Splurge vs Steal – can you spot the £1.99 Mascara from the £19.99 one?


I wanted to do a bit of  a test, I own so many mascaras but so many go unloved and unused. My staple mascaras are Benefit Roller Lash, Benefit They’re Real (especially in blue!) Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume and Volume Million Lash by L’oreal. I have the LVL lash treatment done every 3-4 months so depending on how curled my eye lashes are looking usually depends on what mascara I grab in the morning. My natural eye lashes without LVL are quite long but straight and really struggle to hold any curl so I am always on the look out for that ‘perfect’ mascara. A friend of mine, who used to work for a luxury make up brand in Debenhams told me about her little beauty secret, she said that over the few years she worked behind the beauty counter selling gorgeous make up, she never wore the brands own mascara (she of course wouldn’t admit this to anyone). Instead she chose to wear the £1.99 offering from Superdrug. Her mascara always looks fantastic so I was intrigued to do a bit of a test.

For a whole day I wore Miss Sporty Fabulous Lash on one eye and Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real on the other, I asked people to tell me which side they preferred, not telling them at first the price difference or in fact that there was any difference at all, but purely what they thought looked better on me. I tried to apply the products in exactly the same way on either side for fairness.

Here is what happened:

before - no mascara


mascara test

Left eye -Miss Sport Fabulous Mascara Right eye -Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Mascara

mascara test

Left Eye – Miss Sporty Fabulous Lash Right Eye – Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Mascara


Miss Sporty Fabulous Lash Mascara – £1.99 (Superdrug)

Miss Sporty Fabulous Lash Mascara

This is the cheapest mascara I have ever bought, even when I had a Saturday job at 14, my staple mascara was the iconic Maybelline Great Lash  in the famous pink and green packaging. I had no expectations from a mascara this cheap, I thought it wouldn’t last and would just smudge as soon as I went outside in the heat or rain..how wrong was I! This little beauty did a fantastic job of separating and lengthening my lashes without one single clump! It also lasted all day and was super easy to remove in the evening (which is what I want as I like to take all my make up off in about 2 seconds!) It isn’t that waterproof, so if you are going to see a film that might make you weep, this one might not be for you, but if you want a cheap and great alternative then I think this one is fab and definitely worth a try…after all costs half the price of a Starbucks!

Thoughts: Everyone I asked preferred the eye wearing this mascara. They all commented on how natural but yet super curled and dark my lashes looked. This mascara didn’t clump or stick any of my lashes together. It has a curved brush which allows you to get right into the root of the lash. Overall it’s quite a natural look on me but because the formula doesn’t set instantly hard you can continue to top up and build throughout the day which is great for me as it goes from day-time to evening without having to start all over again!

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real – £19.99


I initially bought this mascara in the blue because I personally think blue mascara rocks! (the blue makes the whites of your eyes look so much brighter, good tip after a heavy night!) I really enjoyed using it so purchased in the black as well. I love the brush, the ‘go vertical’ tip really does help to lengthen the look of my lashes and get into every corner. My one thing with this mascara is that it sets V quickly and then that is it, for the rest of the day. I find it difficult to top up if I am heading out for drinks after work without it getting seriously clumpy. The biggest thing about this mascara for me though is taking it off, if you look online you will see I am not alone here, don’t get me wrong, a mascara that lasts all day is fantastic but we don’t really want be pulling our lashes off at the end of the day. I find even with my Emma Hardie cleansing balm, it still doesn’t come off very easy. I also ended up buying the They’re real mascara remover and as I am a PR girl at heart, this just yells out at creating a product that is great but means you basically need the another product for it it work properly and considering it costs around the same as the mascara it is a hefty investment and costly cycle to get into!

Thoughts: Out of the people I asked they all thought this mascara made my lashes look longer and more curled but also more clumped together than the Miss Sporty mascara. This in part could be down to my application but it is something I have found quite a lot with this mascara due to how hard it sets, if you make a mistake it just clumps your lashes together. Some people love the more dark thicker lashes but personally I preferred long defined individual lashes with a more natural overall look.


I wanted to do this because as much as I love brands like Tom Ford, YSL and Charlotte Tilbury and could happily spend all my money on them , I have younger sisters and have people who always ask me if I know of any dupes and cheaper alternatives and so that is why I wanted to put these to the test.

Experimenting with different brands, styles and colours is what I love so much about the beauty world and I believe there is something out there for everyone, regardless of how much you want to spend and there are some fantastic dupe brands currently on the market.

Both of these products are great and this post wasn’t supposed to be simply a review but more of a comparison to show how there is something suitable for everyone and Hey! my boyfriend preferred the £1.99 one without knowing what the difference was, which means I can just buy it plus 10 other things….right?

Love to know of any dupes you have come across! Share below!


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