Maybelline Volum' Express Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara in 214 Glam Black - review and photos

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I received this mascara from Marie Claire's The Parcel ages ago and it's taken me a while to open it because I usually only have one mascara open at a time and I had a few in backlog when I received it.

I was super suspicious when I opened it because the brush is too damn big - and big brushes and hooded eyes ain't a great mix. While I do have problems wielding the brush and not winding up with gunk where I don't want it, I'm happy to say that I have found a way to work with it and I do like the formula. It's not Maybelline's best, but it's still good.


Maybelline claims/product details:
  • Maybelline’s biggest brush and double collagen formula deliver amplified lashes with 12x the volume
  • Features a double shot brush that creates bigger and bolder eyelashes, filling them out for a pumped-up look
  • Double collagen formula wraps each lash from root to tip for colossal impact
  • Ophthalmologist tested
  • Suitable for contact lens wearers
  • To use: brush from root to tip of lashes; do not let mascara dry in between coats
  • RRP $19.95 AUD for 9.7ml, but do shop around


There's the brush in natural light above and direct sunlight below.


A close-up of the brush:


My bare lashes for reference:


Wearing one coat of mascara (I only ever wear one coat because I prefer a more natural look):


And again (oops, should've combed my eyebrow ; )):


One more for completeness:


Verdict

This is one of those products that's grown on me the longer I've used it. 

To start with I got pretty grumpy with the fat brush, but then I always do with large brushes because I have hooded eyes and fat brushes are a recipe for disaster - as indeed this one was. Nine times out of ten, I wound up with mascara goo all over my upper eye area so it stuffed up my eyeshadow and I was very close to turfing the product because life's too short for all that.

The other problem I had was that the formula clumped like nobody's business and I needed an eyelash comb whenever I used it. Again, life's too short - but the stubborn side of me decided to persist because I spend most of my life home with a baby and a toddler, so it doesn't really matter if my mascara's clumped and all over my eye-puff since only the postman will see me anyway and I can live with that.

But then something happened. After around three weeks of suffering with brush and clump factor, the mascara suddenly began to perform a damn sight better. Obviously this is one of those mascaras that's too wet to start with and gets better with age - but I normally find that, the older and drier a mascara becomes, the more likely it is that clumping will be an issue. Not with this.

What I find now is that it gives me clump-free lashes and delivers a good dose of length. Yes it's thickening too but I feel this is more of a lengthening mascara on me and not a fattening one (so perhaps the name is misleading and 'Stretch'd Express Lengthed Up!' or some such would be more appropriate). That's good news for me because my lashes are stumpy and length is what I need more than anything else, but it's worth mentioning because if you're after volume, this mightn't be the right mascara for you.

The brush of course is still an issue and you should be able to see in the above photos that I haven't been able to get the product as close to the lashline as I would like - but even said postman wouldn't be able to see that and I'm probably the only one who knows my lashes ain't quite right.

It's also worth mentioning that I've seen some reviewers say this product flakes on them but it doesn't do that for me so it may be one of those formulas that flakes on some but not others.

As a final random note, the packaging. I get (perhaps ridiculously) annoyed when tubes of mascara are too 'enthusiastic' in the girth department, as this one is. I mean, I don't have that much room in my makeup bag so mascaras this wide mean I need to take other stuff out so they'll fit. Ergh. Yeah ok, first world problems.

Oh! I should also say that this lifts my lashes up and keeps them nicely high throughout the day. I don't curl my lashes because I prefer mascaras to do that for me - yep, I'm lazy - and this one does. Woot.

So in sum, this isn't Maybelline's best mascara in my books (the Lash Sensational is my HG mascara, reviewed here), but I am enjoying this one now and I'll happily use it while I have it.

Decent.


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