Mascara has always been something I’m willing to spend quite a lot of money on, even when I didn’t really have any. I developed an addiction to YSL Faux Cils mascara at a pretty young age after wandering around duty free on a family holiday with my pocket money burning a hole in my wallet. From that moment on I was hooked, and when my student loan couldn’t quite fund the luxury lashes I loved I would get one of those little gold boxes for birthdays or Christmas, and make them last as long as humanly possible.
I am quite particular when it comes to what I like in a mascara – I know what I want and for that reason it’s hard to use sub-par formulas, I’ve seen what my lashes can look like and it’s only natural to want that every day. Until quite recently I was using Benefit’s latest mascara Rollerlash, which was fantastic and gave me not only the volume of my previous YSL love, but some separation, it also didn’t dry out as quickly.
Since going cruelty free in August I knew I needed to find an alternative for when my Benefit love ran out, I wanted something equally amazing to use both in my daily life and in videos so I scoured my favourite high end cruelty free brands only to discover it was hiding in plain sight all along…
I was already a fan of Essence, the budget cruelty free brand you can find around Europe and in Wilko’s here in the UK. I’ve already raved about their £1 red lipliner and after being impressed by a few other items I went for a browse to see if anything else took my fancy. I picked up a couple of lip products (which are equally awesome – more on those soon) and decided to try a mascara as a bit of an afterthought to be honest. There’s a lot of choice, but I settled on the Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara, mainly because the ‘false lash’ promise reminded me of my YSL days but also because I’m more drawn to anything with the word Princess in the title than any 30 year old should admit to. Sue me.
Above you can see what my lashes look like with no mascara and then with one coat of the Essence mascara on. One coat! I didn’t wear any liner so you can get a true reflection of what it does – I have decent lashes to start with but you can see that my left eye (your right in the photo) looks much better at the moment, I think I instinctively rub my right eye more and I’m waiting for a few lashes to grow back. The struggle is real.
Unlike the Benefit offering the brush is a traditional bristle one, not plastic, but it is very narrow, tapering towards the end – this gives a lot of control and allows you to really get to the root of the lashes without smudging, it’s also great for adding a light coat of mascara to the lower lashes. The formula is a great halfway point – not too dry that it clumps but not too wet to smudge easily or be watery and thin. At just £3.30 this is an absolute steal, but it isn’t just ‘good for the price’ it’s good full stop, great in fact.
This is my new go-to mascara – I’m pretty excited that I found such a great cruelty free alternative on the first attempt, and one that doesn’t break the bank to boot! Have you tried any Essence mascaras?
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