REVIEW: No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara

No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara

I slipped this mascara into my online shopping basket when I was stocking up on a few everyday toiletries from Boots. By the way, I still think their loyalty card is the only one worth having, the shopping points convert into ‘money’ you can spend in store, I’m always surprised by how much it builds up.

I didn’t want to crack open my Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara – which I love, but it’s very hard to get hold of the brown shade, so I’m saving it. I just wanted any brown mascara really. I spotted this one and bought it because the reviews were mostly positive and it was a fairly reasonable £12.00. I know there are fabulous budget mascaras – Rimmel, Maybelline, Max Factor etc, but a lot of them are volumising and they don’t work so well on my mean little lashes.

Two and a half weeks on and reluctant as I am to declare this a ‘holy grail’ mascara – because we’ve been there before, many times, it really does seem to be ticking all the right boxes. Scrub that, it IS the one. In fact, I’ve just bought two more.

No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara is an amazing mascara with a truly magic wand and unique, conditioning formula. The innovative three-in-one brush gives lashes exceptional definition and volume.

The left side of the brush loads lashes for great volume, the right side combs lashes to ensure clump-free, clean definition. The top has been designed to target even hard to reach lashes, giving you three ways to achieve exceptionally defined lashes.


Boots Star Gift

Also, there’s a Boots ‘Star’ Gift offer on at the moment (6th December), which you’re eligible for if you buy two No 7 products (the No 7 nail varnishes are the cheapest at £6.00 each). The offer consists of Pink Blossom eyeshadow, an eyeshadow primer, lash extender mascara and a Stay Perfect eye pencil.


My lashes are only really semi-full and long when I’ve been using a lash conditioning product. I think they all work in their own way. The expensive ones tend to encourage stronger growth, whilst the cheapest ones take longer to work, lashes do grow longer, but they tend to be quite thin. Once you stop using them of course, and your eyelash hair growth patterns returns to normal, lashes are sparse again.

The definition of lashes is nothing short of incredible, it’s been 10 hours since I applied it this morning and my lashes are still separated, you can actually still see each individual one BUT – this is the biggie, not in a spidery way.

There’s no smudging, or clumping. I had to check to see if it was waterproof, because I’ve been caught in the rain a couple of times and it hadn’t budged, although it’s not billed as waterproof. I’ve even been able to coat my virtually non-existent bottom lashes with the specially designed tip of the wand. You also use this tip to grab at those tricky, hard to reach inner corner lashes, get these coated and it really opens up the eye. The formula is nicely buildable in thin layers.

One tip I would offer, is that you apply it in long upward strokes, as opposed to wiggling the wand from side to side at lash roots to create volume. If you’re looking for serious length and volume, this is probably not the mascara for you.

Best of all, and this must be because of the conditioning properties, lashes don’t feel crisp or brittle and that’s with an application of three coats, (I needed to vamp them up as was going out, two coats is the norm for me). Amazingly, it melts off easily with cleanser.

The brown black shade is a very dark brown. Admittedly, the formula is on the dry side (more on that below), but I love that my lashes are never overloaded with product.

Surprisingly, this is not a new mascara, it seems to have been knocking around for 8/9 years, so I’m particularly smug pleased to have discovered it now.


As my lashes are quite short this is the ONLY mascara that will give them great length, with only one coat. Another brilliant thing is that from the moment I put it on in the morning my lashes look exactly the same until I remove it at night – it’s incredible. I’ve tried loads of different mascaras but none come close to being as good as this – even when they cost twice the price.


This appears to be the number one gripe against the mascara. I agree it’s on the dry side, but for me, ‘dry’ means I don’t have to dab it on a tissue first to get rid of excess product ie it’s not a wet formula.

If it’s very obviously too dry and some reviewers have said there’s nothing in the tube, then take it back for a refund. I find Boots customer service in store (forget about online), are very reasonable and won’t put you under the spotlight if you need to return a product, even make up. Although, another top tip, go to a Manager not a sales assistant to return products.

When mascara is running out and drying because it’s come to the end of its life, dip the bottom of the tube into a cup of hot tap water, it will soften the formula, so you should be able to tease out a few more applications.


This is by far my favourite mascara in the world. Not only is the brush the answer to many women’s spider-lash issues, but the formula itself is nice to work with, neither too thick or too runny, and it hardly clumps or flakes off (not until 8 hours or so into the day at least).

Most of all I love that it is easy to wash away with cleanser or soap. No need for eye makeup removers, and should a little flake off, and end up in your eye, it doesn’t sting or hurt in any way, and I am a lens wearer to boot!


The bendy plastic wand is great. The fact that it’s a little comb works wonders, and helps you far more easily to separate lashes that would otherwise be stuck together. You will no longer need to stand around and poke at your lashes with a toothpick/pair of tweezers etc. after applying mascara to make your lashes stop resembling a cobweb gone awry.

And the fact that the wand is double-sided makes it very versatile. If you want a heavy and full look, use the slightly more flat-bristled side first, before running the “comb” side through your lashes to separate them. If you only want a little colour and definition for a more daytime friendly look then just use the “comb” side.

These reviews are interesting because I didn’t (and still don’t), take any notice of which side of the wand I’m using. I just apply, wait for it to dry and brush on another coat. I really think I’d mess it up if I try to comb my lashes though afterwards.

I love this mascara and I’d be really sad if Boots discontinued it for some silly reason – ie because it’s been around for so long, or it’s not one of the ‘trendy’ volumising ones. Although, if you DO see it out of stock in the next couple of days, it’s because I’m stockpiling it.

No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara £12.00 Boots *

*Affiliate link

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