Bougie vs. Broke: Lancôme Monsieur Big vs. L’Oréal Lash Paradise Mascara

I love good volumizing mascaras like Lancome Monsieur Big and L’Oreal Lash Paradise. But which is better? Is Monsieur Big worth the price? Could the L’Oreal Lash Paradise be a Monsieur Big mascara dupe?

Bougie vs. Broke is a feature where I compare two of the same products from different price points. This time around we’re discussing the respective merits of Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara and L’Oréal Lash Paradise Mascara. In this instance, Lancôme is the more expensive, bougie mascara.

How do these two products compare in first impressions, performance, buildability, wear, ease of removal, and overall look? Keep reading to find out!

monsieur big mascara review
Lancôme Monsieur Big
lancome monsieur big mascara dupe
L’Oréal Lash Paradise Mascara

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Turns Out I Like Goopy Mascara

Monsieur Big’s formula seems more…heavy duty. There is still the satisfying “thwack” sound when the wand is removed from the Lancôme’s tube, months into usage. You could hear a pin drop when I opened up Lash Paradise, though it was a brand new tube.

The Monsieur Big Mascara doesn’t smudge as much as you think it would. Though neither does the Lash Paradise.

The more liquid-y components of the Lancôme formula means a longer dry down time. But a longer dry down time means that the product can be played with and moved around. Got too much mascara on a couple of lashes? You can smoosh Monsieur Big Mascara around more easily than Lash Paradise Mascara.

lancome monsieur big mascara dupe
A dramatic eye look, featuring dizzying combinations of Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes. On one eye I’m wearing Monsieur Big, the other Lash Paradise. Can you tell the difference?

How Many Coats of Mascara Are Too Many Coats of Mascara?

Despite its’ heaviness, Monsieur Big is extremely buildable.

I like to curl my lashes and apply an initial light, “base coat” of mascara to my lashes. This helps frame my eyes for the rest of my eye shadow/liner application.

Lash Paradise is the most ideal mascara for this practice, as it doesn’t deposit as much product. If used carefully and brushed through properly, Lash Paradise can deposit beautifully in multiple coats. But Monsieur Big Mascara is a dramatic never-miss, no matter how slap dash it’s applied.

Woman looking into camera wearing monsieur big mascara dupe
A more natural look. Can you spot the different mascaras in this picture?

Volume vs. Definition

Really, it depends on the lash effect you’re going for.

If va-va-voom volumized, black-as-soot lashes are your goal, Monsieur Big is probably your jam. I think it’s performance and ease of application is worth its’ price point.

L’Oréal Lash Paradise is for days that call for more natural, separated, doe-eyed lash look. Those neutral palette days. This mascara has a special skill in defining my lashes for a naturally voluminous effect. But I find I have to build it up and comb it through to achieve ultimate results.

dupe for monsieur big mascara

Mascara Mileage

Neither Monsieur Big nor Lash Paradise smudged or flaked all day. Both mascaras stayed strong during an intense half hour Blogilates Summer Sculpt Series session.

I was surprised to find that Lash Paradise was the most resistant to makeup remover. Monsieur Big’s more intense formula came off with greater ease and less wear and tear to my lashes.

Can You Spot the Difference?

In these pictures I’ve been wearing Monsieur Big Mascara on my left eye, Lash Paradise Mascara on my right. Could you tell the difference?

I’m not sure I can tell just looking at the pictures. The Lancôme mascara is darker, maybe. I could tell a difference when applying them (more points to L’Oréal). But is it worth the disparity in price points?

lancome monsieur big mascara
Wearing Monsieur Big on my left eye, Lash Paradise on my right; just like the other two pictures. Can you tell a difference?

And the Winner Is…

I gotta give this round to Lancôme and Monsieur Big. The formula of this mascara just provides…more. More oomph for the price. And it’s not as if this Monsieur Big is as costly as Tom Ford. The superior performance of Monsieur Big pays for itself.

But Lash Paradise could almost be a dupe for the Monsieur Big.

woman wearing monsieur big mascara dupe
Us in the car, right before a fun night watching improv at Dudas Inspiration Venue For The Arts. A night in which I restrained myself from asking anyone if they could tell I was wearing two different mascaras.

What’s your favorite mascara and why? Let me know in the comments below! If you’re looking for a great eyeshadow to pair with your new mascara, check out my review of The New Classics by e.l.f.

Check out my last Bougie Vs. Broke article here.

Happy lash coating!



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Megan writes everything on Ish Mom. She possesses a bachelor's degree in psychology, a flair for theatrics, and a whole lotta nerve. She lives in the Midwest (and loves it) with her wonderful husband and three young boys.

4 Responses

  1. My favorite mascaras are:
    1. Loreal Voluminous Original
    2. Tarte Lights Camera Lashes
    3. Lancome Monsieur Big
    They are all I use all the time. I’ve tried others and nothing compares!

  2. I used Lash Paradise for a long time and loved it, waterproof. Now I am using Lancome Monsieur Big and love it. I used the non waterproof because I heard that the waterproof is almost too hard to get off. I have gotten loads of compliments on the Lancome mascara and I always look for the 2 for 1 sale. There is almost no difference between them but the price. But what is good is good and worth the price.

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