Beauty Roundup: The Mascara Awards


Glass Tears by Man Ray

So I’ve been thinking about mascara for some reason, probably because I needed a new one and was completely overwhelmed by the many, many choices. I picture cosmetics executives sitting around a big, round conference table and marketing the formulas and wands a million different ways — thickening, no clumps, lengthening, feathering, sexy, BOLD, blah blah blah. Like how different could they really be? So I asked the usual suspects to share their favorites and how they apply them. A few swear by Benefit while others love Clinique and Too Faced. I’m not too picky when it comes to this but I really do love Eyeko Eye Do because of the tube package and the fact that it gives me just enough lash emphasis without looking  like I tried.

Dana Linett Silber, writer (and my sister) “I don’t have a fave but right now I’m using Almay One Coat Extreme Length . Application: even though it says one coat it goes on so well I can’t stop at just one It’s like a potato chip. And I focus on the outer lashes and brush out to the side instead of straight up. It really opens up my eyes.”
Liz Kiernan, Fashion Editor “Buxom Lash Mascara. It’s the least clumpy of any other I’ve tried (and I’ve tried them all). The oversized wand makes it easy to apply and really fans out your lashes. I do two or three coats and use a lash comb after each application, which separates them and gives you a very natural look.”
Edith Machinist, owner, Edith Machinist “I use Clinique Lash Power Long Wearing mascara because I have deep-set eyes and most mascaras I have tried over the years eventually come off and leave me with black streaks like Alice Cooper! This formula has been the best at staying put on my lashes. I always start with Lancôme Cils Booster as a base. I use a clean wand separator to get out all the clumps and Klorane eye make-up remover to wipe away any remnants. I read that it isn’t good to pump your mascara as that gets more air into the tube, drying out the mascara more quickly, so a better method is to twist the wand in circular motion which is what I do.”
Judi Rosen, designer “Don’t get me started on mascara! My most favorite thing besides butter — hmmm, possibly equal standing.  Benefit BADgal Lash is my favorite. I hate the name but I love this product — it’s got a big fat brush and a nice texture. In fact I prefer when mascara gets slightly dried out, extra clumpy… I goop the mascara on the top lashes.. relaxing my face as much as possible (think oh face) taking long drags upward covering the lashes as much as possible. Then I gently graze the bottom lashes left to right tapping a bit extra on the outside edge lashes and then hit the top again for good measure.”
Anne Johnston Albert, creative director Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara in Jet Brown “I hate to see obvious mascara and this one is super natural and just gives lashes the right amount of emphasis. And the brown is even more subtle.”
 Ivka Adam, Founder, Iconery “I go backpacking several times a year and my guilty packing list item is mascara… I still have to look good in pics! My go-to is Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara.  It stays on for days without irritating my eyes and there’s no flaking, clumping or smudging even though it’s not waterproof.  This means that even under normal, everyday wear it’s a really stand-out find.  The brush applies the mascara thickly and evenly so my lashes always look long, lush AND natural.  You’ll never get the spidery look with this one. For high volume mascara (with the best applicator I’ve ever used) I love Benefit’s Roller Lash.  It also comes in a travel size. I’ve recently discovered Honest Beauty’s mascara and am really into it.  It has a primer built into the tube which helps give a lash base with a ton of volume.  It’s great for a high-volume look, so I save it for nighttime. If I were to pick one, it would be the Bobbi Brown. I do my lower lashes first, and then apply my upper lashes.  I do this because when I do my lower lashes I find that my upper lashes hit my upper lid, and if they’re wet they’ll spot. For brush placement, I start mid-lash and then push in and out, all the way into the skin. One of the best tips I learned early on is not to just start at the base and move outward, you have to also push into the lid line as well”
 Michelle Tarantelli, tattoo artist “I use Too Faced Better than Sex– I have small blond eyelashes and need all the help I can get! Most heavy duty formulas would be too clumpy for my fine lashes. This mascara delivers — it’s thick and super black. Days when I forget to put it on people always ask if I’m tired! Ha — Thanks. I use a little pressure with the brush and it fans my lashes out perfectly. I clean any mess up with Para Mi Bebe swabs from the pharmacy. The packaging is adorable!








  • April 11, 2017


    Another fan of the Clinique Naturally Glossy in brown. As a redhead, most mascaras look SUPER obvious on me–not in a good way. This one looks natural and isn’t clumpy.

  • April 11, 2017


    THANKS for this list, Andrea. Not ashamed to admit, I am a mascara whore. Can’t live without the stuff. I second Ivka’s adoration of Extreme Party. One of my favorites. I also really like Armani Black Ecstasy. They have a navy color that isn’t new-wave blue.

  • April 11, 2017

    Lois Joy Johnson

    Good list but I’d add two L’Oreal ones by Voluminous- the Mascara Primer and Waterproof Carbon Black Mascara. Doubles skinny lashes and cry proof!

  • April 11, 2017


    I’ve been using Maybelline Full and Soft (waterproof) since high school – it’s so so good. Diorshow is also great (and smells oddly like roses, which is a treat), but it doesn’t hold a curl as well.

  • April 11, 2017

    Ashley DeHaye

    Buxom is it’s own company and a division of Bare Essentials, not Benefit. I will put a plug in for Cover Girl The Super Sizer – thin formula that can build and build!

  • April 11, 2017


    My current favorite is Lancome Hypnose Drama in excessive black. I actually got it as a sample with something and loved it (it’s not something I would really ever buy on my own). It stays in place, holds a curl, and makes your lashes stand out in a good way (I admit, I am not a “natural lash” person).

  • April 11, 2017


    I hate mascara lists, because I want to try EVERYTHING. Sadly I get styes from anything other than Cover Girl…. and I have to replace it at least every 2 months (6 weeks, optimally). Always have. I guess I’m at least happy that, if I can only wear one brand, at least it’s cheap!

  • April 12, 2017


    I’m obsessed with Trish McEvoy’s mascara- was a Bobbi girl forever but have recently switched and love it. I also finally after all there years have learned how to properly apply it- put the want at the lash line and wiggle back and forth- much better application. Love this list- mascara is always a very personal choice but adore this one.

  • April 12, 2017


    I haven’t had to purchase a mascara in over two years, since I’ve been employed by Sephora. Last year we received Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir in gratis. I tried it, wasn’t impressed and that was that. Yesterday I revisited it because my client wanted to try something new and OMG, I don’t know what I was thinking when I put it aside. Long story short – I bought it. And I absolutely love it. The brush is similar to the Better Than Sex but the formula is richer (not thicker) and blacker. My short, light lashes looked like I got extensions (the good kind!) I am in love!

  • April 13, 2017


    The Buxom mascara is AMAZING. I’ve tried so many and I always come back to it.

  • April 14, 2017


    i have oily lids so mascara always ended up embarrassingly on my face until i started using loreal beauty tubes. it’s the very best, can’t live without it! gives my lashes tons of length and stays put no matter what. after developing an auto immune disease i got rid of all makeup with parabens etc last year but this is the one item i cannot give up. that is saying something.