My Mascara History and Recommendations

Monday, April 04, 2011

May I just start off by saying - an Asian girl's quest for a holy grail mascara is never-ending. In general, we tend to have short, sparse lashes. Some lucky few are more blessed than others, but generally, short and sparse is the norm.

I've tried a lot of mascaras. And I mean A LOT. So when a reader requested a mascara post, I thought, why not?

Here are some of the most famous mascaras out there, and my experiences with them:

NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list, nor do I claim to know everything about mascara. This is just a write-up based on my experiences with these mascaras, which I hope will help people narrow down the types of mascara that they want to try. Everyone's lashes are different, so that means what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa.

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara



I had such high hopes for this mascara - so many rave reviews and so many happy customers. It did nothing for my lashes. Nothing. Also, my eyes reacted quite badly to the formula - it took only about 2 applications before I attributed the stinging and redness to this mascara.

Diorshow Blackout
If you already have a lot of lashes and want to add volume and thickness, this is the mascara for you. I guarantee huge, voluminous lashes and great drama. However, if you have sparse lashes, you're not going to be too impressed with this mascara. It doesn't add curl, and it clumps a fair bit. On sparse lashes, clumping is way obvious, and really ugly.

Diorshow Iconic


I love this mascara. It adds (and holds!) curl, it defines and separates lashes, and it adds just the right amount of volume while still keeping the lashes fluttery and feathery. No smudging or clumping with this one. It is great for a natural, defined, daytime look. To add drama for nights, I layer on a volumnizing mascara. It looks amazing.

Australis Lash TLC Conditioning Mascara
I was pleasantly surprised by this mascara. It is a drugstore mascara that performs really well! I can certainly say that this mascara performs on par with the Diorshow Iconic. So if you have access to this mascara, don't get the Diorshow Iconic. This performs just as well. The brush is a little big and hard, so application might be slightly difficult, but otherwise, this mascara is great performance at great value. I highly, highly recommend this.

Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus
This is my current favourite mascara. Read my review about it here. It holds curl, adds volume, and defines. It has two different combs - one for volume, and another for definition. It reaches every lash, and adds fibers to them, which is why it is so effective. A few coats of this on top of my Diorshow Iconic (or more recently, the Australis TLC mascara), and I'm ready for a night out. Also, this does not move. Waterproof, no smudging, melting, nothing. Which also means it's a b*tch to remove.

Benefit BadGal Lash
This mascara also didn't do anything for me. It doesn't add curl, and it doesn't really add much volume, either. Also, the brush on this wand is huge, which may be a good thing for people with bigger eyes, but not so much for me, and anyone with smaller eyes like mine. It didn't reach all of my lashes, and application was really messy because the brush is so huge.

Lancome Hypnose
This defined my lashes well. It made them nice and fluttery, and added curl. But the result was way too natural for my liking. Again, if you have a lot of hair on those lashlines of yours, grab this. Don't hesitate. But if you have lashes like mine, don't get this. If you just want darker, natural looking lashes with lasting curl, then this might just be the mascara for you.

Estee Lauder Magnascopic
I actually really liked this mascara. I know Lancome is meant to house the motherload of performing mascaras, but I think this performed much better than the Hypnose (or maybe I bought the wrong Lancome mascara for my lash-type). It doesn't hold curl very well, but it adds amazing volume. Layered with the right primer, or another mascara, you get really pretty, voluminous lashes - great for a night out.

Clinique High Impact Mascara
One of my favourite mascaras. I think Clinique mascaras are terribly underrated! I usually layer this underneath my Estee Lauder Magnascopic mascara. This has gotten me quite a few compliments! Once again, they aren't the best for holding curls (probably because my lashes are so stick straight to begin with) but are great for volume and definition. A warning to those who love fluttery lashes - this combination may not be for you. I am a huge fan of large, thick lashes, and a few clumps have never bothered me. In fact, I kind of like the slightly clumpy look.

Sorry guys, I've never tried any Chanel mascaras. From reviews, I've read that Chanel tends to lend to a more natural as opposed to dramatic look, and that's why I've never purchased one.

I may have missed out on some good ones, but these are the most memorable to me. I hope this list helps!

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