Mascaras…I’ve got plenty!

I currently have a lot of mascaras on rotation – some are freshly opened, while others are nearly ready to be thrown out – so this is a great time to do an “I’ve got plenty” post comparing all my mascaras.

Mascaras are tricky to review as there are so many factors affecting their performance including:

  • Type of lashes – mine are long, thin & hold a curl easily (I always use my Shu Uemura curler)
  • Lash preference – I like my lashes to look thick, feathery and curled
  • If you use a primer – I don’t
  • Waterproof vs washable formulas – mascaras don’t usually smear on me, so most of my mascaras are washable
  • Application technique – I tend to experiment with different wands or layer with another brand if I’m not happy with a certain mascara…I have tried using a lash comb but can’t get the hang of it.
  • Age of mascara – some mascaras are great from the start – others perform better 1-2 weeks after opening (when the formula has had a chance to dry out a bit)

If you’re looking for a new mascara to try – this is the post for you. Hope my mini-reviews are helpful!

1) Maybelline Illegal Length Mascara in Blackest Black Review
CLAIM: Adds 4mm of measurable fiber extensions
MY THOUGHTS: It definitely adds dramatic length – it makes my lashes reach my eyebrows! I like this mascara – the fibers are effective but natural looking, and my lashes stayed curled all day. The downside: there was a slight transfer of color on to my upper lid (not very noticeable) – and I prefer a thicker lash look – so I will layer with the CG Lashblast Volume in the future.
GOOD FOR: People with thick lashes who want length and definition.

Mascara Illegal Length by Maybelline
Maybelline Illegal Length Swatch

2) Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Mascara in Blackest Black Review
CLAIM: False lash glam – 300% more visible lashes
MY THOUGHTS:  I’m a huge fan of this mascara – this is my 3rd tube! The formula is a bit finicky – it starts working well 1-2 weeks after opening – and has a short lifespan of around 2 months (after that the formula dries up and not much comes out on the wand.) This tube is pretty much done – so my lashes are not as volumized as they can be. This mascara really makes my lashes look noticeable and fake – in  a good way! 
GOOD FOR: Anybody who wants dramatic length, volume and curl.

Mascara by Maybelline The Falsies
Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Mascara Swatch

3) Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Mascara in Very Black Review
CLAIM: Full, soft & thick lashes. Quick dissolve system that removes easily.
MY THOUGHTS: Full bristled classic brush makes it easy to apply the mascara evenly – good for when you’re getting ready in a rush. It provides slight thickening at the base of my lashes and is able to hold my curl. However, when I wear mascara – I want DRAMATIC results – this is too subtle for my taste.
GOOD FOR: Someone who only wants subtle lash definition.

Full 'N Soft Mascara Brush Maybelline
Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Mascara Swatch

4) Covergirl Lashblast Volume Mascara in Very Black Review
CLAIM: Big lash look with volume-boosing formula and patent pending brush.
MY THOUGHTS:  My mascara staple (repurchased MANY times). Has a good formula and an AMAZING brush (I save & wash my old wands and use them with other mascaras). Very good on its own – really volumizes my lashes – but also great for layering with lengthening mascaras (like Falsies & Illegal Length).
GOOD FOR: Everyone – one of my Holy Grail products!

Covergirl Lashblast Volume Mascara Brush head
Covergirl Lashblast Volume Mascara Swatch

5) Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara in Black Review  
CLAIM: Lash-enhancing formula that conditions lashes and makes them stronger 
MY THOUGHTS: I bought this to use as my daily mascara since it is meant to have nourishing and conditioning benefits. However, the brush is very hard to work with – it’s too big to reach my inner lashes, and makes the rest of my lashes spidery and clumpy by the second coat. It’s too bad the brush is terrible, because the mascara formula is amazing. It seriously makes my lashes grow longer and keeps them healthy. My mother thought I was wearing false lashes because regular use of this mascara made my lashes long and strong! But it is a pain to apply as I have to brush the mascara onto an a clean Covergirl Lashblast wand and apply it from there! 
GOOD FOR: People who want long and healthy lashes, and have the time to apply it with a different mascara wand

Brush head Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara
Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara Swatch

6) Bourjois Volumizer Mascara in Noir Review 
CLAIM: 2-step brush to provide 11x more volume with no clumps. 
MY THOUGHTS: This brush concept is similar to MAC’s Haute and Naughty wand. The wand has 1 brush head but 2 options – the first option scrapes the brush head through a narrow tube to provide light coverage. The second option is the mascara without any scraping. Option 1 is difficult to apply with control as the wand is quite long and skinny. Once applied, it provides a clean and defined look with separated lashes. The second option was quite thick and clumpy – my lashes felt heavy and weighed down with product.
GOOD FOR: Someone who would like natural and dramatic options for their mascara – and who can work around the clumpiness of option 2.

Bourjois Volumizer Mascara Brush Head
Bourjois Volumizer Mascara Swatch

7) L’Oreal Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara in Black (WATERPROOF) Review
CLAIM: Extra thick brush creates up to 12x more volume with no clumps.
My only waterproof mascara – I save this for holidays to humid locations and for the beach & waterparks. I thought this mascara was ready to throw away – but this product has thickened up and gotten BETTER over time – I really love it now! The brush distributes the mascara easily – no clumps or globs, just amazingly thick & feathery lashes! Waterproof formulas really do hold curl better – look how curled my lashes are in the closed-eye pic compared to all the other closed-eye pics. However, removing this product was too much of an effort – Bioderma didn’t work – I had to use a cream cleanser, and even then I had dark smudges under my eyes the next morning (really hate that!) so it will never be an everyday mascara for me.
GOOD FOR: People who want gorgeous thick & curly lashes – and who don’t mind spending lots of time removing the product from their lashes at night.

L'Oreal Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara Brush head
L’Oreal Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara Swatch

8) Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara in Black Review
CLAIM: Formula and innovative polymer brush work together to create extreme length and curl
MY THOUGHTS: Makes my lashes look really noticeable. Love that it really lengthens, thickens and curls my lashes – no need to layer with this mascara! The brush is amazing – I will definitely save it even after the mascara runs out – it has thin comb-like bristles that apply product evenly from root to tip. Makes my lashes look fake (in a good way) with thickness at the base and flared tips.
GOOD FOR: Anyone who wants easy-to-apply mascara with dramatic results

Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara Brush head
Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara Swatch




The Maybelline & Covergirl mascaras are variations on formulas I’ve already tried and loved
(Lashblast Volume & Falsies) while the L’Oreal Voluminous is a mascara I keep
reading rave reviews about.

More Maybelline…


What is your favorite mascara? Do you have any application tips to share?

DISCLAIMER: I purchased all these mascaras myself except for the Bourjois and Marcelle mascaras, which were given to me at blogger events. As always – when I review a free item, I consider it as if I paid
the retail price
…and evaluate it objectively. Gifted or
not, I blog to share my true feelings and help my readers


  1. Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews)
    September 10, 2012 / 7:52 pm

    Ok first of all I'm jealous of your bare lashes – it's so hard for me to review mascaras b/c my camera won't focus on my non existent lashes LOL! I really love the Marcelle and the falsies on you! great Thorough review!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 10, 2012 / 7:56 pm

      You're so sweet Elaine – it's SO hard to take self-photos of lashes – I almost went cross-eyed LOL! I'm so loving the Marcelle mascara – it is my favorite new discovery!

  2. Skylette from Sequins&Stilettos
    September 10, 2012 / 8:07 pm

    In my opinion, #1 and #6 look best! You should try the Benefit "They're Real" mascara – I can never try anything else after that stuff! It really is worth all the hype!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 10, 2012 / 8:12 pm

      I've heard good things about Benefit They're Real and BAD gal mascaras – thanks for the suggestion – you always have such lush-looking lashes!

  3. Schnelle
    September 10, 2012 / 8:10 pm

    Great post, Ella! I want to try the Illegal Lengths mascara now. The Lash Blast is my HG but I could use a little more length.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 10, 2012 / 8:12 pm

      Thanks Schnelle – Lash Blast and Illegal Length definitely work well together – you should try it for sure 🙂

  4. Maria DaintyandDecadent
    September 10, 2012 / 8:20 pm

    Covergirl lashblast is my absolute favorite mascara! I think a close second is Rimmel Sexy Curves. I honestly prefer those two over the highends I've used like the Bad Gal, They're Real, and Mac X. Great post 🙂

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 10, 2012 / 8:32 pm

      I've never tried any Rimmel mascaras – will definitely keep Sexy Curves in mind – thank you! I'm a MAJOR drugstore mascara fan, I've yet to be blown away by a high-end mascara…

  5. Lindy May
    September 10, 2012 / 10:38 pm

    I love the look of the lashblast on you! You have such beautiful eyes and eyelashes.My favorite drugstore mascara is Loreal voluminous million lashes in carbon black and when I make it to sephora, I love the buxom lash mascara.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 10, 2012 / 11:50 pm

      You're so sweet – I inherited my dad's eye shape and lashes LOL – and I'm so grateful 🙂 The million lashes is also on my to-try list…I'm glad all these suggestions are written in one place, so I can refer to it the next time my lashes want some excitement 🙂

  6. Beautygirl24
    September 10, 2012 / 11:45 pm

    Wow, I never thought to try Illegal Lengths but it obviously looks amazing! I'm always so weary of testing out new mascaras. Most of the time I feel disappointed. CG Lashblast is also my Holy Grail, as is Benefit's They're Real. The Benefit is a bit hard to remove, but I love the effect it gives! Thanks for reviewing these Ella!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 10, 2012 / 11:48 pm

      It's crazy how long Illegal Length makes my eyelashes – I'd never really thought of it until it was mentioned in a back-to-school make-up video on youtube (don't ask why I watch those LOL!) It was an impulse purchase but I'm so glad I bought it!

  7. Lilly
    September 11, 2012 / 1:20 am

    Great review! I'm the same way, I have to try them all 😉 I currently use 4 different ones lol Not all at the same time though.I love Full 'n soft (I put on a few layers to make my lashes look thicker and more dramatic. And it does work better after a couple of weeks, once is a bit dry). I also L'Oreal carbon black volume (which in my opinion is great from the minute I open it). I do recommend it for the full and dramatic look. I also have Benefit 'They're real' and while it makes my lashes look nice I don't think it lives up to the hype, on my lashes at least. I can't remember what my 4th one is lol I do love these type of reviews! Great job!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 11, 2012 / 1:33 am

      So glad to know I'm not the only one with multiple mascaras on-the-go LOL! Full n Soft used to work SO well for me before – but this current tube is pretty wimpy…maybe I should get a new tube to try out (but not for a LONG while – so much to get through first!)

  8. Suzie Q
    September 11, 2012 / 1:20 am

    Fabulous reviews of the various mascaras! Your lashes look great with them all, especially with the Illegal length! xoxo,Suzie

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 11, 2012 / 1:34 am

      Thanks Suzie – it's funny, after a while, all the mascaras started to resemble each other – except for Illegal Length, which really had such a surprisingly dramatic effect!

  9. Kristen
    September 11, 2012 / 1:56 am

    dang girl! you went all out w the pics and stuff!i think i like the illegal lengths best, but they all look awesome

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 11, 2012 / 2:03 am

      Ha ha – I know – so many pictures of my eyes – it's a little freaky LOL!

  10. Mehreen
    September 11, 2012 / 2:30 pm

    wow…. great post!!!! honestly…the illegale lenghths looks great on you!… im a big can of voluminious….but i am not tempted to try a few of these out:)

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 11, 2012 / 2:47 pm

      So many people love voluminous – I hope I can get it to work for me 🙂

  11. Anonymous
    September 11, 2012 / 5:54 pm

    Great reviews, pics and comparisons-thanks for putting this together!My current favorite is Benefit's They're Real. I also like Lancome Hypnose

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 11, 2012 / 10:05 pm

      Glad you liked it Andi – it was fun to do!

  12. Shadowy Lady
    September 12, 2012 / 2:41 pm

    I really enjoyed this post, so detailed and written perfectly. I'm your newest follower btw. Feel free to check out my blog and (hopefully) follow 🙂

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 14, 2012 / 4:39 pm

      Thank you for your feedback – you're so sweet! Am definitely going to check out your blog.

  13. Alissa
    September 14, 2012 / 4:19 pm

    I really enjoy this post. I am SO picky about mascara and I have yet to find one that I really love. I mostly combine two different ones because one never delivers on all of its promises!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 14, 2012 / 4:40 pm

      I agree – it's so hard to find the perfect one…all I want is length, curl and volume in one formula LOL!

  14. Leesh
    September 18, 2012 / 11:49 pm

    I have tried #2 and 4 and they were okay. I actually stopped using mascara because my lashes hold a curl better without it. But if I do use mascara, it has to be waterproof. My go-to mascara was always Max Factor but now it's inaccessible to me now.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 19, 2012 / 2:32 pm

      Wow lucky! I need mascara to hold my curl – otherwise it goes away LOL!

  15. Anonymous
    September 21, 2012 / 2:03 am

    holy crow! that is a lot of mascaras xDI always want to branch out into trying different brands, but I find it hard. What IF it doesn't work that well on me…so that has stopped me from trying new ones. I just stick to basics that I know have worked.But seeing that picture of all the swatches…really does make me want to~ Just cause you never know what is hiding out there for my lashes 🙂

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 21, 2012 / 2:12 am

      Ha ha – I know – this is the most I've ever had open at one time – usually 3 is the max (one for night, one for day and one experimental)…but some were on their last legs and are now in the bin LOL!It is hard to find new mascaras – because you can't really try before you buy – and what works for some may not work for you (some popular mascaras leave me with spider lashes – yuck!).But with my covergirl wand – I know that I can make even "bad" mascaras work for me – so I'm open to some trial and error since there won't be any wastage 🙂

  16. Katie
    January 2, 2013 / 5:15 pm

    My favorite mascara is Super Thick Lash by Covergirl. I wear it everyday and don't know what I'll do if they ever discontinue:)

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      January 2, 2013 / 9:27 pm

      I haven't tried that yet – but am definitely going to look out for it – can't go wrong with thicker lashes 🙂

  17. Thaissa
    April 10, 2015 / 12:39 am

    If you had to buy maybelline illegal length or Mac haute and naughty. Wich one will you buy?

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