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The expensive eyeshadow or the drugstore version? Maybelline foundation or YSL? Is expensive mascara better? I know you’ve pondered this stuff as you’re wandering the makeup aisle. Especially at Ulta with both drugstore and high end stuff under one roof. Holy existential makeup crisis. The truth is, there is no one single, easy answer. Sometimes drugstore makeup is absolutely ass-kicking awesomeness and high end stuff sucks the big one. Other times the expensive stuff is well worth it and drugstore stuff is no better than the fake makeup you give little kids so they don’t break yours to pieces playing with it.
Mascara is one of those things where I feel like I kind of have it narrowed down. I have the answer . . .are you ready? Brace yourself…
Drugstore mascara is usually just as good or better than the expensive stuff.
I know, groundbreaking news here. But here’s the truth, I have splurged on my fair share of high end mascaras and I have also tried pretty much every drugstore mascara known to man, and at the end of the day they have the same success rate.
For the sake of being thorough (aka a makeup dork) let’s compare my favorite drugstore and high end mascaras.
My favorite high end mascara is the Diorshow Waterproof Mascara in Black 090 and my favorite Drugstore Mascara is Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof in Very Black. I have long eyelashes that are medium thickness and super straight, therefore I look for mascara that builds a lot of volume with a little lengthening and I ALWAYS use waterproof so that it holds the curl. Everyone will have different needs as far as what they want in their mascara, so these might not be the best for you, but if your eyelashes sound a lot like mine then you may want to give these formulas a shot.
The Dior Packaging is way more chic. I mean c’mon now, of course it is. But who brings mascara with them in their handbag? It’s mostly just going to sit in your makeup storage and make an appearance once a day while you’re applying it, so packaging doesn’t count for much here if you ask me.
The top photo is Diorshow and the bottom one is Maybelline the Falsies.
Both of these formulas are about equal. They both give decent length and lots of volume. The main difference is that the Maybelline formula feels super hard and crunchy on your lashes while the Diorshow leaves them feeling light and fluffy and soft. That isn’t a huge game changer for me, but it’s definitely noticeable, and the soft feeling is nicer than crispy hard lashes. That being said, I think it actually gives more volume than Dior now that I’m looking at these close up photos. . .I probably should have done my makeup the same for both photos to really compare them. But I didn’t, and it’s too damn late now then isn’t it? What a dope.
For me the Maybelline brush wins, hands down. I prefer a curved brush, it just helps me get in there into the roots of my lashes better. Which avoids yucky little gaps in your lashes which I hate from the deep dark depths of my soul. That’s dramatic, but I stand by it. I also feel like the Diorshow brush is a little too big, which makes me poke myself in the eye with it a bit more often . . .to be honest I poke myself in the eye with mascara brushes way more often than is normal and/or healthy. Anyone with me on that? No? Cool.
These both hold a curl and neither of them smudge or run and leave me looking all Marilyn Manson by the end of the day. So I would call it a tie in this category. I do notice that the Diorshow is a little bit easier to remove though, so that’s nice.
The Bottom Line:
Keep in mind that this is only one example, but after a ton of testing and many year of mascara wearing I think all brands and price points of mascara are hit or miss. So is expensive mascara better than it’s drugstore counterpart? Nope. It’s a matter of finding out which one works best for you, but in this case expensive definitely doesn’t always mean better.
Do you have a mascara that you can’t live without? Is it high end or drugstore? Let me know in the comments!