Maybelline just can’t help itself when it comes to mascaras. They have over a dozen that we’ve rated highly, but they keep launching more; such as the XXL series, which isn’t any more professional than their others. The Extensions option is yet another dual-sided mascara with lash primer on one end and mascara on the other. Applying the primer first makes a slight difference in terms of a clean application and quick results. Using the mascara alone requires several coats to equal the results of the primer/mascara combination, but the results are better with just the mascara, at least if you want to take your lashes to their longest potential. Whether you opt for two steps or mascara alone, the result is long, beautifully separated lashes without clumps. Both formulas wear well without flaking, and are easily removed with a water-soluble cleanser. Thickness is hard to come by, so if that’s what you’re after, consider Maybelline’s The Colossal mascara instead.
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.