Product Spotlight: Lashing Out Against Maybelline Great Lash

16 Aug

Good morning, everyone! Did you have an okay Monday? I discovered a new – well, not new, but unwatched by me – TV show, and I feel an addiction coming on. Who watches Dexter? It’s made me a little stressed out, I have to say, so maybe that’s where this post is coming from.

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, photo from

You may have heard a lot of beauty buzz about Maybelline Great Lash mascara lately. (Or always, which I typically feel is the case.) The ol’ pink and green tube celebrated its 40th birthday this past Sunday, and milestone birthdays are always a reason to celebrate. Besides, Great Lash is the number one mascara in the United States. I read a ridiculous statistic somewhere once saying that a tube of Great Lash mascara is sold every 1.6 seconds in the U.S. It’s also the favorite of many makeup artists, besides being the holy grail mascara for all those people buying it. If the United States had a makeup bag, it’d be in there.


I hate Maybelline Great Lash. Can someone PLEASE tell me what’s so great about it? Before you ask, yes, I’ve tried it. Many times, actually. Every few years, I think to myself, “all of those consumers can’t be wrong.” Then I get frustrated that I’ve made the same shopping mistake, because it is just as bad as I remember it to be. I will admit to liking the packaging, but that’s the only arena where this product wins with me – which is why I am disgusted with myself for kind of wanting the limited-edition birthday packaging. Other mass-market products should be so lucky to get fashion designer collaborations (Max Azria, Vivienne Tam, and Tracy Reese in this case).

Maybelline Great Lash Limited Edition tubes (Tracy Reese, Max Azria, Vivienne Tam)

Maybelline Great Lash Limited Edition tubes (Tracy Reese, Max Azria, Vivienne Tam), photo courtesy of

Why don’t I like it? The two things that contribute to the quality of a mascara – the brush and the formula.

I’ve worked with cosmetics chemists in the past on developing mascara formulas. The first thing I learned was that even a so-so formula can be improved with a fabulous brush. The brush used with Maybelline Great Lash is a small spiral brush, meaning it should be good for getting every single lash, produce volume, and hold a curl. I will give the brush credit on getting lashes, but when I buy a mascara, I don’t want one out of three things to be “okay.” I don’t find that Great Lash creates drag queen lashes or holds your curl. I know that you might suggest that I try the Maybelline Great Lash with the big, fluffy, pink and green brush, but the brush is not the main problem here.  The brush in the original product might be able to accomplish its goals if not for the formula.

This formula is the worst one that I’ve ever encountered. The mascara itself is SO WET. You want a lipgloss to stay wet, that’s the whole point. Mascara, not so much. The other big thing I learned about mascaras while developing them was dry time, which is SO hard to get right. If it dries too quickly, you can’t layer enough product on, but if it dries too slowly, you’ll mess up all your hard work when you blink. Maybelline Great Lash has THE SLOWEST DRY TIME I’ve ever experienced in a mascara, no matter how little I put on. If you’re a “bigger is better person” when it comes to your lashes (as I am), then your lashes will take forever to dry. In fact, I’m not convinced they ever fully do, because my lashes have felt sticky to the touch after using Great Lash. But if all you want is a natural “my lashes but darker” effect, you will still leave little mascara smears around your eyelid area after application. And if you have allergies and your eyes run? Good luck.

Maybelline is a great company that makes wonderful products. Hell, since the Falsies came out I’ve been using it pretty much as my exclusive mascara, which says a lot. But Great Lash is not one of those wonderful products, and I advise you to steer clear. Just because everyone else is wearing it doesn’t mean you should too. Remember that Mom expression: “if everyone else jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you jump too?” What she was trying to say was – be an individual! Buy a product that isn’t so overrated, one that doesn’t get sold every 1.6 seconds. It’s likely that those consumers have never tried a whole menagerie of mascaras. Once I’ve acquired all my victims test subjects competitors, I’m going to put the top mascaras to a death match just for you guys. (And for me, too.) But Maybelline Great Lash lost the battle years ago in my book.

What do you think? Do you completely hate me for bashing your favorite mascara of all time? Or do you agree with me and think it’s overrated? Let me know in the comments.


10 Responses to “Product Spotlight: Lashing Out Against Maybelline Great Lash”

  1. Saorise August 16, 2011 at 11:50 AM #

    I agree! I purchased my first tube of mascara in a long time,and I am kicking myself for buying this. Even a light hand makes me look like I have three eyelashes. I have great difficulty coating every lash without them sticking together. I am trying to just put it on the tips of my lashes so I don’t have to deal with the smearing and the dissappointment.

  2. Erma August 16, 2011 at 7:55 PM #

    Yup, did the same thing-succumbed to media pressure and bought GL more than just a few times (even though I didn’t like it the 1st time I tried it 15 yrs ago)-and still hate it. I just don’t get it. It’s gloppy, the brush is inadequate, and it’s a nightmare for contac lens wearers. I am an admitted mascara junkie, and have spent $$$$ on mascaras, including the over $50 a tube designer brands always searching for the end-all, be-all, finally found the Holy Grail mascara-and it ain’t GL. Falsies is a good product, my current fave, but there are quality control issues from tube to tube. Please oh please, can’t someone come up with a mascara that plumps, curls, defines and lengthens without flaking, gooping, (a technical term) or blinding me with fibers at a reasonaBle price???

    • makeupmaestra August 17, 2011 at 12:26 PM #

      I, too, have experienced quality issues with different tubes of the Falsies, which is really frustrating. I’d like to think that quality is easy to control with a big company, but the reality is that I should probably look to niche brands for consistent, high quality products – which means that the cost will be high, too. I’m doing a test soon and I have some great contenders! Can’t wait for you to see. Thanks for visiting my blog, auntie! 🙂

  3. Nadine Jolie August 16, 2011 at 7:59 PM #

    Totally hilarious and I couldn’t agree more! I’ve been a Great Lash hater for years. I had a makeup artist tell me once that the reason they all salivate over it is because it goes well on top of false eyelashes, thanks to its thinness. So, what I take from that is that it’s only beloved because it barely works on its own, and thus can amplify already out-there lashes.

    • makeupmaestra August 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM #

      That’s a really disappointing reason for a makeup artist to give. I know Dick Page cites it as his favorite – maybe it has something to do with applying it to unnatural fibers? Big-name MAs have access to any mascara they could ever want! Sigh.

  4. Monique August 16, 2011 at 10:04 PM #

    Has anyone here ever accidentally dropped great lash mascara on themselves while getting ready? How about on a petal-pink silk dress? The stain did NOT budge with soap and water, or a soak!!! At least other mascaras, with lighter formulas, probably wouldn’t absorb to the extent this one did.

    • makeupmaestra August 17, 2011 at 12:23 PM #

      That is awful, I know how irreplaceable a lot of your garments are!!! If you are wearing perfume the day you wear a silk outfit, spray your perfume first, then dress – the perfume will ruin it. Thanks for being a regular reader 🙂

  5. Diana August 17, 2011 at 1:53 PM #

    I love dexter!!

  6. Sara August 22, 2011 at 2:39 PM #

    nothing much to say about mascara, but Dexter rocks.

  7. Lauri October 23, 2011 at 4:28 PM #

    Have always hated Great Lash mascara. Hell, a Sharpie would work better. Stuff is so thin and wet, it’s useless. L’Oreal for eye products, Revlon for lips, China Glaze for nails. PERIOD.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: