The 14 Best Tried-And-True Drugstore Mascaras

Whether you’re going full glam or in the mood for a more natural look, mascara can really bring any makeup look to life. Finding the perfect mascara for you can be a little tricky since there are so many out there. While higher-end mascaras may seem more promising, you’d be surprised by the impressive formulas and lasting effects of mascaras found in the beauty aisle of your local drugstore. What’s more, they provide the same results as any Chanel, Dior, and Charlotte Tilbury mascaras out there– just at a more affordable price.

BEST FOR EXTRA VOLUME : Mega Volume Mascara by Wet n Wild

  • Doesn’t clump
  • Cruelty-free
  • Affordable price
  • You may need to use multiple coats

You’re bound to receive lash envy with this mega-volumizing mascara complete with a full spiral fiber brush. Your lashes will not only look thicker and fuller but they will also be moisturized and nourished with vitamin E.

Voluminous Original Mascara by L’Oreal

  • Builds lashes evenly
  • Comes in a variety of shades
  • Not waterproof- the colored shades may run down your face from tears or sweat

Ready for full, dramatic lashes? The L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara helps to build your lashes five times their natural thickness. You won’t have to worry about clumping or buildup with its wand, which separates and hugs every lash for a bold look.

BEST FOR CLEAN BEAUTY : Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara by Covergirl

  • No smudging
  • No clumping
  • Thick bristles
  • Hard to hold handle

Argan and marula oil condition your lash while the vegan formula works to create the high-volume lash look of your dreams.

CULT-FAVORITE : Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara by Maybelline

  • Volumizing
  • Waterproof
  • Hard to remove
  • Clumpy

This viral TikTok mascara features a lightweight formula that won’t cause any flaking or smudging. The mascara is designed with an exclusive flex tower brush that will reach every single lash no matter the length.

BEST FOR A SPIDER EFFECT : Big Mood Mega Volume & Lifting Mascara by e.l.f. Cosmetics

  • Affordable
  • Lasts all day
  • Hard to apply with brush handle

Get big, bold lashes in one stroke. Infused with jojoba wax, this e.l.f. Cosmetics mascara has a smooth, creamy formula that helps hold your lashes’ curl. It will plump and lift your lashes and last all day. It’s also smudge and flake-resistant.

BEST FOR SHORT LASHES : Telescopic Original Lengthening Mascara by L’Oreal

  • Lengthens
  • Applies evenly
  • Difficult to remove
  • Dries out quickly

Short stubby lashes are a thing of the past, thanks to the L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara. This drugstore gem lengthens even the shortest lashes and has a smooth formula that applies easily and smoothly, providing you with a desired clump-free result.

BEST FOR LAYERING : Lash Princess False Lash Effect by Essence

  • Lengthens
  • Adds volume
  • Sticky texture

The Essence Lash Princess mascara features a fiber brush wand that will give your lashes a dramatic volume while achieving a sculpted length. It’s a no-hassle application as it won’t clump up or leave product build-up.

BEST FOR FULLNESS : Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara by Maybelline

  • Applies evenly
  • Good applicator
  • Dries out quickly
  • Flakes

After one application of the Lash Stiletto mascots, your eyes will look brighter and wider. The mascara’s formula includes pro-vitamin B-5, which conditions and smooths your lashes to help them shine.

BEST FOR LENGTHENING : Mega Length Mascara by Wet n Wild

  • Cruelty-free
  • Increases definition
  • Multiple applications to see results

If you’re looking to increase definition and give yourself longer lashes instantly, Wet N Wild has you covered for just $3. This wand allows for precise application and hugs every lash from root to tip, encouraging optimal length.

BEST AFFORDABLE OPTION : Volumizing Mascara by e.l.f. Cosmetics

  • Doesn’t clump
  • Stays on throughout the day
  • Heavy formula
  • Hard to remove

The e.l.f. Cosmetics Volumizing Mascara adds volume to create fuller, thicker-looking lashes that will widen your eyes. Apply the product to your eyelashes from root to tip and work in a zig-zag motion to fully coat your lashes for the best result.

BEST FOR SUBTLE VOLUME : Great Lash Washable Mascara by Maybelline

  • Gives you volume and definition
  • May transfer to skin after drying

Considered America’s favorite mascara, the formula of the Great Lash Washable Mascara glides on seamlessly to build healthy lashes. This mascara will give you a natural volume and will easily become a staple waterproof mascara in your makeup routine.

BEST FOR EASY REMOVAL : Full ‘N Soft Washable Mascara by Maybelline

  • Applies evenly
  • Doesn’t clump
  • Smudges
  • Flakes

Maybelline’s thickening formula nourishes each lash with Vitamin E. The best part of this mascara is its quick dissolve system that allows for easy removal with no residue.

BEST FOR A LASH-LIFT LOOK : Clump Crusher Water Resistant LashBlast Mascara by Covergirl

  • Applies evenly
  • Doesn’t clump
  • Difficult to remove
  • Sticky texture

The innovative curved brush of this Covergirl mascara will separate your lashes, courtesy of its double-sided design that evenly coats each hair clump-free.

BEST FOR LONGWEAR : Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara by Maybelline

  • Great brush
  • Applies evenly
  • Difficult to remove

The fanning brush of the Lash Sensational mascara has ten layers of bristles, which grabs onto your lashes for a perfectly fanned look. With a waterproof, buildable formula, it’s a great product to trust as your all-day, every day mascara.

FAQs

What should you look for in a drugstore mascara? 

When shopping for mascara, makeup artist Desiree Delia says to think about what your ultimate goal is for your eyelashes. Are you looking for length? A little volume? Or maybe both? 

Volumizing and lengthening mascaras are key to creating that fake lash look without having to use any lash glue. In just two to three coats, you’ll see that your lashes appear thicker and fuller. While there are options of falsies and lash extensions, there’s nothing better than being able to get your desired lash length every day without the pricey upkeep. Plus, using a lengthening mascara is the easiest and most effective way to add some length to your lashes. Waterproof formulas become locked into the lashes, which prevents smudging. 

It is also important to keep an eye out for three key things: the formula, the wand, and the removal process. 

Formula

Look for a mascara that won’t clump, dries quickly, and washes off considerably easily. If you are looking for a clean product, you’ll want to consider a cruelty-free formula. If having a longer-lasting product is important to you, you should look for a waterproof formula. 

Wand

To help you achieve your lash goal, it’s important to look at the mascara wand and its bristles. Delia says a fluffy brush helps to thicken the lash, whereas an hourglass-shaped brush helps to volumize the lash. “If you’re unsure, a more rectangle-shaped brush is a general brush that helps target all your needs,” she adds.

Removal

Mascara is great for making your eyes pop throughout the day, but sometimes, it can be a challenge to remove. Ensuring you’re using a product that can be easily removed with your face cleanser or wipes is important. If it’s a hassle to take off your mascara, it may not be the product for you. With waterproof mascaras, Delia explains that you must use an oil-based cleanser or baby oil to remove the mascara, and often the removal process may require some extra care. But, you’ll find that non-waterproof mascara will come off a little easier.

ELLE

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