The 15 Best Tried And True Mascaras For Enhancing Your Lovely Lashes

Eyelashes beautiful eyes gif>(via Giphy)

As somebody who feels naked without >mascara

, I am always on the hunt for the best formula out there. After all, it’s the easiest way to enhance your eyes without doing a ton of eyeliner, eyeshadow, or brow-filling–just a couple quick swipes and voila! You’ve got longer, fuller, lusher lashes that define your eyes and overall facial features.

(Related: Is Diorshow Mascara Worth The Hype And $25 Price Tag?)

That said, mascara has its downsides. It smears, smudges, slides off when you’re sweaty, comes off under your eyes throughout the day (sometimes intentionally). And that’s why finding the best formula is so important: it makes this easy makeup element even simpler! Plus, it saves you money, as you won’t go through a good-quality tube nearly as quickly as a poorer one. On Tuesday, I asked readers to give their tried-and-true mascara favorites that they absolutely love the most and the results were so helpful, as per usual! If you’re looking for a new mascara, definitely give one of these reader-approved picks a try.

1. Benefit They’re Real! Mascara ($23)

Benefit They're Real! Mascara>This mascara always gets so much praise, including from our reader >Kirsten

who says, “Benefit’s They’re Real is my jam”–an opinion shared with Crushable Editor >Alexis Rhiannon

, who says she “loves” this formula. Commenter >Jen TheTit Whisperer

(whose username makes me LOL every time) loves it, too, but notes the cost:

“My MIL just bought me a whole tube of Benefit They’re Real. I love it but I want it to last forever so I’m like do I used this or no?!”

As somebody who winds up skimping on concealer entirely too often due to a fear of running out, I feel ya, girl. But at least we all know this mascara works!

2. L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Volume Building Mascara ($7.99)

L'Oreal Voluminous Volume Building Mascara>L’Oreal Paris is one of the best drugstore brands that never seems to let us down (its liner even made it on our best liquid eyeliner list!), and its mascara is no exception. According to >Mandie

, she’s searched around and never found one quite as good:

“L’oreal Voluminous, O.G. Carbon Black formula. I’ve tried Dior/Too Faced/Benefit and I still never feel finished without a good coat of drugstore product. I have no love for the “natural” look, and drier formulas really fatten up your lashes.”

Her vote was seconded by >StarNerd

, who said:

“Write me down for Carbon Black as well! No matter what I try I always go back to it.”

There you have it! And at such a great price, who could refuse?

3. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($23)

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara>As soon as I told my coworkers I was doing this open thread, Gurl Editor >Jess Booth

instantly exclaimed that she had the best mascara ever to talk about. Here’s her highly-persuasive response that has totally convinced me to try this:

“OMG. I have been waiting to discuss this mascara that I’m obsessed with because I literally talk about it every opportunity I get.

“My favorite mascara ever is Too Faced Better Than Sex because it is amazing. I used to use a mix of two different mascaras for a lot of volume and length, but when I use this one, I don’t have to use anything else. I have naturally long lashes, but Better Than Sex makes them longer and thicker instantly. A few coats last all day and my lashes don’t even look weird in the morning if I accidentally fall asleep with my makeup on. But even though it lasts so long, it’s not hard to get off – I’ve found other that other mascaras, like Benefit’s They’re Real, are REALLY difficult to wash off, but not this one.

“Anyway it’s basically the perfect mascara and I will probably never use anything else. I always get compliments on my lashes from this! My one complaint would be that it I think it dries up kind of quickly in the bottle, which is annoying. But it’s not that bad, and otherwise it’s worth it!”

For the record, Jess has amazing makeup every day in the office, so guess who’s going to Sephora during lunch today?

4. Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara Black ($2.99)

Jordana Best Lash Mascara>Ready for proof that drugstore buys can be just as good as the pricy stuff? Commenter >Perriheyyy


“Drugstore holy grail product is Jordana Best Lash, it takes a little practice to perfect. But once you have it works just as well as any 26 dollar Mascara. Best thing about it besides the crazy length and thickness it gives you? it cost about 2 buxs. I use it every single morning and it never does me wrong…except when i sneeze while applying it. its pretty buildable too, if you don’t wipe the brush between coats you could get spider lashes…but I’m into that kinda thing.”

And what an amazing price, wow.

5. Dior DiorShow Mascara ($25)

dior diorshow mascara>When we tried DiorShow for our Controversial Cult Fave column, we were a bit stressed out by the price tag. Reader >Jen Pires

absolutely loves it, but feels similarly about the cost:

“I would have to say Dior Show, it really makes it look like I’m wearing dramatic fake lashes. Though with my financial situation I’m not always able to afford it so I try all different drugstore mascaras, but haven’t found the perfect one yet.”

This beloved product continues to get rave reviews–now if only it were a little cheaper!

6. L’Oreal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara ($10.95)

L'Oreal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara>Got oily eyelids? According to commenter >Heina Dadabhoy

, this is the perfect solution:

“Double Extend Beauty Tubes by L’Oréal Paris. It lasts for 24+ hours, even on my greasy-ass eyelids.”

Reader >Charmless


“I wish I could upvote this more than once. I live and die by this mascara and I can’t find a single other person who uses it. I’ll admit that I get a sick little pleasure out of watching the tubes come off, but it’s a pain to clean them off of my shower curtain.”

Guh, tube mascara is so fantastic, as I mentioned in my original post. It comes off your lashes so easily!

7. Ciate LashLights ($17)

Ciate LashLights Surreal Aqua>I tried this brightly-colored mascara in August and loved its deep, rich shades. If you want to enhance your eye color without using shadow or liner, this is a perfect way to do just that. It comes in navy blue, bright green, pink, purple, turquoise, and royal blue, so you’re sure to find one that works for you.

8. Jane Iredale PureLash Mascara ($16)

Jane Iredale PureLash Mascara

I just started using this formula and guys, beautiful packaging aside, this mascara is totally fantastic. My lashes feel lush, which is nice because I recently had eyelash extensions and I think they did a number on my eyelashes’ health. It’s high-quality, certified cruelty-free, and many of the shades are vegan.

9. Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Mascara ($30)

Chanel's Le Volume De Chanel>According to commenter >Veronica James

, this is a miracle of mascaras:

“I discovered Chanel’s Le Volume De Chanel last year. Now I don’t know what I ever did without it. I have long blonde lashes, and this fattens them up and makes them even longer. Yeah, it’s pricey, but it’s worth it.”

Plus, it comes in bright blue and violet, so if you want to add some contrast to your look with an amazing formula, give those a go!

Now for more mascara picks!

10. Laura Mercier Full Blown Lash Volume Building Supreme Mascara ($24)

Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Supreme Mascara>I’m always a big fan of Laura Mercier’s products, so I wasn’t surprised to see this on the list whatsoever. Reader >JessieFace

rec’d it!

“Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume when needing a new tube of mascara coincides with pay day.”

Story of my mascara-loving life, girl.

11. Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Mascara ($6.99)

maybelline-new-york-the-colossal-volum--express-mascara>Looking for an inexpensive go-to daily mascara? Trusted commenter >Anne Marie Hawkins

names this as her fave:

“My everyday go-to is Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Volume. It’s cheap and it works and I don’t even need a second coat.”


12. L’Oreal Paris Telescopic Mascara ($9.99)

L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Mascara>Another L’Oreal pick on this list! Reader >Charmless

, who weighed in on the L’Oreal pick in #6, is all sorts of down with this one, too:

“I’ll also comment on L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions in brown-black. I only recently discovered that I look way better when I use brown-black eyeliner/mascara than when I use black mascara that’s so dark it should have an event horizon. This one has a weird plastic brush that’s more like a comb because it only has bristles on two sides and REALLY hurts if you poke your eye with it, but it goes on nicely with one or two layers and looks very lush without being loud (I consider multiple swoops one coat if I haven’t reloaded the brush). If you need a big, fluffy brush, this isn’t the mascara for you. In general, I don’t think L’Oreal mascara gets the credit it deserves. I only ever hear people mention Voluminous, but they’re all pretty great.”

Thanks for the incredibly helpful reviews! I officially want to revisit the L’Oreal section of the drugstore and buy #allthemascaras.

13. Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Big Eyes Mascara ($6.99)

maybelline volum' expess the falsies big eyes mascara>

#11’s same-priced sister mascara (is that a thing? It’s a thing now) was recommended by our intern >Sara Steinfeld

, who says:

“I really love Maybelline’s Volum’ Express The Falsies Big Eyes mascara! The double ended brush is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It says you’re supposed to use the thinner brush for your bottom lashes, but I prefer to use it as a second coat on the top lashes, it makes them more defined.”

At just $7 a tube, you can try both and figure out your fave.

14. Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara ($28.50)

Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara>At a price of nearly $30, this is nothing to bat at (hyuck hyuck), but our great reader >loser_sneeze

vehemently recommends it:

“Lancome Hypnose Star. Hands down. It doesn’t smear on me and it makes my lashes look great.”

Head to Sephora and see if you can swing a sample, folks!

15. Maybelline Full & Soft Thick & Healthy Washable Mascara ($7.99)

maybelline full and soft mascara>Here’s one more Maybelline pick for the road!

LittleBird has been relying on this great pick for years now, so you know it rocks:

“My mom bought my first tube for me in 7th grade (she put it in my Christmas stocking that year!) So I have nostalgia for the brand as well, but other brands still don’t work as well for me. I have long lashes naturally, so the way it’s formulated makes them look fuller and longer without weighing them down or getting all crumbly. I’ve been told that my lashes look almost like big, fat feathers with it on. Which, in my opinion, is a good thing!”

In my opinion, too, that is fantastic!

Have you tried any of these? Tell us about your thoughts on ’em in the comments!

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