I've tried drugstore mascara after drugstore mascara, but most of them either do nothing or leave me looking like a raccoon midday. So imagine my delight and intrigue when a pink, vaguely familiar-looking drugstore mascara landed on my desk. The packaging says “L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara,” and as I scanned the press release, I realized it’s only $11. The brush is thick and bristly—just how I like it. In fact, it looks very similar to Too Faced Better Than Sex, another mascara on my favorites list (I’m sure this is no coincidence on L’Oréal’s part since many drugstore products are inspired by top-selling cult favorites).
But would it stack up? In short: yes.
Pros + Cons
- Builds volume, length, and curl
- 3 shades and a waterproof version
- Keeps lashes soft
- Removes easily
- Doesn't meet Byrdie Clean standards
- Can flake and clump
The Bottom Line: Full yet lifted
L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara gives lots of length and fluffy volume while keeping lashes lifted and curled. For about $11, it performs like a luxury mascara without the lavish price tag.
L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
Best for: Fluffy lashes
Star Rating: 4/5
Active ingredients: Jojoba oil, beeswax
Clean?: No—contains sodium laureth sulfate, polybutene, BHT
Potential allergens: Yes—paraffin
Shade Range: 3 shades: black, black-brown, blackest black
What's Included: Wavy brush
About the brand: The leading beauty brand offers a huge range of makeup, skincare, and hair products at multiple price points. The global brand also owns subsidiaries Lancôme, NYX Professional Makeup, and Maybelline, among others.
About My Lashes
If my lashes were a breed of supermodel, they’d be the ’90s grunge-era kind: stick-thin and wilted. After half-hearted attempts at Latisse and a year of expensive lash extensions (after which my lashes were reduced to mere nubs—traumatizing), I’ve finally stopped stressing, and I’ve come to accept them for what they are: rather unimpressive.
But that doesn’t mean I’ve just let myself/my lashes go. I still want to bring them to their utmost potential, which is why I’ll try pretty much any mascara that comes across my desk. When my co-workers, with their naturally long and Birkin-esque lashes, rave about a particular mascara, I do an internal eye roll: of course, your lashes look long, thick, and lifted! They already are! But when a mascara is able to sculpt, lift, and add volume to my sparse, barely there lashes? Well, that’s the ultimate test, and there are very few that pass it. I can probably count them all on one hand, actually. The truth is, my exclusive “club” of Holy Grail mascaras are on the more expensive side of the spectrum—Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara ($27) and Giorgio Armani Eccentrico Mascara ($32) are two of my favorites.
How to Apply
Holding the brush horizontally, sweep through lashes from root to tip. For extra definition and volume, hold against base of lashes and blink.
The Brush: Densely packed and shapely
Speaking of the brush, this isn't one to gloss over. It boasts an hourglass shape a la Too Faced Better Than Sex and is packed with 200+ bristles, according to L’Oréal, meaning every last lash is amplified. The brush is also soft and flexible, giving lashes that fluffy, fanned-out effect we all love.
While the original washable formula comes off easily with a little soap and water, L'Oréal also makes a waterproof version with major staying power. Go for a dip or sweat it out at the gym; you won't have to worry about your mascara sliding down your cheeks.
The Results: Weightless lift and volume
The dense brush coated my thin lashes and lifted them like little angels to the heavens.
I was blown away by, well, everything. The dense brush coated my thin lashes and lifted them like little angels to the heavens. The problem I run into with most volumizing mascaras is that they weigh down my lashes and get rid of any curl, but this one seemed to magically multiply my lashes before my eyes and keep them curled and perky.
I did get a few flakes by midday, which is something I don’t experience with my beloved Better Than Sex (the formula is silkier and smoother in general.) But in terms of volume, curl, and length, I was blown away by this new drugstore gem. Welcome to the club, Lash Paradise.
The Value: A great buy
Considering mascaras like Too Faced's Better Than Sex retail for upwards of $25 for 0.27 oz, L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise is a steal for just under $11 for 0.25 oz. It also comes in a few different shades, so whether you prefer a softer brownish-black or deep, dramatic black, you have options. Many luxury mascaras only come in black, so Lash Paradise has a clear advantage.
Similar Products: You have options
Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara ($11): Another volumizing drugstore mascara that also delivers lift, length, and curl. The unique brush scoops lashes—sort of like a push up bra, hence the name—for a long-lasting curl. It's also competitively priced.
Pat McGrath FetishEyes Lengthening Mascara ($30): A pricier option, it also has a fat brush to swipe on instant length and volume without weighing lashes down. Like L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise, it keeps lashes soft and fluffy.
Our Verdict: A budget-friendly dupe for Too Faced BTS
If you're loving the hourglass brush and volumizing formula unique to Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara, you should definitely give L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise a try. It's a much cheaper option that lifts, lengthens, and volumizes just as well as more expensive counterparts.