I Tried Over 50 Drugstore Mascaras and These Formulas Are the 7 Best

I Tried Over 50 Drugstore Mascaras and These Formulas Are the 7 BestI Tried Over 50 Drugstore Mascaras and These Formulas Are the 7 Best.

A moment of silence for all the lashes lost during this experiment.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed staring at the never-ending wall of mascaras at the drugstore. 🙋 Yep, I’m right there with you. Especially because it seems like there are hundreds to choose from (and more launching every single month)—plus, they all claim to do something different. So, I tried over 50 to help take away the guess work. Here, in no particular order, are the 7 best IMHO.

1. Covergirl Flourish Mascara by LashBlast, $7.

BEST FOR:

WHY I LOVE IT:

The super thin rubber bristles grabbed each individual hair—even those near-invisible ones at my inner corners—and separated them perfectly. To get that sort of fluttery effect, I usually need to go in with my trusty metal lash comb (side note: those things seem way too sharp to be putting near your eyeballs, amirite?!), which I now don’t have to use anymore thanks to this secret weapon. The lightweight formula doesn’t weight down lashes or make them feel crunchy, plus it’s packed with hydrating papaya, avocado, and coconut oils, so I feel like I’m treating my lashes every time I swipe.

2. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise, $7.

BEST FOR:

WHY I LOVE IT:

If volume is what you’re in need of, this mascara delivers on its claims with just one coat. Here’s how: Not only is the formula a smooth, whipped texture, but the brush is also packed with over 200 bristles (according to the brand, I didn’t count), so when I swiped it on there was immediate (and maximum) lash-to-wand contact. I also loved how the brush’s hourglass shape were able to get to my inner and outer corners without having to do any awkward mascara contortions—you know what I’m talking about. Another bonus: Since this mascara formula is so creamy, I didn’t even need need to put on any eyeliner.

3. Physicians Formula Killer Curves Mascara, $8.

BEST FOR:

Lift without a lash curler.

WHY I LOVE IT:

You’re either all about using a lash curler or you’re not. Me? I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m often too lazy for the extra step, which is exactly how-slash-why this mascara ended up on this list. I was shocked at how lifted my lashes looked after just a few quick swipes. Imagine how curled they’d be if I started with a few squeezes of a Shu Uemura curler? The ingredients behind this lash-lifting magic? Physicians Formula credits the ultra-curled effect to polymers in the formula that constrict as they dry, which pulls your lashes up and holds them in pace. Whatever it is, I’m on board.

4. Maybelline New York Total Temptation Mascara, $7.

BEST FOR:

WHY I LOVE IT:

Not gonna lie, before this experiment, I never realized a black mascara could be so, well, jet black. This was by far the most pigmented drugstore formula of the batch. It instantly turned my light brown lashes an inky shade with a matte finish that was super dramatic. A ton of product also comes out on the wand each time you dip it back in, which I’m here for, so be prepared for a full-on lash.

5. e.l.f. Smudge Proof Mascara, $6.

BEST FOR:

WHY I LOVE IT:

I feel like I’ve tried every mascara application trick in the book—holding the wand vertically, using a baby fan brush to apply it, you name it—but I cannot seem to coat my lower lashes without making a giant mascara mess. That is, until this double-sided miracle came across my desk! The wand for the lower lashes is super thin—think: the width of a toothpick—so I was able to coat those tiny hairs without fear. But the surprising part was how skinny the upper lash wand was and how much it coated and separated those hairs. For example, it let me get right into the root of my lashes without poking my eye.