10 drugstore mascaras that are seriously impressive
And they're all under $25
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / October 08 2019
Ask anyone what makes a good mascara and their answers will probably differ. Some people are all about the curl; others love that fake lash look. But one thing everyone would be happy with is a bargain price tag. Drugstore mascaras are incredibly impressive these days. They may be cheap but their quality formulas rival high-end brands. And there's one for every kind of lash look. We’ve pulled together a list of our favourite budget-friendly mascaras.
#10 / Designer Brands Extend A Lash Mascara
Lengthening lashes is where this mascara really excels - in fact, you can get as much as 8mm of length with this bargain buy. You get two mascara with this set - the Fibre Formula Mascara boosts length while the Tubing Mascara coats lashes in colour and stays put for up to 24 hours.
The review: “The Designer Brands Extend A Lash Mascara takes my dull little lashes and turns them into dazzling lengthy eyelashes. The brush and formula features a design that makes the application quick and smooth from the root of my lashes straight to the ends, adding volume and extending extreme length. It also wears remarkably well without a hint of smudging, and comes off easily with makeup remover or my usual eye cleanser.” Rebecca, SUPERcrew member
#9 / Raww Moringa Lash Impact Mascara
On the hunt for a natural mascara? This one contains 87 per cent natural ingredients, including moringa to stimulate lash growth and chia seed and argan oil to protect and nourish. It’s smudge-free and highly-pigmented, and works a treat to enhance volume and definition.
The review: “I love that this mascara is natural so it won’t irritate eyes. I use black and the pigment is really rich and decadent. The brush is designed for ease of use, it coats lashes well from root to tip with a lush coat that makes my lashes look thicker and longer, more luscious. This formula doesn’t clump or smudge and lasts for ages, until I take it off myself. Morninga oil hydrates lashes and promotes growth, so I love that this mascara is not at all drying.” Debbie, SUPERcrew member
#8 / Rimmel London Extra Super Lash Curved Brush Mascara
A great everyday mascara that boosts the look of your lashes without going into false lash territory, it has a curved brush to coat each lash (lower lashes included) and provide a soft curl at the same time. Think clump-free definition and a buildable formula should you wish to step things up a notch for a nighttime look.
The review: “Hands down my no.1 fave for day-time use. The curved brush is amazing, it gives supreme lift and makes it easy to get that nice upwards fan to my lashes. The formula is truly buildable and is flake and clump free and definitely no panda eyes, it stays put all day long in all conditions. What I love most is that I can achieve defined and lifted lashes without an overly black pigment which is so perfect for day-wear at work. For the price this is such a gem and I have been asked so many times what I am using on my lashes.” Kylie, SUPERcrew member
#7 / NYX Professional Makeup Worth The Hype Mascara
With a tapered brush that works well for short lashes that are hard to reach, this affordable mascara leaves no lash untouched by fullness and length. The colour is highly pigmented, and it comes in Black, Brownish, Blue and Purple.
The review: “I’m someone that wears false lashes on a daily basis, which gives my eye look lots of definition; but on the days or nights that I need some extra drama, I like to layer this mascara over the top of my falsies. The name says it all – it definitely is worth the hype, and the volumising formula plumps up every tiny hair in its passing.” Iantha Yu, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Editor
#6 / Maybelline New York Full 'N Soft Washable Mascara
Great for short lashes who need some TLC, this thickening and nourishing formula contains vitamin E so lashes are healthier and lash loss is minimised. Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and suitable for contact lens wearers, this drugstore mascara has 390 five-star reviews on Chemist Warehouse alone. This mascara also comes in a waterproof formula.
The review: “This is my Holy Grail mascara, I keep coming back to it even after trying more expensive brands. The brush is perfect, great coverage and so easy to layer to build up volume. Long-lasting and natural looking lashes!” Georgia, SUPERcrew member
#5 / COVERGIRL The Super Sizer
This is a good drugstore mascara for anyone seeking volume and length as well as curling benefits for wide-awake eyes. It features a plastic wand with thicker bristles at the top and thinner ones at the base, which helps give lashes a natural-looking definition.
The review: “The best drugstore mascara in my opinion is COVERGIRL The Super Sizer in Very Black. I love it because it gives great volume, length and doesn’t clump. You can layer it for great impact and it doesn’t flake by the end of the day.” Aneta, SUPERcrew member
#4 / Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara
This top drugstore mascara has been around since 1989 and has had a cult following pretty much during all of those 30 years. Even pro makeup artists adore it. It triples volume in lashes, is smudge-proof and suitable for sensitive eyes.
The review: “This mascara doesn’t just have a fun name, it also gives great results. It gives just the right amount of volume and length without verging on looking too overdone. It’s also one of the only mascaras I’ve found that doesn’t end up flaking underneath my eyes by the end of the day.” Isobel Larkin, Beauty Crew’s Junior Beauty Writer
#3 / Flower Beauty Lash Warrior Mascara
How does 150 per cent more volume sound? That’s what you’ll get from this budget mascara, along with extra length and thickness. You can get this formula in a brown mascara and two versions of black - Fierce Black and Fiercest Black.
The review: “I truly didn’t think a mascara that cost $10 could deliver like this one does! The stiff bristles work brilliantly to lift and separate lashes and then the formula coats evenly for amazing volume. It’s also got pretty good staying power and I haven’t had any issues with clumping or flaking.” Carli Alman, Beauty Crew’s Editor
#2 / Maybelline New York Total Temptation Mascara
We’re big fans of pretty much every Maybelline mascara, but this one is a Review Crew® favourite. They awarded it 4.5 stars and raved about its buildable formula - one coat for natural-looking lashes, two or three coats and you’ve got volume-packed dramatic lashes - and its clump-free, flake-free formula. There’s also nourishing coconut extract in the mix to look after the health of your lashes.
The reviews: “Maybelline are my go-to drugstore mascara brand. I’m a fan of every one of their mascaras that I’ve tried. This one really makes your eyes pop by adding separation and length. I have fairly sparse lashes, but you wouldn’t know it when I’m wearing this!” Chelsea Tromans, Beauty Crew’s Contributing Editor
“This is one of the best mascaras I've used in recent years. This great multi-taskng mascara ticks all the boxes for me. The colour is a rich, vibrant shade of black and the formula is buildable, making this both office appropriate and suitable for nighttime glamour lashes. The mascara applies smoothly, minus clumps, smudging or flaking. This outperforms mascaras I've tried that cost twice the price. What a bargain! I'll definitely be buying this repeatedly in the future.” Linda, SUPERcrew member
#1 / L'Oréal Paris Paradise Mascara
A top-rated drugstore mascara on our site, scoring 4.5 stars in our Review Crew® trial, it’s not just our members who love this mascara - it was Priceline’s best-selling drugstore mascara last year. It delivers longer, fuller, more defined and voluminous lashes, and has a flake-free, no-smudge formula that's enriched with castor oil to also care for your lashes.
The reviews: “I like L'Oréal’s Paradise Mascara. It isn't like many other ‘chainstore’ types, as it truly lengthens and thickens lashes, as well as stays put most of the day. It won't clump....and it is a great price.” Jacqui, SUPERcrew member
“As someone who's purchased over ten tubes of the [Too Faced] Better Than Sex mascara, I can definitely say that this is a dupe! The formula is one of the most superior in the drugstore, in terms of length, volume and separation. It makes my lashes look thick, luscious and fanned out.” Christine, SUPERcrew member
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.