The luxury mascaras that justify their price tag

In my experience, cheap mascaras are almost universally terrible, creating a dilemma

Some expensive mascaras can be excellent, but their lifespan is really only around three months.

Some expensive mascaras can be excellent, but their lifespan is really only around three months.

 

Mascara is an inherently frustrating beauty product, and yet it is the one product most of us absolutely would not be without. On those dehydrated summer mornings when you awake and stumble to the bathroom mirror only to see a potato staring back at you, with two desiccated raisins for eyes, one of the products that can help retrieve a face from this vegetative state is mascara. It finds those blond or tiny lashes which pretend not to exist to the naked eye, and slicks them in a black layer which opens and lengthens the eye, and frames the most expressive part of the face.

In my experience, cheap mascaras are almost universally terrible, which creates a dilemma. Some expensive mascaras can be excellent, but their lifespan is really only around three months, and this can make parting with any significant sum an irritation. If you’re willing to invest, it might be worth looking into an LVL Lash Lift costing in or around €50, which tints the lashes and rather than curling them (which shortens them in appearance), forces the lashes vertically, lengthening them dramatically and eliminating the need for any elaborate eye makeup for a couple of months. It is by no means cheap, but the effect is quite astonishing, and it saves time daily. If you are going to invest in a great mascara, there are a few new ones to look out for.

Le Volume Revolution de Chanel (¤34 at Brown Thomas)
Le Volume Revolution de Chanel (¤34 at Brown Thomas)

Le Volume Révolution de Chanel (€34 at Brown Thomas) features an innovative 3D printed mascara brush for big lashes and is a dense, pigmented black, which is precisely what you want. Only Aislings, of Oh My God What a Complete Aisling fame, will stomach a brown mascara. For the rest of us, mascara must always be black.

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils The Curler (¤32.50 at Brown Thomas)
Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils The Curler (¤32.50 at Brown Thomas)

Though I like an intensely volumising mascara, something that really is just a bit much but in the best sense – the new Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils The Curler (€32.50 at Brown Thomas) is the best I have ever tried for big, long, separated lashes – you may prefer something more subtle occasionally.

For a single product that offers both, look to Pixi Lashlift Double Brush Mascara (€21 at Marks and Spencer). It contains a small, dainty brush for minimal daytime coverage, and a larger one which picks up more of the formula for evening, for a generally oomphier look. We must occasionally take licence with the English language when describing the otherworldly effects of a good mascara.

Pixi Lashlift Double Brush Mascara (¤21 at Marks and Spencer)
Pixi Lashlift Double Brush Mascara (¤21 at Marks and Spencer)

 ”That’s all well and good,” you may declare, “but I positively insist on a waterproof formula”. Waterproof mascaras tend to be rather thinner in consistency than non-waterproof, so the big lash look is harder to achieve.

Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara (€27.50 at Arnotts)
Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara (€27.50 at Arnotts)

However, the best two of the season I have tried are Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara (€27.50 at Arnotts) and L’Oréal Paris Paradise Extatic Waterproof Mascara (€18.45 at Boots). Both are waterproof iterations of volumising mascara heavyweights.

Loreal Paris Paradise Extatic Waterproof Mascara (¤18.45 at Boots)
Loreal Paris Paradise Extatic Waterproof Mascara (¤18.45 at Boots)

You can also slick a coat of one of these on over your regular mascara to render it more water resistant.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.