The 13 Best Mascaras, According to Allure Editors

While some have lash extensions, many of us will forever keep tubes of mascara in stock. With that in mind, ALLURE editors and thousands of reviewers rounded up their absolute favourite mascaras of all time, with brands ranging from drugstore gems like Maybelline New York to Sephora darlings Too Faced and Anastasia Beverly Hills. They’ve also got the luxury market covered.

Discover all the best and boldest mascaras that give us lashes with the most volume, curl, and length each and every day.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Brag Mascara

“There really isn’t a better way to put it: Anastasia’s Lash Brag Mascara (a 2020 Best of Beauty winner) hits different. Way different. This mascara’s visibly chunky formula and curvy, dense brush can surprisingly pull off lashes that are thick and voluminous, long and wispy, or anywhere between — and not all mascaras can do that without clumping or flaking away. With a couple of swipes, the formula builds itself both upward and outward, so I get big, fanned-out lashes that practically hit the ceiling.”

$25 (Shop Now)

Tarte Maneater

“The formula of the Tarte Maneater Mascara is on the drier side, so you can easily build up lash extension-like volume and definition (and you can sneeze right after swiping it on without creating a Jackson Pollack painting on your under-eye area). Plus, this 2020 Best of Beauty winner has a cylindrical brush lined with tiny bristles that evenly coat even the thinnest of lashes.”

$23 (Shop Now)

L’Oréal Paris Bambi Waterproof

“One of the most exciting things about L’Oréal Paris Bambi Waterproof is the so-called ‘wide-eye brush.’ It has a combination of short and long bristles, which are supposed to ensure you grab every lash – no matter its length — on each swipe. It’s perfect for days when you want your makeup to look as natural as possible and there’s nary a clump to be found once it’s applied. No wonder it won a 2020 Best of Beauty Award.”

$10 (Shop Now)

Gucci L’Obscur Mascara

“Never in my life did I think I’d be in a position to say my favorite mascara was one made by Gucci, but here I am, living large. Label and aesthetically pleasing pink-and-gold packaging aside, when I first tried Gucci’s L’Obscur Mascara, I was immediately drawn to the formula, which is made to lengthen and define — rather than thicken — my wispy lashes. I typically only need a coat or two to see immediate natural-looking length and never have to worry about annoying clumping or mid-day smudge. Gucci, you made a damn good mascara.”

$35 (Shop Now)

KKW Beauty Mascara

“Never say Kim Kardashian doesn’t have talent because she did the damn thing with the KKW Beauty mascara. Just one coat separates each lash, making them look full, thick, and dramatic. No primer needed.”

$18 (Shop Now)

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara

“The only mascara that gives me that lift and volume closest to what my beloved lash extensions do is the Thrive Casemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara. It contains polymers that wrap around each lash to lengthen and strengthen, plus castor seed oil and shea butter to deeply condition each hair. Two coats and your eye area is instantly opened. I always get compliments about how long my lashes are when I use this.”

$24 (Shop Now)

Wander Beauty Mile High Club Mascara

“When it comes to wearability, the formula in the Wander Beauty Mile High Club Mascara doesn’t smudge or flake — even after a full day of work followed by a gym session. If you’re going for drama with little-to-no effort, then this mascara is a dream. Lift? Check. Volume? Definitely. Length? Oh, yeah, my lashes were practically touching my brow bone by the time I was done.”

$26 (Shop Now)

Maybelline New York Falsies Lash Lift Mascara

“Something about the combination of the Maybelline New York’s The Falsies Lash Lift’s hourglass-shaped wand and lightweight, not-too-wet formula replaces the need for a lash curler, extensions, and falsies. After sweeping it through, my lashes are instantly lifted upward and volumized like a lash enhancement. The dip in the middle of the brush also makes adding mascara to your lashes as mess-free as possible.”

$10 (Shop Now)

Colourpop BFF Mascara

“When I want to add a little color to my look but am short on time, I always reach for Colourpop’s BFF Mascara. By applying just one or two coats (I start at the root of my lashes and wiggle the brush slightly from side to side as I swipe), you get a ton of color payoff. I find that my eyes are instantly brightened up, and I look more awake within seconds. It’s basically an all-in-one eye look. My personal fave color is Blue Ya Mind, though the brand’s classic black (called Black on Black) is a great staple.”

$8 (Shop Now)

Tarte Sugar Rush Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

“The Tarte Sugar Rush Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara gives my lashes length, volume, and makes them look super fluttery. I love to use this alone or layer it, specifically with the Milk Makeup Kush Mascara.”

$23 (Shop Now)

Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara

“It’s fitting that one of my favorite makeup brands of all time makes one of my favorite mascara brushes ever. I love how thin and easy to maneuver it is, and the formula is perfect for everyday wear. For nighttime, I just add a second or third coat and the Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara looks great without being clumpy, thanks to how fine the bristles are.”

$28 (Shop Now)

Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara

“My eyelashes are naturally pretty long, albeit blonde, so I don’t really love wearing mascara all the time (mostly because I hate taking it off at the end of the day). When I do, however, I go all-out glam with the Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara because it makes my lashes longer, thicker, and just the right amount of obnoxious diva.”

$30 (Shop Now)

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

“My all-time favorite mascara, the Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara, might be obvious, but it’s ubiquitously beloved for a reason. Maybe I should’ve started with this, but I’m actually partial to the waterproof formula. It helps hold my lashes in place long after I’ve given them a good curl. It checks all the boxes: providing mega-volume without the clumping, inky-black color without the smudging, and just the right amount of length. I’m not much of a mascara girl, but when I am feelin’ it, this is the one I always reach for.”

$23 (Shop Now)

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Bridal Glam

Model: Shantel Saitz

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It’s Graphic

Model: Kaleigh Elizabeth Park
Photographer: Carmelo @reelmelo

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Such a Gem

Model: Charlotte Turvey

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Goldilocks

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90’s Blues

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In a Barbie World

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“Fall Breeze & Autumn Leaves”

Featured in GMARO Magazine.

Model: Katie Noskova (Facebook & Instagram)
Photographer: Andrei Roman (Facebook & Instagram)

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What Every Beginner Needs to Have in Their Makeup Kit

Moisturizer and Primer

Great makeup begins with great skincare. Prep your skin with CeraVe Moisturizer ($11; target.com), a lightweight daily moisturizer for normal to dry skin. Follow up with Estee Lauder Illuminating Perfecting Primer, ($38; nordstrom.com), a luminous face primer that hydrates and brightens skin for a dewy finish. The duo will ensure a flawless base that keeps makeup in place all day.

Concealer and Foundation

Beginners can eliminate the risk of caked-on foundation by adding an opaque concealer to their kit. L.A. Girl concealer’s ($3; walmart.com) creaseless formula camouflages imperfections, allowing you to use less foundation. When paired with Makeup Forever’s HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($43; sephora.com) no one will be able to tell where your skin ends and the makeup begins. Bonus: It lasts for 24 hours and comes in 50 shades.

Eyebrow Pomade and Spoolie Brush

Among the most important features on your face: Your eyebrows. Every beginner needs a tool like the dual-sided Anastasia Beverly Hills brush ($18; macys.com) to sculpt perfect arches. The brand’s Dipbrow Pomade ($21; sephora.com) is also a beginner favorite as it’s easy to apply, smudge-proof, and waterproof — so it’s great even for oily skin types.

Eyeliner and Mascara

For a beginner, skip the false lashes and go straight for an all-star mascara and liner combo. Tag-team Kat Von D Tattoo Liner ($20; sephora.com), which gives the illusion of thicker fringe, with a few swipes of Benefit’s They’re Real Lengthening Volumizing Mascara to add dramatic length ($25; sephora.com).

Nude and Red Lipstick

No kit is complete without a super versatile nude and red lip color that can take you from day to night. Try Chanel Rouge Coco Shine ($38; chanel.com) for a hydrating nude and MAC Lipstick ($17; maccosmetics.com) for a universally flattering bold red that stays put for hours.

Brushes and Tools

In order to put apply your makeup properly, you’ll need to use the right tools. The Beautyblender ($20; sephora.com) is perfect for effortlessly blending foundations, blush, and concealer. For precise eye makeup and dusting on powders reach for Sonia Kashuk’s brush set ($40; target.com).

Blush and Highlighter

Add healthy color and a subtle glow to your skin with a classic blush and highlighter. Nars and Becca have both created cult favorites that are must-haves for every kit. Nars Blush in Orgasm, $30; sephora.com. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, $41; sephora.com.

Eyeshadow Palette

If you’re experimenting with eyeshadows, this Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette ($42; sephora.com) is perfect for you. It offers a range of everyday nudes, plus a hint of bright colors to play around with.

Q-Tips and Makeup Wipes

Even pros make mistakes — and dabbing a Q-Tip ($3; target.com) into lotion is their secret for instantly erasing errors. And for those nights when you’re too lazy to wash your face, makeup wipes will be your best friend. Try Cleanse by Lauren Napier ($40; net-a-porter.com), which comes with 50 individually packaged wipes you can throw in your travel bag to use on-the-go.

Of course, these are the basics to help get you started. The more you work, you will realize the need for more products, textures, and colours. Some additional items to this list include:

  • Setting powder
  • Bronzer/contour products
  • Setting spray
  • Eyeshadow primer
  • (If desired) False eyelashes
  • Lip balm
  • Alcohol spray for sanitization purposes
  • Brush cleaner

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From Day To Night

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