No raccoon eyes!
September 19, 2007 11:25 AM   Subscribe

I need a new mascara! Or say...any mascara...for my brand-new "adult" life...

I have long eyelashes. Hit-the-inside-of-my-glasses eyelashes. There are so many "volumizing" brands out there, but most of them lengthen too, and I can't afford to try them all!

I need a mascara that:

- makes them THICKER
- DOES NOT make them longer
- minimal clumping (when used right)
- will not make my eyes burst into flames
- available in CANADA (and at a reasonable price)

I know about the zig-zag technique, and it does help, but not enough. I have considered getting them dyed, but it's really volume and not darkness I'm after. As for false eyelashes, I have a few friends who have used them to great effect, but I want something I can do every morning with my total lack of hand-eye coordination.

Any recommendations for available-in-Canada web resources for makeup are also appreciated.
posted by sarahkeebs to Shopping (37 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
This will not solve the problem of volume, but Neutrogena makes a lash tint- it lasts forever and won't get on your glasses, and it won't make your lashes longer, just darker. It's like dye, but temporary.
posted by slow graffiti at 11:38 AM on September 19, 2007

Maybelline Great Lash. I have tried at least 20 different mascaras over the last few years, and I love Maybelline Great Lash.

It's the one in the pink container with the green lid. I need volume more than length (my lashes are long enough, they just have blond tips so without mascara they look short). Great Lash never ever clumps, is very reasonably priced and I've never had issues with eye irritation - and I wear contacts so I'm super picky about what I wear.

Don't have any web resources, though, sorry.
posted by Cyrie at 11:42 AM on September 19, 2007 [2 favorites]

I can't imagine that any mascara can make lashes actually longer - how would the physics of that work? That said, I LOVE Maybelline XXL Volume.. Minimal clumps, nice thickness, and the clear "base coat" really helps with volume.
posted by tristeza at 11:46 AM on September 19, 2007

Seconding Maybelline Great Lash. Famous makeup artists have been known to swear by it.
posted by mewithoutyou at 11:55 AM on September 19, 2007

I second the recommendation for Great Lash. It's pretty much the old standard. Nothing fancy, but it's reliably good (tons of makeup artists use it) and is pretty much volume only.

Maybelline XXL lengthens, tristeza. I believe it uses fibers or some sort of elastic type thing.

I use Maybelline's Sky High Curves. My lashes are very long, and not sparse, but I like a bit of volume, separation, and the slight opening up this gives me, since I don't curl my lashes. It does supposedly lengthen a bit, but the effect is kind of minimal.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:03 PM on September 19, 2007

Thirding Maybelline Great Lash. I'm sure it's available in Canada. I like the waterproof version (black top, not green). It's been voted top mascara a whole bunch of times by different groups and magazines.
posted by radioamy at 12:05 PM on September 19, 2007

I was disappointed by Great Lash when I first used it (tested on the recommendations from AskMefi, actually!). Maybelline's Full 'N' Soft has done me right--it adds fullness Great Lash doesn't even touch. I use the waterproof kind. Don't know if the regular kind goes on any different.
posted by schroedinger at 12:11 PM on September 19, 2007

Seconding the Maybelline Full & Soft. It's brilliant.
posted by macinchik at 12:22 PM on September 19, 2007

I am a big fan of Blinc Mascara, it definitely does not clump, and you'll never ever get "raccoon eyes". It comes off in tubes with warm water, excellent for sensitive eyes and lasts really well. It's not inexpensive, but unlike so many cosmetics, I think it's actually worth it.
And with any mascara, I think that getting volume without length is going to depend on how you apply it.
posted by krix at 12:36 PM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

I like Paula Begoun's reviews. Try this:

Happy hunting!
posted by D Dear at 12:38 PM on September 19, 2007

I adore Neutrogena's mascara - the one in the black container that is wax-free. It's called "Weightless Volume."

For me it is not dramatic enough for evening wear (I have short lashes), but I love it for the daytime. It never ever ever ever, even when the bottle is old and the brush has been used a million times, clumps. It also doesn't leave me with racoon eyes in the morning when I don't wash my face before bed. My lashes stay soft too.
posted by misskaz at 12:40 PM on September 19, 2007

I have long but frustratingly thin lashes, and I like L'Oreal Voluminous a lot, especially for the price (about $5 US). The super-expensive mascaras are usually better than drugstore (in my experience), but not 4x better, which is usually what the price difference is. When I'm ultra rich maybe I'll buy Smashbox or Diorshow, both of which I utterly adored but only owned because they were free samples.
posted by gatorae at 12:47 PM on September 19, 2007

I've never been a fan of Great Lash. It's smeary and messy. It looks good for about an hour and then just gets everywhere. I love Max Factor 2000 Calorie mascara but it's become difficult to find (why?). Lately I've been making do with Cover Girl Multiplying.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 12:58 PM on September 19, 2007

I'm like you - plenty of long lashes so I use mascara for a little color and fullness. Maybelline Full and Soft is very good. I've also had great luck with L'oreal FeatherLash. If you can find it - NYX Doll Eye is my absolute favorite. Doll Eye is cheap and fantastic!

I've tried loads of premium brands also. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Dior Show. Personally, I didn't like it because it was too much lash for me. From your description it sounds like too much for you also.
posted by 26.2 at 1:03 PM on September 19, 2007

I'm surprised no one's mentioned using an eyelash curler. It will take care of the annoying hitting the inside of your glasses problem, and it dramatically opens the eye up.

I've heard various make-up artists insist on curling the lashes before putting on mascara as well as those who insist on doing so after. Either way, it will make your eyes look prettier.

Also, check out makeupalley. they are quite obsessive over there all sort of makeup related minutiae.
posted by buka at 1:06 PM on September 19, 2007

Full n Soft is fantastic, but I haven't been able to find it in the UK - I recently picked up a tube of 2000 Calorie instead and can't believe how good it is. Great Lash is fine, but a bit smudgy for me. I have dyed them in the past, but it's quite the process and the results weren't always consistent.
posted by poissonrouge at 1:08 PM on September 19, 2007

Maybelline Lash Discovery. I've got crazy thick, rather long lashes, and although I like a dramatic look in the evening, during the day, I prefer something more subtle. Anything voluminizing, and I tend to look like spider woman. Lash Discovery has a teeny, tiny brush, so it gets all the way to the lash line to define and color the lashes while looking very natural. I've used it for years. Whatever you choose, wipe off the brush on something not linty before you use it (especially when the mascara is new and very liquid). This will let you apply thin coats so your lashes won't dominate your face.
posted by mostlymartha at 1:11 PM on September 19, 2007

My girlfriend uses NARS.
posted by four panels at 1:16 PM on September 19, 2007

Another voice against Maybelline Great Lash. I started using it after seeing Carmandie use it on What Not To Wear, and am going to switch to something else when I've used up the tube. It smears easily and makes my eye(s) water at least once a week.
posted by kidsleepy at 1:33 PM on September 19, 2007

I loathe Great Lash. If you want to have raccoon eyes at the end of the day, though, then it's the mascara for you.

I don't know if you can get it in Canada, but I imagine so - I really like the cheapo Rimmell mascara. I can't remember which type it is, it's just the cheapest one they sell. (US$2.99 a tube at Walgreens, here.)

When I'm splurging, I buy Lancome Defincils, but it definitely makes my lashes looooooong.
posted by pyjammy at 2:02 PM on September 19, 2007

Great Lash sucks, but I love Maybelline Sky High Curves.
posted by wildeepdotorg at 2:06 PM on September 19, 2007

I'm also against Great Lash, but a huge fan of Maybelline's Full 'n Soft. Most mascaras get very hard and clumpy on my (long, med. full) lashes, but Full 'n Soft is perfectly smooth, like the name says. L'Oreal FeatherLash is also nice, but it doesn't have a volumizing effect, it just adds color.

Try this trick: put your mascara wand as close to your eye near the base of your lashes as you can. Hold it in this spot (no sweeping strokes! no moving it toward the tips of your lashes!) and rotate it forward so that the bristles gently sweep mascara up from the roots of your lashes. This will concentrate your mascara toward the base instead of building it out at the tips, and you'll get a much smoother, more even finish than zig-zagging.

Final tip: if you're using it daily, replace your mascara every 3 months. The stuff really does dry out fast, and will flake/smear/clump more easily the older it gets.
posted by junkbox at 2:14 PM on September 19, 2007

I usually have terrible problems with raccoon eyes and I have tried many, many different kinds of mascara. I think it's because the skin around my eyes is quite oily.

So far, the ones that have smudged the least, thickened my rather sparse lashes, and not irritated my eyes (I am sensitive and I also sometimes wear contacts) are Voluminous by L'Oreal, Almay One Coat Thickening Waterproof Mascara, and MAC Pro Lash.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:37 PM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Seconding the eyelash curler, and 2000 Calorie mascara, though it is damn hard to find.
posted by misha at 2:45 PM on September 19, 2007

I also have long, thin lashes, and I've recently discovered that DiorShow is basically the holy grail of mascaras. It's pricey, but I've tried a lot of different (mostly drugstore) options, and they either made my eyes burn, flaked and smudged, or gave me that weird lashes-stuck-together effect that looks so creepy. I'm not sure whether or not DiorShow lengthens significantly, but it definitely thickens and also adds some great curl. You can also sweep on additional coats during the day if you want to up the drama, and believe me, it ups quickly with this stuff.
Don't be afraid of long lashes, they look great, but if you're concerned about hitting your glasses I'd nth getting an eyelash curler.
posted by you're a kitty! at 3:37 PM on September 19, 2007

I also don't understand the love for Great Lash, which leaves me racoon-y after a couple hours (I touch my face too much, bad habit). I n-th the vote for an eyelash curler and Maybelline Full 'n Soft for a great drugstore find.

If you're looking for something more expensive, try going to Sephora every other day for a week or so and trying out all their high-end mascaras. As the conflicting opinions here indicate, different things work for different people. Trying one at a time for a day (and overnight, if, like me, you want to see what happens when you don't wash it off at night) is the only way you can see what works for you without spending ridiculous amounts of cash.
posted by emyd at 3:45 PM on September 19, 2007

Just an FYI, I was just over at eBay and realized that there's lots of 2000 Calorie available there. I just picked up a lot of 3 for $7.50!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:57 PM on September 19, 2007

i never dug great lash either. neutrogena's lash tint did smear for me, although i live in a humid climate. i like the full 'n' soft, waterproof.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:12 PM on September 19, 2007

I have long lashes and I love Clinique's Naturally Glossy mascara. It's more expensive than drugstore brands but I think it's worth it. My eyes never burn, it doesn't clump, and it makes my lashes really soft rather than spiky.
posted by atropos at 4:42 PM on September 19, 2007

Big Fatty.

That's not an insult, it's the name of the mascara my wife uses, and loves. It's made by Urban Decay cosmetics. Great stuff.
posted by unclejeffy at 6:05 PM on September 19, 2007

Go to a Lancome counter! Their mascara is the best. They have a bunch of different formulas. Hypnose might be what you are looking for.
posted by missmerrymack at 6:11 PM on September 19, 2007

I will second Clinique's Naturally Glossy mascara. I have used it forever. I wear glasses and I think this mascara is best for us four-eyed gals.
posted by dearest at 6:24 PM on September 19, 2007

i have short thin stupid gerbil eyelashes, and NYC Cosmetics Lengthening Mascara makes them longer but not much thicker. this leads me to conclude that their Thickening Mascara might do just the opposite. i have no proof except my admittedly questionable logic on this one, but it's like $3 and available at shoppers' drug mart, so maybe worth a try?
posted by twistofrhyme at 9:54 PM on September 19, 2007

Uh, guys, this may not help answer the question, but no mascara can physically lengthen your eyelashes. It simply colours in the tips which are typically lighter/thinner/less visible to give the appearance of length. I'm sure we all know this, but I had to say.
posted by loiseau at 11:01 PM on September 19, 2007

I'm not big on Maybelline Great Lash, but their Turbo Boost Mascara is pretty good - dries quickly, doesn't clump, doesn't lengthen, doesn't do the raccoon eye thing, I've got fairly sensitive eyes and they were fine with it. The 2000 Calorie Max Factor gets my vote as well, but it's the same situation in the UK as some others have mentioned - shops never have it in stock.

Don't use Benefit mascara - the rest of their range is great but they're seemingly unable to make a mascara that doesn't smudge all over your face by the end of the day.
posted by terrynutkins at 2:27 AM on September 20, 2007

Hey loiseau, I don't know if you're going to check out this thread again, but I think the problem with "lengthening" mascaras would be they would smudge against her glasses. Also, Imju's Fiberwig mascara actually does add length to lashes.
posted by emyd at 11:45 AM on September 21, 2007

Wow, I can't believe how many of the responses here are exactly the same as mine. I think Maybelline Great Lash is lousy. I think it's a nostalgia factor. Women have been using it forever, and they always go back to it, but that doesn't mean it's actually good. I'm a big Maybelline Full n' Soft fan, in either regular or waterproof. It really increases the volume and makes your lashes look bushy. I also recommend Sonia Kashuk's Lashify (from Target) or L'Oreal Voluminous (just the regular, not the waterproof). One other place to check for really good recommendations is the Beauty Brains forums.

It's got loads of good make-up advice and discussions.
posted by ozinn at 8:16 PM on October 10, 2007

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