TRIED AND TESTED: 3 new mascaras under $25 that'll make your eyes look alive on video calls.

Mamamia’s Tried and Tested series is your weekly review of the latest to hit our desks in beauty, health and wellness. You won’t find any #sponsored content here, just honest, relatable and independent advice. This week, Senior Lifestyle Writer Amy Clark found three new mascaras under $25.

Maybe it’s just me, but I have never been more acutely aware of what my face looks like than I am right now.

In isolation, my reflection is staring back at me constantly. In work video calls I feel like I have to have the camera on for. On FaceTime catch ups with my parents. In my bathroom mirror as I slowly work through my now-extensive nightly skincare routine to sort out my quarantine pimples.

The more I see the working from home version of my face, the less I feel like… me. Not because I don’t like what my face looks like without makeup, but because it’s made me realise how much I enjoy putting it on.

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Of course, I’m not complaining about the extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning and not having to wipe my face off at the end of the day. But. I don’t know. I’m also really missing the morning ritual of applying makeup each day.

In the scheme of things, it’s tiny. A blip on the scale of how life has changed in the last six weeks. But amid all the Big Things going on, it’s OK to miss the little things, too. Little things you’d usually find joy in, like going to the pub for a parmi on a Friday night, playing netball with friends, patting random doggos on walks, or treating yourself to a facial.

For me, makeup is a joy. Choosing which foundation or cream blush to wear and umming and ahhing between doing a sparkly eyeshadow or a punchy lip (or both) is just really fun. So even though it doesn’t make much practical sense right now, I decided to dust off my makeup bag this week. Literally, it’s collecting dust in my bathroom.


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The pose you do when you’re wearing makeup for the first time in 3 weeks ✨✨✨ Video coming as soon as my internet can handle ???? Oh, and I’m wearing the mascara I couldn’t talk about until now! Products used: – @trinnylondon BFF Cream Skin Perfector – @zoevacosmetics Authentik Skin Concealer – @morphebrushes Bronzer in Mastermind – @maybelline Cheek Heat Cream Blush in Fuschia Spark – @toofaced Born This Way Turn Up The Light Highlighter Palette – @benefitaustralia 24Hour Brow Setter Clear Gel – @maxfactorau False Lash Effect Blue Primer – @maxfactorau False Lash Effect Mascara in Deep Raven Black – @trinnylondon Lip2Cheek in Rosssy – @morphebrushes Mattifying Continuous Setting Spray

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When I declared on a work video chat I was wearing mascara, a lovely colleague of mine commented she’s been doing the same. Mascara makes her feel like herself, she said. And really, that’s why we keep doing a bunch of things in isolation, even though we don’t have to.

On that note, I’d like to tell you about three brilliant, budget-friendly mascaras I’ve been wearing on work video meetings to make my eyes look… like they exist. *There are actually four mascaras, but that’ll make more sense momentarily.

Why? Because if you feel like your eyes are looking weary right now, a few coats of mascara is the quickest way to fake a decent night’s sleep on camera.

1. Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift Volumising Mascara, $24.95.

Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift Volumising Mascara
This new mascara has divided the internet! Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift Volumising Mascara
The brush is curved - it reminds me of the iconic Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara brush. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift Volumising Mascara
Here's my weary mug wearing it, I feel alive! Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

This mascara launched earlier this year (feels like a lifetime ago!) and it promptly sold out everywhere. While everyone in the You Beauty Facebook group was debating whether it’s the best thing since iced lattes or nothing to text a mate about, I was going to every chemist around town looking for it.

I finally located it and my verdict is in… I love it. I reckon this product lives up to its ‘lash lift’ name because in just a few, light swipes, your lashes look infinitely longer. I also think this mascara caters to almost everyone because you can decide how you want to use it.

If you prefer your lashes long, sleek and separated, you can achieve this in a few swipes by removing excess product on the edge of the tube. If volume is what you’re after, you can build this mascara to achieve the ‘falsies’ effect. I’m loving it sick.

P.S. You'll almost always find it cheaper when you buy it on sale from your local chemist.

2. Max Factor False Lash Effect Max Out Blue Primer, $24.95, and Max Factor False Lash Effect Deep Raven Black Mascara, $26.95.

Max Factor False Lash Effect
These two products are game changers. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Max Factor False Lash Effect
The new Deep Raven shade gives you the blackest lashes. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Max Factor False Lash Effect
The blue primer isn't necessary, unless you want your lashes to look the best they've ever looked. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Max Factor False Lash Effect
Here I am wearing both mascaras, plus a sh*t tonne of makeup. Who am I?? Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

Yes, I too thought we were done with mascara primers, but honestly, this mascara combination is the best I’ve tried… ever?

Before our world completely changed, I accidentally posted a selfie wearing these two products on Instagram while they were still under embargo. This meant I had to tell the people who messaged asking what was on my lashes it was a secret. Lame. Now, these products are available at Priceline, BIG W and anywhere that stocks Max Factor.

The actual mascara is similar to the original False Lash Effect formula I used to wear a lot when I wanted sexy lashes going out to the club. I don’t go to the club anymore but the Deep Raven shade gives your lashes that intense black that makes blue and green eyes pop. Wearing the blue primer underneath serves two purposes: it adds length AND makes the Deep Raven shade look like a striking blue black tint.

Both products have a flexible, plastic bristle brush, which I prefer for getting in and coating every single lash. The mascara is technically $26.95 but I guarantee you'll find it cheaper in-store or online.

3. Rimmel Scandal'Eyes Volume On Demand Mascara, $18.95.

Rimmel Scandal'Eyes Volume On Demand Mascara
Leigh's been wearing this budget mascara to feel a bit more like herself in these strange times. Image: Supplied/Leigh Campbell.


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This recommendation comes from beauty editor and host of Mamamia's You Beauty podcast Leigh Campbell. She recommended it as her latest budget beauty purchase because mascara is one of the only makeup products she’s been wearing in isolation to feel like herself.

Leigh says this one is the perfect all-rounder mascara because it’s lengthening, but not hectic, and volumising, but won’t leave your lashes looking chunky. It’s also buildable, so you can apply several layers for a more intense look without ending up with crunchy, globby lashes. As you can see in the image above, the results are as advertised.

So, chuck on one of these affordable mascaras on before your next video call and marvel at its transformative powers. Or don't. The choice is yours, my friend.

Feature image: Supplied/@theamyclark.

Have you tried any great, affordable beauty products lately? Tell us about them in the comments below!

You can catch up on our previous Tried and Tested reviews here: