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Mascara: The 13 Best Mascaras on the Market Today

I've researched the best mascaras from cheap to steep


One question I get from women is, "What is the very best (insert beauty product here)?" You want to know if you are standing in a drugstore aisle, what mascara to pick. If you are in a fancy department store and you want the very best mascara that will make your lashes appear long, full and lush while never, ever running onto your face, you want to know what counter to head to. Well, I've got your scoop.

More on eye makeup:

Rimmel Extra Super Lash Mascara, $4-$5


For such an inexpensive mascara, this one packs a mighty punch and gets overwhelmingly positive reviews on the top review sites for going on smoothly (no clumps), looking natural and staying put throughout the day.

It's a simple mascara so don't expect maximum va-va-va-voomness. One reviewer on Makeupalley said teenage girls shouldn't bother with this basic mascara as it would be "boring" but she loves it because it helps perfectly coat her sparse over-40 lashes.

Buy it online.

L'Oreal Voluminous, $7

For a great overall budget mascara, consider L'Oreal Voluminous. InStyle Magazine named L'Oreal Voluminous its Best Beauty Buy mascara. Enhanced with hair conditioners panthenol and cermide-R, this product is a must-have. Makeup artists love it because, like the other best mascaras, it adds volume without clumping.

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CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara, $7.75

When Eva Chen, the beauty director at Teen Vogue told the amazing blog "Into the Gloss" that this CoverGirl mascara is "the best mascara on the market," I immediately put it on this list. Why? Chen is a product junkie, her bathroom is like a mini Sephora, and she's tried every mascara on the market. Why does she love a $10 mascara the most? "If you want clean, defined, super long lashes, it’s great," she says. The reviewers over at Makeupalley agree. This mascara at the time of this writing got more than 4,000 reviews with 65% saying they'd "buy again." (That's pretty good for Makeupalley). 

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Maybelline Full 'N Soft Mascara, $7-$8


Maybelline is beloved for its mascaras and this is their best-reviewed one. (Yes, MUCH better reviewed than Great Lash). It's a good drugstore mascara for daytime use. Don't expect excess volume for going out. For nighttime, consider using this as a base and apply over it a mascara made for volume. Also popular in waterproof form.

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Mary Kay Lash Love, $15

Mary Kay

Creates gorgeous long, evenly separated lashes without the clumps you'll find in other mascaras. Some reviewers even reported they get asked if they are wearing false lashes. And everyone loves the $15 price tag. Only cons I saw were from reviewers who complained it added length, but not volume.

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Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash, $19

Bare Escentuals

For volume lashes, this is a great pick and gets tons of hype on the review sites. It's a cult mascara it's so beloved. Reviewers boast this mascara is buildable without getting clumpy and defines even short, Asian lashes beautifully. The cons I read came from reviewers who were disappointed the mascara didn't live up to its hype, which just goes to show that not all mascaras will work the same for all women. I recommend trying the mini version from Sephora for $13 before you buy if you are concerned you won't love it.

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Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara by Urban Decay, $20

Urban Decay
"Cannonball lasted through a 90-minute hot yoga class at 100 degrees and 60% humidity (and I sweat like a working girl in the Lord's House). It was drippy, sweaty face and towel-wipe proof and after-class shower proof."

 79 percent of Makeupalley reviewers who reviewed this mascara would buy it again.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash, $23

Make Up Forever

This mascara gets high marks for being a "basic, good mascara." Goes on wet, but not too wet (meaning it won't mark up your lids) but some reviewers claim it will take a couple coats to get maximum volume. The real con here is that may reviewers claim the mascara is good, but not much better than drugstore brands, so you can save $15 and buy L'Oreal or Maybelline.

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Bobbi Brown "No Smudge" Mascara, $25

Bobbi Brown

The best thing about this mascara -- aside from the way it lengthens and adds volume without creating "spider lashes" -- is that it really lasts a long, long time. The only downside to great waterproof mascara is that you need a makeup remover to remove it.

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Blinc's "Tube" Mascara, $26

Blinc's tube mascara is the hottest thing to hit the mascara counters since oscillating brushes (a waste of money, IMO). I learned about Blinc from a couple of my friends in Seattle who gushed over it and ever since they mentioned, I've noticed more and more chatter about it on blogs and among beauty aficionados.

Here's why everyone's going ga-ga for it: the mascara creates tiny, water-resistant "tubes" around lashes, which makes them appear thicker and longer than lashes painted by common mascaras. My friends are crazy about Blinc and love that when you remove the makeup with water, the tubes slide right off. Now that fascinates me. I can't wait to try it. When I do, I'll report back here.

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