Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara Review

Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara

Earlier this year, Smashbox released their new X-Rated Mascara as part of their Spring 2016 Collection.  I have the chance to try it out thanks to a sample I received in my July Birchbox.  Despite the hype, I was a bit underwhelmed by the results – keep reading to find out why.

Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara

Let’s start with some background on the product claims. The Smashbox X-Rated Mascara mascara was created to be the most buildable mascara that ‘loads up lashes with the maximum amount of formula to volumize and left with each layer’.  The key features and innovation behind this mascara is the ‘Triple Threat’ brush, and the formula.  Together, they’re supposed to allow you to customize your look by going from defined and dramatic to over-the-top, ultra-thick, exaggerated volume.

“In the photo studio, we need to create different levels of drama without removing all the makeup and starting again. With X-Rated, I can go from a classic everyday lash look to over-the-top volume in just a few layers.”—Lori Taylor Davis, Global Pro Lead Artist

Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara review

Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara review

Key Features:

  • The Triple Threat brush was designed with three deep channels to hold the perfect amount of formula for mega-coating lashes, while the three rows of bristles isolate and extend lashes.
  • The Tripod fibers wrap around each lash for amp-up volume. Each swipe is supposed to separate the lashes and magnified using an interlocking fiber-loaded formula that never flakes or smudges.

How to Use:

To best utilize these features and maximize all three sides of the brush, Smashbox recommends rolling the brush up and out as you work from base to tip of lashes to create the most volume.

Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara review

Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara Review

The one thing I like about the Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara is that the end result (however long it takes to achieve it) equals length, length, and more length!  It also adds a considerable amount of volume, but not within sacrificing lift and curl (the layers of formula required to achieve intense volume really weighs down the lashes).

As you may have guessed, the one big downside is that the formula is that it is quite watery, so you need to apply over and over again (I’m talking 10+ swipes) before you start to build up any significant volume.  By that time, the mascara can really start to clump up, especially at the ends of the lashes.  And this unfortunately translates me having to ‘pick’ off the excess on the ends just to bring my lashes back to a more natural looking shape.

Overall, despite the decent volume and length, sadly the negatives outweigh the positives on this one.  The time it takes to apply the mascara, the large amount of product needed, and the ‘clean-up’ time afterwards all give this mascara three strikes in my book.

Smashbox X-Rated Mascara Before & After

Here are my before and after photos (including bare lashes, the initial coat, and a second coat).  One ‘coat’ below equates to about 10 (watery!) swipes, all done within about 15 seconds.

Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara before and after

Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara (6 of 7)

Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara (7 of 7)

Final Thoughts

Overall, if you’re looking for a volumizing and long-lasting mascara, I would probably skip on the Smashbox X-Rated Mascara, and opt for something else, like my personal favorites – the Tarte Gifted Mascara, and the Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara.  Both retail for around the same price (Tarte @ $21, and Bobbi Brown @ $30, for a larger tube), but offer longer-lasting length and volume while also requiring far fewer coats.

Have you tried the Smashbox X-Rated mascara?

What’s your ‘Holy Grail’ mascara?

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  • Toni Williams

    I haven’t tried the Smashbox mascara as I don’t wear a lot of makeup but my teen daughter likes it. She says the triple threat is the way to go!

  • I love that this mascara loads up lashes. I think my lashes are getting thinner as I’m getting older and I could use the extra texture.

  • Reesa Lewandowski

    I love Smashbox products and haven’t tried the mascara yet. I need to give this a try!

  • I’m still searching for my Holy Grail mascara but now I know I can cross this one off my list!

  • jillconyers

    Looks like a great option. It seemed impossible to find a mascara that doesn’t smudge. Finally I have.

  • I haven’t tried this mascara, I always have a tough time finding my favorites. I am a fan of Too Faced products though! Will have to keep this in mind though! http://www.heartofchic.com