I tried the mascara that went viral on TikTok—does it live up to its hype?
The mascara is touted for its intense lash-lengthening power.
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“You look tired.” As a mom of four kids aged three and under, this is a phrase I’m used to hearing—particularly on days when I don’t wear mascara.
Though I’m not one to wear a full face of makeup every day, I depend on my go-to mascara, the Milani Highly Rated 10-in-1 Volume Mascara, to lift my lashes and provide the illusion of wider, more awake-looking eyes. (You know, as if I’ve had a full eight hours more than once or twice in the last three years!) So when I came across the viral TikTok videos touting the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara as the most dramatically lengthening mascara, I knew I had to take it for a test drive.
What’s the deal with the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara?
I’m Reviewed’s go-to mascara expert, as I’ve tested every product—from high-end to drugstore to waterproof—rated on the site. Needless to say, I have a good handle on the options out there. For roundups of the best mascaras, I scour top-seller lists, retailer ratings, and social media to find the most buzzed-about products on the market. So when this one launched in January 2021 and became a TikTok must-have, I knew I had to try it.
In the viral videos, the mascara yields big baby-doll eyes with extremely long lashes that look denser and darker due to some intentional clumping. The packaging promises “full volume and limitless length from every angle,” thanks to a flexible mascara brush that bends to volumize and extend individual lashes from root to tip as well as added fibers that lengthen and add fullness. The mascara is available in a "washable" version (as well as a waterproof, which I didn't test) that should be easy to remove despite its claims of lasting 24 hours on the eyes. This was another selling point for me, as I can't stand when it feels like I’m rubbing my eyes raw just to remove the little bit of product I like to wear.
It’s also ophthalmologist- and allergy-tested, making it suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. That was another plus for me, as I wear monthly contact lenses and occasionally have trouble with mascara transferring a slight film onto my contacts, causing blurry vision.
The prospect of ultra luxe-looking lashes that would give me that instant perk up without any irritation? Sign me up for that first swipe.
What’s it like to use the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara?
Getting my hands on the product wasn’t easy. Thanks to its newly established clout, the mascara was sold out or had delayed shipping at most retailers, including Amazon and Target, but Walmart came through. A few days later, I had it in my clutches and was ready to give it a go.
I tested the mascara the same way I do any tube I try for the site—with a freshly cleaned face first thing in the morning. This way, I’m working with a “clean slate” and can see how the mascara holds up throughout the day. So, after washing my face with Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser and dabbing on the Fresh Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Moisturizer, I applied the mascara following the package instructions: “For best results, hold flexible brush against lashes and extend from root to tip repeatedly until desired volume and length are achieved.” (Nothing too groundbreaking!)
Starting with my right eye, I did just that, taking multiple pass-throughs until all of my lashes had a nice, even coat. Then, I moved onto my left eye to do the same. While my eyelashes were still tacky, I repeated this process three times, for a total of three full coats of mascara on each eye, the most I'd recommend for maximum impact.
In the original TikTok video, which was an advertisement for Maybelline, the user calls the wand “interesting” and “bendy,” both of which are accurate descriptions. Unlike many other mascara wands, it has tiny, short silicone bristles—so little that the tapered wand looks bumpy rather than bristled. And the wand itself is extremely flexible—if you hold it against the side of the mascara tube, it can bend to a 90° angle.
Though the bristles don’t look like they hold much mascara, the formula is smooth enough that plenty glides right onto lashes. There is a little bit of clumping, but it’s nothing you can’t work through with the brush. This first full coat is sufficient—it gave enough lift to “wake up” my eyes and darken the lashes, giving the illusion of more volume. Most days, I’d probably stop here because the resulting look works well with my favored “no-makeup makeup” look.
The second coat, though, is where I really started to see that “limitless length” that the brand (and the TikTok videos) promise. The fibers in the formula seem to build on each other at the tip of the eyelashes to add length beyond your natural lashes. The trouble with the formula layering this way is that, in my experience, it causes more clumping with each coat. Still, the end look is rather attractive, and it’s one I’d happily wear for a night out with my husband or a special event.
I don’t normally apply three coats of mascara. I’d much prefer to save a bit of time and product and stick with a formula that delivers stellar results in just one to two coats, like our Best Overall, the Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara. I did so for the sake of seeing how far this mascara could go during testing. I wondered, would a third, and final, coat give me that TikTok look? Not entirely on my lashes, but it came close. The third coat offered a bit more volume and length—something that looks really nice in pictures, but is a bit much for my taste in person. Though it's difficult to tell in photos, I noticed that the third coat deposited so much mascara that my lashes began to stick together. So yes, the result is full, wide-open eyes, but also clumpy lashes.
If you're wondering how this compares to other mascaras I've tested, this fell right in the middle of the pack, landing at 15 on our list of 31 mascaras because of the clumping. I can see why others love this mascara and if you don't mind the clumping, it may rank higher to you.
Does the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara live up to the hype?
There’s no doubt that this mascara delivers on its claims—and at a good value, to boot. After a few coats, your lashes will look a lot like the ones you see from all of those TikTok influencers.
But is it for me? I’d be perfectly happy with this mascara in my makeup bag, but I’m not rushing to replace my go-to with it. Because I prefer the more natural (but still awake) look of just one to two coats, I don’t think this mascara does anything earth-shattering. But, if you’re someone who adores a more dramatic, doe-eyed, baby doll look, this is a product you’ll want to snag.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.