L’Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara review: I put my falsies to the side and tested this drugstore favorite

Our shopping writer's in-depth L’Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara review – does it really offer fuller lashes with zero clumping?

A side-by-side collage of a person with red nails holding the L'oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara on the left and a headshot photo of the person wearing the mascara on the right side, for L'oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara Review.
(Image credit: Future)
Woman & Home Verdict

A high-quality drugstore mascara that gives you full, and natural-looking lashes. This balm-in mascara is made with natural ingredients and left my eyes comfortable, without any watering, even on the coldest and windiest days.

Reasons to buy
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    Natural ingredients

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    One-coat friendly

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    Applies smoothly

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    Volumises eyelashes

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Doesn't give extreme length

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If you’re looking for a L’Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara review, you’ve come to the right place. From its packaging to its formula and my impressions after wearing it, I’ve thoroughly tested this drugstore mascara.

As someone who has naturally short eyelashes, I’m always looking for the best mascara but often turn to falsies in the hope of achieving longer lashes than nature gave me. Let's face it, mastering how to apply false eyelashes is tedious, but with so many mascaras to choose from, it can seem impossible to find the perfect one.

Formula specifications

RRP: $12.99/$9.99

Shades: Black, brown

Key features: Free of parabens and mineral oil

When it comes to my lash needs, I’m constantly searching for something to make my eyelashes look lengthier and fuller, while still maintaining a natural look, all of which is something L’Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara promises.  I decided to put L'Oreal's mascara to the test to see if this affordable buy is truly one of the best L'Oreal mascaras and worth adding to my makeup bag, along with yours. 

Our beauty writer’s L’Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara review

L’Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara packaging

A gold and black L'oreal mascara tube laying on a furry stool, for L'oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara review.

The L'Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm mascara that Kenedee tested

(Image credit: Kenedee Fowler)

I fell in love with the L’Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara packaging right away. Its gold and black bottle give off a luxurious look, which doesn’t match its $12.99/£9.99 price tag. I also love how this mascara boasts a tube that is on the thicker side, making it comfortable and easy to keep a hold of while applying it to my lashes.  

Formula and ingredients

Inside this gorgeous tube are 99% natural origin ingredients, starting with water and emollients, which are the same nourishing ingredients that are used in the best face moisturizers. Oftentimes I just pick up a mascara only paying attention to what it’ll deliver and not what it's filled with, but I did feel more comfortable knowing I was applying a naturally focused balm mascara to my lashes. 

Aside from its natural ingredients, its formula is free of parabens and mineral oils. I also appreciated that this hypoallergenic mascara is fragrance-free and sensitive-eye-friendly. So no more runny mascara or burning eyes if that's usually an issue. And if you're looking for the best brown mascara, you're in luck as this mascara comes in a deep brown shade too. 

Applying and first impressions

A before and after comparison of a person without the L'oreal Voluminous Noir Balm mascara on the left and the same person wearing the mascara on the right, for L'oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara review.

Kenedee's lashes before (l) and after (r) applying L'Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara 

(Image credit: Kenedee Fowler)

When I first opened the mascara and pulled the wand out, I noticed the brush was on the thicker side, which is something I wouldn’t normally gravitate toward when picking my ideal mascara. I usually feel that the thicker the brush, the tougher it’ll be to lift and volumize each and every lash, but I was wrong. After only passing the mascara through my lashes once, I noticed my lashes were instantly bolder and darker (but not too dark). I was also able to coat my small bottom lashes without any smears or drops on my skin. 

This balm mascara has a buttery and smooth texture in comparison to many mascaras I've tried that have a 'wetter' feel. I love how this applied smoothly, which made my lashes look natural with no clumps. I also love how this doesn’t have any fragrance, so if you’re not big on scents this is a great drugstore mascara option. 

L’Oreal states that this is a buildable mascara, but you can definitely apply one just layer and still get a voluminous eyelash look, which is another thing I look for in mascaras. I’m not a big fan of having to apply multiple layers in order for mascara to work, so I appreciated how I was able to see results instantly while saving as much of the product as possible. If If you’re someone who is pressed for time in the mornings and wants a quick and easy makeup look, this would be a perfect option for you.

How does it wear?

I tested the L’Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara for two weeks, while I was running errands on a cold winter day, to an event in place of my best false eyelashes, and while lounging around the house. 

My eyes can often water when it’s cold and windy outside, so I was a little worried this would cause the mascara to start running and flaking, but it passed the cold weather test with ease. This mascara feels extremely lightweight. I often don’t wear anything on my eyelashes day-to-day, so I found myself rubbing my eyes, forgetting I was wearing this mascara. I didn’t experience any product fall-off or noticeable smudges, which is impressive.

If you have short lashes like me and feel you need a pair of falsies on hand for nighttime, this mascara was a good replacement for an evening makeup look. It didn’t give me the same wow factor as false lashes, but I didn’t feel bare or unconfident without them. 

L’Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara review: W&H verdict

A person's hand holding a black mascara tube with a gold top, for L'oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara review.

(Image credit: Kenedee Fowler)

For someone who has naturally short eyelashes and sometimes gives up on mascara, L’Oreal Voluminous Noir Balm Mascara gave me hope in finding the best drugstore mascara that can really add length. I love how it made my eyelashes effortlessly pop without looking like I had applied 100 layers of product, and how lightweight it feels. L’Oreal delivers what they promise with this mascara. It doesn't give a very dramatic look, but it truly gave me fuller lashes with no flakes or clumps. 

From its gorgeous and luxurious packaging to its silky texture, this mascara has definitely found a home in my makeup bag and its natural ingredients and gentle formula are other things to love. 

Kenedee Fowler
Shopping Writer

Kenedee Fowler is a shopping writer based in the United States. She joined woman&home in September 2022, and ever since has been sharing her expertise with the brand to help readers source gifts for any occasion and on any budget, reviews products so you don’t have to, and scout out the best deals and products to give you the best value for your money. Before joining woman&home, Kenedee was a home editorial fellow for Insider Reviews, where she wrote in-depth reviews and articles across the home vertical.

Kenedee is a recent graduate from the number one journalism school in the US, the University of Missouri - Columbia, where she gained hands-on experience as a multimedia journalist at mid-Missouri’s local news station.