Dense: Thickening Mascaras in a Blink…

By Jo Phillips

Mascara is probably the item of choice for my desert island wishlist.  Without it, for me, my lashes are practically see through and well, it’s not my best look, so in honour of our “Dense” theme, here in the .Cent office, we’ve been trialling the best thickening mascaras from the beauty counters to see which ones really do the business.  Want luscious, thick, dense looking lashes in a blink…?! Then take a further look at our favourites here:

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Here’s our breakdown of the ones which ticked our boxes, complete with our ‘eye-fies’ below:


Beauty Editor Alexis tried out Lancome’s new Grandiose mascara which had a really dramatic effect pretty much instantly upon application.  “The whole usp of this mascara is Lancome’s innovation into developing a “swan-like” looking mascara wand which appeared to cut down the time it takes me to do my eyelashes.  The brush is small and compact, dense bristles in a variety of sizes to catch all those lashes – even the tricky new baby ones, and it is packaged beautifully. 

The colour is really black, one of the blackest I’ve ever seen from a mascara and you can see it fully coated my lashes from root to tip.  I felt I had more control than usual in applying my mascara and believe that’s down to the curve shape and angling of the wand too.  Nice work Lancome – well worth getting a few of these in before they sell out!”

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Leah, our editorial team player tried out By Terry’s Terrybly mascara and said, “This is one of the elite products for thickening mascaras, creating lots of volume and fuller, thicker lashes.  I found the results of this mascara to be easy to use, as it was able to define my lashes without clumping, and it has a cleanness in its application and design. At a retail price of £31, it is worth every penny, as its thick, dark texture adds both volume and length, visually transforming my lashes in a flash.  It’s got collagen and an XXlash complex ingredient in, to help enhance the growth of my lashes too which I’m excited to see the results of in a few weeks after using daily!”

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Director Jo got to grips with the Instant Definition mascara from Clarins and has been converted.  “I am not one to chop and change…once I find something I like I tend to be a little bit of a stick in the mud, so when the idea of testing mascaras came up in the office, I must admit I was a bit of a doubting Thomas…  I must say I’m completely knocked off my feet with the Clarins mascara.  First of all the brush is amazing, a normal section and a fine section for the almond end of the eye.  I like to wear heavy amounts of mascara and was able to layer this on without clogging up my eyelashes: the two sections of the brush made it easy to apply with the fine end not clumping together the smaller eyelashes at the corners.

Also and for me extremely important was not just the definition but that fact that it did not crumble through the day. No ‘panda eyes’ after a long day, lashes still intact, yes it may be a little harder to clean off at the end of the day but well well worth it for full, thinker but defined lashes!  Sometimes its nice to be proved wrong…

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Fashion Ed Donna tried out the cult mascara of the beauty pack –VLM (volumising, lengthening mascara) by CODE Beautiful.  She found their “root, wriggle, roll,” concept a winner:  “This was a good thickening mascara, it coated really well and kept the lashes separate which definitely helped them look thicker- nothing worse than clumps for me!  The consistency felt a bit like it had fibres in it but wasn’t uncomfortable. I think you can really see how it. 

The makers of this mascara said to ensure I applied using their root, wriggle, roll theory which means basically add the brush to the roots of your lashes, wriggle the wand out to start the application and then roll it right across the lash to tips.  When I did just one root to tip wiggle, it really exaggerated the outer lashes.”

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Beauty contributor Kate used the Mascara Volume by Japanese brand Suqqu.  “I loved the packaging – it’s simple, understated and cool.  Typical Japanese design.  The wand is thin and the mascara goes on really easily, coating every lash evenly and it doesn’t apply too much product which I find with other brands making the application quite messy.

I found I needed to apply a couple of extra coats to define my eyes more to my personal liking, but I should mention I love my mascara!  It’s a great new find.”


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Mary our fashion and beauty intern tried out the Sumptuous Extreme Lash mascara from Estee Lauder and was really excited about a new find for her makeup bag. “This made such a difference to my lashes – even just one coat made it look like I had healthy, thick lashes.  The Estee Lauder packaging is a sophisticated navy blue design, with a hint of gold, and the brush was lovely – packed to the brim with bristles to grab all my little baby hairs.

Applying was super easy too, it’s quite a wet consistency so you need to be careful not to get into a mess but you really only need one coat of it to do the business.  More if you want the clumpy spiders legs effect that is currently trending, but I’m chuffed to have found something that really works!  And removal was super easy too, not painful or stingy, just clean, and gone.  Thanks Estee Lauder – this is a new personal favourite!”

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Our Art editor Angelina discovered Laura Mercier’s Thickening and Building version.  Here’s her thoughts: “As you can see on the photo it makes a huge difference and makes my lashes look much much thicker and volumised. The mascara has a good texture and isn’t lumpy.

It’s described as a ‘Very intensive black’ colour, which is perfect for me because it looks good with my blonde hair and gives a good contrast on my skintone.  The packaging is very simple – just black.  I’m incredibly happy with this product although I don’t use mascara that much. I love it!!”

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Newest member of .Cent, Avy, trialled the RMK Extra Deep W Mascara and noticed a big difference.  Here’s his findings: “The RMK mascara combines 2 main things: quality and long lasting. The bottle is slim, elegant and feels quite futuristic. 

It has 2 ends: the first one is a base and second one contains a richly pigmented mascara.  The bristles are not too thick so it is quite easy to separate your eyelashes.  The base make eye lashes visibly longer in length, and the mascara brush really helped to enhance the volume, still keeping a fresh and natural look. 

If you are seeking for more drama, you can easily achieve it with few more strokes of the wand – I was really happy with it!   The ends shut completely too – which is really important, to stop them drying out so quickly which is something I have experienced with a number of mascaras in the past.  Overall it’s a great product!”

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Now go forth and blink those lashed up peepers.

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