We know, we know. You clicked on this expecting to roll your eyes because you’ve already clicked on a million “mascara hack” headlines. But this one is new—and it has nothing to do with how you’re positioning your wand.
Nope: You just have to stop buying full-size versions of your favorite mascara. In a recent Reddit thread, one user begged for an explanation of her peculiar circumstance: “Could someone please tell me why I love the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara when it comes in a DS tube, but the full size seems like a totally different product? It seems drier than the DS and doesn’t seem to separate my lashes the same. I’ve used about 6 of the DS tubes and finally gave in and bought a full size […] and I’m having all kinds of regrets.”
Multiple users immediately chimed in, agreeing that the mini versions of mascaras are infinitely superior to the regular-size ones. We have two theories explaining why: The first is that such a small bottle won’t allow the formula to dry out. “Travel sizes tend to last about as long as the product is good, which keeps it from getting to that awful dried-out state,” writes one user. “The smaller the packaging, the less air that can enter to dry out the product.” Another theory is that the brushes and wands are different on some of the travel-size versions of mascaras. “Generally the brush on sample mascaras is smaller and more maneuverable than the full size,” writes one Redditor. “I like the wand length [on the travel size Better Than Sex Mascara] much better,” writes another user. “I think the longer tube [on the original mascara] ends up putting too much product on the brush on its way out.” From the pictures that Ulta provides of the original Better Than Sex Mascara (on the left) and the deluxe sample size (on the right), the brushes do look a tad different (but this could also just be the way the mascaras were shot), and there’s no arguing that the wands differ in size:
I reached out to a couple of celebrity makeup artists to get their thoughts on this travel-size mascara hack, and both of them seem to agree with the Redditors. Edward Cruz (who works with Priyanka Chopra) says that he prefers travel-size mascaras. “Travel- or sample-size mascaras are genius because you’re able to use the formula to its fullest potential, since every second liquid makeup is exposed to air, its formula becomes weakened,” says Cruz. “In my experience, with many brands, the wand is shorter, but the brush [itself] is normally identical to the full-size version.” Daniel Chinchilla, Ariana Grande’s main makeup artist, says using travel-size mascaras makes the whole process simpler. “The wands are smaller, and this makes it easier for most people to apply mascara without getting it everywhere,” he says. Plus, “they won’t last you as long, but because of this, you will always have fresh mascara.” Ulta sells the original mascara for $23 and the sample size for $12 but also sometimes includes the sample size as a special gift with a purchase. So, if you’re a fan of travel-size mascaras, you could almost always get them for free. You’ll have a better mascara-applying experience and you’ll be saving money—sounds like a win-win to us.
A great mascara trick: