Home Health & Beauty Essence Bye Bye Panda Eyes! mascara – Review

Essence Bye Bye Panda Eyes! mascara – Review

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Bye Bye Panda Eyes! mascara promises no smudging, but how effective is it? DELIA LOUW put it to the test.

Mascara options run the gamut of lash-beautifying features, whether you desire volume, length, definition or all the above. Your choice will depend on your priorities, but most users agree that dark under-eye half moons are a big no-no.

The pitch

Bye Bye Panda Eyes! aims to be smudge-proof, volumising, defining, and long-lasting – and even able to withstand tears and sweat. Those are serious undertakings for a tube of mascara that costs under R100 in most stores.

My lashes are long but on the sparser side, so I’m always looking for volumising options. I’m not sure whether it’s due to lash length or eye anatomy, but mascara smudges or flakes off on my lashes without fail. Within a few hours, I look like a boxer who’s just lost a title fight.

So, finding a truly smudge-proof mascara has been a side quest for many, many years now. I’ve tried cheap brands, expensive brands, waterproof and not. Some were better than others, but a truly smudge-proof mascara still eludes me. Could this finally be The One?

The test and verdict

I applied the mascara in the morning before work, with a gym session planned in the afternoon. That would mean lots of frowning and squinting in front of the computer and some cardio training to really put this product to the test.

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The mascara applied beautifully. The formula is thick without being gloopy and glided on with no clumps. The brush head is wide and tapered at the end, as volumising mascara brushes usually are. You need to take care not to touch your skin with the longer bristles as you apply. However, the brush head is not uncomfortably wide and the short bristles at the end can reach the tiny hairs in the corners of your eyes.

Two coats provided good volume, and even some lengthening to boot.

Hello, panda eyes

By lunchtime there was not a smudge to be seen and I was getting hopeful. But, alas, by the time I hopped into my car to go to the gym, black smears had appeared under my eyes. I forced myself not to wipe it off, for the sake of this test, and proceeded to add sweat to the mix. Things went decidedly downhill from there.

To be fair, I’ve bought much more expensive mascaras that didn’t fare half as well on the smearing front. Five or so hours of smudge-free wear is a win at this price. And the post-workout smearing was better – or, well, less bad – than many others.

What we loved about it

The formula applies easily, is certainly volumising, lasts fairly well, and is very affordable. It’s also oil-free, vegan, paraben-free and perfume-free, so good for sensitive eyes and skin.

Where it could improve

Though it fared okay on the panda scale, the hunt for a truly smudge-free mascara continues. But, for the price, it’s certainly a pack leader.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Essence Bye Bye Panda Eyes! mascara scores 4 out of 5.

Photos credits: Mikhail Nilov, Andrea Piacquadio, and supplied

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