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When you’re looking in the mirror before walking out the door, whether you’re wearing no makeup at all or you just spent an hour doing a full-on face, you may notice that something is missing. That something is probably mascara. It’s the cherry on top of any look you create, from a smoky eye to going bare-faced. Coating your lashes in inky black or brown mascara can help open up your eyes and make you look more awake.
One of the most important rules to remember when it comes to using mascara is that it needs to be replaced about every three months. That’s a shorter amount of time than most other beauty products because when you take the wand in and out of the tube to apply your mascara, that not only causes the tube to fill up with air which dries out the mascara formula, it actually lets bacteria into the formula. This bacteria can come from your lashes and get onto your wand and break down the formula, so it needs to be replaced after just a few months. Because of this, it’s often a better choice to opt for an affordable mascara over a prestige product since mascara doesn’t last as long as a face cream or a lipstick.
As it turns out, drugstore mascaras tend to be a great choice and they’re often lauded as superior to their more expensive counterparts. Thanks to new technology and formulations, you can pick a mascara to give you the exact kind of look you want—whether that’s extra length, built up volume, or even a mixture of the two. These are the best mascaras at Walmart you can get for whatever look you’re going for.
Best for Lengthening: Revlon Super Length Mascara
Your lashes are often longer than you think. Those tips can get bleached by the sun and oftentimes they are invisible. So, coating them from base to tip is important for making your lashes look super long. The extra-long bristles on this mascara wand help to comb through your lashes to coat each individual one with a layer of black mascara.
Wiggle it down to the roots of your lashes and then glide the wand up and through the lengths. The tapered tip of the wand can then be used to cover the hard-to-reach lashes, like the small ones in the corners of your eyes. Make sure to coat the very tips of your lashes to make them look even longer.
Best for Volumizing: L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Washable Mascara
When you’re going for extra volume, it’s best to get a lot of formula on your lashes, but not to cross over into clumpy territory. This mascara wand has over 200 bristles to ensure that the maximum amount of mascara is added to each lash while they comb through them to get a feathery, full look rather than a heavy, spidery effect. According to the brand, 90% of users said that the formula doesn’t flake and 95% said that it lasts all day. Many users have also commented that this formula is a more affordable version of another best-selling prestige mascara.
One user said they applied multiple layers of the mascara and didn't experience any clumping.
Best for Sensitive Eyes: Almay One Coat Multi-Benefit Mascara
If you have sensitive eyes, picking a mascara that doesn’t make you itchy and irritated can be difficult. Plus, who wants to cry off their mascara as their eyes are tearing up? This hypoallergenic, fragrance-free formula is ophthalmologist tested and proven to be kind to sensitive eyes and good for people who wear contacts.
The formula addresses all of the needs you might want to address, from length to volume as well as definition so your lashes never look lumpy and conditioning so your lashes stay healthy and strong.
Best for Bottom Lashes: Wet n Wild MegaLength Mascara
When it comes to applying mascara to your bottom lashes, you might notice that it can be difficult not to smudge it all over your under eyes as well. That’s why it’s always best to use a mascara with a super thin wand so you can really comb through the bottom lashes without the worry of getting it all over your skin with a thicker wand. A lengthening mascara like this one is also a good choice so the lashes underneath your eye don’t end up sticking together, but rather looking naturally lengthened.
Best for Eyelash Extensions: Maybelline New York Great Lash Washable Mascara
If there is one classic, must-try mascara, it’s this one. That pink and green tube has made its way into most of our makeup bags at one point or another. Not only is it a cult classic, it’s great for anyone with lash extensions. The reason for this is the water-based formula. Since it can wash away with just warm water, it’s the best kind of formula since the glue from the lash extensions can get broken down if you use any oils to remove your eye makeup. Washing with just water ensures that your lash extensions stay attached for as long as possible.
One reviewer said the wet formulas glides on their lashes seamlessly and is able to get into small spaces, coating even the tiniest of lashes.
Plus, the length of the bristles make for easy application, so you coat your lashes in one swoop (but adding multiple coats is always a good idea to build up that volume).
Best Budget: e.l.f. Waterproof Length & Volume Mascara
Some of us want length. Some of us want volume. Some of us want both, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you can have long, voluminous lashes, why not? This thick wand allows your lashes to get coated with the cruelty-free and vegan formula while the long bristles help to comb through the mascara to lengthen and coat the tips of your lashes.
The waterproof formula will ensure that it doesn’t flake or smudge throughout the day. Users commented that the e.l.f. mascara doesn't look clumpy and is worth a buy, especially considering the very affordable price tag.
Best Waterproof: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Plumping Waterproof Mascara
If you’re looking for a mascara that truly will not come off until you wash your face at the end of the day, look no further. This one is designed never to flake or smudge, so you can wear it all day and feel comfortable. The formula is also designed to help nourish your lashes while you wear it.
It has hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and keratin in it to give your lashes hydration, build strength, and keep your natural lashes looking glossy and healthy. The formula is ophthalmologist-tested, so it’s safe for contact lens wearers too.
Best Fiber: Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Doll Lash Extension Kit
For extra volume and length that a normal mascara alone cannot achieve, a fiber mascara is the answer. It gives the look of lash extensions without the price tag. This lash duo comes with a mascara and a tube of fibers.
First, apply a layer of the mascara to prep your lashes. Then take the wand with the fibers and tap off any excess before applying it over the wet mascara base. These fibers will add length and volume to your real lashes. Then, seal the look with another coat of mascara. For bigger, bolder lashes, you can apply multiple coats of each formula.
One reviewer with sensitive eyes said this mascara doesn't irritate her eyes and works wonders for adding length and volume.
Best Mascara Primer: NYX Professional Makeup Big & Loud Lash Primer
If you’ve got a few extra seconds in your routine and you want to add a step to ensure that your mascara is going to look amazing all day long, a lash primer is a great option. Just like a foundation primer, this works as a way to create a smooth canvas for your mascara to go on to. It also helps build up clump-free volume and length so you can add your favorite mascara overtop.
One user said that after using this primer, they noticed their lashes were more curled and volumized.
Best Curling: Rimmel London 24HR Supercurler Mascara
Keeping your lashes curled, even when you start your mascara application with a lash curler, can be difficult since when you add mascara over top, it can weigh your lashes down. This formula is designed with a polymer that’s meant to keep your lashes at a 90 degree angle all day long. The brush is also curved to fit the shape of your eye so it can get underneath your lashes and lift them up, acting as its own lash curler.