I Put This $5 Amazon-Favorite Mascara to the Test To See if It’s Really Worth 130k 5-Star Reviews

Photo: Getty Images/ skynesher
When I learned that the Essence Lash Princess False Effect mascara costs less than five bucks, has earned nearly 130,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, and sells a tube every 90 seconds, I wasn't too shocked. I appreciate a luxury mascara, but one of my favorites of all time is the LOréal Paris Voluminous mascara line, and you can generally pick one up from Target or the drugstore for under $7. You don't need to shell out a ton of cash to get a good beauty product, and as someone who's tested thousands, I'll always stand by that.

lash princess mascara
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara — $5.00

For $5, this mascara offers length, volume, and longevity. And it’s one of the most popular beauty products on the internet.

But I wanted to know what made this mascara so special. At first glance, it seems pretty standard: It has a narrow, cone-like wand, and reviewers swear that the formula and fiber brush design gives them long-lasting length and volume. "It provides dramatic length and great volume. I can honestly say I can’t stop looking at my eyelashes in the mirror every single day because of how awesome they look. Also, it is very long wearing. I go from an 8 hour work day right to the gym and sweat like crazy...and this stuff doesn’t budge," one reviewer writes.

Another customer admits they don't even buy the designer stuff anymore, thanks to Lash Princess: "Love this mascara! I’ve used the 'best of the best' designer, super hyped, ultra popular mascara available and NOTHING compares to this stuff! I don’t even bother using a lash curler anymore!"

Is Lash Princess False Effect mascara really that good?

I can confirm that, for $5, Lash Princess is a really solid mascara. Its super power is definitely in the lengthening department, and the formula is easily buildable, so you can achieve thicker lashes with a few layers. My lashes are dark but pretty thin in their natural state, so I lean toward bold mascara that give me length and volume and make my eyes look bigger. This tube checks all of those boxes.

The only downside I really ran into was that the formula is pretty liquid-y. You really have to avoid moving your face or ever-so-slightly fluttering your lashes, because you might get some mascara on your eyelid. Even though I always apply mascara after eyeshadow, I figured out it was a safer bet to switch the steps so that I wouldn't mark up my eye makeup.

Is it better than L'Oréal Paris Voluminous mascara? To me, not quite (sorry—I'm always going to  be honest with you, and you just can't beat five years of mascara loyalty so quickly). But it's up there with the greats. And for the price tag, I'd say that's really honorable. Get the mascara.

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