NARS Larger Than Life Mascaras: Lengthening and Volumizing

February 9, 2010

I’ve been testing out my new NARS Larger Than Life mascaras for a little over two weeks now since my last NARS makeover and feel ready to finally give a review!

I purchased the original Black Orchid Mascaras from NARS years ago and remember loving them. I asked the artist how the new ones compared to the old version and she told me the newer ones contained Vitamin E and Macadamia Nut Oil which made for a better formula that would not smudge or flake. If you go to the NARS Website, there is more information and a mini video of the new mascaras in the Lengthening & Volumizing formulas (click on More Info).

The artist who did my makeup used both mascaras on me, she first applied a layer of the Lengthening Mascara (skinny brush with almost rubber-like bristles) and then followed with a layer of the Volumizing Mascara (thicker almost chubby like bristles).

The combination/result = instant lash makeover and enhanced eye definition. Each retail for $25 and since I was so amazed by the results I decided to purchase both of them.

After testing these out some more on my own, here are my thoughts:

Test Method 1: Lengthening Alone – I really love this one. Just one coat thickens and defines the lashes with a true black finish. It holds my curl and doesn’t smudge or flake. I just apply one coat. The brush seems similar to Dior Iconic which I also love. My only (tiny) complaint is that the very tip tends to accumulate a bit too much mascara so I just need to dab it on a piece of paper to remove the excess.

Test Method 2: Volumizing Alone – This one is a bit more difficult to work with for me. I like the finish, but it’s a bit high maintenance to apply. The brush is lush and full which is nice, but unfortunately it picks up way too much product. I had to take a piece of paper, wrap it above the bristle and wipe off the excess. I couldn’t get the right balance of product on or off the wand in order to get a decent application. There was either too much product on it, or I took too much off.

Test Method 3: Lengthening/Volumizing Combo – Unfortunately I couldn’t recreate the look the artist did without clumping and making an absolute mess of my eye. She did use the disposable NARS mascara brushes which had significantly less mascara product on them. Perhaps that’s why it didn’t turn out clumpy.

So, you might ask now that the NARS Lengthening Mascara seems to be a new favorite, how does it to compare to other mascaras I’ve raved about? My current favorites:

Nars Lengthening $25.00:
* Pros – defines, lengthens, holds curls, makes my lashes look really black
* Cons – not a fan of the rubber packaging just because it gets dirty easily, also the handles are longer than your average mascara which feels weird to me

Dolce & Gabbana $29.00:
* Pros – defines and gives a natural defined lash look
* Cons – doesn’t really hold the curl either, expensive

Diorshow $24.00 (mini version):

* Pros – instant false lashes look in a rich black color, this gives the most dramatic plush lash finish for my non-existent lashes
* Cons – doesn’t hold the curl

Diorshow Iconic $27.00 (not pictured):
* Pros – defines, lengthens, goof-proof wand
* Cons – doesn’t hold the curl

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill $30.00 (mini version):
* Pros – thickens in one coat/sweep, even application, no clumping and holds the curl & I’ve gone through 2 tubes so far
* Cons – expensive, but worth EVERY penny

I tried to take before and after pictures of my eye with the new NARS mascara but couldn’t get a good photo to demonstrate the effects. Have you tried the new NARS mascaras? What are your thoughts?

Or have you tried anything else on my favorites list? Did you love or hate any of those? YMMV (your mileage may vary) with each of these. I know of girls who LOVED the Eyes to Kill and others who absolutely hated it. I’d love to hear about your experiences for those who have actually tried these.

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