The Real Scoop on Mascara

July 23, 2013

Mascara. For most of us gals, mascara is a staple in our everyday makeup routine. Personally, I feel that my face looks tired and incomplete without it. However, mascara is one of the trickiest cosmetics to test before purchasing. We’ve all done it: forked over hard earned cash for a tube of clumpy, runny, worthless gunk. Cosmetic companies are privy to this consumer information and try to sell their customers on pretty packaging and empty claims, knowing full well that once the customer purchases the product, they’re more or less stuck with it.

The bottom line is that mascara comes down to two things: the formula and the brush.

Twiggy photographed by Richard Avedon, 1967.

Twiggy photographed by Richard Avedon, 1967.

The Formula

Mascara formulas tend to either lean towards a wet consistency or a dry consistency. For example, CoverGirl’s mascaras are some of the driest formulas, whereas Maybelline’s are some of the wettest. Dry formulas may go on less clumpy and are more build able, but tend to flake throughout the day because of how brittle they are. Wet formulas are goopy-ier, less build able, but also more elastic and less likely to flake off. There are pros and cons to every formula.

The Brush

The brush is the most important factor in determining a great mascara from an okay one. Most of the time, you are paying for the brush when you buy a pricey mascara. Benefit’s They’re Real! is hands-down the best mascara I’ve ever used. This is due to the awesome brush with the medieval torture device spiky ball at the tip. Another fantastic mascara with a fabulous brush is Lancome’s Hypnose. I’ve had a long love affair with this mascara, but it carries a hefty price tag. Herein lies the problem.

The solution?

All you thrifty gals out there, get ready for me to save you a lot of money. Buy one tube of They’re Real! (or Hypnose, or DiorShow) and when it’s all used up, continue using the brush in any cheaper mascara formula of your choosing. Dry, wet, waterproof, blue, whatever! Remember, when it comes to mascara, the brush matters most.