16 best mascaras with rave reviews
Your Holy Grail mascara, found
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / September 14 2018
Ask any girl what her desert island essential is and she’ll probably reply ‘mascara’ without hesitation. If you then ask her what’s the one Holy Grail product she’s still trying to find, again, mascara is probably the answer. One tube can do SO many wonderful things for our entire look, and yet hunting down the perfect formula is no easy feat. Perhaps it’s the sheer amount of options that we don’t have the time or money to trial, or the long list of criteria we expect it to deliver – lengthening! Volumising! Curling! Waterproof! Nourishing! It may have a small job to do but it has big shoes to fill.
Luckily, we happen to know of some really great ones. So, if you’re still trying to find the best mascara to replace your current close-enough one, let these best mascara reviews help you on your way to reaching your lash goals.
#16 / Revlon Volume + Length Magnified Mascara
If you love a mascara brush that has real bristles rather than plastic ones, add this Revlon mascara to cart. Its tiered design is ace at defining and separating every last lash. It gives lashes a really neat and tidy finish, with no clumping in sight.
The review: “The one I am wearing a lot at the moment is the Revlon Volume + Length Magnified Mascara. For someone that has short sparse, fine & fair eyelashes, I need volume and length. This mascara is fantastic as it does have tiny fibres that adhere as I apply. My eyes are then truly magnified. It also doesn't smudge either. It is waterproof but comes off easily.” Amanda, SUPERcrew member
#15 / Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara
This Max Factor mascara is a classic for a reason. While new mascaras are busy trying to come up with fancy new ways to up your lash game, this one keeps things simple and fuss-free. Each swipe of its straight brush fattens lashes and turns up the volume. Plain and simple (and yet oh-so-effective).
The review: “I absolutely love Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara. I’ve been using this mascara for years with great results. It’s budget-friendly and delivers long lush lashes with no clumping or smudging. It curls and lengthens lashes for a gorgeous luxe look. For everyday you can’t beat 2000 calorie; simply a great all-round mascara.” Graeme, SUPERcrew member
#14 / MAC Bold & Bad Mascara
Leave no lash behind. This MAC mascara comes with two brushes – a itty bitty one to define your lower lashes without overdoing it, and one that’s designed with volumising in mind for up top. Any controlling types who like to get every lash just right? This mascara is made for you.
The review: “It is the only one I have come across that effortlessly creates fuller, longer lashes that still look quite natural. It even comes with 2 separate wands - a tiny one for lower lashes and a thick, big one for top lashes!” Mandy, SUPERcrew member
#13 / Rimmel London Wonderfully Real Mascara
Mascara can take its toll on lashes, so if yours need some TLC, treat them to this keratin-enriched Rimmel mascara. Great length and big curl are also part of the package deal.
The review: “Rimmel Wonderfully Real Black Mascara With Keratin gives you darker lashes and has minimal smudging! I love that this gives me volume, giving me that doe eyed look!” Leah, SUPERcrew member
#12 / Clinique Lash Power Long-Wearing Mascara
This Clinique mascara can handle anything life has to throw at it – humidity, rain, sweat: it’s one tough formula. It’s also a tubing mascara, which means its formula wraps your lashes in polymers and stays in place (FYI, Zoe Foster Blake swears by tubular mascaras) from morning to night. If flaking is an issue for you, this one’s got your back. It won’t give you much curl or volume, but it will add envious length. And it’s safe for sensitive eyes.
The review: “I hate smudgy mascara and this is a tubular one that comes off with warm water in tubes rather than having to wipe off with eye make-up remover. No clumps, non-irritating and it stays on a long time without panda eyes. It is perfection!” Pru, SUPERcrew member
#11 / Maybelline New York Full 'N Soft Mascara
Sometimes you don’t need lashes that are larger than life. You just want to give them a helping hand. This is that mascara. It enhances your daily look in a subtle, sophisticated way. Its price tag simply sweetens the deal.
The review: “This is my reliable, everyday mascara that never lets me down! It makes lashes thick and voluminous yet I never get that brittle build-up or clumps. It can look quite natural, too!” Georgia, SUPERcrew member
#10 / Benefit They’re Real Mascara
Benefit are known for being the best in brows, but their mascara game is on point, too. This one is a true crowd-pleaser – it fits the bill for just about everyone’s mascara wish list. Its lengthening and volumising formula just adds that something extra to your existing lashes and leaves others second-guessing if they’re false lashes or all you.
The review: “I have quite a few mascaras that I like, however my favourite is definitely the Benefit They’re Real Mascara. I find this one is a great all-in-one mascara that adds volume, fabulous length, pigmented colour and definition! It has a large, unique shaped brush that coats every lash and doesn’t clump. I always get compliments when I’m wearing this and it generally lasts pretty well throughout the day.” Dina, SUPERcrew member
#9 / Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Classic Mascara
For eyes that stand out, without venturing into false lash-lookalike territory, you need this mascara in your life. Celebrity makeup artist Mary Phillips is a huge fan. “Eyes to Kill is beautiful—it’s not too much, it’s just enough,” she shared in an interview with Vogue. “Because sometimes it’s 7:00 a.m. and you aren’t looking for a full-blown lash after your workout, just an effect that’s way better than your own bare lashes.”
The review: “The winner is…….Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Classic Mascara! Its lightweight formula works beautifully for a subtle daytime look or with a few more coats a dramatic, sultry evening finish. Either way it is clump-free and fabulous.” Nicole, SUPERcrew member
#8 / Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara
How does six times more volume sound? Don’t worry, there’s no clumping involved. We also love the mollient waxes in the formula that leave lashes soft (read: no stiff, crunchy curl here). “This is my go-to for an everyday look. It makes lashes appear full and feathery. To apply, hold the wand like a toothbrush and wiggle it from left to right to separate hairs, then sweep the brush outwards,” celebrity makeup artist Sir John (he’s Beyonce’s go-to guy) revealed to Health.com. Our members think it’s pretty amazing, too: This Lancôme mascara has a near-perfect 4.9 star rating on Beauty Crew.
The review: “I absolutely love the Hypnôse Mascara by Lancôme. It is a favourite of mine (and let's face it, many a makeup aficionado) because it does what it promises...gives great volume, curl (no eyelash curler needed) and lengthens lashes to rival the legs of a Victoria's Secret model (well, ALMOST). The formula is a little more ‘fluid’ than some may like (I have seen a few people have issues with that), but that is one of the reasons I love it...it's buildable, you can apply more than one coat to get major drama and colour payoff, and it enables you to achieve the look you want without the ‘gluggy’ look you get from other brands. I also adore the brush....firm bristles that sweep along every lash, and leave even tiny ones coated in colour. Whilst it IS a bit of a splurge item, it is worth it for the sheer beauty of the end result.” Jacqui, SUPERcrew member
#7 / shu uemura Ultimate Natural Mascara Lash
‘No makeup’ makeup fans, this natural-looking mascara is your best friend. Some days (basically every day we’re couped up in the office), you just need to subtly accentuate your eyes. Nothing too glam, just a lil’ something. Think soft curl, clean coverage and sophisticated definition.
The review: “I like my lashes to look like my lashes, only better. That’s exactly what this mascara delivers. Instead of OTT lashes, it simply plumps and lengthens my existing lashes so they’re enhanced but don’t look fake. It never clumps or flakes either, which is where so many mascaras fall short.” Chelsea Tromans, Beauty Crew Contributing Editor
#6 / Benefit Roller Lash Mascara
Yet another Benefit mascara to get it right. With rubber bristles that hook, lift and curl, if giant curled lashes are what you want, that’s what you’ll get from this mascara. We also love the lash-conditioning formula that’s enriched with vitamin B5 and serine.
The review: “Mine would have to be the Benefit Roller Lash, definitely my favourite mascara! It gives me the length and volume I desire for my lashes but it's also fantastic for not only creating a curl but holding a curl throughout the day, too. The curved wand and the design of the bristles means a great shape can be achieved with long and voluminous lashes without the heaviness and clump of some mascaras. Plus, it's so easy to remove as well!” Felicia, SUPERcrew member
#5 / L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Mascara
When we sent this newcomer to our Review Crew® team, they awarded the mascara 4.5 stars. They praised its ability to create long, defined and curled lashes and found it uber long-lasting. Beyonce even wore it to the 2018 Grammy Awards – her makeup artist Sir John said he used the L’Oréal mascara to "create a very feathery lash look”. Sounds like our kind of lashes!
The review: “Perfect product for volume, length and definition with zero clumping or flaking. Takes your lashes to LASHES!!!!” Kylie, SUPERcrew member
#4 / Lancôme Grandiose Waterproof Mascara
At first glance, you may be confused by the wonky wand, but that’s the best part. Its curves are meant to work with your face’s contours for a closer application that gets right into the roots, even in the inner corners of the eyes. The mascara’s colour is ultra black and it leaves lashes beautifully volumised.
The review: “I love how this mascara plumps and defines your lashes to the extreme, and that the brush leaves no little lash untouched. It seriously is worth every dollar.” Iantha Yu, Beauty Crew Beauty Editor
#3 / Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Mascara
Meghan Markle is a fan – need we say more? And apparently, her recommendation was enough to convince her former makeup artist, Lydia Sellers to become hooked on this Maybelline mascara, too. She revealed to Hello Magazine, “Meghan actually introduced me to a drugstore mascara, Maybelline Lash Sensational Luscious Mascara. I keep it stocked in my kit now at all times thanks to her! This mascara really helps to amplify your lashes and polish off the entire look. It's great for full volume and lengthening, the formula is super hydrating. I love how it builds, and that the price point is accessible for all budgets.”
The review: “My all time favourite mascara is Maybelline Lash Sensational (the non-waterproof version). It lasts all day on the lashes and is 100% smudge-proof, but is still easy to remove at the end of the day! It is nice and buildable, one coat creates a fluttery but thick lash look, and two coats amps up the volume and makes them super long without being clumpy. It is also so black and the brush is curved, making it easy to apply and giving a lifted effect to the eyelashes.” Ruby, SUPERcrew member
#2 / Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
Let’s begin with the fact that this mascara has been pinned over 60,000 times on Pinterest. In a single year. And it has topped bestseller lists all over the world for Ulta, Sephora and Mecca. Yep, the world is crazy about it. Why? It’s all about that hourglass figure its brush has. It’s the secret to those voluptuous curves you can expect with every swipe.
The review: “My all-time favourite mascara is Too Faced Better Than Sex. It builds well, has a plush well-designed brush that grabs every lash & wears extremely well throughout the day. Lashes look longer, fuller & more voluminous. It is also easy to remove!” Carmen, SUPERcrew member
#1 / Benefit BADgal BANG! Volumising Mascara
In its short time since its launch, this mascara has already risen to cult status. Why? Because it can dish up major volume, looong lashes and lifted curl, without smudging. And if you like your lashes black – like, blacker than black – consider your prayers answered. Also worth mentioning, InStyle Australia awarded it Best Newcomer in their 2018 InStyle Best Beauty Buy Awards.
The review: “I’m always sceptical about the hype around certain mascaras, but I have to say this Badgal Bang certainly lived up to its reputation. While I did find the formula a little too ‘wet’ at first, after a few uses it settled and worked wonders to curl, lengthen and volumise lashes. There aren’t many occasions I get compliments on my lashes, but I always got them when wearing this one!” Carli Alman, Beauty Crew Editor
Another review: “My natural lashes can be described as mediocre even on a good day, which is why I rely on lengthening and volumising mascaras so heavily. And the new mascara I’ve fallen in love with recently? Benefit’s BAD Gal BANG! Volumising Mascara. The formula lifts and lengthens without causing any clumping and lasts all day without smudging - something my bottom lashes are particularly prone to.” Kate Niven, Beauty Crew Writer
Wanted to try one of the newest mascaras, you know, just to compare? Then add these eight mascaras to cart.
What’s your Holy Grail mascara? Share your top pick with us – because we can never have too many mascaras!
Main image credit: Getty
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.