Call it a problem, call it an addiction but mascara is a makeup bag staple you can’t live without. Even if you’re running out the door without a stitch of makeup, a quick swipe of mascara makes all the difference.
Whether you’re looking for the best formula to wear to the office or need some va-va voom for a girls night out, we’ve got you covered with an in-depth look into the best mascaras. That’s right, we’re digging into the nitty, gritty and often times flaky side of some of the most popular mascaras on the market.
The Texas Cheerleader: Benefit BADGal, $19 at benefitcosmetics.com
BADGal pumps up lashes so they’re thick, black and extra noticeable. This is your mascara for a night out on the town. The only downside is BADGal isn’t the best at hiding its age. Once it hits a certain mark in your beauty bag, the clumps begin.
Insider Tip: When BADGal starts to clump on lashes, run the wand under water to get rid of excess mascara. Air dry on an old towel or washcloth and apply as usual once wand is dry.
The Plain Jane: Lancome Definicils, $26 each at lancome.com
Lancome’s Definicils is as classic as it comes. The straight-across brush coats lashes with a shot of color but doesn’t add much length or volume. Definicils, like every other Lancome mascara out there (sorry Hypnose Drama and Doll Lashes), it flakes.
Insider Tip: Use a soft, large powder brush to dust off excess flaking during the day every time you reapply powder. To give Definicils a little bump, try Lancome’s Cils Booster XL, $23. If you let it dry for a few seconds before you apply mascara, it really does volume wonders to both top and bottom lashes.
The People Pleaser: Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara, $16 at clinique.com
Its plastic-bristled brush reminds us a lot of Covergirl’s Lash Blast, but Clinique’s Extreme Volume really delivers the volume. Holds out throughout the day and keeps itself together without flaking or smudging.
Insider Tip: If you’re like us an always looking for a little more, the brush allows you to do what we like to call, the “zig zag”. For a little extra oomph, the start at the base of lashes and move your brush in a “z” formation working to the tips of lashes.
The Stunt Double: Covergirl LashBlast, $7.79 at drugstore.com
Most recent fashion magazines sing LashBlast’s praises. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just not the best mascara I’ve ever used. More like a lash tint than mascara, it doesn’t do much for lashes. They aren’t really much more noticeable than if you didn’t put on mascara. The good side to LashBlast is that it doesn’t clump or flake. If you were stranded on a desert island and had no other option or need a quick, cheap fix, this is it.
Insider tip: Use Lash Blast under your regular mascara as a base. Or if your mascara starts to clump, Lash Blast’s plastic spiky brush separates and defines lashes like a charm.
The MVP: Hourglass Cosmetics Superficial Lash, $26 at hourglasscosmetics.com
We’ve been diggin’ Superficial Lash for years and if you haven’t heard it from us before, we love it. It combs effortlessly through lashes making them darker, lengthened and more defined. The medium-thickness consistency is great for more subtle daytime wear and won’t smudge or flake under eyes. All and all, it’s hard to find fault in this lash gem.
Insider Tip: Because of its tube-like formula that coats lashes, it’s a little tricky to remove. Try an oil-based remover. Remove what you can with a cotton ball or pad then soak a q-tip in the remover or baby oil and run the q-tip above and below the lash line to remove every last bit of black. Not only does this remove any trace of makeup, it moisturizes gently around the commonly dry, delicate eye area.
What are your picks for best mascaras? Let us know by commenting below!
Editor’s Note: We’re thrilled to have Carolyn Anger — one of our first interns ever and now a seasoned beauty blogger — writing for us again! Welcome back Carolyn! You can check out her blog here and read about all of our talented contributors here.