Review – Monsieur Big Mascara – Lancome

The Intro

Usually, when I purchase a new makeup product it is only after I have done immaculate research and flawless swatching and testing. With Monsieur Big Mascara, it was because it instantly reminded me of Sex and the City, one of the best television shows ever created. When I laid eyes on Monsieur Big, it, of course, reminded me of the infamous Mr Big and then the next thing I knew, I was instantly thrown into the ever-popular game of “which character am I?”.

I always felt like a Charlotte with a little Carrie growing up (yes, I started watching this show secretly when I was 12, sorry Mom and Dad and hey, now you know why I am the way I am). Now that I’m so grown up and fully an adult (insert eye roll so epic you can see the inside your brain), I feel more like a mix of Samantha and Miranda (the GOAT of the entire show – not an opinion, pure fact) with a little smidge of Charlotte here and there. Perhaps it was the fact that I had transported myself straight into the heart of NYC and felt like I was living in the show that got me to just throw the mascara into my bag without so much as a second thought and purchase without even looking at the price or receipt. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I looked it up online to link it for you, I still wouldn’t know how much it costs!

So very unlike me. So unlike the prudent Charlotte or Miranda who I pride myself to be like now, so unlike Samantha as well, she was a hard-working, financially responsible woman after all…le sigh. I must confess, this type of financial flippancy *is* however, so very like Carrie. I guess in this instance, because of the influence of the show swimming through my head, I had a “Carrie moment” where I wanted my money where I could see it, on my face, much like Carrie who prefers it hanging up in her closet.

Thankfully, it was all worth it. The mascara is a hit.

The Down and Dirty on Monsieur Big Mascara.

This mascara promises two things, incredible volume (12 times your real lash volume) and outrageous lasting power, yes, they went there, the full 24 hours. They also talk a lot about special waxes and polymers that are supple, adding to the awesomeness of their product. My experience is that it’s truly a fantastic mascara, it’ll indeed give incredible results, I don’t know about the 12 times volume thing, try as I might, my ruler just wasn’t able to do these measurements, but I can testify to its simply fantastic volume. What I love most about this mascara is something that they don’t mention in the claims though, (well they allude to it when they spoke of the supple waxes to be fair), this mascara gives incredible volume and lasting curl without being crunchy, it’s also very easy to work with to separate the lashes and fix any clumpy areas, even in the most heavy-handed of applications. You know when you’re applying your third or fourth coating and you’re just glauming it on like a madwoman? Usually, about this time you’ve got lashes that might as well be fused together with cement, they look like sharp, jagged spider legs, or worse, those dreaded triangle lashes…you know what I’m talking about. Where all your lashes are fused to three main parts and it looks like you just have three really big sections of lashes? Not a cute look in the least.

Anyways, with Monsieur Big Mascara, you can go as heavy-handed as you like with your application, you can be on your forth coating and guess what? Your lashes will still be pliable, as in, you can easily unstick any clumps and separate the lashes so they look natural and full. When I say natural, I mean how they fan out and you can see each individual lash, not in a “no makeup, makeup look”. With Monsieur Big Mascara, it’ll definitely look like you’ve got mascara on, it’s the volume talking, loud and proud. No, this is not the mascara to wear for a “natural day”, it’s not subtle, but guess what? Who cares if it looks like you’ve got mascara on, especially when it’s such a beautiful mascara. The only questions you’ll have to answer when you wear Monsieur Big will be from people asking what you used and where they can get it.

The facts

Monsieur Big is created by Lancome. It’s currently available at Sephora in two sizes. Standard 0.33 ounces for $25 and, Travel with 0.13 ounces for $12. As of right now, it also comes in a Pink Sparkly version of the Standard size, also for $25. (The mascara is still black, only the container is pink and sparkly, duuh). I would highly, highly, highly recommend getting the smaller size, for one it’s a much better price and since mascaras usually expire long before we use them up, getting the travel size is almost always the way to go. For two, I have found that this mascara dries up especially fast. I usually have to buy another mini long before it’s used up if I still want a super good application. (Which of course, I do…so yeah, case in point, get the mini size).

The Breakdown

Score: 7.5/10

Here’s what happening with this scoring, while this mascara is gorgeous and one of my favorites, it’s a high maintenance product. As in, you have to treat it right, wine and dine it to get that beautiful application, mainly in that you have to make sure it’s still fresh, which isn’t that hard, but it’ll add up money-wise when you have to keep repurchasing every time it runs dry. Also, I need to clarify that it’s not like you can only get a week’s use or anything, I would just say that in general, this mascara will dry out faster than most. But due to its amazing volume without clumping or looking crackly, it’s worth it.

My other reason for the 7.5 is because, sadly for me (due to the fact that I have extremely oily, combo skin and super oily eyelids), after a few hours of wear (3-4), I’ll start getting the dreaded zebra lid. (Where you get little black lines on your upper lid wherever your lashes touch your eyelid). It’s not cute and while it’s easily fixable with a quick dab of a finger, tissue or best case scenario, makeup sponge and some setting spray, it’s still super annoying. But again, I think this is mainly due to my skin and it’s ridiculous oiliness and while it’s annoying, I still wear the mascara quite frequently. All I do is make sure to check on it every few hours. If these two issues were nonexistent and I was scoring based on how it applies out of a freshly bought tube, my scoring would be much higher, say the 9 to perhaps even 10 range, so now you can certainly understand why it’s worth it to me to put up with its little issues. The payout is incredible, and you know what they say, “You’re worth it”.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • 1. Absolutely amazing volume. When it comes to volumizing mascaras this is as good as it gets, you will be amazed at how much lash you can get from your own lashes. To get any more volume, you’ll need to be headed for falsies.
  • 2. Lasting power (talking about the mascara staying on your lashes, not the zebra lid which I’ll mention in a second). I can’t speak to the 24-hour claim because, well, ew. But I will say that there have been a couple of times where I fell asleep with my makeup on and while my lashes definitely looked worn for wear, the volume was still very much there. This mascara does not play games, you put it on, it stays on, so much so that it can be a pain to get off. You’ll definitely be needing an oil-based makeup remover for this bad boy.
  • 3. Easy of application. This mascara is as simple as it gets, just swipe it on, apply as many coats as you like and be about your fabulous day. Building this mascara up is super easy and if any clumps start to happen, it’s as easy as pie to separate them back out into that beautiful lash fan shape with perfectly naturally spaced out lashes.

Cons:

  1. The drying out issue. Like I said, this mascara is best applied fresh and it dries out faster than average, simple as that. I feel like this con can be lessened if you buy the mini size though, that way by the time your mascara starts losing freshness, it’ll be aligned with how quickly the product is being used up.
  2. The zebra issue. Again, I’m not sure if this is just my super oily lids, after all, I have this problem with 99% of the mascaras I test out, but I have found that after a few hours of wear, I get black lines on my upper lid. It depends on the level of humidity and the heat and if I’m sweating or not of course, but usually by the three or four-hour mark, I’ll have little black zebra lines of mascara on my upper eyelid, close to the brow bone. It’s annoying for sure, but nothing a quick bounce of a beauty blender, or a dab from a tissue can’t quickly remedy.

The Tips & Tricks

Tip 1: To increase the “freshness” of the mascara, I have found that warming it slightly before application helps immensely. I do this by either putting it in between my arm and side (under the armpit) and holding it there for a minute or two or better yet, holding it between my thighs for a few minutes. If I’m driving, I just sit on it for the duration of a song. (Putting it under my legs, not my butt lawl).

Tip 2. If you wanna get fancy and take your mascara game to Division One, do the following: go get a lash curler, the regular mascara, and the waterproof version. Next, give your lashes a real good curl, as close to the roots as you can stand it, do it as you mean it. Now, apply a generous coating of the waterproof version, this will make the curl last so much better than any regular formula can. Trust. Now, go ahead and use the regular formula and apply as many coats as you want to really build up the volume. If you are like me and have the zebra issue, seal the deal with one last topping of the waterproof mascara, this will really extend the wear of the mascara and will give you an extra hour or two before the zebras start dancing across your lids.

Tip 3. If you are an absolute maniac for volume and length, do everything I listed in step 2, but precede it with this step: before your lashes get the kiss of the curler, get out your loose setting powder and your powder brush and give your lashes a light dusting of powder. Now go ahead with the remaining steps and enjoy your out of this world volume.

Tip 4. This is a little bit different because it’s something that may seem counter-intuitive of mascara use, but hear me out. When it comes to falsies, one of the best tricks to make them last longer and be easier to apply is to first coat your lashes with mascara. I have found that Monsieur Big is especially great for this. I’m not totally sure why all I know is that my falsies look so much better with it and they are somehow easier to apply as well when I have a coat or two of Monsieur Big laid down first.

Hannah Flack
Hannah Flack

I am a USC grad with a passion for beauty, health and science. I reside in beautiful California with my husband and puppy (@sebastian.thecavalierking).

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