Low Budget Mascaras Review

Oh mascaras, some women search high and low for the perfect one. You need one that leaves your lashes looking full and voluminous while reaching for the sky and being perfectly separated. A lot of things to desire from one little tube with black liquid inside. Isn’t it? Yet we still want it. And… we’d like to pay as little as possible for that list of requirements.

Every drugstore brand has at least one mascara in their range. And whilst my Bourjois Volumizer is one of my favorite mascaras in the world, that one is on the higher end of the price spectrum of drugstore brands. So a few days ago I picked up three volumizing mascaras from the leading cheapest brands in the Netherlands. Essence Get Big Lashes!, NYC Showtime Volume and Catrice Glamour Doll Volume.

I have tested a different one every day under the same circumstances. (Meaning: the weather was very similar these three days and I worked a night shift every night.) And here is my judgment.

The first day I tried Catrice Glamour Doll volume. This one retails in the Netherlands for €3,99 and is therefore the most expensive of the three mascaras I tried. The tube is a sleek black plastic with silver lettering. When hearing this name I was immediately reminded of the Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes mascara, I did a little digging and the tube and brush are shaped similarly. Right down to the silver words on the tube.

The mascara’s brush is cone shaped. Wider at the base than at the tips. The ‘hairs’ on the brush are rubber and pretty short. This is supposed to separate your lashes better.

The mascara itself is a good creamy formula. One coat gives you good separation, volume at the base and a bit of lengthening. But I’ve tried mascaras that give me more length. Also, it clumped a bit too much for my liking. At the end of the day my lashes still looked okay and only a few dried bits of mascara had fallen down to the area right below my eyes. Overall I think this is an okay mascara and I rate it 3/5.

The second day I went to the NYC Showtime mascara. This mascara contains 8ml of product and will cost you €1,99. The tube is plain black with gold lettering. When looking at the brush it doesn’t look too spectacular. It’s a plain straight fiber tip. The formula is nice and creamy and still leaves your lashes flexible and soft once dried. This mascara delivers a good amount of volume at the tip and lengthens just the right amount. I want my lashes looking luscious but they shouldn’t touch my glasses.

The mascara lasted perfectly on me the entire day. And was easily removed by my Bioderma Eau Miccellaire. While I wasn’t expecting much from this super cheap mascara, I was put in my place. I really like this mascara. I rate it 4/5.

And then on the last day I tested Essence Get Big Lashes. This mascara with 12ml and a pricetag of €1,99 is the cheapest of this test. In the display hung a little bobble saying that this particular mascara had won the drugstore’s customer price. Which promised something.  The tube is nothing too spectacular. A black tube with yellow, pink and black letters. The tube looks a little chunky and oversized. It doesn’t look like a luxurious product, that’s all I’m saying.

Same goes when looking at the brush. It seems too oversized to be handy to use on your lashes. It all seems like a bit too much. But your mind is changed when you actually put the mascara to work. While I was afraid this mascara would clump insanely, it did no such thing. It delivered beautiful separation, length and plenty of volume. It lasted on me all day without smudging or falling off.  And my lashes remained looking soft and touchable. Just what we search for in a mascara. This one gets a big whooping 4,5/5

These pictures go to show that a good mascara does not have to be expensive. All these mascaras won’t cost you more than four euros. Which is insane. Being the makeup junkie that I am I will continue to use different mascaras all the time. But I’m definitely convinced that drugstore brands know how to make a good mascara!


  1. Found you on HelloCotton. ^_^ I'm definitely a fan of budget make-up. Thanks for the reviews. I've never seen NYC mascaras here (just their nail polish), but we've recently started stocking Essence at Target here. I've tried one of theirs, but I forget the name. Something meant to give a lot of Volume. It's just a bit flaky, though.

  2. These are so cheap! I swear by my Loreal Telescopic but I might have to venture out a little and try some cheaper ones. :)
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