The 22 Best Mascaras ELLE Editors Will Never Stop Buying


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Along with perfumes, foundations, and favorite methods of hair removal, once you find the thing that works for you, odds are you’ll become loyal and preachy about it. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve hounded my friends to buy my favorite lengthening formula–when I love a beauty product that much, I either gatekeep it or gush so hard I’m in fear of somehow landing on the board of the company. Even if my friend has the exact opposite lash goals that I do, I won’t stop until they acquiesce to my choices. After all, it takes years of testing out formulas to find the right mascara to lengthen, add volume, not smudge, and all those other minute details we focus on. My personal preference is a product that separates my lashes, will last all day, and come off easily with a cleansing balm. When I found that, I wasn’t letting it go.

But editors know that not all mascaras are created equally; some of us are on the hunt for lengthening formulas that rebuild damaged lashes from botched extensions, and some of us just want to give our little hairs the thiccc life they deserve. So in an effort to get more followers to our specific must-haves, we’ve banded together to try to win over some converts. Ahead, we share our 17 all-time favorite mascaras, from drugstore finds, Amazon bestsellers, vegan formulas, chicly packaged investments, and all-time cult favorites. If your lashes are in desperate need of some T.L.C., maybe you’ll find your new best friend on this list.

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For Dramatic Lashes

Magnificent Mascara in 01 Nero

“The first time I wore this mascara, friends of mine starting asking me what was on my lashes. My beauty-averse boyfriend asked, dismayed, if I was wearing falsies. Anything that generates that much attention is a win in my book.” — Tatjana Freund, Beauty Commerce Writer

2 Spectator Sport Mascara

“I’m always on the hunt for a mascara that adds volume and length without excessive clumping. The Spectator Sport Mascara from Gen See does exactly that even after several layers, while also being water resistant…and trust me, it actually is.” — Emily Burns, Assistant Beauty Editor


For A Drugstore Staple

Voluminous Original Mascara

L’Oreal Paris

“I’m not above drugstore beauty products at all. Case in point is L’Oreal’s Voluminous Original Mascara, aka the only mascara I’ll ever need. It lengthens, separates, and adds volume sans clumping or irritation and it costs under 10 bucks. What more could you want?” — Claire Stern, Digital Deputy Editor


For the Lazy Beauty

Lipocils Mascara

“I’m very specific about mascaras, and this is the only one in recent years that I’ve actually run out of. It has a curved wand that makes separates my lashes, lengthens them till they touch my brows, all without looking clumpy. For me, the best part is that it’s super easy to take off at the end of the day, but still doesn’t smudge under my eyes.” — Tatjana Freund, Beauty Commerce Writer


For Zero Clump

Stratosphere Volumizing Mascara


“I was ready to look like a raccoon for the rest of my makeup-wearing life until I met this lengthening mascara from Lune + Aster. It doesn’t clump after applying multiple coats, makes my lashes look falsies-level long, and most importantly, doesn’t end up all over my face by the end of the night.” — Ariana Yaptangco Social Media & Beauty Editor


For the Minimalist

Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez

“Lately, I’ve been obsessed with all things Rare Beauty. As someone with big brown eyes, my go-to everyday look is minimal makeup and tons of mascara. Luckily this one builds quite nicely and stays on all day. After two coats I’m good to go!” — Leah Romero, Digital Designer

7 Strength & Length Serum Infused Mascara

“I love a makeup product that multitasks, like this mascara that is infused with a red clover peptide serum to promote stronger and longer lashes. While the serum is doing its work, the mascara adds volume and length that lasts all day.” — Emily Burns, Assistant Beauty Editor

8 Perversion Mascara
Urban Decay

“This is a long time favorite! The creamy formula is ultra black and brings the DRAMA to my lashes. Whenever I wear it, people ask me where I got my lash extensions done…’nuff said, it’s a winner!” . — Danielle James, Interim Beauty Director


For Length

Telescopic Mascara

L’Oreal Paris

Now 11% off

“A makeup artist friend recommended this lengthening mascara to me few years ago, and I’ve been using it ever since! I like having long dramatic lashes and this delivers. It stays on at the gym, but washes off easily at home, which is definitely a plus.” — Rose Minutaglio, Staff Writer


For Volume

Kush High Volume Mascara

Milk Makeup

“I really didn’t care for any of the cannabis-infused beauty products being released at lightspeed but Milk Makeup’s Kush Mascara is THE TRUTH. One swipe of this gave my little eyelash hairs more volume than I could ever imagine. Plus, I can layer without clumping or smudging.” — Nerisha Penrose, Associate Editor

11 Secret of Pharaoh Xtension Fiber Mascara

“If you are on a budget but don’t want to lack quality, then this is the mascara for you. Inspired by Cleopatra, I love the vivid black formula. It doesn’t smudge after a long day and the applicator works well with my curly lashes. Not bad for a product that’s under $5.00!” — Danielle James, Interim Beauty Direcor


For A Smudge-Free Day

Iconic Lash Mascara


“Mascara is an everyday must, but I need a formula that’s going to last all day, smudge-free. This mascara is polymer based, so the formula creates a tube-like encasement around each lash. My fav part is the removal: it literally slides right off.” Angel Lenise, Lead Video Producer


For Easy Removal

Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara™

Thrive Cosmetics

“This Thrive mascara makes my eyelashes so long that they’re at risk of constantly touching my eyelid. It also comes off easily with water at the end of the day so I’m not standing there rubbing my eyes.” Madison Feller, Staff Writer


For The Perfect Balance

LashCraft Big Volume Mascara


“When you want your eyelashes to tickle your eyebrows, Sephora Lashcraft is the one mascara that you grab from your make-up bag. The bristles on this brush are spaced out and tease each strand outward and upward. The mascara itself is thick enough to add volume but light enough that your eyelashes aren’t clumpy and weighed down.” Yousra Attia, Photo Editor

15 Cils Booster XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Primer

“Okay, okay, okay, I know this technically isn’t a mascara, but the minute I pull it out of my makeup bag, I instantly hear Upgrade You by Beyoncé. No matter the mascara formula you use, this primer makes it look ten times better. It doubles as a lash conditioner too and promises thicker lashes over time.” — Danielle James, Interim Beauty Director


For Strong Lashes

They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara

Benefit Cosmetics

“My eyelashes are thin and lighter than my actual hair. Without a good black mascara they’re basically invisible. Benefit’s They’re Real! black formula glides on smooth without any clumps and makes my little weaklings look thick and, well, yeah, real.” Katie Connor, Digital Director

17 Limitless Lash Lengthening Mascara

“I have long, curly lashes, but always struggle to ensure mascara doesn’t clump them together. The two-sided applicator is the star of this product. One side has thin enough bristles to coat each lash. When I’m done applying, I comb through my lashes with the other side to create a flawless look.” Danielle James, Interim Beauty Director


For A Buildable Formula

Diorshow Pump ‘N’ Volume HD Mascara

“I can’t live without lashes and this mascara has a buildable formula that goes from bambi to bombshell fast. It also manages to coat my lashes without getting everywhere and doesn’t leave any black residue by end of day.” — Ariana Yaptangco, Social Media Editor


For A Game-Changer

Better Than Sex Mascara

“I’ve tried many mascaras, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been this blown away by the way one transforms my lashes. It really adds so much volume and fullness to my natural lashes I don’t even need to curl them to get compliments. This really is a game-changer.” — Alyssa Bailey, News Editor

20 FetishEyes Mascara
Pat McGrath Labs

“In the words of Pat McGrath, ‘This mascara is divine, darling.’ I’ve never met a mascara that can do it all: lift, add volume, curl, and lengthen. I use this mascara when I want my lashes to be the star of the show.” — Chloe Hall, Beauty Director


For Drama

Drama Bomb Extreme Volume Nourishing Mascara


“It’s embarrassing how tiny (read: microscopic) my lashes are and I’m not quite yet the lash extension connoisseur I strive to be. But the Uoma Beauty Drama Bomb mascara is literally “fake it ’til you make it” in a bottle. A few coats of this mascara makes it look like I have way more lashes than I actually do. Plus, it doesn’t clump together and it’s not runny, so no Lauren Conrad mascara tear ’round here!” — Nerisha Penrose, Beauty Commerce Editor

22 Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara
Benefit Cosmetics

“Benefit Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara does exactly what it advertises—lifts my curly lashes while ensuring each lash is covered in product. It’s great as an everyday mascara but also buildable if you want a more dramatic look.” — Danielle James, Interim Beauty Director

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