Consumer Reports Findings
A panel of 34 staff members used 16 washable black mascaras over six weeks, then rated each on overall performance, ease of application, brush, look on lashes, durability, and ease of removal.
Top-rated was a department-store brand, Lancôme Définicils, $24. But several other very good mascaras are sold in drugstores and supermarkets for just $7 to $9: Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture, Maybelline Define-A-Lash Volume, Cover Girl VolumeExact, and L'Oréal Telescopic Clean Definition & Lengthening. Testers judged the lowest-rated mascaras, Bare Escentuals Big Tease and Revlon 3D Extreme, especially difficult to apply and remove, and they disliked their brushes. Spinlash, $15, a battery-operated spinning wand, earned praise from a couple of panelists, but others said it left clumps.
Because mascara tubes provide the kind of dark, wet environment in which bacteria can flourish, toss them after three months of use.
Brand and Model Price Overall score
Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture 7 77.
Estee Lauder Double Wear 20 71.
Cover Girl VolumeExact 7 69.
MAC Zoom Lash 11 68.
L'Oréal Telescopic Clean Definition & Lengthening 9 68.
Maybelline Define-A-Lash Volume 8 68.
Cover Girl Lashblast Volume Blasting 7 66.
Neutrogena Healthy Volume 8 66.
Maybelline Great Lash Washable 5 65.
Christian Dior Diorshow 24 64.
Rimmel Eye Magnifier Exact Definition 7 63.
Avon SuperSHOCK 9 61.
Almay One Coat Nourishing Triple Effect 8 56.
Revlon 3D Extreme 10 45.
Bare Escentuals Big Tease 15 42.