In my 5 Make-Up Must Haves, I promised a more in depth look into certain product categories, and up first in My Beauty Edit series is my favourite product, MASCARA. I couldn't live without it and if I could only have one make-up product, this would be it. But is it worth investing in expensive ones? How much do you spend on mascara? I have to admit to being a bit of a mascara snob so spend a fair bit on my mascara. But is it worth the investment, I'm going to find out!
My perception is there are some good mid-range mascaras, but the cheap ones are generally not as good and dry out quickly. Whilst mascaras don't last long (apparently, we should throw it away after 3 months), I do think it's worth paying little bit more for mascara. Am I right? I'm going to put some to the test. These are in no particular order but one of my faves is first!
(Disclaimer: You will very quickly see (I'm afraid there's a bit of a theme!) I'm not a fan of those rubbery mascara brushes, for me, it's the fluffy ones I always look for!)
This has historically been one of my favourite mascaras but a very expensive one at £25.50! It has a nice fluffy brush allowing you to create bold lashes with lots of length, all at the same time. This makes it a great all-round mascara and it's especially good when you're looking for a bolder, more dramatic look.
The formula is now enriched with further care ingredients - 4 sensuous oils leaving lashes more flexible, lengthened and more supple. Apparently, the formula has been updated and the brush applicator now combines nylon fibres of varying diameters for volume enhancement as never before.
One thing that I do find annoying, is that it gets clumpy relatively quickly. When it gets like that, I find wiping the brush with a tissue makes all the difference, but it's annoying that's needed when it's expensive and I don't want to waste it!
My go-to, everyday mascara. I love the formulation of this as it volume lash by lash as opposed to traditional volumising formulas that create the appearance of volume by clumping lashes together. It has a thicker brush base which evenly combs through eyelashes from roots to ends, while a tapered tip grabs those small, hard-to-reach lashes.
The black colour is created from kohl-pigment and delivers high drama by creating extremely black, stretched-out lashes in an instant. Whilst it's not waterproof, it has a long-wearing formula, so it holds its own against flaking, smudging, sweat and humidity. I's £24.50 so a bit pricey, but I find it's perfect for every day.
Luckily enough, in the run up to Christmas, Bobbi Brown had some great offers on their own website that included a free full size, Smokey Eye Mascara with every purchase over £50. That was too good to miss, so I stocked up on my soothing cleansing oil and split my orders, so I now have a few Smokey Eye Mascaras which will keep me going for a while!
TOP TIP : I've found some great offers if you go direct to the brands own website, so do take a look before you just buy from the big retailers.
Last summer when I was going on holiday I wanted to buy a waterproof mascara that would help open my eyes on a no-make-up beach day and this Clinique one was the one I tried. It's become my go to waterproof mascara and whilst it's called High Impact, that's a little deceiving. It's buildable so you could create lots of impact if you wanted but it also works well for a more natural look too.
Generally, I would opt for black mascara but on a beach holiday, that felt too much for in the daytime. I went for the brown which creates a more natural look. It stayed put through the sea & sweat (!) but was still easy enough to remove in the evening. At £18 this is at the affordable end of the premium brands which makes it a good option.
A late addition to my basket, but having read some great reviews, I wanted to give this one a try. It's £10.50, so not a bargain but it's not going to break the bank either.
This brush is the stuff of dreams, creating volume & intensity whilst combing & curling your lashes to give length, definition and drama.
Here's the science bit - it features strength-building collagen, pre-peptides & long-stretch polymers that wrap lashes in a flexible, lengthening film with no flaking - apparently. I loved how this mascara felt and perhaps this is why, or perhaps I'm just a sucker who's easily blinded by science.
This one has a lovely big brush! This mascara delivers voluptuous lashes without the faff of false lashes. I've never worn false lashes as I'm just not very good at being so delicate & accurate, I think I'd end up with a gap between my lashes and the false ones which would not be a good look!
This mascara has been around for a while and has staff the test of time as it's still going strong. It has an ultra volumising formula that fattens even the thinnest of lashes. One thing I did notice, is, even though this one stayed put in the day, it was pretty easy to remove so I think it would be good for sensitive eyes too. At just £7.99, I have to say, I think makes this one of the best mid-range mascaras out there.
As I mentioned, I'm a bit of a mascara snob so I did not have particularly high expectations, but I was very pleasantly surprised. At only £3.99, it really gives the more expensive brands a run for their money and it made me rethink my snobbery.
The highly pigmented formula adds volume and length to the lashes. It has the right kind of brush for me - soft & luxurious the brush reaches even the shortest lashes ensuring every last lash is coated. I think I'm converted!
Now I have to admit, I haven't actually tried this one so can't comment on how good it is, but I LOVE the look of it as it's very clever. it has a dual-chamber package containing a brush for upper lashes, a brush for lower lashes AND different formulas in each. The larger brush delivers volume to the top lashes, while the smaller brush creates smudge-proof definition to the bottom. This is definitely one I want to try - I really like the idea of a smaller brush with a different, drier formula to use on the bottom lashes. Next time this will be in my basket.
And finally, in my post a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the use-by dates of make-up products and how you should take note. Whilst we might spend a lot of money on make-up so want to get band for our buck, think of the bacteria that builds up when you use it again and again. Yuck! If that's make you think, Popsugar has a pretty good guide for when you need to throw out different products.
Don't even get me started on make-up brushes and how often we should clean them. I've got a great Christmas present that makes that a much less painful job and a hell of a lot quicker. StylPro from The Apprentice's Tom Pellereau is a revolution, leaving your brushes almost dry so you can use them straight away. Winner!
So, would I continue to buy expensive mascara?
The answer is yes. Whilst I was very impressed by all the mascaras I tried (they all had a fluffy brush!) the more expensive products do have nicer packaging, and I'm a sucker for packaging. As someone who has worked in marketing for the last 14 years, I know that we sometimes pay more for a product because of something other than the product itself. Do we like the brand? How do we feel about the packaging? Do we like the marketing or the celebrity who endorses it? All of these things play a part in our decision making, you'd think I would be immune to it based on my career, but it appears not.
I buy into the premium brands and will continue to love & use them. But, the Collection mascara has made me think. For me, it all comes down to how the product looks and the brush. It could be the mascara with the best reviews in the world, but if it has a rubber brush, I'm not buying it.
Of all the ones I've tried, my favourite for everyday is the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye with the Soap & Glory a very close second. I don't dislike any of them and as I now know, they will need chucking after 3 months so I think I will be using a combo of them all until then.
Next in this series will be my concealer edit so keep your eyes out for that in the next few weeks.
Thanks for reading. Until next Sunday....
From Charlotte x