Mascara transforms the eye like no other cosmetic – and it is the one make up item I never leave home without. Even with expertly applied eyeliner and shadow, perfect lips and a flawless complexion – sans mascara is never an option. As far as physical attributes go, eyes are at the top of the “list” of what others will notice first about you, so, having beautiful eyes probably will never go unnoticed. The pointless exercise where – for fun, or ice-breaking or a job interview, or whatever – one person asks another what item they could not live without if stranded on a deserted Island – well… that would be mascara.
I have often heard the rumour that we should all forgo prestige brands and simply buy that little drugstore secret Maybelline calls “Great Lash” – because “that’s what they use backstage at Paris runway shows anyway”. According to some artists, to spend any more than you would on Maybelline is a “waste” of money. But, I have also heard that most make up artists use Dior at runway shows and either way I am sure that there are varying professional opinions as to which product is the better choice. When it comes to the street, I think that your personal budget should dictate – if you cannot afford Dior, why put yourself out when Maybelline is an acceptable alternative that you can afford? Why not buy Dior if you can afford it and prefer it? Stick with your budget and let cost guide you, because you have great options regardless of how much you can afford to spend.
My history of never shying from trying a new brand has given me some insight into how similar/dissimilar mascara formulas can be. I have quested after the perfect mascara for years (and will continue to try new brands) – I have tried Maybelline, Red Earth, No. 7, Cover Girl, Rimmel, Lise Watier, Dior, Clinique, Benefit, Elizabeth Arden, Almay – the list goes on. After years of trial and tribulation, I have narrowed it down to three fabulous mascaras that I recommend, Diorshow, MAC Upward Lash, and Maybelline Great Lash. Fortunately these brands vary greatly in price so you can opt for the one that best suits your mascara budget. All three will provide drama, offer waterproof formulas, and come with great application brushes. Diorshow by far creates the most dramatic look and can be layered to create even more drama – but is also the most expensive. MAC Upward Lash is easy to apply and virtually clump free at the mid-range price point. When I buy Great Lash I choose “blackest black” with the curved brush – you will find that this mascara will take a little more work than the others (mainly in application to avoid clumps and tidying up as the evening goes on and some minor flaking occurs).
Tip: Consider adding a few drops of lavender to your mascara to help avoid eye irritation, and promote healthy lash growth (added perk… it smells nice). Also, I often buy Dior or MAC as my primary brand, but toss one of the inexpensive Maybelline tubes in my purse for those “just in case” moments when mascara requires re-application – away from your vanity.
Diorshow – The Prestige Brand
Retails: $30 – $40
Find: at Sephora, Holt Renfrew, Department Stores, Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharma Prix Beauty Counter
MAC Upward Lash – The Compromise Brand
Retails: $25 – $30
Find: at MAC locations and Department Stores
Maybelline Great Lash – The Budget Brand
Retails: $6 – $10
Find: at most pharmacies/drug stores, Walmart, Giant Tiger, some grocery stores