Friday, December 08, 2006

Mascara Woes

The most overhyped beauty product on the market is, without a doubt, Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara. It's one of those products that has been around forever, and it's been on the top of so many "Best of Beauty" lists that a lot of magazines don't even count it in their yearly surveys of top products. It's also the most popular mascara sold in the U.S.

But for some reason, I'd never tried it, until 2 weeks ago when I was given a free tube. All I can say is, what are millions of women thinking?? This stuff sucks!

I did everything I was supposed to: curled my lashes, applied one coat, combed lashes, applied another, combed again... and the results were not pretty. I could not keep the mascara from smearing onto my eyelids, which messed up my eyeshadow and just looked gross. And my lashes actually looked short and stubby (which they kind of are, but mascara has never exaggerated this before) and stuck together for an icky, Tammy Faye-esque effect. A more accurate name for this product would be Maybelline Monster Lash.

I have to admit, I'm not a huge mascara fan to begin with. As a blonde, my eyelashes are so light that you can barely see them when I'm not wearing mascara. Despite this, I still only wear mascara when I'm going out because it drives me nuts. Often, I always forget that I have it on, so I'll go to rub my eyes and get it all over my eyes and hands. And of course, no one carries makeup remover on them, so you have to make due with soap and water. I also hate the fact that mascara is so easy to screw up when applying, when you're trying to get out clumps it ends up on your eyelid, and once the clumps are gone, you there's barely any product left on your lashes.

So after my huge Maybelline mess, I decided to see if there was something wrong with my application, and after washing off my eye makeup, tried again with my standby mascara, Clinique Long Pretty Lashes Mascara.

Clinique's LPL doesn't promise ridiculously long, thick, voluminous lashes, as so many products do. It does what it says- give you long, pretty lashes that look natural enough that it looks as if you just have naturally long, gorgeous lashes. No clumping, minimal smearing, easy to remove, this stuff isn't miraculous, but it's reliably quite good, and is a great choice for anyone who prefers a low-maintenance look.

I wondered if I was the only person who felt this way, preferring the fairly unknown Clinique product over the Maybelline monolith. So I did some research on Makeup Alley, and found that the average rating of Great Lash is 2.2, (on a 5 pt scale, very poor) compared to Clinique's 3.6.

So what's going on here? Is this some conspiracy perpetuated by Maybelline's marketers to convince beauty editors and regular women that this is the best stuff out there? Are my lashes (and maybe those of Makeup Alley posters) resistant to the magical powers of Great Lash? I have no idea. But if you've had any positive or negative experiences with Great Lash, or have another mascara that you love, feel free to comment and let me know.


Libby said...

I also tried "Great Lash" after hearing all the hype. I bought a discount pack of four, because I was so sure that it would be the end of my search for the perfect mascara. How wrong I was. Thick, gooey and clumpy lashes is what resulted from this mascara. Funny, yours is the first review I read that hated it too!

Allie said...

I could not agree more. The only mascara worse than this one is the waterproof version! I think it has to be some marketing ploy because I have retried this one a few times over the past several years and it never gets any better. Another good one to try in my opinion is L'Oreal Lash Out. I'm going to try the Clinique on your recommendation though!

Pauline Joy said...

This is exactly how I feel! Great lash has been, in my experience, one of the worst mascaras I have ever tried. I'm glad to read your review, because I really thought it was just me. I understand that for $4-5 Great Lash is okay, but if you really have to use drugstore mascara, for $3 more, you could get CoverGirl's Lash Exact, which I LOVE.

Great Lash is alright, but it reminds me of my younger "tween" days, when I had no clue what else was out there.

I recently found DiorShow Unlimited, and OH MY GOD, I love it. I only use it for special occasions, but for regular days when I want to feel lovely, I use lash exact, which does wonders, while still keeping lashes separate.

sparkler said...

My absolute favorite mascara is Neutrogena's Weightless Volume wax-free (in waterproof brown black). It's hypoallergenic, doesn't clump even when you get to the end of the tube, and gives my blonde-tipped lashes (I'm a fair-skinned redhead) color and definition without giving me tarantula eyes.

The non-waterproof version, oddly enough, smudges horribly and goes on much heavier.

Anonymous said...

i totally agree that maybelline great lash is the worst mascara ever. i a tube on sale and thought this was gonna be my HG mascara, but it clumped on my first coat!!! i seriously don't understand all the hype from it.

my favorite mascara is covergirl lashexact. it never ever clumps, even after appyling three coats, and lengthens my lashed so well that they push against my glasses.

since you are blond, you should try neutrogena's lash tint. tints you lashes, but i swear there are absolutely no clumps. it looks really natural so it's good for the day.

Meg said...

Hey Everyone! Thanks so much for your comments! It's great to hear that I'm not alone in my hatred for Great Lash.

Next time I need new mascara, I'm definitely going to try our your recommendations.

It's also nice to hear good reviews of so many drugstore mascaras.. it's annoying to have to pay a lot of money for a product that goes bad every 3 months.

anna said...

I totally agree with the over-hype and marketing, it has all my friends totally brainwashed as they try to convince me that this inferior product is good. Thanks for publicly saying what many closeted people are thing!

Anonymous said...

I agree as well! It's an awful product, and one of my very least favorite mascaras. It was like applying black Elmer's glue to my eyelashes. Horrid.

For drugstore mascaras, I like Physician's Formula Lash in a Tube and the Cover Girl Super Thick Lash.

For higher end, Dior makes great mascaras and Bourjois has some great ones as well.

Anonymous said...

I don't like great lash either. I actually bought a SECOND tube because all the wonderful stuff I read about it, I thought the first one I had was a bad tube.

Since mascara is supposed to be replaced every three months, I think a lot of makeup artists have it in their kit because of the price.

My personal favorites are Lancome Definicils and L'Oreal Voluminous. And I keep mascara longer than three months..

Anonymous said...

you tell it sister! this stuff stinks like sandy when he gets out when its raining.

- your sis.

Anonymous said...

It would have to have been the worst mascara I've used, although Rimmels lash definition sucks because the comb that's supposed to separate the lashes clumps them together!

My favourite at the moment is ModelCo's LashXtend which I got free with a magazine. No clumps, great coverage and doesn't come off during the day but removes easily :)

Anonymous said...

I agree about the mascara being rubbish!! I tried it after reading some article about how it was this world renowned mascara that every woman should use... I should have known from the fact it was cheaper than other mascaras that it couldn't be that amazing, but i still tried it, and it failed. miserably.

Anonymous said...

why do all the "famous" makeup artists say this is a great mascara? I bought it a couple times after reading about it in the magazines. Great Lash should be called Disappointing Lash. Waste of Time and Money Lash. Something suspicious is going on with these magazine editors...Lancome Definicils is always good. I think Tammy Faye hides behind all that makeup. She's hiding, it's an insecurity thing.

Anonymous said...

You are so right!
This product is the by far the worst mascara out there... There are numerous drug store mascaras that are great.
It does not given length, volume, definition - any of the reason you buy a mascara in the first place.

willikat said...

great lash sucks. i also have blonde lashes and use l'oreal voluminous. i think it hast he same formula as a lancome mascara.... it's amazing and only ike $5. it doesn't clump, it lengthens, it thickens... it's amazing. i highly recommend.

Erika said...

Late getting on the bandwagon, but I agree. I tried this years ago, and hated it. I recently thought about trying it again, but I'm glad I didn't. Cover Girl's lash exact is great. I'll have to try the Dior the next time I want to splurge.

Jill Marie said...

My mom has used "great lash" or "great clumpy lashes" for as long as i can remember. Once while stuck in a bind, i was forced to use the torturous mascara and agree that i in fact did resemble a tammy faye look-a-like. i still have yet to find the perfect daytime mascara. something that makes my lashes look long and natural not black and clumpy. For exclusive nights, I recommend "Diorshow Blackout", which is limited edition with kohl in it - v. necessary for going out. As for the daytime, I empathize with your woes. Usually I put a dab of vaseline on my eyelashes to give them some "oomph" or use "Neutrogena Lash Tint" but still is not exactly what I'm looking for. I am glad I am not the only one still on the hunt for "the perfect mascara"

Kayleigh said...

Ugh yes, I hate Great Lash too. I still have a tube kicking around actually, I should really throw it out.

For drugstore brands, the best mascaras I've used are L'Oreal Lash Out and Physician's Formula Lash in a Tube. They both are kind of creamy in consistency, not too watery or waxy, and look great on the lashes.

Anonymous said...

Mascaras aren't too bad when they go on sale at the drug stores. Some of the more natural and light mascaras are Maybelline's full n' soft and L'oreal featherlash. It's also safe to use two different mascaras, one for length and another for thickening.

sw-g said...

Glad I'm not the only one that thinks Great Lash is awful. It's been so highly recommended that I thought I was doing something wrong.

However, I LOVE Loreal Voluminous mascara. It gives the effect I'm looking for & isn't so expensive.

Anonymous said...

Yucky, yucky Great Lash - I do LOVE their clear version though...for my eyebrows!

I have yet to find a great mascara but I have tried two that are mentioned so I will weigh my opinion: Neutrogena Weightless is a wax-free formula that smells like poo...err, I has a distinct aroma. So, I didn't care for it so much and on me, it clumped. The Lash Tint is okay, not great and unfortunately, Revlon quit manufacturing Colorstay Lash Tint, now that was as good as a mascara as I think I will ever find. My high maintenance problems?? Oily skin, which means OILY lashes, which means...yep, you guessed it, raccoon eyes!! Eye makeup in general just doesn't do well on me over an hour.
I love the blog! Michelle

Kasmira said...

Also do not like Great Lash. I'm a mascara junky. Love it super black, lengthening, and thickening. I think I buy a different mascara every time I have to replace my tube. Currently using Revlon 3D Extreme and liking it, despite the tendency to clump.

Anonymous said...

Finally! I was acctually telling my BF the other day about how all the mags say its is the 'ish.... Of course he had no idea what I was talking about... But I too bought 2 tubes because I figured I was doing something wrong, or I got the wrong brush, or formula the first time.

I actually LOVE my Avon mascara! I have thin, blonde, straight, medium length lashes. All of the Avon mascaras go on easy, dry quickly so I dont have lash spots on my upper lid from blinking, and doesnt clump! Plus you can get them on sale for $1.50 to $3.00 depending on the campaign. Love it!