I’ve tried a lot of mascara. It was my favorite product throughout my teen years, that and lip gloss. So I thought it would be fun to run a comparison on three mascaras, one low-end, (ELF mascara, $3), mid-range (Mary Kay, $12), and Lancome (27.50). I got the last for free in a mini size.
I think I will rate these based on a scale of 1-9, based on quality, ease of application, and packaging, since attractive packaging is something that can be make or break for me. I have to enjoy what I’m using.
ELF: 5 The big chop to the points is in the packaging (1), and application (1), and actually the two issues are joined. I’ve never loved square make-up tubes, and the packaging isn’t all that pretty. Most varieties of mascara have a long wand set into the lid of the tube. But ELF mascara has almost all the tube length in the lid, with a very mascara comparison short wand sticking out. The formula portion the wand goes into is very short. I find the square-ish, overlong handle and short wand very clumsy to use. Where ELF does well is quality; it looks good and holds up.
Mary Kay: 7 The packaging rocks when it comes to MK mascara. This stuff has a long wand extending from a small lid, and a long, curved tube that is very elegant. It is a sleek, black packaging. Quality-wise, I find this fades after a few hours without some kind of primer. It gives great length and definition. And then there is application. The formula applies easily, and comes off easily. This means that it can smudge easily, but that it isn’t a pain to remove at night.
Lancome: 8 This mini-size has beautiful black packaging, a straight tube. It can be a little tricky to apply with the short wand, but overall it holds up, rich and dark, for hours. I have very little trouble with it, except I have to make sure to give it drying time so as to avoid under-eye smudges when doing my shadow. I do mascara first because it is the thing I am most likely to make a mistake with. It takes some effort to remove, but definitely holds up to whatever you’re doing.
Note: In this picture, the mascaras are ELF, Mary Kay, and Lancome from left to right. The writing on the small Lancome is hard to read. I also have a mini Smashbox mascara, which I would have the same thoughts on, and if by mistake I grabbed the Smashbox, it is maybe a quarter inch difference in size to the Lancome mini.