Which New Mascara Is Worth The Hype?

mascara-introIllustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
In our experience, few beauty products inspire as much fierce loyalty in consumers as the category of mascara. And, understandably so; for a product that addresses the tiniest of body parts, it is one that can potentially make the biggest difference in how a woman looks and feels. If the eyes are the windows to one's soul, then mascara essentially shapes the portal into her innermost being.
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So, it's not altogether shocking that, while most women will happily try any lipstick, eyeshadow, or nail polish under the sun, the prospect of taking a new mascara for a test run is met with less enthusiasm. Many women (our esteemed colleagues included) hold firm to their Diorshow/Great Lash/LashBlast, determined never to stray. And, we can't say we blame them.
But, hey, it's that time again — Product Smackdown time, of course! — so we found three brave staffers that were willing to ditch their usual lash routines for a day in favor of trying some brand-spankin'-new formulas. Read on to hear exactly how each new product measured up. Your new favorite lash lengthener might be right this way!


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ProductSmackdown_Chloe_BeforePhotographed by Ruby Yeh.
Who: Chloe Daley, editorial assistant
The Contender: Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin CC Curl + Care Mascara
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"When I say I look like death without mascara — I truly mean it. It doesn't matter how late I am, or who I'm going to see — mascara and my eyelash curler are the only things I don't leave the house without. Once, when a makeup artist was prepping me for a shoot, I could tell (subtly) that she wasn't quite happy with how things were looking. Then, after curling my lashes and using some mascara, she actually had an aha moment — as in, she exclaimed how much better I looked!"
"Because my lashes are so short and thin, I've found that CoverGirl LashBlast works the best for me. But, hey, if there's a possibility that there's a better mascara out there? Sign me up! I was skeptical about Physicians Formula since I worked at drugstore in high school and was never a fan of the brand then, but you never know."
ProductSmackdown_Chloe_afterPhotographed by Ruby Yeh.
"The application was pretty smooth, and I only had to remove three clumpish specks, but I did have to apply about three coats. My lashes were definitely lengthened, but the formula didn't actually curl my lashes, which disappointed me. They still seemed pretty thin, but I think using an eyelash curler would have helped a lot."
"All in all, this wasn't the worst mascara I've ever tried — and not the best. The formula stayed pretty true through the whole day, which was awesome, but let's be real, I still looked like death. [Ed. Note: Not true!] And, the pictures are on the Internet forever now."
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$9.99, available at Ulta.
ProductSmackdown_Ellen_beforePhotographed by Ruby Yeh.
Who: Ellen Hoffman, editorial assistant
The Contender: W3ll People The Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara
"My daily routine is pretty minimal; I don’t feel like myself when I have too much stuff happening on my face, especially during work hours. So, finding and procuring the perfect mascara to suit my conservative beauty look is key."
"I’m really particular about mascaras, too. I not into blacks at all — they read too harsh against my hazel eyes and olive complexion. (That’s probably just me being overly picky, but hey, they’re my eyes!) I use Dior’s Diorshow Mascara in Chestnut, a warm brown tint. My lashes would be lost without it — literally."
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"The main reason I never got into eyeliner? I’m not the most dexterous human being that ever lived. Every attempt to date has resulted in a raccoon-eyed disaster. And, sadly, this mascara wasn’t the easiest to apply, either. The product clumped into the thin bristles, making it difficult for me to apply evenly. I swept on a bit more than I normally would in an effort to get rid of clumps that formed as I maneuvered the brush along my lashes. A little more effort than I’m generally going for at 7 a.m.!"
ProductSmackdown_Ellen_afterPhotographed by Ruby Yeh.
"The finished look wasn’t all that bad! Sure, I’m not really into black mascara, but it’s a classic beauty look that's perfect for nights out. My lashes did appear thicker and more lengthened, with a slight curl at the ends — which highlighted and defined my eyes, for sure."
"I was a bit worried about rubbing my eyes throughout the day, as I could tell the formula would easily smudge onto my skin. There's nothing worse than looking in the mirror and seeing your mascara in places it shouldn’t be (i.e. anywhere that is not my lashes)."
"It stayed on throughout the course of the day, but not without some smudging by the time I made it home from work. While it was by no means the worst mascara I’ve ever used, I think I’ll be sticking with my Diorshow for the time being."
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$23.50, available in April at W3ll People.
ProductSmackdown_Sharon_beforePhotographed by Ruby Yeh.
Who: Sharon Yi, senior editor, brand experiences
The Contender: Sephora Collection Upside Down Mascara
"If there is one thing that'll make two Asian girls fast friends, it's talking about their stubbornly straight, downward-facing lashes. Asian lashes are very thin, so volumizing formulas typically weigh our lashes down and make them droop. It's why everyone but me loves Diorshow mascara! For me, waterproof formulas are key, since they're the lightest. Plus, it wards against oily, smeary lids."
"I felt wary about trying this new mascara. All volumizing mascaras are crap to me, unless they're waterproof or specifically made for Asian lashes. Plus, as a former beauty editor, I wasn't about to fall for the two-brush gimmick. But, I put on my beauty tester cap and was willing to give it a whirl."
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"As I was bringing the mascara clamp closer to my lashes, I was scared that I'd poke my eye out. It took a long minute for me to finally get the tips of my lashes through, but once I started treating it like an eyelash curler, I began to adapt to the dual-spool brush. Since it took me a couple of tries to clamp down on my lashes from root to tip, the lashes on my right eye became Clump Central. Not. Cute."
ProductSmackdown_Sharon_afterPhotographed by Ruby Yeh.
"Once I got the hang of it, I used the brush to hold up the tips of my lashes to try to create a curl — and it actually worked. My lashes seemed longer, were definitely thicker, and slightly curled — without the help of my Shiseido eyelash curler, which is basically dark magic to me."
"I was doubly surprised by the fact that it didn't flake or smudge throughout the rest of the day — a huge feat considering how oily my lids get. While I was pleasantly surprised by this mascara's ability to hold up my lashes, I'm not converted to this dual-spool bit. It may actually be a great eyelash-curler replacement for girls with lashes that aren't so downward-facing, but since I would still need to use a curler, it feels a little redundant."
$22, available at Sephora.
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