The “Best of Beauty” Series: Mission 1: Mascara

The “Best of Beauty” Quest
Mission 1: Mascara
By Caroline Silveira
I admit it…I try lots (and lots) of beauty and personal care products. I’m just convinced that there is something better out there that I haven’t tried or that the manufacturers have created something new and amazing through innovation.
I have basically made it my hobby to try lots of different products that many people do not have the time, patience, or willingness to spend the money on for my never-ending “best of beauty” quests. Through this blog, I plan on sharing with you my trials, discoveries and rankings to save professional women some precious time, money and headache.
If you have a topic that you are interested in, please let me know. There’s a good chance I’ve tried it.
Best of Mascara
I know the feeling well…you walk down to the cosmetics section to a wall of different mascaras…all promising you the longest, thickest lashes…but which one to choose? Don’t you just want someone to tell you which one is the best?
Well, you’re in luck…I will not profess to have tried them all, but I’ve tried so many that I think I’m up to the task.  It’s true, everyone’s lashes are different, but there are some key factors for great looking lashes.
In general, here’s what I like in a mascara: Very black; No flaking allowed (but easy removal preferred); Clumping is not an option; It has to both lengthen and thicken; I really can’t stand a behemoth brush that you can barely get into the corners…And, puh-lease, don’t expect me to use a primer!
Here’s the basic criteria I use to judge a mascara:
·        Formula: Does it flake or smudge, or stay put?
·        Clumping: It’s totally unacceptable and in my opinion should be reported immediately to the Better Business Bureau.
·        Lengthening or Thickening: Umm… Really now, who wants just one when you can have both!
·        Brush Situation: Is it too big, too wimpy, or just right?
Based on the above criteria and after trying dozens of mascaras, here are my top recommendations.
For the Drugstore Resistant
Lancome Definicils: Great formula that doesn’t flake yet isn’t difficult to remove. Its very defined (meaning no clumps), and provides for long, thick lashes. Long time love.
Chanel Inimitable: This is one of those mascaras that uses plastic brushes (which I’m finding in general prevent clumping). Great formula, very black, does it all!
On a Budget:
Max Factor, 2000 Calorie: I’m giving away one of my best secrets here!  This has been a favorite of mine for like a decade, and it still rocks.  It meets all my criteria and is inexpensive!  Very thickening.  I like it better than DiorShow because the brush isn’t ridiculously big but the effects are very similar. (Note: This is not easy to find, but I’ve been able to find it at Wal-Mart.)
Maybelline, Define-A-Lash, Volume or Lengthening: Again, this is a plastic brush type of mascara.  These formulas don’t clump and are easy to put on. This one has a little wetter formula, so you can layer on and comb through.  It provides great definition and good lift. However it can smudge a little after a sweaty workout.  But this is a seriously impressive new drugstore mascara!
Now the next time you need a new mascara, there is no need to be overwhelmed by the choices – all of these mascaras will give you great lashes. Now I expect to see some beautiful lashes out there on the grid!

By Caroline Silveira

eyelashes_mascaraI admit it…I try lots (and lots) of beauty and personal care products.  I’m just convinced that there is something better out there that I haven’t tried or that the manufacturers have created something new and amazing through innovation.

I have made it my mission to try lots of different products that many people do not have the time, patience, or willingness to spend the money on in my never-ending “best of beauty” quests.  Through this blog, I plan on sharing with you my trials, discoveries and rankings to save professional women some precious time, money and headache.

If you have a topic that you are interested in, please let me know.  There’s a good chance I’ve tried it.

Today’s Mission:  The Best Mascara

I know the feeling well…you walk down to the cosmetics section to a wall of different mascaras…all promising you the longest, thickest lashes…but which one to choose? Don’t you just want someone to tell you which one is the best? Well, you’re in luck…I will not profess to have tried them all, but I’ve tried so many that I think I’m up to the task.  It’s true, everyone’s lashes are different, but there are some key factors for great looking lashes.

In general, here’s what I like in a mascara: Very black; No flaking allowed (but easy removal preferred); Clumping is not an option; It has to both lengthen and thicken; I really can’t stand a behemoth brush that you can barely get into the corners…And, puh-lease, don’t expect me to use a primer!

Here’s the basic criteria I use to judge a mascara:

  • Formula:  Does it flake or smudge, or stay put?
  • Clumping:  It’s totally unacceptable and in my opinion should be reported immediately to the Better Business Bureau.
  • Lengthening or Thickening:  Umm… Really now, who wants just one when you can have both!
  • Brush Situation:  Is it too big, too wimpy, or just right?

Based on the above criteria and after trying dozens of mascaras, here are my top recommendations.

Picture1For the Drugstore Resistant:

  • Lancome Definicils:  Great formula that doesn’t flake yet isn’t difficult to remove. Its very defined (meaning no clumps), and provides for long, thick lashes. Long time love.
  • Chanel Inimitable:  This is one of those mascaras that uses plastic brushes (which I’m finding in general prevent clumping). Great formula, very black, does it all!
  • WHERE TO BUY:  Macy’s at downtown Westfield or Sephora/Macy’s/Nordstrom’s at Arden Fair mall

On a Budget:

  • Picture2Max Factor, 2000 Calorie: I’m giving away one of my best secrets here!  This has been a favorite of mine for like a decade, and it still rocks.  It meets all my criteria and is inexpensive!  Very thickening.  I like it better than DiorShow because the brush isn’t ridiculously big but the effects are very similar. (Note: This is not easy to find, but I’ve been able to find it at WalMart.)
  • Maybelline, Define-A-Lash, Volume or Lengthening: Again, this is a plastic brush type of mascara.  These formulas don’t clump and are easy to put on. This one has a little wetter formula, so you can layer on and comb through.  It provides great definition and good lift. However it can smudge a little after a sweaty workout.  But this is a seriously impressive new drugstore mascara!
  • WHERE TO BUY: Maybelline – at any Long’s, RiteAid, Safeway, etc.  Max Factor – WalMart.

So the next time you need a new mascara, there is no need to be overwhelmed by the choices – all of these mascaras work fantastically.  I expect to see some beautiful lashes out there on the grid!

EDITOR’s NOTE:  Are there any products you’d love to try, but aren’t sure they work?  Looking for the best moisturizer, foundation, shampoo to boost highlights, etc?  Let us be your guinea pigs!  Send your questions, ideas and tips to girlsonthegrid AT gmail DOT com, and we’ll get right on it!

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5 Comments

  1. Ashley says

    Great article Caroline!

    I am actually a huge fan of Fresh’s Supernova mascara, http://www.fresh.com/makeup/mascara/supernova-mascara. They don’t use alcohol and tar — which dried out my eyes with an “ick” factor — and instead use lots of natural oils to help grow longer, thicker lashes. The girls at Sephora said Fresh’s was great, and I’m a huge fan. No complaints. Try it out!

  2. Fiona says

    I also LOVE Max Factor’s 2000 calorie for a cheap option. But I’d have to say my favorite mascara of all time is Dior’s Dior Show. It has a great formula and a HUGE brush, and I’ve actually been complimented on my eyelashes several times when wearing it!

    Along with your criteria, one of my priorities with mascara is ease of removal since I wear contact lenses, and too much rubbing or eye makeup remover products tend to irritate them. Both of these choices are fairly easy to remove with water and a light cleanser.

    Great article!

  3. Caroline Silveira says

    Thanks for the feedback, Ladies! Everyone likes something a little different. I’m sure our readers appreciate the extra tips!

  4. Jamie says

    Have you tried Christian Dior’s Blackout? I’m a makeup junkie and it is, in my opinion, the best mascara on the market. When I first got it I only wore it at night because it was almost too much for daytime… not that there’s anything wrong with having supermodel eyes at 9 o’clock in the morning…

  5. Caroline Silveira says

    Oooooo….I’ve never tried Dior Blackout! Now I’m going to have to. Thanks Jamie! I’m currently going through my multitude of foundations to write my next piece!

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