I’m obsessed with my eyelashes; mostly about the fact that I have nearly none. Naturally, my lashes are short, stubby, and sad and I’ve tried many products to make this not so. One staple is, of course, mascara. For stick-straight lashed chicks such as myself, it’s all about the brush and less about the actual black stuff since it’s pretty much the same formula no matter the company (an inside fact a makeup artist once told me). A good mascara for me works when I can swipe it generously on my lashes and it makes my peepers wider and doll-eyed with a full set of eye fringe, rather than lumped together for that oh-so-hot “I have 4 big fat lashes” look. Skinny, wimpy brushes need not apply; only the bushy-tailed make me look anywhere near bright-eyed. Here are a few, road-tested and reviewed:
L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara (Curved Brush). This is the staple that everyone swears by. And what’s not to love? The brush is thick, it’s cheap and can be found at any drugstore. But the huge drawback for me is the clump factor - black goopy chunks gather on the brush and, after a few swipes, on your lashes. My tip for straight-lashed chicks who pair mascara with lash curlers: curl your dry lashes once, wipe the excess off the Voluminous wand on a tissue, apply no more than 3 coats, let dry and curl once again. Doll-eyed effect achieved.
L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes (Straight Brush). Still in the L’Oreal family, the plastic wand on this baby is slightly better when it comes to clumping. The actual formula also smells kind of nice, just in case “lash odor” was ever a concern (I’ve heard this affects literally dozens of women). For people who need major fringe plumping, apply this one generously - it’s a little weak upon the first few strokes.
L’Oreal Lash Architect. I promise, not all the mascaras I’ve ever used in my life are L’Oreal, but most of them are. I picked this one up while on vacation in Spain and am pretty sure it’s been discontinued. I love this one. The brush is straight but held at an angle works as effectively as a curved one. Two swipes and my lashes look instantly fuller but not clumped together. It’s the fastest way for me to get that coveted doll-eyes look without much effort. I usually skip the second round of curling when I wear this one, too.
Lancome Courbe Virtuose. I stopped shelling out major $$$ for mascara, but this one is truly worth the extra scratch if you can spare it. No clumps, a thick, bristly wand that curves at the right angle for us straight-lashers. It’s, quite simply, the best one I’ve ever used. It makes lashes dramatically longer, fuller and darker but with no mess. The only drawback? It’s priced at around $25 - you could buy almost 3 tubes of the drugstore stuff for the same amount.
Rimmel of London Sexy Curves. I bought this one on a whim without ever seeing what the actual brush looked like beforehand. Out of the tube, I was disappointed at how weaksauce it was, despite the unique “triple plump” curves. While this would probably suffice for someone naturally long-lashed, it does squat for me. HOWEVER, one of the biggest mascara marketing jokes I’ve ever seen are mascaras “designed” to be used on your bottom lashes only - basically mascara that’s packaged with a teeny tiny brush. I’ve found that this one does the trick just fine: the first “plump” of the triple plump wand is great for swiping over bottom lashes, corner to corner. Avoid the pricy marketing gimmick; pick this one up instead.
Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof. Yet another staple drugstore find that lands on many a Best Of list. I’m not going to lie: I grabbed this one because for some reason I thought I would want to wear mascara when I go surfing. It looks/sounds even more ridiculous when I type it out. Anyways, I’m not sure why so many people go nuts over the pink tube. The wand isn’t impressive, and barely transfers formula with each swipe so I end up having to brush about half a dozen times on each eye. And yes, I road-tested it in the water - I came out with lightly-smudged eyes and a self-promise to not let my vanity work its way into my board time again.