When it comes to mascara, I’ve always been strictly a high-end girl. This isn’t due to any snobbery on my part, I hasten to add: I’ve tried a lot of mascaras over the years, from just about every price point imaginable, but the ones I keep coming back to tend to be the pricier ones, unfortunately for me. In fact, I’ll be honest: the ones I keep coming back to tend to be the Lancome ones, let’s make no bones about it. I’ve been loyal to Lancome since I was in university (My current go-to is their Hypnose Drama in Waterproof, but I don’t think I’ve ever met a Lancome mascara I didn’t like), and lately I’ve also become a convert to Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Lash Extension System, which I love because, like Hypnose Drama, it basically makes me look like I’m wearing false eyelashes. What could be better than that, I ask you?
I generally have each of these products in my beauty box at any given time, and yes, I have been known to wear them both at once (Try Better Than False Lashes over the top of Hypnose Drama, and you really WILL look like you’re wearing falsies, I promise you…). The problem with this of course, is that both of these are pretty expensive. The Too Faced product is around £32 (WORTH IT, though) and the Lancome is around £21, and, well, you know those days that end up being a complete waste of makeup? The ones where you only leave the house to walk the dog in the rain, and when you get back home, looking like a drowned rat, and with your makeup running down your face, you think, “Well, I’m glad I wasted my expensive products on THAT: not.” Yeah, I have a lot of those days. And I don’t want to waste good makeup on them, so, in a bid to make the expensive stuff last that little bit longer, I will also sometimes buy a tube of something cheaper, just as a back-up.
Which brings to Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Waterproof Mascara. Snappy name, no?
It was the “fiber extensions” (Which, I’m sorry, but I’m just going to write as “fibre” from now on, OK? It’s written as “fiber” on the tube, American style, but… I just can’t.) bit which sucked me in with this one. And, OK, yes, also the “illegal length” bit. As you’ve probably gathered by now, mascara is all about the DRAMA for me. My natural lashes are translucent and feeble, so when I use mascara, I don’t just want to make them look a little bit better, I want to make them look as long and as luscious as I possibly can. I love my Too Faced Lash Extension mascara because it uses tiny little fibres to actually lengthen your lashes, and this Maybelline product basically promised to do the same thing, but for £8.99 as opposed to £32.99. I was sold. And so was it, because I ordered it as soon as I’d finished reading the product description.
When the mascara arrived, I was a bit disappointed to find that it was an “all in one” product, unlike Better Than False Lashes, which comes in two separate tubes: one for the mascara, one for the fibre extensions. Illegal Length, by contrast, has the fibres mixed in with the mascara itself, so there’s just one tube, and you apply it exactly as you would any regular mascara.
“Well, THAT won’t work!” I grumbled to myself as I set to work putting it on, but actually, I couldn’t have been more wrong, because holy wow, this does EXACTLY what it claims to do, lengthening the lashes and also curling them gently upwards, for an even more dramatic effect. I’ll be honest: I was totally surprised by just how good it was. I’ve never been particularly impressed with Maybelline mascaras in the past, and I actively HATE the famous “‘Great Lash’, which makeup artists allegedly swear by. Like, seriously HATE it. But this: this is far and away the best drugstore mascara I’ve ever used, and although I bought it purely as a back-up, I’ve found that I’ve been using it on a more or less daily basis, and have even used it on nights out or special occasions which I’d normally reserve my Lancome/Too Faced for.
Is it AS good as the aforementioned higher-end mascaras? Not quite. If they were all the same price, I’d probably go for Better Than False Lashes, because although it does take a bit of getting used to, every time I wear it, someone comments on my lashes, and that’s good enough for me. This, however, makes a REALLY good alternative, and I’m really impressed with it for the price: so much so, in fact, that I’m almost onto my third tube of the stuff.
One quick word of warning: I ordered the waterproof version of this mascara, purely because I ALWAYS wear waterproof mascaras. I just find they lock in the curl better, and tend to last much longer than their non-waterproof counterparts. This is no exception, and although it does mean you’ll need a good eye makeup remover to get it off (It removes easily with Botanics Soothing Eye Makeup Remover, but you’d probably have trouble with plain soap and water), I find it’s more than worth it. I did, however, pick up the non-waterproof version by mistake a couple of months ago, and, as well as being much less dramatic in terms of lengthening and curling, it also really irritated the skin around my eyes, which broke out in the red weals I get from time to time. (Most notably the week before my wedding. I am so lucky.)
Now, I can’t swear this was caused by the mascara, and I have always suspected these red weals of mine are mostly a reaction to stress, but it was the only product I was using at the time which was new, and my skin cleared up as soon as I stopped using it, and then flared back up again when I re-starred, so yeah, pretty sure that’s what it was. I have no issues at all with the waterproof version, though, and everyone’s skin is different, so you may be completely fine with the non-waterproof one, yada yada, but that was my experience, and is why I’ll be sticking to the waterproof version from now on.
Unless, of course, I pick up the wrong one by mistake again. GOD.
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