Mascaras is one thing I’m always on the quest for and it seems never-ending : THAT perfect one. I think due to their short shelf-life (usually 6 months tops) and high street launches seemingly every singe day, we are unidated with new formulas, promises and fancy packaging.
It can be an absolute minefield, and let’s be honest, there are A LOT of bad ones out there.
What works for me, may not work for others, but I have tried enough over my 15 years of being a makeup artist to *kind of* know what is good and what works for different needs.
Here are 4 that are ticking the boxes at the moment ; for slightly different things. I think you always need at least 3 mascaras on the go at any one time to get different effects : one formula & brush cannot and will not do everything : it’s good to have options and also some work really well when you layer them.
Too Faced Better Than Sex* : Best for Volume (£22)
It’s just a word : calm down about the name. This is a mascara that I have used on and off since the launch of this mascara. initially, I really didn’t get on with it. My first tube I remember I left it for months, then came back to it to see if it was really *that* bad….and I loved it! There are a lot of mascara formulas that can be like this : they work a bit better once they have been opened for a few weeks and the formulas has thickened up a bit. The wand is pinched in the middle which gives it an hourglass shape which makes it easy to coat all of the lashes, including the smaller lower lashes. I opt for this mascara when I want full volume and thickness to my lashes : a going-out-out mascara!
Fairydrops Scandal Queen Quattro* : Best for fluttery Long wear (£18.50)
This is a cult Japanese mascara. I had seen this doing the rounds for a while in makeup kits and have always been intrigued by it. It has a curved and 4-bobbled wand which I have never really seen or used before. It seems to do a really good job of coating the lashes and it allows for really good control and precision. For me, this is a great mascara for separation, curl and lengthening. It does contains small (non-irritating I promise!) fibres which add length and a touch of volume. However, even with layering it up I can’t get a really dense volume with this mascara but I love it for a more fluttery and natural lash look : perfect for daywear and humidity as this is a smudge proof flake resistant.
One other thing to note about this formula is it feels SUPER conditioning. It contains 5 different treatment essences including hyaluronic acid and collagen to ensure the lashes look soft and glossy. I would normally think that this would make it too wet and therefore slide off in a hot second but it really doesn’t.
NYX Worth The Hype* : Best budget / high street (£9)
This is such a great mascara for all-out volume and drama on a budget. I haven’t found *that* many high street mascaras that I have really liked, this is probably the only one and was very impressed. The wand is slightly oversized and thick and it builds up volume and coats all the lashes really quickly. If I’m using it in a hurry I can sometimes get it on my lid as the bigger wand is slightly harder to control but overall it always works wonders and you can’t complain for £9. I’ve just seen on Cult Beauty they have COLOURED versions of this too which I am very excited about!
Benefit Bad Gal Bang : Best all-rounder (£22)
Remember when all the bloggers hated this mascara because they were jealous they sent a bunch of influencers on a trip to the Maldives when it launched?! Well GOOD for them the lucky bunch and this mascara is BRILLIANT *stops being shady, starts talking about the mascara*.
This is absolutely, 100% MY FAVOURITE and most-used mascara of this year and since it launched last year. It ticks all my boxes and I use it most days. Gives length and volume, can really be layered up if you want more drama, the pigment is blacker than black black black itself and it stays on perfectly through heat, humidity and the rest. It’s smudge-proof and water resistant. It’s £22 which isn’t the worst and I have found the formula stays really use-able/wet for way over the ‘best by date’.
The wand is deceivingly small and meh-looking., but seems to somehow pack a punch. Worth a try if you are on the lookout for a new mascara to see you through the summer.
Talk to me all things mascaras! Have you tried any of these? What is your go-to at the moment? Would particularly love any new high street recommendations.
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* Press Samples.