Drugstore Brands (all new to market):
L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions, $8.49: This one has a high tech rubbery, flexible brush, which is flat on one side, and very narrow with a convex center. Bristles are very short, and it lengthens with impressively precise lash separation. I needed to add several coats for a more volumized look, but the lengthening was impressive.
Flower Zoom-In Ultimate Mascara, $7.98: A clever mascara from Drew Barrymore’s line that falls just a tad short of what it promises. With a turn of the top, the brush has three modes: lengthening, curling, and volume. It definitely works best in lenghtening mode when the rubber bristle brush is straight and narrow. The volumizing setting (twisted and bristles set closer together) required a good three coats for satisfactory coverage and deposited the pigment a bit unevenly. But I got rid of the clumps by doing a final brush through on the lengthening setting.
CoverGirl Clump Crusher by Lash Blast $5.59: This one is a Pat McGrath fave. It has a slightly curved rubbery brush, with short bristles that are compact and close together. The name is accurate–provides decent volume (we needed to add a couple coats) but does not clump. Ever. So if you like that clumpy look, this isn’t the mascara for you.
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Fake Out Mascara, $5.99: I was expecting a much thicker pigment pay-off based on the size of the brush (squat and straight with bristles close together). While I needed to do three coats, the brush did a good job of preventing clumps.
Maybelline The Rocket Volum’Express, $6.22: If L’Oreal’s Telescopic Extensions wins for length, this one takes the drugstore prize for volume. Just be aware–it’s not actually waterproof, but it takes a little extra elbow grease to get it off (which makes it a good gym mascara. Yes, I wear mascara to the gym.)