There is not an ounce of exaggeration in my voice when I say my childhood bathroom is a graveyard of products. There are Too Faced palettes with the brand's original retro packaging, perfumes I wore to death in high school, even a bottle of Benetint I must've bought in 2009. It's a lot, so when I make the trip home, I try to pack light. There simply isn't room for more products (god forbid I toss away relics of beauty history), so everything faces rigorous vetting. And this time, my bag included a single mascara from Grande Cosmetics.
I'm someone who usually juggles four different tubes at a time, so that's the highest praise I can give. The brand's GrandeDrama Intense Thickening Mascara earns one-and-only status thanks to its excellent performance across all fronts; where my lashes on their own are medium length and thickness, the formula pumps them up into a long, fluttery fringe. Unsurprising, since supermodels also swear by the brand.
Most crucial, though, is that the formula is just a lick on the drier side, so it doesn't clump or give you spider lashes that look unnatural (or demand you separate them with a pin). My lashes simply look dark, defined, and lush — like I spent 10 minutes applying individual falsies without any of the work. But that might also have something to do with using the castor oil-infused mascara every day.
Shop now: $25; amazon.com
As Dr. DiAnne Davis, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist in Dallas, previously told InStyle, castor oil is the good stuff for helping your hair and lashes grow like never before. "The fatty acid component of castor oil, which is ricinoleic acid, can lead to blood vessel dilation," she said, which increases blood flow to follicles, thus encouraging growth. And as a bonus Jonas, castor oil can make your lashes look glossy with zero downtime.
"I love this product so much, I don't think I can go back to regular mascara," wrote one person of the growth effects. "I see noticeably longer, thicker lashes without it on, [and] serious lash volume when I put it on. I stopped wearing eyeliner, finally — I really swear by this stuff."
Even a 50-year-old who said their lashes naturally "look as if they were burned off" was impressed, dubbing it "life-changing" and "literally the best mascara" they've ever tried. Anyone who uses mascara can tell you that a great formula's only half the battle, though. The wand is just as important, and here Grande Drama's also excels; the fibrous, hourglass-shaped brush delivers a clean sweep of product, which makes fans' lashes look longer and healthier.
"I love this mascara… As an older woman, I think I've tried every mascara on the market, even the high-end ones," wrote a reviewer after my own heart. "But this one is really great — what a difference it makes! And now that I've worn it all day, I can say that it looks exactly the same as when I put it on this morning, no clumping or flaking. And my eyelids don't feel heavy and don't get irritated. This really works for me!"
There you have it, folks. Check back in 10 years and a tube will probably still be in my bathroom. Get yours for $25.
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