Frugal Friday Sample Size Mascaras

Beautysets - Mascara review from Marcia of Beauty Info Zone

Today’s guest post is from Marcia at Beauty Info Zone and is all about those mini mascaras that we receive through gift with purchases , codes and bonuses when purchasing items. Sephora is a good source for these with their point system and their codes plus brands sometimes offer them when you buy online. Every once in a while you might find a generous salesperson at a store that would give you one. My only caveat is to use these within a few months of receiving it since they do dry out eventually and then you don’t get the true test. When I was organizing for my Makeup Wars Storage post I found quite a few of these minis and decided to put them to the test. This is part one and I’m hoping to have a part two.

Benefit They’re Real – I received this in my birthday gift from Sephora but you can also buy it for $10 on their site. I can pretty much understand the raves from people about this mascara. Here’s what Sephora says: A jet-black mascara that lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes for a spectacular “out-to-here” look.
The good: It’s very black. I found it volumizing. They’re Real builds coats nicely without clumping. It held my curl.
The bad: This took several coats for me to get what a look I like with mascara. It can run; I didn’t get raccoon eyes but I did see tiny splashes of it under my eyes.
Would I buy this? This is a maybe. It’s $23 for a full size and there are other mascaras I’ve liked a lot more.

Smashbox Full Exposure – I think this was part of a Smashbox order from their website. I don’t know how old it was but this didn’t feel that fresh. It was useable but very hard to get any va va voom out of. Smashbox says that this is both volumizing and lengthening. I didn’t get either.
The good: It’s $19.50 which is less money than most high end mascaras.
The bad: It barely showed up on me and when it did it seemed to clump my lashes together. It smudged on me every time I used it.
Would I buy this? No, if I got another sample I’d try it but I wouldn’t spend money on it.

Armani Eyes to Kill – there are several versions of Eyes to Kill mascara but this is the original one. Armani says it’s for both length & volume. I’m sort of cheating with this one since it’s one of my top 3 mascaras but I wanted to see if the mini held up to my standards.
The good: I love how this looks on my eyes, it gives me great definition, good lengthening and some volume though not a lot. It doesn’t smudge on me. It holds my curl. Even this older sample size held up nicely though not quite as well as my full size ones.
The bad: It’s $30 which is expensive. The last time I bought it though was during one of Nordstrom’s Buy 2 get 1 free special mascara days so that brought it done to $20 each
Would I buy this? Absolutely and I have several times.

Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara – Looking at Nordstrom’s description you’d think this was the world’s most amazing mascara. It’s supposed to do everything including wash your dishes. Did it?
The good: It held my curl beautifully. The first coat wasn’t great but the second filled out my lashes nicely. No smudging, no flaking.
The bad: It’s $42 which is more than I would consider paying for a mascara unless it really did wash my dishes. It didn’t live up to the hype but nothing could. It has a slight fragrance from the rosewater in it.
Would I buy this? I doubt it. It’s just too expensive. I’d love to try another sample and I wouldn’t let it sit around, I’d try it instantly to see if it could wow me like Nordstrom says.

mini mascara set 1

I learned a few things in this test – Use the minis quickly since they do dry out. Companies will tell you this will last a week or two but that’s wrong since they can last up to 2 months depending on the brand. Estee Lauder’s have always lasted a long time for me. Price doesn’t determine how great a mascara is. While I prefer a high end mascara, I know there are drugstore ones that are just as good. Thanks for reading, I hope you’ll pop into Beauty Info Zone to see what we’re all about. I have a lot of mascara reviews so maybe you’ll find some to test out yourself.



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  1. Armani ETK is a fave of mine. It does beautiful things!

  2. Love the low down! I like ETK mascara and They’re Real is nice but I agree, takes too long to build it up. Chantecaille is still too pricy for me. I have yet to try anything from the brand. Would like to try the TM though! Love the review!


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