If you’re expecting mega-thick lashes from The Mega Plush Volum’ Express, you’re going to be mega-disappointed. The volumizing effect is minimal, and you’ll have to smooth out minor clumps along the way. Maybelline makes a big deal about this being the first “gel-mousse” mascara. Supposedly, the texture ensures soft, flake-free lashes, but we noticed some flaking within a couple hours, so it’s not much different from lots of other mascaras that under-perform, though this does lengthen really well.
The company also plays up the oversize “flexor brush,” which is supposed to bend to conform to lashes as you apply it; in reality, however, the only way it bends is if you manually bend it, and even then, it won’t stay bent. Maybelline has plenty of other superior mascaras with brilliant brushes, so they’re stretching to differentiate this one from the rest of the pack. Don’t fall for the gimmick.
- Doesn’t live up to the mega-volume claims.
- Oversize “flexor” brush doesn’t work well.
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.