best mascara

The best mascara to lengthen, curl and volumise your lashes

When it comes to mascara, these are the best in the business

Ah, mascara. Without a doubt the one item we’d hail as a ‘can’t-live-without’ in a beauty version of Desert Island Discs. There’s just something about giving your lashes a bit of oomph with the best mascara that no other cosmetic can quite match (not even your best liquid eyeliner).

Whether you’ve got stubborn, straight lashes, unbearably short ones, or you just want to add a bit of volume to your eyelashes, we’ve tried and tested a job lot of the best mascara formulas and narrowed it down to a few choice buys every woman should have in her beauty arsenal.

Walk this way for a tour through the best mascaras on the market, old and new, for just about every lash type, and keep your eye out for our Prix Beauty Award winner.

We’re sure you’ll leave here with a new beauty best friend.

Best waterproof mascara

Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, £19, Fabled

best mascara Clinique High Impact Waterproof MascaraClinique’s waterproof mascara accompanies many to weddings, funerals and other important occasions during which crying might occur – because it just will not budge until you take to it with a good eye make-up remover. It has staying power we can only liken to that of a determined customer who camps outside department stores ahead of the Boxing Day sales. Adding just the right amount of length and volume, sensitive-eyed girls will also love it for smudge-free days. One of the best waterproof mascaras you’ll ever try.

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Best mascara for length

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara, £24.50, Fabled

best mascara Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

When it comes to the best mascara for a lengthening job, this is a super pigmented game-changer. The thicker brush combs through your lashes to build the length volume of each, unlike a lot of volumising mascaras which clump lashes together for a bolder lash look. The result? Spidery, jet black lashes that are the best finishing touch to any eye make-up look – but especially a smokey eye.

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Best mascara for volume

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, £19, Selfridgesbest mascara Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

A mascara called ‘Better Than Sex’ has got a lot to answer for and, fortunately for Too Faced, this one does. We’re talking standout lashes that are both thick and lengthy. What’s more, the helix-shaped wand is great at reaching into those tiny inner corner lashes and bumping up the outer ones. Great for nights out with your best eyeshadow, but is it really better than sex? We’ll let you decide on that one…

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Best mascara for short lashes

Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes , £23, Cult Beauty

best mascara Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara

Fed up of using several different mascaras to lengthen, volumise, and darken respectively, Charlotte Tilbury wanted to bring an ‘all in one’ mascara to the masses. And, being Charlotte Tilbury, she did exactly that. The cleverly designed brush catches hold of even the shortest, finest lashes, pushing them up and outwards to enhance your eyes to the max. When it comes to the best mascara for short lashes, always go for Full Fat.

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Best mascara for straight lashes

Avon mark. Big & Extreme Mascara, £6

best mascaras

Avon don’t have shops or concessions in department stores, which means they save so much money on rent, staffing etc and they’re able to keep prices low. Where does that spare money go? Straight back into researching formulas and developing incredible products, like this mascara. It’s been created with this whizzy elasto-stretch technology, which means that it curls your lashes and keeps them curled. If you feel that they’ve straighten later in the day, using your index fingers push your lashes up and back to re-curl them.

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Best mascara for sensitive eyes

Blinc Tubing Mascara, £22.20, Beauty Bay

best mascara Blinc Mascara

It is a truth universally acknowledged that sensitive eyes water and, unfortunately, streaming eyes lead to under-eye smudge. As well as your traditional, run-of-the-mill fibre mascara there are also tubing formulas, which are a whole different ball game for sensitive, weepy-eyed mascara users. These wrap your lashes in sweat resistant ‘tubes’, and the brand has tested the formula to ensure it’s appropriate for sensitive eyes, contact lenses, active types, the works. The slogan says it all: ‘Stop painting your lashes… Tube them.’

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Best mascara for length and volume

Dior DiorShow Mascara, £27, John Lewis

best mascara Dior DiorShow MascaraLegendary make-up artist Pat McGrath helped create this punch-packing mascara little over ten years ago during fashion week, where she resorted to applying it with a toothbrush on models for proper fluttery lashes. And so it was that DiorShow, the inky-black mascara of dreams, was born. It’s about as close as you’ll get to dramatic lashes without buying a pair of falsies (and a hell of a lot easier to apply, too), so it’s really no wonder that it’s such a crowd-pleaser.

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Best smudge-proof mascara

Kevyn Aucoin The Curling Mascara, £23, Space NK

best mascara smudge proof Kevyn Aucoin

Another tubing formula, legendary MUA Kevyn Aucoin’s curling formula lifts lashes for lasting emphasis and definiton and is a great everyday wear; if you want more volume, the Volume Mascara is also excellent. Like all tubing formulas, this won’t come off until you press a hot, wet flannel against your lashes to soak the tubes off, so you can bet your bottom dollar it’s going to stay put all the day long.

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Best high street mascara

Bourjois Volume Glamour Ultra Curl Mascara, £6.29, Beauty Expert

best mascara drugstore Bourjois

This is without a doubt one of the best mascaras you can bag at a drugstore counter. Not only does it promise added volume and length, but the curved brush grabs them all to give the ultimate lift. Easy to use and gives results, meaning it’s less than a tenner very well spent.

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Check out a few more of our fave lash-enhancers, from budget to bank-breaking (but worth it), below.

Your eyes will never have looked better.

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