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When your goal is extra-long, extra-fluttery, doe-like lashes, you can get extensions. Or you could opt for a set of falsies. Or you could take the easy way out and reach for a fiber mascara. True to the name, these formulas contain itty-bitty fibers—usually made of silk, rayon, or nylon—that adhere to the tips of your lashes. The result? Major length and volume, a major win for anyone, but particularly those with short, sparse fringe. Best of all: There’s no glue, tape, or cutting required, just some simple swiping.
See the effects for yourself with these standout fiber mascaras.
Best Overall: Dior Diorshow Mascara
The cult-favorite formula got even better when they added microfibers to the mix, particularly since they sit in between lashes, rather than on top, reducing irritation even for those who normally aren’t fiber fans. Also noteworthy: The tube, which touts a unique airlock system to keep air from getting in and drying out the mascara.
Best Volumizing: Milk Kush High Volume Mascara
Some fibers are long and cylindrical, great if you want extra length or that spidery lash effect. But for those who prefer a fuller-looking fringe, this formula is choice. The fibers are heart-shaped, specially made to lay on your lashes in each direction for both length and width. Bonus points for the tapered brush that lets you hit every part of your lashes—without clumps.
Best Budget: Covergirl The Super Sizer Fiber Mascara
Boosting volume and length by an impressive 400 percent, even those with the shortest and sparsest of lashes will be impressed with this fiber formula. Thanks to its reverse cone-shaped brush, you can also easily reach even those itty-bitty hairs out the corners of your eye, lifting lashes for a flirty, cat-eye look. And all that for just six bucks.
Best Drugstore: Maybelline New York Gigi Hadid Fiber Mascara
Talk about high praise: Byrdie's editorial director, Faith Xue, credits this fiber mascara as being "the best one I've ever tried." Sweep on the mascara in the dual-sided tube first, then add the fibers, then apply one more coat of mascara. Amazon users are big fans too, citing both the increased volume and length.
Best Lengthening: Touch in Sol Paper Pusher Mascara
This uses, you guessed it, featherweight Korean paper fibers to create the look of crazy long lashes. Unlike many others, it’s a one-step process and is also easily buildable. Plus, the formula is also enriched with silk proteins to keep the delicate hair strong and healthy. Also nice: It comes off easily with just warm water, no separate eye makeup remover required.
Best Smudge-Resistant: L’Oréal Voluminous X Fiber Mascara
Calling all eye-rubbers and those with watery eyes. This formula is smudge-resistant, so you never have to worry about smears, and also makes lashes look up to seven times more voluminous. It comes in three black shades of varying intensity, too. Try soft black when you want a more natural look, black for every day, and blackest black for the most dramatic effect.
Best Conditioning Formula: DHC Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection
It’s hard to decide what we like best about this pick. Is it the polymer fibers that wrap around each lash for extra length and volume? Or is it the beeswax and vitamin E-infused formula that conditions fringe and delivers a healthy-looking sheen? Happily, there’s no need to choose.
Best Long-Lasting: Surratt Beauty Relevée Mascara
Celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt drew major inspiration from Japanese beauty when creating the products in his eponymous line. Case in point: The Japanese tubing technology in this formula, which extends each and every lash with tiny microfibers for a defined and dramatic effect. It shrinkwraps the fibers onto the hairs to ward off smudges and raccoon eyes, and the formula is also humidity-resistant.
Best for Sensitive Eyes: Lorac Cosmetics Pro+Fiber Mascara
Ophthalmologist-tested, even contact lens wearers or those whose eyes are easily-irritated won’t have an issue with this formula. Nylon fibers pack length, curl, and volume in every swipe and the oversized, tapered brush is easy to comb through from root to tip and reach even the corners of your eyes.
Best Natural: Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara
In the world of clean beauty, mascara formulas often fall short. But that’s definitely not the case with this paraben-, phthalate-, fragrance-, and sulfate-free pick. The buildable, liquid fiber technology makes for dramatic length and curl (and doesn’t flake or smear), while natural Korean plant extracts boost the strength and health of your lashes.
Best with Benefits: Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit
Instant gratification fans will appreciate that it takes just minutes to score longer lashes (that last for up to 24 hours). But there are long-term benefits, too; use it regularly for thicker, fuller, and longer lashes in three weeks. We’re in.
Best Kit: Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Extreme
A spin on the beloved Better Than Sex mascara, this two part system is like liquid extensions. Swipe on a coat of the mascara first (which comes in an extra-inky black hue), then apply the flexible nylon fibers. Top that off with one more coat of the mascara and prepare to be amazed by your new long lashes. Pro tip: Do one eye at a time for the best results.
Best Primer: Make Up For Ever Lash Fibers
For those curious about fibers, but who are already loyal to a particular mascara, this option is choice, allowing you to instantly up the lengthening power of any formula. The primer delivers nylon fibers and uses beeswax to help them attach to and stay on each individual lash. Top it with a coat of your go-to mascara and you’re good to go.