When it comes to mascara, I tend to find one that I like and use it for a very long time. I used the same Maybelline mascara for probably 10 years before venturing out to something else. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, I do think it’s helpful to try new products out to see if maybe there’s something better out there!
I’ve always had naturally long, decently full eyelashes. I’ve never done a thing to them – I don’t even use an eyelash curler. Even with a good starting base, the mascara you use can make a big difference! From the applicator wand, to the formula, to how it wears throughout the day, there’s something out there for everybody. I chose five of the most popular and highly-rated drugstore mascaras and tested each one. It doesn’t convey quite as well in just a single photo, but I was surprised by how different each one was.
With each of the five mascaras, I started with this mascara primer. If you take away nothing else from this, please consider using a mascara primer! I didn’t start using one regularly until a year or two ago and it makes a big difference. From prepping your lashes to allowing you to use less product, primer is a key step. I’ve been using this one! So, I did one coat of primer and then two coats of mascara. I applied primer, would let it dry a little until tacky, about 30 seconds, and then apply the first coat of mascara. A “coat” isn’t just one swipe of product on my lashes – it’s many! I start at the base, wiggle the wand to the tip, blink, and make sure that I evenly distribute product on every lash. I allow that to dry for a minute or two and then go in to do it a second time. I should also note that I’m not wearing any other eye makeup in these photos – I wanted the focus to be just on my lashes. No shadow, eyeliner, or anything else. Quick note: all photos are completely unedited.
This was the first one that I tried. The brush on the wand is very big, which meant that I got a lot of product on my eyelid. It definitely adds volume, since you get so much product on the wand, but I found it to be overall clumpy and bulky looking. By the end of the day, I did notice that there was some transfer below my eyebrows. On the positive side, there was no flaking with this one! If I touched my lashes, product would crumble off pretty easily, but it wouldn’t just flake off with wear. I also didn’t like that my lashes felt crunchy, instead of soft.
Overall, I personally didn’t like this one. If you’re looking for volume and impact, this may be one to consider!
You’ll notice that this is the same brand in the primer that I use! I actually used this mascara for a long time, up until I found a different one I liked last spring. Overall, I do really like this one. It adds plenty of volume, doesn’t transfer or flake. It doesn’t add quite as much length as some of the others that I tried. The formula is on the dry side. It does stay soft to the touch, which is what I like my mascara to feel like!
I really like this one for length! The applicator is teeny tiny, so the payoff with product is less than some of the others here. With just the two coats, it didn’t create as much of a bold impact as some of the others, but the lengthening is there. It feels light on my lashes, too. The formula is pretty wet, so I did have to clean a decent amount off of my lid after application, but it was easy to take off.
Admittedly, I didn’t realize that I had ordered the waterproof version until after I used it. It’s possible that the formula of it impacted my impression, so the non-waterproof may be different. However, this was definitely my least favorite of the bunch! Even with two coats, I felt like I had nothing on my eyelashes. There was very little impact with this one, even at the base of my lashes. It was lightweight and comfortable to wear, since it was thin. There was no flaking or transfer with this one.
If you prefer a very natural look, this would be a good one to try!
I knew I had to include this one, since it’s gone viral recently! The name is definitely accurate – I felt like this added a lot of length, especially with the first coat. The applicator was thin and quite flexible, which made it a little difficult to apply cleanly. It was also a very wet formula, as compared to some of the others. If you’re looking for length, try this one!
After trying all five, my pick would be Lash Paradise, which makes sense because I wore it for a long time! I will definitely use the Telescopic and Sky High again, but probably just for light makeup days. I like the lengthening aspect and that they don’t add a ton of volume. When I’m doing a full face of makeup, though, I want volume in my mascara for a bolder finish. My least favorite was Lash Lift, followed very closely by Air Volume. They just didn’t work well for me!