Mascaras are a lot like boys in that there are so many out there that you want to try, but very few that are actually worth your time. Even when you find a good one, you’ll probably get bored of that one after a while. Your relationship with mascara is a lot like your relationship with a boyfriend, because when you’re through with them, you can just throw it in the trash and move on. Mascaras are even better, though, because a mascara will never hurt your stupid feelings.
If there was one thing I learned from my summer of testing every drugstore mascara on earth, it’s that the formula of the mascara itself is just as important as the brush you’re using to apply it.
That’s why I was stoked when I found out about Buxom’s Mascara Bar, $22, available exclusively at Sephora. The idea is you pick up a tube of Buxom’s Vanity Lash Mascara and then pick one of the seven brushes, all of which apply product differently to give you seven distinct lash ~looks~. Buxom sent me the entire Mascara Bar, so obviously I had to try them all out and see which one, if any, would be the perfect one for my awesome lashes, which happen to be my one redeeming quality.
The Vanity Lash Mascara itself is amazing. It’s great for adding major length, volume, lift, curl, whatever you’re going for when paired with the brush.
What’s great about the mascara is that the formula makes it easy to apply as little or as much as you want without ever overdoing it or layering it on too thick. I was able to really take my time applying the mascara without ever once feeling like I had caked too much on.
So to best illustrate each of the mascaras, come with me on what is bound to be a train wreck of a journey: THE SEVEN STAGES OF A RELATIONSHIP AS TOLD THROUGH THE BUXOM MASCARA BAR. I apologize in advance.
THE MASCARA FOR WHEN YOU FIRST MEET: Full & Fabulous
You thank God that you’re wearing this mascara when you first meet him, because it’s not too over the top, but it still gives your lashes a nice lift and makes your eyes pop. Like, "This is just how I look all the time. You mean your last girlfriend didn’t look this effortlessly doe-eyed and sexy? Oh.” He asks you to take his number and you’re like, “Lol, no.”
Full & Fabulous is a great everyday mascara if you’re looking for big, full lashes, but not completely over the top. The molded rubber brush has teeth that are a little longer than you typically find on most molded brushes, with a tiny little ball on the end of each one.
The teeth get in between every lash to evenly distribute product and make for great lash separation, and the little balls on the end help pile on just a little more mascara for added fullness.
This mascara is good enough to focus all attention on your eyes, distracting from your dark circles and your hair that you haven’t washed in six days.
THE FIRST DATE: Curl & Contour
I hate first dates. I mean, please. I’m incapable of planning anything, let alone a meal with someone I barely know.
I have a few rules for first dates:
1. Always get a little too drunk so they know what they’re in for.
2. Never look your very best. Why pull out all the stops for some scrub you barely know? Save that for when you’re really in the mood to put it down.
Curl & Contour is your first date mascara and here’s why: The brush is long and slightly curved, hopefully like his penis. Boom, you already have something in common.
The thin bristles make it really easy to get right down to the lash line and get product on every lash, and the curved brush is great for giving you a little extra muscle when it comes to flicking the lashes up.
It’s also great for taking your time, making sure you get the coverage and shape you want, without using way too much mascara.
THE THIRD DATE: Lush & Lifted
You walk out of your apartment in your favorite outfit, knowing you look fly as hell. What makes you feel sexiest? For me, it’s a pair of black skinny jeans and a T-shirt that’s about three sizes too big. I feel sexiest when I look like a lampshade.
This badass little brush does double duty to get your lashes both, yes, lush AND lifted.
Half of the wand is an arced comb with rigid teeth that I used first to really lift the lashes to accentuate curl, then I went back in with the bristly side to pack the base of the lashes with mascara to make them full and beautiful.
This comb is a little hybrid freak show, and I’m very down for it. This one is my favorite, I think, but I'll probably change my mind by the end of this article.
MEETING HIS EX: Strong & Long
It’s inevitable, but you’re going to run into his ex at some point, and this is the mascara you’re going to be wearing.
Here’s how it always happens with me: He (whoever “he” happens to be) gets really nervous and uncomfortable and goes “Not to be weird, but like, he’s right over there. I feel like I should go say hi, just to be nice.” I, having noticed the ex five minutes prior and already started sharpening my fangs, play it cool, glancing over my fizzy vodka soda like “Who? Oh! Yeah, whatever, totally fine, don’t be weird. Go say hi!” While in my head am like “WHO WANTS TO GET KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT TONIGHT?”
Strong & Long’s thin bristled brush lengthens lashes from lash line to tip without adding too much volume.
I’m usually not into lengthening mascaras, but I didn’t hate this one. Just look at how long it made my lashes! Damn. Perfect for batting your lashes on that clueless has-been.
LOCKING IT DOWN: Big & Bushy
Somewhere along the way, you found yourself in a relationship with this dumbass. How did that happen? When did you become a relationship person? How is it possible that you’re waking up next to the same warm body every day?
Being in a relationship is about letting someone see you at your worst, but that’s no excuse to have your lashes looking a mess. I know what you’re thinking, “Who would dump someone because their lashes weren’t on point all the time?”
Me! I would.
It’s all in the name with this one. The brush is both big AND bushy, and it leaves your lashes looking the same.
I’m a volume guy when it comes to mascara, and this fattens up my lashes beautifully while still leaving them fringy and real cute.
MEETING THE PARENTS: Itty Bitty
What an actual nightmare. Meeting the parents is never fun. And everyone acts so chill about it, like, “Don’t worry! My parent’s are really cool!” Newsflash: They’re not! They’re glaring at me all through dinner because they know I am merely seconds away from breaking their son's heart.
I thought this brush would be great for dinner with the parents because I expected it to give you understated, pretty lashes. I thought I’d love the Itty Bitty brush because it's all about getting into every lash, but in truth, it’s the only one that I’m not crazy about.
I wanted it to be great for really getting every lash, but the bristles are almost too short, they ended up getting caked with product, which made it hard to apply.
It was decent for the bottom lashes, but I’m not gagging over it.
THE BREAKUP: Thick & Defined
You think everything is going just fine and that you’re in a healthy, conventional relationship and then plot twist: He’s triflin’! Cast his ass to the side like a bottle of dried-out mascara, and do it while wearing Thick & Defined.
This is the mascara for your breakup because the molded brush has a tapered end that lets you assault your lashes from all angles making them bigger, fuller, longer, and more separated.
He won’t be able to see your lashes through his tears, but they will be looking better than ever before.
Have you tried the Buxom Mascara Bar? Which brush do you think you'd use? What mascara are you wearing right now? Let's talk about how we dumped our exes in the comments!
*No boys were hurt in the writing of this article.
Tynan and his lashes are on Twitter @TynanBuck.