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Finding the best mascara is a very personal thing. After all, there are many variables involved: the shape of your eyes, the quality of your lashes, the look you want to achieve, the mascara formula and the type of wand you prefer. And believe it or not, we see the same mascaras crop up in beauty editors’ makeup bags and best-mascara compilations time and again. That said, we discovered the mascaras that really deliver.
From luxury options to inexpensive go-to's, mascaras don’t have to cost a lot to money. All you want them to do is make your lashes as incredible as possible without having to reach for the falsies (unless you’d like to!).
Here, we’ve narrowed down the best mascaras on the market.
Best Overall: Isehan Heroine Make Long and Curl Super Waterproof Mascara
This Japanese mascara holds curl all day, lengthens, separates and coats lashes in the blackest black we've seen from nearly any mascara, ever. It's also waterproof, so you can expect the formula to stay put all day no matter the climate. No, really—it's quite impressive how little this mascara budges once it's on. Prepare to be seriously wowed.
Best Budget: Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
This recognizable (and iconic) pink-and-green tube has been a beauty favorite since it launched 45 years ago (yep, you read that right). It thickens lashes, and the Very Black shade really helps to define the eyes. It’s affordable, too.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best Maybelline mascaras ever created.
Best Drugstore: L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Lengthening Washable Mascara
While slightly pricier than other drugstore mascaras, this one from L’Oreal is impressive. This mascara volumizes and leaves you with feathery, long lashes. It doesn’t flake or clump, though you can add extra coats if you prefer spidery lashes.
Though not technically waterproof, the mascara is generally found to be long-wearing anyway. Packaged in a metallic pink tube, this is a well-formulated mascara that stacks up against higher-end mascaras.
Check out our other reviews of the best drugstore mascaras available on the market today.
Best Lengthening: Revlon Super Length Mascara
Whether you have naturally long lashes or struggle with shorter ones, this super-affordable mascara lengthens and separates in just a few swipes. It coat lashes in a true black without weighing them down for a fluttery fringe that doesn’t flake or clump. What's more, the highly portable pill-shaped container stands up well to being tossed around in your bag, making this choice great for travelers or gym-goers.
Read more reviews of the best lengthening mascaras available to purchase online.
Best Volumizing: Benefit Badgal Bang! Volumizing Mascara
Yes, the formula is supposedly infused with lighter-than-a-feather fibers to lift and define lashes without clumping, but what we think is the cleverest thing about Benefit's Badgal Bang! Volumizing Mascara is that the wand is so long and the handle so near the end that it stops you from going in all heavy-handed and applying too much.
See more reviews of our favorite volumizing mascaras available for purchase.
Best Waterproof: Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Waterproof Mascara
This mascara from Lancome manages to incorporate the long-wearing properties of waterproof mascara with the volumizing and lengthening qualities of regular formulas. The curvy wand thickens eyelashes in one swipe, but you can double up on coats for even more dramatic lashes. Reviewers said this mascara helped their eyelashes remained curled without transferring onto their skin.
Check out our other reviews of the best drugstore waterproof mascaras on the market today.
Best Curling: Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara
For long-lasting upturned lashes, try out this curl-forming mascara from Clinique. As the name suggests, the wand’s arched shaped allows you to achieve your boldest, most fluttery lashes without pinching, tugging, or tearing. The curved wand lifts every last lash, imparting a beautiful onyx-colored formula that’s smudge-, flake-, and smear-resistant and that lasts for up to 24-hours.
Still can't decide? Our roundup of the best curling mascaras can help you find what you're looking for.
Best for Sensitive Eyes: Almay One Coat Multi-Benefit Mascara
This multi-benefit mascara boasts a unique 4-in-1 formula that helps to condition, thicken, lengthen, and define your lashes without causing any redness, burning, or tearing. Basically, as the day goes on your lashes will stay looking gorgeous while remaining comfortable at the same time.
Another fab feature? It features lash-boosting keratin which helps strengthen and thicken your natural lashes over time. Of course, since it’s perfect for those with easily-irritated eyes, it’s ophthalmologist-tested and perfect for contact lens wearers. Coat your upper and lower lashes for full, flirty lashes that last all day long.
Take a peek at some of the best mascaras at Walmart available today.
Best Smudge-Proof: Maybelline New York Full 'N Soft Waterproof Mascara
No matter if you have with oily eyelids or it’s the dog days of summer, no one wants their mascara to give them those dreaded raccoon eyes. That’s why we suggest putting down your usual fringe-enhancing tube and reaching for this waterproof, smudge-proof version from Maybelline. The thickening formula coats each and every lash with a lacquer-like finish giving you full, shiny lashes that last from dawn to dusk. The nourishing mascara also features vitamin E to help moisturize and thicken your natural lashes over time.
Although the formula is water -and smudge-proof it’s easy to get off at the end of the day thanks to its quick dissolve system that’s activated with makeup remover.
Best Wand: Pixi By Petra Lash Lift 188
This mascara comes with innovative packaging that houses two brushes in one chamber. The larger brush coats and fans the lashes, while the precision brush ensures ever lash gets coated. It contains castor oil that conditions your lashes and is supposed to help them grow too.
Best Cruelty-Free: Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Mascara
If you’re looking for a cruelty-free option, this long-wearing (though not technically waterproof) mascara is it. Aside from not being tested on animals, this mascara contains lash-conditioning ingredients like Amazonian clay, which keeps lashes hydrated, soft, and healthy. It also lengthens and volumizes for natural-looking lashes that open up the eyes without flaking or clumping. What's more, this gentle, long-lasting mascara is also vegan.
Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best cruelty-free mascaras article.