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Maybelline Volume Express The Rocket Mascara

| Sunday, June 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The claim: Maybelline Volume Express The Rocket Mascara offers eight times the clump-free volume as regular mascara. You get explosive volume from root to tip from its supersonic brush, with its hard core and evenly spaced soft bristles. It is ophthalmologist tested, contact-lens safe and safe for sensitive eyes. And, it removes easily with soap and water.

Cost: $7.99

Where: Major discount and drug stores

I've always been a Maybelline mascara girl. When I first started wearing makeup, my mom told me Great Lash was best (she was right), and it's been my constant choice ever since. So, I was excited to try another product on the line, figuring, after 15 years, it might be time to make a change.

At first, the wand for Maybelline's Volume Express The Rocket Mascara threw me a bit. The brush's bristles seemed super tiny, and I wasn't sure it could give me the length I like. Turns out, it could — in addition to separating my lashes to give each one a distinct layer of mascara.

My lashes weren't as soft as they are when I use my old standby, but that was a small price to pay for the enhanced definition. My eyes are extremely sensitive and prone to becoming watery, puffy red messes when irritated (probably why I'm often reluctant to switch my routine up) but Rocket Mascara gave me no troubles. Overall, I liked it enough to add it to my daily makeup routine for now, but I'll probably keep Great Lash as my go-to.

— Rachel Weaver

Some out-of-work NASA PR employee must have joined Maybelline and went a little aggressive on the wording on the packaging. When applying mascara, the terms “rocket” and “supersonic” don't usually come to mind, but it's inside that counts, and this new mascara does a nice job of building lashes. The trick is that you have to be patient and let it totally dry before swiping your lids. At first check, it wasn't dry, and I smudged it. I tried again and detected no residue on my finger.

I'm used to a wand that is more pointy, but this round shape made for an easy application to build thick lashes. As promised, there were no clumps. I like that it feels lightweight on my lashes and, yet, delivers a full flutter worthy of flirting. Removing it was relatively easy. And I put it to the real test and slept in to see if it would cause raccoon eyes in the morning. Actually, it had pretty good staying power. Only a trace of smudge was under one eye. This is worthy of landing in my makeup drawer.

— Rebecca Killian

I'm a bit choosy about mascara, and as soon as I saw that my test material was the “very black” shade, I cringed. With light hair and eyelashes, I tend to look for mascara that is more suitable and natural-looking for my shade. I gave it a shot, and I was pleasantly surprised. It did not clump upon application, and it created a look that was not overly dramatic, even in a shade that is darker than I prefer.

The directions say to not allow the mascara to dry between coats; heed this advice. It does clump then, but not terribly. It's hard to tell when it is dry, though, because it feels sticky for some time after application. I'm not sure I get an incredible amount of volume with the Rocket, but I do get the length. The “supersonic” brush is a bit larger than I'm used to, which led to smears. It does not wash off easily. Overall, I'd say this is a pretty average mascara.

— Chrissy Zirngibl

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