An Almanac For The 21st Century

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These Mascaras Cost $5 and Will Transform Your Whole Life

These Mascaras Cost $5 and Will Transform Your Whole Life

Essence makes, in my opinion, the best brow gel. One of the great things about Essence Make Me Brow Gel is that it’s a great product that’s also SO CHEAP. I buy three or four at a time, because when a great product costs $3, just go ahead and buy a year’s worth at once. I never really looked at what else they were offering, because I’m a snob, I guess? I genuinely thought that Essence making an amazing, $3 brow gel was a fluke, and their other inexpensive offerings must be cheap and bad? I try to be an openminded person, but sometimes the snob jumps out.


In perusing the r/makeupaddiction subreddit (as mentioned previously) I found out that makeup Redditors are WILD about Essence mascara, particularly the Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara. If it’s not a Redditor raving solely about this mascara, it’s a face of the day post where it’s mentioned in passing, as if this mascara is already a part of my encyclopedic cosmetics knowledge. Well, it wasn’t, but it is now. I made a trip to Ulta, and I bought not only the Lash Princes False Lash Effect Mascara in Waterproof (I prefer waterproof mascaras), but I also got the I Love Extreme Volume Mascara (also in waterproof) because… I love extreme volume.

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In the name of science, I tried them both, and they’re both AMAZING. Truly, I’ve been on a quest to find a Diorshow dupe for oh, a decade, and I think the search may be over. I thought maybe one of these mascaras would out-perform the other, but they are both equally amazing, but have different strengths.

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Lash Princess False Lash Effect is exactly what it says on the tin. It miraculously makes your lashes what feels like four inches longer. I have that oh-so-common blonde person affliction where the tips of my lashes are super light, practically invisible, so putting on ANY mascara suddenly makes them look longer, but Essense’s False Lash Effect takes it to the next level. AND you don’t big globs of mascara on the wand that you then have to scrape off or hope don’t get smeared on your eyelid. This happens with SO MANY mascaras that promise to bulk up your lashes. Why, I don’t know, but I was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t have to trace around my eye with a Q-Tip after application.


I tried the cult fave, but I was interested in testing out I Love Extreme Volume. The brush is exactly the kind of brush I look for. Diorshow-esque, big and fluffy and exactly what I’d imagine would make my real lashes look like falsies. If I had to describe the look this mascara gives, I’d say it’s the same as Lash Princess False Lash Effect, but wider. Thicker? I really cannot come up with anything appropriate, but basically Lash Princess extends your lashes, and I Love Extreme Volume extends your lashes and also increased the circumference of each lash. Also, no clumpiness, no overly thick formula, you can swipe and go without having to course correct with a Q-Tip afterward.

I plan on incorporating both mascaras into my routine, and maybe this explanation will help differentiate between the two. The Lash Princess mascara is for when I’m wearing minimal makeup, but still want to look pulled together. This is for days when I want to throw on concealer, blush, a bit of brow gel, and mascara. I will pretend this is how I always look, as if I somehow exist on a higher plane, as if I once are at the same restaurant as Beyoncé. Effortlessly better.

I Love Extreme Volume? That’s for when I want to look like I’ve tried. This is the mascara for foundation, eyeshadow, brows filled in with a pencil and then set with gel. It’s just a little bit extra, like me when I decide to sit down and take my time getting ready.

Oh, and did I mention that both of these mascaras cost $5. FIVE DOLLARS. I’m going to have to reinvestigate the Essence display, these kids are on to something.

Wear, Watch, Want #119: The Polished Spanish Shampoo Edition

Wear, Watch, Want #119: The Polished Spanish Shampoo Edition

Get Your Life Together With the BEST Airtight Containers

Get Your Life Together With the BEST Airtight Containers