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Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Best Natural-Looking Mascaras Ever

This category covers the very best natural-looking mascaras (dramatic mascaras were featured last week), regardless of price. Feel free to weigh in on your favorites. This list is actually comprised of two separate lists:
1) The Beauty Insider's Picks: My own personal list of the best products in that category, in no particular order
2) The Popular Vote: The results of a poll I did of over 1000 beauty-savvy consumers, in order of popularity
3) What the Pros Chose: These are the top picks of the beauty experts who appear in my book, also known as The Beauty Bunch. (You can learn more about this genius team of experts by clicking on the About the Book tab, and then clicking on "Who are the Beauty Insiders?").

The Beauty Insider's Picks
1. Pout Mascara (“Black Eyes”): Don’t let the adorable packaging fool you—this is a serious mascara. The light, lengthening formula allows you to apply as many coats as you wish (a makeup artist told me he’s applied up to 20) to take your lashes from natural to scene-stealing. $16
2. Shiseido The Makeup Lasting Lift Mascara (“Black LL1”): This mascara’s brush is not really a brush at all—it’s a superslim ridged metal tube that is worth the learning curve, as it applies this lengthening, curling formula smoothly, with no clumps. Skip the lash curler. $19.50
3. Smashbox Focal Point Lash Building Mascara (“Black”): Goodbye, raccoon eyes. This moisturizing formula delivers long, lush lashes quickly, and stays put all day. $16
4. Blinc Kiss Me Mascara (“Black”): This cult favorite takes some getting used to—it’s not like any mascara you’ve ever used. Rather than applying color directly to your lashes, this product forms individual little tubes around them—creating longer, defined lashes that don’t smudge—ever. $24
5. Shu Uemura Mascara Basic (“Basic Black 01”): This is widely hailed as being one of the most natural mascaras on the market, and one of the very few that curls even stubbornly straight lashes. The waterproof formula never clumps or smudges, lengthens slightly, and leaves lashes glossy and naturally gorgeous. $27
6. Yves Rocher True Color Volume Mascara (“Black Onyx”): This liquid formula glides on smoothly without clumping, and won’t irritate the most sensitive eyes. It’s a bit tricky to find in the U.S., but well worth the search. $10
7. Almay One Coat Mascara Thickening (“Black”): This product lives up to its name. One clump-free coat builds lashes that look naturally thicker and fuller—and keeps them that way all day long. No smudging, smearing, or flaking. $6 (approx.)
8. L’Oreal Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara (“Black”): This is one of my all-time favorites, and it doesn’t seem quite right to classify this as “natural.” However, application is quick and clump-free, leaving behind full, feathery fringe. The only “natural” thing about it is the way your lashes feel—soft, not spiky, like you’re not wearing mascara at all. $7 (approx.)
9. Laura Mercier Mascara (“Black”): The slim spiral brush delivers a clump-free formula that coats, curls, and defines for silky, naturally beautiful lashes. $19
10. Paula Dorf Cake Mascara (“Raven”): This will take your Grandmother back, but she never had it so good. This retro-chic formula features a cake of black mascara and a fan brush in one slim compact. Completely clump-free, this silky formula will never smudge or smear. With a little practice, truly natural, “you-only-better” lashes can be yours. $20

The Popular Vote
1. Maybelline Full ‘n Soft Mascara in “Very Black”, $6.50 (approx.)
2. Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara in “Jet Black”, $13.50
3. Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara in “Black”, $21.50
4. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in “Very Black”, $4.79 (approx.)
5. Maybelline Lash Discovery Mascara in “Very Black”, $6.50 (approx.)
6. Shu Uemura Mascara Basic in “Basic Black 01”, $27
7. Jane Fan Club Mascara in “Black”, $4 (approx.), and L’Oreal Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara in “Black”, $7 (tie)
8. L’Oreal Featherlash Softly Sweeping Mascara in “Black”, $7, and Clinique Long Pretty Lashes Mascara in “Black”, $13.50 (tie)
9. L’Oreal Lash Out Mascara in “Black”, $7 (approx.)
10. MAC Pro Lash in “Black”, $9.50, and Mary Kay Endless Performance Mascara in “Black”, $8.50 (tie)

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