Ah, mascara. Without a doubt the one item we’d hail as a ‘can’t-live-without’ in a beauty version of Desert Island Discs. There’s just something about giving your lashes a bit of oomph with the best mascara that no other cosmetic can quite match (not even your best liquid eyeliner).
Whether you’ve got stubborn, straight lashes, unbearably short ones, or you just want to add a bit of volume to your eyelashes, we’ve tried and tested a job lot of the best mascara formulas and narrowed it down to a few choice buys every woman should have in her beauty arsenal.
Walk this way for a tour through the best mascaras on the market, old and new, for just about every lash type, and keep your eye out for our Prix Beauty Award winner. We’re sure you’ll leave here with a new beauty best friend…
Best waterproof mascara
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Clinique’s waterproof mascara accompanies many to weddings, funerals and other important occasions during which crying might occur – because it just will not budge until you take to it with a good eye make-up remover. It has staying power we can only liken to that of a determined customer who camps outside department stores ahead of the Boxing Day sales. Adding just the right amount of length and volume, sensitive-eyed girls will also love it for smudge-free days. One of the best waterproof mascaras you’ll ever try.
Best lengthening mascara
Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara
When it comes to the best mascara for a lengthening job, this is a super pigmented game-changer. The thicker brush combs through your lashes to build the length volume of each, unlike a lot of volumising mascaras which clump lashes together for a bolder lash look. The result? Spidery, jet black lashes that are the best finishing touch to any eye make-up look – but especially a smokey eye.
Best volumising mascara
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
A mascara called ‘Better Than Sex’ has got a lot to answer for and, fortunately for Too Faced, this one does. We’re talking standout lashes that are both thick and lengthy. What’s more, the helix-shaped wand is great at reaching into those tiny inner corner lashes and bumping up the outer ones. Great for nights out with your best eyeshadow, but is it really better than sex? We’ll let you decide on that one…
Best mascara for straight lashes
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara
When Benefit announced they were creating a new mascara, nobody believed it was possible for them to top their best seller, They’re Real. But oh, how we ate our words. Benefit created a groundbreaking brush which hooks onto your lashes (don’t panic, it doesn’t hurt) to ensure they meet their maximum curl and length potential. It’ll coax even the stubbornest straight lashes into a lifting curl that makes your eyes pop. Frankly we wouldn’t be without it.
Best mascara for short lashes
Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes
Fed up of using several different mascaras to lengthen, volumise, and darken respectively, Charlotte Tilbury wanted to bring an ‘all in one’ mascara to the masses. And, being Charlotte Tilbury, she did exactly that. The cleverly designed brush catches hold of even the shortest, finest lashes, pushing them up and outwards to enhance your eyes to the max. When it comes to the best mascara for short lashes, always go for Full Fat.
Best mascara for sensitive eyes
No7 Extreme Lash Sensitive Eyes Mascara
It is a truth universally acknowledged that sensitive eyes water and, unfortunately, streaming eyes lead to under-eye smudge for mascara users. Homegrown brand No 7 tends to go in hand with sensitive skin sufferers, and their mascara is the solution to many a weepy-eyed girl’s woes thanks to its uber gentle formula. Plus who doesn’t love a high street price point, really?
Best mascara for length and volume
Dior DiorShow Mascara
Legendary make-up artist Pat McGrath helped create this punch-packing mascara little over ten years ago during fashion week, where she resorted to applying it with a toothbrush on models for proper fluttery lashes. And so it was that DiorShow, the inky-black mascara of dreams, was born. It’s about as close as you’ll get to dramatic lashes without buying a pair of falsies (and a hell of a lot easier to apply, too), so it’s really no wonder that it’s such a crowd-pleaser.
Best smudge-proof mascara
Blinc Tubing Mascara
Not all mascara formulas are created equal. As well as your traditional, run-of-the-mill fibre mascara there are also tubing formulas, which are a whole different ball game. The slogan says it all: ‘Stop painting your lashes… Tube them.’
Check out a few more of our fave lash-enhancers, from budget to bank-breaking (but worth it), below.
Your eyes will never have looked better.