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Best Mascara To Buy

Mascara is used to define the lashes and make them appear thicker, longer, and more pigmented. It can also help to separate the lashes and condition them if the mascara has nourishing ingredients in the formula.

best mascara to buy


While some of us do dabble with treatments like lash extensions or lash lifts, we all have our tried-and-true tubes of mascaras that we regularly restock. Some of our picks may be curling mascaras for a lifted and fanned-out look, while other Allure editors prefer one of the best waterproof mascaras for a smudge-proof finish. Whichever results you're trying to achieve, chances are we know exactly which mascara you'll need.

With that in mind, we rounded up our editors' absolute favorite mascaras of all time, including a few Best of Beauty winners, with brands ranging from drugstore favorites like Maybelline New York to Sephora darlings like Too Faced and Anastasia Beverly Hills. We've also got the luxury market covered (hi, Dior and YSL Beauty).

Tarte's first-ever tubing mascara is a good one. The Tartelette Mascara is made with conditioning shea butter, moisturizing castor oil, and carnauba wax to lengthen and volumize. With just a few coats of this magic, people will question if you have lash extensions.

The Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara is a two-time Allure Readers' Choice Award winner that treats your lashes to a volumizing, thickening, jet-black formula. This flutter-inducing mascara has a double-sided wand to evenly disperse the product and brush out clumps for perfectly defined lashes.

Though most mascaras don't do the trick for commerce editor Sarah Han, she says this 2021 Best of Beauty Award winner has intensive volumizing and lifting powers to enhance the look of her self-proclaimed "stubby, almost invisible lashes." She also says this jet-black formula is truly clump-free and long-lasting. "I attribute that to the addition of [conditioning ingredients] walnut leaf, argan oil, and pro-vitamin B5, which gives me impossibly soft, flexible lashes," she says.

If there's one brand that truly makes a case for celebrity beauty brands, it's Selena Gomez's line of cosmetics, Rare Beauty. Exhibit A: the Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara, a conditioning, castor oil-infused formula that's so good, it won an Allure Readers' Choice Award in 2022. Commerce editor Sarah Han says it's one of the most flattering mascaras you could find for its mess-free applicator and innovative brush head.

CoverGirl's Lash Blast mascaras are iconic in their own rights. The Volume formula is a three-time Best of Beauty Award winner but now its award-winning family expands with the CoverGirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara, the drugstore brand's first vegan formula. "It's extremely buildable, giving me long, fluttery lashes with zero clumping," says a former Allure staffer. "My eyes are very sensitive, and the sulfate- and paraben-free formula doesn't irritate them at all." It doesn't hurt that the formula also includes argan and marula oils to seriously condition lashes.

The sultry name of this mascara alone is intriguing enough to catch our eyes, but Nars's Climax Mascara is also tempting to swipe on for its buildable, flexible formula. Commerce writer Jennifer Hussein says this is one of her go-to mascaras for enhancing her lashes, which she describes as "thin, wispy, and sparse."

"I've learned to accept that my lashes aren't as thick and bountiful as the rest of my hair, but I still appreciate a slight enhancement," she says. "The thing is that I have very sensitive eyes, so faux lashes are a hard no for me. One of the few mascaras my watery eyes can tolerate is this lightweight formula. One coat is all I need for a natural fanned-out look. For a more dramatic look, two coats get the job done without leaving clumps and chunks between my lashes."

When it comes to luxury and waterproof mascaras, a former Allure editor says little-to-none come close to Dior's Diorshow Waterproof Mascara. "My eyelashes are naturally pretty long, albeit blonde, so I don't really love wearing mascara all the time (mostly because I hate taking it off at the end of the day)," she said. "When I do, however, I go all-out glam with the Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara because it makes my lashes longer, thicker, and just the right amount of obnoxious diva."

Looking for a mascara that gives all the glam? According to senior beauty editor Paige Stables, Wander Beauty's Upgraded Lashes Treatment Mascara understands the assignment without smudging, fading, or clumping off. "Its hourglass brush is covered with comb-like bristles to separate every single lash for maximum definition," says Stables. "What's more, though, is that the jet-black ink is infused with conditioning peptides and nourishing panethenol, so my lashes are conditioned with every swipe."

News editor Nicola Dall'Asen says this 2020 Best of Beauty winner just simply "hits different." Its slightly chunkier formula and curvy, dense brush create a thicker and more voluminous look without clumping. But that doesn't mean you can't wear this mascara on minimal eye makeup days, either, because Dall'Asen swears by this pick for creating lashes that are "thick and voluminous, long and wispy, or anywhere between.""With a couple of swipes, the formula builds itself both upward and outward, so I get big, fanned-out lashes that practically hit the ceiling," she says.

In our most recent test, this tubing mascara climbed to the very top of the pack of all mascaras. According to testers, it was the ultimate winner in curling, resisting clumping, flaking and smudging, best for adding volume and length, and it earned rare perfect scores for going on smoothly and for consumer satisfaction.

If you have short lashes, this lengthening powerhouse is the pick for you. In testing, it got a perfect score for not irritating eyes and was the best at lengthening lashes in our tests. Testers loved the inky, deep pigment of this mascara, saying "this is one of the deepest blacks I have tried."

"It is a nice lengthening and defining mascara for a seriously natural look," said one tester. "It lasted all day on my bottom and top lashes." Testers also praised it for its seamless application on bottom lashes saying, "It defines them so well and the narrow brush makes it easy to reach all the lashes." However, some testers said the product had an off-putting scent and since it takes a while to dry, it's difficult to layer without clumping, so it's not the best pick for volumizing.

Testers deemed it a "new favorite," saying it made "skimpy lashes" look full and "lasted all day without flaking," but warn that it can clump more easily than other products and isn't the best at separating lashes (a common gripe with volumizing formulas). The bristled wand has a slight hourglass shape to grab every lash and coat it in a high-pigment, quick-drying formula that can stand up to watery eyes and "doesn't melt off."

The smudge-free mascara earned top scores with testers, who loved that the smooth formula offered long-lasting volume and "nice separation." The "great everyday mascara" scored highly for resisting smudges and going on smoothly, and 100% of testers agreed it wasn't irritating even on sensitive eyes, though some noted "a few fine flakes in the late afternoon." Still, it's "like a lash lift in a bottle," said one tester. "This one is a keeper."

This no-budge mascara is perfect for weddings, hot summer days and everything in between. The clear winner among all of the waterproof mascaras we tested, consumers said it excelled in volumizing, lengthening and separating while also creating a natural look.

If you want dark, dramatic lashes with the least amount of effort, this is the mascara for you. Testers especially loved the flexible applicator, which features a longer-than-usual wand and 500 rubbery, spiky bristles which comb through lashes to separate and lengthen. Testers said this "made it very easy to apply and ... less likely to clump," and deemed it best at lengthening and volumizing without clumping, although some also rated it difficult to remove at the end of the day.

If you like dark, dramatic, in-your-face lashes, testers say "this mascara makes that easy and fast to achieve" with its rich, true-black formula. Our panel loved that while it resisted flaking exceptionally well, it was easy to remove at the end of the day, but some noted it has a tendency to clump. This mascara was a game changer for me," raved one tester. "I threw out all my other mascaras."

In Lab tests, this mascara scored tops for not irritating eyes and for resisting flakes. Several testers commented that it was comfortable to wear, saying, "I forgot I was even wearing it," and "lashes feel flexible," and "it gives mega length and volume but somehow doesn't feel heavy on the lashes."

When in a time crunch, reaching for the best mascara in your beauty arsenal is often easier and more time efficient than, say, applying a lipstick. Nothing complements a look quite like a fluffy, voluminous lash.

Infused with walnut leaf, argan oil, and vitamin B5, this Yves Saint Laurent mascara is formulated to promote softer, fluffier lashes while thickening, volumizing, and lengthening. Also, its blended fiber brush expertly lifts lashes without clumping.

Having one of the best mascaras in your beauty drawer is a guaranteed way to take your eye makeup to the next level. After all, there is a reason why mascara has been a staple product in almost everyone's beauty routine since the 19th century.

The GLAMOUR beauty team has tried over 300 different mascaras, so rest assured, you'll find our go-tos and favourites at the very top of the list. From old classics (such as Lancome's iconic fluttery Hypnose Mascara) and Too Faced's Better Than Sex Mascara (which by the way, sells every 7.5 seconds), to exciting formulas like the viral Maybelline Sky High Mascara (which has already collected holy grail status and over millions of views on TikTok since it launched earlier last year), we've road-tested the lot. 041b061a72

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