• Clarissa Laws

MASCARA MADNESS: 2020

Updated: Jul 27




You have 15 seconds to get out the door. What’s your buzzer beating beauty play?

For most of us, I’m willing to bet the one product you would grab every time is the one that can take your face from pillow-creased-half-inert to stole-my roommate’s-Adderall-alert. There’s something about mascara that makes it worthy of names like “Better than Sex”, “FetishEyes” and “Climax”. Long, luscious lashes are, well, something like a fantasy. Or a championship ring, if you were appreciating the basketball metaphors. And when it comes to our lashes, we are overwhelmed with sleek, chic, metallic-packaged prospects. With the superlative claims being made by these potential recruits, we are wary of testing a rookie when we have a tried-and-true veteran on our roster.

In Mascara Madness, we will weed through the massive depth of this field in search of a product giving us everything from lengthening, to curling, to volumizing, to separating, to smudge-proofing and even blackening, because there is no such thing as “too dark” in the game of lashes. I have stockpiled 16 unopened, full-sized tubes of the world’s top selling, most highly rated mascaras, from the number one “budget buy”, to the ultimate luxury splurge. For the next three weeks, I will be testing them all, formula by formula, in one coat, with one, practiced, precise, controlled swipe, I will be evaluating each product on length, curling, volume, clump factor and smudgeability, until we take this field of 16 down to the one and only, Best All-Around, winner of the championship ring, MVP (Most Valuable Purchase).

At the end of the day, there can only be one champion. However, there will be some consolation prizes along the way. Less shiny trophies will be awarded for Best Length, Least Clumping, Best Curling and Best Volume. Led by our MVP, this squad will make up our game-starting five.

Be sure to check back here as well as on Instagram each day to see these products go head-to-head as we move through the bracket. Go ahead and place your bets and draft your fantasy starting line-up. CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON IS UPON US!


*POST IS UPDATED DAILY WITH RESULTS FROM EACH ROUND, SO KEEP CHECKING BACK!*

MEET THE COMPETITORS:

THE TOURNEY (SPOILER ALERT, I HAVE UPLOADED THE FINAL BRACKET TO THIS POST BELOW):


Let's get this Mascara Madness started!

ROUND ONE:

YVES SAINT LAURENT "THE CURLER" VERSUS TOO FACED "DAMN GIRL"

Results: YSL "The Curler" was much easier to apply and went on super smoothly and built in length with each coat. "Damn Girl" went on clumpy and had to be combed through a few times. The formula was very thick. However, I did get very good volume and length from "Damn Girl" once I combed it out.

Overall, I have Yves Saint Laurent "The Curler" as the winner of the first match-up. The difficult application of "Damn Girl" took it out of contention for me.






ROUND TWO:

BENEFIT "ROLLER LASH" VERSUS NARS "CLIMAX"

Results: This one was kind of a no-brainer. I have used both of these mascaras in the past and have always been a big fan of Climax. It gives me a ton of length and volume, and is long lasting. Roller Lash's brush just doesn't quite do it for my lashes. It is so thin that I feel like I can hardly get any formula to apply. It does do a decent job of separating lashes, but Climax is the clear winner here. I can see her going all the way!


THE WANDS:

PHOTO RESULTS:

ROUND THREE:

TOO FACED "BETTER THAN SEX" VERSUS IT COSMETICS "SUPERHERO"

Results: This one was another no-brainer, but I had a feeling that any early competition going up against "Better than Sex" was doomed to failure. I have been a longtime fan of Too Faced's best selling mascara because of the length and CRAZY volume it offers. It is also very long lasting and does not smudge. IT Cosmetics' "Superhero" did offer decent length, but this length came with clumps and lack of lash separation. Additionally, it began smudging under my eye almost as soon as I applied it. I am excited to see "Better than Sex" go head-to-head with NARS "Climax"! I think that will be a good match-up.



ROUND FOUR:

SEPHORA "LASH CRAFT BIG VOLUME" VERSUS PAT MCGRATH "FETISHEYES"



Here we have Sephora "Lashcraft Big Volume" on top, and Pat McGrath Labs "FetishEyes" on the bottom. This was a no-brainer.... unfortunately, the very budget friendly Sephora brand mascara did nothing for me.








ROUND FIVE:

TARTE "BIG EGO" VERSUS CHANEL "LE VOLUME"


This photo shows Tarte "Big Ego" on top and Chanel "Le Volume" on the bottom. It was kind of a close call, because I did actually like Tarte "Big Ego" quite a bit, but Chanel gave so much length. I felt like I could have kept building my lashes all the way up to my forehead! WINNER: CHANEL "LE VOLUME"

ROUND SIX:

L'OREAL "VOLUMINOUS LASH PARADISE" VERSUS BENEFIT "THEY'RE REAL"



This is definitely not a great photo, but I have Benefit "They're Real" on the top and L'Oreal on the bottom. I will confess I have used "They're Real" in the past and have never been impressed, so I was not surprised to yet again find it lacking. I have also used L'Oreal as my go to budget pick, and I love it. This is not a great shot of it, but it gives TONS of volume without clumps. It works even better if you buy the set with the L'Oreal lash primer! WINNER: L'Oreal "Voluminous Lash Paradise"

That brings us to the end of the Sassy Sixteen, and we are beginning the next round- The Effervescent Eight.

Chanel "Le Volume" - Pat McGrath Labs "FetishEyes" - L'Oreal "Voluminous Lash Paradise" - Yves Saint Laurent "The Curler" - Dior "Diorshow Pump 'N' Volume" - Milk "Kush Mascara - Nars "Climax - Too Faced "Better Than Sex"

ROUND ONE, TOP EIGHT:

YVES SAINT LAURENT "THE CURLER" VERSUS NARS "CLIMAX"

WINNER: YVES SAINT LAURENT "THE CURLER"

ROUND TWO, TOP EIGHT:

DIOR "PUMP 'N' VOLUME" VERSUS TOO FACED "BETTER THAN SEX"

WINNER: DIOR "PUMP 'N' VOLUME"

ROUND THREE, TOP EIGHT:

MILK "KUSH MASCARA" VERSUS PAT MCGRATH LABS "FETISHEYES"

WINNER: PAT MCGRATH LABS "FETISHEYES"

ROUND FOUR, TOP EIGHT:

CHANEL "LE VOLUME" VERSUS L'OREAL "VOLUMINOUS LASH PARADISE"

WINNER: L'OREAL "VOLUMINOUS LASH PARADISE"

That brings us to the end of the Effervescent Eight, and we are beginning the next round- The FLAWLESS FOUR.

Pat McGrath Labs "FetishEyes" - L'Oreal "Voluminous Lash Paradise" - Yves Saint Laurent "The Curler" - Dior "Diorshow Pump 'N' Volume"

ROUND ONE, FINAL FOUR:

PAT MCGRATH "FETISHEYES" VERSUS L'OREAL "VOLUMINOUS LASH PARADISE"

WINNER: L'OREAL "VOLUMINOUS LASH PARADISE"

ROUND TWO, FINAL FOUR:

YVES SAINT LAURENT "THE CURLER" VERSUS DIOR "PUMP 'N' VOLUME"

WINNER: YVES SAINT LAURENT "THE CURLER"

That brings us to the end of the Flawless Four, AND WE HAVE ARRIVED AT THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!

We have two teams competing for MVP Most Valuable Product: the sleeper pick, budget friendly L'Oreal "Voluminous Lash Paradise", taking on a number one seed Yves Saint Laurent "The Curler", one of the ultimate luxury cosmetic lines.

WHO WILL COME OUT ON TOP!?

DRUM ROLL PLEASE............ AND HERE WE HAVE IT, THE ONE AND ONLY CHAMPION OF MASCARA MADNESS 2020...

I am seriously obsessed with this mascara and don't think I will ever be able to use anything else! At $28/tube, it isn't quite as outrageous as you may expect given the brand. Be sure to check the latest blog post for the four consolation prize winners and a GIVEAWAY!!!!!

Shop all the competitors here:


What do you think? Are you going to try The Curler? Who makes your go to formula? Thanks for playing along!


XX, Clarissa