Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mascara Hunt 2014

I hope that putting "2014" in the title doesn't mean I will be doing this every year... Am I jinxing myself!? I honestly hope to never do it again. It's been costly, time-consuming, and disappointing!

The backstory is that I have been using the same Covergirl mascara for years. I recently tried a different one, because the green one seemed to not be as awesome as it used to be, but had found it was pretty clumpy and got to wondering if there wasn't some other brand with a more-magical product. I've never worn anything but Covergirl and wondered about other brands. I wasn't brand-loyal exactly, just brand-lazy. Also, I wear mascara every day. Some people can't leave the house without putting lipstick on. For me, it's curling my lashes and applying mascara. I don't wear any other makeup most days, just the mascara, so it's important to me that I'm perfectly happy with what I'm using. I use REDEFINE toner, put on my REDEFINE SPF, curl my lashes, apply mascara and I'm set for the day. Most days. I do spruce it up now and then. ;-)

In looking for a new mascara, I went to Facebook (as I usually do when I'm seeking input on something like this) and got a HUGE list of suggestions to try. I also did some internet searching and reading of reviews on places like Amazon.

First of all, I need to say that my search was limited by two main factors:
1) I only wear waterproof. I made the switch a few years ago because I've realized that I simply cry too darn much to keep up with regular, non-waterproof versions. There's no sense in putting it on if I know I'm going to cry that day and wash it off! It wasn't worth the hassle or the stress of worrying if I would look like a raccoon later in the day.

2) I don't want to pay more than $15 for mascara. I change them out often (which is healthy anyways) because I have sensitive eyes and wear contacts. I can't keep mascara around for months and months and our budget isn't set up for mascara to cost more than that.

The Process:
To start, I bought a brand-new curler (which I don't like as much as my old one, by the way) and took a picture of my eyelashes normal and curled. I wanted you to see the difference (and encourage you to curl your own if you don't already). I think that alone makes a big difference and I feel like I look more awake just doing that step! And it only takes a few seconds.

Then I used the mascaras. I took a picture first of the mascara and wand followed by my eyelashes so I'd remember which lashes belonged to which mascara.

Here are all the mascaras I tried (that's 13 total!):

Some of the mascaras only lasted one trial. I had meant to try each one for about a week, but several of them had side effects so strong that I ceased use the following day! Here are the pictures of each of my trials with the different mascaras. (The caption will tell you which one that is and take you to an Amazon.com page of that mascara.)

In no particular order:
L'Oreal Voluminous
Maybelline Great Lash
Revlon Grow Luscious
Maybelline Full and Soft
L'Oreal Double Extend
Neutrogena Healthy Volume
L'Oreal Shocking Extensions
Mary Kay Lash Love
Covergirl Clump Crusher
Covergirl LashBlastLength
Clinique High Impact
L'Oreal Double Extend tubes
Elizabeth Mott It's SO Big

The BIGGEST negative I experienced has everything to do with them being waterproof. Some of them were SO waterproof that soap and water did nothing and I literally had to scrape the mascara off my lashes with my fingernail. Not fun. Those are the ones that I only ended up using once because that's a complete deal-breaker for me. That obviously wouldn't apply if you decided to give the non-waterproof version a try! Some were super clumpy. Some left black smudges under my eyes. Some were a hassle to put on (the ones with the two ends, mostly). Some were a challenge to apply without getting it all over my eyelid as well as my eyelashes (I found that to be a function mostly of the bristle type). Some looked amazing on my lashes and I was SO excited about it. And then I tried to wash it off.

Considering all those factors--clumpiness, waterproof-ness without being too stuck on, ease of use, overall look, and price, my top choice blew the competition out of the water. BLEW them out of the water! My top choice does not fit within my $15 price limit, so it seems like it should be disqualified. However, I got a free sample, expecting it to just be one more mascara to try and then I was immediately in love! Drum roll please....

It's SO Big by Elizabeth Mott is the perfect mascara for me. It's not exactly waterproof, but I have cried dozens of times wearing this mascara, and wiping my eyes with tissues causes zero smudging. No black circles under my eyes. Nothing on the tissue. Literally. The tissue comes away with tears and no black marks! I have worked out (sweat!) and gone swimming in this mascara and have ZERO black marks under my eyes. And then when I wash my face, it comes right off! The way it makes my lashes look is exactly what I wanted too--enough to look awake and as though I have mascara on, but not like false lashes. And it certainly isn't clumpy.

I got the free sample (you should too!) and loved it from the first time I put it on. The full-size tube has an issue with the internal squeegee in my opinion, because I have to go back and forth several times to get enough product off whereas the sample size was just out once and the brush has the perfect amount of product on it. So after realizing this, I just go back and forth a few times to take excess product off so that my lashes aren't drowning. It is possible to go over your lashes several times as advertised. The more you go, the bigger the lashes. It's totally true! But I usually just go a few times and my lashes look amazing.

It pains me to say that my most-beloved choice is a mascara that is $20, but at least I got to try a sample for free so I knew what I was getting when I bought the full-size one. This mascara was everything I was looking for. And if $20 isn't in your budget, my second-favorite of all the ones I tried is the Covergirl Clump Crusher I started out with! And if you're going for non-waterproof, the Mary Kay one and the Shocking Extensions ones were my next favorites. They were just simply a bear to take off so they didn't make the cut for me. Good luck!
Real Size vs. Sample Size
UPDATE as of 6-3-14:
After y'all told me that the samples were on a Wait List, I contact the Elizabeth Mott company and I have some good news! While the samples won't be available any time soon (this is an extremely small start up company--8 people work there. EIGHT!), they did give me a coupon code for you to get 50% off your first purchase from their website. So, go here: http://www.elizabethmott.com/category/products/ and enter "WUFOO" to get 50% off your order. If anyone has problems with that code, please let me know and I'll contact them again. And if you do decide to order, be sure to tell them I sent you. They're expecting my readers. ;-)