the fragrance & beauty blog

The #SelfEye

Author: Beth Cox February 21st, 2014

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This week, we enlisted the help of the super talented Sarah Barton from Friday Is Forever to test our Top 10 Selling Mascara and measure the results! What she trialled and recorded is one not to be missed..

As a gal who usually feels a magnetic pull towards high end make up counters, I was intrigued when asked to put ten mascaras, all at an affordable £10 or under, to the test. Knowing full well that I love a jet black colour with tonnes of volume, length and definition, these bargain offerings admittedly had a lot to live up to. But, after approaching them with an open mind, I was pleasantly surprised, and I now have Fragrance Direct to thank for my future savings! I can firmly cut the cost of my mascara habits in half after finding a couple of definite favourites less than half the price (and then some), of my obviously overpriced usuals!

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Calvin Klein True Lustre Mascara

If you’re after a super natural finish, this is the one for you. It actually took loads of layering to achieve any lengthening effect as shown here, which does put me off, alongside the super cheap scent. I do however quite like the subtle brown colour at the end of it all, and the clump free formula is fitting for average day to day use.

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Elizabeth Arden Extreme Density Volume Mascara

One of my favourites of the lot, and one I’d probably repurchase. Adds an impressive amount of volume in just a couple of strokes, but would get more points from me if it bulked the lashes just a little bit more than expected with the word ‘density,’ but I’d probably just pair it up with another mascara designed just for that purpose. A lovely blacker than black colour, and although care needs to be taken with the bigger brush, its worth the extra fiddle.

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Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lash Extending Mascara

First off, I love the cone shape of this brush, making it easier to reach every little lash, especially bottom ones! Another natural looking finish, but with a lot less effort to apply! I don’t have much to say about the lengthening effect as I’ve only used this perhaps 2-3 times, but it doesn’t make my lashes feel ‘crispy’ like some mascaras do, thats got to be beneficial?

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Bourjois Elastic Mascara

I’ve found a mascara that I really dislike, and I’m surprised to announce that the disappointment has come from Bourjois. The brush really scratches on application, and the wet formula takes a good while longer than your average mascara to dry, giving a bit of smudge-danger! If you like a plastic brush and a precise application, you might like this, and it does indeed darken the lashes with a true black colour, but it doesn’t separate and lengthen enough for my liking, and a rubbish brush is enough to make me want to throw a mascara away.

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Maybelline Define-A-Lash

Another one of my favourites. The brush is made of dreaded plastic, but as its super flexible, I have actually got on alright with it, although that does mean theres a bit of a struggle to get the applicator back into the tube every time, and its not one to rush application with either! A lovely natural finish with absolutely no flaking or transferring throughout the day at all! My lashes are separated, lengthened and, exactly as the name describes – defined.

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Maybelline Volum Express Lift Up

I found this mascara more thickening than the previous lengthening Maybelline mascara but still not quite as much as I’d hope for. I love the brush design, although I’m not sure it had any impact on curling my lashes. I actually found that this black mascara had more of a matte effect than any mascara I’ve tried, and I liked that, although it does flake a little if more than 1 layer is applied and does transfer to the skin under my eyes if I apply it to my bottom lashes!

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Rimmel Lash Flirt

So many plastic brushes! This one has surprisingly long bristles which can be a bit annoying, but it does have a good finish with no clumps. This one doesn’t form a curl without curlers, and needs a few layers to get something decent, but once thats done, I’m pretty happy with the density it gives at the roots of the lashes, and the overall results really!

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Bourjois Une All In One Mascara

After doing a little bit of research on Une, I’m not sure how my hopes were for the range. This mascara was the first Une product I’d tried, and with their super natural, organic philosophy, I’d convinced myself that it must all be rubbish to make up for it. I’ve been pleasantly corrected by this mascara which separates nicely and doesn’t flake or transfer. I’ve also been convinced that actually, a brown mascara can work for a natural, soft look, and maybe plastic brushes aren’t all my enemies. Good job, Une!

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Bourjois Une Smart Length Mascara

So this little experiment has led me to discover that I’m a true lover of cone shaped wands, and here is another one, perfect for reaching corners and bottom lashes. A true black, and whilst I don’t think this mascara is anything amazing to shout about in terms of volume and density, its another awesome daytime mascara – It doesn’t transfer, smudge or flake at all.

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W7 Big Lash

Now heres a case of when a brush has just been made bigger than necessary. Saying that, the mascara is creamy, and lasts a long time without flaking or clumping. Useless with one layer only, it really does take a good few layers to build up something impressive, which can get messy due to the big brush. However, if you use a business card to shield the eyelid, and get wiggling, this bargain offering rivals other big brands in terms of drama.

The best of the lot?

Maybelline Define-A-Lash and Elizabeth Arden Extreme Density Volume mascara, easily. Two entirely different mascaras in terms of wand, colour and formula. Define-A-Lash has surprised me with its plastic brush and subtle colour, as I usually prefer a bristle brush with a midnight black shade. This is a mascara that I’ve been picking up recently for day to day use, for subtle lengthening and definite separation with a natural finish. Extreme Density is a little like the mascaras I would usually go for, and whilst it’d need to be thicker to hit top points, its impressive lengthening can’t be denied – It actually seems to go beyond the lengths of my actual lashes, and it is fitting with my favourite blacker-than-black colour!



Have you tried any of these mascaras? Which is your favourite?

Check out our Top 10 Selling Mascaras right here.

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