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These days, it seems like the most popular way to get ultra long lashes is lash extensions. But whether you don’t want to make the pricey investment, don’t have the time, or don’t want someone coming at your eyes with tiny, pointy tweezers (raises hand), we have an alternative for you that’s a LOT faster and cheaper: lengthening mascara. Just a simple swipe will elongate your lashes, leaving you with a fluttery feel.
But first, you have to find just the right lengthening mascara. There are plenty out there to help you fake the lash extensions look, and the most coveted ones do double duty by bringing on the volume or holding a curl, to name a few extra perks. From a range of prices and formulas, these are the top lengthening mascaras to give you long, luscious lashes.
Best Overall: Kevyn Aucoin Beauty the Volume Mascara
If you’re looking for an everyday mascara that delivers major length, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty the Volume Mascara is the one for you. It’s impressively natural-looking, meaning it’s perfect for the office or brunch. The tubing mascara thickens, lengthens and separates perfectly and lasts all day without clumping, thanks to volume-building fibers.
The formula is infused with bold pigments and jojoba to condition lashes from root to tip. The long-wearing formula is also smudge-resistant, plus tubing technology means every single lash is coated individually for mega definition.
Best Budget: Maybelline Define-A-Lash Lengthening Mascara
Longer lashes often lead to clumps, but that’s not so with Maybelline’s Define-A-Lash Lengthening Mascara. The ingenious, flexible brush is designed to prevent them, instead delivering clean definition and evenly distributing the formula, all without sacrificing serious length.
Best Drugstore Option: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous X Fiber Mascara
This mascara includes two steps, and we promise it’s worth the extra effort to get long, lush lashes. First, apply the black primer to build color and volume, then before it dries, add a coat or two of the fiber-infused mascara from the curved brush that’s designed to coat every hair. The result is seven times more volume—seriously!
Your lashes may look like falsies, but it’s all you, plus a little help from L’Oréal Paris. Voluminous X Fiber Mascara is also available in a waterproof formula for extra staying power.
Best Thickening: Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara
The name is no joke — Charlotte Tilbury’s mascara will indeed give you “full, fat” lashes. When you don’t want to deal with falsies, this mascara is the next best thing. The five-in-one formula does it all: it curls, separates, volumizes, and lengthens.
The clever grooved brush deposits mascara at the base of the lash line to push lashes up and out, while its precise, tiny-tipped bristles coat every single lash from root to tip. The formula is buildable, so you can apply as many coats as you need to bring on the drama.
Best Dramatic Effect: Dior Diorshow Mascara
When you have a big night out, reach for Dior’s iconic Diorshow Mascara. The top-seller is famous for bringing on major fringe. The revamped formula features microfibers to deliver an extension effect—they condition and lengthen. But it still has its original XXL Brush, which was inspired by the tools used by pro makeup artists backstage. The mascara promises buildable length and volume with each swipe. Plus, the tube will last you, thanks to Dior’s patented AIR-LOCK system that keeps the formula fresh.
Best Classic: Lancôme Hypnôse Buildable Volume Mascara
For years, this mascara made all the “best of” lists, and now it’s time to bring it back! Not only does it lengthen lashes, but it also brings major lift. It glides right on and doesn’t clump, courtesy of the patented brush that thickens lashes with the SoftSculpt formula. Enriched with vitamin B5 to nourish lashes, it won’t smear or smudge. Lancôme Hypnôse Buildable Volume Mascara boasts that it boosts lash volume up to six times. Not too shabby!
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular lengthening mascara on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different mascaras overall, screened options from 25 different brands and manufacturers, read over 35 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 15 of the mascaras themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.