Ask a room full of women which item of makeup they would bring to a deserted island and chances are most will say mascara. But there are so any it’s hard to know which is the best mascara. The makeup bag mainstay is one that many won’t leave home without, since that single product can do so much. Longer, luscious lashes instantly make you look wide awake, brightening up your face and making your peepers pop. Mascara can help you fake a full face even if you have no other makeup on. The best mascaras work lashes in more ways than one, by lengthening, volumizing, plumping and curling. Since it’s such a staple, that means there are plenty of options on the market. Talk about wanting to swipe right! To take out the guesswork, we narrowed it down to the best mascaras that deliver lush lashes that last all day long sans clumping or running, at every price point.
1. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
It would be a challenge to find a mascara more loved than Too Faced Better Than Sex, which explains why it’s the number-one-selling mascara in the prestige category in the country. Truly a game changer for eyelashes, it instantly transforms them, leaving the need for falsies behind. The clever hourglass-shaped brush lets you use different parts of it to cater to and catch every individual lash. You can add as many coats as you’d like without it getting spidery or clumpy. Lashes will be lifted, separated, long, thick and luscious all day, truly making it one of the best mascaras of all time.
2. Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift Mascara
Maybe she’s born with it… maybe it’s Maybelline. When it comes to mascara, Maybelline is practically synonymous with the makeup must-have, and that goes well beyond Great Lash. The Falsies Lash Lift Mascara lives up to its name for a pumped-up volume, falsies effect. All that lash lifting comes courtesy of polymers inspired by hair gels, waxes and hairsprays. Thanks to the double-curved brush, no lash is left behind.
3. Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara
Chanel’s mascara checks off every box: It lengthens, curls, thickens, volumizes and darkens lashes in just a swipe or two. Even when you add an extra coat, it still won’t clump. Smudges will be a worry of the past, since the long-wearing formula doesn’t budge. A combination of short and long bristles on the 3-D print brush (an industry first) catches every lash, lifting and separating along the way.
4. Benefit They’re Real Mascara
Benefit has plenty of beloved mascaras on the market, so the fact that this is its top seller says a lot. They’re Real majorly lifts, lengthens, thickens and separates lashes. Teeny, tiny bristles on the tip of the domed wand lets you get every single eyelash. It only takes one coat to see a dramatic difference and you can add more sans clumping. The long-wear pigment lasts all day without running.
5. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
L’Oréal Paris proves that you don’t have to spend big bucks to get big lashes, since this stands up to its competitors that are triple its price. One of the best mascaras for maximizing volume and length, lashes will look fluttery and full without any flaking or clumping. Still want more drama? Then just add a few more coats.
6. Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara
For anyone who thinks that natural makeup still can’t compete with its traditionally formulated peers, Ilia’s Limitless Lash Mascara is here to prove you wrong. Beeswax and shea butters take center stage on the ingredient list, creating a nourishing formula that leaves lashes even healthier. The buildable formula curls, lengthens and volumizes in a single coat, leaving you with naturally lush-looking eyelashes. The long-wear formula will last all day without flaking, yet it washes off easily before bedtime. The dual-sided brush lifts and separates every lash.
7. Urban Decay Lash Freak Mascara
The numbers don’t lie — Urban Decay’s newest mascara drops a whopping 23.6 times more volume and 40 percent more visible length. It’ll stay put for up to 20 hours and the sweatproof formula won’t flake or smudge. The unique three-way brush volumizes, defines and lifts and can be worked differently to get the results you crave. For example, the asymmetric brush side coats every lash for insta volume, the budding tip is for definition and the curved underside of the wand brings all the lift.
8. Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extension Mascara
The name says it all — getting lash extensions in seconds is a lot more fun than sitting through an entire appointment. Just like extensions put on by a pro, this mascara brings length, lift and definition from root to tip. When you want fanned-out lashes and high drama, this is one of the best mascaras. Boasting film-forming technology, every lash is coated in lightweight fibers for a fabulous finish that won’t budge or smudge. Vegan and cruelty-free, Hourglass is taking that combo up a notch by donating 5 percent of the profits to The Nonhuman Rights Project, a nonprofit dedicated to animal rights.
9. Tom Ford Extreme Mascara
Tom Ford is known for taking things to the extreme, so why should his mascara be any different? The luxuriously creamy formula brings lashes to new lengths all day without clumping, smudging or fallout. This mascara walks that fine line between looking natural and glamorous.
10. It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Volumizing Mascara
You’ll never walk out of a Drybar salon without the big, bouncy blowouts they’re famous for. Drybar teamed up with It Cosmetics to bring that same voluminous hair to your lashes with their aptly named Lash Blowout Volumizing Mascara. That teamwork also explains the charming design of the tube. The mascara applicator is infused with the same technology as Drybar’s Half Pint Brush to create the same lift, separation and volume for lashes as their big round barrel brush. They applied hair-loving ingredients to the formula to nourish and strengthen eyelashes over time, such as vitamin E, biotin and jojoba oil.