Why do professional makeup artists tout Maybelline Great Lash mascara so highly? It’s because they don’t have to wear this chalky wet mess of a mascara in the real world. It may be fine for models in magazines, but it won’t stand up well to workday wear.
I first tried Great Lash as a pre-teen in the early ’80s. The funky pink and green tube and low price made it appealing, but as soon as I removed it from its bubble packaging and took off the top, I wondered if I’d misspent my allowance money. It smelled like tar and was too watery to apply without smudging. I didn’t know any better, though, and assumed this was normal. I used it anyway, making my tween years even more awkward than they already were.
I’m fortyish now, but apparently I’m no less susceptible to peer pressure than I was in my youth. According to Glamour.com, Great Lash is Kim Kardashian’s favorite mascara. It always makes Allure.com’s Readers’ Choice lists. Everyone from makeup artists to beauty editors sings Great Lash’s praises. Maybe it was just my inexperienced application that made me loathe this mascara. The price is certainly right, I recently decided, and that iconic pink and green tube has a fun retro vibe. So I gave it another try to find out what I was missing.
I still don’t get it. The product remains as messy and smelly as artists’ ink, just as I remember it. The flimsy, stubby wand still looks like Barbie’s toilet brush. If I try to blink within five minutes of application, the thin, slow-drying formula stipples my face. Once it’s dry, it binds my lashes into half a dozen brittle spines that look more like a sea urchin’s defense strategy than like human eyelashes.
Great Lash does effectively add color to lashes, but it neither lengthens nor thickens them. If you happen to be a pale blonde with thick, long eyelashes who wants only color without any of that pesky volume, you might find a use for Great Lash. For those of us who are not Valkyries, there are better mascara options. In fact, closing your eyes and choosing a mascara at random will probably result in a better option.
Great Lash may be cheap, but even at a bargain-basement price, it isn’t worth its cost. Other drugstore brands offer even less expensive options that perform better. (One to try is Wet ‘N’ Wild’s Mega Length mascara; it’s as highly pigmented as Great Lash, but more lasting.)
As for those beauty editors and makeup artists on magazine shoots talking up Great Lash, it’s wise to remember that they have access to the most amazing beauty secret of all: Photoshop. If I could edit out all the mistakes that Great Lash leaves on my eyes, I might embrace it too.