Updated Feb 21, 2019

Finding the best mascara is no easy feat; there are hundreds of different options to choose available. You can get formulas for all different types of lashes that promise you an even coating with no lumps that are neither too heavy nor too light. What else does the perfect mascara do? It should lengthen, give you curl, define your lashes and make your eyes look big and beautiful. Does that sound too good to be true? It doesn’t have to be; there are some tried and true classic brands that beauty insiders swear by. These are brands that you can be confident won’t let you down, including all of the bestsellers and those products that show up on everyone’s ‘best of’ lists.

Top Picks

The following are the mascaras that appear on almost all of the ‘best of’ lists, they have incredible user reviews and have reached iconic status, putting them all into the best mascaras EVER category they are:

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Cost: approx. $30


Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara has been one of the hottest formulas going for a little while now, it has a unique hour-glass shape brush that can coat and curl your lashes in a way that other brushes can’t. It is a vegan-friendly and cruelty-free brand. The formula not only makes your lashes look great, but it does double duty by conditioning them with the peptides that it contains.

Available from Ulta.com

They’re Real by Benefit

Cost: approx. $30

They’re Real! has been a bestseller for many years now. It is excellent because it lengthens, gives you a base-to-tip curl, volumizes, lifts and separates even the smallest lashes.  It is has a long-wearing formula that won’t smudge, clump or dry out. The brush has staggered bristles so that it can catch the lash close to the root help pump up the length and the volume. Like the name suggests your lashes will look thick and dramatic, not unlike fake lashes.

Available from Sephora

Diorshow

Cost: approx. $30

Diorshow is a heavily hyped cult classic with makeup artists, that has been improved with a new formula enriched with microfibers that optically give you the look of lash extensions. The tube has something called an AIR-LOCK™ wiper system that prevents the formula from being in contact with the air, keeping it from drying out. The Diorshow XXL brush is one of the best-designed brushes on the market, with a buildable formula that lets you coat your lashes for customized volume and coverage.

Available from Nordstrom.com

Buxom Lash Mascara

Cost: approx. $30

Buxom is another run-away favorite that gives you the luxurious, thick look of bigger fuller lashes, but it is an excellent option for sensitive eyes. There are no dyes or fragrances and it is even vitamin enriched.  The clump-resistant formula deepens, darkens, and thickens while the curvy, hourglass-shaped brush evenly coats lashes from root to tip. This formula lets you use as many coats as you want, and it will not clump or flake. Even if you use a few layers, the lashes won’t feel stiff or brittle. Customers love that it produces enormous lashes that still manage to look natural.

Available from Sephora

LANCÔME Monsieur Big Mascara

Cost: approx. $30

A relatively new entry into the market is the Monsieur Big Mascara from Lancome. It comes with a big brush, and the formula is said to give you up to 12x more volume than you would get with no eye makeup on. It also reportedly can be worn up to 24 hours with minimal flaking or smudging and almost no touch-up required. Monsieur Big is a product that glides on well, is comfortable to wear, and it makes your eyes look bigger and lashes longer.

Available from Ulta.com

Clinique High Impact Mascara

Cost: approx. $20

highimpact

This Ophthalmologist tested mascara will give you all the volumizing and thickening that you need without being overly heavy or too false-eyelash looking. It has been around forever and is still a favorite for many customers who are looking for a light natural looking lash with just enough definition. It is easy to apply, you only need a couple of coats, and it holds a curl nicely. It is also easy to remove.

Available from Sephora

Not everyone wants to spend $30 on mascara, luckily some classic budget products won’t break the bank, but will give you luxurious, beautiful lashes. Here are a few of the drugstore brands that women love:

L’Oreal Voluminous Volume Building Mascara

Cost: Approx. $8

Voluminous

This classic from L’Oreal is probably the best quality and best value for money drugstore option that you are going to find. It has been around for quite a while now and is a lot of women’s go-to option since it works so well and won’t break the bank. Most women find that they avoid clumping and can get pretty good volume with the L’Oreal Voluminous Volume Building Mascara, definitely one of the best drugstore options.

Available from Walgreens.com

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise

Cost: Approx. $10

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise is an update to the classic, inexpensive L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash listed above that everyone loves. It has been developed to give you way more volume and natural thickness, which is the style now with heavy-duty looking lashes. The brush is very plush and works like a dream, leaving the exact right amount of formula without flaking. It is kind of similar to the Too Faced Better Than Sex option listed above but at a much lower price.

Available from Walgreens.com

 Covergirl Lashblast

Cost: approx. $6

lashblast

Covergirl’s Lashblast is another one of the best drugstore options around. It gives you excellent volume and lengthens your lashes with its specially designed brush. It also won’t smudge or clump, and since it is hypoallergenic, it is okay for contact lens wearers to use. Customers love that it is long-lasting and has a buildable formula, so you can make your lashes look thick and bold, and the brush is easy to control.

Available from RiteAid.com

Maybelline Lash Sensational Washable Mascara

Cost: approx. $10

Maybelline Lash Sensational has been one of the breakout stars of the mascara world over the last few years. Not only is it affordable, but it also works amazingly. It does require a little bit of technique to get it to work correctly, but if you follow the directions, you will have amazing looking lashes. It does a great job lengthen your lashes without clumping. The formula is ophthalmologist tested and is suitable for contact lens wearers.

Available from Walgreens.com

Maybelline Great Lash

Cost: approx. $5

greatlash

What can you say about Great Lash? It has consistently been on top lists for years and shows no sign of slowing down. These days you can get a few different variations in the Great Lash line, but you may want to stick with the classic formula. It is, in fact, America’s top-selling mascara, which is not a huge surprise. It goes on smoothly and doesn’t clump or flake. It is also suitable for contact wearers since it is hypoallergenic

Available from Walgreens.com

Shopping for a great waterproof formula is harder than just getting a waterproof version of your favorite regular mascara. Many of the waterproof products don’t deliver on their promise of actually being waterproof, or they do so at the expense of other aspects of what makes a perfect formula (they end up being clumpy or smudge a lot).

If you are looking for a top quality waterproof options these are your best bets:

Lancome Hypnose Waterproof

Cost: approx. $45

hypnose

The Lancome Hypnose Star line of Mascara is very highly regarded by those in the know, and its waterproof version is no exception. Not only do you get great coverage and legendary volume, but it also gives you 16 hours of wear. The patented brush is fantastic and will find even your tiniest lashes. The formula uses enriching vitamin B5, and it won’t irritate sensitive eyes. It is a true buildable formula that won’t clump and will make your lashes look longer and thicker.

Available from Sephora.com

Diorshow Blackout Waterproof

Cost: approx. $30

DIORSHOWwaterproof
The legendary DiorShow line has one of the best waterproof mascaras around. It won’t smudge and is 100% waterproof. Customers love this formula for its lengthening and volumizing properties. It comes with the famous DiorShow XXL brush that everyone loves. This particular formula is very dark with the blackest of black that will make your eyes pop.

Available from Sephora