Two beautiful mascaras stand before me and my medium-length lashes. One is contained in a frosted pink tube: national best-seller: Too Faced’s Better Than Sex, clocking in at $23. The other is also housed in frosted pink, looks almost identical, and comes from the drugstore brand that brought us the cult fave Voluminous Lash. On the outside, L’Oréal’s newest mascara, the $9.99 Voluminous Lash Paradise, is a dead ringer for Too Faced’s fantastic but pricier version, but are the two dupes inside and out? A head-to-head competition would be the only way to tell.
The duo’s wands are pretty similar, both standard fiber brushes. Better Than Sex mascara’s applicator slightly waves, widening at the top and bottom, while the Lash Paradise is a straight stick. From there, the two are very, very similar: Both share a medium-dry formula that goes on easily, with about two coats getting you to brow-brushing status.
For reference, my eyelashes are blonde-brown, and I like a serious look. Here they are bare:
Faint ‘n’ wispy. Here’s the Lash Paradise on the right, bare lashes on the left:
And the Lash Paradise on the right, Better Than Sex on the left:
Very, very similar. A view from below for the full sweep (Lash Paradise right, Better Than Sex left):
The Better Than Sex has a slight edge in drama and root-building, while the Lash Paradise worked up to an equal point with one or two more coats (and has maybe a centimeter more of length). But BTS got there faster—you’ve got to pile on the Lash Paradise coats to meet the length and volume, although it’s so good when you do. Overall, neither frosty pink tube will steer you wrong, and both last till I take them off. Given the $13 difference, if you want to fill your cult fave quota on the cheap, the Lash Paradise checks every box.