beauty buzz: the great mascara debate

{editor’s note: an almost entirely photo-less post…how boring!  but really, how many photos of mascara tubes and eyelashes covered with mascara do you really want/need to see?}

is there anything that inspires more trauma than the words “they’ve discontinued my mascara!”?  not at my house.  after years of faithfully buying neutrogena’s clean lash tint, it’s just vanished from the planet, and i find myself utterly heartbroken.

after an acceptable mourning period, i realized i was going to have to dry my mascara-laden tears and find a new love…and fast.  and so, i started requesting samples (membership has its privileges).  but if i was going to risk heartbreak again, it was going to have to be perfect.  like any red-blooded woman without real problems in life, i have a long list of “musts” for my mascara.  it must go on smoothly, with absolutely no clumping or spider lashes.  it must coat lightly, without really looking or feeling like i’m wearing anything – i’m not a person looking to double my length, triple my volume, or “million-ize” anything.  i just want my lashes to stand out a bit.  last, it must come off at night with little to no additional effort on my part. because i am lazy.

dear readers, i now sit here typing before you with a bag filled (filled!) with mascaras.  the good news?  i’ve found a new love, baby.  and a couple of backups, just in case this new mascara cancels our saturday night plans at the last minute.

but first, should i tell you about the ones that failed?  naturally.  this shall not be an exhaustive list, as we’d be here all day.  but a few highlights are definitely in order.

giorgio armani’s soft lash mascara (which i now can’t find in any color) was my hands-down favorite for a month, until my overly sensitive eyes took something it did personally.  now, i can’t use it…which is an utter shame.  in fact, i finally had to throw it away, because even having it near me when i apply others is too tempting…it’s that lovely.  if you have normal sensitivity levels, i can’t recommend it highly enough.

benefit’s bad gal lash, with it’s bigger-than-life brush, came next.  sadly, it was much more mascara than i was looking for:  too clumpy, too clingy, and there was just too much product going onto my lashes with every brush stroke.  plus, it requires some sort of high-level technical equipment to remove.

next, i started playing around in the clinique pile.  spoiler alert: in the end, a clinique option made my top tier list.  but in the beginning, there was lash power.  and oh, how it clumped.  also, they aren’t kidding about 24-hour wear – it’s the mascara equivalent of a stalker ex.  and then there was high lengths, with a brush that scared me a little bit.  weirdly thin, more of a comb than a brush…it just wasn’t meant to be.

and so, i moved on to origins, where i found several good options.  their fringe benefits covered just the way i wanted it to, adding length and the tiniest bit of volume, without a clump in sight.  but removal was tricky, and i was often left with the dreaded mascara ring under my eyes the next morning.

finally, i decided that with all of these high-end picks, i should give a drugstore brand a chance – after all, my lovely old neutrogena hailed from the beauty ghetto.  and so, i called up the lovely ladies of cover girl, who told me that their new lash blast was absolutely what i needed to try.

and that was how, nearly 20 mascaras later, cover girl won my heart.  lash blast fusion, to be precise.  to be clear, i utterly hate the packaging.  it comes in a pudgy purple tube that makes me feel about 13.  but all of those “musts” i mentioned above?  yep, it’s perfect on each and every score.

and my back-up dates?  well, first is origins’ full story lush-lash mascara, which did a marvelous job (in fact, it was the winner until i tried lash blast) but it was just the tiniest bit harder to remove (which is probably actually a bonus to many of you).  as for the version that most closely approximated my old favorite?  that was clinique’s naturally glossy mascara, which does a lovely job of just being a mild, unassuming, foolproof mascara with which you can’t go wrong.

so, i’m curious:  are you, like me, a serial monogamist when it comes to mascara?  or do you sleep around?  what’s your current mascara crush?

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6 comments on “beauty buzz: the great mascara debate

  1. Lisa

    I am currently all about the Coco Chanel. It is amazing. Previous to that I was all about Dior. And before that, Mally. I am intrigued that you liked cover girl. Usually I find the drug store brands a bit drying.

  2. Rachel (heart of light)

    My big problem with mascara is that I can’t get it off! I’ve tried multiple eye make up removers and different (non-waterproof) mascaras, but after a day or two I start to look like a raccoon.

    Currently, I alternate. Most days I use blinc’s Kiss Me. I don’t love it, but because it forms those little tubes I can just wipe it off with a warm washcloth, no lingering undereye darkness.

    And on days when I want big lashes I use LOreal’s extra volume stuff. It gives pretty dramatic results, which I love, but I can’t wear it for more than a few days in a row without those annoying dark circles.

    So, recs for mascara remover? I have had no luck.

  3. Melissa W.

    I have been a Bad Gal for years now but I pair it with gel eyeliner I apply with a brush… my eye makeup look is clearly a bit more bold than what you’re looking for. I do have a lash comb on hand for the occasion when I use one too many brush strokes. I am lazy but also lax when it comes to removing eye makeup. Once I got used to the big brush I’ve actually had a hard time applying other mascaras without clumping. Is the Last Blast one of those newish brushes that are some sort of plastic or silicone? I’d like to try one of those sometime.

  4. shoppingsmycardio Post author

    lisa – i’ll have to try the chanel! i agree, i usually don’t love the drugstore versions, but cover girl really surprised me with this one.

    rachel – that’s my major problem with mascara too…i hate, hate, hate having to scrub it off. love the lash blast for that – it’s very easy to remove. ditto for the clinique naturally glossy. i’m much too lazy for a separate eye makeup remover, but i do swear by Skyn ICELAND Glacial Cleansing Cloths – they’re wonderful.

    melissa – you are clearly much more willing to devote time and attention to your look…no wonder you look so good all the time! the lash blast does have a plastic brush – def. worth a try!

  5. Vanessa

    Have you ever tried getting your lashes tinted instead of using mascara? I’ve been doing that for about two years now and I will never ever go back. I have fairly sensitive eyes and wear contacts part of the time, and I can get the darkness and definition I want without any of the hassles of my eyes itching, or having raccoon eyes, or having to use any heavy duty removers. I’ve had it done at a few different places but Aveda has been my favorite – if you try it just make sure they let you sit up instead of lying down (gravity!). It might sting a little bit while they remove the tint, but otherwise it is SO much easier than mascara. I cannot recommend it enough – you’ve got to at least try it out for research and report back to us all, right? 🙂

  6. shoppingsmycardio

    you know, i haven’t tried it…i’m such a scaredy-cat when it comes to these things! but now that i have a recommendation, maybe i’ll have to give it a shot…you know, for research purposes 😉

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