Ipsy Review: Smashbox X-Rated Mascara

One of the latest mascaras from Smashbox.

I have a love/hate relationship with Smashbox mascaras. Most of the time, I love the way they make my lashes look. However, I also hate how their high end formulas always end up flaking on my lower lashes.

Not a cute look.

Still, every brand has mascaras that I love and hate, so I always hold out hope that one day Smashbox will put out something I can get behind. In all honesty, until recently, I had yet to find a high end mascara that didn’t give me this flaking problem. One of the major reasons I swear by CoverGirl Clump Crusher is because I know it won’t leave me with raccoon eyes courtesy of mascara flakes at the end of the day. Plus, its drugstore price is hard to beat.

So for me to get behind any mascara over $15, it’s gotta give me great performance and no flaking.

This past spring, Smashbox released the latest in their mascara lines: the X-Rated Mascara  (USD $22.00, full size). Ipsy subscribers got a deluxe sample in their May bags. The full size comes in a twisted tube that looks like an infinite X. Definitely some cool packaging.

The formula, aptly named X rated, is suppose to give you an “obscene” amount of volume. I like volumizing mascaras, but the more “extreme” ones aren’t my favorite since they tend to be clumpier than I like. (There’s a reason I like that CoverGirl mascara and it’s in the name.) But I can definitely appreciate why people like these clumpier formulas. They can translate to some really cool lash looks.

The design of the wand is suppose to be key to this formula.

In its description, Smashbox focuses on how the wand gives you the perfect amount of product application that separates and lifts so you don’t need to dip the wand back in the tube multiple times. The result is suppose to be an extreme, voluminous look.

The wand is well made and is of the bristle variety. Personally, I prefer a rubber wand, but I’ve used mascaras in the past with bristles that I enjoyed. Bristles are more ideal for building volume, as it deposits more product on the lashes. This wand did, in fact, make application pretty easy. I had enough on the bristles to get one coat on each eye and it was able to apply on all of my lashes, including those closer to the inner corner.

Pretty lashes, but where’s the extreme volume?

I was expecting a whole lot of clumpy volume with the claims being made. The results? As you can see, it’s a pretty lash effect, but I’m not really getting a ton of volume.

Naturally, I have pretty full and long lashes (thanks, genetics!). What you’re seeing here is basically my lash with a little more lift. It’s a pretty look, but much more on the natural side than what I was anticipating. Frankly, I fail to see what’s so extreme about the mascara.

I was going to keep using it, but on the first day of wear I already had signs of flaking, something this mascara claims it doesn’t do. I gave it a week of wear before I got annoyed with the flaking and decided to stop using it.

Bottom Line: Unfortunately, Smashbox’s X-Rated Mascara fails to live up to its name. You do get pretty, lifted lashes with just one coat. However, there isn’t enough drama in this volumizing mascara. On top of which, this formula still flaked and left me with raccoon eyes. For $22, it’s a bit of a disappointment.

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