If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you already know how much I love mascara! My lashes are nice without it, but mascara provides the added length and definition needed to really make my eyes pop. I've tested so many mascaras, but I always return to a few essentials that I can't seem to do without. Today I want to share the best mascaras (premium and drugstore) that I always keep on hand.
These are mascaras with staying power; the ones that are already cult classics or that are headed for that status. I'm also including samples of each mascara in use so you can see what they look like on my lashes and decide for yourself which one you prefer.
FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means we’ll receive a small referral fee from purchases at no cost to you. You can read our affiliate policy here.
Ready? Let's get to it. These are in no particular order, other than the fact that the premiums are listed first and then the drugstore brands last. You can't go wrong with any of them! (PS: I don't have fake lashes on in any of the sample photos. That's all the work of the mascara! You can see my bare lashes in this post.)
This one is worth every penny I've ever spent on it. I even give it as gifts! One of my close friends had a birthday this month, and she said the only thing she wanted was the same mascara that I use because she thinks my lashes always look amazing. So, that's what she got!
She's not the only one who compliments me when I wear this mascara; I've had strangers ask what brand I use when I have it on, too. It's great for depositing lots of color and adding volume. Best of all, it's vegan-friendly and certified cruelty-free. Buy it here.
Benefit's “They're Real” is my “can't live without it/daytime look” mascara. My lashes look natural, but still very striking when I use Benefit. The wand does a fantastic job of separating lashes so each one stands out, and it also darkens them in a way that looks beautiful but not overwhelming.
The formula contains Vitamin B4 and Serine (an amino acid) to keep lashes moisturized, so I love that this one helps to keep my lashes healthy on a day-to-day basis. It doesn't flake either, which I really appreciate. Benefit is another company that does not test their products on animals. This mascara has won the following awards, so I'm obviously not the only fan:
- #1 best selling Prestige Mascara in the US for 3 years (source: The NPD Group, Inc.)
- Allure Readers' Choice for Best Mascara (department stores, specialty stores), 2014
- Women's Health Beauty Awards, Readers' Choice for Best Mascara, 2014
Buy it here.
BareMinerals “Lash Domination” mascara (see the rest of the photos on this Audrey Hepburn Lookbook post)
This is another 5-star mascara that continually tops my list of favorites. It's a great all-in-one mascara that adds length, volume, and does a good job of separating lashes. My eyelashes reach up to my brows when I wear this mascara and people always think I'm wearing fake lashes when I have it on.
I wear this one when I want more drama or sometimes for an evening look, like in my Messy Fishtail Braid look for nighttime. This is a great one when you want that “wow” factor. BareMinerals does not test on animals or work with companies that do animal testing or use child labor. Buy it here.
NYC Sky Rise Lengthening Mascara
This is my current favorite for my bottom lashes because it has a tiny wand that holds a lot of product. I can deposit a lot of color on my lower lashes without accidentally getting any annoying brush strokes on the skin underneath my eyes.
In a tie for the bottom lashes is NYX “The Skinny Mascara”. It also has a very small wand and is perfect for lower lashes. You really can't go wrong with either one, and they both come with an amazing price tag (well under $10). Buy Sky Rise here and Skinny here.
This is my favorite all-in-one drugstore mascara option. It's my go-to for full, dark lashes because it provides so much volume. Since this one is half the price of the premium brands, I keep this one in my makeup bag at school and will take it if I'm headed to the lake for the day and want to look nice for dinner afterwards, etc. In other words, if there's a chance it may get stolen then this is a good one to have on hand because it works just like the “Better than Sex” mascara but it doesn't cost as much to replace.
This is another one that provides the “wow” factor. I love it so much that I've written a full post about the “Angel” version of this mascara, which you can find here. It's one of my favorite mascaras of all time! Maybelline is owned by L'Oreal and their policy is not to test on animals unless it is required by law for safety or regulatory purposes. Buy it here or here for the Angel version.
I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions about the mascaras I recommend or what might be right for you, just let me know in the comments. If you would like to see more, please follow on Bloglovin’ or sign up for our weekly newsletter! I hope you’re having a great week.