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31 best mascaras that will effortlessly lengthen and define your lashes

Whether you prefer the falsies effect or a more natural finish, it’s time to put your best flutter forward

Sabine Wiesel
Friday 05 January 2024 15:59 GMT
<p>Every product we tried was flake-free and stayed put </p>

Every product we tried was flake-free and stayed put

Our Top Picks

Whether you’re a make-up minimalist or a TikTok beauty obsessive, there’s one product we can’t live without: mascara. It’s simply the most transformative beauty product – darkening and defining our lashes, making our eyes look bigger and brighter.

Due to mascara’s perennial popularity, there always seems to be a steady stream of new launches, with each promising to be better than the next, offering new, innovative formulas and game-changing brushes. But with so much choice comes confusion. It can be difficult knowing where to start when looking for a new wand.

It’s no wonder “what’s the best mascara?” is one of the most common questions we beauty editors get asked, time and time again. The truth is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula. Whether you love or hate your lashes, we are all blessed with a different set. Thick or thin, curly or straight, short or long – our lash lines come in all shapes, sizes and colours.

The key to finding the best mascara that’s going to work for your unique flutter is figuring out what your needs are. Generally, big, fluffy brushes are great for thickening and volume building, while, at the other end of the scale, skinny brushes can add definition, but there are a lot of uniquely shaped wands in between.

You might also need to think about the formula. Typically, regular mascaras use waxes, oils and dyes to define the lashes, so, if you usually find your mascara in places other than your actual eyelashes, a tubing formula may be better suited to your needs. They work by wrapping tube-like polymers around each lash, so they can’t smudge or flake throughout the day. However, these also have their drawbacks, and are typically better for lengthening than creating volume.

And don’t just automatically opt for a black mascara, as brown versions are having a real beauty moment, adding definition in a softer, subtle way for those of us who prefer a more natural look. Those more adventurous with their make-up choices should also consider playing with brighter shades, to really make their eye colour pop.

Once you’ve worked out what your priorities are, we’ve got your lashes covered, with our list of the best mascaras for every budget.

We tested myriad mascaras, to bring you the best

How we tested

We pick our way through the latest mascaras as they drop, so this round-up always stays up to date. Our winning wands may provide a variety of looks and finishes but they all have one thing in common: they’re flake-free and stay in place.

The best mascaras for 2024 are:

  • Best mascara overall – Lancôme lash idôle mascara: £26, Lookfantastic.com
  • Best budget mascara – Rimmel wonder volume thrill seeker mascara: £6.29, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best mascara for sensitive eyes – Eyeko limitless mascara: £19, Cultbeauty.co.uk
  • Best waterproof mascara – Milk Makeup rise waterproof mascara: £25, Sephora.co.uk

Lancôme lash idôle mascara

Lancôme lash idôle mascara indybest.jpeg
  • Best: Mascara overall
  • Lash effect: Volumising
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: Yes
  • Why we love it
    • Curved brush fits perfectly into the upper lash line
    • Buildable, clump-free layers

With such an impressive back catalogue of game-changing mascaras, the brand has outdone itself again with this one. The next-level brush makes easy work of coating each and every lash, thanks to the 250 different bristle sizes and 360 micro-bristles.

Its curved shape fits perfectly into the upper lash line, allowing for root-to-tip coverage. In just one stroke, your lashes look volumised and lifted. The flexible jet black, gel emulsion allows you to add as many clump-free layers as you desire, for a more full-on look.

Read the full Lancôme lash idôle mascara review

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Rimmel wonder volume thrill seeker mascara

Rimmel wonder volume thrill seeker mascara.png
  • Best: Budget mascara
  • Lash effect: Volume and length
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Extreme black, black brown
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Intense fullness
    • Creamy, whipped formula
    • Affordable

You can always rely on Rimmel for affordable, effective and accessible mascaras – and even pick one up at the supermarket. This one has gone viral, and we’re obsessed with it, too, for building intense fuller-looking lashes, from root to tip.

The oversized hourglass-shaped brush grabs the lashes from the corners out (along the lash line), and the creamy, whipped formula makes it malleable and easy to layer, clump-free. We found one layer gives natural-looking length and volume, while three gives falsies competition. This really is a high street hero.

  1. £8 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Estee Lauder turbo lash high powered volume + length mascara

best mascara Estee Lauder turbo lash high powered volume + length mascara
  • Best: Mascara for natural volume and conditioning
  • Lash effect: Volume and length
  • Vegan-friendly: No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Long-lasting volume
    • Nourishing formula

With a sleek, all-black design, this is the mascara to reach for if you’re after a fuller-looking flutter, with all the benefits of a conditioning serum. The whipped, creamy formula is packed with tiny silica spheres that act like filler for the lashes, creating instant brush-on volume and length.

From the first sweep, our lashes looked thicker, but we loved the fuller effect gained after about three coatings. There’s not a clump in sight, and the mascara stayed looking fresh, with no smudges, until we took it off. What’s more, continued use left our lashes feeling soft and flexible, thanks to the extra hit of nourishment from the oils infused within this mascara.

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KVD Beauty full sleeve long and defined tubing mascara

best mascara KVD full sleeve long + defined tubing mascara
  • Best: Tubing mascara
  • Lash effect: Lengthening
  • Vegan-friendly : Yes
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Doesn’t smudge or flake
    • Easy to remove with warm water

One of the newest tubing mascaras on the virtual beauty shelves, this KVD number wraps vegan polymer sleeves around each lash, for naturally thick, well-separated, long lashes. What makes this stand out from other mascaras, is its state-of-the-art brush. It’s uniquely contoured, to get into the base of the lashes, and uses hook-like grips to pick up each lash.

A couple of comb-throughs, followed by turning the brush vertically and running it through our lashes, for added lengthening (as recommended by the brand), gave us the best results. You can expect no smudging or flaking, making it ideal for hooded eyes, those with oily lids or serial eye rubbers who are prone to looking like a panda throughout the day.

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Victoria Beckham Beauty vast mascara

best mascara Victoria Beckham Beauty vast mascara
  • Best: Single-coat mascara
  • Lash effect: Volume and lift
  • Vegan-friendly: Yes
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • One-glide volume
    • Removes easily with warm water

If there’s one thing Victoria Beckham Beauty does well it’s “posh” eye-definers. The brand’s eyeliner came out on top in our round-up of the best, and our tester has been through a fair few tubes of its original mascara. Now, this offering, which has been developed to create eye-opening volume, is even bigger and bolder.

Combining an oversized curved brush with a luxuriously thick formulation, one coat is all it takes to intensify your look – you can add another layer or two for further impact and it still stays smooth and clump-free. Best of all, we could rely on it not flaking throughout the day and staying put until bedtime.

Other plus points are that it’s packed with lash-strengthening ingredients and comes in a luxe glass monochrome casing – very VB!

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Clinique high impact high-fi full volume mascara

best mascara Clinique high impact high-fi full volume mascara
  • Best: Mascara for bold-looking lashes
  • Lash effect: Full volume, lift and length
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black and black-brown
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Builds lightweight intense volume
    • Infused with softening and nourishing oils
  • Take note
    • May clump if you add too many coats

Turning up the volume, Clinique has launched its most dramatic mascara yet. Made for those seeking an intense lash look, this highly pigmented formula is packed with black nylon fibres that deposit throughout lashes with a root-to-tip wiggle to create the illusion of a fuller flutter.

It comes with a tapered, wavy brush that easily gets to each and every lash, and because it has a precision tip, we found that includes even those tiny, hard-to-reach corner lashes, adding to the look of fullness. Plus, unlike other high-impact mascaras, the gel-like texture keeps lashes feeling lightweight and soft, thanks to a trio of argan, moringa and coconut oils.

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Vieve modern mascara

best mascara Vieve modern mascara
  • Best: Buildable mascara
  • Lash effect: Volume, length and lift
  • Vegan-friendly : Yes
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Easy to layer for day-to-night looks
    • Promotes healthier lashes

Three years in the making, Vieve has finally added a mascara to its line-up and, boy, was this buy worth the wait. While it’s a near-impossible task to get a mascara that does everything, this ones adds volume, length and lift at the flick of the wrist. And the modern mascara does so with a full, hourglass brush and workable formula made for layering.

Just one single coat for a quick morning routine gave our lashes enough impact for daytime wear, but it’s made for building, so you can easily add three or four lashings of drama. And it doesn’t stop there – the formula has also been enriched with vitamins C and E to promote healthy, strong lashes. A truly modern mascara worthy of its name.

  1. £23 from Spacenk.com
Prices may vary
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Guerlain noir G 24h intense volume mascara

best mascara Guerlain noir G 24h intense volume curl mascara
  • Best: Curling mascara
  • Lash effect: Volume and curl
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black and brown
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • New brown shade
    • Long-lasting curl and volume

You can forgo the eyelash curlers if you have this clever wand in your make-up routine, which is now available in an intense warm brown, as well as the bestselling blacker than black. With a uniquely curved brush designed for curl and volume sculpting, we quickly got the hang of hugging the lash line, combing through and holding it in place to create next-level, eye-opening results.

What sets this mascara apart from other formulas is that it doesn’t drop throughout the day. While we didn’t quite test its 24h-long claim (as who really needs to wear mascara for such a long period?), we did get to the 15-hour mark with impressive longevity. Straight lashes, this one’s for you!

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Benefit fan fest fanning and volumising mascara

best mascara Benefit fan fest fanning and volumising mascara
  • Best: Mascara for fanned-out volume
  • Lash effect: Volumising
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Lash-conditioning formula
    • Separates, defines and builds volume quickly

With such an impressive collection of much-loved mascaras, there’s truly something for every unique set of lashes at Benefit. Proving the brand’s always ahead of the mascara game, this new launch is just as impressive as the rest of its offerings – giving lash lines looking for fanning and volume-building something to wear.

It makes easy work of separating lashes for that fanned-out, fluttery effect, thanks to the full, flexible curved brush and rice wax in the formula. Its buildable formulation makes creating volume a breeze, too – a couple of coats were all our lashes needed for the bolder look we wished we were naturally blessed with. Plus, extra points go to this wand for being infused with lash-conditioning provitamin B5.

  1. £21 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Max Factor 2000 calorie pro stylist mascara

best mascara Max Factor 2000 calorie pro stylist mascara
  • Best: Mascara for lifting lashes
  • Lash effect: Volume and lift
  • Vegan-friendly : Yes
  • Shades: Black or black brown
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • A straight lash must-have
    • Builds volume for daywear and the evening

Fattening up the lash line for over 30 years now, we couldn’t wait to try this newest member of the Max Factor 2000 calorie mascara family, as we’re such fans of the original. Literally, taking its mascara offering to new heights, this wand promises gravity-defying lift and hold, as well as boosting volume.

The curved brush creates lift with ease, while the styling waxes infused in the formula hold it in place, with little drop after hours of wear. And, of course, it has the va va voom of the iconic wand, building volume in layers. Plus, there’s vitamin E and panthenol infused in the formula to keep lashes strong, soft and supple.

  1. £10 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Beauty Pie wrap star tubing mascara

best mascara Beauty Pie wrap star tubing mascara
  • Best: Budget tubing mascara
  • Lash effect: Length and curl
  • Vegan-friendly : Yes
  • Shades: Classic black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Smudge-proof
    • Removes with warm water

If you find your current mascara is leaving you looking like a panda come midday, you need to make a switch to a tubing mascara – and this one’s a steal (£10) if you’re a Beauty Pie member. A quick root-to-tip swipe leaves lashes thicker and longer-looking, thanks to tiny polymer tubes that wrap around each lash, making it pretty impossible to smudge or flake during the day.

While you can layer to create more intensity, we found one coat was enough to give our flutter natural, clump-free length, curl and definition, which still felt lightweight and flexible on the lashes, making it perfect for daywear. What’s more, we were impressed with how well this effect stayed in place throughout the day. At take-off time, all we needed was a little warm water to remove.

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Milk Makeup rise waterproof mascara

best mascara Milk Makeup rise waterproof mascara
  • Best: Waterproof mascara
  • Lash effects: Lifts and lengthens
  • Vegan-friendly : Yes
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: Yes
  • Why we love it
    • Sweat-proof, waterproof, budge-proof
    • Leaves lashes naturally defined

From sweaty workouts to fun in the winter sun, there are times when only a first-rate waterproof formula like this one will do. A curved bristle brush is teamed with a creamy, budge-proof formula that truly stays put when dry. This means it should be worked and layered when wet – don’t let it try in between each coat.

Just like Milk Makeup’s popular rise mascara, it adds subtle-looking lift, length and curl to lashes, but with a dose of added staying power. To make sure it really stays put in all environments, we put the mascara through its paces at the local fitness centre, and can report that the formula didn’t smear or smudge, even after a cardio class, a swim in the pool or a sauna session. Impressive!

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Essence Cosmetics lash without limits extreme lengthening and volume mascara

best mascara Essence Cosmetics lash without limits extreme lengthening and volume mascara
  • Best: Mascara under £5
  • Lash effect: Lengthening and volume
  • Vegan-friendly : Yes
  • Shades: Brown and black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Low price
    • Flexible brush gets to each lash
  • Take note
    • Not suitable for eye rubbers

You just can’t beat the value of Essence Cosmetic’s range of mascaras if you’re tightening the purse strings. With change from a £5 note, this is the budget make-up brand’s newest lash-definer and our favourite yet, made for those looking to add lift and length to their flutter.

The brush is flexible and consists of short, tapered, silicone combs, making light work of not only getting to every lash but coating through to the end of each hair. You have to work the formula whilst wet for the best results, and we found two to three layers were the optimum for a smooth, clump-free finish.

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Dior Diorshow iconic overcurl mascara

best mascara
  • Best: Mascara for colour selection
  • Lash effect: Volume and curl
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black, blue, brown or limited-edition brique (red)
  • Waterproof version available: Yes
  • Why we love it
    • Clump-free thickening

This mascara is truly a lash-defining icon, thanks to its eye-opening formula accompanied by a uniquely curved, oversized brush designed to be held against lashes for an eyelash curler effect – and it works! Every lash is covered (no matter how tiny), with its thickening formula for clump-free definition and workable volume that stays smudge and flake-free throughout the day.

It’s available in a variety of shades, so why not banish boring black and opt for softening brown? Refills are now available, so you can save a few pounds when you need to restock – which undoubtedly you will once you’ve tried it.

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L’Oreal Paris telescopic lift mascara

best mascara
  • Best: Mascara for lift and length
  • Lash effect: Lengthening
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • All-day lift
  • Take note
    • You'll need to get to grips with using the brush

The mascara that divided the opinions of TikTok seems to be in the love-it-or-hate category. We are firmly in the former group, as once you get to grips with the unique double-hook brush you can create eye-catching, longer, lifted lashes with just one coat or add two or three lashings for a more full-on falsies effect.

As a top tip, you get results from understanding how to use the brush correctly. The front hook bristles should be used to load the lashes from root to tip, while a twist of the wand creates separation and brushes out any clumps with the hook comb. Once the lash-strengthening ceramide-infused formula is dry, you’ll be as amazed as we were at how flake-free and lifted they stay all day.

  1. £12 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Maybelline the falsies surreal extension length and volume long-lasting 24h mascara

best mascara
  • Best: Mascara for fullness
  • Lash effect: Volumising and lengthening
  • Vegan-friendly : Yes
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Suited to large, fluffy brush lovers
    • Value for money

Maybelline’s back catalogue of purse-friendly lash-definers truly has a great wand for every preference. Latest to launch into the collection is this tube made for those looking for drama. We loved how full and thick it made our flutter – although we do think the name oversells its effect just a smidge.

You’ll love the wand if you like a larger, fluffy brush. It’s a new design with long, twisted bristles that make it easy and speedy to create volume, catching every hair from root to tip for fullness that you can build upon to create your desired look. What’s more, the formula contains different-sized, tiny fibres that add to the illusion of a fuller flutter. It’s proof once again that you don’t have to pay eye-watering prices to get a great mascara.

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Fenty Beauty hella thicc volumizing mascara

best mascara
  • Best: Mascara for bold-looking lashes
  • Lash effect: Dramatic volume
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Creamy texture
    • Transfer-resistant
  • Take note
    • Any more than three layers may lead to clumping

The second mascara to join Rihanna’s make-up line is made for those looking to thicken their lashes for a bold lash result. Described as a full-bodied formula, the first thing you notice is its creamy, fuller texture and how easily it loads on, leaving enough intensity for our lashes with just one layer. But for those who like a more extreme look, we found you can layer it up to three times at the most – any more and it will start to clump.

Its jet black shade and easy-access tapered brush add to the drama, as this allows you to boldly coat to all lashes, top and bottom. Plus, its transfer-resistant claim was upheld, getting us through a sweaty gym session.

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Mac stack mascara

mac .jpg
  • Best: Mascara for customising
  • Lash effect: Volumising
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Impressively buildable

Our favourite mascara from Mac yet is built for layering volume, lift and length. Claiming to be “infinitely buildable”, we put it to the test and got to 40 layers (yes, we counted) before we felt it starting to clump or stick together – that’s some seriously impressive volume building.

There are two petal-shaped brush designs to choose from – this brush is designed for those with longer, fuller lashes, while the Mac stack micro brush mascara (£27, Lookfantastic.com) is ideal for those with naturally short or sparse lashes.

Read our in-depth Mac stack mascara review

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Jones Road the mascara

Jones Road the mascara indybest.jpg
  • Best: Mascara for daywear
  • Lash effect: Volumising
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Pitch black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Creates a natural look

From legendary make-up artist Bobbi Brown’s beauty brand, this wand sits on the more natural side of the mascara scale.

The oversized, curved brush creates beautifully separated thicker lashes with lift after just one coat to create that no make-up make-up look. Add a few more strokes to create natural, clump-free thicker lashes. Plus, it’s enriched with lash- strengthening vitamin B and conditioning vitamin E to keep your flutter healthy.

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Charlotte Tilbury pillow talk push up lashes mascara

Charlotte Tilbury pillow talk push up lashes mascara indybest.jpeg
  • Best: Mascara for doing it all
  • Lash effect: Lengthening, lifting and volumising
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black and brown
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Weightless
    • High impact

Hyped on social media with a huge waiting list when it first launched, the third mascara from the make-up artist’s brand was well worth the wait. What sets it apart is that it promises and delivers on weightless volume, length and lift for the perfect all-rounder mascara.

Use the flat side of the paddle-shaped brush to load and lift lashes, and the comb side for even distribution. Expect high-impact lashes with an intense black, glossy finish that holds all day.

Read the full Charlotte Tilbury pillow talk push up lashes mascara review

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Pat McGrath Labs dark star mascara

Pat McGrath labs dark star mascara indybest.jpeg
  • Best: Mascara for instant volume
  • Lash effect: Volumising
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Extreme black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Speedy application

From the brand created by possibly the most influential make-up artist on the planet, Pat McGrath knows what a brilliant mascara should look like.

The large, contoured brush is built for speed, as it delivers slick body in just one stroke – perfect for mornings when you’re short on time. Build up a few more layers for extra intensity that’s perfect for when glamour’s called for.

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Benefit they’re real! magnet extreme lengthening and powerful lifting mascara

Benefit they're real! magnet extreme lengthening mascara indybest.jpeg
  • Best: Mascara for lengthening
  • Lash effect: Lengthening and lifting
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Elongating magnetic formula
    • No clumping

With such a well-loved collection of mascaras, it’s no surprise this is the second of its wands to make this line-up. The state-of-the-art brush has a magnetically charged core that pulls the mineral-enriched formula up and out to the tips of lashes, making them appear longer.

We were wowed by how well this lifted and lengthened after just one stroke. And if you layer it, the formula builds volume with no dreaded clumping.

Read the full Benefit they're real! magnet extreme lengthening mascara review

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Nars climax dramatic volumising mascara

Nars climax dramatic volumizing mascara indybest.jpeg
  • Best: Mascara for intense drama
  • Lash effect: Volumising
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black, extreme black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Oversized brush for effortless impact

For those looking for full-on volume, you’ll love how effortlessly this mascara’s oversized brush creates a bigger, bolder finish. Wiggle this formula in – from the roots at the lash line to the tips – with two coats for a bold, wearable look.

To really add some va va voom, you can keep layering without worrying about smudging or clumping. Expect it to feel weightless and soft, without a stiff or crispy lash in sight.

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Too Faced better than sex mascara

Too Faced better than sex mascara indybest.jpeg
  • Best: Mascara for false-lash effect
  • Lash effect: Lengthening and curling
  • Vegan-friendly : Yes
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Effortless coverage

What was once a cult classic has become the US’s number-one-selling prestige mascara. This cheekily named formula has a reputation for creating drama that’s still hard to beat. Stay clear if you prefer a neat and natural finish, as this one is all about the false lash effect.

Its large, hourglass-shaped brush covers lashes effortlessly from root to tip. Just one coat magnifies, but work through a few times for a fuller, bolder finish with a curl that lasts. Does it live up to its name? Don’t be so silly – but it does try.

  1. £23 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Glossier lash slick mascara

Glossier lash slick mascara indybest.jpeg
  • Best: Mascara for a subtle look
  • Lash effect: Lengthening and lifting
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Subtle finish
    • Thin wand for easy coverage
    • Conditioning

This is our pick for those who like their make-up to look subtle. Think of the mascara as a slight enhancement to your lashes – it darkens and creates cleanly separated lashes, giving a slight lengthening effect.

The wand is thin with a fine tip, making it easy to highlight all lashes, and even a few coats will leave the most natural flutter. It also conditions hairs over time with vegan biotin, leaving them soft to the touch. Simply wash off in the evening with warm water.

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Maybelline lash sensational sky high mascara

Maybelline lash sensational sky high mascara indybest.jpeg
  • Best: Mascara for length and volume
  • Lash effect: Lengthening and volumising
  • Vegan-friendly: No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: Yes
  • Why we love it
    • Fanned-out effect

One Maybelline mascara is sold every seven seconds in the UK, but with such an impressive collection of popular wands, it can be difficult to know which to pick. For a mascara that suits all lash needs, this bestseller will look transformative on everyone’s peepers.

The long, thin and flexible brush head combines a formula of bamboo extract and fibres that builds volume and length with each stroke, but also separates lashes for a fanned-out look.

  1. £9 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Lancôme le8 hypnôse serum-infused volumising mascara

Lancôme le8 hypnôse mascara.jpg
  • Best: Mascara for lash conditioning
  • Lash effect: Natural but full-bodied
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Contains lash-conditioning serum

The lash gurus at Lancôme added this addition to the brand’s exceptional portfolio of mascaras in 2022. It fuses a lash-conditioning serum with the properties of its bestselling hypnôse wand. Ideal for dry, brittle lashes needing some TLC, it not only leaves you with a softer, stronger flutter when used over time but makes light work of removal, so you don’t damage or lose lashes in the process.

The hourglass brush, coupled with the lash-thickening formula, leaves you with a natural, full-bodied effect similar to the original. And while it’s what’s inside that counts, the rectangular and curved design adds to its appeal – a break from traditional cylinder tubes.

Read the full Lancôme le8 hypnôse mascara review

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Dior Diorshow pump ‘n’ volume mascara

Dior Diorshow pump ‘n’ volume.jpg
  • Best: Mascara for staying power
  • Lash effect: Thickening
  • Vegan-friendly : No
  • Shades: Black, blue, brown
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Long-wearing ink finish

For a dramatic look that stays in place all day, you’ll want this mascara as part of your make-up collection. Dior claims that this formula offers 24 hours of transfer-proof wear, and while our days aren’t quite so long, we can honestly say it didn’t budge after 14 hours – which is still super impressive.

The intense ink finish is made up of 90 per cent naturally derived ingredients for a cleaner lash-thickening formula that also contains added eyelash care. The unique squeezable tube is also a genius mascara first.

  1. £29 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Eyeko limitless lengthening mascara

Eyeko limitless mascara.jpg
  • Best: Mascara for sensitive eyes
  • Lash effect: Lengthening
  • Vegan-friendly : Yes
  • Shades: Black, brown
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • It’s ophthalmologically tested
    • Speedy application
    • Natural-looking finish

The entire Eyeko mascara collection, including this new formula, is made up of tubing mascaras. This means, rather than coating the lashes in pigment, they wrap tiny micro-fibres around each hair, forming “tubes” of mascara. This creates two major benefits: the first is there’s no chance of smudging; secondly (and best of all), it’s super easy to remove – no eye-rubbing required, just a little warm water.

Speedy to use, the silicone conical-shaped brush made light work of defining and separating the entire lash line for us, leaving a beautiful natural-looking length. Plus, this mascara is the perfect pick for contact-wearers or those with sensitive eyes, as it’s been ophthalmologically tested, so there’s no chance of it causing any irritation.

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Chanel noir allure all-in-one mascara

Chanel noir allure mascara.png
  • Best: Mascara for natural-looking volume
  • Lash effect: Volume, length, curl and definition
  • Vegan-friendly: No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Elegant tube
    • Intensely black pigment

Treat your lashes to a little bit of luxury with the chicest Chanel mascara to date. Promising all the lash enhancement tricks, this is the wand for you if your flutter needs it all. The thin, flexible spoolie defines and separates for a fuller fan-out, which combs through natural-looking volume and length. The curl is created by the technique of pressing and holding the lashes before sweeping through.

What really makes this mascara extra special is in the detail. Its elegant rectangular tube puts it in a league of its own, design-wise. With a push-down click, a gold handle pops up, so you can pull out the wand – like the label’s lipsticks, if you’re familiar with them.

The pigment is unique too – intensely black, thanks to a touch of unnoticeable red in the formula that adds a level of depth we love. Plus, it’s infused with provitamin B5, so lashes stay strong and protected.

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L’Oréal Paris pro XXL lift mascara

L’Oréal Paris pro XXL lift mascara.png
  • Best: Multi-tasking mascara
  • Lash effect: Volume, lift, curl
  • Vegan-friendly: No
  • Shades: Black
  • Waterproof version available: No
  • Why we love it
    • Affordable
    • Creates drama or a more natural finish

This entry from the purse-friendly beauty brand is inspired by salon lash lifts – it uses a double-ended mascara as a two-step process to create the volume, lift and curl of the popular treatment. Step one builds volume with a large, straight brush, while step two uses a curved brush to provide the lift and curl.

We used it together to mimic the effect on days and nights that called for a little more drama on the lash line but found we could also create more natural-looking lashes when using the steps on their own. A top choice for creating versatile looks.

  1. £13 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Mascara FAQs

How to choose the right mascara for you?

When buying a mascara, you want it to be long-lasting and easily buildable, so you can customise your flutter. Avoid flaky or drying formulas and look for nourishing and conditioning mascaras that won’t transfer or irritate the eye area.

If you’re a maximalist, opt for a colourful formula that injects some dopamine into your make-up look. Minimalists or those who prefer a more natural and subtle look should look to classic black or brown mascaras.

Those with sparse or fine lashes should go for a rounder brush and a formula with lash-thickening fibres to lengthen and plump. Likewise, buy a mascara with a rounded brush if you have lashes that are hard to curl.

Top tips for making the most of your mascara

The shelf life of an average mascara is two to four months, so, to get the most out of it, follow these tips:

  • To avoid dry clumps of mascara, keep your brush clean. The best way to do this is by submerging it in warm water for five minutes. Similarly, if you find a wand you love, clean it and save it.
  • Do not pump your mascara – pumping adds more air to the tube, which causes it to dry out.
  • If you want your lashes to have full-on drama, we advise applying a primer, which helps to really get your mascara working.

The verdict: Mascaras

Our best buy goes to the Lancôme lash idôle mascara because it’s as close to a suit-all-lashes mascara as you’re going to get. It effortlessly creates natural volume and lift for daytime wear, while being easily buildable for when you want a more intense look. If you’re looking to spend less, the Maybelline lash sensational sky high mascara is still the best on the high street and creates a similar effect. For those prone to smudging, the Beauty Pie wrap star tubing mascara will be a better fit.

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