The Best Drugstore Mascara? Here Are the Top 5, According to the Pros

When it comes to cheap thrills, few things leave a beauty lover more elated than having the best drugstore mascara in tow; a tried-and-true tube that curls, volumizes, defines, and comes with a price tag that encourages you to layer it on liberally. From richer color payoff to smoother, creamier textures that don’t flake or smudge, the offerings at the pharmacy are only getting better, furthering the stakes when it comes to what you ultimately toss in your basket. To take the guesswork out of your next trip to the store, Vogue asked a panel of pro makeup artists about their top picks for effortlessly full, fluttery lashes. Here, the best drugstore mascara formulas to stock up on.

L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara

An all-time favorite pick for four of the makeup artists we spoke with, L’Oréal’s Voluminous Mascara comes out on top. “I’ve been using this mascara forever and it’s a staple in my kit,” explains celebrity makeup artist Gita Bass. “It’s super black and adds incredible volume and curl, and never clumps or flakes.” On top of the aforementioned aspects, fellow artist Alana Wright can’t get enough of the brush, which she considers the perfect size, shape, and density “to still able to reach those tiny lashes in the inner and out corners of the eyes,” she says. Another bonus is the gentle, non-abrasive formula. “It doesn’t irritate even the most sensitive eyes,” says Los Angeles-based makeup artist Autumn Moultrie. While Carbon Black is the most popular shade, both Moultrie and editorial pro Akiko Owada also like reaching for Black Brown, which can have a softer effect. “It provides clump-free lashes, it doesn’t run, and it’s easy to control,” adds Owada of the formula’s all-embracing appeal.

Shop at ULTA $9

Covergirl Lashblast Volume Mascara

For bolder, more intense lashes, Covergirl’s Lashblast is another tried-and-true go to. “I love its creamy texture, which gives you volume and length instantly in one coat, and it’s easy to layer it for more drama,” explains French makeup artist Cedric Jolivet. “I find the silicone brush [makes it easy] to grab the lashes from the root, and it totally works on short lashes!” Makeup artist William Scott, whose clientele includes Padma Lakshmi and Mette Towley, agrees. “It’s perfect for those who want maximum volume on the first swipe, and with a lash comb, it can be spread over the lashes to make them more fluttery.” There’s just as much to love about its waterproof formula: “It will dry a bit faster, which help the eyelashes to stay curled,” says Jolivet of why it’s worth the extra time spent removing it at the end of the day. “I always curl the lashes first, but I noticed a lot of mascaras don’t hold a curl and make your lashes looks heavy… not this one!

Shop at ULTA $10

Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara

For Matin, who counts Angelina Jolie as a longtime client, it’s all about Neutrogena’s Healthy Volume Mascara with its nourishing ingredients and jet-black pigment. “It’s a true volume mascara that doesn’t dry out the lashes,” he says of the formula, which is supercharged with vitamin E-rich olive oil and protective sweet almond. “It stays flexible and won’t crumble throughout the day.” Another major draw? “It has a giant brush!” adds Matin. All the better to coat every little lash lash.

Shop at Bed Bath & Beyond $8

Maybelline Sky High Lash

It’s by far one of the best mascaras on the market—and relatively newer, too,” says Colby Smith, who works with Dua Lipa and Charli XCX, of Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Sky High mascara. “I love that it’s super black,” he continues. “A few coats and you really get that full long lash. It has the look of a high end mascara without breaking the bank.

Shop at ULTA $12

L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara

For soft, supple lashes, you can’t beat L’Oréal’s Telescopic Mascara, insists Scott. “I love its applicator and slick formula, which make it easy to apply to bottom lashes and give long and defined lashes all around,” they explain, emphasizing the lengthening powers of its patented plastic-bristle comb brush. “It’s very versatile in that one swipe delivers length and the wand makes it easy to keep the lashes separated, and the formula builds nicely to add some volume.” 

Shop at ULTA $11

VOGUE

The Best Glossier Products Actually Worth Your Money

If there’s one brand that’s proved it’s worth the hype, it’s Glossier. Basically every new launch immediately lands on top of the best Glossier products charts. It’s not hard to see why: Glossier is a master class in brand identity (see: its millennial pink packaging, “G” merch, and dreamy but realistic ads), it’s perfected the art of the no-makeup makeup look, and it’s got a fanbase so loyal that shoppers will patiently wait (often out the door of its showrooms) to get their hands on whatever just hit the shelves.

But just like with anything that seems too good to be true, those who aren’t fully aboard the Glossier train often wonder whether its products are actually worth it. Does Boy Brow really transform your eyebrows in few single swipes? Is Cloud Paint seriously as good as its painfully cute tube would lead you to believe? Do the Body Hero products actually feel as divine as they look in the ads? If the Glossier reviews ahead have anything to say, the answer is a resounding yes.

Scroll on for GLAMOUR’s honest Glossier reviews to see what’s absolutely worth spending your money on.

Glossier Boy Brow

There’s a reason this product is Glossier’s top seller (and inspiration for so many copycats): It’s awesome. I love everything about it—its tiny tube, its teeny brush that separates and grooms so well, its super-sticky, nonflaky, semiwaxy formula that holds hairs in place for days. Even better, Glossier finally expanded its shade range to include an auburn shade for redheads like me. —Lindsay Schallon, senior beauty editor

Buy on their website $20

Glossier Stretch Concealer

Everyone says the last thing they want in a concealer is cakey-ness. Having makeup visibly settle into the fine lines we all have isn’t cute and defeats the purpose, for me, of wearing makeup to begin with. What I love about Glossier’s Stretch Concealer is its texture. It’s so lightweight and dewy that it’s almost impossible for it to cake up. I started using it not just under my eyes to cover circles but also on my eyelids to give my face a more pulled-together look, as well as to cover redness under my nose and at the corners of my mouth. It looks super natural—some might say too natural if ultra-full coverage is the goal—but it works wonders for me when I don’t feel like a full face of foundation and want a light glow while still hiding my skin issues. —Perrie Samotin, digital director

Buy on their website $22

Glossier Balm Dotcom

I don’t always wear makeup—but I will wear lip balm, which is why the Balm Dot Com formula is so appealing to me. It’s light and moisturizing without being sticky, but is tinted in these gorgeous shades that make it seem like I tried. Cherry is my go-to color, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them. —Shanna Shipin, commerce editor

Buy on their website $15

Glossier Lash Slick Mascara

I love how the Lash Slick formula goes on evenly and the brush “combs” so each lash is accentuated. I also appreciate that the tiny fibers add oomph without turning my lashes into spider legs. Whereas other mascaras go on wet and immediately leave dotted marks below my brows, Lash Slick magically stays put—from the moment I put it on until I wash it off at night. I was nervous, since it’s water-resistant, not waterproof, but I’m happy to report that it doesn’t flake or smudge. —Kimberly Fusaro, branded content director

Buy on their website $20

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

I’ve been a fan of Glossier since day one, and most of its products have made their way into my daily routine (hi, Boy Brow!). But my love runs deepest for its Milky Jelly Conditioning Face Wash. The texture is unique—the only way I can describe it is cushiony—and it never leaves my skin feeling tight or stripped. I use it in the morning on dry skin and at night after an oil cleanser or micellar water to remove makeup. The smell is incredible: It’s like roses and lipstick, but it’s subtle enough not to irritate my sensitive skin. I will always have a bottle in my bathroom because it works, and it honestly just makes me happy when I use it, which is what beauty is all about. —Bella Cacciatore, beauty assistant

Buy on their website $11+ (various sizes)

Glossier Futuredew 

Normally I’d roll my eyes at anything being called “aesthetic skin care”—meaning, a product that imparts skin-care benefits but also looks incredible on—but that’s exactly what this oil-serum hybrid is, and the glow it gives your face is impossible to scoff at. Futuredew gets its skin-glistening magic from light-reflecting minerals, but it’s also got all the things you’d look for in a great hydrating serum: jojoba, grape seed, evening primrose, and rosehip oils, along with squalane to help lock in moisture. The number of compliments I’ve gotten on my skin has increased tenfold since I’ve started using it. No lie. —L.S.

Buy on their website $30

Glossier Pro Tip Liquid Eyeliner

I won’t lie: When I first tested this by drawing swatches on my hand, I was unimpressed by the pigment payoff. But when I tried it on my eyes, I realized that’s where it’s magic comes to life. The buildable formula makes the whole experience less high-stakes. If your line goes awry, it’s fine, because it isn’t intense dark black until you draw a few layers. This means less of a heart attack for those who haven’t mastered a cat eye and more versatility from day to night. The brush tip is superthin and glides along your lash line for a subtle vibe that feels very Glossier, and the control is top-notch! When I washed my hands, the swatches didn’t budge. —Erin Parker, commerce writer

Buy on their website $20

Glossier Hand Cream

With all the handwashing I’ve been doing since COVID hit, this rich—but not sticky—hand cream has been a godsend. It smells like the brand’s fragrance, You, which is clean and fresh with a slight hint of florals. I wish I were going more places these days, because this is the kind of cute packaging you never get sick of pulling out of your bag. —L.S.

Buy on their website $22

Glossier Generation G Lipstick

Glossier’s reformulated Generation G lipstick is a new favorite of mine. I love how comfortable and moisturizing it is. I use the color Zip, which is sheer and buildable, so I can apply it on the go, but still packs such a punch that I don’t need to wear anything else with it. It’s the perfect red lip for those who are a little bit color-shy like me. —Khaliha Hawkins, producer

Buy on their website $20

Glossier Body Hero

Until Body Hero, I believed the one metric that mattered in lotion was how well it moisturized. I was a noob! Innocent and impressionable! But as soon as I found this (attractive!) stuff, I learned the truth. A good lotion will make your legs look longer, your skin feel dewier, and your bod smell like a fresh-picked flower. I’ve reordered it three times. —Mattie Kahn, culture director

Buy on their website $27

Glossier Haloscope

I’m all in on highlighting pretty much 365 days of the year—but most especially when I’m feeling a little run-down. The combo of crystal extracts and actual moisturizing oils in Haloscope ensures that I look fresh-faced and dewy while it hydrates my skin at the same time. A dash on my cheeks, brow bones, and the bridge of my nose, and I’m good to go. —Abby Gardner, news writer

Buy on their website $27

Glossier Cloud Paint

I used to swear by Nars Orgasm Blush—and it’s still a fave!—but ever since I tried Glossier’s Cloud Paint, I have trouble using anything else. Cloud Paint is incredibly easy to apply (I use my finger), and it blends seamlessly on my cheeks. The tiny tube is also deceptive; it actually lasts me months even though I use it every day. As for the color, I’ll alternate using Beam and Puff between seasons. Beam is orangey, so it gives a pretty glow in the summer, whereas Puff is a light pink that looks great when I’m more pale. —B.C.

Buy on their website $22

Glossier Solution

After I cleanse my skin at night, I swipe this glycolic acid toner all over my face and neck in order to remove excess makeup residue and keep my skin smooth. Thanks to powerful hydroxy acids (AHA, BHA and PHA), it works to gently exfoliate, unclog pores, and fight breakouts. I’ve totally seen a difference since I added it to my routine. —Jillian Ruffo, contributor

Buy on their website $29

Glossier Brow Flick 

I have my eyebrow routine down pat: I apply a primer/growth serum and use my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and that it’s. Two products and I’m done. However, after trying Glossier’s Brow Flick in Black, I realized that my eyebrows were missing some serious definition. Brow Flick definitely made my brows stand out more than they originally did, and as I grow them out to be the big bushy brows I want, it’s become the perfect subtle addition to my routine. The tip is thin and precise, and you can wipe/brush out any mistakes you make. —K.H.

Buy on their website $22

Glossier Body Hero Dry-Touch Oil Mist

I’ve been a fan of the Body Hero lotion since it launched, but lately I’ve been more into oils, so this couldn’t have come at a better time. Like its older sister, the packaging is cool and expensive looking, and it makes me smile every time I see it in my bathroom. The oil itself is super lightweight—it’s a dry oil so you can put jeans on right away or roll around in clean sheets without leaving a mess—but it feels really nourishing and lush. My favorite part, though, is the scent; the perfect soapy neroli that makes me smell like a rich European baby. I have no complaints. —B.C.

Buy on their website $30

Glossier Skywash Matte Eyeshadow

Glossier’s shimmery Lidstar eye shadows have been a mainstay in my makeup bag for years, so when the brand revealed it was launching matte eye shadow, I had high hopes. While I wish the packaging were a bit more interesting (really, how can you beat Lidstar’s mini test tubes?), the formula more than makes up for it. The colors are matte, yes, but they still go on with the sheer, buildable consistency Glossier’s eye shadows are famous for. The dry-down, meanwhile, looks like powder without any of the telltale dryness or cakey-ness. My favorite is the blue shade, Pool, that reminds me of the powder blues that were big in the late ’90s—but look perfectly in place for 2020. —L.S.

Buy on their website $22

Glossier Body Hero Exfoliating Bar

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bar-soap girl, and yet I am obsessed with this exfoliating bar. First of all, I hate how much body scrubs leave a trail of grounds at the bottom of my tub, and a lot leave my already oily skin feeling like there’s a thin film over it. This is hydrating yet tough on rough patches of skin, and I love the little well on the bottom of the bar that lets you drop a bit of body wash on top so you can cleanse and exfoliate in one fell swoop. —L.S.

Buy on their website $17

Glossier Wowder

This may be a hot take, but I don’t use many—if any—Glossier products in my daily routine. (I know, I know.) There is one exception, though, and that’s Wowder. The loose powder manages to give my skin a matte yet dewy appearance without feeling too cakey. It’s like putting an IRL filter over your skin. —Anna Moeslein, senior editor

Buy on their website $27

Glossier Lidstar Eyeshadow

It’s kind of incredible how easily these eye shadows wake up your face. I seriously put it on in the back of a cab without a mirror—that’s how easy they are. With one swipe and smudge on your lid, it leaves the prettiest soft wash of color behind. Most days I wear Lily, the lilac color, with mascara (my current fave is by Maybelline), and it gives the illusion I put much more thought into getting ready. And if I had a late night out? I’ll put Moon in the inner corners of my eyes to brighten them. —L.S.

Buy on their website $22

GLAMOUR article

My Favourite Mascaras At All Price Points

Whether you wear false eyelashes at all/sometimes/always, a good mascara should not flake or smudge in any case. I’ve tested SO many mascaras, at all price points, and I’m ready to share my favourites with you!

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara $4.99

The conic shape fiber brush provides lashes with dramatic volume and sculpted length. Opthalmologically tested. Not tested on animals.

Essence What The Fake! Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara $4.99

Enriched with nylon fibers for lashes looking incredibly thicker and longer, giving your lashes that false lash look. The nylon fibers in the formula absorb some of the liquid, making this a thicker formula, great for layering and building up volume.

Essence Bye Bye Panda Eyes! Mascara $4.99

For clean volume and defined lashes – The Bye Bye Panda Eyes! Mascara by Essence is made to last all day without smudging or clumping with their tubular formula. Plus, it’s easy to remove with just warm water.

Essence I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara $4.99

The deep-black, creamy texture covers each individual lash with color and the extra-large plastic brush provides sensational volume. Opthalmologically tested.

Essence The False Lashes Mascara Dramatic Volume Unlimited $4.99

The deep black texture and unique shape of the Essence The False Lashes Mascara Dramatic Volume Unlimited fiber brush ensures dramatic volume and a gorgeous false lash effect. Not tested on animals.

Essence Volume Stylist 18hr Lash Extension Mascara $4.99

The special braided design of the cap has never been seen before. Enriched with lengthening fibers, this styling mascara provides an 18hr longlasting volume effect and ensures fully extended lashes. The fiber releasing brush has the perfect shape to reach even the smallest lashes!

Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara $6.99

Get a blast of lush, volumized lashes! LashBlast’s patented volume-boosting formula and patent-pending brush are designed to max-out each and every lash, leaving you with the ultimate big lash look. Instant volume and fullness. Smudge and wear-proof. Hypoallergenic and suitable for contact lens wearers. “Cruelty Free”.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Volume On Demand Mascara $7.99

Lash-conditioning formula delivers a smooth, clump-free finish every time. Unique brush contains wavy fibre technology, catching, loading and separating every single lash. Sweep through hard-to-reach lashes with the tapered brush shape. Layer it up for bigger, bolder volume anytime with zero clumps. Available in two shades: bold black or natural-looking brown.

Covergirl Exhibitionist Mascara $8.39

With COVERGIRL’s Exhibitionist volumizing mascara, lashes are full and defined after only one coat. Our volumizing mascara formula glides smoothly onto lashes. Get soft lashes with no flaking or smudging. “Cruelty Free”

L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara $8.99

L’Oreal’s Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara has a unique formula of panthenol and ceramide-R that builds and thickens voluptuous lashes while conditioning them, so they remain supple and healthy. An exceptionally plush brush is designed to glide on just the right amount of mascara without clumping or flaking. Non-irritating, fragrance-free formula is safe for sensitive eyes and contact wearers.

Maybelline Falsies Lash Lift Mascara $10.49

Get an instant lash lift effect from a mascara. Falsies Lash Lift from Maybelline NY delivers dramatic volume and long, lifted lashes. The double curved lifting brush and fiber-infused formula grabs lashes at the root to lift, thicken, and lengthen. No clumps, smears, or flakes, just volume that lasts all day.

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara $10.49

Build on bold volume to create irresistibly soft, separated, and fluffy lashes coat after coat. Maybelline’s Total Temptation Mascara features a creamy and whipped formula enriched with coconut extract.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara $10.99

This mascara unfolds layer upon layer of lashes for a new full-fan effect.

NYX On The Rise Volume Liftscara $11

Delivering quick-charge lift and volume in just a few strokes. Featuring an innovative applicator that¿s part rounded, part hourglass to lift you lashes up to new heights! The “curling” effect results in a far-reaching fringe so that eyes look bigger and lashes look thicker.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara $14.77

This is the mascara for voluptuous volume and length, now with even more black pigment. Soft wavy bristle brush holds maximum formula for a dramatic volumizing charge.

MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara $20

The breakthrough lightweight waterproof formula creates beautiful defined lashes with a petite brush. This long-wearing mascara lasts up to 16 hours, yet the washable formula removes easily with warm water thanks to an innovative thermal-sensitive technology. The unique slim-type brush reaches and grips even the tiniest hairs with an advanced lifting formula in a saturated blackest black colour. This extreme defining composition enhances length, resulting in gorgeously distinguished, out-to-there lashes.

Glossier Lash Slick Mascara $20

Curls and sculpts as it lengthens, creating a natural “baby extension” effect without clumping. Teeny-tiny fibers coat lashes from root to tip, while flexible film-forming polymers lift and lock each fiber into place.

Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl Mascara $24

A do-it-all mascara that is designed to expose every lash, featuring an exclusive flat-to-fat brush that instantly volumizes, lifts, lengthens, and curls.

MILK Makeup KUSH High Volume Mascara $24

A high-volume mascara formulated with heart-shaped fibers, conditioning hemp-derived cannabis seed oil, and pure pigments for an intense black finish.

NARS Climax Mascara $24

With its buildable formula and stellar brush, NARS’s Climax Mascara surrounds every lash with a lightweight coating that stays supple and soft to the touch – avoiding that unwanted “crispy” feel.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara $25

An intensely black voluptuous volume mascara for the sexiest, defined, multidimensional lashes possible. 

Benefit Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara $25

A mascara inspired by hair rollers, this super-curling and lifting mascara gives a sexy, wide-eyed look. Its patent-pending Hook ‘n’ Roll™ brush features tiny custom-designed hooks to catch, lift, and curl even short and straight lashes. 

Benefit They’re Real Mascara $25

A lengthening mascara that curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes for an “out-of-here” look.

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara $25

A long-lasting, voluminous mascara with a black-boosting polymer in its pigment for 12 times more volume and up to 24 hours of wear.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara $27

An ultra-volumizing mascara that delivers instant dimension for epic lashes.  

Marc Jacobs Beauty At Lash’d Lengthening And Curling Mascara $27

A long-wear, lengthening, and curling mascara for a highly defined, full-extension lash look. 

Hourglass Caution™ Extreme Lash Mascara $29

An all-in-one mascara that delivers a look of endless length, intense volume, and sky-high lift for extreme, dramatic lashes.

Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara $29

You can expect the longest lashes going with this new Hourglass formula. The brush easily gets through every lash, creating a defined, fanned-out appearance that stays put; it’s also a tubing mascara which means it comes off easily with water – no scrubbing needed.

Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Volumizing Mascara $30

A gravity-defying mascara that delivers instant volume, multidimensional length, and weightless lift in a single stroke.

What are your favourite mascaras? Let me know in the comments below!