Beauty Pet Peeve: The Mini Mascara Dilemna

mini mascara

Samples, can’t avoid them, there everywhere! You know residents of the UK complain so MUCH about how stingy their counters are with beauty samples but I feel like here in the US our counters are overly generous to the point I, dare I say it, throw samples out.

OMG! I’ve committed some sort of mortal sin. Does this mean I go the beauty hell when I die!?

As of late a new trend are deluxe size products. These aren’t really samples and they aren’t really full size but they sure are generous enough that you can get a feel for a product and sometimes get a month or more use out of it!

Super duper!

I personally love mascara samples but I have a beauty pet peeve when it comes to them and actually sort of a dilemma.

Have you EVER noticed that you get a mini or deluxe size sample of a mascara and it works great. You’ll use it maybe an entire month, especially if it is a deluxe size, absolutely fall in love with it, and proceed to ADORE it. Now you’re ready, you’ve decided to take the plunge, this formula is HG (holy grail), you’re going to grab the full size.

And you get the full size….

And wait, what happened

Why isn’t it working as well as the mini?

Has this every happened to you?

It’s either my imagination or my biggest beauty pet peeve.

It’s happened SO many times.

In particular it’s happened with Diorshow Mascara! OMG the mini works amazing! Totally my HG (holy grail) mascara. But…but…but..the large size? It doesn’t work as well. WTH?!

So tell am I alone?

Have you ever used a mini mascara, skincare product, or some other samples and had it work wonderfully well but upon buying the full size it just didn’t work as well?

Do share!

  • 2/12/14 11:09 Christina D.:

    YES! Which is why — particularly when it comes to mascara — I use only the samples of pricey brands or buy inexpensive drugstore versions.

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    • 2/12/14 11:23 Isabella Muse:

      SIS! off topic! Jai (bff) found the tattoos for me :) he gave them to me last night w000000000000t!

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  • 2/12/14 11:10 Eli:

    Weeell, I am kinda sort of envious! Here in Bulgaria you don’t get samples that easily at all :( Not that I’m really really fond of stacking ‘em up and not using them, but… You know, they are so cute :)

    As for mini mascaras, I’ve used only one. And I will definitely not buy the full size LD

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    • 2/12/14 11:23 Isabella Muse:

      I think it’s typically with most European countries :( I feel a little too overwhelmed with samples sometimes! :(

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  • 2/12/14 11:11 Diana Thompson:

    Yup, has happened to me several times, it is very irritating :-( However, just recently I got a Pixi mascara sample, it was fabulous, so I took the plunge and bought the 18.00 full size and it was just as fabulous! but this is very rare.

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    • 2/12/14 11:22 Isabella Muse:

      RARE for me too Diana! rare for me too! weird right?

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  • 2/12/14 11:15 Steffi:

    Benefit Porefesional Primer. I GOT A SAMPLE AND DIED. IT WAS AMAZING. And then I tried the full size. NOT THE SAME.

    FRUSTRATION LEVELS WERE HIGH AND CLEARLY STILL ARE.

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    • 2/12/14 11:21 Isabella Muse:

      LOL!

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  • 2/12/14 11:15 Amy:

    ACK, yes, this happens all the time–it’s like the little mascara tubes are better shaped to keep clumps off the wand, and then the big tubes are like storing the mascara in a bucket! I thought I was nuts or just had buyer’s remorse, glad to see it’s not just me (well, I could still be nuts, I guess).

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    • 2/12/14 11:21 Isabella Muse:

      LOL we might both be!

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  • 2/12/14 11:18 kim:

    I always attributed this to less product in the sample giving the brush the perfect amount of product. Tarte lights, camera, lashes sample is my favorite ever. I love the full size too, but i have to use it for a month or more before it starts performing as well as the sample. It starts a little clumpy, and but after that first month, my lashes are fluttery, natural looking and have a nice curl, just like with the sample.

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    • 2/12/14 11:21 Isabella Muse:

      I’m reverse..tarte samples never work for me but full sizes do GREAT! haha..but Diorshow, oh man, I love the sample hate the large size WTF!?

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  • 2/12/14 11:21 Katie:

    I get what you’re saying when it comes to the bare minerals volume mascara. I got the mini and fell in love…and while the full size does the job better than any other mascara yet, it’s just not the mini. I feel like it must have something to do with the wand and having it shorter? No clue but it’s a shame that the full sizes can’t compete with their smaller counterparts.

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    • 2/12/14 11:22 Isabella Muse:

      it’s so damn weird right?

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  • 2/12/14 11:31 Jess C.:

    Yes!!! MY HG deluxe sample of Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara was more like a total fail when I bought the full size! Sooo upsetting! But now I’m using Tarte’s Lights! Camera! Lashes full size and it’s working for me so far..

    P.S. I thought I was mental and the only person who had this happen to them! I’m not alone! ;)

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    • 2/12/14 11:32 Isabella Muse:

      LOL! I feel the same Jess thank GOD I’m not alone :)

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  • 2/12/14 11:43 Sara:

    I swear I have like 10 deluxe mascara samples in my beauty collection at the moment and I use them pretty interchangeably. So I guess if I never really run out of the samples, I won’t have to deal with the full size problems! Eventually they’ll get icky and have to be tossed, but until then I’m pretty happy with my collection.

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  • 2/12/14 11:51 Christina D.:

    Yes it’s off topic but who cares — CTs?! Woo-hoo!! So glad Jai got them for you. Haven’t used them yet so can’t wait to read your review and look at the pretty swatches.

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    • 2/12/14 11:53 Isabella Muse:

      LOL! ;-D off topic is ALWAYS fun especially when it is about new eyeshadow WAHOO! and even more off topic what did you think of Katy Perry’s version of Yesterday!?

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  • 2/12/14 12:17 Kathryn:

    Totally happened with the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara. I’ve had 4-5 samples of it and absolutely love it, but I’ve purchased two full-sized ones, thinking maybe the first was faulty and I cannot get over how much I don’t like the full sized. I’m glad you took a moment to share your thoughts about it – happy to hear I’m not the only one!

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  • 2/12/14 12:21 amy:

    I don’t use mascara minis enough to warrant a strong opinion, but of the few I’ve tried, I never felt the urge to buy the full-size. I really like Lancome mascaras, but I get enough to not need to pay for a full-size one. I’ve tried benefit BadGal & tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes, and both were absolutely disgusting; I attributed it to the fact they were in small tubes, and therefore dried out a bit. Still, I didn’t feel compelled to take a chance on full-size products… I love tarte, & really had high hopes for benefit due to the brush, but after trying 3-4 samples of each, over a span of a couple of years, I don’t find either worth the trouble.

    I’ve been using L’OrĂ©al Voluminous off & on for over 25 years, and always seem to go back to it, so Ifigure I may as stick what I know works for me!

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  • 2/12/14 12:31 Caroline:

    I’ve had this experience with Benefit Badgal mascara!! I thought I was the only one who had ever experienced this. It’s good to know I’m not alone! LOL

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    • 2/12/14 12:46 Isabella Muse:

      WE AREN’t crazy! thank god :)

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  • 2/12/14 12:35 sara:

    I thought I was crazy, I totally think the samples are better!!! The full size never works as well. I’ve noticed with all Dior and Benefit mascaras!

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  • 2/12/14 12:54 Maddie:

    OMG I THOUGHT IT WAS ALL IN MY HEAD! This happens to me EVERY time, and I swore Iwas doing something wrong. Glad to knowe I’m not crazy lol

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  • 2/12/14 12:59 Alex:

    I thiiink with minis, smaller tube, less product they dry down a bit faster? I prefer all mascaras once they’d dried a bit unless the formula starts wet. So I don’t have this problem too much but I’m also very finicky with mascaras in general as I only use mascaras with plastic wands.

    This has happened to me, fortunately not very often though. I’m fond of Benefits they’re real mini, but the full sized mascara takes so long to dry to the consistency I like it it’s not worth it.

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  • 2/12/14 13:16 Kaitlyn:

    I feel like this happens to me a lot with skincare samples (I had so many mascara samples or extras that came in kits I didn’t buy mascara for a whole year once! I’ve never purchased a full size HE mascara not in a kit though..)I used an anti-aging cream sample that literally decreased my fine lines in 1 week! The full size.. is lovely and prevents my lines from getting worse, but doesn’t lessen them either. :(

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  • 2/12/14 13:26 bree:

    Not sure I have had this happened, but I love the minis. I have come to the conclusion that I would rather pay $10 for the mini because I just can’t use up a full $20+ tube of mascara before they get gnarly and the formula changes. I have an Urban Decay curling mascara just sitting in my drawer that needs thrown out but I hate to because its like $20 in the trash. That’s my rant anyways! There are just too many good cheap mascaras to really even bother with the pain of the expensive ones.

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  • 2/12/14 13:26 Christina D.:

    I love you so much just for asking that question and here is my unequivocal answer: I HATED IT. I hate her music anyway (I think I told you about the overwhelming feeling I get of wanting to hit her in the face repeatedly with a two by four) but this was a really, really bad idea. I have no idea who thought she should be in the Tribute section of the show anyway but are you kidding me? You want to sing what and in front of whom? Shudder.

    Now where’s that two by four…

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    • 2/12/14 13:48 Isabella Muse:

      i actually don’t mind her music, it can be fun however, she absolutely upset me with her version of Yesterday oh god. seriously, they should have never sold the copyright on any of their music off the topic of her performance because I shudder when anyone does any remakes. They had to run it by Paul and Ringo first right?! They are both insane if they thought it a good idea to have her perform. ugh god

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  • 2/12/14 13:50 Erika Beck:

    This has happened to me too! I thought it was just me! Still annoying, but I’m glad to know it’s not just me! The first time I really noticed it was with Urban Decay’s Skyscraper mascara. SO DISAPPOINTING!! I have a sample now of Benefit’s They’re Real, but after reading this, I don’t think I’ll buy the full size even though I love the sample!!

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  • 2/12/14 13:54 Christina D.:

    Actually, they didn’t sell the copyright, The Beatles never owned the rights to their songs! Very sad but true and I can tell you all about it if you’re interested (but I figure it’s too long and waaaay off topic to go into here). I don’t know if Paul or Ringo had any input about the Tribute show performers, but a few weeks ago, Paul was on The Graham Norton Show and unfortunately so was Katy Perry. She was a complete twit but she must have thought she was the bomb to then sing Yesterday in a Beatles tribute show. I agree with you that I hate remakes, especially of my beloved Beatles songs!

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    • 2/12/14 17:03 Isabella Muse:

      where MJ owned the rights to the entire catalog, which was sold very recently and Paul was working on getting back to MLP but…prior that…? Explain! Tell me more oh wise one hehe! I’m a fan but you’re a fanatic hehe! I didn’t see the Graham Norton Snow yet (didn’t see Matthew either on it! But they are keeping my Tivo warm hehe) so I can imagine what she was like sitting next to Paul oh god! groan!

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  • 2/12/14 13:56 Liz G.:

    I actually think mascara samples never work as well as the full size, generally. I always feel like they are dried out and flake! And don’t get me started on those short wands, it’s so hard to get in there with those little nubs, you have to switch hands and then watch out, you’ve poked yourself in the eye! We’ll maybe that’s just me. The mascara samples are both a blessing and a curse!

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  • 2/12/14 14:19 Karen:

    Same thing happens to me with mascara. & occasionally with perfumes too. I don’t know what that’s about or if I’m imaging it.

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  • 2/12/14 14:38 kimkats:

    Oh thank god you said this – I thought it was just me! And why is it *always* mascara that is awesome in miniature, but a tube full of suckage in full size?? How do they even DO that?!

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    • 2/12/14 14:50 Isabella Muse:

      it’s a plot! to draw you in!

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  • 2/12/14 14:41 Cassi:

    I never buy the full size, a lot of times I’ll buy the mini. I’m a little weird about mascara, I change out my tubes every month.

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  • 2/12/14 14:53 Renu:

    Happened to me with Benefit They’re Real. I know, I am a statistical anomaly. Oh, we wept, precious. How we wept! Ever since, I stick to the minis, or Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes.

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  • 2/12/14 15:00 Lisha:

    I didn’t read all the responses do somebody may have already said this but, I have noticed it and I’ve decided the reasoning is because after it gets a little older towards the end of that month it starts to thicken a little which is why you slowly but surely fall in love with it…then bam you get a fresh, new one & the process starts all over again!

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  • 2/12/14 15:24 Kat A.:

    I agree with Tarte’s Lights Camera, Lashes too! I like the full size, but the smaller size has a better brush (I think that’s what it is). The brush is straighter and fuller, whereas the big size is curved. I get better volume with the smaller one, though you’d think the brush of the bigger one would give more volume. It’s too bad I can’t refill the smaller one! I still haven’t found the perfect mascara for me, but am using ones from kits for a while now.

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  • 2/12/14 16:43 Caitlin W.:

    I have had the same problem so what I started doing…buying the full size and transferring some to the mini tube…weird but I’ve had better luck with doing that and it may be the amount of product or the shape…I dunno but I’d say try it and see if it works for you. I may just be a fluke.

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    • 2/12/14 16:50 Isabella Muse:

      dude, that sounds like a lot of work though haha :-D but interesting!!!!!!!!!!

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    • 2/12/14 22:58 dia:

      How do you transfer mascara?

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  • 2/12/14 17:25 Jase:

    It’s really because you have to work Dior mascaras in… the first couple of times you use them they are crappy but once the air gets to them and they settle a bit… they are just right!

    Maybe because there is less product in the minis, it “gets good” faster?

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  • 2/12/14 22:19 Emily:

    I feel the same except for the other way around sorta. I bought the sample of the Diorshow mascara ($20!) and the second time I opened the primer part of the tube the wand snapped off and the mascara really did nothing for me. It kinda turned me off from the brand though I’m sure that’s probably not how the full size works.

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  • 2/12/14 22:51 Christine Joy Luikuo:

    We don’t have samples here in the Philippines, except for perfumes sprayed on thin strip of paper. Haha! But then, I had few samples of perfumes that came from the US and used them almost everyday. I had a sample of Vera Wang Princess and the full version one and I think it’s the sample that had a stronger smell.

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  • 2/12/14 23:22 Eli Caroline:

    OMG! I thought this only happened to me or it just my imagination. I am so happy to know that I’m not the only one that has had this issue.

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  • 2/12/14 23:47 Jenna:

    I think sample sizes work better because the smaller brushes are easier to maneuver.

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  • 2/13/14 1:18 Shelby:

    I tried to use my dior show mascara sample and nothing happened, I hadn’t opened it previously so it shouldnt have dried out but I feel like the brush took up the entire tube!

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  • 2/13/14 5:54 CIndy:

    And this is why I only use sample mascara’s. I have bought the full sizes more then once and they always dissapointed me. When I talked to a beauty insider she told me that the samples where amped. The mascara that you get in a sample size is actually the mascara in the full size but then on steroides. No wonder the full sizes don’t do the same and I stopped buying them. These days I just stack up on sample sizes that you can get with magazines.

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  • 2/13/14 13:55 Zadidoll:

    When it comes to mascara companies would better off selling it in “deluxe sample” sizes rather than “full size” because if mascara is suppose to be thrown out every three months then what’s the point of buying full size?

    You’re not alone; sometimes the sample size works better than the full size.

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  • 2/17/14 15:38 Coco:

    Like eye primers, I have so many deluxe samples of mascara that it has been a long time since I actually bought a full size of anything. (Unlike other kinds of makeup — *ahem* nail polish, blush, lipstick, eye shadow, eyeliner — I don’t hoard more mascara than I could actually use in a natural lifetime)

    Plus, like a number of other commenters, I actually throw out my mascara after using it for three months, so using anything bigger than a deluxe sample or travel size is actually kind of a waste. I’ve been using the same Buxom mascara deluxe sample since early December and expect it to last another couple weeks before I toss it.

    In the unlikely event that I run out of samples, I would definitely prefer to repurchase in a travel size. I find that travel size mascaras seem less likely to glob and clump than their full-sized counterparts, as others have also observed.

    Reply

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