Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara
If you're wondering what "manga" is (we certainly were), it's a Japanese cartoon style (similar to anime). So, what does that have to do with mascara? In this case, L'Oreal created this mascara in an attempt to imitate the over-the-top, baby doll eye look that manga characters have, including ultra-long lashes. In some ways, this mascara succeeds but not without some issues that keep it from ranking among L'Oreal's best.
Miss Manga is a buildable mascara that produces an impressive amount of lengthening and volume after multiple coats. The more you layer it, the more lashes end up sticking together. That's not something L'Oreal tries to hide. In fact, some of their advertisements quite clearly show a clumpy look, but in real life it can also leave lashes looking spidery— enough so to distract from the rest of your look.
That aside, the biggest drawback is that the quick dry formula tends to flake throughout the day.
On the plus side, this mascara doesn't smudge and is easy to remove. Its tapered brush has a flexible joint that's supposed to aid in application, but we found it to merely be a gimmick that neither helped nor hurt the process. Side note: With the vast number of mascaras competing for attention, including L'Oreal's own, gimmicks like this are becoming more evident to draw attention to what could easily be dismissed as just one more mascara.
If the dramatic baby doll look is what you're after, than this mascara does deliver, but if defined or natural looking lashes are what you're after, this definitely isn't the mascara for you. Either way, it flakes so performance is compromised.
Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara is fragrance-free and comes in two black shades and one brown.
- Produces dramatic lengthening and volume after multiple coats.
- Lives up to the "manga" baby doll lash look.
- Washes off easily.
- Clumps with successive coats.
- Can end up looking distractingly spidery.
- Flakes throughout the day.
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minorif there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreals makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstoreimagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.