mascara talk -- to save or splurge?

by Rachel Lynch in


If there's one beauty product that you should replace often, it's mascara. We actually have living mites on our beautiful little lashes, so it's good to change up your mascara every 3-6 months. This will help you avoid building up bacteria that can potentially lead to infection. But with so many mascaras on the market, ranging from 5 to 30 dollars, is it worth it to pay the extra? Or not because it's something you have to replace so often? I decided to take a look for myself.

I picked three different mascaras all ranging somewhere along the price scale. First we've got the classic Maybelline's Great Lash, followed by L'Oreal's Voluminous False Fiber Lash, and lastly, Mac's new Haute & Naughty too black lash.

Let's start with the cheapest, Maybelline's Great Lash, retailing in at a mere five bucks. The classic little pink case that your big sister was allowed to have before you. It's got a custom curl brush to glide on the product smoothly. Shaped brushes seem to help life and curl lashes for thickness. The ingredients include water, beeswax, shellac as well as some other common chemicals. It doesn't give great volume, but the custom curl brush is easy to use. I'd recommend it for anyone just starting out or not looking to spend  a lot.

Next we have L'Oreal's Voluminous False Fiber Lash. Retailing at a little over 9 dollars, it's a bit of a price jump. Based off my own test run, and some research, this mascara seems to clump a lot. The brush is pretty ordinary and doesn't seem to do anything special in regards to it's volumizing claims. Ingredients include water, beeswax, and surfactants such as potassium cetyl phosphate.  The upside to the ingredients in this mascara is that it doesn't seem to have shellac, which is usually derived from animals and a common allergen for some people. The package says it's allergy tested. So if you've got an allergy it's probably worth the price jump to get something that won't irritate you.

Lastly we have Mac's new Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash. Retailing at a little over 20 dollars, I picked up this product last week and was intrigued by the dual lash system. It has a pink brush for a lighter look and a sparkly purple brush for a heavier coat of the product. The dual system is easy to use, and does look different upon application. The product goes on really well and doesn't clump. As far as ingredients go, in addition to having water and similar binding chemicals like the others, the Mac mascara contains Panthenol and Acacia Senegal gum. The Panthenol is a provitamin of B5 and usually appears in hair moisturizers and humectants due to its ability to bind to the shaft and create a seal. The Acacia Senegal gum is a natural gum derived from the sap of the acacia tree. It's used as an adhesive for pigments in many makeup products. Sounds good right?! The downside? In the entirety of this mascara, these two probably take up around 1% or less of it's total composition. Chemically, that's not enough to do much of anything.

Conclusion? If we're talking about the science, these products are virtually the same. So initially you'd say why pay more for the same chemical compound? But what I think you're paying for when it comes to mascara is the brush. The application process and shape of the bristles has a lot to do with how the product goes on. I think it's worth paying extra for a better applicator because the end result will be more desirable. It's especially important to take the small price increase if you know you have allergies.

In the end, it's up to you. Chemically, you're not really getting anything different. So if you know how to make miracles with a five dollar brush, then by all means, work your magic mama!


pearl necklace by Lex & Mila

black sheer block dress by Lex & Mila