Makeup

The Gloss Report: 15 mascaras reviewed

5 August 2015
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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The Gloss Report: 15 mascaras reviewed

It’s been an exciting week at Glossy Posse HQ as we set about testing the ultimate desert island beauty product: mascara. For an item of such importance in our makeup bags it’s surprisingly hard to find one that fits all our criterias and doesn’t flake, smudge or give an appearance that’s just a bit meh. From high street to high end we put 15 through their paces. Click on to see our verdict…

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Origins Ginzing Brightening Mascara

Price: £17

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Feedback: “I’m a not big fan of this formula. It is very unresponsive and hard to use – it doesn’t spread evenly down the lashes and it clumps a bit. Neither does it particularly thicken the lashes or make them longer.”

Reviewer SV

Score 4/10

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Rimmel Scandal Eyes Show Off Mascara

Price: £6.99

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Feedback: “I didn’t like the packaging initially, however the brush shape is great because you can use the flat area to work mascara horizontally across the lashes and the round tip to apply vertically. It gives great definition, very good separation, and the tip is great for doing the bottom lashes too.”

Reviewer: SV

Score: 7/10

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Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara

Price: £17

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Feedback: “I absolutely LOVE this mascara. When I put it on the other day, a friend I know asked me if I was wearing lash extensions. It totally separates lashes (no need for a comb afterwards) and makes them look super long. It has the right amount of impact without looking too OTT for daytime and if I go out exercising it never smudges. Mascara perfection.”

Reviewer ST

Score 10/10

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Givenchy Noir Couture

Price: 22.50

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Feedback: “I didn’t really like this mascara as I found the brush was too long and the end bobble would bang into my nose! Plus I found that it clumped my lashes together.”

Reviewer: SM

Score: 5/10

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Benefit They’re Real!

Price: £18.50

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Feedback “I really like this mascara for separating lashes but am not sure it makes them look that long. Perhaps it’s best for daytime rather than evening as it has a more natural effect.”

Score: 7/10

Reviewer: SM

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Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes in Glossy Black

Price: £22

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Feedback: “I absolutely loved this mascara - volumising, non-clumpy and pigmented, it posed the perfect pairing for my straight albeit quite long eyelashes. Gone was that icky gloopy, tacky texture that I’ve found some mascaras to have and in its place was a slick lash lacquer that was easy to build to provide impact and length in equal doses.

The hard-working brush really allowed me to satisfyingly get into the roots and then zig-sag my way up to the tips - a foolproof way of enhancing my eye shape and provide noticeable definition on days when I opted to go liner-free (one, ahem, particularly hungover Sunday morning comes to mind…). As far as volumising mascaras go, this really is one of the best I’ve tried.”

Reviewer: AM

Score: 10/10

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Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara

Price: £9.99

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Feedback: “Oh Max Factor, how I love thee. For someone with spindly, dwindling lashes like mine, this mascara is a godsend, and one I have used almost every day for as long as I can remember (and it’s only ‘almost’ due to the nature of my day job). This is not one of those mascaras you see women apply and wonder how many coats it’ll take before you notice a difference. This is instant, bold, black colour (assuming you go for black, of course); just one swipe and lashes are immediately fuller, and the plastic-style wand ensures there’s no clumping to be seen. A few more swipes - I like as dramatic a look as my lashes allow - and you can fake length and volume without it looking tacky. A winning formula at a great price.”

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 10/10

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Lancôme Grandiose Mascara

Price: £24.50

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Feedback: “While the wand of this mascara may resemble something similar to a torture weapon, don’t be put off - it’s fan-bloody-tastic. Referred to as their revolutionary patent-pending ‘Swan-Neck’, it works to create a spectacular wide-angle effect, allowing you to reach every teeny tiny lash, with no danger of leaving splodges on your nose. With a super-wet formula and flower-shaped bristles, this mascara effortlessly opens eyes by coating and separating simultaneously and also withstands workouts, wind and rain. Yes, it’s expensive - but the cost of picture perfect lashes is priceless in my eyes.”

Score: 10/10

Reviewer: KR

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Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara

Price: £9.99

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Feedback: “Oh Max Factor, how I love thee. For someone with spindly, dwindling lashes like mine, this mascara is a godsend, and one I have used almost every day for as long as I can remember (and it’s only ‘almost’ due to the nature of my day job). This is not one of those mascaras you see women apply and wonder how many coats it’ll take before you notice a difference. This is instant, bold, black colour (assuming you go for black, of course); just one swipe and lashes are immediately fuller, and the plastic-style wand ensures there’s no clumping to be seen. A few more swipes - I like as dramatic a look as my lashes allow - and you can fake length and volume without it looking tacky. A winning formula at a great price.”

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 10/10

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Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara

Price: £17.50

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Feedback: “Another addition to the Chubby family was always going to be warmly welcomed; from eyeshadow sticks to lip crayons to highlighters, Chubbies may look charmingly childlike but they invariably allow you to look ‘effortlessly’ pretty and put together in roughly under a minute. I practically have a pencil case full of Chubby wonders, they’re essential deskside beauty stationary, so I was eager to see how the newest member of the dynasty performed.

First things first, the packaging is pleasingly chunky yet light, like the rest of the Chubby clan, but the wand is something else. It’s big, long and strong, and swoops through lashes distributing maximum product, somehow without clumping. Despite its size I found it adept at coating every lash, although if a curled effect is what you’re craving you’ll have to curl lashes beforehand , as this fattening mascara does indeed max out on volume rather than shape. It’s very smooth to apply and feels glossy rather than claggy, and it does a good job of staying put without flaking too. Another aspect I love is the way that Clinique have nailed colour mascara, especially in this case. I tried Chubby Lash in Portly Plum and Bodacious Black Honey and I do hate this phrase but both made my hazel eyes ‘pop’ without looking clownish, 80s or obvious. It’s a teeny bit on the pricey side, but the tube is generous so I’m expecting it to last.”

Score: 9/10

Feedback: AH

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Benefit Roller Lash

Price: £19.50

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Feedback: ”Designed with a long and slender "Hook ‘n’ Roll" brush, this mascara is somewhat of a  magic wand. The brush itself is coated in tiny, soft hooks, which catch onto and lift, curl, and separate each lash. Within seconds lashes look longer and are visibly lifted for a long-lasting curl. Better still, more mascara can be added for a more dramatic wide-eyed evening look without even a hint of clumping. Simply, one of the best mascaras I've ever tried.”

Reviewer: KB

Score: 10/10

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Dior DiorShow Mascara

Price: £25

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Feedback: “This is without doubt one of the greatest mascaras I have ever tried and definitely worth the price tag. It is the one constant in my makeup bag that I keep replenishing.

The fat brush picks up just the right amount of product to give a thicker and fuller lashes without any sight of clumps. The brush works wonders at separating lashes for a natural finish yet it is also really easy to build up the volume right down to the root. I would recommend this mascara to anyone.”

Reviewer: SM

Score: 10/10

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Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara

Price: £20

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Feedback: “I found this mascara to create lovely, fluttery and natural looking lashes. If you want to build up the volume it is possible but you have to go a little slowly to avoid clumps.

It doesnt live fully up to its ‘No Smudge’ name though. Throughout the day smudging was minimial but by the time the day was up I did notice a little black mark under my eye. However, I absoutely love the size of this mascara, being quite small it’s perfect for popping in a clutch.”

Reviewer: FD

Score: 7/10

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Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Volume & Lift Mascara

Price: £21

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Feedback: “My biggest bugbear when it comes to mascara is smudging and flaking and I’m at a loss with the amount of mascaras I’ve tried with smudgeproof and long lasting credentials that come lunch (or even sometimes breakfast) seem to be half way down my face. That was until I met this gem. This stuff really does not budge (nope, never) and unlike a waterproof mascara (only ever really useful for breakups and beaches), comes off easily with warm water. The look it gives is a natural one: lifted, lengthened and defined lashes with the availability to build up a volume without a clump in sight. For creating a dramatic evening look you may want a more volumising product but when it comes to everyday wear I could not rate this mascara more highly.”

Score: 10/10

Feedback: EB

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Lancôme Hypnose Volume-á-Porter mascara

Price: £22.50

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Feedback: “If you’re looking for separation, volume and definition of even the hardest to reach of eyelashes, this mascara is your perfect match.

With a brush made up of a range of differently sized bristles, it offered precision and intense pigment in one fell swoop. I was particularly impressed with how lightweight it felt, thanks to its formula containing 2 times less wax - a key factor which helped ensure that my lash line appeared fuller without looking overloaded with product at the same time.

My lashes were noticeably thicker and denser and the brush was so easy to handle that I could build up the intensity to suit either day or night. As clump-prone as they’ve proven to be in the past, they were left without a flake in sight, with the comb-like bristles capturing and subtly enhancing each hair with pinpoint accuracy. It’ll therefore come as no surprise that it scores full marks from me!”

Reviewer: AM

Score: 10/10