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stuff i like: maybelline mascara

Is there anything as unchanging and reassuring as a magazine article on “beauty steals?”  It’s always the same products: Cetaphil for cleaning, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream for “anything and everything,” Rosebud Salve, and the perennial pick, Maybelline Great Lash mascara.  I’ve never tried the 8 Hour Cream because apparently I don’t need a cream for “anything and everything.”  Rosebud Salve is fine if you don’t need your lip product to actually adhere to your lips, and you also don’t mind the taste of soap.  As for Cetaphil, it’s just gross.  It’s like washing your face with vichyssoise.  It’s always touted as being gentle, but I’m sorry, I don’t require gentleness from a cleanser.  What I require is something that leaves my skin so clean that it squeaks.  If I could wash my face with a brillo pad, I would.  If you like that feeling too, try this.

As for the mascara, it takes a lot more than Maybelline Great Lash to make something of my Asian eyelashes, which are short, fine, and sparse, like the eyelashes you might find on a 6-pound mini pinscher.  I had to overcome a strong visceral reaction to that particular combo of green and pink in order to purchase a tube of Great Lash, and it turns out I needn’t have bothered, because it sucks.  I mean, if you are Caucasian and/or are already blessed with visible eyelashes, maybe it cuts the mustard.  But if that’s the case, certainly any mascara will work, including those that don’t look like they were conceived for a 12-year old.

There IS a Maybelline mascara that actually works for the eyelash-challenged.  I can’t even type the name here because it’s so terrible, but I’ve provided a photo.  A month ago, this mascara prevented me from killing myself when I learned that Shiseido is no longer selling its Lasting Lift mascara in the states.  Forget Dior Show, forget Lancome, forget the $35 tube of Chanel–all of which I have tried, some twice because I forgot I had tried them before.  If you are Asian, a Shu Uemura curler warmed under a hair dryer + Shiseido Lasting Lift = all-day curl and volume.  But no longer.  I am starting to feel hysterical writing this, because it’s really hitting me that it’s over.  I took my mascara for granted, and now it’s gone.  Those pathetic people who hoard their favorite beauty products?  Sages, every damn one of them.

Anyway, my friend Davia is no slouch with mascara, and she suggested the purple Maybelline, and it works.  It’s no Lasting Lift, but it’ll have to do.  It makes my eyelashes visible, keeps them curled up for a while, and the waterproof version doesn’t smudge too much.  If you like subtlety in a mascara, this one’s not for you.  But for the rest of us: at $7.99, it’s worth a shot.

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ve got the Asian nonexistent lashes too and I’ve been using cover girl professional for a year now. It doesn’t try to make miracles, it’s just a solid mascara and doesn’t end up under my eyes. Give it a try. Just discovered your blog btw. Love it!

    October 4, 2013
  2. Judy #

    Hi Yoona, I wanted to thank you for this post! I was also a huge fan of the Shiseido LL mascara and was bummed when they discontinued it. Since then, I have been using the Shu Uemura Ultimate Mascara and that keeps the curl but it really is natural looking and I was looking for a thicker mascara. I’m Asian too and 99.8% mascaras do not keep my curl, so I’m excited about the Maybelline mascara. It worked! Anyway, I would recommend you check out the Shu Uemura mascara if you’re looking for something less dramatic than the Maybelline. Thanks : )

    November 12, 2012
    • hey judy, thanks for the lead! i’m increasingly finding the shu uemura curler hard to find. trying not to freak out. i’ll keep my eye out for that mascara…

      November 12, 2012
      • Judy #

        I was able to get the Shu Uemura mascara on their site and they sell the curler too. Good luck! I’m more of a Shiseido curler girl. They now sell it at Sephora : )

        November 13, 2012
  3. Have you checked out It’s been really helpful to me for choosing products that work, and are worth the price!

    March 28, 2012
  4. I’ve had some luck with the same brand’s waterproof version of Define-A-Lash (green tube, blue top). It really sucked for the first few uses, but after I forgot about it for a few weeks, it dried out and became pretty smudge-proof and panda-free. (Says the oriental asian with stumpy eyelashes and oily eyelids with no crease.)

    March 26, 2012
    • we really challenge the mascara companies, don’t we? panda-free, love it.

      March 28, 2012
  5. I find that the eye lash curler is important as well. I use the shiseido one and it’s pretty amazing. I combine that with Lancôme mascara.

    March 26, 2012
    • i also love the shiseido curler, which is a good thing because it is getting really difficult to find shu uemura. i generally find that the asian brands work best for asians…go figure. which lancome do you use? i used definicils through my 20s, may need to revisit…

      March 28, 2012
  6. Courtney #

    First of all, nothing says birthday like a column on mascara. Second, you’re a moron if you have not tried Latisse–the Rx lash grower. All your worries will be gone. In the meantime, Cargo makes a great mascara, and Trish McEvoy makes the mascara that coats your lashes w/ “tubes,” which lots of people like. But most importantly, resolve that by the time you are 46, you will have a new set of lashes courtesy of Latisse. It’s $100 a pop and the thing lasts several months.

    March 25, 2012
    • ah, latisse. i do want to try it. but i already have enough trouble getting my doctor to take me seriously–the last thing i need is to ask him for a Rx because my eyelashes are too short.

      March 25, 2012
  7. Gemini #

    Thanks for the tip. I am asian too and have the same eyelash issues. Was going to try the “purple Maybelline”, but got a Revlon something or other that’s not cutting it. I feel your pain about the discontinued beauty products. My fave mascara was Chanel Extreme Cils, but they’ve replaced it with inimitable which, frankly, sucks.

    March 25, 2012
    • make sure to get the waterproof. i don’t know if it’s because our lashes point down instead of curling up, or whatever, but i always have to get waterproof…but you probably knew that. 🙂

      March 25, 2012

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