Three Stop Shop: Volumising Mascara

When it comes to lashes for me, it’s go big or go home. No “natural” or clear mascaras for me: I want lashes that touch the sky. Hence, anything with “volumising” or “falsh lash effect” is sure to appeal to me, but I’m wary of anything too clumpy or unwieldy to use. I therefore have three different products to review today (some of them have been a long time coming – sorry!) which I’ve had varying levels of success with.

(Also apologies for the less-than-stellar quality of the cover photo: I didn’t have a lot of time for nice pictures as I have a coursework deadline tomorrow! May replace it when I have time.)

1. Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara

Claims: Volume. Lift. Drama. Over-the-top lashes for a glammed up look. When you don’t want to just arrive, but want to make an entrance. The Falsies Push Up Drama

Price: £7.99

Reality: I have never, ever seen a product more widely hyped by the brand than this mascara, and if we take the existence of every Benefit product ever into account, this is really saying something. It was hard to choose a snippet of text for the “Claims” section, as the Boots website says something quite different from the Maybelline page, which rather sounds like it’s pushing a sports car, a skyscraper, or indeed anything that requires one-word sentences in the advertising blurb. It’s just a mascara, guys.

I’m not going to beat around the bush any longer: this mascara is bad. Really, really bad. So bad that I want to call my bank and beg them to give me back the money I spent on this mascara. I agree with one reviewer who suggested the product packaging was misleading, as it looks like you have two brushes, when you only have one. In fact, this was the main reason for my purchase, and because I’m generally a big fan of Maybelline mascaras, so I thought this would be another great product.

Sadly not.

I wish I had a more elegant word to describe the formula than merely “gloopy”, but nothing else is coming to mind. It is meant to contain styling wax (inexplicably capitalised on the Boots website, as if Styling Wax were a specific brand), which is quite probably the reason for the abysmal quality of said gloop. For one thing, the brush – if a little plastic comb can be termed such a thing – would need far longer bristles (spikes?) to properly distribute the formula through the lashes, but it’s impossible to achieve a clump-free application. The more you try to comb the product through your lashes, the worse the situation becomes, until you’re left with an upper lid that would put Arachne’s final incarnation to shame. Scary stuff.

It smells frankly strange and the fact that the applicator draws out so much product means getting some on your face is pretty likely. I know many other reviews have slated this mascara, and I genuinely am rueing my failure to read these before buying into the hype. I hate throwing things away, but I can’t even bring myself to pick this product up because of how embarrassingly awful it is. I don’t care how many models are in the adverts. Avoid.

2. GOSH Boombastic XXL Swirl Volume Mascara

Claims: Boombastic Swirl Mascara gives lashes XXL volume and spectacular length. […] It blackens and thickens the lashes without making them look clumpy or spidery. gosh

Price: £8.49

Reality: I received this product from GOSH Copenhagen some time in the summer, and I’m only just writing the review now, in February. Doing well.

Actually, that means I probably should have discarded this mascara a few months ago. Oops.

I really like this product, but it’s one you need to get to know properly. First of all, it’s important to know that, if there is a mascara spectrum of waterproofness, this is way down at the bottom along with ink and coal dust. I wore this on its own one day last year when I was having a bit of a hard time, and it was so far down my face that I’m surprised I was still recognisable to my best friend, who was sitting opposite me. I rarely wear waterproof mascara because it’s a pain to remove, but I also cry fairly frequently and many of the other products I go for don’t actually suffer too much, but this one does.

This formula is extremely wet, rather reminiscent of L’Oreal’s Miss Manga line, whose products are always easier to apply a few weeks after opening, once they’ve dried out a little. After much experimentation, I found the best way to use this mascara was in conjunction with another, drier formula. Once you’ve laid the groundwork, you can then go in with the GOSH and really plump up your lashes – I especially love this on lower lashes, as the spiky brush enables you to emphasise each lash in a most dramatic fashion. It doesn’t quite have the same impressive effect on its own simply due to being so wet, but with another product it’s really fantastic.

Another caveat: the brush is huge, so it can be easy to inadvertently poke yourself in the eye or nose with it.

3. Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara

Claims: With one sweep of the wand, this lush mascara combines the captivating volume and false lash effect of Faux Cils Luxurious Mascara with our deepest black colour ever. […] The result: a dangerously glamorous lash look that lasts. Volume Effet Faux Cils

Price: £25.00

Reality: I didn’t buy this product either – it was a birthday present from my wonderful friend Christine (do check out her beautifully put-together blog Tea, Books & Tweed) back in December. I had never tried anything from YSL makeup before, and I wasn’t disappointed.

This mascara is currently my daily go-to. When I apply it to one eye and step back to observe the effect, the different is remarkable. A hardened eyeliner addict, I’ve frequently found myself abandoning my wings and going out with just mascara, no liner, because this emphasises the eyes so beautifully – even behind my large glasses! My eyelashes aren’t huge and fat with this, but I really do not mind, because they look so long and fluttery. I’ve been asked if I’m wearing false lashes with this!

I absolutely love this: the packaging is a little stiff and thus hard to twist closed, but that’s a small issue. The bigger obstacle for me is the price – I’m not sure I would have tried it if I hadn’t received it as a present, and the price tag certainly makes me doubt whether I would replace it when there are a plethora of cheaper alternatives. I plan to compare this directly with my all-time Holy Grail product, the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara, to see whether I really ought to switch to this from now on, despite the higher cost.


So, there we have it: three reviews in one post! Have you tried any of these, or are you planning to? What’s your favourite mascara? Let me know in the comments, and please share this post if you found it helpful, whether on social media or in your favourite beauty group 😉


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