If I had to choose a desert island makeup product, it would definitely be mascara. More than any concealer, foundation, brow gel, or contour palette, a good curling, thickening, and lengthening mascara that highlights my eyes has the biggest impact on my overall appearance. When I started to become the full-fledged product junkie that I am today, I was on a serious budget, but mascara was the only thing I spoiled myself with.
Although I have found budget mascaras here and there that I like, nothing has really replaced my affinity for the finer things in life (mascara). This is precisely why I was very intrigued when Essence’s Lash Princess Mascara started blowing up on TikTok ($ 5, Amazon) for being better than the expensive alternatives. At just five dollars, it’s about as affordable as it gets when it comes to drugstore mascaras.
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After weeks of use, I found it to totally live up to the hype. No, it looks like I don’t wear false eyelashes. But, it made my eyelashes as thick and long as the expensive mascaras.
Here is my honest take on how it compares to the luxury mascaras in my rotation:
It thickened and lengthened my lashes, but didn’t curl them.
Personally, I have a ‘more is more’ attitude, so when I first used this I got super excited and slipped about five coats of product onto my lashes before realizing that I ‘had done too much. This totally weighed down my lashes and made them even more voluminous. A little goes a long way with this, so I’ve found two quick swipes to be perfect for turning my sparse and short lashes into thick and long ones.
The only downside I would say is that it doesn’t curl my right lashes as much as I would like. If you’re like me, definitely try the Curl version of the mascara ($ 5, Amazon). It doesn’t offer quite the same stretch qualities, but it does offer more of a curl and a natural look. (See below for before and after my use alone!).
It lasted on my lashes all day in wet weather.
I find that most mascaras rarely continue to look good on my lashes for more than a few hours after the first application. The first time I used it I did it all and used it on a wet day during an outdoor workout and rooftop dinner with a friend, me expecting to have panda eyes once I looked at myself in the mirror. To my amazement, the mascara completely held up even better than the cult $ 30 mascara that I’ve been using for a decade.
It is not water proof or tear proof.
I thought the first use was a fluke as this mascara isn’t even waterproof, so I continued to test its limits by wearing it through outdoor runs and even the Bachelorette final i cried my way through (don’t judge). He survived the race, but unfortunately not the final rose. The good news is that the mascara comes in a waterproof version ($ 4, Amazon) which is even cheaper, so I suggest it if you’re prone to tears.
I was really shocked at the quality of Essence’s Lash Princess mascara for lengthening and thickening lashes considering its low price. My ideal scenario is to use two passes of the False Effect version to lengthen and thicken my lashes, then I go in with two passes of Curl on my upper lashes.
At such an affordable price, what have you got to lose other than $ 5?
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