From waterproof to lash-lengthening, here’s our guide to the best mascaras

Mascaras are one of the most popular beauty items around. Here. we round up the best mascaras suited to every lash need.

Mascaras are by far one of the most effective tools in your make-up kit: fact.

While highlighters can help to perk up your complexion and lipsticks add a pop of colour to your look, mascaras are one of the most transformative make-up items around. And now, even though we might not be wearing face masks as much, we’re still focusing on our eye make-up way more. 

The high street is packed full of mascara options to suit your every need. From formulas created specifically for sensitive eyes to more traditional desires, like mascaras that deliver super-long, fluttery volume: there’s something for everyone.

When searching for your ideal mascara, there are a few things to consider. Think about the type of finish you want – do you prefer something subtle or a formula that’ll make your lashes a stand-out feature on your face? You should also look at the wand, as these make a huge difference to how a mascara applies to lashes. Consider the colour of the mascara, too. While many of us opt for black, brown formulas are growing increasingly popular for a softer finish. Or, with our faces hidden behind masks, you might like to make a statement with your lashes by using something with a bold colour.

Here, we round up our favourite mascaras of all time.

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Best mascaras suited to every need

  • Best mascara for a false lash effect: Rimmel London Wonder’Extension Mascara

    It’s no secret that Rimmel London do great mascaras and their newest launch doesn’t disappoint. Wonder Extension gives the effect of long, fluffy lashes that extend way beyond the tips of your lashes. A must for anyone wanting a false lash effect. 

    Shop Rimmel London Wonder’Extension Mascara at Boots, £9.99

    buy now

  • Best mascara that’s easy to remove: Victoria Beckham Beauty Future Lash Mascara

    If you love mascara but hate removing it, then this is the formula for you. The clever tubing mascara is removed simply with warm water. There’s no pulling or rubbing involved, simply gently ‘twiddle’ your lashes between your fingertips and watch as the formula melts away. It’s genius.   

    Shop Victoria Beckham Beauty Future Lash Mascara at Cult Beauty, £26

    buy now

  • Best mascara for extreme length: Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

    Best mascaras: Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

    When Maybelline’s Sky High Mascara went viral on TikTok, the brand decided to bring its UK launch forward by three months. The bendy conical wand glides through lashes and extends them with its fibre-infused formula. It’s seriously impressive.

    Shop Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara at Boots, £9.99

    buy now

  • Best mascara for dramatic lashes: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

    Best mascaras: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

    When I asked Stylist’s resident mascara queen Gemma Crisp (also known as Email Content Director) about her favourite mascara, this one came up tops. It’s enriched with polymers and collagen to plump up lashes for a dramatic, fluttery finish.

    Shop Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara at lookfantastic, £22

    buy now

  • Best mascara for a natural finish: Glossier Lash Slick

    Best mascaras: Glossier Lash Slick

    If you’re a fan of no-make-up make-up, this is the mascara for you. The weightless formula has tiny fibers that coat lashes for subtle definition while still looking natural. 

    Shop Glossier Lash Slick at Glossier, £14

    buy now

  • Best waterproof mascara: Milk Makeup Kush Waterproof Mascara

    Best mascaras: Milk Makeup Kush Waterproof Mascara

    When Milk Makeup released its original Kush Mascara, it became an instant hit so it made sense when they launched a waterproof version – and we’re so glad they did. It contains plant-derived oil instead of beeswax (making it 100% vegan) and the cone-shaped wand prevents clumping.

    Shop Milk Makeup Kush Waterproof Mascara at Cult Beauty, £24

    buy now

  • Best tubing mascara: Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara

    Best mascaras: Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara

    Taking off make-up at the end of the day can be incredible satisfying but mascara? Not so much – especially when it requires tugging at the delicate eye area. Which is why tubing mascaras are so great. Hourglass’ Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara gives a false lash-effect finish and comes off easily with warm water.

    Shop Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara at Cult Beauty, £29

    buy now

  • Best mascara for sensitive eyes: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Extension Mascara

    Best mascaras: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Extension Mascara

    If you struggle to find a mascara suited to sensitive eyes or contact lenses, give this one a go. La Roche-Posay, a brand known for it’s gentle skincare products, has create a mascara formulated with polymers that protect lashes against external aggressors.

    Shop La Roche-Posay Toleriane Extension Mascara at lookfantastic, £16.50

    buy now

  • Best mascara for dark eye make-up: Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

    Best mascaras: Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

    Dark eye make-up can look incredible but many mascaras tend to get lost in the eye look. So, Bobbi Brown created a kohl-black formula that stands out, even against the deepest, smokiest eye.

    Shop Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara at lookfantastic, £20.40

    buy now

  • Best mascara for volume: Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara

    Best mascaras: Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara

    Hinted in the name, this Kevyn Aucoin mascara has volumising polymers and ultra-dark pigments to give lashes volume.

    Shop Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara at lookfantastic, £22

    buy now

  • Best mascara for curling lashes: Benefit Roller Lash Curling Mascara

    Best mascaras: Benefit Roller Lash Curling Mascara

    This bestselling mascara and a ‘hook and roll’ wand that was specially created to grab, separate and lift every lash, making it easier to sweep them into the perfect curl.

    Shop Benefit Roller Lash Curling Mascara at lookfantastic, £23.50

    buy now

  • Best coloured mascara: Shiseido ControlledChaos MascaraInk

    Best mascaras: Shiseido ControlledChaos MascaraInk

    Thanks to face masks, more of us are focusing on our eye make-up. If you’re looking to mix it up, why not try a coloured mascara? Shiseido’s ControlledChaos comes in three shades (cobalt blue, emerald green and amethyst purple) that are all incredibly wearable, making it the perfect option to give coloured mascara a whirl.

    Shop Shiseido ControlledChaos MascaraInk at lookfantastic, £25

    buy now

  • Best mascara for defined lashes: Chanel Le Volume Révolution de Chanel Extreme Volume Mascara

    Best mascaras: Chanel Le Volume Revolution de Chanel Extreme Volume Mascara

    When this Chanel mascara launched in 2018, it made waves across the beauty industry due to its revolutionary brush. The wand is 3D-printed to help make sure the bristles pick up the right amount of mascara. Genius.

    Shop Chanel Le Volume Révolution de Chanel Extreme Volume Mascara at Boots, £27

    buy now

  • Best affordable mascara: Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

    Best mascaras: Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

    Essence’s mascaras are proof that you don’t have to spend a lot on products for good quality. This cult mascara has a conic-shaped brush that gives lashes length, volume and serious definition.

    Shop Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara at Feelunique, £3.30

    buy now

  • Best black mascara: Clé de Peau Beauté Perfect Lash Mascara

    Best mascaras: Cle de Peau Beaute Perfect Lash Mascara

    You may have noticed that a lot of mascaras can leave lashes looking a bit grey – but not this one. The deep black formula is seriously pigmented.

    Shop Clé de Peau Beauté Perfect Lash Mascara at Harrods, £44

    buy now

  • Best lash-conditioning mascara: L’Oréal Paris Paradise Castor Oil Enriched Mascara

    Best mascaras: L’Oréal Paris Paradise Castor Oil Enriched Mascara

    If you like wearing mascara but have weak, brittle lashes, look for a formula that contains beneficial ingredients. This L’Oreal Paris formula is developed with castor and rose oil to nourish lashes.

    Shop L’Oréal Paris Paradise Castor Oil Enriched Mascara at lookfantastic, £9.55

    buy now

  • Best mascara for long-lasting hold: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes! Mascara

    Best mascaras: Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes Mascara

    A true eye-opener, this Charlotte Tilbury mascara sweeps your lashes into a dramatic curl and keeps them there all day long. Use the clever paddle-style wand to load the formula onto your lashes. Then, use the bristle-side of the brush to sweep the mascara through from root to tip.

    Shop Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes! Mascara at Cult Beauty, £23

    buy now

  • Best mascara according to the internet: Maybelline Colossal Curl Bounce Mascara

    With over 195 million views on TikTok, this mascara is easily the most viral mascara launch of the year. Why? Because it lengthens, lifts and volumises lashes like a dream. The wand is nice and bendy, meaning it’s easy to wiggle into the root of the lashes and those trickier areas in the corners of your eye. 

    Shop Maybelline Colossal Curl Bounce Mascara at Boots, £10.99

    buy now

  • Best mascara for stackable volume: MACStack Mascara

    MAC has ensured that bolder-than-ever eyelashes are back on the map thanks to its brand new MACStack mascara. The formula is continuously buildable (seriously – you can apply 10+ layers without clumping) and it will stack on infinite layers of volume and length. Available with two different brushes – opt for The Mega Brush if you want instant volume or go for The Micro Brush if your lashes are naturally short and you’re after ultra-precise and controlled application.

    Shop MACStack Mascara at Next, £26

    buy now

  • Best mascara for a professional lash look: Milk Makeup Rise Mascara

    With a blacker-than-black formula, Rise Mascara lifts and defines lashes for gravity-defying blinkers that still look thick and full of flutter. The cleverly curved brush helps to hug every single eyelash, coating every last lash hair, resulting in locked-in, gravity-defying lift and volume.

    Shop Milk Makeup Rise Mascara at Cult Beauty, £24

    buy now

  • Best mascara for dramatic lashes: YSL Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara

    If drama is what you’re after: look no further. YSL has a great track record when it comes to mascara formulas, and thankfully, 2022’s newest launch doesn’t disappoint. Promising a 200% increase in lash volume, this mega-mascara really does deliver. One coat gives lashes that feathery, fluttery look – but layer two or three coats and you’re in for major lift, curl and length.

    Shop YSL Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara at Boots, £29 

    buy now

  • Best vegan mascara formula: Urban Decay Wild Lash Mascara

    Perfect for animal-lovers out there, Urban Decay’s brand new vegan formula mascara is packed with nourishing ingredients like avocado and sunflower oil, to keep your lashes feeling soft, fluffy and full. The unique, leaf-shaped brush is designed to grab, scoop and separate every individual lash from root to tip, providing lasting, buildable volume to your lashes. 

    Shop Urban Decay Wild Lash Mascara at Lookfantastic, £22

    buy now

  • Best mascara for a natural flutter: ICONIC London Enrich and Elevate Mascara

    If you’re someone who’s partial to an eyelash extension – this is the mascara for you. Its formula is enriched with kind-to-lashes ingredients, giving your lashes some much needed Tender Lash Care* (TLC). The fluffy formula enriches lashes with nourishing goodness with every application, ensuring your lashes look fluffy and full while reaping the benefits with every wear. 

    Shop ICONIC London Enrich and Elevate Mascara, £22

    buy now

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