High End Mascara Comparison

I’m back for another beauty product comparison! This time, I’m comparing four high-end mascaras. 3 of them I really like, 1 of them was a total dud for me. As always, I’m wearing L’Oreal Lash Paradise mascara primer as a base for all of these mascaras. Then I did 2 coats of the mascara. I don’t use a lash serum, curl my lashes, or anything else. So, every photo is just my untouched lashes with the primer + two coats of the specified mascara with no filters/editing. You can see the differences pretty clearly!

If you’ve missed it in the past, I’ve also done a drugstore mascara comparison and a part two!

Lancôme Lash Idôle

This has been my go-to high end mascara for the last year or so. Prior to trying it, I was using Tarte Surfer Curl (included below) and really liked that one. What I like about Lash Idôle is that it creates a bit more separation between my lashes because of the applicator. That separation creates the look of more fullness without being super heavy. You can see the difference pretty clearly in these two images. My biggest/only complaint with this one is that it’s tough to remove. I always get mascara on my eyelid when applying, so I try to be extra careful when using this one because I know it will be harder to clean off than others. As far as removing at night, you really need a cleansing balm or oil to get all of the product off.

Tarte Surfer Curl

This was the first mascara that I used when straying from my favorite drugstore mascara, L’Oreal Lash Paradise. It is great! While I have naturally long lashes, this mascara creates an even longer look for me, which is saying something! It’s easy to remove and is buildable. My complaint with this one is that I sometimes have some transfer on my brow bone, especially in the summer when it’s humid and/or I’m sweating. It doesn’t flake at all on me, so that’s great! It is also vegan!

Save 15% when you buy directly from Tarte with code LAURENBOWN15!

Benefit Roller Lash

I was pleasantly surprised by this one! I feel like I’ve tried it in the past and not loved it, but something about this time around was different. The applicator made it very easy to apply, which is the first positive I noticed. It is good for lengthening and separating lashes, creating almost a falsies look. It didn’t do a ton for volume, but I could definitely layer it with a volumizing mascara to get the look I want. I didn’t see any transfer with this one and it was easy to remove!

Too Faced Better Than Sex

I was pretty underwhelmed by this one. For starters, the bulky applicator brush made it a mess for me to apply. I’m used to getting some mascara on my eyelid during application, but I got significantly more when applying this than any other. I did have some transfer throughout the day as I wore it, which is usually a dealbreaker for me. As far as results, you can visibly see that it didn’t really do anything for my lashes! I applied two coats with the primer, just like the rest of the mascaras, and it looks like I have just 1 coat on. Overall, I don’t like this one and wouldn’t wear again.

Have you tried any of these? Is there another high end mascara that you like and use?

Hi there!

Lauren Bown Lifestyle Blog is an online destination where I share my personal style, beauty finds, and bits of life in hopes to inspire other women to feel good in their skin and find the beauty in the ordinary.

shop my instagram

browse the archives

Leave a Comment


  1. 2.15.22
    Michele said:

    Never thought that a primer would do anything more than add more time and money to my morning routine, but I tried the Lash Paradise and saw the light! Definitely makes it so my mascara doesn’t bleed into my undereye concealer anymore, and a teeny bit goes a LONG way!

    • 2.15.22
      Lauren said:

      Yes, it makes a difference!

    • 2.15.22
      Maggie05 said:

      I couldn’t have agreed more with your drugstore comparison- L’Oréal Lash Paradise is my favorite!! I think I’ll have to try your recommendation for the Lancôme. I have a hard time splurging on expensive mascara to NOT love it when the L’Oréal is so good. Ilia is one high end one I have tried and liked. I would love to hear your thoughts on that one!

      • 2.16.22
        Lauren said:

        I’ve tried it a couple times and didn’t love it — just didn’t give me the payoff I look for in mascara!

  2. 2.15.22
    Andrea said:

    Very helpful, thank you! I always have transfer to my brow bone and it’s sooo annoying. Just thought it was more due to my oily skin. I’ve been using Benefit Lashroller forever but will try the Lancôme one asap.

  3. 2.15.22
    Jessica said:

    I’ve tried all but the tarte one so now I want to try it! I used to like the better than sex mascara but I don’t buy it anymore due to the same complaints you have.

  4. 2.15.22
    Lindsay said:

    I struggle with the Benefit mascara leaving a residue on my under eyes as the day wears on. You didn’t experience this though – so I wonder if the lash primer might help with that?
    (I’m kinda new to wearing mascara regularly, mostly because I hate looking in the mirror later and finding the beginnings of raccoon eyes.). I’d love to find one stays on the lashes but is still easy to remove. Sigh.

    • 2.16.22
      Lauren said:

      I highly, highly recommend using a primer!

  5. 2.15.22
    Diedre Pope said:

    I love Lash Idole and Roller Lash! I go back and forth between these two mascaras.

    • 3.15.22
      Lynne said:

      Have you tried Bad Gal Bang. I think it’s better than the roller one.

  6. 2.15.22
    Hannah said:

    I have found I like a lot of the mascaras you recommend so these posts are really interesting to me! I too look for lots of volume, length, and separation. My lashes are also longer and tend to transfer onto my brow bone during the day which is such a pet peeve of mine. I have loved Lash Idole (but ended up not sticking with it since it’s hard to remove), and Tarte Lash Paint (but often got a lot of transfer on my brow bone), so was on the hunt for a new go-to. Since I feel like we have similar taste in mascara, I would highly, highly recommend Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions mascara. Holy cow do I love this. If you use it with the Loreal Lash Primer it is everything that I love about Lash Idole/Tarte Lash Paint (in terms of volume, separation, length) but there is absolutely no transfer or flaking and it is extremely easy to take off. It’s magical, it comes off in these rubbery tubes, but doesn’t run or leave behind any residue! I would strongly suggest also checking that one out! It’s a similar price point to the ones listed here.

  7. 2.15.22
    Maddie said:

    You need to revisit your old favorite cover girl mascara and see how you feel now!

  8. 3.6.22
    Pam barrett said:

    I am 65 with brown gray hair. I have been told I should wear brown mascara which I like just really hard to find that lengths and does not clump. Can you suggest a brown primer and mascara for me. Thankyou Pam

  9. 3.18.22
    Sandy Higdon said:

    Lancome Mascaras