Mascara was invented in 1840 by cosmetic pioneer Eugene Rimmel of the House of Rimmel and then in 1913 the first modern day mascara was created by American chemist T.L. Williams.

Williams mixed coal dust and petroleum jelly, and named his first mascara product Maybelline – a combination of his sister’s name Mabel and the product’s key ingredient Vaseline. And today the brand is still one of the leaders in its innovation in creating mascaras.

While some still apply petroleum jelly on lashes to help keep it thick and healthy, there’s no place for coal dust on our lashes today! Mascaras have certainly come a long way and they don’t only darken lashes, they come in a variety of functions to meet different requirements. Here are some mascaras that we’ve tried out. – Co-ordinated by Sandra Low

Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara, RM130

If you want a mascara that helps contour, define and volumunise lashes, this could be for you. Its hourglass-shaped brush comes with elastomer (think: flexible wand) which makes the application a whole lot easier. Despite the brush’s short and scarce bristles, it’s still able to deliver defined, thick and bold lashes. The texture is rich yet lightweight. Another plus point is lashes remain soft and flexible and you can always re-apply if needed. The drawback, however, is the mascara tends to clump up upon application, and you need to continuously smoothen it out to attain fanned-out and voluminised look. Ensure a good oil-based makeup remover is at hand to remove the mascara from lashes. – Sheela Chandran

Lancome Grandiose Waterproof Mascara, RM130

The box for this Lancome Grandiose Waterproof mascara says that it is a “wide-angle fan effect” mascara with extreme hold, and is meant to add volume, length and curves to eyelashes. Pretty much everything you want in a mascara, really. The brand’s website says that the Grandiose’s curved brush allows you to apply the mascara like a pro. I followed the instructions and true enough, my lashes did look longer and thicker. I like the Grandiose because it makes my sparse eyelashes look more lush. However, the wand is a little slippery and the curved brush makes it harder to remove from the tube. The first few times I did it, splotches of mascara came flying out! Also, while the mascara lasts all day, it is difficult to remove. – Melody L. Goh

Dimensions de Chanel, RM120

This is an all-in-one mascara that’s supposed to be “the perfect balance of volume, definition, length and curl”. The fibre brush has a narrow tip so that it can reach the shortest lashes and the product is also conditioning and long-wearing. It passed all the tests and really does live up to the word “dimensions”. Just one application left my lashes looking curled and defined. It really popped out to the point my colleagues noticed it immediately. I wear glasses occasionally and the best compliment is when someone says, “I can see your lashes behind your glasses!” You don’t even need to use much and it takes off pretty easily as well. Definitely a keeper! – Dzireena Mahadzir

Benefit Beyond Mascara, RM105

A mascara designed to curl, volumise, lift and separate lashes, and also said to be long-wearing without smudging or clumping. Its thick brush features a custom-domed tip to help reach and curl the smaller lashes. I found the wand itself a bit too chunky to navigate around my medium-thick lashes but the domed tip does help to separate lashes. The mascara keeps to its claim of being long-wearing but the downside is the difficulty in removing it. I tried using an eye makeup remover and also a cleansing oil but both still required effort and time to remove. As for the texture, I would say it’s quite smooth and easy to apply onto lashes but tends to clump up a bit. – Wong Li Za

Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara, RM95

This lightweight gel-formula mascara promises to be ultra waterproof, as well as surf and swim tested. I didn’t have a chance to take it swimming or surfing, but the mascara did stay waterproof through sweat-drenched errands. I wore it to work and functions and there was no smudging at the end of the day. A layer of application was all I needed on my lashes. It dried quickly, though, so a second application didn’t go on that smoothly and made for stiff and clumpy lashes. Still, it does open up the eyes, even without any dramatic volume or curl. It wasn’t all that difficult to clean off with an oil-based cleanser. – Ivy Soon

Innisfree Lifting Curl Cara, RM50

With the name “Curlcara” and claims that it is meant to lift the lashes from the root, what’s not to love about this mascara? I have long lashes that aren’t thick but curls naturally. Sleek in nature, the wand is a slight U-shape with short bristles. While it is easy to apply, I felt my lashes were not coated well. Even after several layers, the effect was quite “thin” and somehow made my lashes look sparse. I followed the curve of my lashes with the wand and applied the product from root to tip. I also held my lashes for a bit for the “lifting” effect. There was no difference. What is great, however, is that this product is easy to remove. – Nadine Fernandez