The Mystery Mascara

The Mystery Mascara

Mascara, the one beauty item that I now HAVE to have on each time I head out.  Well, except for when I head out for my run or to the gym of course.  Oh wait a minute, actually, even then I usually apply a clear mascara to help lift my pathetic lashes.  I’ve now even succumbed to NOT wearing any BB or CC cream and only a NON-tinted moisturiser on certain days.  That is provided I’ve done my eyebrows, lashes, a little cheek colour and some gloss or lip balm.  It seems that I’ve gone for that absolutely minimalistic look.  You call it being simple, I actually, honestly call it being too lazy to bother with blending.

Anyway, back to what I was talking about – mascara.  By the way, did you know that mascara has a pretty short shelf life once opened?  Three months!  Yes!  It’s that short and rightly so because you’re using it around your eye area and you really don’t want any germs transferring there and causing any unwanted issues.  Which is why I try and avoid splurging on a mascara, unless it’s really that fabulously good.  Actually, who am I kidding?  Even if it was that fabulously good, I usually make sure I purchase during a sale and stock up!

My current favourite mascara – well, it’s been a favourite since I think about 2 years ago? – is of course the L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Excess Mascara and I’ve shared previously how there’s actually a slight difference in the brushes, when you purchase from different countries.  And yes, that one fact alone can mess up the result you were after.

Mascara – The Brush or the Formula?

I’ve had this conversation with a fellow beauty blogger ages ago.  I can’t recall who exactly, but we were discussing mascara – is it the formula or the brush?  Or maybe both?  I believe it’s both and it really irks me whenever we’re given a separate brush to try out a mascara, which is understandably so because you really don’t want to spread any germs or bacteria.  But really, the effectiveness of a mascara is the whole package – the brush AND the formula.  Which is why I think we should be given mini versions of the mascara to try out instead of having us just try the formula with a separate brush.

  • The Brush

The shape of the brush, amount of bristles and type of bristles usually dictates the type of result you’re after – volume, length or even both.  I personally prefer something that adds volume to my lashes, the darkening effect actually helps to open up my eyes a little more, but I wouldn’t mind something that does both.

  • The Formula

The formula on the other hand helps determine how long your lashes stay curled, how much clumping, how it clings to your lashes – that sort of thing.  So you see, it’s both – the brush and the formula that affects the performance of a mascara.

The Mystery Mascara

If you’re wondering why I had this title up the top, well, thanks to a mail-out by MakeupSocial,  I received a little package with a tube of mascara in it, a few weeks ago.  I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t that thrilled to be receiving yet another mascara in the mail.  But this little thing piqued my curiosity.  First, there was not a brand name in sight.  Next, was the card that came along with the mascara.  Apparently MakeupSocial has teamed up with a brand for us to have a chance to try out an unbranded mascara.  A blind test, something I really didn’t mind doing – well, plus the fact that I could win a prize pack worth over $1000! – but that aside, I decided, why not?!

The Packaging

It isn’t a large tube of mascara, and I’ll be honest, I prefer it that way because knowing that you can only keep an opened mascara for 3 months tops, there’s a low likelihood of me wasting this little tube.  It has a simple design, sporting a simple black tube with silver cap.

size of the mystery mascara

The Brush

What got me excited really was the brush.  The brush has a slight curve to it, with really short bristles that are placed strategically, made out of what I would guess as possibly, rubber?

the mystery mascara curved brush

Application wise, the bristles really got to the hard-to-reach places and the curve helps push my lashes up, when I use it with the curved side up.  When I use it with the curved side down, it helps to coat more of the formula onto my lashes and therefore making it slightly darker.

The Formula

While the formula does last most of the day, helping to curl up my lashes and holding it for around 6 hours, what I did find was that it can be a little clumpy while I’m applying the mascara.  I would need to wipe a little off the side of the mascara tube (a no-no I know!) so that I won’t get extra bits of the formula in certain parts that can result in clumps on my lashes.

without the mystery mascara


My lashes BEFORE applying The Mystery Mascara

lashes with the mystery mascara

Lashes after applying The Mystery Mascara

lashes with the mystery mascara looking up

Looking up with The Mystery Mascara

lashes with the mystery mascara from another angle

From another angle with The Mystery Mascara

My Verdict

So what did I think of this mascara?  I’m actually surprised by the fact that I did like it!  I can manage the “clumpiness” of the formula simply by wiping it off before re-applying another coat, or wiping some off before my first application even.  I love the shape of the brush and how easy it is to coat every single lash and help lift and curl my short lashes easily.  The size of the tube is also perfect, meaning it’s not too little that I would run out of it before the 3 months is up and yet I would probably finish it when the time is up!

While this mascara is easy to apply, thanks to the brush, as expected, the spareness of the bristles also meant that this was more of a lengthening mascara than a volumising one.

If I was to guess which brand this mascara was from, I am really hoping, that it’s a drug-store brand, in other words, a brand I can get easily either from Priceline, pharmacies or the supermarket, from the simple packaging.  In fact I’m going to hazard a guess and say that it might be Maybelline.  At least I hope it is, so that I can actually afford this mascara without having to splurge!

Now I’ve just got to wait until the 2nd March 2015 to find out which brand this mascara is from!  Stay tuned!


Are you a fan of mascaras too?  Which is your favourite one so far?  Do you think it’s worth splurging on a good mascara?  And what do you term as splurging?


*I was given a sample of the mystery mascara from MakeupSocial for editorial consideration. 



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A mum of 3 who loves writing, sharing tips, tricks and discoveries that covers styling, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, health and so much more!


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Who is Norlin?

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She's a mum of 3 who loves writing, sharing tips, tricks and discoveries that covers styling, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, health and so much more!  Find out more about Norlin here!

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