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’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.
Best mascara for length
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.
Best mascara for volume
We are superfans of this Superfan. This mascara is insane – we’re talking standout lashes that are both thick and lengthy. What’s more, the wand shape means that it combs out any kinks in your lashes, for that super fluttery fanned (get it?!) look. Great for nights out with your best eyeshadow.
Best mascara for short lashes
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.
Best mascara for straight lashes
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.
Best mascara for sensitive eyes
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.’
Best mascara for length and volume
Legendary 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.
Best smudge-proof mascara
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.
Best high street mascara
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.
Best mascara for the natural look
This mascara is to lashes, what a cashmere jumper is to weekends – the perfect accompaniment. It won’t give you the fluttery false lash effect, but it will slightly lengthen your natural lashes for that elusive ‘no make-up make-up’ look. Pair with a dab of cream blusher and groomed brows.
Best mascara for your bottom lashes
If you have long, luscious bottom lashes (first of all, you lucky biatch) then you don’t have to keep reading. But if you have quite short lashes that when you try to apply mascara with a normal wand you look like you’ve been crying for a week solidly, then this is going to be a revelation for you. The brush is thin, yet still long, and it coats every last lash. The dream.
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.
OK, we admit this one is a real splurge. But if you're going to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a single product, this is the way to go. Think super long, velvety, dark lashes worthy of any red carpet. Worth every penny.
The mascara Meghan Markle's former make-up artist used on her, this is one of the best drugstore finds out there. ‘I keep it stocked in my kit now at all times thanks to her!’ she told HELLO!. ‘[It] really helps to amplify your lashes and polish off the entire look. It’s great for full volume and lengthening, the formula is super hydrating. I love how it builds and that price point is accessible for all budgets.’ Here, here.
Although it's been around for a little while now, Urban Decay's Perversion mascara is without a doubt one of the brand's biggest and best sellers. Pick this if you're looking for big impact, high drama lashes.
This isn't just on our list because it is one of our favourites, but also because every celebrity we interview says that this is the only mascara they use. It's an industry classic that comes in black, navy and brown. We dare you not to fall in love too.