Ellen inquires…What is the best mascara? I use Benefit’s “They’re Real!” and for me, it does what it says – no flaking, smudging, comes off with a little oil. But it is about 22 dollars. Is there a less expensive brand with similar characteristics? They all make the same claim! I have had to try so many, and sometimes I think they change the formula, because I have to keep changing mascara’s. As a girl, I used Great Lash, but I am 60 now and haven’t tried it for….ages.
The Beauty Brains respond:
To find a cheaper version of your favorite product you can use a variation of our ingredient “Rule of 5.”
1. Find the ingredient list for the product in question which in this case is Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara. (If you don’t have the package handy you can usually find it on Amazon, Drugstore.com, or the websites for national drug store chains.
2. Copy and paste the first five ingredients into the search field of your web browser. Note that the ingredient names are separated by commas. This can be confusing because some of the longer chemical names contain dashes and slashes.
3. Review the search engine results disregarding the references to the original product until you find alternate products with the same first 5 ingredients. In this case we found two brands in the first few results pages: Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara and UOUO Curl Lash Mascara.
4. Click through those links until you find the entire ingredient list for the alternate products and compare the rest of the ingredients with your target product. In this case we found that the ingredients for both the Givenchy and UOUO products were almost identical to the benefit product.
5. Locate the price and net contents for each alternate product so you can calculate a price per ounce. In our example we found that the Givenchy product was MORE expensive than Benefit but the UOUO product is considerably less (about $6 a tube for UOUO versus $22 for Benefit.)
If you’re lucky, like in this example, you’ll find products that are nearly identical in composition. If only some of the ingredients match up then you’ll need a little more chemical knowledge to be able to identify the best option. (Or you can just ask us!)
The Beauty Brains bottom line
For a cheaper version of Benefit’s “They’re Real” mascara try UOUO Curl Lash Lengthening Mascara. The ingredients are almost identical but about 1/3 of the price. (Note: this doesn’t mean that other product characteristics, like the application brush, will be similar.)
Benefit “They’re Real!” mascara ingredients
Water, paraffin, polybutene, styrene/acrylates/ammonium methacrylate copolymer, beeswax, Bis-di glycerylpolyacyladipate-2, C18–36 acid triglyceride, palmitic acid, stearic acid, triethanolamine, VP/Eicosine copolymer, acacia gum, hydroxyethylcellulose, phenoxyethanol, tetrasodium EDTA, butylene glycol. Caprylyl glycol, tocopherol acetate, sodium lauryl-12 sulfate, glycerin, potassium sorbate, glycerine, calcium chloride, sodium hyaluronic, extract, citric acid, BHT, sorbic acid, iron oxide also Marines chromium oxide greens sodium hydroxide green titanium dioxide.
UOUO Curl Lash Lengthening Mascara ingredients
WATER (AQUA), PARAFFIN, POLYBUTENE, STYRENE/ACRYLATES/AMMONIUM METHACRYLATE COPOLYMER, BEESWAX (CERA ALBA), BIS-DIGLYCERYL POLYACYLADIPATE-2, C18-36 ACID TRIGLYCERIDE, PALMITIC ACID, STEARIC ACID, TRIETHANOLAMINE, VP/EICOSENE COPOLYMER, ACACIA SENEGAL GUM, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, PHENOXYETHANOL, TETRASODIUM EDTA, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, SODIUM LAURETH-12 SULFATE, GLYCERIN, POTASSIUM SORBATE, SERICIN, CALCIUM CHLORIDE, SODIUM HYALURONATE, TILIA TOMENTOSA BUD EXTRACT, CITRIC ACID, BHT, SORBIC ACID. [+/-: IRON OXIDES (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), ULTRAMARINES (CI 77007), CHROMIUM OXIDE GREENS (CI 77288), CHROMIUM HYDROXIDE GREEN (CI 77289), TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891)]. N° 05827/N