Milk Makeup Kush

Best mascara for short lashes: We’ve tested drugstore and premium mascaras to see which are best for short, straight lashes  

30th June 2024 | Author: Abigail Beall

We’ve tested everything from drugstore to luxury mascaras to reveal which is the best mascara for short lashes for length, volume and curl

Not everyone is blessed with naturally thick, long, or curly eyelashes as seen in adverts or among influencers. In fact, it’s likely there are more of us with short, straight, and stubby lashes than fluttery ones. This makes finding the best mascara for short lashes a tricky business.

Some mascaras promising a ‘natural look’ do nothing at all for us, and it can be even harder to find one that lifts, curls, and provides the volume necessary for a dramatic eye.

Don’t despair! If you’re like us, and you have tiny, short, almost invisible natural lashes, we’ve spent the past couple of months testing out all sorts of different mascaras to see if they really live up to their promises. We also recently wrote a Diablo Lash Lift review, if you’re interested in something more long-term.

As a side note, one thing that we find with having short lashes is that we’re forever getting mascara all over our eyelids. If you have the same issue, we’ve just started using the Tweezerman Lash Guard and Comb. You place it on either your upper or lower lid and it guards your skin against mascara.

This allows you to push mascara right in at the roots and to apply more pressure to the ends, making sure even the finest of hairs are coated. The comb then removes any clumps. This isn’t an advert, we just love it so much! You can get it from Tweezerman for £12.

FURTHER READING: How to apply mascara like a pro | Which type of mascara do you need?

Best mascara for short lashes 

  1. Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara £26
  2. Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express£7.99
  3. MAC Extended Play Gigalash mascara £20
  4. Urban Decay Perversion – £21
  5. IT Cosmetics Superhero£21
  6. Glossier Lash Slick – £14


WANT MORE GROUP TESTS? Best MAC mascaraBest No7 foundation | Best Charlotte Tilbury foundation | Best MAC foundation

Best mascara for short lashes: Before

To prove that we’re not being humble and making out as if our eyelashes are short when they’re actually medium length (which is something we see a lot among influencers, sadly), this is what our eyelashes look like without any mascara on at all.

Abby eye beforeAbigail Beall/mamabella

This is an ongoing test of the best mascara for short lashes and we’ll be updating this page as and when we try different types.

We’ll also be using the results to update our overall best mascara page. And if you have Asian lashes – which are typically straight and your monolid results in mascara rubbing off throughout the day – we also recently wrote the best mascara for Asian lashes guide.

1. Best mascara for short lashes: Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara 

£26 | BUY NOW

mamabella rating: 5/5 

Best mascara for short lashes Milk Kushmamabella | mamabella

This mascara is excellent for providing length and volume to small lashes with no clumping at all.

It comes with a nice big wand with criss-cross bristles, which helps coat the lashes quickly. It doesn’t dry as quickly as other mascaras, which gives you plenty of time to build it up and create a dramatic, almost false eyelash look if that’s what you’re going for.

It contains plant-derived oils, which are intended to condition your lashes as it’s worn, which we love, especially for our short, straight lashes that need all the love they can get.

For anyone unsure about shelling out £22 for the full-size version, Milk Makeup does make this in a smaller size for £13, which is perfect for giving this mascara a go before shelling out for the larger tube.

FURTHER READING: Spotlight on…Milk’s range of high-quality, affordable makeup and skincare 


2. Best cheap mascara for short lashes: Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express 

£7.99 | BUY NOW

mamabella rating: 4/5

Best cheap mascara for short lashesmamabella | mamabella

This is the cheapest of the mascaras we tested on our short lashes, and it did not disappoint. We found it provided great separation and added length to our short lashes.

The short brush meant we felt like we could control it more easily compared to other, bulkier brushes. We also found it could provide amazing colour and length using a few coats, with no clumping at all.

Despite its name being ‘colossal volume’, we felt it didn’t quite provide as much volume as others we’ve tried, but we cannot fault it for the price.

FURTHER READING: Best drugstore mascara UK: Get length and volume on a budget with our list of the best cheap high-street mascara


3. MAC Extended Play Gigalash mascara

£20 | BUY NOW

MAC Extended Play Gigalash mascara before and aftermamabella | mamabella

We recently put the best MAC mascaras to the test and the winner, in terms of length, curl and longevity was the MAC Extended Play Gigalash mascara.

It has a straight, rather than a curved brush and while this doesn’t a huge amount of curvature to the lashes, it does a really great job at lifting lashes to give the appearance of curl. What’s more, it gave our lashes an impressive amount of length.

We reviewed the waterproof version of the Extended Play Gigablack mascara and it didn’t smudge, flake or appear to fade at all.

BUY NOW from Lookfantastic

4. Urban Decay Perversion 

£21 | BUY NOW

mamabella rating: 4/5

Urban Decay Perversion for short lashesmamabella | mamabella

We loved this mascara for its chunky wand and thick consistency, which glides over your lashes to coat them all.

Although it does provide an impressive volume and length, we found the mascara had a tendency to clump lashes together.

Even with multiple coats, though, it never flakes or dries out. It stays quite moist even after a few hours, which is a great thing but it can sometimes cause the mascara to run under the eyes at the slightest bit of rain or perspiration.

Urban Decay does make a waterproof version, so if you’re worried about it running we think that could be a great option. If you don’t like ‘wet’ feeling mascaras, this one won’t be for you.

FURTHER READING: We’ve reviewed and ranked every Benefit mascara to finally reveal which is the best


5. IT Cosmetics Superhero

£21 | BUY NOW

mamabella rating: 4/5

IT Cosmetics mascara for short lashesmamabella | mamabella

We have been really impressed with IT Cosmetics’ Superhero mascara since the first time we tried it. With just one small coat, it dramatically lifts and extends our tiny, invisible lashes into thick, long and voluminous ones.

The main thing to remember about this mascara is a little goes a long way.

We found when we applied too much, it became clumpy, smudged a lot around our eyes, and sometimes began to crumble. The shape of the brush, which is slightly thinner at the end than the base, allows you to coat every part of your lashes.

At £21, it’s a little more pricey than some of our other contenders but we think it’s worth the price tag. After using it for a while, however, the tube does get a build-up of mascara around the lid, so it needs a bit of cleaning.

FURTHER READING: IT Cosmetics launches Your Skin But Better foundation that improves skin in two weeks


6. Glossier Lash Slick

£14 | BUY NOW from Glossier

mamabella rating: 3/5

Glossier Lash Slick for short lashesmamabella | mamabella

Like the majority of Glossier products, the brand’s Lash Slick mascara is decent at creating a natural look. It’s great for using every day because it gives the lashes enough of an extension that they can easily be seen, without creating any mess on the eyelid or under the eye.

This mascara has a thin, firm wand with tiny fibres, designed to coat every lash without clumping, and it achieves that. However, if you’re looking for extreme volume, this isn’t the mascara for you, hence why we’ve marked it down slightly.

Other plus points are that it doesn’t flake, it doesn’t smudge, and it’s designed to withstand rain or tears while also being able to wipe away easily with a gentle cleanser or makeup remover.

FURTHER READING: Glossier UK: The best Glossier products from across its makeup and skincare range


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