Regardless of how much eyeshadow or eyeliner you wear, we all wear mascara on the daily and it’s something we go through quite quickly so finding a go-to brand at the drug store is key. I still appreciate a good high end mascara for nights out and when I want just a bit more oomph but for daily use, there are some really great drug store options so I’ve been testing out several over the last few weeks.
For years, I and many of my friends have always used L’Oreal’s Voluminous mascara. It works well, you know what you are getting and it goes on sale quite regularly making it an all around great value. So I set out to try some other drug store options to see if I could find something on that level or better.
Note that I hardly have any lashes to begin with! I may have got the height from my dad’s British side but I inherited the tiny Asian lashes from my mom’s side so keep that in mind while scrolling through the photos for comparison.
Revlon Grow Luscious
This one was ok, it didn’t particularly give me a lot of volume or length. It was very natural looking. The formula and brush were both nice, product was easy to use and not clumpy. This would be a good option if you already have long lashes and just want to accentuate them naturally. As far as growing luscious lashes, it didn’t do anything.
Covergirl Total Tease
The newest mascara launch from Covergirl has a very unique brush. Regular bristles on one side and shorter more concentrated bristles on the other. This allows you to swipe on mascara across the whole lash as well as concentrate in specific areas like the outer lashes (or centre lashes if you want your eyes to look more open). This would also be great for the lower lashes but mine are pretty well non existent so I didn’t bother. Total Tease mascara added both volume and length. I like the formula and the brush is cool but a little finicky because you have to flip it back and forth. Overall a great result if you don’t mind putting the extra few minutes in. It also saves you from needing two separate mascaras for top and bottom lashes.
Marcelle Ultimate Volume
Another very natural looking finish, this fell short on the promise of ultimate volume. It did lengthen a little bit but my lashes still ended up looking thin and flat. The formula is nice and the brush makes it easy to apply. Overall, there are better options for a natural finish, I wouldn’t buy this one again.
Rimmel Shake It Fresh
My least favourite of the ones tested and a bit gimmicky to be honest. This mascara comes with a ball inside and you shake it before each use to make the volume clump free. The main thing about this one is that the formula is really wet and thin feeling. It didn’t feel particularly nice to apply and seemed easy to smudge. I don’t understand the shaking action at all because I couldn’t really see what the purpose of this is except to mix around the really thin and wet formula. It’s true that this formula won’t clump but that’s because it’s so watery, not because of the shaking action. The results weren’t good, didn’t see any volume, length or much of anything. It made my lashes look a bit darker…..and feel wet.
L’Oreal Lash Paradise
The newest launch from L’Oreal – Lash Paradise. This one gave both volume and length and the formula was really nice to apply. Very quick and easy! The brush has a subtle almost hourglass shape to it. Less clumpy than L’Oreal’s original Voluminous but still adding some noticeable volume. I also like that the brush has the normal bristles and not the new plastic ones like Voluminous Million Lashes.
Wait, does it look familiar….
Not so subtle on L’Oreal’s behalf as they are clearly trying to position Lash Paradise as the drug store alternative to Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. Can we talk about the packaging for a second? L’Oreal has copied Too Faced down to the same eye pictures and the percentages of each type of result. However Too Faced has some math problems here….you can’t have 1944% more volume, it just doesn’t work that way. It’s completely ridiculous to even put that on the package. Although L’Oreal’s packaging lacks in originality, they thankfully knew to stop at the bad math.
The actual products look very similar but they feel completely different. The Too Faced mascara has a nice weighty feel to it and the brush balances on its own without tipping over thanks to the weight of the brush handle. L’Oreal’s is made of very light plastic and the brush tips over (hence the oddly placed paper towel to protect my background board). Both are in appealing light pink tubes with pretty clean branding. The brush shape is similar looking and the formula generally feels the same when applied but the L’Oreal one doesn’t separate the lashes quite as well. Also, the ingredients list is pretty much the same but in a different order.
But is it a dupe?
Left side of the photos – Too Faced Better than Sex mascara, Right side of the photo – L’Oreal Lash paradise mascara
No, I wouldn’t classify this as a proper dupe. Although they look similar at first glance, the packaging quality is very different, the brush shape is not as pronounced on L’Oreal’s version and it doesn’t separate quite as nicely as the Too Faced mascara. That being said, for the price point I find the L’Oreal one to be very good quality and well worth the money.
The top two for me were the Covergirl Total Tease and L’Oreal Lash Paradise mascaras. They both gave great results. As mentioned, the Total Tease is a bit finicky but it’s a very unique brush and I do think it would be great for people who want to take the time to really concentrate certain areas of their lashes plus a great all in one for top and bottom!
Based on ease of use and results, I like the Lash Paradise. This is the winner for me and my new daily go-to in drug store mascaras. Hope you guys found this review helpful and let me know in the comments below what your favourite mascara is.
Disclaimer – Covergirl Total Tease and Rimmel Shake It Fresh mascaras were samples provided courtesy of Influenster. I was not obligated to write a blog post review on either of these. All other products were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.