Can Expensive Mascara Make Lashes Look Better?

Becky Worley reports:

Does expensive mascara make your lashes look significantly longer or fuller?

Mascara ads promise long, alluring, sensuous eyelashes. But can one brand of mascara really make your lashes look that different?

To find out I bought four brands:

  • Chanel Inimitable Mascara, $30
  • Lancome Oscillation Mascara, $36 (the applicator vibrates as you apply the Mascara)
  • Benefit "They're real" Mascara, $23
  • Maybelline Great Lash, $5

San Francisco makeup artist Adrina Yaghoubi applies the mascara to our tester Chase Roberts. Our protocol is to apply the mascara, photograph it up close, and then remove the mascara and apply the next brand.

When we finish with all four applications and photos we compare the finished result. Adrina, our makeup artist, liked the Chanel best; although we all saw a bit of clumping, she felt it went on the smoothest.

Chase liked the Benefit and the Chanel. She said it felt best on her lashes and that the Benefit looked like it had the most coverage on the lashes.

I wasn't so sure. As I looked at the pictures, all the mascaras looked a lot alike. There were tiny variances: the Chanel had the most clumping, the Lancome looked the lightest and the lashes looked the most natural. The Benefit and the Maybelline Great Lash looked the darkest and fullest to me.

There was some differentiation, but not anything that felt like it merited an extra $25 per tube. As a penny-conscious consumer, I know what's going in my bag: the $5 Great Lash.

Special thanks to Gari at Archer Salon in San Francisco for hosting our mascara experiment.

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