In all these years of testing beauty products, I'd never met a waterproof mascara that I genuinely liked. There, I said it. And you know the reason why. They're usually mega-clumpy and hard to apply, spread their flakes all over your cheeks throughout the day, and in general feel like they're semi-lash-destroying. They've gotten worse over the last few years, too, since "volumizing" in a waterproof formula tends to mean extra blobs deposited on your lashes that you have to comb out.
I didn't expect much when, on a rainy "testing Saturday," I applied the waterproof version of L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Mascara. The volume claim gave me pause, but I guess I was a little intrigued by the wing-tip brush, and its promise of lashes stretched to the corners. Like the effect of a cat's eye, except with lashes. That, I could get on board with.
Here's what the brush looks like:
(Don't mind my reflection in the handle. It could be much worse.)
The comb action reminds me of Lancôme's Hypnôse mascara, which I love. The great thing about a comb wand is that you automatically prevent clumps from attaching themselves, without having to use a separate lash comb, and it makes it easier to direct your lashes where you want them to go (i.e. straight up, diagonal, etc.). I also find a comb brush makes it easier to get the mascara right at the roots of the lashes, which I believe is the secret to a great mascara application.
Okay, so how did this fare?
Well, it's pretty good. And believe me, that's the highest praise I can give to a waterproof mascara formula because by nature, they'll never compare to the regular ones. Note that I didn't bother curling my lashes in this pic, which is something you'll want to do at home—it will vastly improve the effect, since this mascara on it own doesn't have any curling power.
The power Voluminous Butterflydoes have is to lengthen and define your lashes really well. I don't know why that wasn't the claim here instead of volumizing. I found the volume quite minimal; nothing to write home about. As for the cat-eye effect, I think that's a bit of a stretch, but if any brush can achieve that, it's this type.
What I was looking out for were the usual let-downs with a waterproof mascara—and they're not really here. The formula is on the drier side, but it's very soft and you can build up layers without your lashes clumping together or them hardening before you're done. After a few uses, yes, if you look close-up there is that very slight flakiness through the lashes that is a signature of all waterproof mascaras. But it's really not a noticeable problem, and none of it escaped to my cheeks or under-eye area. I love that it makes lashes super-black, and I can touch them and they don't feel hard and stiff.
And of course, it doesn't budge at all. Like, at ALL. It's kind of a bitch to get off, so I don't know if it's something to wear on a day-to-day basis. (Maybe just on the bottom lashes, since those tend to smudge more.) When you do wear Voluminous Butterfly, be prepared to spend some extra time with your makeup remover to get it off. Try Bioderma, Bliss, Neutrogena (my mom's fave!) or Givenchy.
All in all, I think this is a great buy as far as waterproof goes. Your thoughts?
Where to buy
Find L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Waterproof Mascara at Well.ca and these retailers:
Have your say
Do you ever wear waterproof mascara?
Have you tried Voluminous Butterfly?
Got any other formulas to recommend?