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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: NYC Big Bold Mascara

If you've been reading my blog this week, then you know that there's a 40% off NYC sale going on right now at Rite Aid (through 7/21). And when you buy two NYC products, you also get $1 back in +UP Rewards.

But whether you live near a Rite Aid or not, I've got lots to say about this product, so read on for my thoughts:

 NYC Big Bold Mascara in Extra Black (washable)
(retail: $4.99, 0.27 oz)

I received this mascara for review a while back, and I've been using it off and on for over two months now. Unfortunately, my review sample did not come in the traditional packaging that it comes in when you buy it in stores, so I don't have the ingredients list to share with you.

From the NYC website:

WHEN IT COMES TO LASHES, BIGGER IS DEFINITELY BETTER! NYC’s Big Bold Mascara takes your lashes to the extreme: up to 15 times more volume and up to 44% visible increase in length. How do they do it? A little simple math: a hydrating keratin-rich formula plus volume fixation technology plus NYC’s fattest, super-volumizing brush, equals some seriously eye-popping lashes! Clump-resistant, long-wearing, and bigger than ever before! ALL EYES WILL BE ON YOU!
  • Mega Plastic Brush delivers maxed out volume and separates lashes for a fanned out effect
  • Big bold lashes, dramatic volume
  • Up to 15x more lash volume
  • Up to 44% longer lashes
  • No flaking, no clumping, no smudging
  • Ophtalmologist & Dermatologist tested
  • Key Ingredients: Hydra keratin volume plumping formula

So how big is NYC's "fattest, super-volumizing brush"? Well here it is compared to the CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion brush:

It's big, alright!

You'll also notice that the bristles are thicker, shorter and have a blunt end, whereas the bristles on the CoverGirl brush are longer, tapered and come to a fine point:

All of this doesn't really mean a thing to me unless the mascara WORKS, so let's take a look at some before-and-after photos!



WOW! I am seriously impressed. Not only does this mascara give my lashes fantastic volume after two coats, but it also gives me some length AND CURL. Yep, CURL! Nowhere on the tube or in the ad copy does this claim to be a curling mascara, but I'm kind of freaking out about how much this mascara truly opens up my eyes and curls my flat, nonexistant lashes. I mean, my lashes are so straight that you can't even see them in the before picture because they're basically perpendicular to my face and obscured by my eyeliner. But look how they are curling upward in the "after" pic!

To you show that this was not a freak occurrence, here are my lashes on a completely different day (after two coats):

I've got to tell you that I haven't been this excited about a mascara in a while. I've lived my life without ever truly experiencing the benefits of a curling mascara because most washable mascaras don't do squat when it comes to curling my lashes (I don't wear waterproof mascaras because I don't like the extra tugging and pulling during removal). But this, my friends, is a miracle product for me.

Consistency: And here's where I'm about to shock you again: this is not the typical dry formula that we often see with volumizing mascaras! If you've read my past mascara reviews, you know that I prefer drier mascaras because they really deliver on volume. So I was shocked to find that this is a wetter mascara (not super wet, but definitely not dry). After the first coat, it feels like I'm not going to be able to achieve the volume I so desperately need for my puny lashes, but the second coat really delivers and I find that I don't need a third coat with this one. My lashes are exactly as you see in the pics above--thicker, longer and CURLED! Also, I haven't experienced any clumping with this mascara.

Brush and ease of application: Let's be honest: this is a monster brush. The barrel is huge, which means the brush itself is huge. If you're not a big-brush-mascara lover, this one is definitely not for you. But if your motto is "the bigger the better", you'll be quite pleased with this one. I find this brush does have a learning curve though, especially if you're not used to mega-brushes. It can be tricky to apply this to your lower lashes, but I got the hang of it after about three days.

Staying power and ease of removal: I can get a full day's wear from this mascara and it's still looking good by nighttime. However, I have noticed that on very hot days, this mascara can run/smudge under my lower lash line. It's not dramatic, but it's visible after about 6-7 hours on very hot days. This smudging could be due to the fact that this is a wetter mascara, or it could be due to the fact that I have super oily skin--or it could be a combo of the two. So it's worth mentioning that if your skin is dry, you may not see smudging at all. I have not experienced any flaking or irritation with this mascara in the two months I've been using it. Also, this is washable mascara, so removal is quite easy. It rinses clean with just my standard facial cleanser--no eye makeup remover needed.

Fragrance: the scent of this mascara is extremely mild. In fact, it might be the most lightly scented mascara I currently own. I have to stick my nose right up to the wand in order to smell it. It has a very soft, very faint "earthy" scent to it that I don't find unpleasant.

FINAL VERDICT: Honestly, I haven't been that impressed by other NYC mascaras I've used in the past. They've never quite delivered on what I need most from my mascara: volume. But NYC's Big Bold Mascara has totally changed that for me. This product not only delivers on volume and length, but it also dramatically curls my lashes, which is something I've never experienced with any other washable mascara I've used in the 20+ years I've been wearing mascara. I don't know if the curling is caused by the brush or the formula itself, but whatever it is, I'm loving it. And I'm happy to tell all of you who don''t like drier formulas that this one's a bit wetter than other volumizing mascaras at the drugstore. It's easy to apply once you get used to the brush, and I think most of you will be quite content with two coats. The only fault I can find with this product is that, when the weather is very warm, I notice some smudging under my lower lash line after about six hours. It's minor, but it does happen so I want you to be aware of that--especially if you have oily skin like me. Other than that, this one's a winner for me, and if you're a volume-fiend as well, I definitely think it's worth a shot (especially if you don't like drier mascaras).

Have you tried NYC Big Bold Mascara? Thoughts? Don't forget that it's on sale for 40% off this week at Rite Aid (through 7/21).

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. Now that I've come close to narrowing down my HG foundation, I've been looking for a great mascara. I just might pick this up when I run low on some of the other mascaras I have :)

  2. Wow, G! You've sold me! This sounds like just the mascara for me! I'll be looking for this at Rite Aid before the week is out! :-)

  3. So good to know!!! I am always looking for the next best thing, especially with mascara! Can we assume that removal is typical of most non waterproof mascara's?

  4. I also have super straight lashes. I find wet mascara formulas don't work well with me since they tend to not hold the curl.

    I'm surprised that a wet formula can curl your lashes without using an eyelash curler prior to application. Definitely gonna try this!

    Thank you, G!

    --- Nicole

  5. wow! your lashes look amazing

  6. Thanks, G! I am stopping by Rite Aid on my way home from work!

  7. I talked abt this on my YT channel, I was amazed by it too!!

  8. I went and bought a tube of this during the 40% sale at RiteAid this week and got it am
    Nd three other NYC products for a total of $1.68!!!! Can you believe that?!? Because of your blog I knew about it and it is my favorite lipgloss brand! I digress, what I wanted to say is thank you! I got this mascara because of your review and it has lived up to your claims! It is a dream to wear! My lashes look full, long, smudge-proof and beautifull! I never would have tried it without your post! And I love this mascara! Thank you and keep up the great work!

  9. You should try Maybelline One by One Volum Express. It has the most impressive volumizing results I've seen from a mascara yet.

  10. I have tried countless mascaras, even dept. store brands. I bought this on a whim, figuring the cheap price would mean it wasnt that good. Boy was I wrong, this has been by far the best mascara that I have purchased. I love it. I even had someone comment on my eye lashes, lol. Try it, you will not be dissapointed.

  11. I will say which I forgot to add..
    I do have some difficulty with removal. And I do use an eye makeup remover. Other than that, it's great.


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