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Are luxury mascaras worth the money?

From Nars to Rare Beauty, we review five recently launched mascaras to find out whether they deliver

A good mascara should offer care for the lashes and not clump
A good mascara should offer care for the lashes and not clump (Unsplash )

Marketing tactics for the humble mascara tend to have some of the tallest claims in the make-up world—a curl that lasts all day, 100% volume, magical elongation. The taller the claims, the higher the price tag. 

India recently witnessed the launch of several new luxury mascaras, each armed with fancy packaging and guaranteed results. 

We tested five luxury mascaras to find out which one deserves a chunk of your February salary.

Also read: In search of the perfect lipstick

Clinique High Impact High-Fi Full Volume Mascara


The newest mascara in town has the most comfortable formula among the brands we tried. The gel formula manages to keep the lashes lifted but still flexible, and feels like you are wearing nothing when high-volume mascaras usually feel heavy. It comes in cool metallic packaging and the tapering brush is perfect to reach tiny lash hair. It also has coconut, argan and moringa oil to aid lash health. The product promises 230% volume (how do companies even reach such numbers?). I can’t determine the exact percentage but it did give me an instant volume with a single application. The gel formula is fibre-infused and makes it look like I have more lash hair. It’s perfect for making your eyes look fresh on a day when you have no make-up on. It feathers a bit by the end of the day, but is easy to take off. It wins in the innovative formula category and is a great buy for those with sensitive eyes, as it is ophthalmologist-tested.

Diego dalla Palma My ToyBoy


This Italian make-up brand is relatively new in India. It has the kookiest packaging among all and is designed to look like a sex toy. Bright red packaging aside, this ophthalmologically tested product is designed to promote lash growth, so while you coat your lashes every day, it promotes new growth too. I couldn’t check on their 30-day growth promise (great for those who wear mascara every day), but can vouch for their other claims. 

A single coat instantly gives me upright lashes that look longer and denser, without feeling too crisp, and the brush helps fan out the lashes. It doesn’t clump and spreads out evenly, giving a beautiful natural-false lash effect, which is great for no-make-up looks. My lashes stay upright and look long all day. It doesn’t smudge. if you are looking for dense volume plus length, this is the best option among the five.

NARS Climax


NARS launched in India late last year and became an instant favourite of make-up lovers. Their Climax mascara makes for a good buy. The formula is light and coats my lashes clump-free and evenly, simultaneously giving volume and a lift. The applicator, which might be difficult to use for those with shorter lashes than mine, helps separate and coat individual lashes and instantly adds major volume. I managed to add a second coat without clumps as well. It gives a beautiful natural curl lift, a bit less than My Toyboy. But the naturally dense fanned-out look, especially around the outer corner, gives one of the best final looks of all. The formula doesn’t feel heavy and each lash looks thicker, longer and curled.

Kylash by Kylie Cosmetics


Trust Kylie Jenner to choose the coolest packaging. The matte packaging with the embossed logo looks luxurious and what’s inside is equally promising. Kylie Jenner is known for her natural-glam looks off the red carpet, so I expected only the best for my no-make-up looks. The vegan formula is light and glides easily on the lashes, giving an instant weightless lash lift and making the lashes look longer. The lift stays put through the day and somehow my lashes look the blackest with Kylash. 

While it doesn’t separate the lashes much and the volume is lesser compared to the others, Kylash gives you that doll-like lash look. It's pretty and different from the rest, and great for subtle makeup looks.

Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara


While Kylie Jenner’s mascara gives a pointy doll-lash look, Selena Gomez’s mascara (which also comes in matte packaging) gives a different doll-like look. I am not a fan of the applicator and the formula is thicker as well. It doesn’t elongate my lashes, but makes them thicker which I love for my lower lashes, just a bit clumpy sometimes. If you want that thick, black lash look, you should try this option.

Also read: How to get the FROW look

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