Why is Paula’s Choice Great Big Lashes discontinued?

why is paulas choice great big lashes discontinued

Discontinued? Unavailable on every shopping site known to US citizens?

How can this be? For four years my pendulum swung between mascara that made my eyes itch and water, and was clumpy and unattractive, and mascara that was around $20. This budget conscious beauty junkie does not want to pay $20 for mascara.

Then one day – after a four year search, Great Big Lashes. By Paula’s Choice.

I loved it. Nate loved it. My readers loved it. It was simplicity and confidence in a bottle.

I owned one bottle ever. It cost $9 and last 7 months. Now it’s gone.

After fishing the discarded bottle out of the trash (and it wasn’t even closed, the wand and bottle were in different places – gross), I realized I couldn’t really wear that, and rushed to Ulta to get the one mascara everyone has been raving about that I could possibly imagine filling my GBL shaped hole – Benefit They’re Real.

I was disappointed. There really was no difference. I could imagine one if I tried really hard, but that is nothing to pay an additional $14 for, and the definition is inferior to GBL.

You might be a beauty junkie if this image makes you tear up:


Or this:

or this

Or this:

or even this

No explanation. Not even a “this product has been discontinued.”

Now I will have to go back to buying and returning products, something I’ve done enough of for 6 people for 3 lifetimes I’m sure. I’ve even paid people to return products for me.

When I return the mascara, it will either be because they disappointed me, or I just can’t stomach the price tag.

I will have to return to reading hours of blogs by others to see what they recommend, to feel a lump of hope inside, to buy the mascara, only to apply it and think, “it just doesn’t look like Great Big Lashes.”

Or to get almost excited about a new and probably over-priced mascara, resigning myself to its over-priced-ness, calculating how many months it needs to last to justify its drag on my bank account, only to see the empty bottle of Great Big Lashes lying on my vanity, and feel sick to my stomach. Then I will throw it all back in the orange bag with the receipt and say, “I have to go back to the plaza tomorrow, Nate.”  And I’ll fall asleep dreaming about the money I’ll get back when I make the return, and maybe stay up late trolling all the world’s shopping sites for Great Big Lashes.


Maybe. But not much.

The Mascara Files: Choosing the Best Mascara, a review of Paula’s Choice Great Big Lashes, NYC Big and Bold, and Wet N Wild MegaLength

I was sitting down to write #2 and my Mascara Files series when I really got the urge to put them all together in one post. I just think it’s more helpful to see them right next to each other. So here is a simple breakdown with my take on their effect on my somewhat long but spacey lashes.

what is the best mascara volumizing lengthening paulas choice wet n wild nyc big and bold

My favorite by far is Paula’s Choices Great Big Lashes. Putting it on is one of those experiences you start looking forward to each morning – like my cup of Organo Gold coffee. It’s a pleasure to apply and separates the lashes, unlike the NYC Big and Bold, but it provides more length and volume than Wet N Wild MegaLength. However if you only want to pay $3 for a mascara and you want something that’s really easy to put on and to double-coat, then Wet N Wild is pretty good for $3.

I just prefer Paula’s Choice Great Big Lashes. While it is not waterproof, I’m not really sure I want to wear waterproof daily so that’s not a big deal to me. I might either fall back on WNW or get Anastasia Genius Lash coat for waterproof days (like my friend’s upcoming wedding).

The big loser for me was NYC Big and Bold.

More information:

Wet n Wild Megalength Ingredients:

Water/Eau, Glyceryl Stearate, Acrylates Copolymer, Paraffin, Stearic Acid, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Triethanolamine, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Oleic Acid, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Polyquaternium-10, Chlorphenesin, Propylene Carbonate, Trisodium EDTA, Simethicone, Methylisothiazolinone, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Iron Oxides/CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499.

Price $3.00


NYC Big and Bold Ingredients: 

Water, Paraffin, Glyceryl Stearate, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, PVP, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Tribehenin, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Stearic Acid, Acrylates Copolymer, Panthenol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Talc, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Powder, Hydrolyzed Wool, Serica (Silk Powder), Retinyl Palmitate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Silica, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ethylene/Methacrylate Copolymer, Collagen, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Colloidal Gold, Saccharomyces/Platinum Ferment, Saccharomyces/Silver Ferment, Ceramide 2, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Sodium Sulfate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Phalaenopsis Lobbi Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Bambusa Arundinacea Leaf Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Tocopherol, Chlorphenesin, Sorbic Acid, May Contain (+/-):, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Carmine (CI 75470), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Ultramarines (CI 77007), D&C Black No. 2 (CI 77266), Mica

Price: $5.76, $4.50 at Drugstore.com

NYC Big and Bold

Paula’s Choice Great Big Lashes Ingredients: 

Water, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate (thickeners), Ceresin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (wax-based thickeners), Cetyl Alcohol (conditioning agent), Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol (preservatives), PVP (film-forming agent), Beeswax (Cera Alba) (thickener), Black Iron Oxide, Red Iron Oxide (cosmetic coloring agents)

Price: $9.95 (currently $8.46)


New York weekend goodies for my friends wedding

kaboodle makeup case sonia kashuk paulas choice tarte and inglot

I didn’t know I had a lot of makeup until I got this case.

kaboodle makeup professional case sonia kashuk paulas choice inglot

I kind of like it.
kaboodle makeup professional case sonia kashuk paulas choice inglot makeup storage

A few of my favorite things.
sonia kashuk ultra luxe glosses and bronzer

I remember kaboodle as a pencil case from childhood. I was going to get a SoHo, but this did the trick.
kaboodle makeup professional case sonia kashuk paulas choice inglot makeup storage

I hope my hair and my friend’s makeup hold up (she’s the bride).not your mothers hair brands

Some days you gotta rock some Sonia Kashuk lip sheer in melon.
sonia kashuk lip sheer melon

Or Fuschia.
sonia kashuk lip sheer fuschia
Make sure you take the pictures while seat belted. That’s important.

And Paula’s Choice Great Big Lashes.
paulas choice great big lashes

Neither of which will break the bank.
So we can afford dog food.
And wedding trips.
bernese mountain dogs

Congratulations Michelle and Tim!!

The Mascara Files: NYC BIG AND BOLD

I like the fun packaging.


Here’s a closeup before and after.

nyc big and bold mascara before and after

Overall picture. Ignore my crazy hair – I have no idea what I’m doing with it. It’s at a very awkward stage.

No mascara.

with no mascara

NYC Big and Bold:

with nyc big and bold

This massive brush and thick formula can have a tendency to get clumpy if you second-coat, which I did. I’ll know better next time. The first coat was prettier and if I manage to snap another picture, I’ll put it in here.

Does it volumize: Yes.

Does it curl? I would say yes.

Does it smudge and bleed? No in my experience. Here’s a picture of me with tears brimming out of my eyes and no smearing (just that one tiny little black flake). I didn’t ask someone to make me cry for the picture below. But the timing was good. So I asked Nate to snap a quick picture for the blog. He’s used to my weirdness.

mascara with that doesn't bleed when you cry


Things You Would Never Know by Reading Ingredients, aka Why I Love Paula Begoun

aveda mosscara


“Aveda Mascara:
Average Mosscara ($18) claims its conditioning formula is helped by the inclusion of Iceland moss, yet there is not enough moss in it to cover a twig, let alone condition lashes. This is an ordinary mascara formula that produces average length and minimal thickness, but it’s hardly exciting or worth considering over the best Maybelline or L’Oreal mascara.”

taken from Don’t Go To the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, by Paul Begoun

I’m an ingredient label reader, but there’s no way you could tell how much moss this Mosscara contains just by reading the ingredients, except in relation to other ingredients.

I bet Paula has saved a lot of women a lot of money over the years.

Moss on twig:

moss twig w

Twig on Moss:


Mosscara on model.


Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara

What a day brightener! I got the mail at lunch time and my Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara was all wrapped up in a bubble wrapper with MANY layers of bubble wrap. I’m sure it did not need quite so many.

You can see how amazing this mascara is – and though it retails for $19 I got it on ebay for $12.50 including shipping! 🙂 I love when that happens.

It’s long, it’s dramatic, it’s thickening, it’s really conditioning. You can see how dramatic and full and thick my lashes are. Rice bran wax, the second ingredient, is a really nourishing wax and nothing like the paraffin most drug store brands use (I try to avoid paraffin in any products – it’s suffocating). This is my favorite mascara to date and I will not be wasting money on anything else.

Then of course the fourth ingredient is olive oil – how much better can you get? Essential fatty acids, omega-3’s, what a treat for eyelashes! The EFA’s and Omega-3’s in olive oil have been recommended for hair loss, so it is going to be really good for your eyelashes!

Again the “good for you ingredients” are really high on the list! Other good things are panthenol, a B-vitamin, and vitamin C.

As always, Tarte products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalathes, SLS, and synthetic fragrances.

And what a lovable container! Pretty and organic-looking, like Tarte’s brand.

Please please please have a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale, Tarte! 🙂

Aqua, cyclopentasiloxane, oryza sativa (rice) bran wax, hydrogenated olive oil stearyl esters, stearic acid, cera carnauba/copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax/cire de carnauba, alcohol, propylene glycol, triethanolamine, candelilla cera/euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax/cire de candelilla, acacia senegal gum, VP/VA copolymer, phenoxyethanol, polyvinyl alcohol, panthenol, aminomethyl propanediol, ascorbyl palmitate, ethylhexylglycerin, kaolin, iron oxides (CI 77499). Made in Italy.


Buy at Ulta, Tartecosmetics.com, beauty.com, sephora.com