Beauty Articles & Reviews / Beginner's Guide: Beauty

A Real Maybelline NY Rocket Mascara Review – No Bullshit, No Photoshop

I’m a mascara snob. Really. It’s been many years since I’ve used a drugstore mascara brand, the last being Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara many years ago. I usually use Dior’s Diorshow or Givenchy’s Phenomen’ Eyes, both of which are supposedly waterproof (well, they still smudge, but that’s not our point today).

So anyway, why I’m writing this today is because Maybelline has been fiercely marketing their mascara, getting Xiaxue to do a video review for them as well as placing ads and all over Facebook. Naturally, I was intrigued after watching the video review. It was too good to be true. And when you see something that’s too good to be true, it usually is. I decided to buy the mascara for myself and give it a test run.

Went to Guardian Pharmacy and saw that Maybelline is having a 20% discount + 5% off the Rocket Mascara. Grabbed it for about S$13.50 or so. Score!


Morning: Ripped open a new tube of Maybelline NY The Rocket Volum’ Express Mascara in Black. I saved the ingredient list and painstakingly typed it out (we always throw this away all the time ‘cos it’s on the clear plastic wrapping of the mascara).

Ingredients: Aqua/ Water, Styrene/ Acrylates/ Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Beeswax. Jojoba Butter, Steareth-20, Acacia Senegal Gum, Alcohol Denat., Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Steareth-2, Caranuba Wax, Hydroxyethylcellulose, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Hlycol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, PEG/PPH-17/18 Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Tetrasodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Silica, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Carmine, Mangnese Violet, Ferric Ferrocyanide

So what we can gather from the ingredient list is that the mascara is water-based, which makes it NON-WATERPROOF. The sales lady at Guardian did highlight this, and she said it was SMUDGE-PROOF. It’s also chockful of wax and gum, particularly beeswax, which gives it that “hold” on the eyelashes.

12.30am: I’m applying the mascara today without any other eye makeup to see how it holds up on it’s own. Did not know how thick it’ll be so I just went on with a few coats.

Day 1 Test

click for full sized view

First take
Feel: I wait about 30seconds in between applications to fully open my eyes. The mascara feels slightly tacky but doesn’t smudge on my eyelids

Look: Doesn’t clump on the upper eyelashes but it does slightly on the lower lashes. Have to pick at at a little with my fingertips. It does volumise as promised- but so does almost every other mascara out there. Length-wise, eyelashes are slightly longer, but if you have short lashes, you will continue to have short lashes – sorry.

Brush: Urgh, it’s a tough brush to use. Because the bristles are short but the brush base is fat, it easily touches my skin which means i need to stop and clean it off with my cottonbud.

3.30pm: It’s a humid day but it’s holding up so far.
5.30pm: I’ve been exposed to the humidity (I reckon it was about a 80-90% humidity day) for 5 hours so it’s starting to smudge on my lower lids. Upper lid is still good.
10.30pm: Since the last time check, I’ve walked in the drizzle. My lower lashline is completely wrecked and mascara has smudged all over my lower lids.

Today’s removal: They recommend removing it with warm water, so I take a hot shower and wash my face with a facial cleanser. The mascara washes off completely.



9am: I decide to apply a sheer eyeshadow today before applying mascara so that the shadow will soak up any excess oil on my eyelids


Day 2 Test

From 9am – 3.15pm: I’ve been in the aircon for the whole morning so the mascara is still going strong. I decide to subject it to the ultimate rub test and book in for a full body massage where I’ll be lying face down

4.45pm: The mascara on my lower lashes are completely rubbed off. The upper lashes aren’t as thick as they were this morning too.

Today’s Removal: I tried to use my oil-based makeup remover and it failed at removing the mascara!!! Ok, it makes sense chemically. This mascara is water-based. Oil ain’t gunna make it budge! And that explains why it didn’t smudge on my eyelids even when they’re oily. They only smudged when it was humid!


Let’s give this a go again. I’m applying sheer eyeshadow again. Today’s a work day, I spend 9 hours on my feet doing makeup and hair for my clients. I hardly touch my face today at all. Here’s you can compare how my eyes look without makeup AT ALL (eyebrows don’t count) vs eyes with mascara.

Day 3 test

The mascara stayed on pretty well today, also probably because I was in the AC for almost the whole day.

I wanna emphasise that although the mascara (or any other mascara) Β can help to define, lengthen and voluminise your eyelashes, you will not get spectacular results ala mascara advertisements. If you really want the va-va-voom full lash effect, then you need to get some false eyelashes! I also feel that photos that show before-and-after shots where the eye looks HUGE after just applying the mascara are pretty much a bunch of BS, because as you can see above, the “opening” effect is very slight. Even my other mascaras can do it too, so what makes this that much different?


See these eyelashes? Have you heard of stick-on false eyelashes?

See these eyelashes? Have you heard of false eyelashes, photoshop, and advertising?


If you’re not intending to walk in the rain/ cry/ go swimming with your mascara, then this mascara is gunna be bang for your buck (it’s quite cheap!! U.P. is S$18.90 but you can get it on discount) . If you need the lush look, then you either go crazy and put 5 coats of this on, or buy a chunky volumising / lengthening mascara. Β The brush isn’t the easiest to control either, so that’s gunna be your trade off.

I hope that this post has been beneficial to you! Personally, I will probably switch back to my regular atas mascaras..

3 thoughts on “A Real Maybelline NY Rocket Mascara Review – No Bullshit, No Photoshop

  1. Pingback: Christmas Countdown Gift Idea #14: Building A Basic Makeup Kit | Beauty. Bikes.

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