No more guessing—save your time and money. These are the best mascaras if you want volume, length, curl, or color.
Find Your Perfect Mascara
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There are few makeup products quite as essential as the humble mascara. Whether it's a "no-makeup makeup" vibe, or a full-on dramatic nighttime look, you better believe we're not going out without it. The only problem? There are thousands upon thousands of formulas out there, at every different price point, promising everything from fuller to longer to more lifted lashes. (#Firstworldproblems, but still.) So to help you sift through them all, we narrowed it down to nine options in various different categories. Keep reading to meet your perfect mascara match.
Photo: Ralf Hiemisch / Getty Images
Best Overall Mascara: Glossier Lash Slick
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There's good reason why we deemed this worthy of a Shape 2018 Beauty Award. It took the brand 248 formulations to come up with the final winner, an effort well worth it. The end result? A lengthening formula that uses baby fibers to coat lashes from root to tip for extra length and definition. It earns a coveted spot as our go-to, everyday mascara time and time again.
Best Natural Mascara: 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lengthening Mascara
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Clean beauty queens will appreciate the certified organic ingredients in this mascara, all meant to provide a hefty dose of nourishment and conditioning to your delicate lashes (think oat and wheat proteins). A blend of black tea, berries, and cocoa give it its pigment—surprisingly black for a natural formula—and a subtly fruity scent, too.
Photo: 100% Pure
Best Waterproof Mascara: Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara
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Talk about staying power: We've worn this to a morning spin class and left it on for the rest of the day, with nary a smudge or flake in sight come nighttime. Credit a waterproof gel formula that repels water (and sweat, for that matter), yet still comes off easily with eye makeup remover so that it doesn't wreak havoc on your lashes.
Best Volumizing Mascara: Bare Minerals Lashtopia Volumizing Mascara
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There are a whopping 600 bristles on this brush, made to hold more mascara and coat each and every lash. The result? Serious volume (up to 10x more volume, to be exact), not to mention all-day flake-resistant wear. The whipped formula also feels—and looks—lightweight, for an extra fluttery fringe.
Photo: Bare Minerals
(Another) Best Volumizing Mascara: Ardell Mega Volume Never Flat Mascara
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Okay, we're admittedly a little biased—volumizing formulas are our fave. So we have two on this list because we just couldn't pick. Ardell may be known for its amazing falsies, but with this mascara, you don't even need 'em. The thick brush coats every lash, adding both volume and a little bit of curl. We also like how non-smudgy it is.
Best Curling: Seraphine Botanicals Curl Imperial High-Definition Mascara
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Most makeup artists will tell you that you should be using a lash curler pre-mascara. But when time is of the essence, a curling formula is the next best thing. An hourglass-shaped brush helps separate and lift lashes, while unique copolymers seal in both the jet black color and curl. It's also buildable, and it won't clump even if you like to swipe on multiple coats.
(Related: This Is Meghan Markle's Go-To Lash Serum)
Photo: Seraphine Botanicals
Best Colored Mascara: L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara Deep Burgundy
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We get it, colored mascaras can be intimidating. But don't be afraid of them. They're a surprisingly subtle way to enhance your eyes without having to go through all the effort of eyeliner and/or shadow. We especially like this burgundy option. It's the same internationally best-selling thickening formula, but in a rich maroon hue that's especially flattering on light eyes.
Best Dramatic Mascara: Nars Climax Mascara
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When you want lashes that pop with a capital P, reach for this newbie. The multitasking formula does it all, adding noteworthy volume, lift, and curl. Still, a moisture complex in the creamy formula keeps your lashes feeling soft, never stiff or brittle.
Best Drugstore: Maybelline New York Total Temptation Mascara
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Maybelline New York has got the drugstore mascara game down (one tube of the brand's iconic Great Lash is sold every 2.5 seconds in the U.S.). But this latest is giving the O.G. a run for its money. With just one coat, the buildable formula makes even the puniest of lashes look lush and dense. A light coconut scent is just a nice bonus. And at under $10, it doesn't get better than that.