Choosing the best mascara is one of the hardest choices makeup fans can make – after finding the best foundation, of course.
There are literally dozens of mascara wand shapes, hundreds of formulations and thousands of makes at wildly varying prices designed to lift, elongate and give your eyes a false-lash effect.
READ NEXT: The best cheap makeup brands
Below we’ve created a shortlist of the best mascara on the market from the best Benefit mascara to the top picks from Maybelline and Dior. There’s something to suit every budget but if we’ve missed out your favourites, let us know in the comments and we’ll give it try and give you our verdict.
We’re also in the process of testing the Fenty mascara which is said to be a complete game-changer when it comes to length, volume and lift. We’ll update this list if it lives up to this hype.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? Best concealer | Best makeup brush | Best foundation brush | Best eyeshadow palette | Best foundation | Best foundation for dark skin | Best foundation for oily skin | Best foundation for dry skin | Best contour kit | Best lip gloss | Best lip liner | Best mascara| Best primer | Best highlighter | Best brow pomade | Best blusher | Best setting spray|
£6.99 | Buy now from Feelunique
Why we love it: This Maybelline mascara is a classic. It has long been a popular choice for beginners, due to its accessible price and great formula. For just £6.99, the pigmentation and wand shape means you only need one, maybe two coats, to get fantastic lift and separation. We love this mascara!
£3.30 | Buy now from Wilko
Why we love it: Maybelline’s mascara is more than affordable for most budgets but if you’re looking for something cheaper that delivers a similar look, try Essence’s Princess Lash. For just £3.30 (when bought from Wilko) this fan favourite, which regularly tops Amazon’s most wished for lists, will grace your lashes with length and volume without having to spend a fortune. Its special fibre brush is shaped like a cone, providing you with a false-lash effect that will make you feel like a princess. True to its name.
£28 | Buy now from Feelunique
Why we love it: For our Luxury Buy we struggled to choose between Dior’s Diorshow Pump ‘N’ Volume and Chanel’s Inimitable Mascara. They both come in at £28 and are both cult products from two of the most iconic beauty brands on Earth.
READ NEXT: Best eyeshadow palettes
They both succeed at giving you that perfect curl with each lash separated from its neighbour, leaving you with a clean sophisticated and yet intense look. If we had to pick one, we’d opt for Dior’s version purely because the wand holds slightly more product meaning you need fewer coats.
From £11 | Buy now from Look Fantastic
Why we love it: Benefit mascara consistently delivers and an all-time favourite across the beauty community is Benefit’s They’re Real! It launched back in 2011 and now a bottle of this product is sold every 15 seconds in the UK alone. We had previously included it in this list of the best mascara but wanted to put it to the test with other mascaras in the range to see if it really is the best Benefit mascara on sale.
READ NEXT: Every Benefit mascara ranked
We can now confirm that it is…not. In fact, it came third in our Benefit mascara ranking behind BADgal Bang in second and the fantastic Roller Lash in first place. As our writer explained in her group test, Benefit’s Roller Lash mascara is a new lifelong commitment. “The curling effect combined with the volume and definition it gave just couldn’t be beaten. Not just by any of the other mascaras in this list, but by any mascaras we’ve ever used.”
Why we love it: Too Faced’s Better Than Sex doesn’t really need much of an introduction; the name says it all. This product will give you long length and thick volume, basically everything your lashes desire. We can’t promise you that it’s better than sex (and frankly we hope for your love life that it isn’t) but for £22 you can transform your whole makeup look without needing a lash curler or falsies.
£21 | Buy now from Urban Decay
Why we love it: Sticking with innuendo-laced product names, Urban Decay’s Perversion is another of the best mascaras on the market. For £21, this is the perfect mascara for layering several coats to achieve that full-blown false-lash look. Moreover, the bristles are twisted, so they can reach every single lash for a clean clump-free appearance. Pair it with the Urban Decay Subversion primer for an even bigger eye-opening look.
£22.50 | Buy now from Look Fantastic
Why we love it: Next up is the Lancôme Hypnose Mascara. This product promises, and delivers, buildable volume, meaning you can get a soft day time look with just one swipe or use a heavier hand for a night out, all without clumping! You can get your hands on this all-rounder for £22.50.
£12 | Buy from The Body Shop
Why we love it: Can we just say how fun does this packaging look? It feels like you’re in the tropics. The Body Shop does a great range of cruelty-free makeup and they uses fair trade ingredients in them too. This mascara has 99% ingredients of natural origin, we like the sound of that!
Happy Go Lash Mascara has been crowned the everyday mascara that won’t irritate your eyes. Not only does this define your lashes it doesn’t compromise on thicken your lashes too. It lasts the whole day without flaking or fading and the best thing about this is that it’s easy to remove at the end of the day. £12 for an everyday mascara is a deal to have no panda eyes.
Their main ingredient is enriched with Community Trade beeswax from Cameroon and Community Trade organic virgin coconut oil from Samoa. This helps to protect and enrich your lashes for a fuller-looking flutter.
Reviews have mentioned that it’s a bold black in colour and the wand size is great to coat all lashes – even the short ones. It doesn’t clump your lashes together and is very buildable, leaving your lashes soft and gentle. If you have sensitive eyes this could be your everyday go to and not to mention it’s buildable enough for your evening look.
Raised between Germany and Italy, Nina is currently living in London studying towards a Masters in Human Rights at University College London and working as a freelance writer. She recently graduated from Bournemouth University in Multimedia Journalism where she wrote her dissertation on the representation of female political leaders in the tabloid media. Politics aside, she has a passion for everything fashion and beauty related