Looking to save money? Stop buying high end mascara right now!
The results are in: according to a study published in the Journal of the American Optometric Association, mascara should be discarded after 3 months of usage!
Yep. That’s right. Mascara has the shortest lifespan of any cosmetic product.
Due to the mascara wand’s close proximity to the eye and direct contact with eyelashes during application, the product holds the potential to harbor microbial growth. Although the FDA does not explicitly regulate cosmetic products by way of setting expiration dates*, the tendency for bacteria, such as staph ,to accumulate in mascara over time makes the product’s short life inevitable regardless of the brand you use.
Don’t freak out. Mascara isn’t likely going to kill you, but if you insist on hanging onto your mascara for too long you do run the risk of ending up with a nasty eye infection.
*(Note: While the FDA doesn’t set an explicit expiration date they do have this awesome page , which contains several very important safety tips and facts regarding eye makeup usage. You should check it out on your own, but the key things to remember are to be extremely cautious of cross-contamination, and to throw out any eye makeup products that smell funny or irritate your eyes.)
In order to prevent separation anxiety while throwing out some ridiculously expensive mascara…
Don’t buy ridiculously expensive mascara.
Seriously. Think about it this way:
- If you buy $40 mascara you still have to replace it 4 times every year
- $40 x 4= $160…. You’ll be spending $160 every year on mascara alone
- If this isn’t enough, you’re most likely not going to use a full tube of mascara in 3 months. If we’re going to be really realistic, you’ll probably only use 1/4 to 1/2 of the product even if you apply mascara every day, meaning that you’ll essentially be throwing out $40 to $80 each year if you buy expensive product.
To reiterate the information in that FDA link if you haven’t read it yet, no, you can’t save money by sharing mascara with a friend or roommate, or by ‘reviving’ your mascara with hot water or… *shudder*… saliva. These ‘solutions,’ which are sometimes recommended by well meaning but ill informed sources, do nothing to quell the microbial issue and can actually accelerate bacterial growth.
On to some good news…
There is almost no noticeable difference between drugstore and high end mascara.
Don’t believe me? Believe the results in this Cosmo trial!
The trick is to get a decent drugstore mascara and to apply it skillfully.
(If you don’t know what I mean when I say ‘apply it skillfully’ stay tuned for next week’s edition of Makeup Mondays… Hint, hint!)
Now that we’re all on the same page, here are a few great drugstore mascaras:
1. The Supersizer Fibers- Covergirl
As per usual I’ve decided to start with my newest favourite. As an individual who kind of hates applying fake eyelashes, I’ve long been in love with the convenience and the results of fiber lash extension mascara. Unfortunately, many fiber lash products tend to run on the expensive side and require either online purchasing or highly inflated distributor pricing. My mother, who initially introduced me to the wonderful world of fiber lash mascara, recently showed me this product as a budget backup. While The Supersizer Fibers does not have quite the length and precision of a product like Cherry Blooms, at a very small fraction of the price it is hands down the best drugstore mascara I’ve found for achieving a fiber lash look on a budget.
Unlike traditional fiber length mascara, The Supersizer Fiber does not include fibers and mascara in separate tubes. Instead, the fibers are mixed into the mascara which makes for a quick and convenient application.
The applicator wand for this mascara seems to be smaller and less dense than most drugstore mascara wands. While I was initially worried that this feature may result in an underwhelming application, I find that the wand actually does an awesome job of preventing clumps and creating the long, defined eyelashes that are characterized by fiber lash formulas.
Key features of this product: providing abnormally awesome length, busting clumps, creating long sleek lashes, and ultimately being the closest thing to a fiber lash mascara without being a fiber lash mascara
Cost: $6.95 at Walmart Canada
2. Great Lash- Maybelline
It’s not every day that you come across a cosmetic product that costs under $4 and has more than 4 stars with over 400 reviews. If you’re into getting the best bang for your buck, this might be the budget mascara fo(u)r you. (Sorrynotsorry 4 the pun… and again.)
Key features of this product: ultra cheap, well loved, and easy to apply
Cost: $3.46 at Walmart Canada
3. Full Lash Bloom (Waterproof)- Covergirl
This is a great product if you’re looking for a mascara that is waterproof. In fact, the biggest issue that most people take with this product is that it can be very difficult to remove because it is so increadibly durable.
Protip: if you have issues with removing waterproof mascara, prep your lashes with a base coat of non-waterproof mascara (regular mascara). By using waterproof mascara as an outer layer you can ensure protection from smudging, running and flaking even in hot conditions, while the underlayer of regular mascara ensures that the mascara can be removed without taking your eyelashes along with it.
Key Features of this product: waterproof, will not run, big bushy brush for lash thickening
Cost: $6.97 at Walmart
4. Voluminous (Carbon Black)- L’Oreal Paris
This is a classic product that offers a sleek look. If you’re not the type of person who wants to mess around with broad, curved, or otherwise experimental mascara wands this is a great standard formula.
Key features of this product: gorgeous packaging, no nonsense design, classically stand up formula and performance
Cost: $6.97 at Walmart.ca
5. Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara- Physician’s Formula
This is an amazingly stand up organic product that uses only natural products without skimping on performance. While it is the most expensive product on the list, it is still quite reasonably priced for an organic cosmetic formula.
Key features of this product: organic, cost efficient for a natural product
Cost: over $10 at Shoppers Drug Mart
Can’t stand giving up your favourite high end mascara?
Try purchasing smaller sized quantities of your favourite mascara (known as trial or travel size depending on the shop and brand) so that you can save money and avoid throwing out mascara. These mini mascara portions actually tend to last about 3 months, making this option perfect for those who have trouble remembering to throw out old mascara.