Category: Separating and Defining
What WD had to say: Our reviewer gave both of these products high marks, but for different reasons. Maybelline scored higher for a noticeably thicker, darker formula, and for leaving our reviewer's lashes looking "long, separated and dramatic." NYC's formula was smoother and easier to apply, however, creating a "feathered" look. Both held up all day with no smudging. Separating mascaras typically have a hard-bristled applicator to facilitate combing and defining, so whichever brand you pick, we recommend double-dipping your wand to coat it with enough formula to create a lush effect.
What WD had to say: Despite the required extra step of applying a lash primer, our tester preferred the Maybelline brand over Neutrogena because it left her lashes looking voluminous and defined, yet feeling "soft and natural" as opposed to "coated and heavy." That said, Neutrogena scored higher in the lengthening department, thanks to a slightly "stickier" formula that created "tiny flared extension at the tips" of her lashes. When applying, our reviewer recommends going light on Maybelline's lash primer: "The more I put on, the more prone to smudging the mascara became." If you're looking for a quick-application, however, the one-step Neutrogena may be a better bet—though you should avoid too many reapplications throughout the day, as the formula doesn't layer well.
What WD had to say: These two brands came out neck and neck, so which one you choose depends more on what you're looking for in a waterproof mascara. If you're not an experienced mascara user or don't have a particularly artful hand, you might want to skip Gellar's fiercely black, thick formula, which is difficult to remove from your skin if you smudge it while applying. Urban Decay's formula, on the other hand, delivers a similar yet softer effect—and also wipes away easily with makeup remover. "If you're going for a dramatic, fashion-forward look that lasts all day, Laura Gellar's your girl," our tester said. "If you're going for a soft yet similarly wide-eyed look, consider Urban Decay, which boasts a slightly thinner formula."
What WD had to say: Of the two formulas tested, Wet 'n' Wild mascara held curl better, but Rimmel was an overall better product, according to our tester. "I applied two coats [of Wet 'n' Wild] to my stick-straight lashes directly after curling them with an eyelash curler, and more than 10 hours later, my lashes still held the curl," she said. However, the reviewer also noted that "the effects were far from dramatic—this formula doesn't offer much in the thickening or lengthening department" and leaves "noticeable smudges" under your eyes. Not to mention the thin formula, which requires multiple coats. The Rimmel product, on the other hand, made up for its lack of curl-holding ability by delivering volume, length and day-to-night lasting power with minimal smudging. "My lashes looked so full and flirty that my husband even asked if I had false lashes on!"
What WD had to say: While both brands worked as well as any typical non-organic mascara, our tester preferred CoverGirl because it gave her a more "natural look" and "didn't run at all," while still coming off easily with makeup remover. If you prefer a more made-up look, however, try the Physician's Formula product, which gave our tester's lashes "definite volume," although she had to run the brush over her lashes several times to comb out clumps.
What WD had to say: Both products added a lot of volume to our tester's lashes, but after a full day, mark. proved to be the better brand—save for one point, says our tester. While wearing the mark. product, "[my] lashes didn't look quite as long as the Maybelline ones." However, mark. was the clear winner when it came to adding volume and rich color—plus, the formula caused less flaking. However, our tester gave higher marks to the Maybelline product's curved applicator, which she says "really took hold of the lashes and extended them up and out."