Oh mascara. It’s a love/hate thing, isn’t it? It’s one of those makeup essentials that very few girls will give up. Throw on a slick or two and you’re ready to head out with a flick of flirtatious lashes. In much the same way, a bad mascara can absolutely ruin your mood. You go through all that effort putting on a perfect full face of makeup, only to mess it up right at the finish line when your mascara clumps your lashes together, or settles underneath your eyes by the time you have your mid-morning coffee.
A great mascara is a sacred thing, which is why switching to a new product can cause cold sweats. So that’s why we’ve done the testing for you. We picked five mascaras that recently landed on our beauty desk and put them through their paces. Here’s what we thought.
Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara
R360, select department stores
I am a big fan of Lancôme mascaras. I’ve tried a couple and they always deliver on application, durability, and removal. Monsieur Big is probably one of my top choices. It has a fluffy brush that is easy to manoeuvre, and that gives you a stunning, even coat of pitch black colour while fanning out your lashes. No clumping or clotting. It gives great volume and length and it is completely buildable so you can add two or three coats to really pump up your look. In my experience the mascara lasts really well with minimal drop-down below my lashes during the day. At the same time I’ve found it very easy to remove using an oil-based makeup remover.
They also offer this mascara as a waterproof option, which is equally fantastic. You can read about that one here.
Almay Liquid Lash Extenders Mascara
Personally, mascara is the one makeup product that needs to stick throughout the day. I have light eyelashes and brows, so I fully depend on a good mascara to highlight my light features. The Almay Liquid Lash Extenders Mascara didn’t just stick, it also gave my lashes so much volume and length. I was surprised at how easy it washed off at the end of the day, without smearing or smudging during the day. This is a new makeup favourite!
The Body Shop Happy Go Lash Mascara
R170, available in stores from August
I’m not fussy when it comes to mascara, to be honest. The few things that I ask for is a thick, brushy mascara wand with a formula that doesn’t clump on my lashes. So imagine my trepidation when I unscrewed the lid to The Body Shop’s Happy Go Lash mascara to find a very streamlined wand. Being a redhead means that I have fair lashes, and I need to coat them pretty liberally for them to stand out in any way. How was I going to achieve that with this wand? But in all honesty, after giving it a go, I love this mascara.
Sure the wand is thin, but it perfectly targets both the top and bottom lashes (no smudging to worry about) and absolutely no clumping! Best part? It’s super cute, is made with 99% ingredients of natural ingredients – including Community Trade beeswax and Community Trade organic virgin coconut oil, and is Leaping Bunny Certified.
Mavala Switzerland Eye-Lite Mascara Creamy
R195 for 10ml, dischem.co.za
I very rarely wear makeup, and the only product you’ll ever find in my handbag, or see me use, is mascara. This means I can get quite picky when it comes to which mascara I use. Since I have crazy long lashes, one problem I encounter all too often is that my mascara tends to leave little black dots on my eyelids where my lashes have brushed against my skin.
With the Mavala mascara this didn’t happen at all, as it dried almost instantly on my lashes. The creamy formulation takes some getting used to, but it’s the good kind of weird, and I’m here for it! And best of all? It stayed on all day without smudging, but I was still able to remove it easily without any hassle!
Gosh Blown Away Mascara
I overslept the morning that Tasha and I went to an event. So I pitched up at the office with zero make-up on and it looked as though someone had punched me in the face. I realised that I would have to do something before we headed out to the event, grabbed the Gosh Blown Away mascara from my desk and off we went.
I fell in love with this cruelty-free and affordable mascara that gave me the results that I want! The mascara has a rubber wand, but it’s thicker and has a 2-in-1 brush and comb. This allows the wand to apply just the right amount of mascara from the first coat, and then you can flip it to the other side and use the comb, which helps to prevent the lashes from getting clumpy. Best of all, this mascara lasts throughout the day without flaking and smudging and it’s quick and easy to remove.
Off to the next event with the Gosh Blown Away Mascara in my bag to blow away any bad day!