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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.

Published February 16, 2007. Last updated April 22, 2017.
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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