Eye Makeup

Mascara Hits and Misses

August 4, 2017

Mascara Testing Hits and Misses

I have a new updated mascara roundup. I’ve been trying a few new formulas and have some hits and some misses. The humidity in Florida is pretty high and the sun feels a million times stronger here than it did in San Diego. Finding one that holds up to the humidity has been a process.

  • Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara is a formula I had purchased from a duo over last holiday. I had it sitting in the box waiting for my other tubes to get used up. I was pleasantly surprised because the reviews with this were mixed. It had zero clumping, defined lashes, volumized, coated evenly, held the curl and had no smudging. For me this is a hit.
  • Sisley-Paris So Intense Mascara is one I tried from the Nordstrom Color Twist Set (review here). Huge hit with this one even though the comb is so tiny it looks like it won’t grab lashes. It allows you to get right at the base without touching the skin. This usually isn’t a big deal for me if the mascara is good because a quick clean up with a Q-tip fixes it after application. However this one makes application easier. It volumizes, holds curl and doesn’t smudge.
  • L’Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof is the first drugstore mascara I’ve actually liked. I’ve tried dozens and end up throwing them all away after 2 uses because they either dry to a grey looking black, smudge or don’t hold the curl. This literally was WOW with the first try. It’s everything I want in a mascara – volume, definition and holds the curl. I absolutely love the waterproof version because there is zero smudging. Blackest Black is the color I tried and it’s a true rich black. It does take more work to remove at the end of the day but is completely worth it. Huge hit.
  • Tom Ford Waterproof Extreme Mascara has to be mentioned again even though it’s not new to me because it’s my favorite waterproof mascara. No smudging, holds the curl, volumizes – huge thumbs up. I’ve repurchased this one the most in the past year.
  • Chanel Le Volume Waterproof is another classic. The regular Le Volume is good, but I prefer the Waterproof version because it holds up better in the humidity. This is one of the few rubberized applicators I like – most other brands just don’t do it for me. A classic one for me.
  • Dior Pump N Volume Mascara was a big miss. The first application was decent for volume, holding the curl and having a true rich black color. Every application after that was a clumping disaster – even when I removed excess from the tube by cleaning it. When there’s buildup, every once in a while I’ll take the wand and run it in between a folded piece of paper. It’s just like you would do with a tissue or paper towel but using paper makes it so those cotton fibers from tissue won’t get caught in the bristles. The volume on this one is really good and there are quite a few rave reviews on this one, if it didn’t clump all the time it would be perfect.
  • Serge Lutens Comb Mascara is another miss for me. I had such high hopes for this one as it came highly recommended and the online reviews on the formula were stellar. It has a similar applicator to the Sisley-Paris one. For some reason this Serge Lutens one made my lashes look spidery. It took a while to dry and smudged with a few blinks. After it dried down it had decent staying power but didn’t hold the curl and didn’t have as rich of a black finish as other ones. It wasn’t the worst but there are much better formulas for me out there.

A few notes on other mascaras I’ve loved but didn’t feature in this roundup. Other long-time favs have included the By Terry Mascara Terrybly, Chantecaille Faux Cils, Stila Huge Lash and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara. Most of these still work for me in the humid hot weather, I’ve just been rotating through different options recently. If you’ve had your eye on the Chantecaille one I highly recommend you check out the Touch-Up Essentials Set while it’s still available for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because it’s a great deal. The only one that doesn’t work so well for me in humid weather is the By Terry option, but they do have a waterproof version which I want to investigate.

Best Makeup Remover Lancome | The Beauty Look Book

For makeup removal longer lasting formulas and waterproof ones are going to be more difficult to remove in the evenings. Most of these I have to use a multi-step process to take them off in the evenings. Regardless of whether I double cleanse with a cleansing oil or cleansing water, I always use a cotton pad and soak it with eyemakeup remover first. My favorite formula used to be the Chanel Gentle Bi-Phase Eye Makeup Remover but these days I’ve found it’s just ok. Some of the longer lasting formulas don’t come off anymore with this one and I don’t know if the formula of the makeup remover has changed or if I’m simply finding formulas with better lasting power. Some thing goes for the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. It used to be a long-time go to but my last bottle didn’t perform as well as I remember it did in past years. My current go-to is the Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover (available in this value set from Nordstrom here and here). For cotton I’ve tried a number of brands but my favorites are from Chanel and Sephora.

If I had to pick one mascara to use for the rest of the summer that would be a hard choice. I would be able to narrow it down to three: Sisley-Paris, L’Oreal and Tom Ford.

What are your favorite mascaras for the summertime?


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  • Carolina Pereira August 4, 2017 at 11:14 am

    My favorites are the Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara and the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara (I use these two together) this duo leaves your eyelashes like false ones! I love it!


  • Heather Lilia August 4, 2017 at 11:50 am

    One mascara worth trying out definitely has to be Buxom’s volume mascara! So good and works so well!

    xx Heather

    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:43 pm

      Thanks Heather! I tried one that I loved a few years ago but I think they discontinued it πŸ™ Will need to look at the current ones!

  • DB_Boston August 4, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    I’ve never tired the Sephora cotton pads! Thanks for the heads up. I normally rotate Cle de Peau, Shiseido, and Chanel, and will pick up Sephora’s pads soon to try. I prefer packaging of CdP or Chanel, and put the Shiseido pads in one of the empty boxes.

    • Amy Case August 4, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      I think Cle de Peau makes the best cotton pads!

  • Amy Case August 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Mascara is an area where I can’t really rationalize spending $$$. I think it is supposed to be disposed of after 3 months of use, which I adhere to as I wear contacts and don’t want an infection. However, that doesn’t stop me from trying pricier formulas. I just bought Tom Ford mascara and don’t like it at all. The clumping is out of control. After that, tried the L’Oreal on a whim, and I LOVE it!

  • Fairyfondant August 4, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    I’m a big fan of the benefit mascaras- especially the they’re real one since it gives the same effect as false lashes!

  • collier August 4, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I might need to try that Sisley — but Too Cool For School’s Dinoplatz Escalator mascara has been my HG for a couple of years now. Big, black, curls, no clumps, ZERO smudging or transfer even on my oily skin in humid weather, yet it washes off with just normal cleanser. It’s just miraculous. I’ve got 15-20 mascaras right now — Marc Jacob, Armani, MUFE, Benefit, Dior, Givenchy, Inglot, Heroine Make, D&G, Guerlain, Lancome, Buxom — and every single one absolutely pales in comparison to Dinoplatz.

    Also, Muji has excellent cut cotton squares! They’re about the same size/thickness as the Shiseido ones, but far less expensive. Also, if you’ve never tried MUFE Sens’Eyes … omg. Takes off everything in a flash, no irritation, non-greasy, and since it’s a thicker lotion-y formula it doesn’t get all in your eyes (or on your contacts) like the bi-phase ones do.

    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:35 pm

      You are my mascara hero!!! I keep meaning to try Muji but it always slips my mind. Also so does that MUFE – I tried it at IMATS and meant to buy it but the line was soooo long. I’m at Sephora on like a weekly basis lol I need to put it on my list. Thanks for reminding me!

      • collier August 9, 2017 at 11:43 pm

        You’re so welcome, and thank YOU for all the great recs and reviews! That MUFE remover is a serious “can’t live without it” tho — amazing.

        I’ve tried a couple of Muji’s skincare products, and they were predictably “basic” and kinda lackluster. But their storage stuff is terrific, and THOSE COTTON PADS. <3

  • Courtney Gardiner August 4, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    I love the Volume De Chanel, I’ve only tried the original not the waterproof, but I adored it and would happily pay the price to re-purchase. I really want to try the lash paradise because I’ve heard its a dupe for my go-to, holy grail mascara that is Too Faced Better Than Sex

    Courtney | Lashes and Luxe

  • jeansco84 August 4, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    HI Sabrina, I love L’Oreal’s Lash Paradise Waterproof as well! You must try Nivea Express Eye Make-Up Remover as it removes the toughest of waterproof mascara. I used to use Lancome’s Bi-Facil but I’ve found this one to be just as good and at a great price too! =)

    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      Thank you! Will look into the Nivea makeup remover πŸ™‚

  • Clever Girl Reviews August 4, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    That L’Oreal sounds like I need to get on it!

  • Nadine Maurer August 5, 2017 at 1:13 am

    I love the Volume de Chanel in waterproof since years.
    These days I am testing the Tom Ford Extreme Waterproof Macara and I am impressed. My cons at this moment: there is too much product at the end of the applicator and the second con is that it takes some more time to remove.
    I am very curious about the LΒ΄Oreal but it is not yet available here in Germany.
    Have you ever tried the Armany Eyes to Kill Wet (waterproof version)? I like this mascara too.

    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      Hi Nadine – I used to use Armani Eyes to Kill in all the formulas and loved them. Just haven’t repurchased in a while.

  • emmmilyyy August 5, 2017 at 1:34 am

    I’ve never been so glad to see a product receive a less than satisfactory review! I’ve had that Serge Lutens mascara on my wishlist for…ages? The price is nose-bleedingly expensive and spidery lashes are the ultimate NO. Very happy to be able to nix that one from my list!

    I’ve tried eye make-up removers aplenty but nothing comes close to good old Bifacil! Definitely a HG product.

    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      I might be in the minority with the Serge Lutens – it has SUCH good reviews online! I have the worst lashes though – so straight and sparse.

  • Millie Robinson August 5, 2017 at 6:37 am

    I really want to try the L’Oreal Lash Paradise mascara, it sounds so so great! x

    Millie | http://www.bymillie.co.uk

  • Lisa Adams August 5, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Thanks for the great review! I ca not believe I have not tried TF! I am now putting it on my list!

    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:40 pm

      Let me know what you think!

  • Wildfire Charm August 5, 2017 at 9:22 am

    These are some great recommendations! I need to try the L’oreal lash paradise. Everyone seems to love it x


  • Tatiana August 5, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Thanks for this list. I always have problems with mascara smudging and leaving me with raccoon eyes. My long time go-to have been Buxum waterproof, Chanel Le Volume wp and TF Extreme wp. I wore the TF Extreme wp yesterday and it smudged on me for the first time ever. Not sure why as we spent the afternoon in the movies to escape the 90+ degree weather with unusually high humidity for CA.
    I need to find the L’Oreal somewhere. Drugstores around here always seem to have sparse and patchy stock of mascaras for some reason.

    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:40 pm

      Hope you can find the L’Oreal soon!

      • Tatiana August 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm

        Went to Walgreen’s yesterday and my prescription wasn’t quite ready so I spent the 10 minutes browsing in cosmetics. I must have just been there right after a restock because I was able to pick up the L’Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof. Tried it and love it and it doesn’t smudge on me!! Win, win!! Thanks for the recommendation.

  • Ashley Laughlin August 5, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I like Bobbi Brown mascara and I want to try the Lash Paradise!


  • Zazie Bibi August 5, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Really want to give the L’Oreal mascara a try! Glad you liked it too x

    A Little Treat | Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  • Anja August 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I’m very keen to try the L’oreal one! Right now I’m loving the Maybelline Big Shot Mascara x


  • oldernotwiser? August 5, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Definitely Chantecaille Faux Cils. I must have repurchased a dozen times minimum. Holds curl, makes my lashes really long and moderately thick.

  • debweeva August 5, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this, Sabrina! I think I had mentioned to you that I am planning on moving from San Diego to Sarasota so I am interested to see what’s working for you in the humidity there in Florida. I am actually leaving for FL on Tuesday for a few days so will test out my current favorite mascara which is
    Eccentrico Mascara by Giorgio Armani. I have always loved Chanel, but we had to break up as I was starting to get raccoon eyes. Am now on my 3rd tube of this Armani and I love it! No clumping, no flaking, esp. after a long day. We’ll see how it does next week in hot and humid FL! πŸ™‚


    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:38 pm

      OMG another San Diegan moving to Florida. Hope your move goes well!! Sarasota is beautiful!

  • Michela Amp August 6, 2017 at 3:40 am

    The Dior one is amazing πŸ™‚
    Miki x


  • Jennifer Jones August 6, 2017 at 3:51 am

    I feel like I’ve tried them all: Too Faced, Urban Decay, Armani, Bobbi Brown, Marc Jacobs, etc.

    My favorites have been Bobbi Brown Eye opening Mascara and, surprisingly, IT cosmetics Superhero Mascara. I was sooo impressed with this mascara. No smudges and it gave me incredible length!

    • Casey August 7, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      That’s good to hear about the IT Cosmetics one. I have a deluxe sample that I will be opening at some point.

      • Jennifer Jones August 9, 2017 at 12:03 pm

        It’s amazing. I wore it during on an outside run in the heat- it did not smudge one bit!

    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:38 pm

      Thanks for the recs! I haven’t tried much from It Cosmetics but everyone keeps raving about the line!

  • Alyssa August 6, 2017 at 10:05 am

    High praise for L’Oreal! Definitely one I’m interested in trying once I work my way through a stash of sample-sized tubes…a stash that seems to be self-replenishing because of GWPs! I’ve managed to snag Stila’s Huge Lash Extreme a few times now, and it’s one of my favorites. I also enjoy YSL The Shock and the original Diorshow. My lashes appreciate a chunky brush and a dry formula!

    The Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover is my go-to. They used to sell pre-packaged sachets soaked in the same formula (perfect for travel!), but I’m no longer seeing them on their website πŸ™

    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      Thanks for the rec on the Sephora makeup remover. I’m going to see if I can find them in store.

  • Caroline Malone August 7, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I CANNOT wait to get my hands on the L’Oreal Lash Paradise mascara! I haven’t seen it anywhere but am adamant to get my hands on it asap, I’m so glad it lives up to the hype that everyone talks about! Also I love the photography on this post! xx


    • Casey August 7, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      Try Walgreens (if you have one near you), that’s where I found mine after several futile attempts at CVS. I seriously love that mascara.

    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:36 pm

      I’ve seen it at Walgreens and CVS. Hopefully you can find it soon!

  • Casey August 7, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    The L’oreal Lash Paradise is everything! The hype was very true on that mascara.

  • Julia Speaks August 9, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Le Volume mascara is a great one indeed, I had in a couple years ago and loved it. I haven’t tried many high end mascaras because generally I think you can find pretty good ones in the drugstore and middle range brands – the Roller Lash by Benefit is one of my favourites, and so is Better Than Sex by Too Faced. πŸ™‚

    Julia x
    Last Post: Balboa Park, San Diego CA | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.fr/2017/08/balboa-park-san-diego.html

    • BeautyLookBook August 9, 2017 at 11:36 pm

      Glad you have some great staples!