Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
From lash extensions to falsies, there are plenty of ways to achieve long, fluttery lashes in a pinch. Still, lash extensions can be pricey (not to mention hard to maintain) and anyone who's tried to glue on strip lashes know it's not easy to master. The struggle is real. But it just got a bit easier thanks to lengthening mascaras. Just a simple swipe of the mascara wand is all it takes to add insane length and volume to lashes.
But first, you have to find just the right lengthening mascara. There are plenty out there to help you fake the lash extension look, and the most coveted ones do double duty by bringing on the volume or holding a curl.
Read on for the best lengthening mascaras at every price point.
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.
For more budget-friendly options, see our guide to the best drugstore mascaras that won't break the bank.
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 a 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.
Best Drugstore: 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 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.
Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our list of the best volumizing mascaras.
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.
While we're on highly ranked mascaras, check out our reviews of the best mascaras on the web.