The 21 Best Mascaras for Long, Lush Lashes Every Time
The best mascaras lengthen lashes, boost volume, have all-day staying power, and don't irritate sensitive eyes. These top wands deserve a spot in your makeup bag.
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via Bloomingdales.com, via Ulta.com (2)
Bat your lashes
The best mascaras on the market may differ in price and the promises they make, but they all have one thing in common: They make your lashes look fierce. A swipe of mascara can take you from tired to temptress in a matter of seconds. But the true beauty of mascara is that it can add a ton of drama just as easily as it enhances your favorite natural makeup looks.
In our quest for the best mascaras money can buy—whether for $5 or $35—we considered what each mascara does and what shoppers have to say about it. We also consulted with professional makeup artists about their go-to products. So whether you’re looking for waterproof mascara, the bestselling mascara on Amazon, sweatproof makeup, or just a tried and true drugstore formula, there’s something for every beauty routine here.
Armed with a killer mascara, the best makeup remover (always wipe mascara off before bed!), and our arsenal of mascara hacks, you’ll be batting your lashes in no time. Get ready to put some of these easy makeup secrets to the test and add one, two, or more of the best mascaras to your collection.
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
Freelance makeup artist Ashi Karim, who specializes in cruelty-free beauty products, counts Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara among her favorites. The smooth formula—that’s right, no clumpy mascara— is best for adding volume and length. But Karim also points out another big plus: It’s best for sensitive eyes. “I wear contacts and have never experienced any twitching or irritation, so that’s an added bonus,” she says.
Best: For sensitive eyes
It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volume Mascara
When it comes to the best mascara for length, the IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volume Mascara is hard to beat. This mascara has a pretty thick formula that clings to your lashes to really draw them out to their maximum extension. For $25, you get long-lasting, incredible length with just one coat. Just be sure to avoid these common eyelash mistakes.
Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara
For the best drugstore mascara, look no further than Maybelline’s Great Lash, a top fave among makeup artists and consumers. In fact, most pros name high-priced mascara among the beauty products never to waste money on. Celebrity makeup artist Mandie Brice never goes without her Great Lash. “It is a kit staple for so many makeup artists and has been for years,” she says. The simple bristle brush coats all your lashes in one go—and you can get a tube for under $5.
Revlon So Fierce! Big Bad Lash Mascara
For under $10, you can get longer, fuller lashes, but the real winning feature of the Revlon So Fierce! Big Bad Lash Mascara is its ability to curl your lashes and keep them in place. The unique brush applicator features curves to help shape your lashes, giving you an amazingly lush look every time. Not only is this the best for curling lashes, but it darkens them too. The pigment has an extra tint to it, so your lashes keep that bold color even days later. It’s great for people who don’t wear makeup daily. Consider this your lazy girl beauty trick.
Best: Curling and tinting
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara
There’s a lot to like about this $5 mascara. The Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara is easily one of the best drugstore mascaras on the market and will give you both length and volume. The conic shape of the brush really hugs your eyelashes as you swipe on the mascara, and you’ll go through a whole day with no flaking. Plus, Lash Princess is one of the best cruelty-free mascaras, so you don’t have to worry about your product being tested on animals. Find out which beauty store is better: Ulta or Sephora.
Best: Affordable (and cruelty-free)
Too Faced Better Than Sex Volumizing Mascara
No list of the best mascaras would be complete without Too Faced’s banner mascara. The Better Than Sex Volumizing formula does wonders for both volume and curl, but we actually consider it perhaps the best vegan option on the market. It’s also made with collagen to plump your lashes, so in case it isn’t already obvious, this mascara does it all. If it’s time to throw out your old, outdated makeup and stocking up on something new, this is a great choice.
Best: Volumizing (and vegan)
Dior Diorshow Mascara
Dior makes one of the best designer mascaras, and we also love that it comes in a couple different colors. Not feeling like black mascara today? Here’s an eye makeup tip: Try Diorshow in blue instead. This mascara is also one of the best for thinning lashes because it’s a buildable formula that won’t get clumpy as you go.
Lancome Lash Idôle Lash-Lifting & Volumizing Mascara
This is one of the best mascaras money can buy. It’s well-loved by people everywhere for its ability to glide on and give you lusciously long, thick lashes. The wand is made with micro bristles that get in between every single lash to coat them with mascara, which means you won’t need to employ fixes for clumpy mascara. And the slight curve of the brush encourages your lashes to curl just enough to make an impact.
Best: Lengthening and curling
Benefit Cosmetics BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara
If you’re looking for one of best mascaras for thinning lashes, turn to Benefit’s BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara, which can help plump them up. Brice uses this one on clients who want to make their eyes look bigger. “I think the wand makes a huge difference on this one specifically—it’s huge, and I think it gives great impact,” she says. Plus, the mascara itself is made from an incredibly light formula, so it won’t weigh down your smallest lashes.
Best: Plumping thin lashes
Smashbox Super Fan Lash Lengthening Mascara
Another great cruelty-free option that Karim recommends is Smashbox’s Super Fan mascara. It’s formulated without parabens, phthalates, oil, fragrance, or silicone. She loves that aside from being cruelty free, it’s also one of the best mascaras for smaller lashes because it clings to each little one to make them stand out. If you’re considering eyelash extensions, give this mascara a try first.
Best: Lengthening (and clean ingredients)
Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Waterproof Mascara
Covergirl’s Lash Blast mascara is a drugstore must-have. This staple mascara is simple but powerful, and it’s best for giving your lashes intense volume. Though Covergirl has an impressive collection of mascaras to choose from, this waterproof formula stands out for its simplicity and sleek formula. Plus, it’s practically a steal at only $6.
Best: Waterproof on a budget
Buxom Lash Volumizing Mascara
The brush used with Buxom’s Lash Volumizing Mascara has tons of bristles of differing lengths and sizes to coat all your lashes while lengthening them. It’s one of the best for thinning lashes, something that can occur as you age. Swipe on a coat of this mascara, and no one will know the difference. Consider that tip No. 1 in the list of makeup rules to know when you turn 40.
Best: For thinning lashes
Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara
Plenty of mascaras claim to lengthen lashes, but not all of them follow through. Thrive Causemetics’ Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara is among the best for lengthening. It creates a casing around each lash so your eyelashes appear longer. Brice loves the “telescoping property” of this particular product and says it makes “your lashes look so much longer!”
Best: Look of extensions
Eyeko Sport Waterproof Collagen Mascara
Like the name suggests, Eyeko’s waterproof mascara is one of the best for athletic events or days when you’re extra sweaty. Everyone should have at least a small collection of sweatproof makeup. You can feel confident rocking this mascara before running a marathon or taking a long bike ride. The gel formula is not only waterproof but also repels water. (Don’t worry, you can still easily remove it with your micellar water.) Plus, we love that this mascara comes in a squeeze tube, so there’s less waste!
Best: Sweat proof
Honest Beauty 2-in-1 Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer
One of the best mascaras in the cruelty-free space is Honest Beauty’s two-in-one mascara and primer. Honest Beauty prides itself on its simple formulas, and this product is no different. Prep your lashes with the primer end of the wand before coating them with mascara. This pigment is made with jojoba to bring a bit of moisture to your lashes and keep them healthy.
Shiseido ImperialLash MascaraInk Waterproof
It can be hard to find a mascara that ticks all the boxes. For a lengthening, waterproof mascara that can also get all the little hairs, Shiseido has it. This is one of the best waterproof formulas, but it’s still easy enough to remove with eye makeup remover or your favorite natural makeup remover. This brush has a unique silhouette: a firm center surrounded by thin bristles, even around the tip. This means that the tiny bristles can get into the corners of your eyes and paint even the smallest lashes.
Best: Waterproof that’s easily removable
BareMinerals Escentuals Lashtopia Mega Volume Mineral-Based Mascara
This BareMinerals mascara is well-loved by Amazon users who have given it more than 1,000 reviews and a 4.6-star rating. One of the best vegan mascaras out there, it’s made with the lash-loving minerals you’d expect from a BareMinerals product—and it lifts, lengthens, and thickens your lashes for all-day beauty.
Best: Vegan formula
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara
This is one of the best organic mascaras and one that’s much appreciated by fans of natural makeup. Thanks to the hypoallergenic formula, it’s also one of the best for sensitive eyes. Physician’s Formula mascara is made with natural ingredients, 70 percent of which come from organic farms. It doesn’t hurt that the tube is so darn cute. That won’t affect how your mascara wears, of course, but it does make this mascara a bright addition to any makeup collection.
Best: Organic and hypoallergenic
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes
This mascara is a bit of a splurge at $29, but it’s a worthwhile luxury. The brush is specifically designed with a flat side that loads mascara onto the lashes and a bristle side that combs the mascara through your lashes and lifts them high. This mascara also has a special keratin ingredient to condition lashes and plump them up even more.
Best: Lash conditioning
E.l.f. Lash It Loud Mascara
If you’re on a budget (we’ve all been there) but still want a quality mascara, Lash It Loud is just $6. Besides, mascara is a great beauty product to save money on. This drugstore winner will give you longer lashes instantly. It’s one of the best vegan options, has a cruelty-free formula, and contains no phthalates, parabens, or sulfates. It’s clean beauty at a super-low price, and you can grab a tube on your next drugstore run.
Best: Clean beauty on a budget
Chanel Le Volume De Chanel
For a bit of luxury, try Le Volume De Chanel mascara, which retails for $32. Available in black or brown, this pigmented formula plumps your lashes as you swipe it on with a brush made of different-size bristles. It’s a thicker formula, so it’s one of the best for volume. It will cling to your lashes and make them appear fuller and thicker. And, hey, if you won’t splurge on this mascara for yourself, consider making it a beauty stocking stuffer next time you need to give a gift.
Best: Luxury brand
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- Mandie Brice, celebrity makeup artist
- Ashi Karim, makeup artist
- Beauty Without Bunnies