Eyes, Reviews

Drugstore vs High-End Showdown: L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes and YSL Babydoll Mascara

YSL Babydoll is one of my favorite mascaras ever – enough that I actually purchased the full size in addition to hoarding all the minis I could get my hands on. I’ve seen a couple people mention L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes as a potential dupe, so I decided to put it to the test. After all, L’Oreal is the parent company of YSL Beauty and they release a lot of similar products. I’ve been using them both for a while now, so here’s how they compare.


L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara

L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes comes in a fairly standard tube. It’s fairly wide and made of lighter-weight plastic. The reflective gold color does seem a little bit more fancy than a lot of drugstore mascaras, but it’s obviously painted plastic. It comes in several colors: Black Brown, Black, Blackest Black and Carbon Black. I can guess what Black Brown looks like, but I have no clue what the difference is between the other three. I got Blackest Black. The tube contains .29oz and the price is between $8-9 depending on where you get it.

YSL Babydoll Mascara

YSL Babydoll comes in a slimmer tube. The insides are mostly plastic, but it has a thin metal shell over the exterior with an imprinted YSL logo. For $30 you get .2oz and a choice of Fetish Black, Wheedler Brown, Audacious Blue or Indiscreet Purple. It looks and feels a little more luxurious, but neither of those things have much of a bearing on how well it works.

The Wand

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara

The Voluminous Million Lashes wand is about 27mm long and is flexible. It’s covered in rows of plastic or rubber bristles that are arranged in rows along the length of the wand. The neck of the bottle does a great job of wiping off excess product, so it doesn’t clump up or overapply.

YSL Babydoll MascaraThe wand for Babydoll is kinda-sorta similar, but there are obvious differences. It’s a couple milimeters longer, and as you can see, the plastic bristles are much shorter. The diameter of the wand is narrower, so the rows of bristles are also spaced a little more closely. The Babydoll wand is also flexible, but a little more so because the bristles don’t run into themselves. Like the L’Oreal version, the wand comes out of the tube without any excess product on it.

Formula, Application & Wear

YSL Babydoll Vs L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes

Both formulas are a little on the drier side, which I like in a mascara – I find drier formulas easier to use. I have average-length lashes, and the short bristles on the YSL wand help me apply the mascara without getting it all over my lids. The longer bristles on the L’Oreal mascara always get a little bit on my skin, even if I’m attempting to be careful, so I end up having to do some cleanup.

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes

Voluminous Million Lashes is more lengthening, but it has a tendency to mush every two or three lashes together. I think this is an effect of the bristle spacing.

YSL Babydoll

Babydoll doesn’t add as much length, but it’s more volumizing and coats each lash better. Toward the end of the tube (I’ve had this one open for a little over four months), it does get a little dry and fuzzy-looking.

Both last really well, with no smudging or smearing. I’ve used eyedrops and worn contact lenses while using each, no problems. Both tend to flake a little after 8-10 hours, and remove easily with an oil-based makeup remover. I haven’t had any eye irritation from either one, but your mileage may vary, of course, especially if you’re sensitive to any of the ingredients.

In Short: Is L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes a dupe for YSL Babydoll? I’d say no. For me a dupe is very similar in color, application, texture and the overall finished look, and that isn’t the case with these two mascaras. However, the L’Oreal mascara is very nice (even if I find the wand a little more difficult to use), and I’ll probably use up the tube.

YSL Babydoll Mascara is available at nordstrom.com (full color range) and sephora.com (black and brown). L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes is available at ulta.com and most drugstores.

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