L'Oreal Paradise vs Too Faced Better Than Sex

Thursday 28 September 2017

For me, its the heavyweight of the mascara world. The superstar. The Beyonce. The one beyond all compare. The one to beat.

Too Faced Better Than Sex actually didnt appeal to me when it first came on my beauty radar. At the time, I was completely sold on the idea that only a plastic, comb style brush could give me the volume and definition I craved.

Like any beauty junkie, Id been burnt in the past. Promised the moon and stars and (more importantly) the Disney Princess lashes of my dreams by brushes and formulas that just failed to deliver.

When I glimpsed the car wash roller style brush of BTS, I immediately wrote it off.

And then I tried it.

And so the bar was set in my world for volumized, feathery, fluttery, dark lashes for days. Since then Ive tried many contenders from Tarte's Tarteist through to Soap and Glory's Thick and Fast,  and even supposed dupes like L'Oreal Miss Manga but nothing has ever stolen the crown of Better Than Sex.

For me, its perfection. But perfection comes at a price and my loyalties are a bit fickle when it comes to makeup, so whispers of a new formula called Voluminous Lash Paradise spread across the pond, I wanted to know more.

The US version - Voluminous Lash Paradise 

It looked legit and even the packaging clearing mimicked BTS - there was no doubt this was a star dupe. When the mascara hit UK shores, it had gone incognito- slightly changing its name to the shorter Paradise and its packaging to a less direct copy.

But would it be a serious challenger?

The Hype

Why is mascara hype the absolute worst? Every formula I see out there claims to change the world, but all I really want are great lashes- and lots of them!

Even thought it is amazing, Ive always given a serious side-eye to the claims Too Faced make about the brush ‘being inspired by the waist-hip ratio of silver screen icons’ that produces the perfect brush to shape, coat and curl each lash - but despite my cynicism, I can forgive them as it really does deliver.

It also promises ‘the most intense black, oversized, multi-dimensional lashes possible!’ and ‘1944% more volume’. How you measure that in a scientifically-valid way I have no idea, but hey, the stuff works.

Similarly, L’Oreal have gone with a large percentages approach on their outer packaging, which is definitely ‘inspired by Too Faced’s approach. They promise us ‘intense volume’ and ‘spectacular length’ - again the adjective machine has been working overtime and they tell us that ‘90% saw intense and volumised lashes’(versus Too Faced’s claim that ‘100% saw dramatic volume’).

There are some impressive looking claims floating around!

The Packaging

The two mascaras have quite similar packaging, although the similarity is more notable in the US version than the one us Europeans have.

BTS boasts a silk pink tube made of a heavy metal with embossed lettering. Its heavy, luxurious and definitely feel worth every penny of the price tag - unlike plenty of other expensive mascaras Ive tried that are let down by cheap, plasticky tubes.

With Paradise, you get a metallic copper colored plastic tube with a rose gold cap and some printed, white Art Deco style lettering on the side. I really like the packaging and although its not as weighty as BTS its still really pretty and eyecatching. Full marks, L’Oreal!

The Brush

So when I attended the Cabella Makeup Masterclass recently, they told us that the brush is what you really pay for when it comes to mascara. The BTS brush is feathery, fluffy and curved. It hugs every single lash and delivers lightweight volume that looks soft and not clumpy. I adore it.

The thing that excited me most about Paradise was that the brush looked similarly fluffy, although it isnt curved, and it has a very similar effect on the lashes, fanning them out and delivering a flase lash look with no spider legs in sight.

I feel like the brush with BTS does a slightly better job of gripping into every single lash, whereas you have to work a bit harder with Paradise to get the roots really coated, but its the closest dupe Ive found so far.

The Formula

Both formulas deliver an intense black coating to the lashes and both contain a lash-conditioning extra. Paradise contains Castor Oil, which is notoriously good for lash growth, and BTS has Acacia Senegal Tree extract that is supposed to nourish, thicken and lock a curl in place.

BTS also has a polymer that forms a smudge proof film over lashes to keep mascara in place all day and collagens to plump up the lashes. So, the formula is a little better there, with more to it than L’Oreal’s offering.

The Performance

Both mascaras offered me all day wear, pretty incredible amounts of volume, a buildable formula, and absolutely no smudging or flaking. All the overblown promises about volume and length are true- and both mascaras have really impressed me. The claims may be outlandish but both deliver on those promises and give a superb, soft volumised finish that is oh so pretty.

Bare, natural lashes
Too Faced Better Than Sex - one coat 
L'Oreal Paradise -one coat

The Verdict 

It's a tough one to call. Here we have two mascaras that both give a beautiful finish to lashes and live up to the buzz around them. I can't believe L’Oreal have managed to pull of a credible dupe for such a great and iconic formula - but they have. I'm blown away by Paradise and I've worn it every day since I bought it. It just works perfectly.

That said, I think Better Than Sex still has a very minor edge for me. There's something about the super luxe packaging, the extra lash goodies in the formula and the plumped up effect that incredible brush gives. It really is like a push-up bra for your lashes.

Although Paradise is an amazingly close competitor, the original still just has a slight edge- for me, it's still the best mascara out there.

However, I'm so excited that L’Oreal Paradise is here and at half the price of Too Faced Better Than Sex I have already made it my every day go to. It's a great product and I absolutely love it - and other lash addicts are sure to agree!

1 comment

  1. Great post! I've not tired either but I've been loving Buxom's mascara!!!

    Sophie xx // One Unique