Holy Grail of Drugstore Mascaras: Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara

IMG_1568Description: Great Lash® Waterproof Mascara conditions as it thickens. The lash-doubling formula glides on to build great-looking lashes while the lash-building brush makes it easy to get a full lash look. Allure Readers’ Choice and Best of Beauty Award Winner.

Where to Buy: Amazon.com, your local drugstore or supermarket.

Cost: $6.49 MSRP but it’s about $4 in Atlanta.

Color/Shade Variety: 2. The waterproof formula only comes in Brownish Black and Very Black. We’ll be testing out the Very Black color. They have a washable (non-waterproof version) with a lot more shades and the one that I definitely want to try out next is the Royal Blue (the pictures on the website do it no justice. I don’t know why spidery lashes are all the rage right now).

Packaging: It’s all plastic but it’s actually pretty cute because of the color scheme. It’s got a hot pink base to house the mascara product and the cap is a neon kiwi green. The plastic is surprisingly sturdy and resoundingly solid like a Corian countertop from the 60s. The font style boasts of a fun, retro vibe.

IMG_1570The Brush: Simple, double helical brush with v-shaped grooves cut into the sides

Promises to Do: Thicken and condition my lashes while doubling the length of my lashes.

First Impression: I’m not going to lie. I’ve been using this mascara for about a month now so I really had to dig deep and try to take a break from Great Lash so when I wore it again, it would feel semi-new (? … I tried). The formula is so light and thin so I’m able to apply several layers of even coats without it coming out all gunky and stuff. This stuff dries mega fast. I’m talking less than 30 seconds fast so if you like to comb out your lashes, be sure to have it close by. I didn’t see any clumps and the brush doesn’t seem to collect as much product on the sides and on the tip as the one from L’Oréal’s Voluminous Waterproof Mascara. The wand is on the stiff side so you’re not going to get too much give on this brush requiring a little more wriggling wrist action to getting all of your lashes coated.

Not much of a reader? Check out my first impression video below!

Layerable? Definitely.

Flaky? Not at all.

Holds Curl/Defines/Volumizes/Lengthens: The Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara holds the curl just fine. It’ll be the end of the day and my lashes are still curled as opposed to stick-straight. Because the formulation is so light, my lashes aren’t worn down and possibly has something to do with holding the curl as well. It does a great job at defining based on having a thinner formulation. As far as volumizing goes, it gives you just enough to get away with the smoking hot look at work and to pull off a “natural” every day make up look as well, but it’s got more of a wide-eye effect than a full-fan effect like the L’Oréal Voluminous or Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal. So on a scale of 1-10 of volumizing, it’d probably land on 7-8. And when it comes to lengthening, it does a fairly decent job. Lashes are quite pointed at the ends, lengthened to your desre yet extremely natural-looking with a soft-matte sheen (yes, I know matte and sheen in a sentence sounds weird but believe me it’s there), and there’s no weird separation of where the lengthening begins and ends on your lashes that comes with some volumizing mascaras.

IMG_1571

Cry Test: So this is where it gets interesting. It’s supposed to be waterproof but I noticed that it tended to smudge when I wore it on my lower lashes. With this in mind, I experimented by only wearing it on my upper lashes and they were just fine. I don’t know if it’s because of my skincare routine with oil-based products but I’ll have to update when I get to the bottom of this. Anyhow, I swam with this mascara, worked out with it accidentally, and commuted to work in the sweltering summer and it held up just fine. It was just the lower lash thing that was weird but maybe it’s just not oleophobic.

Washable: To be waterproof, it’s easy to wash off (in a good way). I usually have to use a waterproof eye makeup remover and a lot of elbow grease. However, this Maybelline mascara requires none of that. I just apply my regular Christina Moss Naturals Organic Face Wash, let it sit there for a minute or so and then wipe it off with a hot washcloth before rinsing with more water. You can definitely use the waterproof eye makeup remover if that is easier for you. And … if you happen to have accidentally slept in your mascara (I’m not perfect so you know while I don’t try to make it a habit, I have done it before), this mascara isn’t going to glue your eyes shut or give you raccoon eyes either.

The Verdict: Overall, I love this mascara. To be honest, I have tried anywhere from $2 to $50 mascaras and this is my favorite mascara of all time. The funny thing is that it was the same one my Grandma used and I only happened to be able to remember it because of the damn packaging being pink and green. You’d think a $4 mascara would fail so hard compared to an Hourglass or a Givenchy but this is the best one that has ever held the curl on my lashes all day and every day without fail. Honestly, I’m glad it’s so cheap so I can stock up and at the end of the day, I quite like the retro vibe.

Holy Grail of Cosmetics: Drugstore Mascara Edition Coming Soon!

This is it. To all of my followers, I thank you so much for the support and love I’ve received all of these years.

It’s been FOUR years since the mega foundation review series and I’ve decided to follow up with another marathon review series called the Holy Grail of Cosmetics.

The format is going to be similar to the “On the Search for the Perfect” series but we’ll be kicking it up a notch with first impression videos, plenty of high quality photos, and even more in-depth commentary on the products themselves. For an idea of how it’s going to look, please check out my latest post on MAC lipsticks and MAC Lip pencils.


The first set of reviews will be on the best drugstore mascaras according to Today.com’s article, “6 waterproof mascaras that makeup artists buy at the drugstore.” I was able to find 4 out of the 6 listed mascaras to give them a whirl and I settled for one other alternate product to review.

The Holy Grail Mascaras Series will include the following products:

  1. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Waterproof Mascara in Black
  2. Maybelline New York Great Lash Waterproof Mascara in Very Black
  3. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Miss Manga Waterproof Mascara in Blackest Black
  4. CoverGirl Total Tease Waterproof Mascara in Very Black
  5. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Waterproof Mascara in Black

All of the listed mascaras will be rated and reviewed on their performance as black, waterproof mascaras that do a combination of lengthening, defining, volumizing, and curling.

At the end of this first series, I’ll be posting a very special review for my Asian readers – a how-to with beauty tips to curl those stubborn Asian lashes. Whether you’ve got short, wispy lashes or long and thick lashes, we’re going to get that beautifully-curled, wide-eyed look. I believe there are many products out there that do wonders but fail to target or cater to people of color. As an Asian American woman, it’s important for me to write more reviews and articles like this thus demarginalizing and giving a voice to more women and people of color. And regardless of your ethnicity, tune in then to pick up some tips and tricks to make your mascara look and wear better. 

The first mascara review will post this Thursday with a video! See you then!

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