Mascara can make such a difference to any look, but finding the perfect mascara is no easy feat, especially for short, straight and droopy Asian lashes. The quest for a mascara that ticks all the boxes can be daunting with so many brands and types of mascara available.

I’ve been using mascara for years and definitely experienced mascara smudging under my eyes especially since I have oily skin. All the mascaras I’ve used promise to be smudge-proof and provide volume to my extremely fine lashes, but more often than not don’t deliver. 

So when I found a mascara that promises to protect my lashes from water and last all day — Essence’s water and smudge proof Get Big! Lashes Volume Waterproof Mascara — I had to see for myself if it really delivers on its claims.

essence Get Big! Lashes Waterproof Mascara
Credit: Khong Yawen

Essence, an affordable German drugstore beauty brand, has a number of mascara variations, but I was intrigued by this mascara.

According to Essence, it’s a volumising mascara that is paraben-free and ophthalmologically-tested. It features a mega fibre brush applicator that is said to coat even the tiniest lashes and volumize them without the clumping. The formula claims to be lightweight and, of course, waterproof.

First impressions

essence Get Big! Lashes Waterproof Mascara brush applicator
Credit: Khong Yawen

The packaging was the initial thing that caught my eye. Striking royal blue and fluorescent pink letters isn’t hard to ignore. Upon opening the chubby tube, I was taken aback by the size of the bristles. With a larger brush, I was worried that the product would transfer more to my lids than to my lashes, which is something I struggled with when using other mascaras, even ones with slimmer brush applicators. 

So will this really work on my lashes?

The experience

essence mascara review
Left: Eyelashes after two coats of Get Big! Lashes Volume Waterproof Mascara
Right: No mascara

With just a couple zig-zag motions, I could see my lashes volumising and lengthening (which was a pleasant bonus). Obviously, I had to do another coat to verify the clump-free claim.

I was pleasantly surprised at how effective the mascara was in amplifying my lashes sans clumping. It held up even after a  trip to the market, sweaty workout and face wash (with just water). Volumising and waterproof? Check.

However, there are a few tiny drawbacks.

I noticed that if I were to accidentally get in on my undereye or lids, it can be quite hard to wipe off as the formula dries down pretty quickly. Unlike other mascaras I’ve used before where I can rub away the little flakes of smudged mascara with my fingers, the Get Big! Lashes Volume Waterproof does require a little more elbow grease to remove. I also observed some mascara flakes appeared on my cheeks after about five hours of wear, though they were fairly imperceptible. I suggest using an oil-based eye makeup remover to clean the smudges and thoroughly remove the mascara at the end of the day.

Pro tip: Soak cotton pads in micellar water and place it over your eyes for a few seconds before wiping away your makeup for a more thorough cleanse. 


Should I get it?

essence Get Big! Lashes Volume Waterproof Mascara review
Credit: essence

Priced at an affordable $5.30, I’d say give this mascara a shot if you’re looking for a waterproof, smudgeproof and volumising mascara. While you can expect a slight paint-like scent from this mascara, it’s not off-putting

Additionally, it’s also formulated with Vitamin E and candelilla wax that help to nourish your lashes and stimulate lash growth.

Perfect for those with oily skin types, this mascara gives you flirty and gorgeous lashes and wouldn’t wear off by the end of the day. No more raccoon eyes! It’s my little secret no more. 

Available at Guardian (in-stores).