Best Mascaras for Every Lash Need

September 6th 2020, 7:00 pm

Our lashes are the frames to the peepers of our soul, which makes mascara our most important tool in shaping and defining our eyes. Whether you're looking for extra oomph, more length or one with real staying power, we've scoured our user reviews for the top-rated mascaras that will work for you. Below, check out our guide to the best of this beauty essential catering to your specific eyelash need. With a special bonus of expert lash tips from some of the best pros in the biz!

Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara

4.1

(63 Reviews)

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TYPE: Lengthening

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “This has become my favorite mascara. I usually get bored or disappointed in mascara and RARELY repurchase the same brand—always looking for the latest top seller...This mascara is fool-proof and consistently gives the best results in terms of even distribution of the product, no clumping, lasts for several hours, and does not deposit black smudges on the upper and lower eyelids. This mascara allows my lashes to look nice and long. Love it!!”

Ilia Limitless Lash

Mascara

4.9

(8 Reviews)

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TYPE: Lengthening (and from a clean beauty label, too!)

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “Best mascara I have ever tried, and I've tried quite a few. The applicator allows for a really great even application that gives me long lashes that aren't too clumpy. I also never have had an issue with it running or coming off throughout the day. Would definitely recommend!”

Thrive Causematics Liquid Lash Eyelash Extensions Mascara

4.0

(56 Reviews)

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TYPE: Lengthening

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “I'm hesitant to call this my holy grail mascara as I am always on the hunt, but it is the one that's closest to HG status for me. I've tried dozens and dozens of mascaras to help build up my sparse Asian lashes that tend to smudge easily. This builds up both volume and length (actually more length than volume for me). It stays on all day without any smudging or flaking. It also builds up nicely without clumping and holds my curl well. Is it the best volumizing mascara? No, but it's pretty close and doesn't smudge unlike 99% of mascaras that I've tried. I attribute this to the tubing technology. I've tried about 10 tubing mascaras, almost all barely build up at all, unlike the Thrive.”

Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara

3.5

(58 Reviews)

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TYPE: Lengthening

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “This is a hit and miss for some, [but] for me it’s a win.  My lashes are thinning due to aging, and this literally looks like a nice set of false lashes. In fact, they feel soft like fake lashes after I apply. [It doesn't leave me with] raccoon eyes and that’s even coming off of 15 hours on a hot humid Friday in the kitchen of my restaurant. I never used to use black, but [this is] a soft black—perfect for someone over 50 like me.”

"As a makeup artist, I use very small mascara wands to get as close as possible to the lash bed. The bigger the brush, the harder it is to do so."

— Trendsetting makeup artist and creative consultant Isamaya Ffrench


IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara

5.0

(3 Reviews)

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TYPE: Volumizing

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “I've been using a deluxe sample of this for a couple weeks now and I really like it. It's a dark black formula that holds a curl well and gives some nice fluffy volume. This wand catches every hair and the bristles are firm and long enough to lift and separate my lashes unlike the shorter bristled silicone wands. Like most mascaras, I get the best results if I wipe most of the product on the brush onto the back of my clean hand and then apply 2 thin coats after curling my lashes and letting them dry completely in between coats. For the second, I use the wand to pick up what's left on the back of my hand so minimal product gets wasted. The air exposure dries the mascara down a bit which helps to prevent clumping. This doesn't disappear midday, irritate my eyes or give me raccoon eyes.”

Essence Lash Princess Sculpted Volume Mascara

4.2

(27 Reviews)

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TYPE: Volumizing

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “[This] is currently my favorite mascara as it provides good length and volume and doesn't smudge easily under my eyes. The only con is I find it hard to wash off with regular cleanser and I have to use a waterproof makeup remover to get it all off. I like the curved brush shape as I find it makes it easier to apply to the eye corners and prefer it to the hourglass-shaped brushes which are popular right now.”

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

3.3

(1030 Reviews)

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TYPE: Volumizing

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “I keep going back to this mascara, though I've tried lots of other drugstore brands that have been said to be similar. Nothing does it for me like this one. It lengthens, volumizes, and stays put for as long as I need it to. It's quite dark, and I find it best to use when I'm doing a full glam look; otherwise, it can be a bit much on it's own. A thick-winged liner look pairs lovely with this formula. It's my ultimate favorite. I love the wand shape and the weightiness of the packaging in my hand.”

Maybelline New York Snapscara Waterproof Mascara

4.7

(3 Reviews)

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TYPE: Waterproof and Volumizing

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “...I prefer this formula vs. the regular formula. Both are tubing, and the other does stay on pretty well—but I'm noticing a huge difference in the volume and length this one gives. It makes my lashes look like extensions. [It also] doesn't hurt that it stays on until I take a hot shower at night. And, I don't notice any irritation regarding my sensitive eyes. I will definitely be repurchasing this.”

"Start at the root of the lashes and zig-zag the mascara wand back and forth, building up the mascara at the base before you move toward the tip of the lashes. This movement from root-to-tip will help to coat each and every lash and distribute more formula at the base, which helps avoid any clumps or lumps at the end of your lashes where they should look more wispy."

— mega-influencer and beauty entrepreneur Huda Kattan


L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes Waterproof Mascara

3.8

(173 Reviews)

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TYPE: Waterproof and Lengthening

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “With super short Asian lashes, I wouldn't go as far to say that this mascara is waterproof, but it definitely stays on through a tough workout or humid environment. I usually use this in conjunction with a more volumizing mascara because this one enhances length a bit more, and this mascara holds a curl wonderfully. The brush does a great job of grasping all of your lashes, but I wish it was curved. Some excess product also tends to collect on the brush because the tube opening is a little too large. Other than that, this is a great mascara and I will be repurchasing until I find a better one.”

Wet N Wild Mega Length Waterproof Mascara

3.5

(72 Reviews)

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TYPE: Waterproof and Lengthening

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “Same spiky wand as the non-waterproof version which works especially well for lower lashes and smaller eyes. The formula runs more on the wet side; and while it is waterproof, I bought it in the absence of having a decent tubing mascara for my watery eyes (I have seasonal allergies). I did not experience any flaking or smudging so I would say it meets my expectations from that perspective. I found this was easily removed with my micellar water...I’ll continue to buy this mascara—it’s cheap, cheerful and cruelty-free!”

Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Waterproof Mascara

4.2

(6 Reviews)

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TYPE: Waterproof and Thickening

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “This is the best mascara I have found for extreme wear, and long intense lashes that hold a curl all day. It truly is bullet-proof. If I curl my eyelashes with my eyelash curler and then apply this, it almost looks like lash extensions. I've had people ask me if I've "had my eyelashes done" when I use this method. The color is an intense black. You need a strong oil-based makeup remover to take this off (and you can expect to lose a few eyelashes when you do so). For this reason I don't recommend it for everyday wear; or if you do, use a lighter touch...”

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara Drama & Curl

4.5

(2 Reviews)

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TYPE: Curling

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “As a professional makeup artist, I look for mascaras that can deliver dramatically thick, carbon black shiny lashes. This English brand, inspired by the mod '60s and Twiggy, builds great volume and curl because of the curvaceous brush. The mascara is packaged in an innovative squeezy tube to deliver more product. But, my favorite feature is that it delivers a good carbon black finish without smudging or flaking under the eye. It has become a permanent fixture in my "library" of mascaras to build a false lash look.”

According to celebrity makeup artist Jeanine Lobell, leftover water on your lashes or eye cream may be causing your mascara to flake. If your lashes are wet, your lashes will clump together and the mascara won't stick properly to them. If you can't wait for your lashes to dry, Lobell suggests dabbing your finger in translucent powder and running it across your eyelashes before applying mascara.


Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Volume, Lift and Curl Mascara

5.0

(2 Reviews)

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TYPE: Curling

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “I picked up a sample of this mascara and it does deliver impressive length and volume. It has a very unusual brush, shaped kind of like a paddle hair brush. On one side there is a rounded brush that is to deposit the product and create volume and length. On the other side, the brush is flat with very short bristles to separate, define and lift the lashes. Some may not like the brush but it does work to the claims stated. There were some clumps that were easy to brush out. With one coat, there is significant volume and length. I kept adding successive coats to see if it was buildable—and, yes, it is. (I had some smudging in the corners of my eye, but I attribute it to some eye drops that I had to use during the course of the day.)”

Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara

3.7

(85 Reviews)

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TYPE: Curling

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “My new favorite mascara! The wand helps coat the shorter, inner lashes. It gives you a beautiful false lash effect, and doesn't clump at all. A little goes a long way. And, the packaging is so beautiful—I keep it out on my dressing table. It is expensive—but you get what you pay for. This is a really good, luxury mascara that is perfect for anybody that likes a false lash effect.”

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara

3.5

(460 Reviews)

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TYPE: Curling

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “My holy grail mascara! This has a curved comb rather than a brush, which picks up just the right amount of product—[perfect for] applying thin even coats. This has never clumped on me and never smudged. The tiny teeth in the comb grip the base of the lashes, which creates the right [amount of] tension for making a curl. I prefer the travel-size over the regular-size though. Benefit mascaras have a drier formula than some of the other brands. This is [also] cry proof, but easy to remove at the end of the day.”

Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara

3.5

(175 Reviews)

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TYPE: Curling

MUA COMMUNITY COSIGN: “This is excellent tubing mascara. With tubing mascara, if you are expecting over the top lengthening, thickening, separating, you will be disappointed. If you have trouble with transferring and smudging, tubing mascara is the way to go. I love this!!! It does a great job and lifts (curls) the lashes better than many other tubing mascara that I have come across.”

"Don't pump the mascara wand up and down in its tube. The extra air this creates will dry out the formula quicker."

— Paris-based makeup artist Sergio Corvacho.



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