The Best Non-Clumping Mascaras on the Market

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As someone who cringes at the sight of my high-school photos—all featuring spiky spider lashes, dark under-eye makeup, and muted lips—I can confidently say that clumpy, streaky mascara is no longer my thing. Sure, it was fun when I was young, and it always resurges every few seasons on the runways, but when it comes to an everyday look, natural-looking length, definition, and curl wins for me every time. 

Indeed, clumpy mascara can also be the result of your technique. With excess product on the mascara wand, too much pressure, numerous coats, and an expired formula, you, too, could end up with clumpy-looking lashes. Yet for the most part, there are some magic wands out there that make it extremely hard to mess up because of their wand design and formulation. In other words, they're mistake-proof, and you can swipe with abandon without fearing spider lashes.

Ahead, check out the best non-clumping mascaras on the market right now, all approved by Team Byrdie. 

Our Top Picks
This pick grabs each individual lash to create maximum separation, length, and volume.
Best for Straight Lashes:
Almay Mega Volume Mascara at Amazon
This mascara completely lifts and fans out lashes with no clumps.
The wand separates each lash while sculpting and extending them.
The shape of the wand allows you to preserve your lash length and build subtle volume without any drooping.
If you’re looking for a drugstore option, this beloved classic is a hit.
This affordable mascara serves up incomparable curling and lifting abilities.
It does offer powder-puff, fluffy length to your existing lashes and doesn't cake or flake.
This waterproof formula is clump-resistant and flake-free.
The unique brush has two different sides, both of which work wonders at separating lashes for a completely clump-free look.
This mascara from Burberry lifts every lash and curls them upwards and outwards to create the best cat-eye.

Best Overall: Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Lengthening Mascara

Benefit They're Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara
What We Like
  • Defines and separates lashes

  • Brush grips lashes close to the roots

  • Long-wearing

What We Don't Like
  • A little difficult to remove

This is my original go-to for separating lashes. This Benefit mascara brush design has staggering bristles that grab each individual lash so close to the root to lift it up and out.

Benefits: Defines, separates, lengthens | Size: 0.1 / 0.3 fl. oz | Shades: 1 | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Straight Lashes: Almay Mega Volume Mascara

Almay Mega-Volume Mascara
What We Like
  • Holds a curl

  • Lashes look lifted

  • Adds volume

What We Don't Like
  • Brush can be difficult to use

For seriously stick-straight lashes that need a lift, Byrdie's editorial director Faith Xue reaches for Almay Mega Volume Mascara. It's the only mascara that completely lifted and fanned out her lashes with no clumps.

Benefits: Defines, separates, curls, volumizes | Size: 0.3 fl. oz | Shades: 3 | Waterproof: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Lengthening: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Extension Lengthening Mascara

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Extension Lengthening Mascara
What We Like
  • Goes on smoothly

  • Separates and lengthens

  • Easy to remove

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

This super-lengthening pick from La Roche-Posay is a favorite of senior editor Hallie Gould. The wand separates each lash while it simultaneously sculpts every hair, extending them far beyond their natural length. 

Benefits: Defines, separates, lengthens | Size: 0.8 fl. oz | Shades: 1 | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Volumizing: Benefit Bad Gal Bang Volumizing Mascara

benefit bad gal bang mascara
What We Like
  • Comb wand separates each lash

  • Long-wearing, weightless formula

  • Water-resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Better at lengthening than volumizing

According to editorial director Faith, this Benefit mascara brings your lashes to sky-scraping heights with its lengthening abilities. A few swipes is all it takes to get a falsie effect, without any clumping. Plus, the shape of the wang allows you to preserve your lash length and build subtle volume without any drooping.

Benefits: Defines, separates, lengthens | Size: 0.1 / 0.3 fl. oz | Shades: 2 | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

What Our Testers Say

It delivers on the promise of length, definition, and subtle volume—plus, it wears incredibly well.” — Emily Algar, Product Tester

Best Drugstore: COVERGIRL Lash Blast Volume Mascara

COVERGIRL Lash Blast Volume Mascara
What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Keeps lashes soft

  • Volumizes

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more lengthening

If you’re looking for a drugstore option, this beloved classic is a hit—no miss. Its fiery color stands out on the shelves, but the real trophy has everything to do with its cushion-y, silicone brush that adds volume and maxes out every single lash, cluster-free.

Benefits: Defines, separates, lengthens | Size: 0.4 fl. oz | Shades: 3 | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Budget: Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Angel Washable Mascara

Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Angel Washable Mascara
What We Like
  • Fun packaging

  • Inexpensive

  • Lashes look lifted

What We Don't Like
  • Brush can be difficult to use

Quoted as the “push-up bra for your lashes” by Maybelline makeup artist Grace Lee, this mascara serves up incomparable curling and lifting abilities. Hallie and Faith both love it because it’s good for building volume on top of other mascaras and lifting lashes after your first initial coat.

Benefits: Defines, separates, lengthens | Size: 0.3 fl. oz | Shades: 3 | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Flake-Free: Glossier Lash Slick

Lash Slick
What We Like
  • Defines and lengthens lashes

  • Nourishing ingredients

  • Keeps lashes soft

What We Don't Like
  • Gives subtle results

Senior editor Hallie doubted this Glossier mascara at first, then was completely swooning over it by the end of her week of trying Glossier products. Lash Slick won’t give you huge night-out-on-the-town lashes, but it does offer powder-puff, fluffy length to your existing lashes and doesn't cake or flake.

Benefits: Defines, separates, lengthens | Size: 0.3 fl. oz | Shades: 1 | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

What Our Editors Say

"If you love your mascara to have a thickening, volumizing effect, then this probably isn't the one for you. But if a natural, off-duty look is what you're after, instead, you can't go wrong with Lash Slick. Its innovative formula, clump-free applicator, and chic packaging are all major wins in our book." — Byrdie Editors

Best Waterproof: Mary Kay Lash Love Mascara

Mary Kay Lash Love Mascara
What We Like
  • Water-resistant

  • Won't flake or smudge

  • Lengthens

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof

Mary Kay products have withstood the test of time, and it's safe to say that this Lash Love Mascara is one of the brand's best. Byrdie senior editor Lindsey Metrus can attest that this water-resistant formula is clump-resistant and flake-free—she even has senior editor Hallie hooked. 

Benefits: Defines, separates, lengthens | Size: 0.3 fl. oz | Shades: 1 | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Wand: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
What We Like
  • Dual-sided brush

  • Keeps lashes soft and fluttery

  • Natural looking

What We Don't Like
  • Not for dramatic volume

The unique brush in this mascaras has two different sides, both of which work wonders at separating lashes for a completely clump-free look. If you want major volume you might have to double up, but for natural-looking length, this is a winner.

Benefits: Defines, separates, lengthens | Size: 0.2 fl. oz | Shades: 1 | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for a Cat-Eye: Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara

Burberry Cat Lashes
What We Like
  • Lifts lashes

  • Holds a curl

  • Volumizes

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Creating a cat-eye doesn’t always have to do with eyeliner—you can certainly channel a more feline effect with a fuller lash line. This mascara from Burberry lifts every lash and curls them upwards and outwards. 

Benefits: Lifts, lengthens, volumizes | Size: 0.2 fl. oz | Shades: 4 | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: No

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