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I compared 5 drug-store mascaras to see if they were worth the hype

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The price of everything is through the roof these days, and if you've recently taken a trip into your local Sephora, you've probably wondered how a moisturizer can cost 70$. That said, I'm always looking for drug-store dupes that do the job, and don't break the bank.

I swung by my local Pharmaprix and grabbed 5 popular drug-store mascaras and put them to the test.

I wanted to see if these mascaras actually did what they claim to do, and I wanted to see if it was possible to get lash length without credit card debt.

Continue below for the full comparison!


What I'm working with:

It's worth noting that I do have longer and fuller lashes than the average joe. So to get an idea of where I started out, here's a photo of my mascara-less lashes.

image courtesy of Morgan Weinmeister

As you can see, I've got some length and fullness, but I like a mascara that can really bring my lashes to the next level. For me personally, the longer the better. I know that's not everyone's taste, so as we move down the list of mascaras I tried, I'm can guarantee there will be something that suits different needs.

Maybeline Great Lash Big Mascara

9 times out of 10 when someone asks me about my mascara, I'm usually wearing this one. The kicker? It's one of the cheapest options out there. Although the packaging didn't make any specific claims other than the big brush, it definitely did not disappoint.

As you can see, it really accentuated my lash length and didn't go on too bulky. With that being said, this wouldn't necessarily be my first recommendation for someone who deals with lash sparseness and wants more volume.

Loréal Voluminous Lash Paradise

Image courtesy of Morgan Weinmeister

Unlike our first option, Voluminous Lash Paradise by Loréal makes some bold promises of both length and volume.

Although I saw more volume than the Maybeline Great Lash, the packaging definitely left me feeling underwhelmed, and I came across mascaras as I moved down the line that gave me far more volume than this.

Covergirl Professional Mascara

This mascara caught my eye (no pun intended) because it openly claims that is cruelty-free, which is of course something that I'm all for. That said, I wanted to see if a cruelty-free formula compromised effectiveness.

It promised volume, length, and definition, and honestly, I was only really impressed by its definition.

As you can see, it did an excellent job of separating all my lashes, especially compared to the previous two. As far as length and volume go, I was underwhelmed.

I do see why it's called "professional" mascara because it had a very lightweight feel.

Covergirl Exhibitionist Stretch & Strengthen Mascara

As you can see, this mascara promises a lash extension effect, and it most definitely held true to its claims. At times, I had to check to see if there were fibers in the formula; a common lengthening method in mascaras.

Surprisingly, there were none. If you're looking for a mascara that delivers both volume and length and doesn't leave you broke, look no further.

Loréal Telescopic Mascara

I couldn't complete this list without including my ride-or-die, everyday mascara. As I mentioned previously, I am a sucker for length, and this mascara delivers in a big way.

If you're looking for lash extensions without the commitment, this is definitely the mascara for you. The brush can be a little intimidating at first because it's so small, but with a little practice, it will surely become one of your new favorites.


The Takeaway?

If there's one thing I learned through this exercise, it's that you don't always need the brand name to reap the brand name benefits.

There are tons of options out there, and it may take a few tries before you find the perfect fit for you.

Be sure to let me know in the comments your ride-or-die drugstore product!


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