L'Oreal claims its Voluminous Superstar Mascara is a standout because it's a first-of-a-kind for the brand: A mascara and primer in a single product. But does that make much of a difference in the way your lashes look? The answer is yes… but not quite in the way L'Oreal advertises (more on that in a moment)!
In most aspects, this mascara is the same product as its waterproof counterpart (minus the waterproof part, of course). It's packaged in a large, double-ended tube; on one end is a white primer with a straight-bristled brush, the other holds the mascara, which has a curved brush. You're instructed to first coat lashes with the primer to volumize, then apply the mascara to add length and darken lashes.
We tried this a few times, and found neither the primer nor the mascara was particularly volumizing. If you're looking to add a full fringe to your upper lash line, you'll have to find another mascara!
Still, this is a good mascara because of its other qualities. Voluminous Superstar Mascara does an excellent job of separating and lengthening lashes. The primer coat does the separating, and makes it appear as though each individual lash is standing out. When the mascara is applied over it, quite a bit of length is added, making that a claim that this definitely does meet!
This wears well throughout a workday without fading, flaking, or smudging, and is easy to remove with your regular cleanser (the waterproof version requires makeup remover). Though the initial feeling when you put on both the primer and mascara is that lashes are slightly weighed down, once the formulas dry this isn't an issue. Lashes feel soft, not crunchy or stiff.
If L'Oreal had advertised Voluminous Superstar Mascara as being a lengthening and separating formula, it would have easily earned our highest rating, but volumized lashes just aren't its forte! Still, it's a good option, and one worth adding to your shopping list the next time you go to the drugstore.
Primer: Aqua/Water/Eau, Polybutene, Paraffin, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire Dabeille, Copernicia Cerifera Cera/Carnauba Wax/Cire De Carnauba, Steareth-2, Cetyl Alcohol, Alcohol Denat., Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose. Acacia Senegal/Acacia Senegal Gum, Panthenol, Ethylenediamine/Stearyl Dimer Dilinoleate Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil. Mascara: Aqua/ Water/Eau, Paraffin, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Steareth-20, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire Dabeille, Copernicia Cerifera Cera/Carnauba Wax/Cire De Carnauba, Acacia Senegal/Acacia Senegal Gum, Alcohol Denat., Butylene Glycol, Steareth-2, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Sodium Polymethacrylate, PEG/PPG-17/18 Dimethicone, Sodium Dehydroacetate-2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Disodium EDTA, Rayon, Nylon-6, Polyquaternium-10, Silica, Triethoxycaprylylsilane. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Mica, Carmine, Titanium Dioxide, Ferric Ferrocyanide.
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 minor—if 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'Oreal’s 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 drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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