

Right away I noticed it was way easier to apply and gather every lash. It didn’t feel like the formula was too heavy or sticky. Comparing the two photos, I can tell that I got the shape and length that I love with They’re Real, but with an easier application. The only drawback was that I sacrificed some of the bold, black color.

Roller Lash was easy to remove with a makeup wipe, but didn’t run or flake all day. If you have the money to spend on makeup, it would be nice to use this product for daytime looks and save They’re Real for night time. Roller Lash also comes in a travel size if you want to try it out without a ton of commitment.


Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

0.27 oz, $23 at major beauty retailers

This mascara popped up on my radar because of the TGS Slack channel where we plan Well, Actually. Addie and Tami both tried it and thought it flaked a little. I wanted to see if I would get the same results and it didn’t hurt that there is also a limited edition “ornament” that comes with a travel size.

I was a little nervous that the shape of the brush would get some lashes coated more than others. It turned out that the formula and brush were manageable enough to work it into wherever I wanted. The brush is a little bigger than Roller Lash and similar in size to They’re Real.

The ease of application was definitely on par with Roller Lash, but I don’t think the shape turned out quite as well as with either Benefit product. I did not have issues with flaking, but I only wore it around my house and to the grocery store. It came off without a hassle with a makeup wipe as well.


W3ll People Expressionist Mascara

0.23 oz, $21.99 at Target and major beauty retailers

This mascara stands out because it’s all natural, cruelty-free, and contains no petroleum, parabens, gluten, coal tar, or aluminum. I didn’t know half of that shit could be in my mascara so that’s kind of scary.

Aside from being environmentally friendly, it’s also advertised as being great for people with sensitive skin. If that’s not enough to make you curious, it also comes in shades of purple and blue and a mini size is available.

I spent a lot of time working this product onto my lashes and my first reaction was that it didn’t turn out that well. But once I took the photo and spent a little more time evaluating it, I was very impressed. The length and shape were very good, it only lacked the bold color. It came off without an issue as well. It’s probably my second favorite behind Roller Lash.


L’Oreal Voluminous Feline Noir Mascara

0.27 oz, $7.99 at drugstores

As a side note, I tried this on a Saturday night at home and I totally nailed my eyeliner. Probably fucked it up every day that week, but on the night I saw literally no one, I crushed it so that’s cool.

As I was doing some light research for this piece, I found some beauty editors who claimed drugstore mascaras were still their favorites. I remembered the bright, hella photoshopped mascara ads of my adolescence fondly, so I decided to check one out.

Well, I’m gonna be honest: I’m not buying it, beauty editors. “I’ve tried all kinds and nothing can beat this one!” you exclaimed. Bullshit. I’ve tried half a dozen bigger budget mascaras and almost all of them were better than any drugstore brand.

On the bright side, there has been definite improvement in drugstore mascaras since my teenage years. The length I got with this mascara is great. I did find it to be clumpier though. The little tiny lashes you can see with a nice mascara just ended up glued to 10 of their closest friends with this product.

Bottom line, no one is going to look deep into my eyes and gasp, “This bitch is wearing drugstore mascara!” But as a mascara connoisseur, it wasn’t my favorite.


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Nicole Gustafson
Nicole Gustafson 56 Articles

Nicole was born in Chicago and raised in Des Moines. She took her talents to The Iowa State University, where she earned a degree in journalism. You can find Nicole cheering on her favorite sports teams, hanging out with her dog, or finishing a Netflix marathon. Nicole is a big fan of #pitcherswhorake, fat guy TD's, and carbs. She's not a fan of mornings, winter, or vegetables and will complain to anyone who will listen.

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