Maybelline’s Volum’ Express mascaras have a stellar track record for producing big, thick lashes. The Colossal follows suit, with a huge rubber-bristled brush that still allows you to be surprisingly nimble as you elongate and thicken every lash. The volumizing results are evident almost immediately, though not without some clumping that needs to be smoothed out. Make no mistake, this mascara is not for the lash-timid. It produces Texas-size lashes that keep getting bigger the more you apply (though layering this tends to worsen the clumps and cause slight flaking). This goes slightly beyond the outstanding results from rival Cover Girl’s Lash Blast Mascara, but with Lash Blast, clumps and a too heavy appearance are rarely an issue. Either way, both are excellent mascaras to consider.
Maybelline is one of the best-known and most recognized mass-market makeup lines in the world—it's available in 90 countries. Throughout its long history, which began in 1915 when T. L. Wilson founded the company and named it after his sister, Mabel, and Vaseline (which he combined with coal dust to concoct a mascara for her), the company has prided itself on bringing innovative products to the marketplace. L'Oreal purchased the company in early 1996 and that's when things really started getting much better. Both companies specialize in offering a large selection of lipsticks, nail polishes, and mascaras, and many of their foundations have the same strengths and weaknesses (smooth textures and finishes plus the inclusion of sunscreens that are often without much-needed UVA-protecting ingredients).
The powders, several mascaras, pencils, matte-finish concealers, and Superstay Lipcolor are impressive and inexpensive. Although L'Oreal remains the more sophisticated and refined of the two lines (and now they have credible products, not just sleek ads, to back this assertion), Maybelline's latest urban image is a positive step, as many of their latest launches have been innovative without resorting to "been-there, done-that" gimmicks. Price-wise, Maybelline is the least expensive of the L'Oreal-owned cosmetic lines (which also includes Lancome, Biotherm, Vichy, and Kiehl’s), and smart shoppers will note the similarities among brands that, with conscientious shopping, can really save you money without sacrificing quality or performance.
For more information about Maybelline New York, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 944-0730 or visit their interactive Web site at www.maybelline.com.