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Price Tag Cage Match: Lengthening Mascaras

By Amalah

Happy Friday! And welcome to a new occasional-totally-not-on-a-regular-schedule feature here at the Advice Smackdown: the Price Tag Cage Match. This is where I’ll use two products — one expensive and one from the drugstore — that promise the same results, and see if the expensive version is really any better. Then I’ll lock them in a drawer and let them fight to the death. Awesome!

This week my beloved Bourjois Coup de Theatre False Lash Illusion Mascara went head to head and wand to wand with L’Oreal’s Double Extend Mascara, which Baltimoregal recommended in the comments. And then I saw a commercial for it the very next day. And hmm…did I spend 17 whole unecessary dollars on something unecessarily fancy? Well, considering I’m an idiot, I figured it was pretty likely.

I tracked down the L’Oreal version at Target for about $10, so okay, maybe I only spent about seven unecessary dollars. Then all week, I used the Bourjois version on one eye and the L’Oreal version on the other.

At first I didn’t see much of a difference. The lengthening fibers in the L’Oreal version seemed to add just as much length and volume, although they seemed to be a little messier. But after applying the mascara, it was virtually impossible to tell that I’d used two different products.

But then I noticed something — the L’Oreal mascara, after just a few days of use, began looking and feeling really…old. Tons of clumps and stickiness. Goopiness. Which really surprised me, since I’ve always thought L’Oreal mascaras were pretty much fantastic.

Here are my eyes this morning (sans any other sort of eye makeup, please don’t judge, argh), after one coat of the the mascara:



I tried to take a photo of just the lengthening fibers but they were really hard to see, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that the difference was pretty negligible. My lashes seemed a little neater with the Bourjois wand, but that’s it.

So I guess my assessment of the L’Oreal version is similar to what I originally said about the Bourjois: love the lengthening formula, not super in love with the mascara, wish they sold them separately. However, after comparing the two, I’m definitely more likely to use both components of the Bourjois, whereas I’m probably only going to use the L’Oreal lengthening stuff and then buy a second mascara.

Which will probably cost me at least $7. Which makes our first Price Tag Cage Match kind of a wash. Damn, I wanted more definitive violence. Oh well.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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Wow! I’m seriously flattered you tried my advice, no matter what the outcome! I like this new feature!!
I mostly use the L’Oreal Double Extend mascara for the lenghtening part too. And I do comb my lashes right after I apply it- I tell myself it helps.


I was just bitching about mascara earlier this week! I normally swear by Max Factor 2000 Calorie, but have had trouble finding it so I had to find a sub in the meantime. I had been using L’Oreal Voluminous with pretty much the same results you had with the Double Extender. I just bought Maybelline’s Full n’ Soft at the recommendation from a friend who also sports what I call “eye fringe”. So far, it is working out quite well, but I haven’t tested the “age” factor. I’m still on the hunt for the 2000 Calorie, though. Sigh.


Hey Cagey,
I don’t know if you shop online, but you can grab Max Factor 2000 Calorie (I love the name!) at (linked directly to the mascara). I swear by this website: when my regular drugstores all mysteriously stopped carrying my Neutrogena body wash and I thought my skin would flake off? still had the good stuff.
They also usually have free shipping for new customers (I think on orders over $25) but you might have to spend more than you would on shipping the mascara anyhow. But if you need/want more things…


That is really a huge difference–I can’t believe how clumpy the L’Oreal looks! I think you just sold me on expensive mascara. I’d love to see some drug store products that can hold their own.


You know, I’ve tried a Maybelline version of the lengthening mascara and found that the white lengthening formula is really obvious on my dark lashes. Even when I put the mascara part on, the white was really obvious. Currently I use Bobbi Brown’s no smudge mascara and I think it does a great job of lengthening. I may try that fancy stuff sometime, though. Is it waterproof at all?

The Muse

I think I may have mentioned this in the past, but you can get the lengthening stuff *kinda* by itself: Urban Decay Lingerie and Galoshes for Lashes.
I am completely and totally in love with this stuff. Why? Well, the “lingerie” part is the lengthening formula that is found on both the mascaras you reviewed here. And then the “galoshes” part is a waterproofer that you can apply over your regular mascara.
Therefore you’re getting two (!!) extra uses out of your favorite mascara, especially if it only comes in one formula, like my previous Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara.