Eyes / Makeup / Reviews

Battle of the Free Mascaras

Hello lovely readers. I haven’t done any reviews this week or last, so today I’m doing a double feature, yay! Remember how I keep telling you to sign up for rewards programs so you can get a free gift on your birthday? Well this year, both Ulta and Sephora gave out a free mascara and now that I’ve gotten a chance to use them, I’m going to review both.

That's right. Two birthday freebies

That’s right. Two birthday freebies


  • Product: Deluxe sample of Makeup Forever’s Smoky Eyes Mascara
  • The Wand: The wand on this mascara is fabulous. It’s pine cone shaped, so you can use the fat end to get tons of volume and a nice curl, while the smaller end is good for smaller inner eyelashes and bottom lashes.
  • The Formula: I’ll be honest. I don’t have very high standards for formulas. As long as it doesn’t run all over my face or into my eyes throughout the course of a normal day, I approve. This one seemed fairly typical
  • Price: Full sized is $24.00. The value of this mini is around $12.00
  • Cruelty-Free: No

MUFE Smoky EyesMUFE Wand


  • Product: Calvin Klein One Mascara
  • The Wand: This has an interesting wand, like none I’ve ever seen before. It’s plastic with straight bristles, but it has the option to twist the bristles so they form curved instead of straight rows. Twisted is supposed to give you more volume, while straight is supposed to lengthen. Personally, I find this a bit gimmicky and don’t see a huge difference between the two.
  • The Formula: Like, I said, I’m not the best judge of formula, but this seems pretty standard
  • The Price: $18.00
  • Cruelty-Free: No

CK Mascara

With the bristles straight

With the bristles straight

With bristles twisted

With bristles twisted

The Verdict: Of the two, I prefer the MUFE mascara because of the wonderful wand! However, I don’t think either is so much better than drugstore mascara to justify the price. In the future, my next mascara purchase is going to be a cruelty-free drugstore brand.

So what do you think? Did you pick up your free birthday gift from Sephora or Ulta? Did you try either of these mascaras? What’s your favorite mascara? Let me know in the comments below


19 thoughts on “Battle of the Free Mascaras

  1. My birthday is this month so I’ll be getting both of these as well. Too bad they aren’t that great but can’t complain about free I guess! I agree with you though, usually mascaras from the drugstore are just as good or better for a much better price. Great post! 🙂

  2. I’ve tried the MUFE one (I think as a 100 point perk?) and I didn’t like it. I felt like it didn’t give enough volume and giant wands make me feel like I’m going to stab myself in the eye. My birthday is coming up so I guess I’ll have the chance to try out the CK mascara as well. It’s sad that neither of these brands are cruelty free 😦

  3. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect mascara. It would be cruelty-free and not end up smudged under my eyes after a few hours (every mascara ends up doing that! so annoying). Do you have any recommendations?

    • I wish I did! Some of the brands I thought were cruelty-free in the past no longer are, so alas, I too am on a hunt for something cruelty-free. We’ll let each other know if we find something though.

    • Here are some cruelty free mascaras, with not too high a price tag; here goes; Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara $23, Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara $20, Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes, Statement Mascara $23, Milani Runaway Lashes $4.99, NYC Doll Eye Mascara $9.50, Bare Minerals Flawless Mascara $18, Buxom Lash Mascara $19, Ardency Inn Punker Unrivalled Volume & Curl Lash Wax $24, Illamasqua Masquara $23, and Inglot Long and Curly Mascara $10.
      There is also information on line which comprises lists of which companies test on animals, and which do not; they are very easy to find. X

  4. I believe Nyx and WetnWild are two drugstore brands that are cruelty free .. I have not used any of these mascaras but my choice will be Nyx, having found a new love for the brand .. Let me know how it works out ! 😊

  5. I need to check the Make up Forever one, as I’m a great fan of their line up. Anyway, I like it so much when I get sample mascaras to try. It’s the best way to know if you’re going to like it or not before you buy. And then, I don’t find it very clean to try the mascara anybody passed on her lashes at the beauty counter, so … have a nice weekend!

    • I really dislike using the mascara at the beauty counter. Even if you get a clean throwaway wand, it doesn’t help because then you don’t really know how you’ll like the actual wand that comes with the product.

  6. My birthday’s not until December. Poo. Just from the pictures, I’d say the MUFE one looks better, but I’ve heard that most mascara formulas are pretty similar and it’s the wand that makes the mascara. If you’re looking for cruelty free, the brand Silk Naturals makes a cruelty free mascara that I’ve heard good things about. It’s not “drugstore,” but it’s not expensive at all.

    Also, I’ve nominated you for the beauty blogger of the month award! My post on it is right here: http://lipstickbutts.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/beauty-blogger-of-the-month-award/

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