Testing the Allure Editor’s Favorite | September 2020

Well, it’s been three months since I’ve posted one of these, but here we are! Also, I realize it’s no longer September, but close enough still. right?

Today’s product was gifted to me by my mom, and comes from the Mother of Makeup herself: Pat McGrath. The only other products I’ve ever tried from Pat McGrath was a lipstick and lip liner, and they are as lovely as can be. I’ve been wanting to try more of the brand, so I’m especially excited about this review.

The Recommendation: Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Mascara

Price: $30.00

What the Editor Says: “There are mascaras, and then there are mascaras. The volume from this one is so dramatic, we’ve actually texted a before and after to a group chat.” -Allure

My Experience
To preface this review, I have to admit that I really only ever buy drugstore mascara. I have used more expensive mascaras before, but I’m always left feeling like the quality is pretty on par with my favorite mascaras from the drugstore aisle. In that way, I see it as an easy area to save so that I can put money towards luxury products that make more of an impact. But, I’m always open to being proven wrong, and Pat McGrath’s mascara is one that has captured my attention in a way that others haven’t. After all, if anyone can make a mascara that is truly worth a luxury price tag, it’s her.

From a packaging standpoint, I’m in love with this mascara. It is so simple and sleek with its shiny, gold tube and baby pink typewriter font. The tube has a nice weight to it as well. It’s not heavy, per se, but it just feels balanced in the hand. The same goes for the wand, which feels quite balanced, making easy and enjoyable work of applying the mascara. I was actually surprised by how pleasant this product is to use. That’s not something I usually experience with even my favorite mascaras. It’s not a step in my makeup routine that I particularly enjoy.

As for the wand, it’s one of those classic hourglass brush shapes made popular by Too Faced with their Better Than Sex Mascara. I think this is a shape most brands end up creating some rendition of, and for good reason. The hourglass curve of the brush hugs the lashes beautifully, imparting length to all your lashes from end to end. I really like the overall curviture and size of this one. The brush is not obnoxiously big like so many are these days. Even my current favorite, CoverGirl Exhibitionist, has a wand that is a little too big for my liking. I often accidentally get mascara on my lids when using it. This has only happened a couple times when using Dark Star.

From a performance standpoint, this mascara does a great job of adding length, volume, and separation to the lashes. However, I will note that it’s one of those formulas where it gets better after the first few uses. Initially, the formula is fairly thin and doesn’t add much in the way of volume, But, after using a few times, the mascara starts to thicken up, imparting a nice amount of volume to the lashes. I think it’s because a little bit of air enters the tube each time it is opened, which helps the formula to thicken.

To be honest, I find the performance of this to be right on par with my CoverGirl mascara. However, when you take into account the beautiful packaging and that fact that it just feels really nice to use this product, I do think that it is worth it. Will I repurchase? I’m not sure. I still like the idea of saving money on mascara and putting it toward a luxury lipstick or foundation instead. But, I will say that I’m intrigued to try Pat McGrath’s first mascara release (which has a very unique wand!) and any others she comes out with in the future.

xo Kelli

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