Eyes, Reviews

High-End vs Drugstore Showdown: Dolce & Gabbana Passion Eyes vs CoverGirl Clump Crusher

When I ordered my NARS Instant Line & Pore Perfector, one of the promo codes available from Sephora was a miniature version of Dolce & Gabbana Passion Eyes mascara. I need zero more of those – I probably already have enough to last the next five years – but I got it anyway. Aside from my mascara-hoarding problem, the wand looked eerily similar to my drugstore favorite, CoverGirl Clump Crusher, so of course I had to test them side-by-side.


CoverGirl Clump Crusher vs Dolce & Gabbana Passion Eyes

Clump Crusher comes in a bright green plastic tube. It’s wide enough to be a little awkward to hold, but still fits in my storage drawers. One really interesting thing about the packaging is that it comes with a separate cap for the mascara tube so you can close it without putting the wand back in. This would be really handy if you need to use disposable wands to use the mascara sanitarily, or if you want to clean the wand between uses. It comes in Brown, Black Brown, Black and Very Black. The one I’m using for this review is Very Black.

The Passion Eyes I got obviously is a mini, so the packaging in the photo is different than the full size. The regular product comes in a long, gold tube with the D&G logo embossed in the cap. Based on product photos, it appears to be much slimmer than the Clump Crusher tube. Overall it’s much more luxurious-looking. This one is available in Nero (black), Terra (brown) and Blu Indaco (navy). I have Nero.

The Wands

CoverGirl Clump Crusher vs Dolce & Gabbana Passion Eyes

Left: Clump Crusher
Right: Passion Eyes

See what I mean about similar wands? I couldn’t see any major differences just by looking at them so I took a few measurements. The Clump Crusher wand is 25mm long and 7.25mm thick at the widest part. The Passion Eyes wand is 26mm long and 7.75mm at the widest part. Huge difference, right? The bristle length and spacing is nearly identical. Both have a curved shape to add curl as you apply.  Each wand comes out of the tube without any excess product on the brush, but both tend to have a little glob on the end that needs to be knocked off.

Formula, Application & Wear

CoverGirl Clump Crusher vs Dolce & Gabbana Passion EyesThe similarity between these two mascaras doesn’t stop at the wands. Oh no. Both are a thick, creamy formula in a dark matte black. I couldn’t find any difference whatsoever in the actual product inside the tube. On the eyes, both provide great separation and a bit of curl without clumping or getting spidery. I put one on each eye for comparison – can you see the difference?

CoverGirl Clump Crusher vs Dolce & Gabbana Passion EyesMy husband happened to be looking over my shoulder while I was processing my images, and commented that they look exactly the same. And I tend to agree – they’re pretty damn close. Passion Eyes is just a hair more volumizing than Clump Crusher, but Clump Crusher gives very slightly better length.

Both of these last 10+ hours on me with no smudging or flaking. Despite the fact that they’re not labeled as waterproof, they’re both a little bit challenging to remove, so an oil-based makeup remover is a must.

In Short: I’m halfway convinced that these are the exact same product in different packaging, seeing as how both brands are owned by the same parent company. The look and performance is so incredibly similar that I can only think a couple reasons you’d want to buy Passion Eyes over Clump Crusher-

  1. You really hate Clump Crusher’s green tube.
  2. You have a Sephora gift card or something.

Otherwise I don’t see enough difference to justify the huge price jump. I like both mascaras, but between the two I think Clump Crusher is the hands-down winner.

Dolce & Gabbana Passion Eyes ($32) is available at sephora.com. CoverGirl Clump Crusher ($8.99) is available at ulta.com and most drugstores.


  1. Chelle

    February 10, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I love me some Clump Crusher! I had no idea the D&G one even existed tbh, but at that price point… why even bother? Great review. :)

    1. Nikki

      February 10, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Yeah, I feel like I don’t really hear a whole lot about D&G makeup. I’d like to try more of it, but don’t have anywhere nearby that carries it in store, so it’s tough to test out.

  2. Stephanie

    February 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks for the review! I had no interest in purchasing clump crusher after the ridiculous amount of posts about it on MUA but your review has put it on the “maybe” list. In the meantime I’ll enjoy my free sample of the D&G mascara once I get through all these other deluxe samples…

    1. Nikki

      February 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Haha I did get Clump Crusher originally during the reddit craze! I don’t know if it’s totally HG for me (I like a little more volume), but it’s one of the few mascaras I’ve repurchased more than once.

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