Over the last couple of months I've gone through three mini tubes of YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils. It is that good. Maybe not Armani Eyes To Kill good, but as these mascaras have slightly different objectives, they can happily coexist in my stash.
Volume Effet Faux Cils is the rival of DiorShow Extase mascara. Both add a significant amount of volume, but the YSL also contributes significantly in the length department and envelopes the lashes in a very even and super pigmented coat (at least in black) that gives them a serious presence. Faux Cils really gives the impression you're wearing some extra lashes, which might not always be a desirable look, but if you're going for drama this is an excellent option.
This Yves Saint Laurent mascara's biggest advantage over the equivalent Dior is in texture. DiorShow Extase is very thick (to the point it dries out before you're 2/3 of the way through the tube) and might make application too messy and high maintenance (I made it work with very impressive results, but if you have very sparse lashes you might find it a challenge to avoid a mess). Faux Cils might not dress your lashes in a fat suit but it has far less goopy tendencies as reported by others, and doesn't dry up in the tube as quickly.
The mascara stays on from morning to night and I've had no smudging issues with any of the test tubes.
Bottom line: The navy blue one is calling my name.
YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils ($30) is available from Yves Saint Laurent counters, Sephora and the company's website. The samples I had were GWP from various sources.
Photos by me.