December 10, 2011

Essence I ♥ Extreme Volume Mascara: A Dupe for Benefit Badgal Lash?

Being a make-up junkie is an expensive habit. Pretty shiny things attract us and, generally, pretty shiny things  come with pretty shiny prices to match!

So, when an affordable dupe rears its head for the cosmetic-obsessed to see, it would be remiss of us not to take stock and shout it from the rooftops to save fellow obsessives a pretty penny!

Today's dupe is a good 'un. Y'know the way loads of you are mad about Benefit Badgal Lash?

Well, Essence I ♥ Extreme Volume Mascara bares a pretty spectacular resemblance to the cult favourite from the colour scheme, packaging and brush right down to the formulation. Sounds good, no?!


As you can see, the thick, black plastic tube with hot pink lettering is a definite homage to the high-end offering. While Benefit's packaging is definitely more sturdy and features a shiny silver cap, the Essence tube is just as nice looking. I will say, however, that the cap doesn't close as firmly as I would like. There is no satisfactory "click" and, while this is fine at first for reasons I will touch on in a minute, it could definitely lead to the mascara drying out quick quickly.


The wand is probably what bears the most resemblance to Bad Gal Lash. It's absolutely giant and has an abundance of bristles so, with practice, every lash can be reached. I say "with practice" because I know a lot of people struggle with reaching the small, inner lashes using big mascara wands but, I have found the trick to be a series of facial contortions in order to get in to the inner corner without also coating your eyeball, eyelid and nose with the product. Just move your head and the wand and open your eyes wide and, with any luck, you should get at the little feckers using the tip of the wand!


I mentioned above that the cap not closing fully was fine at at the beginning of use and here's why. The formula is incredibly wet to start with and needs to be let dry out a bit before it can be used as, otherwise, it slips and slides on the lashes and is impossible to build up. Once it has dried out, however, the formula is an absolute dream and definitely where the budget brand trumps the high-end.

Now, this isn't a waterproof mascara but, I have been wearing it to work everyday and to the gym afterwards and have had no issue with flaking or smudging. My lashes don't feel crisp or look spidery and it is easy to remove at the end of the day with no scrubbing needed all of which, unfortunately, I have found to be the case with Benefit's version in the past.


At €3.29, Essence I ♥ Extreme Volume Mascara comes in at €19.21 less than Benefit Badgal Lash (€22.50) yet, is almost an exact dupe. The only point at which Essence loses marks for me is the packaging but, it easily matches Benefit in terms of the wand and surpasses Benefit with the excellent formula. I would encourage anyone who likes these big wanded mascaras to give the Essence interpretation a go as it really is everything Badgal should have been. And, for €3.29, I think we can all deal with it drying up a bit quicker than the average!


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