Product Review: Laura Mercier Thickening & Building Mascara, Smashbox Lash DNA Mascara

I'm still making my way through Sephora's Lash Stash Mascara Deluxe Sampler, trying out each one and writing product reviews every two months as I go along. However, I tried two mascaras I disliked so much that I decided I couldn't wait two months for my next review.

First up, the Laura Mercier thickening and building mascara ($20 for the full-size version) promises to volumize and condition lashes with vitamins A, E, and C. Reviews for this mascara were only so-so on the Sephora website, and once I started trying it out, I could see why. The small wiry brush, while allowing for the utmost control, didn't do much for my lashes at all. After swiping a couple coats on, I squinted at the mirror trying to discern the minimal--if any--difference it made. As the day wore on, I decided I wasn't really wearing mascara, that I must've gotten a dried-out dud sample--and that was when the smudging began. At least with Benefit BADgal Lash, I had enough benefits to make the smudging worthwhile, but the Laura Mercier mascara was just all-around awful. I persisted valiantly for a week before I gave up and chucked it in the trash.

After my Laura Mercier disappointment, I approached Smashbox Lash DNA Mascara ($19 for the full-size version) with high hopes only to be let down once again. Boasting lash-boosting proteins and amino acids, Smashbox Lash DNA claims to create "mega length and curl while conditioning and rebuilding former lash damage." It also features a signature double helix brush intended to grab every lash and lengthen and separate even the teeniest ones. Unfortunately, in my experience, these were lofty claims the product did not meet. The brush clumped like mad and left black smears on my eyelids. (I guess I should've known better than to expect fabulous lashes from an applicator resembling a miniature version of what the chimney sweeps used in Mary Poppins.) Like the Laura Mercier mascara, as the day wore on I was left with severe undereye smudging. Fed up, I tossed this one after three days.

I know some of you are probably thinking, "If your mascara smudges so badly, why not go for waterproof?" Truthfully, I'm very lazy about using makeup remover. I also know there are formulas out there that come off easily with warm water but stay put and are relatively smudgeproof throughout the day. (Cover Girl Lash Blast is one of them.) In fact, I'm trying out a mascara from the Lash Stash Sampler right now that more or less fits this description, but you'll have to stay tuned for that review in an upcoming post!

Have you tried the Laura Mercier or Smashbox mascaras? What do you think of them?


  1. very helpful review! i have super unimpressive eyelashes, but it's so hard to know which products will actually do the job. looking forward to your other reviews!

  2. this box of mascaras seems to be more of a box of trouble!!

  3. LPF, thanks! I'm looking forward to trying the rest of the mascaras out to see how the other brands fare.

    Adela, you put it perfectly. So far the ones I've tried have been pretty disappointing.

  4. I really like Aveda's Mosscara. It's made from Icelandic moss, and has way fewer chemicals than most brands. It's not waterproof and comes off easily, but I find it doesn't smudge nearly as much as other brands. It's a little pricey - around $25 - but totally worth it!

  5. Oh, good thing I've read your review! I was planning to get Smashbox's mascara but now knowing how you are so disappointed with it, I'm glad I resisted the temptation to bring it to the counter earlier. I am currently using Maybelline's cat's eye mascara and I am very happy with it. It's very cheap yet my lashes look lovely with it.
    - Kaith

  6. great reviews. luckily the box was cheap. it gave you a great opportunity to try a bunch that you wouldn't normally, and it gave you a great thing for your blog. not all is lost.


Back to Top