Controversial opinion: there’s no such thing as the “best mascara.” Hear me out, mascara is one of the few makeup products that doesn’t fall into “one size fits all” category, and the judgement criteria is that much more individual. Biologically, we are all blessed with different types lashes – some of us have natural length and curl but lack in the volume department, while others have stubborn pin-straight lashes that could benefit from a lift.
Luckily, over the years, mascaras have evolved enough for us to have a wide selection to choose from, including curl-defining wands to mascaras that come in sustainable packaging and even dual-ended applicators. But if there’s one thing that all mascaras have in common, it’s their ability to elevate our eye makeup. Whether you’re going into full glam mode or if it’s an everyday look, a quality mascara can tie everything together in an instant. After all, there is a reason why it’s been a staple product in almost everyone’s beauty routine since the 19th century.
Shop these eyelash serums if growth is your sole focus. After an extra curl? Check out our guide on the best eyelash curlers. And while you’re at it, take a look at our edit of the best eyeshadow palettes.
Best mascaras at a glance – our top picks:
- Best mascara overall: Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara, £11.99, LookFantastic
- Best mascara for a false lash effect: Diorshow Pump ‘N’ Volume, £31, Sephora
- Best long-lasting mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, WAS £27.98 NOW £19.97, Amazon
- Best mascara for under £10: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara, £9.99, LookFantastic
In short, mascara’s main mission is to emphasise, maximise and accentuate your natural lashes. You’ll find that the beauty market is full of mascaras and some even feature nourishing and conditioning ingredients that will look after the well-being of your lashes.
That said, narrowing down the best mascaras is not the easiest of tasks, especially given that there’s hundreds of options to choose from. To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together a list of the very best mascaras to fit every budget and preferences. We’ve considered everything, from the right formula to various desired finishes and types. So whether you’re looking for the best lengthening mascara, the best high-street mascara or the best mascara for volume – we’ve got you covered.
The GLAMOUR beauty team has tried over 300 different mascaras, so rest assured, you’ll find our go-tos and favourites at the very top of the list. From old classics (such as Lancome’s iconic fluttery Hypnose Mascara) and Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara (which by the way, sells every 7.5 seconds), to exciting formulas like the viral Maybelline Sky High Mascara (which has already collected holy grail status and over millions of views on TikTok since it launched earlier last year), we’ve road-tested the lot.
Meet the experts:
- Vincent Ford, global artist at NARS Cosmetics
Mascara tips and tricks you need to know about:
- Take extra care not to over-pump (it’ll dry the formula out – fast).
- If you find a wand you love, clean it and keep it to use on the next tube you try.
- Looking for the next level of lash drama? Layer your mascara with a lash-plumping primer. A few sweeps underneath and the maximising power of your mascara will be heightened.
- Don’t forget to use an eyelash curler to really lengthen and open up the eyes; it’s our best beauty secret.
- For lower lashes, we recommend trying the viral Selena Gomez hack, which includes pinching your lashes with a pair of tweezers to achieve that doll-like look.
How to apply mascara
Vincent Ford, Global Artist at NARS, believes that the best way to apply mascara depends on what “story” you want your eyes to tell. “For a natural look, focus on pulling the mascara wand through the lashes from root to tip as if you were combing the lashes for length. Then remove any excess with a lash comb or fingertips for a separated, born with it appearance,” he reveals.
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