Spring beauty trends might be bright lips and nude faces, but it’s mascara that keeps landing on my desk. I’m up to my eyeballs. Lest you become overwhelmed by the options, I tested out the newest tubes. While I have naturally long lashes, I need separation and thickening. My standbys are Maybelline Lash Discovery (for natural, yet super-long lashes, thanks to a tiny brush that coats and extends each one), and Dior Show (for a blackest-black drama without clumps). Do not so much as breath the words Maybelline Great Lash to me for I do not agree with a million other beauty editors: The drippy, gooey, gloppy stuff in the pink and green tube is the devil.
Here, a round-up of the mascaras I tried, and how they delivered on their promises.
Claim: Maximum volume
The tube and brush are literally Texas-sized. I could hardly see my eyeball, let alone my lashes, while I was wielding this wand. But with practice I did achieve more thickness than I’ve seen from my lashes before. The lengthening was great, too. I would buy this if it could do the same job with a more Minnesota-sized brush.
Power Claim: Long-wearing; sweat, water, and humidity-proof
I developed a love-hate relationship with this product. It does a great job at lengthening, and the small brush coated my corner lashes nicely. However, while the formula had staying power, it dried quickly into something cement-like. Because I couldn’t go back for a second coat without the mascara clumping and crumbling, I couldn’t achieve the thickening I wanted without looking like Tammy Faye Baker.
Estee Lauder Double Wear
Claim: Zero-smudge lengthening
This was my favorite of the bunch for its lengthening and ease-of-use. The brush is long and thin so coats every lash while cleanly separating them. And this is a buildable formula so the second coat thickened without clumping. It didn’t quite create the false eyelash-look I’m always striving for, but a great daily mascara nonetheless.
Claim: Paint-on False Lashes
My friend, Kathryn, called me when saw this on the Today Show. It’s all the rage in Japan, and now we can buy it at Sephora. The formula contains little fibers that adhere to the end of your lashes, and slip off with water. (At first I feared that the fibers were living things called Imjus, but they are not, and that’s just the brand name.) For all the hype, I was disappointed. My lashes didn’t seem any longer than with other mascaras, and they lacked practically any additional thickness. For the $22, I’d skip it unless you have incredibly short lashes.