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Welcome to Ask The Makeup Diva™! Our resident expert, the Makeup Diva, answers makeup and skin care questions sent in by readers just like you.

Q: I am bored with the mascara I am using now. I am ready for something new! What should I try?


For the last several months I have been on the hunt for a mascara, or two, that I love. I figured I should get out of my Maybelline Great Lash rut and try some newer products on the market.

My first stop was the Paul & Joe line because the sales girl wearing it had almost fake-looking eyelashes and I wanted to be just like her. Paul & Joe Mascara Duo ($26) comes with a volumizing and a lengthening side. The "Volume" side has this comb-like eyelash separator, longer on one side for the top lashes and a shorter side for the bottoms. The thick, creamy formula could be used on its own for fabulous lashes. The "Long" side has a more traditional mascara wand and the formula is totally different, with tons of little fibers in it. Put that on and welcome to your huge, thick, long lashes! Of course this isn't for the person who needs every lash perfectly defined. If you add this much stuff to your eyelashes there's bound to be a bit of clumping, but that was completely worth it to me for that amount of lash. The one warning is once this mascara dries, don't try to separate your eyelashes - it's too tough for that. Did I mention the fabulous color? I chose #02, because it was an auburn-ish brown, which looks amazing against my blue eyes, fair skin and brown hair. It wears very well and at the end of the day I am a happy camper with lashes that still look gorgeous. An extra perk is the packaging, which is so cute. This floral, aqua and peach colored beauty sits among my other boring black tubes of mascara, and brightens my whole drawer.

On the quest still for huge lashes, the folks at MAC told me I had to have Zoom Lash Mascara. This time I went for classic black. They warned me that it would be clumpy, but that was the "in" thing this season. Fully knowing that, I was very pleased with the way it made my somewhat thin lashes seems so bulky. The formula was pretty dry and I realize that I'd like it if it were a bit creamier. It seemed to run out fast, I think due to the dry formula. For $10 it’s really a lovely buy, lasted well during the day and I'd recommend this for anyone wanting dramatic lashes, maybe to recreate that 60's mod look that's so in right now.

After all the hype about Blinc Kiss Me Mascara, I had to give it a whirl. Their big thing is water-resistant "tubes" that coat your eyelashes, and don't allow clumping. First, the name "Kiss Me" makes me think of lips and I keep wondering why they didn't just leave it as "Blinc". Enough of my marketing questioning, onto the review. This mascara's net weight (.16oz) was quite a bit less than any of the others I've tried so far, and for $24, I'm not that excited. The wand leaves much to be desired. It's too stumpy and puny for my taste. The black color is just fine, and it did make my eyelashes more defined, thicker and longer, but not to any degree that is worth getting excited about. It flaked more than any of the other mascaras I've tried. By the end of the day a lot of these little tubes were under my eye. Water-resistant somehow translates into "makeup remover resistant", too. I found washing it off at the end of the day to be like an eyelash massacre on my face, with persistent little "tube" eyelashes stuck to me. Basically I can sum it up with, "Eh. Not so fantastic."

Now heading to the drugstore, I picked up a L'Oreal Panoramic Curl. I keep seeing all these rave reviews for L'Oreal's mascara line. I must say, I've been won over. This formula is only $6.99 (even less with a coupon) and is creamy and thick. The wand is slightly curved to help out the curling effect with lots of bristles to coat the lashes really well. One coat is wonderful and somewhat natural looking, two or more coats is a bonus of drama! It does have a bit of a clumping tendency after the first coat, but delivers fantastic results overall. I approve! I’m going to keep exploring L'Oreal mascara in the future.

Last but not least, I went looking for a basic mascara that I could wear on more casual days. I found it in Almay One Coat Nourishing Mascara (the thickening formula). For $5.99 and at 0.4oz net weight, this is a bargain! One coat so nicely colors and "fluffs" my otherwise thin lashes. It's wonderful for going to the gym, because I look like I have eyes on my face, but not like I'm trying too hard to impress that guy on the stair climber. Even if I keep layering it on, the formula is so smooth, there's no clumping in sight and every lash is very well defined, yet still soft. It wears well throughout the day, though if I've done one coat, I apply a second on top before going out at night. This mascara feels nourishing on because it doesn't have a dry, rigid feeling on the lashes. Finally, I really like the wand - it's full and long enough to go over both top and bottom lashes nicely.

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