Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara in Black

So I have three or four other mascaras currently in my review queue, but Miss Manga cut the line and jumped to the front--all because of you! I swear I have never had so many requests to review a product before (thanks so much to everyone who asked me to review this), and you know I've been excited to try this too (ever since my post back in April about it finally landing in the US).

So I ran out and purchased this mascara at full price (the horror!) at Walgreens about a week and half ago, and I've been wearing it every day since then. I know I always give my makeup products two weeks or more of testing, but since I've worn this multiple times in very warm weather, I have a pretty good idea of what I think about it even though it hasn't been the full two weeks. So here we go!

NEW L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara in Black
(retail: $9.99, 0.27 oz)

This mascara comes in three shades: Black, Blackest Black and Black Brown. My Walgreens only had Black, so that's why I didn't get Blackest Black (the shade I usually gravitate toward in any mascara range).

For those unfamiliar with the term, "manga" simply means Japanese comics. You can read a longer description of manga here.

female manga character

Female manga characters are often drawn with long, thick, spiky lashes, like you see above. According to WikiHow's How to Draw Manga Female Eyes tutorial, "when drawing the female eye, it is commonplace to emphasize the eyelashes by making them long and thick, as a sign of femininity."

So if you're looking for subtle definition, you are barking up the wrong tree here. By naming this mascara Miss Manga, L'Oreal is basically telling you that your lashes are going to be a bit thick, long and spiky. I personally love a little "clumpage" to my mascaras, since my lashes are puny and nonexistent without mascara. So this explains why I was so excited to try this particular L'Oreal formula. Well, that and I just love anything Japanese or Japanese-inspired!



The brush is one of those "bouncy" brushes like Essence Lash Mania Reloaded, Maybelline The Mega Plush, etc.









Some before-and-afters:

No mascara

One coat of Miss Manga

Two coats of Miss Manga

And here's my eye with shadow and liner, just to give you a better feel for the overall look:

Two coats of Miss Manga + eyeshadow and eyeliner


I'm definitely getting the length, thickness and spikiness of a female manga character here. Here's another angle:


I realize this look isn't for everyone, but as I've said a million times, I love a little "clumpage" to my mascaras because my lashes are invisible otherwise. A mascara that just provides a little length and separation is NOT for me, but if that's what you prefer, you can still kind of achieve that with ONE coat (see pic above), although I much prefer two.

Brush and formula: This isn't a dry formula, but it's also not a super wet formula. If anything, it feels "creamy" going on, but it does dry pretty quickly. My lashes do not feel dry, brittle or crunchy when it dries--the formula actually feels a bit soft and pliable after it dries. The brush is awesome when it comes to my personal taste. I've learned to appreciate "flexor brushes" in the past year or so, and this one is like all the others. It gives and bends with your lashes, and that works nicely with this particular formula. The brush itself is one of the best I've used in a long time. I LOVE the super narrow, tapered end, because it allows you to reach all of those fine inner and outer lashes that jumbo brushes often miss. 

Application: I love that the brush deposits a nice amount of product onto my lashes with very minimal effort. One coat might be just enough for some of you, and if I were into the subtle look with my mascaras, I could easily stop at one coat. I also love that this mascara is easily buildable--since it doesn't dry to a crispy finish, it's easy to go back and apply additional coats. Yes, there is some clumping, but I find it to be just enough clumping for me. If that's not your style, you can go back in with a lash comb and that does help eliminate clumps. Again, because the shape of the brush is so awesome, it's easy to apply this mascara to even your most fine inner/outer lashes. And if you apply mascara to your lower lashes using a windshield-wiper motion with just the tip of your brush (that's how I do it), you are going to LOVE this mascara. It's one of the best brushes and formulas for lower lashes that I've used in quite some time. 

Staying power: I've mentioned many times that my one issue with L'Oreal mascaras (washable formulas) is that there's an ingredient in most L'Oreal formulas that doesn't work with my skin's natural oils. Most L'Oreal mascaras smear under my lower lash line within just an hour or two, so I was holding my breath that this wouldn't be the case with Miss Manga. I'm pleased to tell you that I had much better luck with this one. After about five hours in very warm weather, I do see some very light smearing under my lower lash line, but it's nothing compared to other L'Oreal formulas I've used in the past. And I've experienced no flaking while wearing this mascara. Overall, this can take me through an entire day with just a tiny bit of smudging but, if L'Oreal washable mascaras generally don't smudge on you, you should have no problems with this one.

Removal: The packaging states that this mascara "removes easily with soap and water" and that's absolutely the case. I can even use ONE makeup towelette to remove this mascara, no problem. I've removed it using a regular facial cleanser and also with a cleansing oil and had no issues with either method.

Fragrance: There's no strange, strong or unique fragrance to this mascara--it smells about the same as other L'Oreal mascaras I've used in the past. 

FINAL VERDICT:  I love this mascara and I think it delivers on its promise of manga-inspired long, thick, spiky lashes. If that's not your style, this probably isn't going to be a good fit for you (although you might like your results with one coat), but if you are the type of person who gravitates toward thicker, more dramatic mascara formulas and you prefer a little "clumpage" to your mascaras, I say give this one a shot. The formula is great, the brush is amazing, and removal is a snap. Oh, and if you love all things kawaii, I'm guessing you'll love the packaging too. It's a win-win-win for me and even though I know this is not going to be a favorite for all of you, I think that some of you are going to love it as much as I do.

Do you already own the new L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara? I would absolutely love to hear from you!

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.
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49 comments

  1. This is definitely my new favorite mascara. I wish they had a brown shade because that's what I tend to enjoy, but I absolutely love this.

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    1. Glad to hear you're liking it too! Have you tried the Black Brown shade? Maybe that night give you a softer look?

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  2. I have been looking forward to your review for this so much! Thanks for posting it =D I really want to try this one, but I'm so afraid of smearage :( I might just have to pick it up anyway and just give it a shot!

    I do have a question for you, I have awful luck with mascara smearing under my lower lash line with a few hours no matter what I do or what I wear. I've tried water proof and non water proof of about a dozen brands ranging from drug store to high end. My latest one has been Tart's waterproof and even that hasn't held up to my body chemistry :( Any suggestions?

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    1. I have had lots of luck with Nyx Doll Eyes (only tried the length and volume formulas). Theyre dry and waxy, which makes lash-building and holding a curl that much easier. Minimal smudging and it never flakes on me. I also like Lancome Definicils but even that one can melt a little in the heat.

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    2. Thanks Callie! :)

      I only wear washable mascaras but I haven't had any issues with smearing with Jordana Best Lash Extreme in any kind of weather (it's my holy grail mascara). Have you tried that one?

      Also, if you have this problem with every mascara, you night want to take a look at your skincare routine. Do you use a super emollient moisturizer and or eye cream? That can contribute a lot to mascara smearing. You may want to stop short of just under your lash area when you apply your skincare and see if that helps!

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    3. Have you tried the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius? It's a clear, waterproof topcoat for your mascara. That way you can wear whichever mascara you like and then throw the top coat in so it doesn't smudge! I haven't used it, but I have heard great things about it.

      I have a problem with smudging as well, and I have not had this one smudge. For my lower lash line, I really like CoverGirl Clump Crusher in the water resistant formula. Hasn't smudged a bit, even after wearing it for 14 hours on a warmer day.

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    4. I always have smearing issues with mascara no matter what. I have found that if I line my lower lid with a loose mineral finishing powder, however, that this does not happen. I just take a concealer brush, pack on a bit of loose powder, then carefully dab it along my lower lash line. I smooth it in, then do my eyeliner and mascara. It never fails, even with washable formulas!

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  3. I really want to give this a try, do you think it's good for holding curls? My asian lashes tend to get droopy after a while :/

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    1. I don't curl my lashes out of plain laziness, but my gut is telling me this won't hold a curl that well, just because of how creamy and soft the consistency is...but if you buy it at CVS, Rite Aid or Walgreens, you can always return it after you try it, since all of those retailers accept returns on used beauty products, no questions asked. :)

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    2. I have stick straight lashes, and Maybelline's Mega Plush holds a curl for me.

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  4. I got this a couple of weeks ago and have been less than impressed. I was previously using the Jordana mascara and this just seemed blah to me. It didn't do as much as the Jordana for me. Right now I am enjoying Almay's Get up and grow. It does give me a lot of length.

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    1. The Jordana is my holy grail mascara and I can totally see why you love it over this one, since it gives mega volume and length! This isn't as dramatic, but I'm still loving it... especially that brush! :)

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  5. I just did a first impression review of this for my blog! I like the formula and the staying power. It's just the brush I have to get use to... currently my Butterfly Effect mascara is still in the lead for me, but this one is following close behind.

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    1. Glad you're liking it so far, and hopefully you will end up loving the brush as much as I do! Lol!

      The Butterfly mascara is in my review queue right now...can't wait to use it some more...I've only used it a few times so far. :)

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    2. Have you tried this as a base coat to the butterfly mascara? They are awesome together!

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  6. My cheap self put off getting this and my friend surprised me with it as a gift! I'm usually one of those must use up all of this product before opening that one type. I was completely over the nyx doll eyes. It was great for winter...couldn't hold up to summer though. I'm loving the manga mascara! Great staying power, doesn't flake! It makes my lashes look huge! Surprisingly easy to wash off. Hope they add waterproof version.

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    1. So glad to hear you've been having a similar experience!! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  7. I've seen a lot of Youtube first impressions videos some of them said it was a wet mascara. I prefer my mascara's to be on the dry side. Kind of torn if I want to give this a go. I appreciate your review.

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    1. I've seen that too, but to me it's not so much "wet" as it is creamy. I've used wet mascaras before that literally feel like you're putting black water on your lashes, and this is definitely not like that! I guess it all depends on your definition of wet. :)

      But if you prefer drier mascaras, I'm not sure you'll like this one since it's definitely not dry. Hope that helps!

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  8. are those pandas on the package? manga = japan, panda = china.

    sigh.

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    1. I've actually seen pandas in manga before! I think there's a popular manga based on the Kung Fu Panda movie. Lol! ;)

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    2. Whoever made the rule that things must be geo-specific? So, africa=lions...manga must never use the image of a lion? What are they permitted to use by these standards, koi?

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  9. I have fairly long but blonde eyelashes and I wonder if this will make my lashes superlong as in false lashes long? I just opened a new tube of Falsies which is my favorite. I just may have to pick this up when there is a sale or coupon. I have always used Voluminous mascaras until Falsies came out. So I am pretty sure the formula will work on me. It will be fun to try to get crazy long lashes!!! Thanks for such a thorough review G.!

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    1. I'm guessing it will give you some nice length! I can't wait to see what you think, R.! And you're so welcome. :)

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  10. Didn't like this at all, it's so clumpy that it looks disgusting. I get uneven blobs instead of nice definition.

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    1. I'm so sorry this didn't work for you! I mentioned in my review that I didn't think it would work for everyone, especially if you're just looking for some definition. You really have to be ok with a bit if clumping for this one! Lol!

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  11. I'm definitely loving this Manga mascara my lashes are sky high and fanned out top and bottom lashes with this creamy formula. I love loreal mascara and this is my new fav drugstore mascara!

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    1. Sounds like this is really working for you! That's great! :)

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  12. I bought this a couple of weeks ago, but I've only used it twice. I'm just so in love with my l'oreal voluminous butterfly mascara and they're real that I'm completely satisfied with using those two.

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    1. Aaah, I'm testing a few other mascaras right now and Butterfly is one of them. You're making me want to go put it on right now! Lol! :)

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  13. I'm in Europe so I have access to the exciting colors it comes in here--I own all three: Violet, Black, and Turquoise, but have only tried the Violet so far (trying to be better about not having a million mascaras open at once). FWIW, G, my experience with the Violet is pretty similar to yours with the Black, only maybe even better? It's also a good one to do a final coat with for a little extra oomph after applying a less emphatic mascara first. Thanks for reviewing the black!

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    1. Hello in Europe!! :)

      I'm so jealous that this comes in two colors in addition to black over there! Someone mentioned here a while back that maybe L'Oreal will give us the colors in a limited edition collection later down the road, and if that happens I know I'll be getting Violet, thanks to your comment! :) Thank you so much for the feedback!

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  14. Thank you! I was debating buying this this week. Definitely going to try it now.

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    1. You're so welcome! :) I'd love to know what you think when you try it. Fingers crossed!

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  15. Oh gosh, ever since I've even heard about this mascara I knew it was going to work amazingly well. I've been using it everyday since I got it about two weeks ago & I haven't been disappointed with it. It doesn't really smear until probably about 6-7 hours in & even then it's just very faint. Even though it only mentions that it's more of a voluminizing mascara, I want to add that the length I've gotten with it is rather impressive.

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  16. Thanks so much for this very thorough review! The brush looks a lot like Lancome Hypnose Star. I wonder if it is actually the same product - same company, after all, and there are other L'Oreal and Lancome products that are identical!

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  17. My Wal-Mart had $2.00 L'oreal off coupons, and this was on sale. Got it for $4.49 and absolutely loving it!

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  18. All L'oreal cosmetics are 40% off at Rite Aid this week. It's regularly $7.99 (in my area), but with the sale it came out to $4.79. I bought another one a couple weeks ago at Target for $6.99. I haven't tried it yet because I still have 2 mascaras open, but one had just passed its 3 month mark so I'll finally get to try this new mascara soon. Btw, Target also allows return on makeup that has been opened and tried.

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    1. Regarding the return policy at Target...I don't appreciate how I have to show my id and give my signature for a return/exchange I actually have my original recipt for. Very invasive and Gestapo like.

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    2. The only time I ever had to show my ID for a return at Target was when I did not have my receipt. It's never been an issue.

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  19. I picked this up along with my favorite L'oreal mascara with primer--Double Extend--at Walgareen's last week on sale. I wasn't going to open the Manga yet since I have so many mascaras in use (or not in use but "open) right now... it's a sickness. However, your review made it too hard to resist. I applied it this morning after my lash primer and I loved it. I found that I got the dramatic look that I like with only one healthy coat. If I would have tired to go back for a second coat, I'm afraid it would have gotten too clumpy. I'll have to try this out without my primer next. Thanks, G!!

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  20. this is currently my go to mascara. I mostly use loreal and NYX mascara and I am loving how big and fabulous my lashes look w/ 2 coats of Miss Manga.

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  21. Oooh, I actually like the effect! Sometimes a girl just wants some spidery lashes haha

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  22. I'm intrigued. The one-coater gives a nice natural look, but add more and there's a nice wow factor.

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  23. I am going to have to try this one as it will save me from using a primer, at least that's what it seems like. I prefer my lasher to be thick so this might work

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  24. I've been using this one for a couple weeks, and I think the verdict for me is that it's middle of the road. I definitely notice volume, but not so much length (for me anyway!). Like you, I LOVE Jordana Best Lash Extreme (I have to throw it out pretty regularly b/c it starts flaking when it's a teeny bit old, but it's worth it since it's so cheap) . . . I also like Maybelline's The Rocket and Benefit's They're Real. The Miss Manga mascara is pretty good, but a little clumpy for my taste given that it doesn't give me extreme length (like the Jordana does). Still, it's super fun to try new products and mascara is one of the most personal/individualized products ever!

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  25. Does anybody know how much this mascara costs at Walmart?

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  26. I love this mascara but mine seemed a little on the dry side and the tube felt a little on the empty side. Other than that its a fabulous mascara and I love the tube!

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  27. I recently tried the Manga Mascara and I really like it with the clumps and all! LOL.
    I have long but light lashes and this makes them appear way longer and thicker; so easy to remove, unlike the Loreal Voluminous Carbon Black that leaves black smudges for days underneath my lower lash line. :(

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