We love mascara – we rarely leave the house without it and it’s usually a handbag staple for spontaneous after-work drinks (well it was before lockdown at least!)
The thing is though, being Chinese, our lashes are incredibly straight, short, thin and lacking in volume. A common occurrence among many Asian men and women.
Even when we use eyelash curlers and apply a single coat of mascara, our lashes will naturally start to drop and we end up with straight lashes again. The only we can guarantee long-lasting volume is via professional lash lift treatments.
If you’re in the same boat as us, whether you have Asian lashes or you’ve just not been blessed with long curly lashes, we’ve recently tried and tested seven different mascaras from popular brands, including NARS and Charlotte Tilbury. Particularly those which promise volume, curl and length.
Before we reveal what we’ve found to be the best mascara for our Asian lashes, we wanted to just explain how we apply mascara.
We recommend you apply a very light coating before wiping off any excess mascara from the wand. We also go back in with our eyelash curlers but only once the mascara is fully dried to give that added lift.
In both, they scored differently but that was because for those reviews, they were tested on longer, Western lashes. The scores below are specific to how these same mascaras perform on shorter, Asian lashes.
mamabella rating: 2/5
£23 | Buy now from Boots
We weren’t sure about this mascara as Fenty Beauty is a new makeup brand but we know it’s taking the world by storm. When we looked at the brush we weren’t even sure if this was going to work for our thin lashes. We were pleasantly surprised, this applied beautifully. Even with one coat it gave a good amount of lift and lengthening.
We liked how this mascara was buildable and it didn’t dry too quickly so that we felt that we would shape our lashes how we’d like them to set. The tip of the brush is thinner so that we can reach our inner corners but we did struggle a little with this.
How to use: Use the FAT side to load and lift. Wiggle at the base of your lashes and build volume.
Did we follow this? No, we know our lashes wouldn’t withhold the wiggling and it would be all over our double eyelids for sure. We actually started with the tip of our lashes and this gives great length to our lashes.
When it came to the second coat we decided to apply closer to the base of our lashes and gently combed through our lashes. This gave a lovely definition to our eyelashes. But at the end of the day we had panda eyes and it smudged quite badly.
FURTHER READING: Rihanna Looks To Add Fenty Hair To Her Growing Beauty Empire
mamabella rating: 2/5
£24 | Buy now from Boots
Huda Kattan launched her first mascara in May and they were so popular, they sold out quicker than you could say Huda Beauty Legit Lashes.
This dual-sided mascara has one brush that promises volume, and another that promises curl and length and our experience of using both was a mixed bag.
For the first coat, we used the volume side first.
It gave impressive definition.
For the second coat, we used the curl and length side which has small fibres that are designed to add length to your lashes.
The curl side actually separated our lashes more and gave them more of a fluttery look.
A major plus point is that we didn’t have to curl our lashes after two coats of mascara because the curl lasted the whole day.
A major downside is that by the time we got home at the end of the day, we looked like we’d been crying.
This mascara smudged a lot and it took panda eyes to a new level!
It was also rather flaky; there was plenty of black residue from the mascara on our cheeks immediately after application and throughout the day.
FURTHER READING: Huda Beauty UK: Where to buy Huda Beauty online
mamabella rating: 3/5
£28 | Buy now from Feelunique
The most expensive mascara in our review, yet also the most disappointing, was Chanel’s Inimitable Volume mascara.
It promises “instant, natural and long-lasting 3D” lashes and comes with a soft and flexible elastomer brush.
This has thin bristles that cling to the lashes and is easy to apply.
Our disappointment stems from the fact we had set our expectations too high.
One coat made little difference to our lashes, and the mascara itself was barely visible.
Two coats added a very small amount of volume to our left eye compared to the right eye.
It did pick up small eyelashes in the inner corner of our eyes, which was good, but it was far from the 3D look we had been promised.
On the plus side, when used with our eyelash curlers it did make a difference.
And this mascara gives a natural look which would make it great for an everyday mascara because its formula is light.
Plus, there is no clumping at all and it stayed in place all day with no smudging.
FURTHER READING: How to apply mascara like a pro
mamabella rating: 3/5
£6.15 | Buy now from Amazon
This super affordable mascara promises you a false LVL lash lift effect.
From its rich formula, and the shape of the mascara brush, it’s been designed to lift and coat all lashes for maximum volume with minimum effort.
When using this on Asian lashes, however, this doesn’t quite live up to its promises.
It clumped our lashes together and was heavy.
With one coat of the Falsies Lash Lift mascara, we instantly noticed that our lashes dropped.
But it did add a little length.
With an extra coat, it added a little more length and a small amount of volume.
What we did like about this was that our lashes felt light and soft, and it was smudge-free throughout the day.
This is hugely impressive given its price.
mamabella rating: 4/5
NARS claims its Climax Mascara creates unstoppable volume with a formula that will keep your lashes hydrated.
It promises to not weigh your lashes down with the benefit of no clumping.
While the ribbed bristles of the wand have been designed to pick up the perfect amount of product each time.
In our experience, we found that the NARS Climax weighed our lashes down and it’s not as lightweight as it claims, yet the colour is intense.
This almost jet-black shade gives great definition.
It also left my lashes soft, throughout the day, and it didn’t leave any residue or any flaking.
After two coats and a good curling action from my eyelash curlers, you can see that it brings a dramatic effect.
We could see each of our individual lashes and this is rare.
FURTHER READING: What is mascara made of and how does it actually work?
mamabella rating: 4/5
We love Charlotte Tilbury at mamabella and she offers a whole range of skincare and makeup.
The original Legendary Lashes was criticised for not having the holding power of its rivals and it had a tendency to smudge easily.
So Charlotte changed the formula and Legendary Lashes Volume 2 is testament to this.
Its intense black shade promises volume, and claims to be long-wearing, smudge-proof, creaseproof and humidity-proof.
The brand even claims that it increases lash thickness by 108% after a single application, and lash volume by 507%.
Does this hold true for our Asian lashes?
Although the formula coming out of the tube seems thick and a little gloopy, the mascara brush itself is very soft and flexible.
It coated our lashes nicely, even the small ones, but it did make our lashes drop at the ends.
The second coat added more volume at the ends of our lashes, it also gave thickness to our lashes but no curl, this didn’t matter because we actually liked the way it separated my lashes and gave an extended length.
mamabella rating: 4/5
It’s been two years since Charlotte released our 3rd place mascara – her Legendary Lashes Volume 2 – and she’s back with the recently launched Pillow Talk Push Up Mascara.
The first mascara that forms part of the wider, hugely popular Pillow Talk range.
With this launch, the brand promises the Push Up mascara offers a 24-hour lift effect, adding length with weightless volume to give the impression of making your eyes look bigger, brighter and more awake.
Apparently, in tests, 96% agreed lashes look magnified and amplified, 96% agreed this mascara visibly lengthens lashes and 93% agreed it gave lashes a voluminous definition.
The ingredients are not just there to make your lashes look good, either.
They’re there to care for them, too.
In particular, the push up power is derived from a Larch Tree, this is a natural gummy texture to stretch and flex with your lashes, and the mascara contains Kerstore (Kerain) to keep your lashes strong and in good condition.
Plus, it uses fibres to create a thicker look.
The brush has diamond-shaped bristles, to lift your lashes and to reach the smallest of hairs, right in the corners.
Following a single coating, we were initially disappointed because it made our lashes feel rather heavy, and it made them drop rather quickly. However, we were pleasantly surprised after the second coat.
The Push Up mascara did lift our lashes and the deep colour meant they stood out.
The only downside to this rich colour is that we were left with quite a bit of mess on our eyelids! After curling our lashes, they held up nicely and looked well separated. It even picked up the tiny lashes that we have in the corner of our eyes.
The impact was so impressive that anyone with slightly longer, curlier lashes naturally will likely love this mascara. It also left our lashes feeling soft without any stiffness.
FURTHER READING: Charlotte Tilbury unveils Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes mascara
mamabella rating: 5/5
£25 | Buy now from Bobbi Brown
This mascara is one of Bobbi Brown’s bestsellers.
It promises to give your lashes a smokey eye look thanks to its deep kohl pigment that delivers high drama by giving extreme black, stretched-out lashes in an instant.
The brand claims it doesn’t smudge or flake and holds strong against sweat and humidity.
It picks up your lashes and gives each one volume, plus it has a thicker brush base that evenly combs through eyelashes from roots to ends.
Due to the dark pigment and thick brush, we went in gently and lightly to coat all our lashes on the first coat of mascara.
This worked in our favour because the curl didn’t drop from when we used our eyelash curlers. It held rather nicely.
Applying the second coat was a lot easier to start from the base of our lashes and to wiggle the wand up to the tip of our lashes. This gave them a darker coating and it does give that smokey look, as promised.
What’s more, this depth of colour held the curl on my lashes.
To add a little more lift we used our eyelash curlers to see how much of a difference this makes.
As you can see it really opened our eyes out and the lashes looked more fluttered. The great thing about this is that it held so nicely all day. There was minimal flaking and smudging on a very hot day!
This is, by far, the best mascara we’ve used.
mamabella rating: 5/5
£29 | Buy now from Feelunique
With multiple raving reviews, we had to try this mascara out to see if it would work with our short, straight Asian lashes. Hourglass Caution Extreme Lashes promises 400% more volume with dramatic length. It is meant to give that 4D look to the lashes.
We liked how the brush was shaped like an ice cream cone, the small tip of the brush will pick up our shorter, smaller lashes.
The first coat was lovely but we did have to work quickly as the mascara does dry quickly, this could be down to the waxy consistency as it set how we applied the mascara to our lashes. The brush did well in lifting our lashes too and created a nice volume.
By the second coat, our lashes had more length and volume for sure, if you wanted an everyday mascara we think one coat would suffice. If you wanted more of a dramatic look two coats would bring this out in the lashes. We liked that this mascara is lightweight
To our surprise the mascara lasted pretty well throughout the day, there was an odd flake but it held the curl nicely and the volume was still visible. Very impressed with this mascara.
We also loved the fact this mascara is easy to remove, Hourglass recommend you can use just soap and water and we have to admit it’s very easy to remove with just warm water and your favourite cleanser.