Sometimes I wish brands would put a little more effort into describing what their products actually do, instead of trying to be all things to all (wo)men. Take these two new mascaras from Maybelline and Max Factor - at face value they both claim to deliver exactly the same effect. “Clump free volume” proclaims Maybelline’s latest, The Rocket Volum’ Express. “Mega volume without clumps”, promises Max Factor’s Clump Defy. Even their packaging is similar. But try them both, and turns out they’re not so similar, after all…
Formula: As soon as you pull the wands from the tubes you can see the Maybelline formula is thicker and wetter – it clings to the brush and the wand, whereas for Max Factor, there’s not a trace. This is deliberate: they tell us that 7/10 women will dismiss a mascara if they see clumps on the brush, and they’ve delivered a mascara that won’t. (Personally, I’m not sure that I would – on the eye, sure, but on the brush? Hmm. What about you?)
Wand: Ooh, big differences here, too – the Max Factor brush is smaller, thinner and curved, to comb through the lashes and mimic the natural shape of the eye. Whereas the Maybelline wand is much bigger and rounder, meaning it deposits more product on the lash.
Lasting Power: These both have good lasting power and stay the distance for a working day, with no flakes. Neither feel especially stiff or crunchy (a beauty bugbear), but the Max Factor just has the edge in terms of buildability – it feels a bit softer on the lashes so would be a good one to layer up, to take you from day to night.
Volume: Ahh. Now we really start to see a difference. The Rocket delivers va-va-voom volume in just one coat. Clump Defy, on the other hand, offers a feathery, fanned out effect – less volume, more softly defined.
Clumps: Zero clumpage with Max Factor – they are definitely keeping their promises on that front. Slight clumping with Maybelline, especially after two coats – it’s minimal, but it’s there.
From top: no mascara, one coat (Maybelline on the left, with the blue eyeliner dot so I could be sure I was identifying it correctly!); two coats in final image.
Price: Max Factor are a couple of quid more expensive here with a RRP of €13.99 as opposed to €11.99 for Maybelline’s The Rocket.
The verdict? It really depends on your preference, but for me, maximum impact and effortless drama wins out every time. Maybelline The Rocket Volum’ Express – you take the crown! Seems we can’t get enough of Maybelline’s mascaras right now – see what Aisling had to say about The Colossal, here.
Whaddya reckon – which one would do it for you?