The Truth About Mascara

If you read my articles, then you know that I often write about drugstore products and high end products. Makeup is one of the things I like to splurge on. My skin is very sensitive, so I take care in whatever products I buy. I have a vested interest in not putting super toxic things into my body through my lipstick and my foundation.

But the one thing that I have yet to really understand is high-end mascara. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve tried high-end mascara. I've shelled out $30 for Le Volume de Chanel. I got a free tube of Calvin Klein for my birthday from Ulta. I got a discount on several POP cosmetics mascaras in the 2014 psycho shopping spree. I’ve tried dozens of mini tubes of Too-faced Better Than Sex, and Smashbox Full Exposure. But I just don’t get it. Yeah, they worked fine. Did my lashes look good? Sure. Did I use the whole bottle? Yeah. Would I purchase them again for full price? Hard pass. Let me let you all in on a little secret that companies are keeping from you.

All mascaras are the same. Yes, you read that right. There is literally no difference between a $30 tube of Le Volume de Chanel and a $7 tube of L’Oreal Voluminous except for the size and shape of the tube, the fancy brand name on the label and the shape and look of the brush. They are literally the same thing. Only you’re paying $23 more for one than the other. Some high-end companies are owned by larger parent companies. If you look up some of the larger "high end" makeup brands, you’ll realize that a lot of them are owned and operated by drugstore brands. 

So why do we fall for this marketing ploy? Because we’ve been told since day one that things that are name brand tend to be better quality. And while that may be true for stilletos, bras, foundations and tights, it is not true for mascara. Your mother, or grandmother probably told you, the first time you put on makeup or went to go buy makeup, to buy the pink tube. Maybelleine Great Lash is one of the most famous, most classic, most essential, and most basic makeup items in the drugstore. It’s $4, and it works just as well as the $30 tube of Le Volume de Chanel! When I discovered this for myself after trying a billion (okay maybe like 30) different types of mascara, I was irritated but resigned.

And even if the formulas to all mascaras weren’t the same, it still wouldn’t be smart to buy high end mascaras. Mascara is one of the few items we purchase knowing that we won’t use it all and that we won’t get our money’s worth. Every time you get sick, or as soon as three months is up, that mascara is tossed into the trash. Every time you don’t close it all the way and it dries up, or the stopper or brush breaks, it gets tossed in the trash. So, why in the world would you spend $20-$50 on a mascara, knowing that it’s something that you’ll be having to throw away much faster than something that will last for years (like a powder bronzer!). So, next time you’re trolling around an expensive store and someone is trying to push a $25 mascara on you, just walk away. In this instance, the drugstore product is always better, and always a better deal.

 

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4