I Tried The $14 Mascara TikTokers Are Obsessed With & Here’s My Honest Review

Photographed by Lara Callahan.
Feta cheese isn’t the only thing going viral on TikTok lately. The hit-making social media platform also has makeup lovers scrambling to get their hands on Maybelline’s newest mascara, Lash Sensational Sky High.
The $14 tube started blowing up after the brand partnered with beauty content creators, including Alaskan TikToker Jess Eid, to post their test drives. After swiping the formula on her medium-length lashes, they suddenly extended well above Eid's eyelid crease for a look best summarized by the TikToker as “Whaaaat!?” There are now hundreds of other whoa-worthy videos; the #skyhighmascara hashtag has been viewed 123 million times and counting, including over 2 million in Canada in the last month.
And it’s been just as buzzy IRL, too: Since its launch in the U.S. in November, the mascara has sold out online at beauty chain Ulta four times. It landed in Canada in January and emptied out from Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart sites within 72 hours and has been flying off shelves with each restock.
But does it live up to the hype?
Fortunately, I managed to snag a tube to test it out myself. The first thing I noticed was its skinny, bendy brush, which made it easy to get right to the roots of my lashes. That's a standout feature of the mascara, according to Grace Lee, Maybelline's lead makeup artist in Canada. “The tapered part of the brush actually gives you a lot of product and it also gets in right at the inner and outer corners of your eyes,” she says. “Those little lashes are really important to grab because that’s what makes your eyes look bigger.” Lee recommends holding the wand vertically to hit your roots and corners with the smaller end to start, then using the wide part of the brush to comb through to the ends.
When I followed her advice, the mascara made my lashes look extra long and really did lift them straight up towards my brows, but what shocked me was how clean and uniform each individual lash looked. A big factor behind those results is the mascara’s fibre formula, which means it has teeny bits of rayon mixed in to help bulk up lashes. While you can find a variety of fibre mascaras at the drugstore, this one has bamboo extract to help nourish the hairs.
Also worth noting: Usually with a fibre mascara, I can see all the little bits hanging off my lashes. But the Sky High made each lash longer and thicker while still looking tidy from root to tip, even when I loaded up on coats. I was also happy to find that it was smudge-proof from morning to night.
That staying power helps it hold a curl, which is one of Lee’s favourite aspects. “I’m Asian with naturally very straight eyelashes and normally I would re-curl my lashes midday if I wanted them to stay upright looking, but I haven’t had the need to do that with this mascara,” she says.
As for where to snag Sky High!? (As I’m writing this, it’s sold out online at Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart, and Amazon). Lee’s friends have all been texting her to ask, too. Her advice is to check larger grocery store chains, which many people forget sell makeup. If you strike out, she recommends the brand’s Falsies Lash Lift.
If you have a bit of a bigger budget, I’ve also been loving Bite’s new Upswing Full Volume Mascara as a clean-beauty booster, and when it comes to maxed-out plumpness, I’ve yet to find anyone who can say a bad word about Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara. As for a skinny brush that can tackle the teeny hairs, Fenty’s Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl Mascara has a flat side that’s easy to manoeuvre. But if you’re after who-needs-extensions-anymore results that won’t kill your credit card, Sky High is worth the hunt.
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