Mascara Showdown or 13 Mascaras that I won't recommend!

Here's a post a contemplated posting for a while because my conclusion is that I don't like any of these products but I went to all the effort to get close up action shots so I thought it worth sharing.

A lot of people are on the quest for the holy grail foundation and rightly so but my quest is for an uncursed mascara for my terrible excuse of eyelashes!  Over the years I've gone through countless mascaras, samples & full sizes and was still unable to find the one.

Mascara has a relatively low shelf life compared to other cosmetics, it's not recommended to continue using one for more than six months and that made me realise that in a single six month period, I've accumulated thirteen mascaras, none of which do what I want. 

Are my standards to high?  Am I expecting too much of these mascaras on my stumpy little frail lashes?  Probably, but as an entitled consumer, I feel the need to keep going until I achieve that holy grail status!

So to start off, here are my naked lashes, they're pretty much little wisps of grey/brown.  They're not very long and there's not very many of them.  The reason I bring this up is because I keep seeing "amazing" mascaras yet the eye model in question seems to already have these freeking amazing lashes to begin with that could flutter right off their eyelid. 

All of the example shots for mascaras below are after curling my lashes 1-2 times and usually 1 coat, sometimes 2.

Benefit's They're Real

Most people have heard of this product, it's one of their most pushed products and works for a lot of people, it's a pretty popular choice.  I've actually managed to accumulate something like 5-6 minis of this and also have gone through this full sized one before I decided it's just not for me.

The brush is alright, it's a bit stiff and rubbery with short bristles so as a result, it's probably one of the better brushes for shorter lashes.

Oh hey look, there's my eyelashes!  I'll admit, I like how the product looks on my lower lashes however just one coat has proceeded to make my top lashes stick together like best buds and they quickly become stiff as a board.  This mascara also has a vendetta against curl and undoes most of my curling efforts.

This mascara is also long lasting and I have come across many people who advise it is difficult to remove.  I would recommend oil cleansing to remove this mascara without damaging your lashes.  I also do not notice this mascara to flake any more than expected (small fallout after prolonged wear).

Lancome's Hypnose

This is the most expensive mascara on the list, at $52AUD retail, ouch!  I picked this up in a Christmas set with 3 mini mascaras as it worked out to be a much better deal in the end.  The brush is quite a modest size with soft bristles, this could work well for a variety of lash lengths however due to it not tapering out, it might be harder to reach those inner lashes on smaller or more deep-set eyes.

I quite like how this looks, it doesn't offer anything much in the way of length or volume but has somewhat minimal clumps (there is a bit of clumping in the photo but that's more my fault with application), it also keeps the lashes feeling quite soft and is easy to remove but doesn't smudge.

The main problem with this mascara is that it really doesn't offer enough to warrant the price tag.  It's enough of a stretch for me to buy the 30-something dollar Benefit mascaras let alone dropping more than $50 on a single one, no thanks.

Majolica Majorca's Lash King

I love the label for this mascara, it's really pretty and the photo doesn't do it justice.  As you can see, this mascara has a hefty amount of fibers in it to provide gnarly amounts of length, the brush is quite soft and would be pretty easily to use for most eyelashes and eye shapes.

The unfortunate thing about this mascara is that it is made with PURE EVIL. It took 3 attempts to apply this and get a photo because the fibres are insanely irritating and cause my eye to explode into tears.  It sucks because it offers pretty great length without doing the spider-leg look (I'm talking about you Younique) although it does cause my lashes to get cosy with one another and clump up a bit. 

Even if you are able to apply it carefully without any fibers irritating your eyes, prolonged wear means that they'll eventually come and visit and cause your eye to itch up during the day and soon enough, you'll become a smudgy mess.

Benefit's Bad Gal in Plum

I love the packaging for this, so beautiful and not awkwardly shaped like They're Real.  One of the more traditional brushes, it's quite thick so those with short lashes might have some trouble with this, that said the end tapers out so it can help with precision.

Plum is evidently not for me.  My camera is a bit crappy but the plum colour brings out any redness around my eye, in particular under my waterline and it's very noticeable in person.  Somehow this product made my bottom lashes look pretty long but also straightened them out like boards!

It provided reasonable lengthening, no excessive clumping and slightly removed the curl on my top lash.  It's also somewhat long lasting but less resistant to moisture/humidity and starts to smudge on my eyelid in certain conditions.  If it wasn't for making me look more sick than I already do, I would possibly like this, maybe I'll try the Badgal Lash in black...

Benefit's Bad Gal Lash in Black

Another big seller by Benefit, there's a bit of a turf war between those who swear by Bad Gal and those who represent They're Real.  As above, the brush is pretty large so you may encounter the same issues with certain eyeshapes or eyelash length.

Not bad, it has little clumping but also seems to undo most curling efforts.  This product also smudges like it's nobodies business, I can rarely wear the formula for more than a couple of hours without needing to grab a q-tip and clean up the mess below and above my eyes.  It has a slightly wetter formula than They're Real and the Bad Gal Plum.

One pro is that because of the formula, your lashes tend to feel a bit softer than the previous Benefit options.

Lancome's Hypnose Drama

One of the mini's I received in my Lancome Christmas pack, I love the brush for this guy, it's curved and soft so I really like the application.  Lancome's Hypnose Drama is the voluminous sister of the Hypnose mascara.

Well, I can't deny that it is voluminous but the effect is not really positive.  Just a single coat causes my lashes to get snuggly with one another and the mascara dries quite quickly so it's difficult to separate them.  I like the effect on my bottom lashes but ultimately for a > $50 mascara, the results are not desirable.

Lancome's Hypnose Doll Eyes

Another mini from the Lancome set and another awesome brush, it's slightly curved and has a tapered end so it makes coating those inner lashes very easy.  The goal of this mascara is to provide a wide eyed voluminous curled lash look.

Most efforts to curl my lashes were undone with this mascara and it transformed my lashes into scraggly looking tinted versions of their normal selves.  No real improvement to length or volume, not overly soft or stiff feeling and average lasting means this mascara is also not worth the serious dosh needed to drop on it.

Lancome's Hypnose Star

The last in the Lancome Christmas set, Star has a boring brush compared to the other two minis, the bristles are soft and it has a slightly tapered end for precise application.  Apparently Star is here to provide "Show-stopping Volume", let's see how it goes.

Yeah I don't think this mascara is going to be stopping any shows, at least not with my lashes.  The bottom lashes look nice however you can see the amount of smudging involved just after application.  A group of about 4 lashes have also migrated together on my top lid and my lashes have mostly become uncurled.  I would probably feel cheated if I paid full price for this.  Sorry Lancome.

Majolica Majorca's Lash Expander in Brown

A little different to the Lash King above, this product has a really interesting brush, in that it's more of a comb.  The small plastic bristles are really excellent for smaller lashes and keep them nice and separated during application.  This mascara also has small fibers but not as many as the Lash King.

A little dull but I quite like how this looked.  The small amount of fibers don't do much in terms of length but the mascara kept the lashes relatively separate (compared to other mascaras) and the brown is a subtle colour too, making this a good option for more natural makeup looks.  It also didn't undo most of my curling and kept my lashes from going off in their crazy directions as they so love to do.

Sadly, like the Lash King, the fibres are still quite irritating and during the day I find at least one of my eyes itching and it soon becomes quite insatiable meaning that prolonged wear is often impossible.  If it wasn't for this fact, I would recommend this mascara but I don't want to inflict pain on anyone so it goes in my nope list.

Rimmel's Scandal Eyes by Kate

A relatively new mascara to Australia, this brush is out of control!  It's seriously massive compared to all my other mascaras so it may be difficult to use for some eye shapes.  The shape is quite interesting as it has quite a curve to it.  The packaging is a bit bulky which is not something I'm super fond of either.

Nothing overly scandalous but I like how it looks on my lower lashes, if only it was better translated to my top lashes.  This is one of my more liked mascaras in this list and one that I haven't ditched.  My lashes stayed quite separated (one of the least clumping out of any in this list) and the curved tapered end meant I w as able to really get those inner lashes coated.

My lashes felt neither stiff or overly soft and this mascara is quite long lasting with minimal flakes after prolonged wear.  I wouldn't recommend this for most people because it's not overly exciting and sits at about $17AUD, if you can get this on sale then perhaps it would be worth the try.

Covergirl's LashBlast Volume

Covergirl is generally one of the better mascara choices that I've found that is stocked in pharmacies, I picked this one up on sale for $2 at Coles so that is the most appealing thing about this.  The brush is super fat but covered in short bristles so it shouldn't be difficult to use for smaller or deep set eyes.  Covergirl would likely win an award for the ugliest mascara packaging though, they all seem to be chunky and cheap looking in garish colours, obviously this doesn't impact on the application itself but I'm less inclined to pick up chunky unappealing products.

I don't mind the overall look of this mascara, it's not terribly clumping or straightening but it's really nothing special and leaves my lashes pretty underwhelming.  I also find this product tends to get pretty flaky during the day and I find a lot of residue on the top of my cheeks by the end of the day.  If this product was closer to $10 before sale then maybe I'd consider it but I'm not overly thrilled with the price vs payoff.

Too Faced's Better Than Sex

Like They're Real, this mascara has a pretty big reputation online and I've seen a lot of people swear by it.  The wand is quite thick and has a curve to it but those with smaller eyes might have trouble coating all of their lashes, especially inner lashes.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't know what kind of mediocre sex is happening over at the Too Faced HQ for them to make such a bold statement about this mascara.  It's clumpy, it smudges like nobodies business and if you dare go out in humid weather, you'll soon transform into a panda.  I gave this mascara good few goes, using it as sparingly as possible to just gently coat the lashes but it always ended in tragedy and mess.  I would never recommend this product and I'm surprised that Mecca are constantly sold out of it.


I will never buy any of these mascaras again and I wouldn't really recommend them to anyone else as I want to believe that better options actually exist.  Naturally this is just my own personal opinion so don't take it as the be all and end all and if any of these actually work well for you, then great!  I'm going to keep the search and find that magical elusive unicorn that is a decent cost-effective mascara.

Other mascaras I've tried that have failed the Mascarateer criteria:
  • Covergirl's Clump Crusher
  • Natio's Lash Definition (not too bad though)
  • Revlon's Bold Lacquer Length and Volume
  • Revlon's Potion Volume and Length
  • Maybelline's Volume Express Falsies 
  • Maybelline's Volume Express Colossal Smoky Eyes
  • Essence I love Extreme Crazy Volume
  • Essence Get Big! Lashes
  • Rimmel Extra Super Lash
  • Bourjois Volume Glamour Ultra Curl
  • Bourjois Volume Glamour Max
  • Smashbox Full Exposure Long Wear
  • BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara


  1. Oh wow you've tried so many different mascaras! The Majolica Majorca mascaras have such gorgeous packaging. It's interesting to see how nice these look on your lower lashes but somehow completely fail on the upper lashes. Have you tried combing out the clumps with a spoolie? My Tarte mascara clumps up sometimes but spoolies take care of it for the most part.

    I feel like the Covergirl and Rimmel performed a lot better than the Lancome ones! I don't think I'll ever splurge on mascara, that's for sure, lol.

    1. I really love their packaging too! I still don't mind the Lash Expander but the Lash King is pretty much my mortal enemy!

      I did use a spoolie with most and for some of them I even tried a technique that supposedly Marilyn Monroe's make up artist did (I think it was hers) where the lashes were separated by a needle! It's a little scary but if you're careful it can be effective.

      Unfortunately even prior to mascara, my lashes just love to fling themselves all over the place and cuddle up with each other so some mascaras really exacerbate that.

      I definitely like the Covergirl mascara over the Lancome mascaras, for a whopping $50 difference between the two, it really is a factor! I don't think I'll ever splurge again x_x