Friday, February 16, 2018

Wet n Wild MegaLength: The Only Mascara I've Ever Liked Enough to Review

My blog has existed for four years, but this is the first post I've ever devoted to mascara. I literally didn't have a "mascara" tag before today. You'd think I'd write more about mascara, seeing that I wear it almost daily, but there are two reasons why I avoid the subject. First, I just don't find mascara very interesting. It comes in a tiny range of colors, it doesn't lend itself to any kind of experimentation, and I resent having to throw it out after three months (I usually keep mine for six; don't @ me). Second, few mascaras actually give me what I want from a mascara, which is subtlety. So far as I can tell, my natural lashes are about average: not preternaturally long or thick, but not invisible. My main complaint is that they're dark at the root but the color stops halfway up the lash, making them look half as long as they really are:

That stray hair is annoying the hell out of me, but this was the best photo I got. This is why you read small independent bloggers, right?

What I've always wanted is a product one step up from a lash tint: something to darken the upper half of my lashes and add a tiny bit of length and volume. But for as long as I've been wearing mascara (about seven years now), that has been almost impossible to find at a drugstore price point. Judging by the varieties of mascara available at the average CVS or Target, most makeup-wearers these days want lashes as big and bold and reminiscent of falsies as possible. Before this month, the closest I ever came to a mascara holy grail was CoverGirl LashBlast Length, which got discontinued about a year after I discovered it. In the two-ish years after, I tried Maybelline and Revlon and more CoverGirl, and some samples of Bobbi Brown and MAC, but came up disappointed over and over. Every mascara turned out to be too wet, or too clumpy, or just too much. So when I finally got around to replacing my six-month-old tube of Maybelline LashSensational Full Fan Effect, I was disillusioned enough not to bother with exhaustive research on my next one. Instead, I wandered into the Target beauty section and picked out Wet n Wild MegaLength almost at random, then did a quick search for it on MakeupAlley. It had an average score of 3.6, which is pretty damn good for any product on MakeupAlley, and even the complaints indicated that I might like it. "It made my lashes black, that's about it," wrote one reviewer. "No length, no volume, no oomph." PERFECT.


And you know what? It is kind of perfect. This post was supposed to be the second installment in my Glossier review series, but I love MegaLength so much that I couldn't resist writing about it first. I don't know why this mascara doesn't get more hype. It's under $3, it's cruelty-free, and its tube is the freaking Pantone color of the year! What's not to like?


I really do love the tube, and not just for its color. It's slender and elegant, perfect for travel. Compare it to the Maybelline LashSensational tube, which is about the same length but far more bulky and bulbous:


The brushes are also very different. Though I liked the flared shape of the Maybelline brush (below, left), it pulled way too much product out of the tube and did almost nothing to separate my lashes. (Don't judge the Maybelline mascara on its clumpiness in the photo, though. That's only because I'm a dirtbag and waited too long to replace it.) The Wet n Wild brush has more bristles, meaning more lash separation, and pulls out only as much product as I need. It's a pretty firm brush, without much flexibility.


I have almost no complaints about the formula, which delivers a toned-down look that I'd describe as "my lashes but better." All the claims on the packaging are true. "Clump-free definition": check. "Visibly lifts lashes": check. "Up to 80% longer-looking lashes": well, that's meaningless because they covered their asses with "up to," but my lashes look unquestionably longer. This is a thinner, wetter formula than others I've tried, and it makes my lashes stick together if I apply a second coat without letting the first dry, but that's about it for negatives. I usually wear one coat, and it lifts and separates, just like a good bra. It doesn't flake off during the day. It doesn't run or smear on rainy days. It comes off easily with an oil cleanser. It's cheap enough that I won't feel guilty about replacing it after three months. This mascara is exactly what I wanted! How often can I say that about a beauty product? (And it's existed for at least eight years, which means I could have been wearing it this entire time. Damn it.)

Here are my eyes with mascara (left) and without. As you can see, I have fairly straight lashes, and the mascara helps them curl up a little. The only other products I'm wearing in these photos are Glossier Boy Brow in Clear, ABH eyeshadow in Antique Bronze, and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla.




And a full face, with mascara on both eyes (again, no eyeliner, just shadow). My blush is Tarte Paaarty, my highlight is Glossier Haloscope in Quartz, and my lipstick is Urban Decay Amulet.


Full face, eyes closed:


I can't remember the last time I felt so positive about a drugstore beauty product. I'm supposed to be a snarky bitch, but I have nothing but praise! Don't worry, though: my next Glossier review is coming soon enough.

13 comments:

  1. I usually like volumizing mascaras that inevitably clump a little so MegaLength wouldn't be my favorite, but I can see it does what you're looking for very well - love the clean defined lashes! And, I like the simple aesthetics of the tube as well. Almost all mascara tubes these days are too big and shiny that I feel like I'm mostly paying for the tube not what's inside. ;-/

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    1. I agree! I don't know why mascara tubes have become so enormous. Maybe with the popularity of brands like Fenty and Glossier, the pendulum will swing back toward minimalist packaging.

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    2. if you can wear regular mascaar instead of waterproof one only, count your blessings...my eyes must be super watery, it always end up on my eye bags

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  2. I swear six months was the standard length to keep mascara until like 5 years ago. Now everyone is saying three months... as if! (Pretty much everyone I've spoken to keeps theirs for 6+, though, so I think we're okay.)

    I'd be interested in trying this out for the bottom lashes - I do like a lot of length and some volume on top, but my usual mascaras make my bottom lashes too spidery. (It sounds like a humblebrag, but my bottom lashes are really long and they look weird with mascara if I'm not careful...) This looks to give the exact effect I want on my bottom lashes!

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only person who thinks the three-month limit is ridiculous. Frankly, if a product goes bad after three months, it's not very good. I discard my mascara when I notice the texture starting to change, which is usually around the six-month mark.

      Actually, a few people on MakeupAlley said that this works well as a bottom-lash mascara! I rarely put mascara on my lower lashes because it always seems to migrate onto my skin and blend with my undereye circles, but maybe I'll try again with this mascara.

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  3. I usually find mascara boring but this is really helpful! We seem to have similar requirements (and I definitely use mine for 6 months rather than 3). I also have eyelashes with dark roots and pale ends that are straight, and I prefer a subtle lash for everyday. I badly need a new mascara (probably had my current one well over 6 months and it's gone a bit tacky) so I am off to hunt this down now...

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    1. I hope you find it! I can't remember ever coming across Wet n Wild in the UK, but then I wasn't really looking...

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  4. "Separates lashes" is such a pet peeve of mine. My lashes are already separate. A good mascara just clumps them together less than other mascaras do.
    This one sounds good though, I wish Wet n Wild was more accessible where I live!

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    1. "Separates lashes" makes more sense if you think of mascara application as a two-step process: the wand 1) globs on the product, then 2) separates the lashes after they're coated. But you're right, "maintains separation" would be more accurate!

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  5. Thanks for the review. It is probably not available in Canada, as our makeup selection sucks. I'd try it if I could find it.

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    1. I wish I knew of other mascaras like this! Good luck finding something similar.

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  6. Ahhh....juuuuust right. I was nodding my head and mentally punching the air for you as this review (paean?) ran along. Here in the UK, I content myself with Boots Natural Collection waterproof mascara, which is £2 but not in as cool a tube. But not in a gaudy fugly one either (like 99% of drugstore mascaras wtf). It does job of fulfilling my similarly basic needs. I had a Cle de Peau mascara once, from a gift set...*shugs*

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