10 Best Lengthening Mascaras That Are (Almost) Better Than Extensions
The best lengthening mascaras are usually excellent multitaskers, bringing additional benefits like volume, thickness, or the perfect black pigment to your lashes as well as elongating them. If lash length is your number one concern, reading through mascara product descriptions promising so many results can definitely get confusing. Sure, no one has ever complained about getting more for your lengthening mascara buck, but you want to make sure you’re actually getting a mascara that actually serves your main goal: lengthening.
The quest to find the best lengthening mascara can be a tad overwhelming, not just when parsing through purported benefits, but also because you’re faced with an infinite stretch of options, from drugstore classics to high-end favorites. After price point considerations, then you have each mascara’s unique characteristics to think about. There’s the mascara formula itself, but what about the brush size and shape? Do you go with a curved brush to maximize lash lift and create optimal fanning, or do you choose a super skinny wand so you can really get down to the lash roots? Or maybe you’ll benefit from a comb-style brush rather than one with densely packed bristles. Some brushes feature pointed tips, which shouldn’t be overlooked for their ability to target the ends of your lashes with precision unlike chunkier brush shapes.
Some people’s lashes respond best to fiber mascaras, which use small nylon, silk, or rayon fibers that stick to your lashes to create a fuller appearance. Other people, particularly those with oily skin or lids, wear waterproof every day to prevent dreaded raccoon eyes. So now you see what we mean when we say shopping for the best lengthening mascara can be a “tad overwhelming.”
From high-end brands like Marc Jacobs and Dior to drugstore mainstays like L’Oréal, the best lengthening mascaras will be different for everybody depending on natural eyelash texture and shape as well as individual aesthetic preferences. To help you narrow the hunt, we’ve rounded up the 10 best lengthening mascaras depending on a variety of factors, which you can shop on retailers like Amazon, Nordstrom, Sephora, Dermstore, and Walmart.
- Best Drugstore Find: L’Oréal Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara
- Best-Selling on Amazon: Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara
- Best Luxury Pick: Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara
- Best Waterproof: Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara
- Best Drugstore Waterproof: L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara
- Best Fiber: Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara
- Best for Faking False Lashes: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara
- Best With Curved Brush: Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara
- Best Conditioning: Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara
- Best New in 2019: IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara
Best Drugstore Find: L’Oréal Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara
As a Maybelline Great Lash enthusiast, it’s hard for me to concede there may be a better drugstore choice specifically for lengthening lashes, but I will do my reporter’s due diligence and tell you the truth. L’Oréal’s Paris Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara is a favorite of shoppers for the formula’s ability to lengthen lashes while keeping them soft and clump-free. One happy Walmart shopper comments, “I have tried countless mascaras at various price points and always come back to this one for everyday use. Not only is it affordable but I like the way it lengthens and fills my lashes.” For under $7, this drugstore favorite is worth trying out.
To buy: $7; walmart.com
Best-Selling on Amazon: Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara
The best-selling mascara on Amazon has racked up nearly 2,500 perfect reviews. Not only are customers “obsessed” with this “absolute favorite everyday mascara” for the effect the formula has on their lashes, they can’t get over how affordable the top seller is. Essence’s Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara will only set you back $5 and promises to give your lashes intense, dramatic volume and length in one to two coats. The mascara is so beloved that the brand answered consumer demand earlier this year and released a waterproof version, also for just $5. On a personal note, I can attest to the original mascara’s lengthening prowess because the last time I used mine, my boss asked me if I had lash extensions.
To buy: $5; amazon.com
Best Luxury Pick: Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara
Marc Jacob’s beloved mascara — as in, loved by 50,000 Sephora shoppers beloved — promises “epic” lashes. The curvy shape of the brush expands your lash potential by capturing the center line to draw out maximum length at the middle of your eye, helping to give you an overall brighter look. The highly concentrated black pigment further accentuates length by making your lashes really pop. In the ultimate compliment, multiple happy customers even call the Marc Jacobs mascara their “holy grail” in the product’s reviews section.
To buy: $26; sephora.com
Best Waterproof: Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara
This fiber mascara from luxury brand Dior is adored by celebrities and makeup artists — even Meghan Markle has been said to opt for Dior mascara. Happy shoppers credit the mascara with staying put all day sans smudging and boosting their lash length without clumping. The mascara is so durable, in fact, one reviewer remarked how perfectly it stayed on during her son’s wedding. Despite this makeup’s resilience, though, the waterproof mascara is still easier to wash off than many competitors are and gentle enough not to irritate sensitive eyes.
To buy: $30; nordstrom.com
Best Drugstore Waterproof: L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara
Amazon shoppers are not shy about their affection for L’Oréal Paris’ waterproof mascara. With nearly 3,000 positive reviews, this drugstore star has been compared to a luxury mascara three times the price and called the “best mascara ever.” The dense bristles on the applicator brush catch and coat each eyelash to create a whimsical fringe effect, helping you look less drowsy and more doe-eyed. In a particularly touching review, one happy Amazon customer shared, “Losing my lashes 3 yrs ago due to chemo, I never thought I'd be able to bulk up my pathetic lash regrowth … This product is a miracle for me as you can tell in picture!”
To buy: $8; amazon.com
Best Fiber: Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara
If you’re looking specifically for a fiber formula, Sephora best-seller Benefit Cosmetics’ They’re Real! Mascara promises to lengthen the appearance of lashes by way of curling, lifting, volumizing, and separating. The pointed brush also assists with length because, after coating all your lashes with the normal brush bristles, you can use the pointed tip to add extra product on the very ends of your lashes to ensure they’re fully coated for a pronounced look.
To buy: $25; sephora.com
Best for Faking False Lashes: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara
If you’re on the fence about committing to lash extensions or learning how to apply your own falsies every day, opt for a lengthening mascara that gets you the fake eyelash look with way less hassle. L’Oréal Paris’ Butterfly Sculpt Mascara has a unique brush shape that tightlines your lash line, meaning the mascara fills in the space between the roots of lashes, and provides root-to-tip volume. By fanning out the ends of your lashes, this lengthening mascara makes them look even longer with a major fluttering, Disney-princess effect.
To buy: $6; amazon.com
Best With Curved Brush: Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara
Curved brushes are typically ideal for helping give straight lashes more of an upturned arc. Another benefit of curling your lashes with a curved-brush mascara is creating the illusion of length by making your eyelashes fan out more visibly than they do when they stick straight out.
With an international cult following, Kiss Me Heroine’s waterproof mascara has gained a reputation for curling and lengthening even the straightest of lashes. The curved brush features comb-like bristles on one side, which prevent clumps and coat lashes individually to create maximum length.
To buy: $13; amazon.com
Best Conditioning: Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara
Kevyn Aucoin’s The Volume Mascara is a mascara and primer in one, simultaneously conditioning lashes while glamming up your look. The dramatic effect of the product is heightened by the black pigment’s glossy finish, and the formula’s jojoba oil hydrates and nourishes lashes to keep them looking soft and prevent brittleness. If harsh mascaras make your eyelashes fall out, this lengthening mascara is gentle on sensitive eyes and washes off easily so you can avoid excessive eye rubbing.
To buy: $28; dermstore.com
Best New in 2019: IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara
In partnership with the leader of hair styling, Drybar, IT Cosmetics released a mascara earlier this year in the image of the blowdrying salon’s acclaimed barrel brushes. Promising to remain flake-free all day, the mascara is infused with biotin to strengthen your lashes and promote growth in addition to immediately lengthening lashes and giving them blow-out like volume.
To buy: $25; sephora.com