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Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Maybelline Volum' Express The Mega Plush Mascara

I purchased this new addition to the Volum' Express family at Target almost exactly two weeks ago. I've been wearing it every day for these past few weeks, so let's see how it's been working for me, shall we?

 Maybelline Volum' Express The Mega Plush Washable Mascara in Blackest Black
(retail: around $6, 0.3 oz)





This is Maybelline's first gel-mousse mascara formula, and it promises to give you "massive supple volume" and "no brittle feel".




The shape of this brush is sort of like a football--it's thicker in the middle and tapered on each end. The bristles are of the traditional nylon variety.



The "flexor brush" contains a joint about halfway down the stem (see above) that only bends when you push against the brush with your finger. In other words, you won't visibly see this brush bend when applying this mascara. Rather, it creates a "springy" feeling during application and provides less resistance than a normal brush.


Now I'm going to show you two photos of what my eyes look like after wearing this mascara for four hours (three coats on just my upper lashes):



As you can see, this mascara transfers/smears under my eyes after four hours of wear. I can pretty much stop this review right here and tell you that I'm never going to repurchase this product and that I won't wear it again now that my testing period is over, but if you'd like more details, read on!

The first few times I wore this mascara, I applied it to my upper and lower lashes (I'm only wearing it on my upper lashes in the photos above). It transferred like crazy after a few hours, and at first I blamed my eyeliner. So the next day, I didn't wear any eyeliner and it transferred again. A few days later, I tried wearing it on just my upper lashes and...same problem. So for the photos above, I deliberately didn't wear any eyeshadow, liner, and I also didn't apply this mascara to my lower lashes. I basically wanted to eliminate any other potential product that might be causing the smearing but, as you can see, it's still smearing.

Therefore, I've got to conclude that the formula itself, the gel-mousse formula, is NOT for those of us with oily skin. Granted, it's been warm here in San Diego these past few weeks, but we also had a fluke day of rain and colder weather, and this mascara smeared on that day too. 

As for application and how this product makes my lashes look, it's nice. The gel-mousse formula makes this mascara glide on the lashes effortlessly, HOWEVER, the promise of  "massive supple volume" is, for lack of a better word, an empty promise. I live for volumizing mascaras and I know a volumizing mascara when I see one. THIS is not a volumizing mascara. In fact, the reason I showed you photos of my eyes after three coats was because I simply cannot see this mascara on my lashes after one coat. Two coats is still quite subtle, so I really can't leave the house without three.

Regarding the "flexor brush", I think that a brush like this, which provides very little resistance during application, would be much better suited to a mascara that's big on volume and prone to clumping. In my opinion, this formula is already so light and weightless that giving it such a gentle, delicate brush is overkill. I can't tell you how many times I WISHED that this brush had more resistance when I was using it, because maybe then I could get more product onto my lashes. The best analogy I can give you is this: try to imagine pushing a styrofoam ball across your kitchen floor...with a bendy straw. Light + light = frustrating.

If Maybelline touted this as a mascara for "mega separation and definition" I think they'd be right on the money. This mascara gives beautiful definition and separation and I have never had a problem with clumping. But, for my personal needs, I require some "clumpage" or else my lashes look nonexistent. Therefore, this product is just not for me.

Let it be known that I ADORE Maybelline Volum' Express The Colossal Washable Mascara and I would put it in my top three mascaras of all time. But I'm the first one to tell you that The Colossal can make your lashes feel a little "crunchy", so the one thing I really love about The Mega Plush is that my lashes truly feel supple, as promised. However, I'm not about to sacrifice staying power and volume for less crunchy lashes.

FINAL VERDICT: If you do not have oily skin and you're looking for a mascara that provides beautiful definition and separation but not much in the way of volume or length, this might be a home-run for you. However, if you have oily skin and your top requirements for a washable mascara are volume and staying power, I would point you in the direction of The Colossal and steer you away from The Mega Plush.

Do you already own The Mega Plush? What do you think of it? I'd love to hear from you!
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27 comments

  1. I really like the big brush. Looks like it provides lush lashes.

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    1. I hope it works for you if you try it!

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  2. If gumby made a mascara this is it. The flexy brush isnt stiff enough so I can get that brush inbetween my lashes. I have the black waterproof and that does not smudge, but performs similar. I cant even get the brush to work on my lower lashes and it took forever to work the brush and build something decent on my lashes. I really wonder what a different brush would do so u could give the formulation a decent chance.

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    1. Lol at Gumby!!

      I'm glad to hear the WP version doesn't smear, but i'm sorry to hear you had a similar experience with the brush. :( Thanks so much for sharing.

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  3. I have been wanting to try this mascara so bad but there has been so many new products out lately I've been trying to pace myself with the makeup spending. My best friend bought it however and she has oily skin..as do I. Yesterday I seen her and I had to let her know she had major smearing and smudging under her eyes. I think I will give the waterproof a try...hopefully that will be better with the smearing.

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    1. Oh wow, i'm sorry to hear your friend had the same issue with smearing. Hopefully the WP version works much better...I wish I could use WP formulas but, at my age, I try to avoid all extra tugging and pulling in the eye area (which always happens when I try to remove WP mascara!). :)

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  4. I quit wearing mascara altogether several years ago because I could not stand clumpy lashes or mascara crumbs in my eyes and on my contacts. I love Plush's formula and it works well for me due to no crumby-ness and leaves my lashes softer while adding definition and color. However... the major down side for me is, as you stated, it smears. By the end of my 13 hour workday, I look like a raccoon.
    Worse... I now feel a need to find a mascara that fits my even longer list of criteria. :/
    Thanks for your review!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry to hear this smeared for you too. Boo!! :( If you like WP formulas, then maybe try the WP version if this one? The reader above said it didn't smear for her. :)

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  5. Maybe try using this mascara with disposable mascara wand. It works for me with other mascaras.
    Thanks G

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I would definitely consider that if the formula itself didn't smear on me. :(

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  6. i just got this mascara and love it! i just think that if you don't have lashes to begin with then you shouldn't bother...it doesn't promise you LONG lashes so if you have short tiny lashes,it's obviously going to smear...but if you have semi long or noticeable lashes i suggest giving it a try. :)

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    1. I actually never said that I was disappointed that this didn't give my lashes any length. Right on the package itself is says "Massive Supple Volume" and it didn't deliver on that. And I'm not sure how having short, thin lashes is going to make a mascara smear more than if you have long, noticeable lashes?? Smearing is smearing and I think it depends on how OILY your skin is, not the length of your lashes when it comes to smearing. At any rate, I'm very glad to hear this works for you!

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  7. I have this in the waterproof formula, and I agree with everything you talked about, except for the transferring problem, since the waterproof formula takes care of that.

    It defiantly creates natural feeling lashes, and unfortunately that means a really subtle look. I too wish the brush offered more resistance when applying. The light formula barely shows up on lashes.

    I like a mascara that can go from day to night with a few extra coats. However, this mascara is not dramatic enough for night, regardless of how many coats I put on.

    Also, I find it really difficult to apply to my lower lashes. The lack of resistance and large brush makes it impossible to apply it to my lower lashes without pushing them up against the skin under my eye, getting the product all over my skin.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so happy to hear that the WP formula didn't smear for you, but I'm sad to hear that the same issues I experienced with the brush seem to be what you experienced as well.

      And thanks SO much for bringing up the issue with applying this mascara to lower lashes. I totally forgot to mention that in my review, but I agree with you completely on what you said. Thanks so much for the insights!

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  8. I just happened to notice the package gave an expiration of six months, instead of the traditional three for mascara... wondering if it is just this formula or if they have extended the recommendation for all their mascaras.

    I don't do smeary, and do have oily skin so this is a definite no-go for me.

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  9. omg, I love love looooovvveee this mascara! It doesn't feel stiff when I add on several layers, which is a major bonus. It also doesn't smear on the top lashes. I wouldn't know if it smears on the bottom because I use a different skinner brush.

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  10. i literally just bought this mascara a week ago to try. i have oily lids and experienced some transfer as well but it wasn't too too bad. i had some volume and a lot of length and separation. it reminded me of the covergirl lashblast actually! i'm doing a review on this soon as well so you'll have to check it out. i found that i had to put like 4 - 5 coats of this on to get the volume and drama that this promises. lol

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  11. I just bought this mascara last week but I have not started using it yet, I wish I had read this b4 buying it bc I do have combination skin :o( and dummy me, I already threw the receipt away, well I guess my daughter (16) will be very happy with a new mascara LOL
    Thanks girl!

    C.J.

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  12. Aww, bummer. I was hoping it would provide amazing volume like the name implies. Thank you for this review!

    --- Nicole

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  13. I bought this and already returned it. I LOVED it when I applied it. I have red hair and fair skin so really pale eyelashes but they are super long. I could keep applying coat after coat and the product was so minimal that I could eventually get all my length coated without massive clumps. I had no smearing but I have very dry skin. My problem came with removal. I honestly thought I had bought waterproof, it was that hard to remove. I thought maybe it was because I had applied so much so the next day I used much less. No dice, I still couldn't get it off my lashes and skin. I had to stop trying to remove it because I was afraid of damaging my eye area so I had to wear darker eyeliner to try and cover some of it up. I was so sad, I really loved how it went on.

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  14. Thanks for the warning. I'm often enticed by the packaging at the store, now I know to stay away. Most mascara smears for me because of my oily eye area(to give you an idea, if I'm not wearing any primer or something else on my eyes, you can see the shine on my lids at the end of the workday), so I'll go look for the maybelline colossol volum' express.

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  15. It's so hard to find a decent mascara! I'm glad you posted this review, I will never waste my money on this crap lol!

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  16. Did you get it in waterproof? It looks like you didn't. I have the formula in waterproof and have worn it alone. It didn't seem to budge that way. That was a few days I work it to work like that. I also tend to set it with silica powder and nothing budges then. I was outside on a 90(F) degree day, sweat rolling down my face, and my make-up was still close to perfect after blotting. Anyways, about the mascara, I love the mascara. It makes my lashes look a little volumized, holds a curl, defines, and isn't clumpy (you do have to wipe off the wand as you're pulling it out or wipe it on the outer edge of the tube).

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  18. Oh man, I was excited to give this a try because maybelline products have worked so well for me in the past... guess I'll pass on this. Or try it when it's cheaper! My eye area is so oily regular waterproof mascaras still smudge, my best bet would be that this won't work on me either.
    Thanks for the review!

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  19. I am sooo sorry this didn't work out for you! I have this mascara in the waterproof version and it doesn't tug on your lashes like you are afraid it does, so you should totally give it a try! In fact, this is my go-to mascara now. I usually don't buy the same mascara twice, because I am never impressed with any of them (yet), but if I had to buy only one mascara for the rest of my life, it would be it. I have to admit that I got pretty long lashes and that they are qui voluminous ,too... So it might just be me. :) I totally love the fact that my lashes don't feel coated with mascara, yet my eyes are more wide opened than usual and my lashes are almost doll-like.

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  20. You really should try the waterproof version! It doesn't transfer at all! It's actually one of my favorite mascaras!

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