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Which Mascara is the Best? A Real Life Comparison of Top Brands!

I’m not a Beauty Blogger (they actually call me a “Trash Can Blogger”, because I blog about so many topics.. ha!), but I do love me some mascara! I’ve tried quite a few brands, so I figured I’d give you the run down on them – plus some others!

Note: Many makeup artists recommend applying mascara only to the top lashes, which is what I usually do. However, for this comparison I wanted to show the mascara off as much as I could so I did top and bottom lashes. If you want to make eyes appear wider, you can apply mascara to the bottom lashes but make sure you just give the lashes a light touch. Mascara Application Tips from About.com

So, what’s the scoop?

Maybelline New York Mega Plush Volum’ Express Mascara, $7.00 – {Pictured above} This mascara both plumps and lengthens. I like how easily it layers, so you can do one coat or two. So far, I’ve stuck with this mascara for about 6 months, which is a long time for me! A+ price AND performance. The staying power it has is great, too. No smudges! Definitely my all-time *Favorite*! {$5.94 at Wal-Mart}

Maybelline New York The Colossal Cat Eyes Volum’ Express Mascara, $8.00 – In the same family as the mascara above. I haven’t tried this one yet but I’m betting it’s amazing. It’s called the “push-up bra for lashes”. {Only $5.61 on Amazon!}

Avon Super Drama Mascara, $10.00 – The same way a comb works through the knots in your hair, these toothlike bristles in this Brush-comb combo keep lashes from clumping. Use this mascara for major length. However, the reviews I read only give it 3 out of 5 stars. {On sale for $5.99 at Avon.com}

Revlon PhotoReady 3D Volume Mascara, $9.00 – The flexible head on this brush makes it easy to get close to the roots, giving you serious volume. This one seemed to smudge more than the others when my eyes watered. {$6.74 at Amazon}

Clarin’s Instant Definition Mascara, $24.00 – While the brush coats and defines individual eye lashes, I’m not sure I’d pay $24.00 for it.

Rimmel London ScandalEyes Curve Alert Mascara, $7.00 – The arched design of this brush follows the curve of your eye, which helps lift lashes while adding volume. Another *Favorite*!

mark. Lash Act Build & Define Mascara, $12.00 – While it claims to lengthen and declump, I’ve never had the best luck with it unless I curled my lashes first. It does give volume, but seems to be clumpier than most.

Aeropastale Mascara, $7.00 – The dips in this brush catch eyelashes, making sure to break apart globs. Great for lengthening but not so much for volume.

e.l.f. Lengthening & Defining Mascara, $2.00 – {Pictured above} This is a great mascara for the price. It lengthens, and if you use two coats, it gives awesome volume. However, I’ve purchased two tubes and the mascara clumps up around the top, which is super annoying. Can I put up with that for $2.00 mascara? You betcha. *Favorite*

Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara, $15.00 – This mascara gives mega volume and has great staying power. However, it makes my eyes red, watery, and swollen. I’ve tried it numerous times, and always have the same result. Even when I sold Mary Kay, I had to fake it and use a different mascara because it burned SO badly. I recommend trying it (from a rep) before buying it, just to make sure you don’t have the same reaction. {$12.99 on Amazon}

Maybelline New York Lash Stiletto Voluptuous Waterproof Mascara, $8.00 – The name of this mascara made me think it was going to be great, especially with it being from Maybelline. While the mascara does lengthen, somewhat, it didn’t help with volume at all – no matter how many coats I put on!

{Magnetic Makeup Board Tutorial}

Blogger Recommendation

Smashbox Black Eyeliner is the only one that doesn’t smear all over my face when I’m constantly rubbing at my eyes. And I love L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara if I’m shopping drugstore, or They’re Real Beyond Mascara by Benefit if I’m shopping Sephora. — Meagan, from Sunshine and Sippy Cups

Honorable Mentions

The following mascaras are given honorable mentions because Slap Dash Mom fans love them! Try them out and let me know what you think.

Benefit Be Real Mascara – “It gives serious volume and doesn’t even feel like you’re wearing heavy mascara, feels so natural!” – Leeanna

Benefit Be Real Mascara – “So worth the money. Best mascara I’ve ever used and my eyelashes don’t fall out when I use it.” – Amanda

Arbonne Mascara – “I like to know what is in the things I put on my face and unlike other mascaras it doesn’t have bat poo. Uck!” – Susie {Contrary to popular belief, the “bat poop” thing is actually a myth.}

Avon Super Shock Mascara – “Really makes my lashes look long and thick!” – Rhiana

Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara – “Stays all day and doesn’t flake.” – Heather

>BeautiControl Max Volume Mascara – “It is one of the few that doesn’t irritate my eyes…I wear contacts, so my eyes are super sensitive. I also use their perfecting eye liners too…they don’t smudge and stay on all day.” – Sam *Favorite*

Others recommended:

L’Oreal’s Voluminous False Fiber Lashes

Piladio from Sally’s Beauty Supply

Maybelline Great Lash Lots O Lashes

Maybelline Turbo Lash

Too Faced Mascara

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

The general consensus is: Maybelline ROCKS! Definitely the clear winner in this post.

What’s your favorite mascara and why?

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  • FiveInOhio - Great post! Also, thanks for the little link in there to snopes! :)
    FiveInOhio recently posted..Who Loves Purses?My ProfileReplyCancel

  • Lee - What about ‘non smudging’ power? Both my daughter and I have issues with getting raccoon eyes! (Her more than I, however, she is 12 and just learning) ;)
    Lee recently posted..Cars and Trucks Tote by missleeMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • SlapDashMom - The Maybelline one I marked as a favorite has awesome staying power! :) I’ve never had smudges.ReplyCancel

  • Hillary - I love my Maybelline New York The Colossal Cat Eyes Volum’ Express Mascara, and have been wanting to try the Maybelline New York Mega Plush Volum’ Express Mascara, I will probably try it out sooner now. I also had the same problem with Mary Kay. Thanks for all the information :)ReplyCancel

  • Kylie - You forgot a really good one! Rimmel lash accelerator claims to make your lashes grow… I will not use anything but this. It layers very well and does what it says it does. And at around $7.00 it’s totally worth it!!ReplyCancel

  • Myranda Akin - I saw a few eyeliner mentions, but there’s a question I have! I have used eyeliner for about 10 years now, and I still haven’t found a good black one I love! Anyone?ReplyCancel

    • SlapDashMom - I will have to ask Rach which one she likes! She has always used the same one.ReplyCancel

  • Kali Cloutier - I love Lash Blast mascara. I’ve never had it smudge and it’s always exactly the same at night as it was in the morning when I applied it. I also use Almay Intense I-Color liquid eyeliner and have for years because I love it that much. It’s super easy to either go thick or thin with your line and doesn’t dry out or clump (at least I haven’t had a problem). It does, however, smear really badly if you rub your eyes, so I avoid that as much as possible (though I’ve never really had an eyeliner that doesn’t smudge when rubbed…).ReplyCancel

  • e.l.f. – Spend and Get FREE Shipping + a Gift Card to Spend Later! - [...] friend Sadie with SlapDashMom did a real life mascara comparison and picked e.l.f. as the best mascara and at only $2 a pop that is pretty [...]ReplyCancel

  • 10 New Years Eve Makeup Ideas - [...] Eyeliner – Blue – Purple – Mascara [...]ReplyCancel

  • Mary - My favorite mascara was the waterproof Bedroom Eyes by Pure Romance. It was a lot better than the regular wear that took forever to dry on me and left a black mess everywhere. Unfortunately my favorite mascara has been retired, so I’ll have to find something new. I’m loving the price of the elf and I might have to go check that out!
    Mary recently posted..The Breezy Birdie’s Valentines Themed GiveawayMy ProfileReplyCancel

  • Nicole L - I’ve used Physicians Forumla Organics Wear for the past few years and love it! In Canada I pay $15-ish for it, but I wear make-up like once a month so it lasts all year for me and doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes. (Plus it often has a mail-in rebate or BOGO pack offer!)ReplyCancel

  • Sabrina Stuart - I sell Mary Kay and I love that we have a brown mascara; that looks a lot better than black sometimes for subtle looks!ReplyCancel

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