The best mascara is one that does it all: lengthens, curls, and volumizes your lashes. 

Our best overall high-end mascara is Too Faced Better Than Sex. This best-selling prestige mascara has ultimate curling, volumizing, and conditioning properties to style your lashes to their peak potential.

For our ladies on a budget, our best overall drugstore mascara is the classic L’Oréal Voluminous Original. With its unique ability to condition lashes and build them up to 5 times their natural thickness, this mascara should be a staple in everyone’s makeup bag.

Mascara is an essential tool of makeup application. We all want our girlfriends to die over how falsie-like our real lashes look — without having to get lash extensions.

After going through wands and wands of mascaras and our fair share of trial and error, we’ve selected the best mascara in several categories. We’ve separated our favorite mascaras into 2 main sections: high-end, for those girls that are willing to splurge on this makeup essential, and drugstore, for the gals on a budget.

Keep reading to find the ride-or-die mascaras we are RAVING about!

The products in our best overall category are the mascaras that do it all. These mascaras have curling, volumizing, lengthening, and conditioning properties. Products in this category will not let you lash lovers down!

The best waterproof mascara just won’t budge in water — and it won’t harm natural lashes, either.

The best volumizing mascara is one that will give a natural fullness to your lashes for that doe-eyed effect we all strive for.

The best lengthening mascara will let you flaunt those fluttery lashes to the world. 

Next we have our blackest mascara — so black, dark, and deep you can’t look away.

For the environmentally conscious gals, we have our favorite vegan mascara. This mascara has unbeatable voluminous properties and impeccable application, all while being vegan-friendly and eco-friendly to boot.

Methodology

We all want to know which mascara will make our lashes look like they are ready for take-off.  

To find the best mascaras, we read through heaps of customer reviews to learn what’s been tried, tested, and approved by hundreds of happy customers. Then we did some testing of our own: We carefully examined, applied, and rated a whole range of popular mascaras to determine which mascaras suit the needs of lash lovers everywhere.

 

The following metrics were used:

  • Dramatic length
  • Impressive volume
  • Base-to-tip curl
  • Visible lift
  • Long-wearing results
  • Even application
  • Great brush

Best Overall Mascaras

  1. Best High-End: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

    The Holy Grail of all mascaras. Fulfill all your desires with this mascara that contains a film-forming polymer for all-day wear that will not smudge.

    This mascara maximizes performance with an hourglass-shaped brush that coats each lash from top to bottom and curls each lash to ultimate perfection. Formulated without parabens, this vegan mascara is the number one prestige mascara in the US, according to the NPD Group, Inc.

    Shop Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
  2. Best Drugstore: L'Oréal Voluminous Original

    The OG in the beauty world, L’Oréal Voluminous Original is a cult favorite among mascara lovers around the globe. This mascara provides a full, dramatic, and voluminous look with the blackest black pigment you can imagine.

    The brush this mascara comes with provides ultra-volumizing qualities and coats lashes evenly, smoothly, and softly with no flaking. Suitable for sensitive eyes, this mascara is fragrance-free and clump-resistant.

    Shop L'Oréal Voluminous Original

Best Waterproof Mascaras

  1. Best High-End: Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara

    Perfect for that cat-walk, or should we say lash-walk, this mascara will give you star status. Although a bit pricey, this mascara offers visibly dramatic and thicker lashes.

    Truly the waterproof mascara of all mascaras, Diorshow will lengthen, thicken, and curve your lashes. The thick brush of this mascara enables it to transform your lashes. And, of course, this mascara never budges in water. It’s easily removed with make-up remover and won’t damage your lashes when you do take it off.

    Shop Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara
  2. Best Drugstore: Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof

    This mascara is truly sensational, with a number of unique qualities that many mascaras do not have. You will get a distinctive full fan effect with this mascara. Plus, the fact that it is waterproof means that it’s a perfect choice for everyday wear.

    Features of this mascara include a patented fanning brush with 10 layers of bristles and strong waterproof power.

    Shop Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof

Best Volumizing Mascaras

  1. Best High-End: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume

    “Epic” is the word that comes to mind when discussing this mascara. It provides immediate dimension and volume to lashes. You will get that fake lashes look without the hassle of putting on falsies.

    This mascara comes with a curvy brush that places volume in all the right spots, and the concentrated black pigment really delivers, making your lashes a deep sultry black.

    Shop Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume
  2. Best Drugstore: L'Oréal Voluminous Original

    This multi-tasking mascara is working undercover to do it all. It coats lashes to absolute perfection, while making them longer and fuller without clumping.

    This mascara comes in a variety of fun colors, and it’s uniquely formulated to build lashes up 5 times their potential. And, best of all, it’s under 10 dollars! 

    Shop L'Oréal Voluminous Original

Best Lengthening Mascaras

  1. Best High-End: Lancôme Definicils

    This award-winning mascara will create perfectly defined lashes. Your lashes will stay in place and never flake or clump.

    The bristles on the brush are arranged in a “hedgehog” pattern, creating maximum coverage and even spread of the black formula. Although this mascara may be on the pricey side, it is an investment that is worth it!

    Shop Lancôme Definicils
  2. Best Drugstore: L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise

    The Lash Paradise by L’Oréal is the company’s first mascara created for incredible volume and intense length. This mascara contains around 200+ bristles on its wavy brush to hold maximum formula.

    This mascara provides the dramatic look we crave. The formula contains a lovely, deep black pigment, and we’re impressed with its even application.

    Shop L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise

Most Intense Black Mascara

  1. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

    Get the rich look you’re searching for with this mascara. It’s got an easy glide-on pigment that is ultra-creamy and lengthening.

    The brush is high-tech and provides a clump-free finish. The formula features triple-black pigments with Hairdensyl, which is known to stimulate lash growth, and marine collagen products.

    Shop Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

Longest-Wearing Mascara

  1. BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara

    BADgal mascara is seriously super black! This mascara will not budge for 36 hours and is one of the most truly smudge-proof products we’ve tried.

    It is perfect for long work days, and it’ll stick around for the night out afterward. If you need perfectly voluminous root-to-tip lashes, this is one mascara you won’t want to miss.

    Shop BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara

Best Vegan Mascara

  1. Milk Makeup KUSH High Volume Mascara

    Milk Makeup created this mascara to exhibit the fascinating properties of cannabis oil. This mascara is fully vegan, talc-free, and cruelty-free.

    It comes with a tree-shaped brush that is able to hit every angle of your lashes from root to tip. Thanks to the nourishing cannabis oil in the formula, you will get healthier lashes and major volume in one stroke.

    Shop Milk Makeup KUSH High Volume Mascara

Is mascara bad for your eyelashes?

There are some circumstances where mascara is detrimental to your eyelashes. But the fault is usually with the mascara-wearer more than the mascara itself.

There are a few reasons why mascara may do some damage. Removing mascara improperly, not removing mascara before bed, picking at your lashes, and using mascara that is dried out can all cause harm to your lashes.

As you can tell, these problems are all pretty easily avoided. As long as you make sure you’re using mascara as intended, your lashes should be just fine. 

Is mascara a liquid? Is mascara allowed on airplanes?

Yes, mascara is considered a liquid by the TSA. On flights, you may carry mascara in carry-on bags as long as the mascara is less than 3.4oz/100 ml.

Most mascara tubes are less than 0.35 fl. oz, so you shouldn’t run into any problems.

Does mascara stain clothes?

Because of its dark pigment, mascara can easily stain clothes. But it is usually possible to remove mascara stains — which brings us to our next question…

Does mascara come out of clothes?

The short answer: Maybe.

Mascara may come out of clothes. Here’s how to do it:

1. As soon as you can, blot the stain with a clean paper towel or tissue. This will remove some of the excess mascara that hasn’t set into the fabric yet.
2.  Spritz the mascara stain with cold water. 
3. Apply a small amount of dish soap to the stain. You can also try a different mild soap, like Dove. Just be sure that whatever you use won’t damage your clothes.
4. Rub the soap into the stain. 
5. Leave the soap on the fabric for roughly 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
6. Pat clean with a dry towel or allow the fabric to air-dry.

Does mascara contain bat feces? 

This is (thankfully) false. Mascara does not contain bat feces.

This rumor likely originated out of confusion between the word “guanine,” which is a chemical added to various types of cosmetics, and “guano,” which is bat feces. (If you don’t believe us, you can read more on Snopes.)

RAVE Recommends

Mascara is a girl’s best friend, so choosing the right one is essential to completing your makeup routine. We’ve tracked down a few additional products that can help you up your lash game:

About The Author

Katherine James is a freelance writer with a background in media production. She lives in Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys live music, good books, and green tea smoothies.