I find it difficult to get excited about mascara. My eyelash situation is as follows: Quite long, of medium density, dark brown with paler sun-bleached tips, a slight curl. They’re not bad. They do, however, frame some rather sensitive eyes, and those eyes are on a face that favours super-moisturised skin. This can sometimes lead to the worst case mascara scenario. Red eyes, smeared mascara, the physical representation of a tired mess that I’d prefer to keep internalised thank you very much. I don’t ask for much from mascara. I want it to stay where I put it, and that’s pretty much it. Don’t get me wrong, Bambi lashes would be ideal, but my priority is looking fresh faced.

For someone who regards mascara with an air or suspicion, it seems a little odd that I have five of them. Some are bonus gifts, which I appreciate because it has forced me face my eyelash demons. However, I’ve now reached the point where most of them are about to expire, so I thought I would share my thoughts on them, failures and all!Design

All opinions are my own, remember that everyone is different and my experience might not be the same as your own!

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara

My first thought was, it has bits in it. This was freebie rather than a purchase, so I had no particular expectations when I tried it for the first time. The shade is Noir, a true inky black which makes this a nice option for night time. This is primarily a volumising mascara, that contains small fibers. I’m torn when it comes to the results, which seem to vary. Some days I’ve found it adds quite a plush, dramatic look, and some days it’s like I have spiders glued to my eyes. I also find mascaras with fibers often end up shedding, which is why I usually steer clear of them. Whether or not I’d recommend this product is hard to say since it hasn’t been super consistent for me, but I know plenty of people love it and on days when it’s working for me I really love how it looks.

Elizabeth Arden Grand Entrance Mascara

This mascara was a present along with some other Elizabeth Arden products, the majority of which I’ve really enjoyed. First of all, I love the brush on this, it’s got a curve to it, and small conical bristles. The formula of mine is quite sticky and thick, which I’m afraid I find a little frustrating. If I’m very quick and careful, this mascara delivers great results. Long, thick lashes, super dramatic. Its one that pairs especially well with winged eyeliner! But because of the product itself being very dense, the moment I go back in to build it up or get any missed spots, everything starts to stick together and it looks a bit clumpy then which I personally hate. The sticky effect takes a little while to dry, so in general I find it needs a careful, steady hand. When I put it on carefully, and use a lash comb immediately after one coat, then it looks great and it pretty much stays in place. So I’ll keep using this, but I doubt I will repurchase. If you don’t want a natural look in the first place, then you might find the layered effect great.

Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes

I love Charlotte Tilbury. I associate her products with a real timeless glamour, and every lip colour I’ve tried from the brand is so flattering and well pigmented. But I’m afraid I really don’t like this mascara. I tried to, and for a while I kept fooling myself into thinking that I did. The issue I have is that it does look lovely going on, but again I find the formula quite gloopy and thick, and on me it doesn’t quite dry down properly so it smears and leaves residue on the tops of my cheekbones no matter what I do. On top of this my overly sensitive eyes tend to feel a little sore when I use it. It’s such a shame, but I never reach for it when I’m going out.

Nars Audacious Mascara 

Nars is such an incredible brand, they make my favourite concealers and I’m a big fan of their lip products. But this is the worst mascara I’ve tried in a long time. I want to reiterate that I love Nars, and that my experience with the product might be entirely different to mine. For me, it’s very dry which means that just a few seconds after applying it’s already flaking and leaving little bits of product on my face. The more you comb the lashes, the more it flakes off. I’ve tried a few different approaches, like only using one thin coat and only using when I have matte makeup on (in hopes that more powder will prevent smudging) but it just doesn’t seem to be worth the effort. That’s what I get for impulse purchasing!

Perricone MD No Mascara Mascara

My favourite! At the end of the day I do favour a natural look and this mascara delivers that. It lengthens without clumping, and the delicate bristle makes it easy to manoeuvre. A kind of dark brown/black shade makes it great for daytime, and I find it can be built a little for a more intense look, without it leading to lots of flaking. There are three things that make this mascara my usual go-to. First of all, the formula contains neuropeptides, which in skincare and beauty applications, aids collagen which is our main skin protein. My lashes feel soft and healthy after using this, instead of dried out. Secondly, this product doesn’t hurt my sensitive eyes, which means I don’t look like a zombie at the end of the day! And last of all, it pretty much stays where its put so you just apply it and go on with your day! So if you have similar mascara goals, I would recommend this one highly!


All opinions are my own, and I will always be transparent about that!

If you’re interested in working with me, head on over to the contact page.

Follow me on instagram where I do a lot of mini reviews and chat about the creative process as well as my love of skincare! @vivienne_austen

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