Smoky Extravagant Mascara

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Makeup > Mascaras (regular) > Regular Mascara
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When it comes to Smoky Extravagant Mascara, the only real "Extravagant" parts are the claims! The company says Smoky Extravagant uses "4D technology" (because 3D is so 2012, right?) and has an "exclusive microdefining wax complex that envelops the lash surface in ultrablack pigments." That's impressive sounding, right? In reality, that's what all mascaras do, but we have to agree that that's great marketing spin.

Extravagant claims aside, this is a good mascara that adds significant length and moderate volume to lashes. It doesn't flake or smudge throughout the day, and it comes off easily with cleanser and water. It also doesn't feel heavy or stiff, which means all-day wear is comfortable.

The only problem is that this does have a tendency to clump after you put a couple of coats on, although it's relatively easy to comb these clumps out. But, given that there are mascaras that don't clump, why bother with this one?

  • Adds significant length and moderate volume to lashes.
  • Doesn't smudge or flake throughout the day.
  • Lightweight and doesn't make lashes feel stiff.
  • Comes off easily with a water-soluble cleanser.
  • Tends to clump after a couple of coats, although the clumps can be easily brushed out.

This Paris-based makeup collection traces its roots to theatrical and fashion makeup, building on the concept that a professional makeup artist not only desires, but also needs, every conceivable color and texture to create the broadest range of looks. Since 1984, Make Up For Ever creators Dany Sanz and Jacques Waneph have been doing their best to meet these criteria. Through the years, this line has gone from offering a tremendous array of colors in their own European boutiques to a more streamlined, "everyday" collection of products in selected department stores and (primarily) Sephora, whose parent company, LVMH, has owned Make Up For Ever since 1999.

The color line presents an intriguing blend of classic, workable shades positioned next to some truly unique hues and finishes that only those involved with theater or the most flamboyant "anything goes" makeup artist (or diva) would covet. A major plus for this line is that the majority of colors are densely pigmented and work beautifully on medium to deep skin tones. The drawback is that fair and lighter skin tones may be left feeling that most of the color choices are too intense for them, especially if their goal is a soft, natural makeup application—though the choices in that regard are becoming more plentiful. For those who literally want it all when it comes to possible shades, this line more than delivers what it takes to please.

An interesting aspect of this line is that, category to category, there's often a similar pattern: one or two extraordinary to very good products, followed by mediocrity. It is the average products (and a correspondingly fewer number of poor ones) that tarnish this line and make its prices seem too inflated. However, if you pay attention (and purchase) the products Make Up For Ever does best, you will undoubtedly be pleased.

For more information on Make Up For Ever, call (877) 757-5175 or visit

Note: The product assortment below is typical of what you will find at Sephora boutiques across the country. If you wish to view the complete collection of Make Up For Ever, the only place to do that is at their freestanding stores in New York City or Los Angeles (or their European stores).

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 1
    Reviewed on Friday, January 23, 2015
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Crazy Good.
    • You know I love you guys, but for once in my life I have to disagree. This is the best mascara I've ever tried! Best of the best! Maybe not for days when I want really natural, subtle lashes, but I hardly ever want that. :) This is the one I reach for when I want it all—lots of length and volume without clumps. Easy to use, doesn't flake or smudge, looks amazing and washes off easily with nothing but my have PC Earth Sourced cleanser.

  2. Angela
    Reviewed on Monday, August 18, 2014
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Excellent mascara
    • Received a sample at my last visit to Sephora and have to say it is the best mascara I have tried in years. Could never wear mascara on my lower lashes because most mascaras smudge and I would end up with raccoon eyes. I can now wear mascara on upper and lower lashes! Will certainly buy this product once I have used up the sample.

  3. nY
    Reviewed on Friday, June 06, 2014
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • This product was comfortable and looked good but only for the first 4 hours after applying. By noon, I find traces of it fallen on cheeks, on my lower lids and even on my brows. The brush is ridiculous; so awkward to use with that big cone shape brush for my small eyes. For the price, I expected better.

  4. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, April 19, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Fantastic mascara
    • I've tried a lot mascara's recently (both drugstore and department store brands) and this is the clear winner! I find the shape of this mascara wand helps to create some volume and lots of length where I need and want it and allows me to get to the finer lashes in the corners. And as a contact lens wearer, I love that the formula lasts all day (12 hours) without flaking.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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