We Test 3 New Much-Discussed Mascaras


The perfectly-shaped mascara brush has become our personal holy grail: a never-ending, “choose your own adventure” story as we try to find that magic wand that could make our lashes fuller, longer, darker and more flirty—all in one product. We’ve tried all the types and shapes: the rubber-bristle wand, the tapered wand, the ball-shaped wand, with varying results. Lately mascara designers have been getting bolder and bolder in their engineering, so when these three new brush styles came across our desks, we decided to put them to the test.

CoverGirl Flamed Out Mascara

The shape: Hourglass helix

The promise: “Bigger, thicker and fuller lashes to help maximize volume … make a bold statement with winged lashes that curve up and out. The unique wire brush coats your lashes for instant volume boost.”

The verdict: I ended up with a clumpy mess. The brush does deposit a good amount of product to every lash, but the obtuse design and short bristles do little to separate the hairs, leaving a spidery look. Going over the damage with another coat only made it worse.

LORAC Cobra Mascara

The shape: Inverted half-crescent with pointed tip, curvy body, and longer tail (it does look like a cobra!)

The promise: “The curling, lengthening and volumizing formula is infused with keratin, panthenol and vitamin E to help condition and lengthen lashes. The custom cobra head wand creates dramatic, buildable volume and length for the longest, thickest, blackest, smudge and flake proof lashes ever!” It’s also supposed to be great for contact wearers and “opthalmologist tested and approved.”

The verdict: Like the cobra, this product is killer. The formula is super lightweight, but really defines lashes. One coat will give you a pop; adding extras builds volume without leaving a “product build-up” look. The brush’s design hits every lash, from the delicate inner corners to the longer, curvier hairs toward the center. One caveat: It takes a few tries to figure out which part of the brush to use on each part of your eye. I found that in general, the backside curve works for overall coverage while the tip is good for lower lashes.LORAC’s how-to video offers more guidelines.

Avon Mega Effects Mascara

The shape: Mini paintbrush

The promise: “The first-ever Wonderbrush bends and adjusts to multiple angles capturing every lash, top to bottom. The unique brush fits the natural shape of lashes, coating them evenly with formula from root to tip. The extra surface area of the Wonderbrush bristles are designed to deliver 40% more mascara to the lash.”

The verdict: The bottle design itself leaves something to be desired—it takes considerable force to unlock the brush from the “tube,” and often feels as if you might break off bristles. Once you do get the brush loose, the longer handle (perfectly designed to rest on your thumb) is bendable, allowing you to get the best angle to “paint” on your first coat. The design is good for the upper lashes as you use natural motion, upward brushstrokes. Avoid using this on your lower lashes though, where product can get caught under the lash line.

Final Tip

The Avon and LORAC actually work well together! Try using a base coat of the Avon, followed by a coat of LORAC Cobra on your top lashes; then use the narrow head of the Cobra on bottom lashes.

Read about 10 cult-favorite mascaras most loved by pros here, and tell us about your mascara hits and misses in the comments!

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