Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Mascara

Last updated on July 6, 2022

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Mascaras

View All Recommendations
Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Essence Lash Princess Cruelty & Gluten-Free Mascara

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval


Lash Princess Cruelty & Gluten-Free Mascara

This mascara offers dramatic volume and length. It lasts all day without fading or flaking. The mascara helps to define and separate each lash for a bold look.

Overall Take

Dramatic LookThis mascara gives you lots of volume and length.

 Runner Up

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Clump-Resistant Waterproof Mascara

L’Oreal Paris

Voluminous Clump-Resistant Waterproof Mascara

This bold mascara makes your lashes look four times fuller. It separates every lash and doesn’t clump. The mascara is waterproof and won’t streak.

Overall Take

Fuller LashesThis mascara offers four times the volume.

 We Also Like

COVERGIRL Lash Blast Clean Vegan Paraben-Free Mascara


Lash Blast Clean Vegan Paraben-Free Mascara

This mascara is vegan and made with argan and marula oils. It is cruelty free and never tested on animals. The mascara provides ten times the volume as compared bare lashes.

Overall Take

Vegan FormulaThis mascara is made with argan and marula oils.

 Strong Contender

Maybelline Lash Sensational 10-Layer Fanning Brush Mascara


Lash Sensational 10-Layer Fanning Brush Mascara

This mascara offers a full effect with the fanning brush. It defines your eyes whether you like a dramatic or natural look. The mascara can be removed with Micellar Water.

Overall Take

Full EffectThis mascara offers a sensational look.

Buying Guide

For most makeup lovers, mascara is an essential item they cannot live without. It not only lifts and darkens our eyelashes, but helps to brighten our eyes and make them stand out. If you’re searching for the perfect mascara but aren’t sure what to consider, then you’re in the right place.

One of the most annoying things about low-quality mascara is that it comes on thick and clumpy. This looks unappealing and can also be difficult to remove. A good mascara should stretch and lengthen the lashes with a high-definition formula. Opt for a mascara that contains emollient moisturizer from olives which helps to reduce clumping while offering a smooth glide.

Go for a mascara that sets and dries quickly. If it takes too long, you will have difficult applying multiple coats and it may get smudged when you blink. Mascara that dries quickly helps you get ready faster – and looks more professional as well. In addition, long lasting products are key. Look for mascara that has high-quality ingredients which don’t damage the lashes – but hold color and length all day long.

An important factor you shouldn’t forget about is the brush. The way the brush is shaped will no doubt affect the way your lashes look, regardless of the mascara formula. For instance, if the brush is big and bushy, so too will your lashes be. If the brush is thin and spiky, you lashes will have a separated look. Consider the type of eyelash look you want and get a brush the matches.

What to Look For

  • Waterproof mascara was all the rage for a time, but there are other options, such as water-resistant mascara. Waterproof mascara can sometimes leave a ring around your eyes – not to mention it is very difficult to fully remove. Water-resistant mascara prevents streaks and running but uses water-soluble ingredients so it’s easier to take off.
  • Did you know there are different types of mascara formulas for different types of looks and lashes? For example, if you want evenly spaced lashes, then you need a light formula. If your lashes are long and straight, you can get a curling mascara which shapes your lashes upward. If you have really short lashes, you can get a lengthening mascara formula. For those who have really sensitive skin and eyes, it’s best to use a wax-based mascara which doesn’t crumble.
  • Is all mascara black? For the most part, the answer is yes. However, if you have light blond hair, you may want to consider a brown-black mascara formula, which will work better with your hair and coloring. Some specialty mascaras are available in colors such as blue, purple and green.
  • When you come home late at night from a long day, you may be tempted to forego removing your makeup before you go to bed. While it may be more convenient, sleeping with mascara (and any other makeup) can be damaging for your skin and eyes on a long-term basis. Always take the extra few minutes to use makeup remover and wash your face and then moisturize your skin before getting into bed.

More to Explore

Some types of mascara can be difficult to remove. Remember to work in the direction your lashes grow with a cotton pad and makeup remover. If you wipe against the direction of the growth, you can damage your lashes or end up pulling them out. Your eyes and eyelashes are delicate, so be gentle when removing the makeup. Don’t rub, pull or scrub. Just gently wipe your lashes with the cotton pad. Make sure your eyes are closed when you’re removing the mascara, so nothing gets into your eyes and harms them.

From our partners