High End or High Street: Mascaras

Welcome the the first in a new series of High End or High Street posts - I'll be testing out three similar products of different values (£5 and under, £10 and under and £20 and under) and putting them to the test to see which one performs the best. Vouchercodes.co.uk set me the challenge of finding out whether or not buying higher priced makeup really makes a difference and I'll be giving my honest thoughts, no matter the price.

This time I'm testing mascaras. Mascara is the one product I never leave the house without and I must have tried dozens of them over the years. I'd say my holy grail mascara is either the YSL False Lash Effect or Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes and both of these definitely fall into the high end bracket. Experience has taught me that expensive isn't always better, but these two give me the dream lashes I always want.

Budget vs high end mascaras test

Budget vs high end mascaras test

For this experiment, I've picked three mascaras that claim to give lots of volume or a false lash effect. All of them are black in colour and none are waterproof.

£5 and under - Collection Big Fake Ultimate £4.19

This Collection mascara has a super large brush, and promises to give a false lash effect to lashes. The formula on this one is quite wet and really does take a bit of practice to make sure all of your lashes are covered. It went on a bit clumpy for me, and I ended up with quite spidery looking lashes, despite only using two coats. Lasting power was good, with no smudging or flaking, but even given the low price I don't think I'd buy this one again.

£10 and under - Maybelline The Mega Plush Volum' Express £7.99

One of Maybelline's newer offerings, this has a flexible brush that promises to add volume and catch every lash. I found the brush a bit odd - it definitely takes some getting used to, but it does a good job at adding a little volume to the lashes and doesn't get clumpy. I didn't experience any flaking, however by the end of the day my lashes looked less black and the curl they had in the morning had definitely started to droop. If you prefer more natural looking lashes, then this would be a good option for you, but it didn't give me enough of a false lash effect to want to buy it again.

£20 and under - Laura Mercier Faux Lash Effect £19

This has a very big brush that can make application a bit tricky. You need to be very precise in order to avoid smudging mascara on your lid by accident. The formula is a little wet, but gives extra big lashes without much effort at all. I love the final effect I get from this, however you do need to work quite quickly to layer it up as it dries pretty quickly. This lasted all day without any colour fade, flaking or drooping, but it does take some perseverance when you try to remove it - an oil-based remover is a must.

None of these mascaras was a stand out for me - at a push, I would pick the Laura Mercier as I think this gave the most impact to lashes, however, I'd rather repurchase my trusty Tarte mascara (around £15) than any of these!

I'd love to know what your favourite mascara is and what budget it is. If I'm missing any amazing bargains do let me know and I'll get testing!



  1. I love %100 pure black tea mascara, its £15.00 pounds but I personally feel worth It, I also love barry m lash vegas witch is about £5.00 I think.

    id love to see a foundation one! I love illamasqua skin base, barry m matte flawless (ivory is pale enough for me and im 02 in skinbase) and the gosh x-ceptional foundation.

    Catherine x


  2. I really love Collection No Clumps & 17 Dolled Up (think its called that) is really good. Personally I think 17 do really good mascaras!



  3. The Laura Mercier is my all time fave, huge lashes with little effort! x

  4. I have found with mascaras it's better to splurge, I have tried so many high street ones that haven't really grabbed my attention (apart from Maxfactor), great post.


    Em’s Mixed Bag

  5. I swear by the L'oreal Volume Millions Mascara. It's so so good. Max Factor false lash effect fusion is good too. Seriously you need to try those :)


  6. Great post! My favourite mascara is GOSH's Growth Mascara, which is under £10. It doesn't actually make your lashes grow but it makes them look really long, which is what I like :) xx

  7. I've tried quite a few decent budget mascaras but none of them are perfect... I liked Maybelline The Rocket apart from it smudged a little under my eyes xx

  8. Have you ever tried the Seventeen Doll'd up mascara? It does a really good job for about £6! xx


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