The 10 Best and Worst Expensive Mascaras I've Ever Tried

Because if you're going to spend more than $20 on mascara, it should do what you were hoping it would do.
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Publish date:
July 7, 2015
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Tags:
Dior, YSL, Make Up For Ever, Lancome, givenchy, Too Faced, Benefit, mascara

Luxury brand mascaras are one thing I am absolutely willing to shell out for. My first-ever Sephora purchase was a tube of Too Faced Lash Injection, and I haven’t been able to convert back to drugstore brands since.

My desire to test out every fancy mascara I come across has helped me accumulate a pretty decent amount experience regarding what works and what doesn’t. What does that mean? Well, I’ve come to terms with the fact that tiny comb and rubber wands are not for me. I’ve tried so many different variations of each, and every single time, I get clumpy spider lashes. But hey, maybe you’ve mastered rubber bristles in ways I’ve never been able to. Maybe that’s your look, in which case you’ll probably find my “worst” mascaras could be your best.

Personally, I prefer long, fanned-out lashes and remain a diehard fan of densely packed, fluffy bristles, and my list is ranked accordingly. Have at it!

THE BEST

1. GIVENCHY NOIR COUTURE 4 IN 1 MASCARA, $33

I LOVE this mascara. There’s a reason I repurchase it over and over again. You might have noticed this as #3 in my best products list a while back.

When I first looked at the brush I was like, OK yes, this is a fluffy brush, but will it stand up to old reliable Dior Show? Oh, it did. It did, and it was better.

2. DIOR DIORSHOW MASCARA, $27.50

Givenchy might have knocked this one down a peg, but it’s still one of my all-time favourite mascaras. I had a very hard time deciding between this and Givenchy—because of curl, Givenchy wins—but in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with Diorshow. I definitely recommend it for someone who is just venturing into the world of fancy mascaras.

3. LANCÔME HYPNÔSE DOLL LASHES MASCARA, $27.50

Not bad at all, but if you’re going to spend this kind of money on mascara, I’d recommend Diorshow instead. It’s like the slightly better version of this.

I am, however, a fan of the wand narrowing down at the end. It allows you to really get in close to reach those impossible lashes that always cause so much trouble. It’s nothing to scoff at, that’s for sure.

4. TOO FACED LASH INJECTION, $21

This was the first expensive mascara I ever bought, so I will always remember it fondly. To be honest, I don’t remember exactly WHY I stopped using it. That can probably be attributed to my undying curiosity about other products. I think I found it flaked a bit and ditched it for something bigger and better. I haven’t gone back to it in years, though, so WHO KNOWS.

5. MAKE UP FOR EVER SMOKY LASH, $23

This mascara didn’t wow me, but it definitely didn’t suck either. It’s great for thickening your lashes, but I can’t say it did much to lengthen mine. I’d say it’s a step below Diorshow. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it enough to recommend it to anyone above something else.

THE WORST

1. DIOR DIORSHOW ICONIC MASCARA, $28.50

Even thought it shares a name with one of my favorites, I can honestly say I would never recommend this mascara to anyone. It clumps on me more than any drugstore mascara I’ve ever bought and cost about four times as much. I will not make that mistake again. Hard pass on this one. HARD. PASS.

2. LANCÔME HYPNÔSE DRAMA INSTANT FULL BODY VOLUME MASCARA, $27.50

I hated this mascara. I mean, I WANTED to love it—I really did. I found it stuck my lashes together instead of feathering and coating them like my favourites do. I didn’t find it curled much as I was generally too busy taking it off or trying to brush out the clumps with a spoolie in frustration. I returned it immediately. Sad, sad day that was.

3. GIVENCHY NOIR COUTURE 4 IN 1 WATERPROOF MASCARA, $33

I found the texture of this mascara far too sticky compared to the original. It literally stuck my lashes together and was impossible to get off (duh, it’s waterproof). Overall, something I would not buy again. The original though? One of my favourite mascaras of all time. ALL TIME. DID YOU HEAR THAT, KANYE?

4. YSL... any of them

I wanted to love what YSL had to offer. I even tried a few of them. I guess they’re alright if you’re going for that no-makeup look. But I have NO IDEA why someone would pay so much money to look like they weren’t wearing anything. It just wasn’t buildable, and it needed constant cleaning of the wand or you’d have a dried out clumpy mess on your hands. The packaging is beautiful, though.

5. BENEFIT THEY'RE REAL! MASCARA, $24

I am genuinely flabbergasted when people say they love this mascara. [Editor's Note: Hi, my name is Marci, and I love this mascara.] Maybe if you think “thick” lashes means clumpy, stuck-together, scraggly-looking lashes, because that’s all I ever got out of it). It gives me flashbacks of my elementary school librarian, who had THE most spidery lashes I’ve ever seen. I’d rather have “thinner” individual lashes (and more of them) than the clumpy mess this left me with. Reminds me too much of girls who put way too many layers of mascara on to the point where it’s just a handful of lashes glued together. Calm down. Brush those things out.

  • What's your favorite expensive mascara?
  • If you love my personal worst mascaras, PLEASE TELL ME HOW you’ve managed to master them!
  • What isn’t on this list that I should test out?