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When I did a poll on my Instagram recently on which products y’all wanted to see compared (cruelty free mascaras, concealers, or brow products), mascara won by a long shot.
So today I’m comparing two vegan and cruelty free mascaras: Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara and Kush Waterproof Mascara. I bought the travel-size of the Kush Waterproof, and I got a sample size of Kush High Volume in a free Sephora birthday gift set.
First let’s look at the claims of these mascaras:
Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara claims to be conditioning/hydrating, with heart-shaped fibers that provide thickness, length, and curl without fallout. The tapered, tree-shaped brush with criss-cross bristles coats and lifts every single lash from root to tip for a defined, clump-free effect that’s layer-able.
Kush Waterproof Mascara also claims to be conditioning and has thickening heart-shaped fibers provide long-lasting volume, length, and curl. It’s advertised as waterproof, smudge-free, and transfer-proof–it won’t budge, even when met with watery eyes.
So basically, they both claim to be conditioning, thickening, and lengthening, but the Kush Waterproof also claims to be waterproof, and Kush High Volume claims to be layer-able.
Both mascaras are normally $24 (the full size Milk Kush is 34 oz and Milk Waterproof is 32 oz), but the full size Milk Waterproof is on sale at Sephora right now for $12.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this review, it’s that mascara makes such a dramatic difference on me, especially since I have very light lashes that are barely visible usually. Here’s a before and after of me without mascara, then with Kush Mascara on the left and Kush Waterproof on the right (one layer of mascara each).
Also, here’s a selfie I took on Instagram from the same day, but in this photo, Kush Waterproof is on the left and Kush is on the right (I took it with the front-facing camera on Instagram, which doesn’t flip the images.)
Testing the Mascaras
I wore both the Kush High Volume Mascara and Kush Waterproof Mascara for 7 days, taking notes on each day on how they looked and performed.
Honestly, comparing these mascaras was confusing because they look very similar, and some days it seemed like I liked the Kush better because it looked more dramatic, while others I felt the opposite, that the Kush Waterproof looked better. I started to question if they were different at all, or if maybe I was applying them slightly differently somehow.
After going over my notes and photos though, the slight difference between the mascaras is that with one layer of mascara, the Kush Waterproof has more volume, but when I add a second layer of mascara, the Kush High Volume has more volume–it builds up more.
A fun fact I learned during this is that apparently my right eye is extra prone to getting watery. I have allergies, and my eyes can water from it, but my right eye definitely did more.
One day when I wore Kush High Volume on my right eye, my eye watered and it smudged under my eye…and another day, I wore Kush Waterproof on my right eye, and it also smudged. So Kush Waterproof’s claim to be smudge-proof was not true for me. I also dunked my face in a bowl of water to check the waterproof claim, and both of the mascaras ran. They both also flaked some throughout the day. (Update August 2020: After testing them both more, the Kush classic does flake more than the Waterproof in my experience.)
Based on other people’s reviews on Sephora and Milk Makeup’s website, overall people tend to rate Milk High Volume Mascara higher than Milk Waterproof Mascara, I think because people are disappointed that Milk Waterproof isn’t actually waterproof as it claims to be. Reviews on both are very mixed though, some people love it, and some people don’t.
-The mascaras look quite similar, with one layer of mascara, Kush Waterproof adds slightly more volume.
-With a second layer though, Kush High Volume Mascara looks like it has more volume than Kush Waterproof–it layers better.
-They are the same price, but Milk Waterproof is half off from Sephora right now.
-The Kush High Volume Mascara flakes more on me throughout the day. The Kush Waterproof does flake some too, but less, and when it does, the flakes are smaller and less noticeable.
Pros of both
-Both add volume to lashes.
-I was able to wash both mascaras off in the shower using warm water and a creamy cleanser, without makeup remover or oil-cleansing.
Cons of both
-Both smudged often on application–the big brush can make application a little messy for me.
-They both smudged when my eyes watered, and neither are actually waterproof in my experience.
-They both flaked some throughout the day (thought the Kush classic more than the waterproof.)
If you were to give me one of these mascaras in unlabeled tubes, I don’t think I’d be able to tell a difference upon application–they look quite similar. But the Kush Waterproof performs better for me because it flakes less throughout the day than the classic Kush.
But will I be buying either again?
Maybe. I do like the Kush Waterproof, but the mascara that I’ve bought again and again is Hourglass Caution Mascara. I always buy the travel size because I never go through a whole tube of mascara before it expires (you’re only supposed to keep mascaras for about 3 months, though I definitely stretch that to more like 6 sometimes.)
I haven’t tested the Hourglass Caution side by side with other mascaras like the Kush ones though, so I may try that out this week and take notes–if you’re interested in me comparing the Hourglass to others, please let me know! (Update May 27, 2020: I am comparing Kush & Caution this week to confirm which I like better!)
Without comparing side by side though, a reason I like Hourglass Caution is that the wand is skinnier, so it’s easier for me to apply–it smears less on application, while still adding lots of drama. I think it also flakes less.
Have you tried either the Kush High Volume Mascara or Kush Waterproof Mascara? What do you think about them? What’s your favorite vegan and cruelty free mascara? Please let me know in the comments!