Almay Pure Blends Mascara


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Overall Grade:  B+

Brush:  A+  Like Revlon’s Beyond Natural mascara, this mascara uses a brush/comb combination with soft plastic bristles that are very effective at lengthening and separating lashes.

Formula:  C+  This mascara claims to be 97.5% natural, and the ingredients list includes a lot of pleasant-sounding herbal and natural-sounding ingredients, although it is difficult to tell if it actually contains less of the non-natural ingredients used in other mascaras.  Regrettably, this mascara has a strong tendency to flake, due perhaps to the inclusion of some type of fiber in the formula, possibly to enhance the lengthening effect.

Value:  B+  Despite the tendency to flake, this mascara at least has a nice brush in pleasant spa-like packaging, at a reasonable drug store price.

Too Faced Lash Injection Pinpoint Mascara


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Overall Grade:  C

Brush:  C   Intended for detailed sculpting, this brush makes it easier to target each individual lash.  Unfortunately, it just takes way too long to apply this mascara with this brush.

Formula:  C+  After the three coats it takes to achieve the desired long and full effect, the mascara begins clumping at the ends and flaking off.  It also has a slightly unpleasant chemical odor. 

Value:  C  Not a bad mascara, but the reality is that Revlon’s 3D Extreme mascara has a better, more effective little brush, with less odor, less flaking, and at a lower price.

Maybelline’s The Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara


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Overall Grade:  D+

Brush:  C-  The soft bristles do a barely adequate job of grabbing and separating the lashes, but do not deposit enough mascara to provide the promised “colossal” volume.

Formula:  D  Contrary to the name, this mascara does absolutely nothing to add volume to your lashes.  Actually, it is suspicially similar to the equally thin, clumpy, noxious-smelling formulas used in Maybelline’s Lash Stiletto and Great Lash formulas. 

Value:  C-  Even for the drug store price, I could not in good faith recommend this mascara to anyone, as it completely fails to live up to its promise.

Ulta Showstopper Lashes


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Overall Grade:  D

Brush:  D-  Completely ineffective, although it is difficult to tell whether the poor performance is really due to the lousy formula or the brush.

Formula: D-  This mascara does  not add any length or volume.  It is very thin and slow to dry, thus increasing the chance of smudges.  And it has a slight chemical odor. 

Value:  C  Even at the low Ulta price, this mascara just isn’t worth it.

Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara


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Overall Grade:  B-

Brush:  B  This brush is very similar to the Diorshow brush, which is admittedly not my favorite.  But for those who like the Diorshow brush, this mascara may be a less expensive substitute.

Formula:  C+  After the three coats it takes to achieve the desired long and full effect, the mascara begins clumping at the ends and flaking off.  It also has a slightly unpleasant chemical odor. 

Value:  B-  Because of the brush, some women might find this mascara an acceptable substitute for Diorshow, but the truth is that there are much better mascaras available at a lower price.

Revlon Double Twist Mascara


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Overall Grade:  A-

Brush:  A  The brush is surprisingly effective at building volume, while also separating the lashes so that they appear even, without clumping.

Formula:  A  This mascara is not for everyone, as it is very thick, but it is very effective at doing what it promises to do – build volume.

Value:  B+  This is a good drug store-priced mascara in the usual dull Revlon packaging.  My only concern is that, as thick as the formula is, I wouldn’t count on this mascara lasting more than a month or so.

Lancome Oscillation Mascara


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Overall Grade:  C

Brush:  C+  This is one of the new vibrating mascaras.  Unfortunately, the button that triggers the pulsating effect is a bit difficult to push, especially when trying to apply mascara to my left eye (as I am right-handed).  Also, the vibrations did not seem to contribute any additional benefit to the application process and the brush itself was not especially helpful at lengthening or separating the lashes.

Formula:  C-  The formula is pretty thin and unimpressive.  It did not add much length or volume, and it clumped a bit.

Value:  C  This mascara is not cheap, given the department store brand name and the motorized wand.  While the concept is interesting, though, the results just aren’t worth the extra price.

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara


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Overall Grade:  C

Brush:  C+  The small, tightly-bristled brush does not do much more than add color to the lashes.  It does not grab the lashes enough to allow for any lengthening or sculpting.

Formula:  D+  The thin formula adds no length or volume to the lashes.  Lashes looked sparse and spiky.

Value:  B  The only thing “great” about this mascara is its price (usually around $5.00).  Also, its retro pink and green packaging has a weird sort of appeal.

Revlon Beyond Natural Defining Mascara


Overall Grade:  A-

Brush:  A+  The brush consists of soft plastic bristles, with a comb on one side.  The design works very well and allows for some very well sculpted and defined lashes.

Formula:  B-  Contrary to the name, this mascara adds considerable volume and length for a look that is more glam than natural.  Unfortunately, the formula clumps after a few coats and does not lend itself to touch-ups.

Value:  A  This is a good drug store mascara.  Unfortunately, it comes in Revlon’s usual dull packaging, but the mascara itself works well.

Bourjois Volume Glamour Mascara


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Overall Grade:  A

Brush:  A-  The brush is effective at lengthening and separating the lashes, and the length of the brush is just right for sculpting even the end lashes into place.

Formula:  A  Volume Glamour adds length and volume without smudging or clumping and the formula allows for buildability and touch-ups.  The formula has a slight odor, though.

Value:  A+  At a regular price of $13.50, this mascara is slightly more expensive than a drug store brand, but worth the few extra dollars.

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