Mini mascaras, mini reviews

This post kicks off “Lash Week” on my blog!  I will be posting products and tools catering just to eye lashes, one of my most obsessed over facial features.  Like most of you, I’ve got a stash of mini mascaras through gwp and beauty sets.  This year I’ve been making a conscious effort to go through mine to see if there are any hidden gems among the lot.

I trialed the following 4 mini mascaras for one week each:
Buxom Sculpted Lash – $24 (Sephora)
Clinique High Impact – $19 (Sephora, department stores, Beauty Boutiques)
Benefit They’re Real! – $29 (Sephora, Beauty Boutiques)
Shiseido Perfect Defining Volume – $30 (Sephora, department stores, Beauty Boutiques, select Rexalls)
The value of the samples are actually quite good when you look at the full sized price and how many ml you get in the samples:

Buxom Sculpted Lash
First up, this mascara was a real disappointment. For how “innovative” the S-shaped brush is, it did nothing to provide any length or volume, and it smudged under my eyes really badly (panda eyes are only cute on… pandas).  I had to use my Clarins Double Fix’ topcoat after the first day to make it through the week.  That entire week I had pathetic lashes.

Clinique High Impact
Even though this is marketed for volume, I actually found that it was better for lengthening. It’s a nice mascara, but where it fails for me is that it can’t hold a curl (I’ve noticed this to be true of most Clinique mascaras on me) and it had a tendency to smudge under my eyes.

Benefit They’re Real!
I was really looking forward to trying this since it’s got such positive reviews online.  It is quite impactful upon initial application, providing amazing length and good volume. However, it did have a tendency to look clumpy and give the appearance of spidery lashes, and it also smudged a bit on me. And just who does Benefit think they are, charging $29 for this mascara?

Shiseido Perfect Defining Volume
This mascara has the distinction for being the smelliest mascara I’ve ever used! It smells like burnt  industrial paint stripper. I know I always harp on product scents but I have a sensitive nose, and offending smells really put me off products, and this is no exception. This mascara checks ALL the boxes for me in terms of delivering on curl, not smudging, length, and volume (a tiny bit spidery lashes if I’m not careful to wipe off the wand).  And it wears like iron.  But I just could not get over the smell.  For that ONE reason alone, I would not purchase this mascara in the full size.

L to R: Buxom, Clinique, Benefit, Shiseido

Here are my overall ratings of each dimension that I look for in a good mascara – I’ve also included 3 of my favourite mascaras for controls / comparison:
So none of these minis wooed me into buying the full size mascaras.  Have you tried any of these?  What mini mascaras do you have waiting in your stash?

30 thoughts on “Mini mascaras, mini reviews

  1. How sad on the Buxom. I had another one of theirs, maybe just the original and it was nice. Not a 10 but I used the whole tube. And Benefit? I bought They’re Real and returned it. I felt like it didn’t do anything for me.

    I stand by Loreal Voluminous. It delivers but I’ve heard it can smudge. I haven’t experirnced the smudging though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had the L’Oreal Voluminous on and off. It’s one of the better L’Oreal mascaras, but it does have a tendency to be smudgy and sometimes a tad clumpy. I love volumizing formulas but they can be tricky. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I use Clinique High Impact mascara all the time. I love it, but you’re right about the lengthening. It makes my lashes look super long, but it doesn’t make them look more voluminous.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Panda eyes are only cute on Panda’s haha This made laugh out loud!
    I have tried the Clineque high impact and I found it to be clumpy and smudged everywhere!!
    I’m still loving the They’re Real mascara though, I’m nearly out so I’m going to have to find something new 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. ooo not tried that one! I have heard a lot of good things about Maybelline Colossal Volume Mascara so I might give that a go next 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I usually give away my mascara samples because I can only use waterproof. However, last year I received a Clinique High Impact Waterproof sample, which made me very happy just because gwps are never waterproof! I liked it (and in the waterproof formula, I also found it lengthened more than volumized) but it did have a tendency to be clumpy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny, I never noticed that gwp are never waterproof, but I guess that’s a plus for me! I’ve got soooo many of those Clinique ones… I could probably go the whole year just on those alone!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve tried the Clinique High Impact and Benefit They’re Real. I liked the one from Clinique, but Benefit smudged on me too. The most I’ve ever spent on mascara was $25 on Diorshow several years ago. I wouldn’t go that route again unless the product really lived up to the hype.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That Buxom mascara looks very insect like and wiggly, how do you use that thing?! They’re real is my favorite, I love how it grabs every lash and lengthens in the process. I never really cared for clinque or shishedo mascara’s they always seemed to give me a raccoon eyes after a few hours, boo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Buxom wand, I just use it like normal, I angle it a bit so that it grabs all the hairs across – really, the S shape just LOOKS neat but doesn’t really deliver anything different.
      Everyone is so different with their mascara preferences – so interesting!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve just recently got benefit they’re real mascara too, actually done a quick review today on it, and my opinion is quite similar. It’s not the worst mascara, but I find it rather clumpy, and I can’t decide whether I like the spidery lashes on myself or not 😀 I honestly don’t have a favourite mascara yet, went through so many. Might give a try to cover girl 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, off to check your post now! I’m catching up on blog entries (it was a long weekend here so we had yesterday off!)
      Yes, the Benefit isn’t the worst but there are so many cheaper options out there – definitely give CoverGirl LashBlast a try!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, lucky you! 🙂 Yeah I’m glad I bought it as part of a kit rather than full sized, would have been super dissapointed otherwise. Have you ever tried any other Benefit mascara?
        I’ve put CoverGirl on my wishlist 🙂


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