I Tried the Essence Call Me Queen Dramatic False Lash Mascara — Review, Photos

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One thing about me is that I love a good deal. Nothing beats shuffling through racks of clothing at a thrift store and striking gold. I feel the same way as I sift through the shelves at my favorite beauty stores.

I’ve tried more mascaras in the last three months than some people probably have owned in their lifetime. (Humble brag?) When deciding what I’m going to buy, the first thing I look at is the price tag. I’m always so shocked at how much a mascara can cost. (How can a tube of black goo cost over $20?)

But Essence Beauty Call Me Queen Dramatic False Lash Mascara—and its retail price of $5—is exactly the kind of bargain that gets me excited.


Essence Call Me Queen Mascara

I’ve tried a handful of Essence Makeup offerings—like Baby Got Blush and Extreme ShineVolume Lip Gloss—but the brand’s mascaras stand out as some of the best in the market. Don’t just take my word for it, TikTok users are raving about the lift and added volume lashes get from the brand’s original Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara (which now comes in brown too).

The brand’s latest launch, the Call Me Queen Dramatic False Lash Mascara, is, dare I say, better than its predecessor. The hourglass-shaped tube adorned with a purple ombré design contains a formula that lifts, lengthens, and volumizes. It’s blended with synthetic beeswax, which cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos says helps it dry down without ever feeling too stiff on your lashes. It also helps with building up volume while still maintaining a natural-looking result. (Lash Princess, on the other hand, uses a specific combination of polymers to create a more rigid film on the lashes—making it hold a curl better and yield a more dramatic result).

Call Me Queen also has a silicone, conical spoolie with short bristles throughout. This is the biggest difference from Lash Princess, which has a traditional nylon brush that can create even more volume. The bristles easily comb through lashes to separate them with minimal clumping. For additional length and volume from root to tip, New York City-based makeup artist Neil Scibelli recommends waiting until each coat is fully dry before applying another. “This ensures a clump-free, smoother finish,” he says.

I prefer the “no-mascara” mascara look—meaning I want my lashes to look natural but with a little extra oomph. That’s exactly what I get with two swipes of Call Me Queen Mascara (and a quick curl using Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, which I swear by). I swept the formula along my lashes twice, paying extra attention to my outer lashes for a lifting, cat-eye effect without the need for eyeliner.

The cone-shaped spoolie also came in handy to coat my short, inner lashes without clumping, which often leads to a messy cleanup and ruins the perfectly blended Fenty Beauty Pro- Filt’r concealer under my eyes.

The true test of a great mascara is how long it lasts throughout the day. We’re currently having a heat wave in New York City and my eyelids are quite oily, making product transfer to my eyelids (a common occurrence with most traditional mascara formulations). Because of this, I typically grab a tubing or waterproof formula to add an extra barrier against transfer. But after using Call Me Queen at the office for a week straight (sweltering subway rides included), I was pleasantly surprised to find not a single smudge on or around my eyelids.

Because I’m so obsessed with this new mascara, I handed a few of the purple tubes to my Allure colleagues to give it a try. Read on for their first impressions of Call Me Queen

The writer wearing Essence Call Me Queen Mascara.

Jesa Marie Calaor, senior editor

I’ve never been a mascara girl. That’s because my lashes are so short and wispy that most formulas weigh them down after a few layers. This one does the opposite—its bristles catch every single hair to lift, define, and lengthen. After a few hours of wear on a hot day (New York City’s summer heat is relentless) though, it did ever-so-slightly smudge onto my undereyes. I was able to take a wet napkin and sweep it away without any fuss.

Calaor wearing Essence Call Me Queen Mascara.

Bianca Richards, social media manager

I’m pinching pennies out here, so I can’t afford to splurge on my favorite luxury mascara right now. Luckily, the Essence Call Me Queen Mascara has been a great substitute. The bristles on the wand grasp my lashes so well, ensuring that each hair is evenly coated without looking clumpy. It’s a bit challenging to find a lengthening mascara that doesn’t appear clunky since that formula is what gives the appearance of fuller, volumized lashes. I love a simple, subtle lift for a more natural effect and this mascara does exactly that. The packaging feels like a Polly Pocket toy (lol), but I wouldn’t hold that against the brand or the product.

Richards in the Essence Call Me Queen Mascara.

Hunter Lacey, associate special projects director

The Essence Call Me Queen Mascara truthfully made me “influencer gasp.” That is, stare in the mirror, mouth agape, shocked by my intense, jet-black lashes as if they were two feet long after just one coat. The tips of my lashes are blonde and can make a mascara look rather dusty if it’s not pigmented enough, but that wasn’t a concern with this pitch-dark formulation. Tragically, I don’t wear black mascara, but when (I’m manifesting here) a brown version hits the shelves, I’ll be first in line.

Convinced yet? Shop this lifting and lengthening $5 mascara on Ulta Beauty right now.

Keep reading more on mascara, below:

Now, watch Sabrina Carpenter’s ten-minute makeup routine:

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