Review: Lancome Hypnose Drama (Waterproof) Mascara

I love Benefit “They’re Real” mascara.  But it doesn’t come in a waterproof formula.  I have allergies.  I live in a hot, humid climate.  I need waterproof mascara.  Since I was able to find this at a slightly discounted price (I love outlet stores!), I thought I’d give it a go…

Pros:  Really waterproof.  Makes lashes look fuller/thicker.

Cons:  Weird brush. Can get clumpy if not applied carefully.  Contains parabens.

In Summary:  While I think this is a pretty good mascara, I’m not thrilled with the too-much-contour brush.  It’s a decent product, but not worth the price tag, especially since it contains parabens.

Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars  3.5-stars

Price:  $27.50 (USD)

Available at: Lancô, Ulta (stores only), Sephora, department stores

lancome drama waterproof



Review: Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara

This is one of the products that came in the gift-with-purchase set recently offered by Clinique/Macy’s.  Since I needed some foundation, anyway, I figured I’d might as well get the bonus item(s)!  I didn’t expect to love/need everything in the kit, but it was free, so I’m not going to complain.  Too much…

Pros:  Paraben and sulfate-free.  Coats lashes very well.  Nice brush.  Stays in place (doesn’t smudge, except right after you put it on.)  Black is a dark shade.

Cons:  Doesn’t do much to “thicken” lashes.  Expensive.

In Summary:  This is a good mascara, but it’s not a great mascara.  It’s less expensive than the much-adored Benefit “They’re Real!”, but more expensive than the average drugstore brand, many of which are just as good.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars  3-stars

Price:  $16

Available at: Clinique, Sephora, Macy’s, other department storesclinique lash doubling mascara

Review: LORAC Pro Mascara

Well, I haven’t posted in a while.  I’ve been having some medical issues (nothing serious, just a condition that’s more problematic than it should have been – and still isn’t solved!) and have been in and out of the hospital all month.  Somehow, in the midst of my medical dilemma, I managed to sneak in a trip to Ulta for the too-hard-to-resist deal on LORAC’s “Pro Mascara” – on sale for just $10.  I figured since I’d pay that for a “drugstore brand” mascara, it was worth a try…

Pros:  Smudge-resistant.  Doesn’t “flake”.  Not difficult to remove.  Paraben-free.

Cons:  Unusual brush (takes some getting used to).  Not waterproof.  Can get “clumpy” kind of easily, if you’re not careful.

Summary:  Decent mascara, for $10, but I wouldn’t pay full price for it.  I definitely prefer Benefit’s “They’re Real” mascara over this one.  However, the Benefit mascara is harder to remove, so the LORAC is a good choice for “everyday” use.

Note:  As of the writing of this post, this product was still on sale at Ulta for $10.  If you’re interested, get it there!  (Also available:  Free LORAC deluxe-sized eyeshadow primer sample with $25 LORAC purchase.)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars  3-stars

Price:  $23

Available at:  Sephora, Ulta,,

LORAC pro mascara

Thumbs-Down: L’Oreal Telescopic Explosion Mascara (Waterproof)

I stopped buying L’Oreal mascaras years ago, because I had 2 different ones that irritated my eyes. I don’t have particularly sensitive eyes, but mascara seems to be the one thing that causes me issues. (Only the aforementioned L’Oreal products and one by Buxom.) Despite my history, I bought this mascara. I was intrigued by the unique brush, and you know the rest: I had a coupon AND it was on clearance.  Plus, I needed a waterproof mascara…

Pros: It seems to have been discontinued, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally buying it.  Made in USA.  “Suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers”, according to the manufacturer. Inexpensive.  Stays on pretty well.

Cons:  Contains parabens.  The wand part is horrible.  They were going for a “telescopic” look, so they didn’t pay attention to the fact that it’s too flexible to do its job properly.  The round brush is just weird.  It’s only convenient for outer eyelashes and pretty difficult to use on the rest – unless you like poking yourself in the eye. Mascara is just run-of-the-mill stuff, nothing special.

In Summary:  I’m not surprised this product has been discontinued.  If you happen to see it in a discount store and are tempted to buy it – don’t.  Seriously, save your money or spend it on a bottle of nail polish or something.  If you’re looking for a budget-friendly waterproof mascara, try Maybelline’s Colossal Volum’Express.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars  1.5-stars

Price: approx $9 (originally)

Available at:, maybe some discount stores and clearance aisles

l'oreal telescopic explosion mascara



Review: Benefit “They’re Real” Mascara

My very generous friend Amanda/Too Tall Fritz gave me her “travel” size version of this mascara that came with the set she bought.  I had been wanting to try this product, but didn’t want to spend $23 on it, especially since I already have like 5 different mascaras!  Here’s what I thought…

Pros:  Paraben-free.  Not clumpy.  Spiky plastic brush allows for separating and coating of lashes.  Covers lashes well. Lengthens.  Deeply-pigmented.  Right now, a “value set” is available, which contains the full-size mascara and a travel-size one (for the same price as the full-size alone).  Doesn’t smear/smudge when you’re putting it on.

Cons:  Contains sulfates.  Ingredients list not shown at any of the online retailers of this product (even the Benefit website says “check packaging” – thanks, that’s helpful!)  Not waterproof (and not available in a waterproof formula, if you need that).  Expensive.

In Summary:  I really like this mascara – and I’m glad I got to try it – but I don’t love it so much more than my current mascara that I’m willing to pay almost double what I’m spending now.  It’s more of a “separate and lengthen” mascara, and I prefer a “make my lashes look fuller” mascara.  This is just personal preference, though, and I think this mascara would be great for people with short and/or thin lashes.  I will be using this as a “base coat” (time to throw out some of my other ones, anyway!) to separate/lengthen and follow up with my “thickening” mascara.  Thanks again, Amanda!!!

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars 

Price:  $23  ($10 for “travel size”)

Available at:  Sephora, Ulta, Benefit Cosmetics, some department stores 

Beauty Tip: More Mascara!

The first thing to keep in mind about mascara is that you’re eyelashes aren’t going to look like the ones in the ads.  Those are fake.  Or Photoshopped.  Or both.  BUT here are some tips to make your lashes look as pretty as they can (sans Photoshop)…

Double Up:  Apply a “base coat” of mascara (I use my cheapest one for this).  Once it’s nice and dry, apply a second coat – and a third, if you really want to. You’ll get that dramatic eyelash look without buying fake lashes. Not that I have anything against fake lashes – I just don’t think I’m coordinated enough to get them to work right!

 Other Tips:

–  Don’t “pump” your mascara wand.  Just pull it out cleanly, apply mascara to one eye, and put it back in to repeat for the other eye.

– If your mascara is goopy (some of them are, because they’re made to lengthen lashes), gently scrape it against the inside of the tube as you pull it out, and only apply with the “scraped” area.

– Get as close to your eye as you can without getting mascara into it.

– If you end up with “clumps”, gently comb them out with an eyebrow comb.  Make sure you work from the “eyelid” side of your lashes, so you don’t end up smearing mascara onto your lids. (especially if you’ve already done your eye makeup!)

– Apply extra mascara to the outer corner lashes with a horizontal motion.  This will make your eyes look more feminine.

Some of My Favorite Mascaras:

Too Faced Lashlight (on sale for $22.50 at


Revlon Grow Luscious (not the “plumping” one!) –  approx. $8

Maybelline Volum’Express Colossal Waterproof – approx $7

Sephora Collection Advanced Lash Booster – $12

Review: Maybelline “The Colossal” Volum’Express Mascara (Waterproof)

I’ve been in serious need of a new waterproof mascara.  The one I’ve been using is not-so-great AND it’s old.  I picked this one up very inexpensively, so I figured it was worth a try – even though I’ve been disappointed by Maybelline mascara in the past. (“Last Stiletto” is one of my least favorite mascaras of all time.)  Here’s my review:

Pros:  Coats lashes well.  Very waterproof.  Inexpensive.  Didn’t irritate my eyes the way some mascaras have in the past.

Cons:  Contains parabens.  Lots of parabens.  (I forgot to read the ingredients list before I bought it…)  Doesn’t do much to “lengthen” or “volumize” lashes.

In Summary:  This is actually a good, solid mascara.  It’s great as a “base coat” if you’re trying to save money and usually use a more expensive brand for second and third coats.  It’s also good for everyday use when you don’t need the ultra-glamorous look.  I would keep buying it – if it didn’t contain parabens!  Maybe someday they’ll re-formulate it.  Until then, I’m probably going to keep using it, since I only wear waterproof mascara a few times a month, anyway.

Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars (would be 4.5 if it didn’t have parabens)  

Price:  approx.  $7

Available at:  drug stores, mass merchandisers, Ulta


Review: Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara

Revlon is the brand I keep going back to for mascara.  They seem to make consistently decent products that (unlike a couple others) don’t give me allergic reactions.  So, when I saw this one at a bargain store, I wanted to try it.  It was definitely worth the $4 investment…

Pros:  Paraben-free.  Made in USA.  Coats lashes well.  Inexpensive.

Cons:  The “blackest black” isn’t quite as darkly-pigmented as some mascaras.  Has a sort of “fat” brush, which some users might not like (but which I think helps it coat better).

In Summary:  This is the best “budget-friendly” mascara I’ve used.  I use it as a base coat when I apply 2 or 3 coats of mascara.    Since my other mascaras are more expensive, I let this one do the main part of the work and use the expensive one for its darker pigment on consecutive coats. I also use it on my “basic” makeup days, when it’s the only one I use.  I haven’t noticed my lashes growing any more than usual, so I’m not sure that the “lash enhancing formula” which is supposed to “complement the natural growth cycle” is really working.  But that’s OK.  It’s still a good mascara.

Note: This mascara also comes in a waterproof version, and a “plumping” version. (I don’t like the plumping waterproof one, which is the only other one I’ve tried.)

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars  

Price:  approx. $8

Available at: mass merchandisers, drugstores,

Review: Too Faced “Lashlight” Mascara

I asked for this mascara as a gift and got it (yay!).  It was sold at Costco for a ridiculously affordable price (for a 2 pack.)  Too Faced is one of my favorite brands.  I think it may be (partially) that I love their beautiful packaging and witty name.  That’s not to say they don’t make great stuff…

Good Features: The brush is good at separating your lashes and the mascara coats well.  The container has a little mirror on the side, which I don’t need, but think is a handy feature.  The mascara is a nice, dark black, which is important to me.  It also “lengthens” lashes fairly well.

Odd But Kinda Cool: The wand has these built-in lights. Despite the name, I didn’t notice this feature until I went to look up the price for you online. (Guess I should read the packaging, huh!?!?) At any rate, they’re really bright and I can’t see how they’re not potentially-eyesight-damaging. I suppose if you have a badly-lit bathroom and no light-up mirror, the lights are very helpful and letting you see all your lashes. If you’re keeping it in your purse and you use that tiny mirror on the side, you might also need a little extra illumination.

But…  The one drawback to this mascara is that it doesn’t do much for eyelash fullness.  I blame the brush.  I like fat/fluffy brushes because I think they do better at improving the volume of your lashes.

So…  I use this mascara as a base coat, because it covers the lashes so well.  Then I follow up with one of my favorite mascaras for fullness.

Available at:  Sephora, Ulta, Costco (maybe) 

Price: $25 (unless you can get it at Costco!!!)