Finally, The Best Mascara

If you remember, and why wouldn’t you, it was a monumental declaration, over a year ago I declared that I would go through a giant box of sample mascaras and do an experiment on which one I thought was the best.


And as with all of my best intentions, I managed to document only three of them before I simply resorted to trying them on and then declining most of them forever. Mascara is no joke.

The mascara needs to look natural. It needs to separate the lashes, lift my short spindly genetic shortfalls, from the hovels of my face and mold the shacks of my eyelashes into skyscrapers. I want the structure to last all day but easily tear down at night.

I tried all of the mascaras in Sephora’s 2013 Lash Stash box listed here:

Benefit They’re Real Mascara (which I all ready loved previously)
Blinc Mascara
Buxom Lash Mascara
Clinique High Impact Mascara
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara
Sephora Outrageous Mascara
Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant
Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes Mascara
Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effect Mascara

I also tried MAC’s Zoom Fast Mascara, Clinique’s Lash Doubling Mascara, Maybelline’s Great Lash, Lancome’s Hypnose Doll Lashes, Benefit Bad Gal, and Bobbi Brown’s Everything Mascara through various samples and purchases.

It was quite a task, which is why it took me over a year to complete.

And at the end of it, I had narrowed my choices down to Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara (my old favorite) and Bobbi Brown’s Everything Mascara.

But then something unexpected happened.


I tried one of my last mascaras, Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara.


It was everything I liked about Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara without the residual clumping that is hard to remove at the end of the day.

I could not wait to order a full size of it.

That is when I ran into a problem. I was not the only one who adored their trial of Make Up Forever Mascara from Sephora (I believe Sephora gave out samples in their birthday gifts last year). And I was not the only one who had decided to jump and order the full size version. However, before I did, I read the reviews. Many of them declared that for whatever the reason, the full size version did not live up to the smaller size.

Thankfully, you can order a travel size version. And that is what I have been doing for the last six months.


So, oddly, the travel sized Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara is the winner of my mascara trials. It lengthens lashes dramatically without being too stiff. It removes easily. It stays on all day without any flaking. It separates well. It is the mascara I will and have been exclusively buying for myself. Although, my daughter received the same kit. Her heart still belongs to Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara. So, that is the brand I buy for her.

Have you tried any of these mascaras? What is your favorite mascara? Have you done eyelash extensions? Or that eyelash growth serum? Or do you ever use fake eyelashes? I have tried the fake eyelashes once. But I have not perfected it. Maybe one day I will try again.

*This post is based on my own use of the different mascaras. Your experience may vary from my own. All photos here are unfiltered to truly show the way the product looks when I first apply it and the lighting I apply it in.

24 thoughts on “Finally, The Best Mascara

  1. Yep, yep, yep. I got a free sample from Sephora and it was love at first swipe. I have not used another brand since. Just bought my second full sized tube yesterday. I love that it doesn’t clump but still builds and lengthens and that it doesn’t dry out in the tube quickly as some ore expensive brands do. I can really make a tube of this last. I cannot say enough good about this mascara.

    • So how do you feel about the full size tube? Do you agree with the reviews about it being different than the sample? I have been scared to invest in it. I do love my travel size so much. The wand is fabulous! It is a good price. I like to use Ebates when they are offering 8% back from Sephora and then a code at Sephora to buy it. That way I am not paying sales tax. It makes me feel even better about the price. : )

      Thank you for sharing!

      Have a super week!


      • Nope, I have found no difference in the sample to the full sized tube. I say order with confidence. As I said, I am on my second full sized tube after discovering it through a sample.


  2. In answer to your question about eyelash serums, etc. I can’t seem to perfect fake lash application and I am too cheap to pay for extensions. However, I was diagnosed with glaucoma over a year ago. Thankfully, it was caught early before much nerve damage and it is the type that I can control with daily eye drops. Those drops are the same as what is labeled Latisse. I too have naturally sparse, short and skimpy lashes. My eye drops have darkened my lashes, made them probably 1/3rd thicker and 1/3rd longer. I did not get the long Snuffulufagus eyelashes that some get but it was a definite improvement.

    • Oh! I am sorry about the glacoma. I am glad you are able to control it wit those eye drops. And what a fabulous side effect! I wish all medicine side effects were that good. 1/3 is still good. I have been wanting to try some but have been scared of it darkening the iris like the commercials say can happen. Maybe one day I will be brave. : )

      Sweet dreams!


    • Thank you for sharing Kara! I am needing to order some more, as well. I bought a ton in November during their 20% off sale, but I gave a bunch of my supply away as gifts. I should have stocked up on more!

      Have a fabulous week!


  3. Yeayyy!! I remember your post last year where you were looking for a good mascara. I commented on how much i LOVED Make-up Forever’s Smokey Lash. I’m so glad you like it. I have tried tons of mascaras and it is by far my favorite!! 🙂

    • Thank you for the recommendation! It is a fabulous product. I tried so many mascaras this year. I am surprised that some of them are still on the market, they were that bad. I know which on the list was the worst, but I didn’t want to say. It was like sticky tar. Ack! Thank you again! : )

      Have a happy week!


  4. Never tried that on from MUFE. my two favs currently are: Lancôme Hypnose a Doll Lashes and Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Eye Mascara. Nordstrom does a buy 2 get one free mascara event each year and that’s when I stock up.

    • I like both of the ones you mentioned. Definitely in my top bunch. I think Bobbi Brown makes a great product. I had not tried anything of hers until this last year. And it was a gift from my mother that prompted it. She is always gifting me new mascaras to try. Mascara is her favorite little thing to gift. : ). It is always fun to receive. I am remembering that for my own daughter. I must remember that about Nordstrom! I had no idea they did that. That is wonderful! That is better than the 20% I usually wait for for Sephora in November. I hope they care the MUFE (love how you shortened it!). Thank you for sharing!

      Oh! And that dress fit perfectly! I wear it over tights and a Free People
      Trapeze Slip. : ). Thanks for your help with that!

      Have a great week!


  5. WeLl how weird is that? You’d think with all the reviews they’d have figured out the formula should be the same!! I’ve tried the Buxom one & the They’re Real & like them both well enough. I’ve also tried the Josie Maran Argan Black oil mascara & like it as well. My eyes have become sensitive in the last few years so most mascara just bothers them but all three of these I can handle. I mostly only use bare escentuals make-up but have branched out to several of Josie Maran’s products & really like a few!

    • Thank you for sharing, Lyn. My daughter has very sensitive skin so she uses Cover FX products because they are not oil based. I love the powder. In fact, almost all of my girlfriends use it because it is so mild and blends easily. I have never heard of Josie Maran. I am off to google it. I am always looking for new things to try. Thank you for the suggestion!

      Have a great week!


      • So I ran into Sephora today & they had the travel sized mufe mascara. Mabye tomorrow calls for mascara…not every day in my world does

  6. Ohhh, your lashes look so pretty! My go to mascara for years has been L’Oreal Double Extend. One side is a white primer, and the other side is the mascara. It gives me the volume and length that I want and stays on all day (and even after sleeping if I am naughty and don’t wash my face). No smudging or smearing – I would say it’s even waterproof even though it doesn’t advertise as such. When you go to wash it off, it comes off in pieces (if that makes sense). Therefore, my shower can sometimes be littered with little black specks. Last Fall, I ordered some of that fiber mascara that is so heavily advertised through friend’s parties and I was not impressed with it. One tube is the primer/overcoat and the other tube are these little fibers. I felt it made my lashes look like fuzzy caterpillars and the fiber flaked off onto my cheeks all day long. I didn’t think it did any better than my tried and true L’Oreal.

  7. I will try it! And it will be the last one I ever try again in my life. LOL I always go back to Maybelline Great Lash but maybe this time … I won’t. Your eyelashes look so incredible! Thank you for posting that close-up photo!

  8. I like Clinique’s Lash Power mascara. It is the only mascara I’ve found that doesn’t end up smearing all over my lower lids. It comes off with just hot water.

    I got a sample of the Make Up Forever mascara for my birthday. I liked how it looked but within a few hours it would always smear. Maybe I am doing something wrong.

  9. thanks for these reviews….I ran out recently and grabbed some cheapy stuff (waterproof by mistake), which literally stayed put for 3 icky days and took off lashes when I finally got it off…ugh….then I tried IT cosmetics Tightline mascara….love their stuff!

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