Mascara Experimentation: Maybelline Big Eyes Volum'Express

Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm sure you're sick of all the alarmingly close images of my droopy eyes, but a mascara promoting bigger eyes was something I just couldn't pass up. 

Larger eyes sounds like a ridiculous thing to claim, but the idea behind this mascara is that it's actually a two-in-one. The tube contains a double-ended wand with one end for the upper lashes and the other end for the lower. Using both ends on the respective lashes is supposed to frame your eyes and make them look larger, which is where the marketing shtick comes in. Let's not even discuss the absurdities of claiming your product does something anyone who wears mascara already knows.

Here's the ol' spiel: I have stick-straight, long, wispy and fine eyelashes that I curl with my Shu Uemura curler. My ideal mascara will absolutely hold that curl, fatten up my lashes without looking clumpy or thick, and be practically smudge-proof.

Let's begin with early morning freshly curled lashes.

A coat of the upper lashes wand of the Big Eyes, and...

Well, hello! Maybelline mascaras tend to be hit or miss with me, and while it was still too early to call, Big Eyes was definitely not a miss. This is just about on point with the way I like my lashes to look--the curl has absolutely remained in tact, and my lashes are defined without sticking together or clumping. I would prefer a smidge more volume and lushness, but I was still very pleased with this look.

I couldn't neglect my bottom lashes, though, so they got some love with the other wand...

Honestly, I'm not nearly as fussy with my bottom lashes as I am with the upper ones. The small wand (comparison picture below) made it easy to get to the little hairs without smudging, and it went on very cleanly. More than anything else, I was interested to see how this would wear throughout the day, as my main concern with the lower lashes is smudging. 

Here we are, at around midnight and slightly drunk.

Looking a little rough, but really not that bad! The curl has definitely dropped a little, but it's nothing substantial, and my lashes are still quite curled. I would actually be satisfied just starting out my day with this kind of look to my upper lashes. This picture had me chuck Big Eyes into my daily makeup bag and I've been using it every day since. 

As for my lower lashes, there was definitely some smudging which the camera didn't really pick up. That day was actually quite minimal compared to the smudges I got yesterday and today in this humid weather. To be fair, we're just about in the time of year when I skip lower lash mascara entirely, since everything (including my Clinique Bottom Lash) smudges on me. 

For those of you who love the Clinique Bottom Lash as I do, here's a comparison shot of the two lower lash mascaras.

Top: Big Eyes lower lash wand, Bottom: Clinique Bottom Lash wand

The Bottom Lash is obviously shorter and dinkier, but the Big Eyes is actually smaller in diameter. I've never had anything short of a neat application with either one, so I don't think diameter makes a difference here. But despite being waterproof, Big Eyes smudged far worse than Bottom Lash ever has on me, so I still prefer the little Clinique tube for my lower lashes.

Bottom lash line?: I like the upper lash wand of Big Eyes so much that it may even have knocked off Maybelline Classic Volume (post) as my favorite drugstore mascara. The lower lash wand wasn't quite waterproof enough for me, but it still went on beautifully and anyone with less smudge-prone skin might not have any problems with it. The marketing is nothing short of silly, but I appreciate Maybelline's efforts to switch things up and keep things compact. Despite my issues with the lower lash wand, Big Eyes has definitely made itself a place in my makeup bag--I just need Clinique Bottom Lash as well. 

Just goes to show that you don't need to pay a lot of money for a good mascara! And even if you do splurge, you still might wind up with shoddy lashes--here's your proof.

Happy Monday!


  1. wow that's impressive! it doesnt hurt that you have amazingly nice long lashes before hand ;)

    have you tried maybelline stiletto? i'm on the hunt for mascara that does more lengthening. i was going to look into that one and clinique high length mascara.
    thoughts on those products?

    1. I actually haven't tried a lot of lengthening mascaras, as that's not a huge concern with my eyelashes.

      I think I've tried Lash Stiletto years ago, and from what I remember it didn't hold my curl.

      Sorry, Tiffany, but I don't have a lot of experience in that department!