Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Cruelty Free Comparisons: Mascara

As you might have seen, last month I started off a new series 'Cruelty Free Comparisons', in which I review two beauty products, one high(ish) end, one budget(ish) and see if either of them are worth the money. If you missed it, here's The Conditioner Edition.

I don't have the budget to consistently buy high-end products to review each month, but I did splash out on a mascara for graduation, so... welcome to The Mascara Edition.


M&S All-In-One Limited Collection Mascara (£5)

High End:

Too-Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (£19)

First things first, the packaging. The M&S mascara has very simple, plain packaging which I actually quite like the appearance of, although as you can see time betrays how cheap it is. Too-Faced's mascara is much weightier, not because the product is any bigger but because the packaging is more expensive. I also really like the shutting system on the Too-Faced mascara. It clicks shut in such a way that it feels like you don't need to keep screwing round the lid to tighten it. The M&S (and most other drug-store mascara's) product just has a normal screw top, and the product definitely dried out quicker.

The brush. Probably one of the most important element to a mascara, second only to the formulation. Both products have a bristled brush, but you can see from the images that the Too-Faced brush is much longer and thicker (as well as having their iconic hourglass shape). The main problem for me with the hourglass brush is that a lot of product collects on the tip, so the finest lashes in the inner corner can sometimes end up looking clumpy. Other than that, the length of the brush really lets me get a good coat of product on. That being said, although the M&S brush is much smaller, the delicate corner application is much better. However, I do have to go in for a lot more coats with the smaller bristles (although that could just be because the product is a few months old, and I remember it applying quicker earlier). 

Better Than Sex on the left, No mascara on the right.
I curled my lashes before applying mascara but after taking the before image.

No mascara on the left, All-in-One on the right.
I curled my lashes before applying mascara but after taking the before image.

Better Than Sex left, All-in-One right.
If you ignore the lighting difference, you can see how much more clumping there is on the right picture than the left.
My eyelashes look much more even and separated in the left hand image, and the curl holds much better.

The formula. Both of these mascaras have the tendency to clump as they both have very thick formulas. This being said, now the M&S mascara has dried out, I actually prefer the application. The Too-Faced mascara applies like a wet version of the dried M&S one (if that makes sense?). In other words, it is much less clumpy and much more even from the off. I can also get muliple layers from the Too Faced product. In the pictures, I've only applied a couple of layers of each product, but if I needed to I could easily continue layering to create a much bolder look with Better than Sex. The M&S product dries very quickly on the lashes, making it very difficult to layer effectively without just creating more clumps. However, the M&S mascara is a lot longer lasting than the Too-Faced product. This was something I really did not expect and it's the main aspect that has really let down the Too-Faced product for me. With the M&S mascara very rarely did I get dark smudges under my eyes after a few hours wear - something I definitely experience with Better Than Sex. It's worth noting that neither products claim to be waterproof, and neither of them are very durable in heavy rain. 

The claims. M&S claims to have produced an 'All-In-One' mascara. For the most part, I think they're bang on, especially for the price tag. It doesn't necessarily curl my lashes, but it definitely gives me volume and length. Too-Faced claims to have produced mascara that is 'Better Than Sex'. I wouldn't necessarily agree, but it is a bloody good mascara!

In conclusion: Better Than Sex wins, but (unless elf open up their uk store soon - their budget products can't be beaten for quality for money) I'd re-purchase All-in-One if I was short on cash. If I had the money, though, Too-Faced would have converted me, and I'd love to try out some of their other products!

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