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Best and Worst Drugstore & High End Mascara

MarcJacobsBeauty

Best and Worst Mascara 2017

Best and Worst Drugstore and High End Mascara

If there is one beauty product I have an over abundance of, it’s mascara. Any time a new mascara is released I run out and get it, unless it’s outrageously expensive. I easily have 30 kinds of mascara laying around at any given time, and feel absolutely no shame about it. Due to my hefty experience with mascara, I’ve decided to make use of my knowledge, and comprised a snazzy little list of the best and worst drugstore and high end mascaras. Leggo!

Best highend mascara 2017

Best High End Mascara

High end price tags can be daunting, especially for a product as small as mascara. The mascaras listed below are tried and true, and worth every single cent.

  • Benefit Roller Lash Mascara – $24 USD
  • Roller Lash is hands down one of the best mascaras I’ve ever used. It lengthens, separates, curls & lifts the lashes, giving your eyes a more open effect. The formula doesn’t clump up or flake off, and keeps its pigment throughout the day. Roll the wand through your lashes for the best application.

  • The Balm Cosmetics Mad Lash Mascara – $18 USD
  • The Balm’s Mad Lash mascara is a close second to my Benefit Roller Lash. It lengthens & separates the lashes, and adds a decent amount of volume. The formula doesn’t clump or flake off. The curved wand makes it so easy to apply the mascara perfectly to both the upper and lower lashes.

  • Tarte Lights Camera Lashes – $23 USD
  • I received a mini version of Tarte’s Light Camera Lashes mascara in a holiday set and instantly became obsessed. The formula lengthens, curls, volumizes & conditions the lashes, hence why they call it a 4-in-1 mascara. Another reason to love it is because it’s vegan and cruelty free.

  • Tarte Tarteist™ Lash Paint Mascara – $23 USD
  • Tarte’s Tarteist mascara is my most re-purchased mascara. I absolutely adore the wand and formula, which grabs each and every lash individually and adds mega volume. The formula is blacker than Marilyn Manson’s soul and won’t give you spider lashes.

Worst highend mascara 2017

Worst High End Mascara

Unfortunately not all high end makeup is great. Below are the high end mascaras I’ve tried, and really wanted to love, but didn’t find them to be worthy of their hefty price tag.

  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (Waterproof) – $23 USD
  • Waterproof, my ass. Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Waterproof mascara is literally a joke in the realm of high end, waterproof mascaras. Please note, I’m referring to JUST the waterproof version here, as I have not tried the regular version. Not only is it not waterproof, but it budges and smears super easy. There are FAR better waterproof mascaras on the market, even at the drugstore level.

  • IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes™ 5-in-1 Mascara – $24 USD
  • The wand on IT Cosmetics’ Hello Lashes™ 5-in-1 Mascara is bizarre and hard to maneuver. The ball on the tip of the brush is meant to help comb out lashes once their coated with the formula, but it didn’t do much for me, as I still had hella clumped spidery lashes. I also felt that it fell short of the ginormous list it claims to accomplish, such as self curling, 4x the volume, and the appearance of falsies. I wasn’t amazed with my results, at least not for a $24 price tag.

  • Smashbox X-Rated Mascara – $23 USD
  • I was a bit sad that I didn’t like Smashbox’s X-Rated mascara, primarily because I’m a huge Smashbox fan and typically they don’t do me dirty. Unfortunately, this mascara is lackluster as compared to their other products. The formula is quite clumpy and a bit flakey. I just wasn’t feeling it.

  • Makeup Forever Aqua Smoky Extravagant Waterproof Mascara – $24 USD
  • Makeup Forever’s Extravagant Waterproof Mascara is THE most disappointing high-end mascara I’ve ever used. Not only does it smudge super easy, but the smudges seem to multiple faster than rabbits. Don’t waste your monies on this guy!

e.l.f. cosmetics

best drugstore mascara 2017

Best Drugstore Mascara

  • L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara – $8 USD
  • L’Oreal’s original Telescopic mascara is one of my ride or die beauty products. The formula is very black, and doesn’t flake or clump. I particularly love the wand on this bad boy, as it coats each lash evenly. Because it’s thin it’s also great for coating the lower lashes without smudging or smearing underneath your eye. I’ll be honest in the fact that I was blessed with naturally long eyelashes, however this mascara has made my eyelashes look the longest they ever have. Definitely one of the best drugstore lengthening mascaras on the market!

  • L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara – $8 USD
  • If volume is what you seek, you need L’Oreal’s Voluminous mascara! This mascara is so grand that I keep a few in my freelance kit and use them on clients. The formula is black as black, long lasting, waterproof and non-clumpy. It leaves lashes looking full and gorgeous. It would be hard to tell in a blind trial that this is a drugstore mascara. It’s definitely the best drugstore volumizing mascara that I’ve found.

  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara – $9 USD
  • Only one word comes to mind when I think of Maybelline’s Lash Sensational mascara, and that would be YASSSSSSSSSSSS! I am currently obsessed with this mascara, and use it nearly every day. The formula is lengthening, non-clumpy, super pigmented and keeps lashes curled. The brush is unique and includes 10 layers of bristles which help keep the product from clumping. I feel it’s a great dupe for the Balm’s Mad Lash & Benefit’s Roller Lash mascaras as it yields similar results. You definitely get high end value for a drugstore price with this little guy.

  • Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara – $5 USD
  • Maybelline’s Great Lash Waterproof Mascara is a staple in my personal collection and my go-to waterproof mascara. I use it for more chill days when I want to swim, go to the beach or when I know I’ll be sweating my buns off. It doesn’t do anything spectacular per say, in regards to lengthening or curling or anything like that, but man does that formula stay on in water like there’s no tomorrow. Because I have very watery eyes at times (due to allergies or getting eye shadow and other crap in my eye), it’s great for the lower lashes.

Worst drugstore mascara 2017

Worst Drugstore Mascara

Cheap makeup can sometimes be, well cheap. Although the drugstores offer some very, very good mascara at budget-friendly price points, they also offer some very, very bad ones. These are affordable mascaras I won’t be re-purchasing or recommending.

  • L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara – $10 USD
  • I’m baffled that so many people are going gaga for the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara. It is, hands down, one of the worst mascaras I’ve ever tried. Basically, it’s everything you don’t want in a mascara – clumpy, spidery, flakey & stings your eyes. I honestly think it’s the brush that yields those results, but it’s hard to say for sure. I believe it’s supposed to be a dupe for Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara, in which the waterproof version was also a fail for me, as mentioned above. I love me some L’Oreal mascaras, but this one is a definite no go.

  • Essence I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara – $5 USD
  • I’m not sure what it is with these Essence brand mascaras man, but I just cannot get in to them. The wand on the I Love Extreme Crazy Volume mascara leave the lashes in a clumpy hot mess. The formula flakes off after a bit, and isn’t very pigmented. Hard pass.

  • Essence Lash Princess Mascara – $5 USD
  • Welcome to flake city! Population, Essence Lash Princess Mascara. The formula of this mascara just seems cheap, as it’s not very pigmented and flakes off easily. I found myself picking at this mascara quite often, because it would clump up and flake so badly. The wand is nice, I suppose, but you can’t overlook the clumpy, flakey formula for a wand. Next!

  • Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara – $10 USD
  • I’ll be honest that the Physicians Formula Organic Wear mascara baffled me. It claims to have all natural and organic ingredients, yet it burns the eyes worse than any “non organic” mascara I’ve ever used. Save yourself money, and a trip to the optometrist, and skip this one.

best mascara 2017 pinterest simply stephaniekay


I sincerely hope my best and worst high end & drugstore mascara list comes in handy, babes! Let me know what your favorite and least favorite mascaras are, and if there’s any good ones I need to try!

PS: If you’re curious, my glitzy eyelash curler in the top photo is from Tarte! 🙂

Stay Beautiful, Inside & Out!

Simply StephanieKay xoXO

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**Disclaimer: This list is based on my personal opinions and experience. If you absolutely love a product on my worst list, don’t take it personally. We’re all different people with different preferences, experiences, eye colors and shapes, etc. If you love something, keep using it! All opinions are based during the time the article was written. Some links may be affiliate links in which I make a small commission from. All opinions are my own.

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19 Comments

  • Reply pinkcoma July 26, 2017 at 3:39 PM

    Mascara is such a hard product for me to get right! Everyone raves about the essence lash princess mascara and I was here like… What? I hate it. And I thought I was the only one who didn’t like it. Glad to hear that I’m not alone!

    • Reply Stephanie Kay July 26, 2017 at 3:43 PM

      I’m really confused why people love the Lash Princess so much as well. I suppose it’s possible I got a bad batch, but to me they definitely seemed like you get what you pay for. Mine was flaking off in clumps after an hour. Either way, I just feel there’s better drugstore options out there, but to each their own.

      • Reply pinkcoma July 26, 2017 at 3:48 PM

        Oh yes, for sure! And I do find it very clumpy. Not great.

  • Reply typicalteenager76 July 26, 2017 at 4:01 PM

    No have the too faced better than sex mascara in the none waterproof and it works quite well but I’ve heard about the waterproof being quite bad. The lash sensational is amazing isn’t it! Always a winner for me. Great post, it’d mean a lot if you checked my blog out c

    • Reply Stephanie Kay September 3, 2017 at 9:46 AM

      I feel like you either LOVE the Better Than Sex Mascara or you HATE it, lol there’s no in between. I am addicted to the Lash Sensational! 😀

  • Reply DGGYST July 26, 2017 at 6:04 PM

    I find that really, I just need to splurge on mascara so it doesn’t run all over my face, down my neck, and end up at my knees at the end of a day lol
    https://damngirlgetyourshittogether.com/

    • Reply Stephanie Kay September 3, 2017 at 9:44 AM

      Lol! I definitely feel your pain. I have watery eyes, so I like to use waterproof mascara on my lower lashes.

  • Reply Makeup & Beauty Blog August 14, 2017 at 3:59 AM

    ooh you should def try theyre real by benefit!

    • Reply Stephanie Kay August 14, 2017 at 7:59 AM

      Yea? I have heard a lot of good things about it and I do love Benefit! Thanks for the tip! 😉

      • Reply Makeup & Beauty Blog August 14, 2017 at 12:37 PM

        yes its my all time faveee mascara, literally everyone would ask me if my lashes were real. no joke!!

        • Reply Stephanie Kay September 3, 2017 at 9:41 AM

          I just bought 2 on the Sephora Weekly Wow sale! They’re on sale for $15 USD right now on sephora.com, if you wanted to re-stock! 😉

  • Reply Beauty Blogger August 16, 2017 at 8:03 AM

    Well Done, amazing info!!! xoxo

  • Reply Janette August 17, 2017 at 11:44 PM

    I actually like the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara :). I still hate the brush but it really gives me volume and length. It does clump and flake on me and it applies messy that’s the sad truth. However, because of it I am going to give the Better than Sex Mascara a try. Great post Stephanie.

    • Reply Stephanie Kay August 18, 2017 at 8:35 AM

      I feel like the Lash Paradise is a love or hate type of thing, people either full out love it or hate it. I think you’re right about the brush being the issue. I’m glad that it works well for you, though! I still try to test mine out and see If I can get better results.

      • Reply Janette August 20, 2017 at 1:58 PM

        At first I thought it was just decent but it grew on me. I still don’t like the brush, but it helps my lashes. I want to try better than sex to see how that goes.

  • Reply Jacqui September 3, 2017 at 8:41 AM

    Such a great post! Mascara is so hard to get right I think.
    Completely agree on the Rollerlash and Lash Sensational.
    I’m the same with the lash paradise, I don’t see the hype at all.

    Jacqui xx
    allthingsjacqui.com

    • Reply Stephanie Kay September 3, 2017 at 9:45 AM

      Even when I wiped a bunch off the wand it still was clump city. 🙁

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