There are a zillion and a half mascaras out there, from inexpensive drugstore tubes to high-end name brands. For this article, we tried the pricey designer mascaras, some newcomers, and a bunch of inexpensive brands. Here’s what we liked.


Maybelline’s BEST Lash Mascara. $7.99.

There’s a reason this pink and green tube is in every makeup artist’s kit. For 50 years, this pink and green tube has always been a best seller. It’s not just the price either; you can get natural-looking lashes with just one swipe. Not smudge-proof, however. Also available in a waterproof version. Available everywhere.


Hi Beautiful YOU!
BE YOU MASCARA | Lash Extension Treatment Mascara. ($28.)
From the guy who brought you the much-loved Per-fekt line comes Hi Beautiful You! with ‘Be You Mascara’ which is completely buildable. The Lash Finder Brush finds lashes you didn’t even know you had. One coat for a day look and ramp up the glam with extra coats for Girl’s Night Out. Our friends thought we had added falsies.



THRIVE Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara gets 5-star reviews, and deservedly so.  With something called ‘Orchid Stem Cell Complex,’ it conditions your lashes while you’re bating them at the cute guy at the bar. No smudging or flaking either because it’s a tubing mascara (each lash is enclosed in a ‘tube’ of its own, which comes off easily at the end of the day.) Pump up the volume by adding more coats.

Clump resistant.


Glossier Lash Slick

Glossier Lash Slick$16

One of our favorites for its ‘I woke up like this’ effect. The bestselling mascara  visibly lengthens and lifts lashes (without smudges or flakes.) The brand says the secret is the tiny fibers that coat each individual lash from root to tip creating maximum definition and length. Perfect for that ‘no makeup ‘look.







Diorshow Pump ‘N’ Volume HD Mascara $29.50

This beauty is the only squeezable mascara (softens the formula) and really brings the drama. For a big night out, this is our go-to. XL length and volume. Va-Va-Voom!



1) DON’T forget to do the TOP of your lashes as well, as if you are ‘sandwiching’ them between coats of mascara.  The easiest way to do this: Look down and apply one to the top, starting from the root and combing through, flicking upward at the ends.
2) DO curl them before applying mascara with an eyelash curler.
3) Don’t PUMP, TWIRL instead. Pumping your mascara wand into the tube seems natural but it forces air into the product, making it much easier for bacteria to spread. Instead, pull the wand upward and gently twirl it to distribute the product evenly.
4) DO wiggle the lashes, starting with your wand close to your lid to create the illusion of eyeliner and make your lashes look even fuller. (But by all means, vamp it up for night and start with a strong black/brown liner.)
5) DO de-clump so you don’t have spider lashes. A clean toothbrush works well or even your finger.

This is never a good look.


6) DO throw out mascara after 3 months. (We write the date we bought it on the tube with a sharpie so we’ll remember though we’ve certainly been guilty about keeping our fave mascara past its sell date.)