Should we spend or should we save: Mascara

Welcome to the first instalment of my new blog series.

Should we spend or should we save? It’s a big question. Are the most expensive beauty products always the best or can we find a hidden gem in a supermarket or pharmacy?

I am all for quality and if we can save a few dollars here, then I’m all for that too.

In the first edition of Spend or Save, let’s talk about mascara.

To be honest, I’ve never spent a lot of money on mascara.

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Makeup artist extraordinaire Max May says you should choose your mascara based on the brush and that a dense one is always good. He also says expensive doesn’t mean better.

You can read more from the makeup magician here.

So many people rave about Maybelline Great Lash and for the price of about $13 it’s quality and has won a few awards. It actually caused my eyes to water so that’s a no go for me unfortunately so I can’t do a proper review for you.

A similar thing happened with a Covergirl mascara I tried – my eyelids puffed up so badly.

I’m by no means saying cheaper or drug store is worse after having a reaction to an ingredient in them, because the mascara I use at the moment and love is Rimmel Volume Shake. I’ve done a review of it before (read it here) but in a nutshell, I love the thick brush and it doesn’t clump on the lashes.

It has a shaker system so instead of having to dig deep into the tube to get more product on the brush or pump the wand (which dries it out because you’re letting in air), you just give it a shake and it’s refreshed. This will extend the life of your mascara.

It costs $18.95 and only comes in black.


Model Co LashXtend is also one of my favourites on the save side. It has a slim line brush and gets to all the lashes, giving it a really natural look. This one will cost you around $22.

I think most makeup brands are getting in on the affordable mascara. 

Tarte mascaras are around $30, you can get Dior Backstage for $56, Georgio Armani and Yves St Laurent will set you back $57 – all from Sephora.

NARS macaras cost $37 and the renowned Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara is $35. MAC mascaras cost $21 – all these are from Mecca.

Another tip to make your lashes look luscious is to use an eyelash curler. It will open your eyes and make a big difference. It’s another Max May recommendation. 

You should also throw out your mascara after about 3 months. It can become a bit of a breeding ground for bacteria. It can also dry out making it even more prone to the spread of some nasties.

I can totally understand not wanting to spend close to $60 on something that’ll last 3 months so I’m saying let’s save on the mascara and perhaps splurge on something else.