Tried & Tested: My top 5 mascara choices | 9Lives
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A good mascara is like a good pair of jeans. It completes a look, boosts confidence, and can take you from out-of-bed to bad-ass in two coats. At the same time there is nothing worse than a mascara that falls short on its promises, ruining all your makeup efforts in one sad, clumpy sweep.

I have tested many (many!) mascaras over the last few weeks, judging them on their pigment quality, whether they delivered on volume and length, how well they lasted during the day, and how easy they were to get off. In the end, these were my top choices.

Scroll through the galleries to see the product on my lashes.

Top choice: Elizabeth Arden Grand Entrance Mascara


This is by far one of the nicest mascaras I have tried in a while. It has a pitch black pigment and gives incredible length, volume and beautiful definition. The wand is super easy to use, with a thin, slightly curved silicone brush that catches and coats singular lashes.

I experienced no clumping when applying this and neither was there any dusting or crumbling during the day. It is also incredible easy to get off using an oil makeup remover.

To top everything it is also pretty affordable. Thumbs up all round.

Lancôme Grandiose Extreme Mascara

R415, Lancôme counters at select department stores

This newbie from Lancôme has just launched in February. The brand changed the game a few years back when they first launched their swan-neck wand (so no more bumping the wand against your cheek or nose), and now they are building on the innovation with a new mascara that promises even more volume.

I have really been enjoying the product. The wand gives beautiful definition, coating singular lashes to create length and volume without making the lashes appear thickly coated and clumpy.

It lasted perfectly through the day without any dusting or crumbling, and it was easy to get off with an oil makeup remover.

theBalm What’s Your Type Black Mascara

R299, Stuttafords

So far I haven’t been disappointed by any of the products from theBalm that I have tried. Their mascara has a firm wand that coats the lashes with pitch-black pigment. The brush finely combs through the lashes to create brilliant definition and remove any clumps, giving you good volume and decent length. I thought my lashes looked natural yet amplified.

There was no dusting or crumbling during the day, and it was easy to remove.

Givenchy Noir Couture Volume Mascara

R555, Givenchy counters at select department stores

I have been wearing this mascara non-stop since I received it late last year (full disclosure, it is nearly finished so the pics actually don’t do the mascara justice). It has a fat, fluffy wand that combs through your lashes, distributing a thick, pitch black liquid and fanning them out for a voluminous, defined finish.

I experienced absolutely no dusting or crumbling during the day. I did however find the mascara more difficult to remove than the others I tried, even with my best makeup removers.

L’Oréal Paris Mega Volume Miss Hippie

R149,95, leading supermarkets, pharmacies and department stores

What a charmer! If you are looking for a brilliant, affordable buy this one will definitely tick the boxes. It has a fluffy brush that is super easy to use, coating each lash in a deep black pigment and separating them to give you great length and volume on the finish, without any clumping.

There was no dusting or clumping during the day, and it was easy to remove in the evening. Round of applause, please.

Do you have a favourite mascara that you can recommend? Pop it in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you.


I am a lifestyle blogger from Cape Town trying to find the best ways to spend my time, take care of my body and express myself. I am slightly obsessed with fragrances, sneakers, Jamie Oliver and Masterchef Australia. Oh, and I probably drink way too much wine.


  1. Great post Liezel! My favourite mascara’s are from Inglot, Lancome, L’oreal and Revlon. I am keen to try the Elizabeth Arden mascara as well.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Give it a go on your next shopping trip, I absolutely adore it. Which one from Inglot do you like?

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      I haven’t! Is it available in South Africa? Wet n Wild also have a fibre lash mascara that I’m going to try soon

  2. My favourite mascara that I have used ever since I was allowed to wear makeup (ha!) is Maybelline’s Great Lash mascara. It is so hard to find a goodie that compares! 🙂

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      That one is definitely a classic! It’s an icon for a reason.

  3. Pingback: I found six new luxury mascaras for perfectly dreamy lashes | 9Lives

  4. Thanks Liezel, I’ve been looking for a review like yours so I’m off to buy the Elizabeth Arden option, will let you know what I think

    • Liezel Malherbe Reply

      Thanks Kim. It’s still one of my absolute favourites, I hope you love it!

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