Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Friday, 6 February 2015

Six Second Hacks: The Best Mascaras Money Can Buy. Tested On A Moving Bus.

The Debrief: Here are the best mascaras on the market, tested on a bus. Don't say we aren't good to you.

Hey you! Yeah, you! Is mascara one of your absolute nobody-can-see-me-without-it-where-have-my-eyes-gone essentials? Are you also a bit crap at mornings? Then you probably put mascara on when you're on the way to work, don't you? Unless you drive to work, in which case don't ever put your makeup on the way to work.

If you take a bus, a train or a plane then there's no point buying a mascara that'll give you great eyelashes while smudging all over your face at the mere mention of a speedbump. You want a mascara that'll give you great eyelashes and is easy to apply when you're hanging upside down in a wind tunnel. Or whatever else your commute could throw at you.  

Therefore, I tried out five of the best mascaras money can buy both in the office (to test whether they're actually any good) and on a bus (to test whether you can put them on a bus). A gang of school children took the piss out of me at one point because I was systematically putting mascara on, wiping it off, and filming myself doing it. I mean, fair enough. I got heavily bullied throughout high school for way less. 

Do note that, yes, most of these are pretty pricey - but that's because they're the ultimate of ultimates, and therefore needed to be put through the ultimate test. It's worth mentioning that there are some stonking mascaras for less - most of MaxFactor's work a treat, and L'Oreal's tend to do what they say on the tin, too. 

So. How do these posho, mega-famous, critically acclaimed bastards fare on public transport? 

Maybelline: Great Lash

Price: £4.99

The mascara of mascaras, anyone who was alive and wearing makeup in the 00s recognises the green and pink packaging. Aims to basically just give you great eyelashes.

 

Did it work? Argh I want to like this so much, but maybe it's for people with long eyelashes that want a natural look. After three coats, nothing had really happened and my eyes looked like I'd put a bit of mascara on, rather than 'oh my god is that Jesus on your eyelashes', which is more the look I like to go for. 

Did it work on a bus? 

Verdict: Sort of, but because you have to put so many frickin' layers on (haven't said, or written, frickin' since I first wore this mascara back in 2003) it's not particularly bus friendly. And it takes way longer, so there's more chance of you smudging it all over your face and poking your eyeball out. That said, there was no black around my eyes after I'd applied it so that's good! On the down side, I you don't want to spend 50,000 years putting something on if you have to leap off at the next stop. 

Benefit: they're Real!

Price: £19.50

This is my mascara of choice because it's big, it's bold, it's like Steven Seagal all over your eyes. Not for the faint hearted, when you put this on you're likely to get a genuine shock at how thick the formula is. Whenever I wear it people say I look nice, so that's also a good barometer. 

 

Did it work? Oh yes. Only problem with this mascara is that once it's dried, you'd better not fuck about with a second coat unless you want three massive eyelashes. It sticks your lashes together like glue and also takes the hiring of five men and a crane to remove, so make sure you've got something a little more heavy duty than 99p face wipes. That's what I used to take it off and my eyes feel like they've been at war with Germany. 

Did it work on a bus? 

Verdict: Oh fair mascara, thou hast forsaken me. It smudged all over the shop, and then all over the walls of the shop, and also around my eyes. So it's probably best to have another brand in your bag for emergency applications because this one isn't cheap, so you don't want to waste it smearing it all over a bus. Still eyelashes looked pretty good, despite smudging, so if you don't want to be called Terry Two-Mascara (?), just clean up with cotton bud or something afterwards. 

Guerlain: Les Tendres Collection Maxi Lash

Price: £24.00 (lol) 

How expensive does this look?! Those are my only thoughts on the matter. Also, it's the sort of mascara your mum has settled on after years of flirting with other, lesser brands. 

 

Did it work? You know what, yes. If the Benefit mascara kicks down a door and swings onto your lashes after punching a bear in the heart, this one saunters in through the front door, introduces itself, wears a lot of silk and then rocks your world in a sophisticated fashion. No, you don't look like your wearing fake eyelashes but yes, you do look like you actually have eyelashes. And you can do another coat if you so feel. In fact, it's encouraged. Saunter, saunter. Plus did I mention how posh it looks? 

Did it work on a bus? 

Verdict: It's hard to rock a world in sophisticated fashion while on a bus, but because this is so small and surprisingly easy to grip when you're trying to sex up your eyes with one hand, it still managed to impress me. Well, alright, I sort of impressed myself because mascara is inanimate, and the moment my reality blurs is the moment I start saying things like 'pair with a white shoe' - in which case please tweet me (handle below) so I can end it all in a dark cave. Back to the mascara- sadly, it did smudge a little bit, but nothing you couldn't handle (even while standing up) - and it was easy to wipe off with a licked finger. Why does that sound so gross? Licking your own finger is nothing to freak out about. 

Yves St. Laurent: Babydoll: Effet Faux Cils (Translation: Ooooh Lashy Lashes Eyes Lol)

Price: £24.50 (hence the translation)

Anything that looks a bit like Touche Eclat makes me get all excited, and anything French has my vote (see: Guerlain). Shame about the fact they called it Babydoll, but whevs. 

 

Did it work? Yeah this is obviously great, so if you want to drop nearly £25 on a mascara then make it this one, or the Guerlain one. It's a bit more volumising than Guerlain, but goes on really smoothly and just looks like you're a woman with eyelashes that mean le business (that's 'the business' in French). 

Did it work on a bus? 

Verdict: Oh no it smudged a bit on my under-eye! While I was wielding the wand like Harry Potter (wearing makeup on a bus, as is his wont), I put the tube on my knee and it slid off. Then I put it in my mouth and it was really uncomfortable cold and slid out from between my teeth. At this point, I'm surprised the school children didn't start systematically hitting me in the face. Thankfully, they didn't notice, and the mascara went on pretty smoothly bar one smudge which was admittedly quite hard to get off. 

Too Faced: Better Than Sex 

Well they've certainly set the bar pretty high with that name, so I vined myself having sex and then putting on mascara just to make sure (NSFW) (I'm obviously joking). 

 

Did it work? Ooh I love this, because everything about it screamed 'THIS WILL BE AN EXPERIENCE, STRAP IN GUYS' - from the massive brush to the surprisingly thick formula, to the heavy-duty tube that won't run out after two months. I don't want to say I was actually aroused, because it takes more than a mascara yelling 'STRAP IN' to get The Steve going, but it pretty much delivered on its promise. No, it's not quite as intense as Benefit - but you can do multiple coats to build up the effect you want, and you offend some grannies at the same time. 

Did it work on a bus? 

Verdict: Yes! Even though my eyes were red and sore, my ego was crushed, and I was roughly a 40 minute bus ride from the office, I felt happy when it went on my eyes (another classic quote Too Faced can use in their press materials there). It plumped up the lashes, made them long, and weirdly - considering the sheer size of the brush - didn't smudge, although this could be due to a fairly straight road. Still, there were speedbumps, and I came out with pretty sweet eyelashes. And the school children had gone, so it was a double-win. 

Summary: Too Faced, Guerlain and YSL take the bus biscuit - but Benefit still reigns true as My Favourite Mascara On The Planet. Now go forth, and multiply your eyelashes (on buses).

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Tags: Beauty Chat, Beautification, Getting Ready