Hi, everyone.  I’m a major, major mascara junkie.  If you told me I could only have one makeup product this would be it.  I lucked out with thick and naturally curly lashes but they are pale.  So a little mascara is great to open up my eyes and get them defined.  Score!

I love wearing makeup but also love it when I can remove it easily too.  Gotta avoid any excess tugging or pulling, especially around the eyes as the skin is so thin and delicate.  Why accelerate the aging process?  Gentle, my friends…be gentle with that skin around your eyes.

These mascaras in the picture are all pretty traditional – meaning none have that new vibration/oscillation motor thing in them.  Honestly, I think that whole thing is a stupid gimmick.  Yes, I have no opinions.  The thought of putting anything that vibrates near my eyes kind of scares me.  And I’ve never, ever used one of those eyelash curler devices either.  An eyelash curler looks like a strange mini medieval contraption torture thingy and…it scares me.  So, I won’t be talking about either of those things in here.

There’s something for everyone…there are endless types of brush shapes – some are curved to mimic the arc shape of your eyes and lashline, some are pretty cylindrical and others are flat.  And some have more of a comb-type applicator.  Really, it all boils down to what works best for your lashes and eye shape. So have fun out there and experiment!  No matter what type you use or how much or how little you spend, people are either going to notice really great lashes or (horrors) really crappy clumped up, spidery lashes.  Try to avoid the Tammy Faye Bakker look please.

Colors?  I stay with black, black and more black – with a few rare exceptions.  Long gone are the days of cobalt blue, bright purple and emerald green mascara.  Yep, I shamelessly admit I did all of these.  Hey, it was the 80s so it was pretty much the Law.  There are probably a few incriminating pictures of me floating around to prove this too. 

I’ve tried 987498735 kinds of mascara and never get tired of the ongoing search for a junkie fix.  I suppose there are worse (and more expensive) bad habits to have – shoes, handbags, cocaine – KIDDING! 

Here’s what’s currently in my stash (left to right):

Cover Girl LashBlast: this mascara kicks ASS and is under $10.  Ding ding…bonus time!  Truly an all-time winner both in how it looks and the price.  Yep, this qualified as a legit Money Diet purchase.  [note: there is a LashBlast Length variation of this in a yellow tube and it blows chunks.  It just made my lashes look thin and stringy and did nothing.  What a waste.]  So…look for the orange tube, not the yellow.  At drugstores.

Artistry:  never heard of this brand?  Artistry is actually Amway’s makeup line, and I found out about it at a friend’s spa party. When I think of Amway I think of laundry detergent, not makeup.  Color me surprised!  The brush is long and thin and the bristles are in a tiny spiral pattern – something I’ve never seen before.  This mascara is waterproof so it’s not something I generally would purchase.  Meaning, I don’t need mascara to stay on through a swim or shower, plus waterproof mascara is pretty hard to remove and results in excess tugging and pulling – a big no-no as y’all know in my book.  But this one comes off pretty easily with an eye makeup remover so it doesn’t seem hardcore waterproof to me at all.  Find your Amway rep and place your order – about $15.

Paula’s Choice Lush mascara:  Ah…once again Paula Begoun cranks out another great product that does what it’s supposed to do – no more, no less, no bullshit hype in advertising.  I love this woman!  It has a traditional, symmetrical brush and it goes on (and comes off) fabulously.  And I also love how it closes with a final, satsifying ‘click’.  Have you ever had a mascara dry out too fast because you didn’t close it completely?  With this one, you know.  Paulaschoice.com.

Makeup For Ever Smoky Lash:  I’m on my 3rd or 4th tube of this stuff and actually treated myself recently after starting my new job (yep, I went on a Sephora bender).  Just a really great, thickening mascara and I love it!  This is the one I take with me on business travel too.  It’s a little pricier (low $20s) but very much worth it.  At Sephora.

Yves St. Laurent (YSL) Faux Cils:  Oh so sleek and elegant in the shiny gold tube.  And oh so stinky inside.  Eeesh, this stuff has a pungent chemical type of smell – never ever experienced this before in a mascara!  Kind of like new car smell with a dash of burnt rubber?  Hard to describe.  Anyway, this mascara is touted to give you a look like you’re wearing false lashes as its name suggests. It DOES have a nice thickening and curling effect but that darn old smell can be a deal breaker.  I stomach’d it up and opened my wallet…$30.  This stuff better last a long time at that price.  I picked up the “Sublime Grey” shade for a little variety from all the black.  At Sephora.

Lancome Hypnose:  a fun, undulating tube shape with a traditional long, thin brush inside (not curved).  It also has a very nice thickening and curling effect and I’d put it up toward the top of my favorites along with the Make Up For Ever one.  You might know that Lancome is the “department store” version of L’Oreal, so if you like L’Oreal (drugstore) products you’ll probably like Lancome and vice versa.  About $25 and very much worth it.  Department stores or Sephora.

MAC Zoom Fast Black Lash:  once again, MAC knocks it out of the park with great products at great prices (well, except for foundations but I already covered that in another post).  Literally half the price of the YSL and Lancome brands – a steal at $13.  This one goes on a bit “wetter” than others, so use very light, thin coats and let it dry thoroughly before doing other makeup (trust me on this one…no one likes those awful ‘globs’ of smeared mascara around the eyes and they’re a bitch to fix).  Department stores or maccosmetics.com.

MAC Plushlash:  another great buy at $13.  The brush is short, fat and somewhat flat and rectangular so you can rotate it to get just where you need to.  I have pretty big eyes but some with smaller eyes might find it too wide.  Department stores or maccosmetics.com.

And I’ll add a few more from my personal Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame not currently in my collection:

Hall of Shame:
Urban Decay Big Fatty mascara – I LOVE the names Urban Decay drums up for their products.  But the Big Fatty is a big F-up.  Huge brush with zero oomph on the lashes.  Astonishing, really! 

Benefit BADgal – I really wanted to love this as I’ve used and adored the BADgal black liner pencil for years and years.  But the mascara was a big disappointment.  I actually had to use a separate, thickening base (from another mascara with a wand on each end) for this to look decent, otherwise it just went on thin and stringy no matter how many coats I applied.  Huge pain in the butt and not worth it.

Cover Girl LashBlast Length – avoid the yellow tube, people.

Hall of Fame:
L’Oreal Voluminous – so many people sing its praises and I’m right there chiming in.  Maybe I’m due for a refill?  This is truly a kickbutt drugstore mascara.  Goes on evenly, lasts a long time…just simply elegant.

Buxom Lash – Buxom is the sister line of Bare Escentuals, one of the heavy-hitters in the mineral makeup craze.  The wand resembles a medieval weapon as it’s biggest at the top and bottom while smaller in the middle with long bristles.  A little oddly-shaped but it works.  If you have smaller eyes this might be too big.

Stila MAJOR Major Lash – I really like Stila’s eyeshadows and decided to try a mascara on a whim.  Good Lord how much cash have I dropped at Sephora over the years, ha ha.  This one has a majorly big brush and goes on majorly gooey if you’re not careful.  Not my favorite but not a disappointment either, so I’ll give it a “straight line face” with a slight Mona Lisa smile.  At Sephora.

Chanel Exceptionnel – exceptionally priced at $30 but this is worth a splurge, my friends.  I LOVE the comb-like brush and the curling effect.  I’ve gobbled this one up over time in some of the other colors too – along with black it comes in navy and violet.  But the colors are very subtle – meaning they’re mostly black with a small touch of color – so you won’t look like an 80s throwback.  The price is steep but it does last a long time, and has that nice ‘click’ when you twist the tube closed.

Any mascara experts out there notice what’s missing?  Yep, Maybelline Great Lash mascara.  What was that statistic Maybelline was promoting awhile back…something like every 10 seconds a tube of this stuff is sold?  Hmmm, I can’t remember.  Anyway, this is supposed to be the alltime die-hard favorite, in the famous pink tube with the green cap.  Everyone loves it, right?  Well, I’ve used a few tubes over the years but I haven’t bought it since probably college or so.  Too wet and the brush is too small.  So, I guess that’s more for everyone else out there to love!

Well, I hope this was helpful and maybe even a bit entertaining.  Get out there and rock those lashes!!