The secret to French beauty is this $12 mascara: 'Better than luxury brands!'

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This Amazon best-seller is the best mascara you've never heard of. (Photo: Amazon; Yahoo Lifestyle)

Let’s face it: There’s no shortage of amazing mascaras on the market. However, finding an affordable one that checks all the boxes — lengthens, defines, won’t clump or smudge (you get the idea) — is easier said than done.

A little digging through Amazon’s beauty section is all it took for us to stumble upon this French beauty brand with a massive following. Vivienne Sabo Cabaret Premiere French mascara is “the secret to French beauty” — and it’s only $12!

The black pigmented formula is packaged in a sleek gold tube and promises to define and deliver volume with a single coat. “Say bonjour to length, thickness and volume that last all day!” reads the product’s description page.

Could this be the one? According to over 1,600 reviews, it might be.

“Better than luxury brands!” raved a 5-star reviewer who shared before and after photos. “Stayed on all day through work, shopping and even napping. I also did not curl my lashes in these pics — this is just the mascara on its own. Came off easy with makeup remover. I highly recommend this product for a great result for a great price!”

And that’s just the beginning of all the rave reviews that make up this mascara’s 4.2-star rating and Amazon’s Choice seal-of-approval.

The black pigmented formula is packaged in a sleek gold tube and promises to define and deliver volume with a single coat. (Photo: Amazon)

It lengthens and defines lashes.

The high-pigment formula gives lashes a natural, lengthened and defined look that customers can’t get enough of.

“This mascara does such a great job of separating and lengthening my lashes. I think this is the best they’ve ever looked - better than when I’ve had expensive mascaras. Will buy again for sure!” wrote a 5-star reviewer.

One beauty industry professional credits the mascara’s brush for the lash-defining results.

“This is the 3rd tube of this mascara that I have ordered. I work for a very popular and well-known cosmetic line, and this mascara blows ours out of the water. I have tried other mascara but continue to return to this one. The brush is a sturdy plastic which helps to lengthen and separate, and curl lashes,” they wrote.

It makes lashes look thicker.

A mascara wand doesn’t perform miracles — but it gets pretty darn close. Many 5-star reviewers note that in addition to longer, more defined lashes, the mascara gives the look of thicker hairs, too. And who doesn’t want all that?

“I have tried countless other mascaras over the past few years. I finally found the one!” proclaimed a happy customer. “This is by far the best mascara I have tried. My lashes look thicker and longer without any clumping. Works better than $20 to $30 big-name mascaras I have used. Try it!”

“As I get older, my lashes seem to be getting thinner. Love this mascara as it fills in what Mother Nature seems to be taking away. My lashes look longer and thicker without looking fake or unnatural. Don't think I'll be switching brands anytime soon!” added another.

It won’t clump or smudge.

A self-proclaimed “mascara snob” calls it the best mascara because they were finally able to ditch waterproof mascara.

“This mascara not only gave perfect coverage from root easily to tip, it is a perfect level of thickness. There is no clumping!” wrote the fan. “I also have always used waterproof mascara in heat and humidity — it just stays better —however, this has amazing staying power. I often fall asleep without removing makeup, but this is still looking great when I get up and is easily removed by my usual facial cleanser... This was by far the best purchase I have made in a long time. Everyone needs to try this!”

“Even when I’m working outside in the patio at my restaurant in the wet Georgia heat, it doesn’t usually smudge. Very elegant in its function and application. People ask me which brand of mascara I use all the time, and I’m happy to recommend it,” added another happy customer.

It’s lightweight and gentle.

“I have sensitive eyes and very fine eyelashes. I’ve tried so many different brands of mascara (luxury brands), and typically they don’t accentuate my lashes enough, or they make my lashes fall out,” explained one user. “This mascara is awesome. It lengthens and curls without clumping. It also doesn’t flake into my eyes, and it is removed easily without damaging my lashes. I won’t use anything else.”

Another user with sensitive eyes added that their lashes are “pretty much invisible without help,” but this mascara helped achieve everything they wanted without irritation.

“This product goes on smoothly and allows me to coat my lashes from base to tip without irritation or stinging, and I get color and depth with the first coat. Two coats of mascara is plenty, and my lashes are visible and defined. The shade of black looks natural and isn't too dark for my blond coloring. It's an easy product to use, reasonable in price, and works perfectly for me. I will be purchasing this product again.”

Bottom Line

If you’re still on the fence about giving this $12 mascara a try, take it from two enthusiastic fans of Cabaret Premiere.

“I am over 65, and my eyelashes are sparse, short and colorless, so I can't use any mascara that is heavy, but I need both volume and length,” explained one happy customer. “This mascara gives me both. It is not thick, doesn't leave clumps, but it separates and defines beautifully! I have found a perfect mascara.”

“I never write reviews for things, but this mascara was just so great I felt like I had to!” added another. “I got complimented on my lashes basically every time I wore this mascara this week. Multiple people even asked if I had extensions! This mascara isn't clumpy at all and makes your lashes super long and defined without sticking them together. I've never had any problems with flaking, and although it isn't waterproof, I've definitely used eye drops, shed a tear, and gotten stuck in rain without them smudging or running down my face. All in all, this is my new holy grail mascara, and I'm thrilled!”

Shop it: Cabaret Premiere by Vivienne Sabo Classic French Mascara, $12,

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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