Mascara is an essential in my makeup menu. Even if I wear nothing else on my face, I have to at least put mascara on. It’s completely transformational and gives the eyes – no matter the shape – that little bit of needed definition. Your eyes look instantly wider and brighter. My preferred lash look is intensely black, volumized and separated. I really have no time for brown mascaras or for those that look overtly “natural” on the lashes. To me this defeats the very purpose of the product. I love the look of completely pared down makeup everywhere else on the face but with dark, dramatic lashes to add that point of interest.
While I’ve enjoyed countless mascaras over the years, both at high-end and drugstore price points, it’s the products that I’m currently using that I can write most authoritatively on now. I always have two to three mascaras on the go – I did warn you, I have a thing with mascaras in that I can’t stop buying them. I’ve been going back and forth between Stila’s Huge Extreme Lash and L’Oreal’s Voluminous Superstar X Fiber for my upper lashes for about a month now. (We’ll get to the bottom lashes later on.) I love these both simply because they fulfill my lash preferences, giving me thick, rich black lashes that are both long and separated with no flaking or smudging.
Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara
Stila’s Huge Extreme launched back in 2015 and I personally discovered it when I got a mini in my Birchbox a few months ago. I loved it so much instantly that I went out and bought a full size at Ulta. It builds very quickly and is one of the blackest mascaras I’ve used in a long time. However it tends to be a bit clumpy, so if you’re not into that I’d skip it. The brush is pinched in at the middle with traditional bristles that flare at either end, very reminiscent of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex. I feel like I haven’t heard much about this product from advertisers or influencers since it launched so it’s like I found a little hidden gem. It retails for $23.00 from Stila.com.
L’Oreal Superstar X Fiber Mascara
L’Oreal’s Superstar X Fiber is double-ended with a lash primer on one end (labeled ‘Step 1’) that builds volume and combs through the lashes, and a fiber-rich mascara on the other end (labeled ‘Step 2’) that builds length. Historically, lash primers and double-ended products were too much fuss for me; I just wanted to slap on the mascara and be done with it. However, I heard such good press from some of the influencers that I follow that I picked this up soon after it launched in 2017. I’m so glad that I did. It impresses me every time. Sometimes I wear just Step 1 on its own, while adding Step 2 gives it real wow factor. Both ends have traditional bristle brushes; Step 1 is pinched at the middle with flared edges while Step 2 is a half-moon shape. It retails for $10.99 but you can always get drugstore products on offer if you shop around.
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
Lastly, I promised earlier that we’d speak about my bottom lashes. I exclusively wear one mascara for that purpose and that is the incomparable Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, which doesn’t get enough love in my opinion. I’ve been using this product for years and couldn’t recommend it more. If you love wearing mascara on your bottom lashes but have an issue finding the right one that doesn’t smudge, it’s for you. In the past I’d used the same mascara on my top and bottom lashes but nearly always had panda eyes by halfway through the day. The brush and package couldn’t be smaller or dinkier but it’s superb for its purpose. The only drawback is since the component is quite small, the product tends to dry out rather quickly (usually within the first month for me), so I usually always have one to two back-ups on hand. I could never ever be without it. It retails for $12.00 from Clinique.
What are your mascara heroes? Let me know!