For someone who’s pretty low-maintenance and can get ready for a date in ten minutes, I have a serious Sephora obsession. Like Sephora is built into Michael’s and my budget, the way that we account for his record collection. I mostly fall in love with skincare/perfume products, but every now and then I’ll splurge on makeup. I truly believe that if done intelligently, Sephora doesn’t have to ruin your budget. For example, I wear mascara about twice a week. You avid mascara users know that mascara breaks down after 3 months and is actually unsafe to use after that. So in 3 months, I will only need 24 uses out of one tube, and usually a MINI mascara lasts 3 months for me. If you are a heavy mascara user, obviously it won’t last that long, but still. . .two minis can often be cheaper than one full-sized tube. Sephora often givse away mascara minis as a 100-point reward, or even offers promo codes where you can get one for free with a $25 purchase. So if you are going to shop at Sephora for other stuff, time your purchase for when they are doing one of these promotions.My free mascara supply ran out this month, so I purchased this Lash Stash**. Sephora releases a Lash Stash once a year and changes their mascara offerings and the packaging, but this is their most generous one to date: 9 mini mascaras, 1 full-sized mascara, one full-sized lash primer, and one mini-sized eye makeup remover. That translates in Heather time to 2.5 years of mascara, for $45. Or $1.50/month. With a set like this (when I’m not trying them all to write a review), I will usually keep some and give the rest to girlfriends, which makes my purchase go farther.
Packaging: I’ve been on an art deco kick lately, and this box is going to be collaged over, with the pink and gold details showing, of course. The right side large flap opens up to reveal a gold inside. I’m thinking this will make a cool jewelry box for a friend once I’ve repurposed it. The Sephora Favorites sets aren’t usually packaged this nicely, but they are stepping up their game.
Short Take: For work, I nanny for six different families’ children, plus am my daughter’s primary caretaker (thankfully none of these jobs are simultaneous!). My days are physically demanding—lots of outside play, running, lifting, and sweating involved. I’m the most critical person of SHOES and MAKEUP for this reason. In testing these mascaras, my main concerns were:
- Does it wear for a long time with no flaking/under-eye dropout?
- Is it buildable without being clumpy? (good for daily wear and can be layered several times for a date night)
- Does it have a quick drying time? (I put my makeup on right before running out the door, and don’t want to have to readjust!)
- Can it be removed easily (for reference I use Almay waterproof eye makeup remover).
4 of the tubes of mascara wore for a long time and I liked their application (Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Clinique, and Josie Maran). The rest were good conceptually but just didn’t work.
Sephora Outrageous Curl Mascara: I didn’t get “outrageous curl,” especially since the wand is just straight across. This was buildable but only wore on me for 3 hours before flaking onto my cheeks. On the plus side, it came off easily. Not the worst offender in the set.
Lancome Excessive Black: I surprisingly loved this. You only need one coat. It goes on slightly clumpy unless you rub the wand along the top to get the excess off, but this was the blackest of the bunch (true to its name) and lasted on me for 8 hours, plus still looked good the next morning (yes, I unfortunately often sleep in my makeup). Unfortunately it was hard to take off, even with several swipes with my waterproof eye makeup remover. It also made my lashes slightly “pointy,”–think Liza Minelli–but this was fixed by quickly doing a second coat and just separating the lashes a bit. It made my lashes very long as well, to the point where I couldn’t wear my glasses! Quick drying time.
Urban Decay Perversion: I loved the applicator, but that’s about it. It claims to be very black: “Bigger. Blacker. Badder.” is the tagline, but I think Urban Decay is just trying to compete with BadGal Benefit Mascara. Even the mascara wand is designed similarly. This flaked quite easily after only 2 hours of wear. Not impressed!
Kat Von D Immortal Lash: The wand was interesting–spiraled for the outer lashes, and then dense bristles to get the inner corner lashes. I loved how it made my lashes look initially–separated and very black–but it flaked after just 4 hours. On the plus side, it was easy to take off. I think if you have an eyelash primer this would be a good look for a more dramatic eye.
YSL Volume Babydoll Mascara: This had the same kind of wand as the Sephora Outrageous Curl, but it DID curl my lashes, so go figure. I’ve always liked YSL mascaras and find that they wear a really long time and come off easily, although usually I have to have a long drying time. Very black and buildable. Didn’t clump!
Benefit They’re Real!: I’ve gotten this sample before and hate it. It looks fairly natural and separates lashes well, but I always get major flaking and end up looking like I have a black eye. Don’t get the hype.
Buxom Mascara (from Bare Escentuals, of Bare Minerals fame): This was also a big surprise to me. Good separation, buildable, and lasted 8 hours without flaking and even into the next morning. But very long drying time–4 minutes. On the plus side, it came off like butter with two swipes of my eyemakeup remover. This one is a keeper.
Josie Maran Black Oil Mascara: I love anything Josie Maran–even put her Argan Oil on Lucy to treat eczema. (I get the oils for free because of Sephora’s perks!) I don’t know how to say this, but my lashes looked MOISTURIZED, and I don’t think it was psychosomatic! I was able to do several layers without it being clumpy, and it came off more easily than the other mascaras. LONG drying time though, and flaked after 6 hours. Then again, I was rough on my eyes that day. I’ll probably keep using this one. Very black!
Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara: Smashbox was the only makeup I chose for my wedding day, so I TRIED to like this but it was a no-go. Non-clumpy, but flakes super easily. Like after 2 hours.
Clinique High Impact Mascara & Primer: I’ve tried this mascara on its own and have been underwhelmed—it flakes like crazy and takes forever to dry. The primer changes EVERYTHING. This was my favorite mascara out of the entire set, which is odd considering I hate Clinique mascaras. The primer is white and dries very quickly, and then one swipe of the mascara, 30 seconds of drying time, and it will last for 24 hours. And come off easily. I put this one in bold because it’s the holy grail of mascaras—lengthening, buildable, very black. . .give it a try, but not without the primer! I might even try the other “duds” in this set with the primer and see if they become better.
The Sephora eyemakeup remover is nothing to write home about. It does the job but takes longer than my Almay wipes, despite being for waterproof mascara. I’ll probably just take it on trips. So how about you? What are your favorite mascaras? Sound off in the comments!
**In an effort to be honest and maintain this blog as a hobby, I do NOT do sponsored posts. All my opinions/reviews are unsolicited.