Too Faced Better Than Sex is renowned as one of the best mascaras in the world, at one point holding the top spot as the most sold mascara across the globe – and with its attention-grabbing name, eye-catching packaging and robust formula, we can see why.
But does its place among the luxe-beauty gang mean that it actually performs any better than its more moderately priced counterparts?
L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise has famously been compared to the notorious mascara – and we can see the resemblance. Lash Paradise not only looks the part but plays it, too, with its easy application, staggering volume and fanned-out finish.
And while it doesn’t quite come into the category of beauty bargains, it’ll set you back a hell of a lot less than Better Than Sex. But should you save or splurge? We explore...
What is special about Too Faced Better Than Sex?
With a name that commands attention from the get-go and raving endorsements behind it, you already have an inkling that you’re going to witness something special with Too Faced Better Than Sex.
Humbly glamorous packaging, a simple but multi-use brush and a long-lasting formula that cares for lashes while being able to create multiple looks make this offering stand out from the rest. It delivers volume and drama without compromising on its lightweight feel and can even be used sparingly to get a softer, feathery look if that’s what you prefer. A true masterpiece of the makeup bag.
Too Faced Better Than Sex specifications
Waterproof version available: Yes
Mini version available: Yes
Added extras: Hourglass-shaped brush
The tube alone screams feminine sophistication, with its elegant embossing, sexy blush pink colour and cool matte finish drawing attention to itself without being overly pretentious.
It does come in heavier than the L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise, so could weigh down your makeup bag a bit, but the extra grams do give it a sturdy feel that backs up its elite standing on the market.
Non-drying, clump-free, lightweight and buildable – there isn’t a box that this formula doesn’t tick. The slippery consistency smoothly coats lashes without catching or flaking, and unique peptides work in the background to condition lashes throughout wear (which can last for a while, as we noticed minimal flaking and smudging at the end of the day).
The formula also contains acacia senegal gum extract, which is known for boosting hydration in hair, helping it to appear shinier and healthier – a nourishing treat for lashes, too.
Ease of application
Better Than Sex’s slender but voluptuous hourglass-shaped brush caught even the hardest to reach corner lashes, without leaving a mess on the lash line, and its contours meant that the perfect amount of product was distributed to each lash.
Despite the liquidy formula, the brush collected just the right amount of product, without being overly loaded or too dry, so was easy to build without clumping or making a mess. The flat tip of the wand also works really well in fanning out outer lashes for a sultry, doll-eye look. But if your lashes are on the shorter side, the brush could prove a little thick your lashes, so we’d opt for the travel-size version.
Not only does Better Than Sex seamlessly deliver the holy trinity of mascara goals (length, volume, definition), but it also gives you a whole extra bang for your buck – a flirty feathered look, a touch of curl, a long-lasting finish and the ability to build layers, depending on what kind of look you want to go for.
One layer will give you a long, defined and natural-looking flutter, while, once you pack on the coats, you’re looking at all the volume and drama you could ask for.
It’s not the most inconspicuous mascara out there (we definitely wouldn’t class it as natural makeup) but, with its brave and blush-inducing claims, we couldn’t really have expected it to be.
What is special about L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise?
L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Specifications
Waterproof version available: Yes
Suitable for sensitive eyes: Yes
Added extras: castor oil for growth
L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise has taught us that a weightier price tag doesn't necessarily mean a superior product.
The well-thought-out formula is everything you might want from a mascara, with the added bonus of looking after your lashes, while giving you the ultimate lash look.
A nourishing formula and clever hourglass brush reflects everything we love about the Too Faced Better Than Sex, which makes it one of our top picks.
While the Lash Paradise doesn’t have the refined femininity of the Better Than Sex, we do quite like the simple juxtaposition of the matte and gloss finishes. And if you’re a fan of rose gold, then you’ll love the cute blush colouring.
While Better Than Sex has the acacia Senegal gum extract, Lash Paradise uses nourishing castor oil to strengthen and hydrate your lashes, while giving you a long-lasting impactful look. The formula also has a silky-smooth consistency, thanks to the addition of the oil, meaning that it glides on to lashes effortlessly – no sticking and catching at all.
However, when it comes to staying power, it definitely doesn’t measure up against the Better Than Sex, as we did spot a tiny bit of flaking by the end of the day and a little bit of smudging in the undereye, but it was by no means a full-on endangered-animal look. Unsurprisingly, removal was a lot easier than with Too Faced’s version, so it does go a long way in putting off the dreaded search for best eye creams for a little while longer.
Ease of application
Just like with Better Than Sex, the delicately contoured brush catches almost every lash in just one swipe, while the soft bristles work right from the lashline without scratching. The brush also echoed its competitor in collecting just the right amount of formula on to the brush, making it easy to layer on to lashes for a dramatic impact without any clumps.
However, one little detail that wasn’t quite as considered as the Better Than Sex was the refinement of the brush tip, as it was quite hefty, so did collect quite a bit of formula and made it slightly difficult to get to the inner lashes without making a mess.
This budget buy gives you it all – length, definition, volume and a little bit of curl thrown in for good measure. It lifts lashes and, if you use an eyelash curler beforehand, it holds the shape pretty well.
We didn’t notice as much length as with the Better Than Sex, but you could always layer it with something really lengthening like Benefit BADgal BANG! or one of our best lengthening mascaras.
We did love the fanned-out and volumised look that came without any clumping, no matter how many layers we slapped on, and it gave the kind of even definition that you would expect to achieve with a comb wand, without having to actually endure using one of them.
Too Faced Better Than Sex vs L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise: the verdict
For a budget option, L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise does do a worthy job of going up against the acclaimed Better Than Sex. It boasts a gentle and nourishing formula that not only looks after your lashes (and is even suitable for sensitive eyes), but it leaves you with a striking flutter full of length, volume, definition and curl.
But there really is no beating Too Faced Better Than Sex. There is a reason why it’s gained such a cult global following – it’s everything we love about the Lash Paradise with the volume and drama turned up to 100. It also has the durability that we just didn’t see with the Lash Paradise.
So, as much as the Lash Paradise has gained our respect, if you have the money to spare there’s really no competing with something that manages to put a bigger smile on your face than even your most exhilarating of liaisons...
Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.
Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).
But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.
When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).
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