Mascara Monday: Almay One Coat Dial Up mascara

One of the best things about reviewing mascaras is trying to guess what brands are going to think of next to get us to buy, buy, buy. I mean, who would have thought that vibrating mascaras would ever be the IT thing? Well, kids…I didn’t see this one comin’. A mascara with dials!

Think I loved it?

Almay One Coat Dial Up mascara

Price: 5 out of 5 (I got it for $7.99 at Target)
Packaging (Brush Wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

What it claims: 
Per the packaging…
The truth: Wait, I’m confused. Exactly HOW is this supposed to work?
What I loved about it: The wand kinda rocks! 
What I didn’t like: For starters, the packaging doesn’t tell you a thing about how this mascara works. I find the concept interesting and gimmicky but to leave the consumer wondering what to do is just a total fail, in my opinion. At least tell us on the packaging how this works, Almay! 
Overall: The concept seems simple enough. Within one mascara tube, you can get three effects: full, fuller, and super duper full lashes with the simple click of the dial. The move from 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 and back is easy. You won’t have to do much tugging of the dial.
Q: So how does turning the dial give you greater volume?
A: I know, right? I wondered the same thing when I first saw the commercial. Which, by the way, was insanely vague. As you go from Dial 1 to Dial 2, the hole of wand widens. It gets even wider when you turn to Dial 3. As the hole gets wider, more mascara ends up on the wand. More mascara on a wand means more mascara on your lashes, which=volume. Yes, mascaras have equations…work with me, kids. 
Q: So B…do you think this works?
A: Actually, I do! It’s a pretty genius idea. IF, and only IF you stick with the one coat rule and don’t cheat. You go against the point of this mascara if you apply three coats on Dial 1. But since I believe the average mascara user, applies more than one coat, the goal of this mascara may fail among many.
Q: What about the quality of the mascara?
A: Well…it’s just so so. I experienced flakiness throughout the day. By the end of the day, the mascara was practically gone with the wind. Womp. The formula also felt different. My lashes weren’t stiff. In fact they were soft. Too soft.

Lashes without mascara
(did not curl lashes)
Lashes with Dial 1 

Lashes at Dial 2

Lashes at Dial 3

Would I recommend it?: Umm….only if you feel the need to play around with a new mascara. Chances are your favorite mascara is better. But I am giving it a 3.5 because I think the idea is pretty cool.
Have you tried this mascara yet? Whatcha think?
Well, I get a D+ in Mascara History 101. After receiving several emails from readers, it turns out that this “dial” concept is not new. It made its debut in the 80’s among brands like Maybelline. Check out this commercial.

A crazed mascara reviewer,
My page on hellocotton
  • Dawn

    I always enjoy your reviews but I must be old! You don't remember Dial A Lash? *downs Geritol and pops in glass eye*

  • kelliegonzo

    dang, i hope that "5 out of 5" on the price is a typo, cuz i would NEVER pay $24 for a damn drugstore mascara! especially a cheap looking one like this!

  • Dawn

    Wait, whoa, I didn't see the price! WOW, that is way too much!

  • Anonymous

    I'm thinking the price might be a typo? In Canada it's only about $14..and I would assume it would be even less? Maybe, Awesome review, I've seen it in store, but haven't bothered trying it yet…I think I will pass on this one:)

    • Katie

      Well, I got this mascara for 1 dollar, at a store called Dollar Tree, and i absolutely love it! For a dollar, and i have been using it for about 3 months now! Thanks Almay!

  • Gigi

    I dunno, it's a cool idea and I'm GLAD it actually works.. But $14 seems way too pricey for a drugstore mascara. Even though the idea is good I'd rather buy 2 seperate mascara's and use when needed.

  • Amour

    B, I must say upon first viewing the commercial I immediately wanted to try this. I have very sparse lashes and short as well, so anything that can give the illusion of fullness is most certainly something I have to have in my beauty bag. I like the fact that it has a dial and the concept is genius.
    I wouldn't mind paying $14 dollars for a drugstore mascara because i'm getting my monies worth which couldn't be said for some "high-end" mascaras where i'm simply paying for the name and not the quality of the product. High-end/low-end doesn't seem to phase me as long as i'm gettng what I pay for out of a particular product.

  • B

    Total typo. Even us bloggers screw up in the editing department. Sorry y'all. It was only $7.99.

  • Erica

    Too expensive! Thank you for this review, I was thinking about getting it but was like eh, I'll wait for a review….

    I've tried the Volum'Falsies mascara and the new Stiletto Volume mascara, both are good…I have review of the Volum' Falsies on my blog :)

  • Michelle’s Ethnic skin care

    The bulb is kinda cool but I think I'll stick with my 2 fave.

    L'Oreal Total Explosion AND
    L'Oreal Voluminous

    Can you tell I'm a L'Oreal fan? :-)


  • G

    Thanks for this review. My sensitive eyes may just like this mascara. Soft lashes? Gotta try it.

  • kermitfrog70

    Sadly, I will be dating myself by this revelation, BUT, this is not a new concept. Maybelline actually premiered their "Dial-a-Lash" mascara in the 1980's. I know because my mom bought me my first tube circa 1984 when the product was relatively new. I cannot remember but I know there were more than 3 levels. The tube did exactly as described-the opening got larger with each dial setting. It was a fairly decent mascara back in the day, but as with many things Maybelline discontinued this product.

  • Perla

    I Like The Concept,
    But Not Itching to
    Buy It.

  • Anonymous

    Avon and Rimmel have also come up with these dial a lash mascaras. Could you please review the following:

    Avon Spectra Lasha
    Rimmel 123 Mascara

  • Ere

    I have been looking high and low for a natural mascara! $10 seems like a steal. I was curious about the Organic Wear line. Now I know I need to try it!
    best natural mascara

  • Anonymous

    Go to 6:16, here's the mascara in 1998, sans the dial.

  • Christina

    I have been using this mascara for about a week now. I actually like it. It is a wet formula and it is very pigmented. It never flakes on me and I find that I get about as much volume as I get with Voluminous or Lashblast. I do use 2 coats and I don't get any clumps. I honestly don't pay to much attention to gimmicks anyway so the dial doesn't really matter to me. It was on 3 when I bought it and I have not moved it. What I really like about the mascara is that it is paraben and petroleum free.

  • luisa

    Okay so i went out and bought this mascara today! I’m the type of person that likes to use different products so i said what the heck. I tried it and i loved it. i only paid $4.79 also it was a holiday sale at walgreens or something like that lol so try it n you’ll love it!

  • Donna

    I actually bought this mascara at my local dollar tree store. I have always looked at it and wanted to try it, but it was way to much for me at a place like kmart or walgreens. It is ok i’d say. I like my mascra to clump just a little bit because it makes my lashes look fuller and this mascara makes no clumps at all which is ok for those who don’t like clumps. All in all it is good but not good.

  • cynthia

    This mascara is in the doller tree now. It is only the brown color.

  • mom

    you can buy this at the DOLLAR TREE..they have it in many colors..I just bought it in blackest black…can’t wait to try it!!!!

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  • I found this at the dollar store

  • Cindy

    I loved Maybelline’s Dial-a-Lash from the 80’s. It was my favorite mascara, so when I saw this, I flipped. Bought it today but haven’t tried it yet. Wish I would have known you could get this at the dollar store. I bought mine at Ulta as they are having 40% Almay cosmetics right now. Anyway, here is a link the 1980’s Dial-a-Lash commerical: I always kept the dial at 10, how about you?

  • Faith

    Just saying- if anyone wants to try this, I’ve found it at the $ store!