Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nearly Perfect Lashes: Maybelline Full N Soft Very Black Review and Swatches

There are many things about my appearance that I might change, given the choice (not having to pluck my brows would be great, not to mention some way to fix my skin!), but my lashes are not one of them. They're long, dark, thick, and hardy. They are not, however, particularly curly, but I have my kickass lash curler for that. My goal when using mascara is to lengthen, separate, and darken yet further, since in the course of applying eyeshadow and face powder I inevitably end up with product on my lashes. There's a lot of things I don't want, including (but probably not limited to) crunchy lashes, clumps, sad spindly lashes, smudges, flakes, and jabby mascara wands; my goal is always my lashes but better, natural and believable. My absolute HG mascara is Armani Eyes to Kill, but at $30 a tube, it's not something I can repurchase lightly, so when it finally dried up on me I decided to start hunting for a cheaper alternative. I picked up Maybelline Full N Soft, as I remembered liking it when I used it several years ago, apparently forgetting about the 3 sample tubes of mascara I have waiting for me to try. Ah well, at least I used +Up rewards so it ended up being free...

And y'all, it is worth way more than free. In fact, I'd say it's well worth the ~$6 it costs full price at drugstores. This stuff is good. The brush is a normal mascara brush, no weird gimmicks (and no poky ends, hurrah!), and the formula is neither to wet nor too dry––very goldilocks.
Nice, normal brush

While it doesn't separate my lashes as well as Eyes to Kill, there's much less clumpage than I have with other mascaras, and the length and blackness are both superb. I do wish it made my lashes less spindly, which EtK never did, but then again, it costs 1/5 the price. The reason I really like it, though, is that it never flakes, rarely smudges, and loosens my curl barely at all! It also dries reasonably fast, so I don't often end up with it all over my eyes.
post-curl, pre-mascara

post-curl, post-mascara

If you're looking for an affordable natural-but-better mascara, Full N Soft is absolutely worth checking out. I haven't tried the waterproof version, but there is one available; the non-waterproof is fine as long as you don't cry, and manages to survive rainy days intact. It's also available in Dark Brown and Soft Black.

$6-7 for 0.28 oz, available from drugstores

Quality: 9
Effectiveness: 5 ("full, soft, thick lashes": check, check, and check!)
Ease of Use: 4.5 (I suck at mascara, but this one is about as straightforward as they come)
Senses: 5 (no eye irritation)
Pigmentation: 5 (shows up, even on my very dark lashes)
Duration: 5
Consistency: 5
Price: 4
Value: 4.5
Grade: A

Have you tried Full N Soft? What's your favorite "natural" mascara?
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