Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oh, those wacky drugstore mascaras.

This is part two of a rant about mascaras--specifically, the crazy brushes. The department store part of it is here.

After being disappointed by Dior and Lancome mascaras,  I ventured into a local Walgreen's, hoping that my beloved L'Oreal Double Extend would be on sale.

Holy crap, people. The mascara section looks like Legoland.

Not Revlon's section; they're too dignified, I guess. And not Almay or Neutrogena; they're too busy trying to look pure. But Maybelline, Covergirl, and Rimmel? Their displays look like an explosion in a rainbow factory.

I blame Covergirl's Lash Blast, which came out in 2007. The fat orange tube promised giant fat lashes, and I'm pretty sure it delivers. Unfortunately, the few times I've tried Cover Girl Lash Blast, I've felt like I was trying to apply mascara with a baseball bat. I might be a late bloomer gym bunny, but my fine motor skills are excellent, so it was pretty disconcerting to try to apply this stuff

and get it on my nose. Or smack myself in the eye. I felt like a complete newbie. Me! But it's not my fault. Look at the size of the brush. And the stem that attaches it to the handle is as big around as my leg.

The mascara that promises super thick lashes gets packaged in a big fat tube, but wait!

The mascara that promises to build length is packaged in a long, slim tube.

And the subtle lash-darkening mascaras, that neither lengthen or thicken particularly dramatically, come in a nice green tube, to prove that they look natural.

(L) Bog brush (R) double helix.

Meanwhile, L'Oreal has apparently explanded beyond my beloved one-end-thickens, one-end darkens formula. Now their double ended mascara will alter your perception of my eye color! (Actually, it won't.) Also please note how the lower end of the wand resembles a bog brush. (I'm using an English slang expression so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of my American readers.)

And on the right, please check out the double helix that is wrapped around the brush on the new Voluminous brush. I've watched a lot of episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and I know this can't be good. I'm afraid to try this mascara for fear that my lashes will mutate.

So, big fat tubes for the volumizing mascaras; long slim tubes for the lengthening mascaras ... I hate to say it, but the utterly transparent marketing efforts offend what's left of my intelligence. And anyway, why does everything have to be so huge? Don't they want their products to fit into my makeup bag? And what about travel? Do I want my pathetic single quart-sized Zip Lock bag to be filled with a monstrous mascara tube and nothing else? I do not.

And really, do they have to be this gaudy?

But I know which drugstore mascara is next on my list to try. CoverGirl Clump Crusher. And not just for the alliteration. No, it's for this video, by Christine at 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic. Watch how she applies 30 coats of it.

I don't know about you, but I'm sold. Even if it comes in a hideous lime green tube and makes me feel about as deft as a Muppet wielding a baseball bat.


  1. Okay, I'll give the clump crusher a try. My last attempt with drugstore mascaras resulted in me returning 4 tubes to Walgreens because I was so disgusted with them. Clumps, smudging, bad brushes - they all made me crazy. I've been using a Clinique mascara that makes little tubes around the lashes becuase I love how small the brush is. I can't use the fat wands without making a horrid mess. In fact, I'm due to replace the Clinique tube very soon, so I'll be headed to the drugstore this weekend.

  2. I'm a Lancome gal and must have the soft brush not the bog type!

  3. 9kbWord on the street this summer was the best was by Jordana, sold at Walgreens by the register. I like it but somehow keep going back to the $65 Serge Lutens. Don't ask.

    Got a flyer from Macy's about the newest Chanel mascara: Le Volume de Chanel instantly helps boost every lash to the fullest. A groundbreaking, volumizing formula offers intense black colour, while the exclusive spiral brush separates, plumps and amplifies in a single stroke.

    We could write that copy.

  4. Have no idea how "9kb" appeared but blogger needs to do better with the numbers we have to copy. I can no longer see them with my rx glasses.

  5. I like Maybelline Full and Soft, but also Prestige "My Biggest Lashes." I can't seem to tell any difference between drugstore and high end.


Gentle Readers:

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xxx, Poppy.