I tried Beauty Bay's new affordable mascara and had mixed feelings

Finding the perfect mascara isn't easy, especially if you're a mascara-free girl like me. Some are too thick, some are too lumpy, and some are a weird color, not quite black but definitely too dark for brown.

Trial and error is often the only way to ensure your mascara is just right. When I was asked to test out the new Beauty Bay High-Key Volume Mascara (£12), I took a closer look at it.

I find it's easy to go without mascara in most situations, but when you want to achieve a more intense look, the results can look weird. If I don't use mascara when applying a colored crease or bold eyeshadow, my eyes actually

look smaller - in which case I definitely need mascara to enlarge and brighten them.

That's why I started searching for the perfect mascara for these occasions. It needed to add length and volume and fan out my lashes without causing them to flake or feel too heavy on my face.

The great thing about using mascara so sparingly is that I have very high standards when it comes to choosing mascara.

If you don't like the standard lash look of mascara, this product really has to go out of its way to be worth buying.

This means it won’t clump, look cakey or smudge when applied. After two weeks of testing, the new Beauty Bay High-Key Volume Mascara (£12) may be the answer, although it does require very precise application to meet all the

above requirements, whether you're wearing it every day or for long-term special occasions.

Read on to find out exactly why. Beauty Bay High Profile Volumizing Mascara, £12. I loved this mascara on my first try, which is a pretty bold statement for someone who rarely uses it.

It separated my lashes perfectly and quickly coated them with a deep black color, instantly making them look longer, fuller and scalloped.

It doesn't flake all day long and is easily removed with micellar water. Essentially, it delivers on everything it promises.

It provides more volume (as you'd expect from the name of the product) and actually creates a false lash effect, as you can see on my right eye in the picture above.

I thought I was the winner—until I tried it a second time. This time it was just the opposite. It's thick and clumpy, and while my lashes look longer, there's no scalloped false lash effect at all.

It looked like I had applied several thick coats to my lashes (even though I only applied one), concentrating only on the roots and creating a heavy buildup of product around my lids.

Of course, this is not the desired effect and aesthetic, and my eyelids feel heavy. To make matters worse, it started flaking after about an hour and required regular maintenance to avoid leaving dark marks on my face (and to

satisfy my dislike of most mascaras).

What changed between these two attempts? Well, after many attempts, it turns out that the key to making this mascara look great is the amount of product in the wand.

Unlike the long, thin bristles of Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (£22.50) or the comb-shaped wand of Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara (£15), Beauty Bay's High-Key Volume Mascara Wand has short. The soft plastic tip is swept over

the lashes to apply the product to the lashes. Because the tip is so short, the lashes touch the base of the wand and therefore get a lot of product on them.

This is great for quick and easy application, but on the other hand can cause a lot of buildup if the brush is too saturated. So the trick is to remove excess product from the brush by wiping it off the neck of the mascara tube

before applying just one coat (or two if you want a more impressive look) product. Once I did this, I got pristine lashes that I fell in love with, full of volume and length without feeling heavy, making Beauty Bay High-Key

Volume Mascara a truly impressive product. At only £12, I think it’s worth it whether you wear it every day or occasionally. At Refinery29, we're here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of things. All of our market

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