**Update: Darling, this article is semi-ancient and will be updated soon. Feel free to read, but please check back again soon. In the meantime, refer to the main beauty section for newer (less antiquated) bits of brilliance.**
Please forgive me, in advance, for creating a list of high-end, expensive mascaras. In my opinion, though, mascaras and foundations are the two cosmetic products I opt to splurge on. In my experience, there are not many drugstore product options in those two categories which quite compete with the quality of my favorite higher-end products. Certainly, there are great drugstore mascaras I absolutely recommend (as well as use personally) when on a more stringent budget. However, this is my “Hall Of Fame.”
These are products I recommend to people when they want the “creme de la creme” for their wedding day, prom, an evening out, etc.
Christian Dior Diorshow Blackout
The first time I used this mascara was in a few years ago, shortly after it launched. I was shopping with some girlfriends at Sephora, and this mascara had recently been launched. I was in love at first stroke. The result was long, thick, vampy, separated and the blackest of black lashes. Ever since, each time I apply this mascara is just as sweet as the very first time.
There are a few tiny cons, however. It does not hold up well at the club after sweating on the dance floor for hours. Some of the product will likely appear under your eyes, and you will have to clean up repeatedly Therefore, you absolutely must prime your lashes first. Nonetheless, the result is so beautiful I have made the sacrifice countless times.
Christian Dior Extase
I didn’t think it was possible to love another Dior mascara as much as Blackout, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one when I tried it for the first time two years ago. The result is a little less vampy and dramatic as Blackout, but every bit as beautiful. It creates impressively long, separated, whimsical, feminine lashes. It definitely gives volume, but not as much as Blackout. However, it slightly surpasses Blackout in its ability to lengthen. I feel like a wide-eyed fairy when I wear this mascara. Another plus is that it seems to last a bit longer than Blackout as well. Lastly, I do not have the same problem with it appearing under my eyes.
This mascara is too gorgeous for words. It smells like roses, and a tube seems to last for months on end. It lengthens like crazy, separates, thickens, gives nice shape and has fantastic holding power. It never finds itself on my face. When I use this mascara, I appear to be flirting with everyone. Therefore, please wear with caution (or not!).
Lancome Hypnose Star
Like Dior and YSL, Lancome makes excellent mascaras. I don’t see the point of wearing mascara if you are going to look like you don’t have any on. Still, I am not a fan of the “drag queen” look either. I’m happy to say Hypnose Star provides the perfect balance between “drag queen” and “plain jane”. The formula is not too wet, not too dry, holds curl quite well, lengthens, thickens and sort of creates a “fanned” effect.
Lancome Virtuose Black Carat
This is a mascara no one seems to know about, but it is a hidden gem. It is not a mascara for everybody, but it is definitely a mascara for many. If you like wet formulas, don’t even bother continuing reading this review. This is definitely a drier formula, as this mascara is made to be long-wearing (but not waterproof!).
The best part about this mascara is that it truly curls and lifts your lashes! I feel like a doe-eyed Bambi every single time I used it. It makes my eyes look gigantic. Each time I apply it, at least one woman asks me how I curl my lashes. It also lengthens extremely well! If you have lashes are resistant to curl, and if you have eyes that you would like to make appear larger, you are going to absolutely love this mascara.
An updated list of my mascara recommendations has been published here.