The 13 Best Lengthening Mascaras of 2022

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara takes lashes to new heights.

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

The 13 Best Lengthening Mascaras of 2022

Ulta

There’s a reason mascara is often the desert island beauty staple: Just a few swipes can make your eyes pop, opening them up and transforming your entire face. When you really want that wow factor, it's best to opt for a lengthening mascara over a volumizing or curling formula. 

Lengthening mascaras take lashes to new heights, giving you a wide-eyed effect. But with so many lengthening mascaras on the market it can be difficult to figure out which ones will truly give you the effect you desire. That’s why we consulted with a few professional makeup artists and tried out a variety of formulas to find the best of the best. Overall, Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara wowed us with the falsie-like results that last for hours, and the nourishing formula that strengthens lashes from the inside out.

Whether you have short stubby lashes or just want to give your already long lashes a little more oomph, find the 13 best lengthening mascaras of 2022, ahead.

Best Overall: Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara

4.6
Thrive Cosmetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara

Thrive Cosmetics

What We Love: Extremely effective, the formula is essentially lash extensions in a tube.

What We Don’t Love: If you want to apply multiple coats, you’ll need to do so while the mascara is still wet or clumps can appear.

If you want big, bold, long lashes, there’s no better mascara than Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara. There are many reasons why this pick stands out from the rest, but the main reason is how it lengthens. Many formulas use powder pigments to build upon natural lashes, but those are also prone to flaking. The Thrive Causemetics formula, on the other hand, acts like a tubing mascara — coating each lash from root to tip and building upon the hair with flake-free tubing technology. These fibrous tubes also hydrate and condition lashes with the help of shea butter, castor seed oil, and orchid stem cell complex. In other words, the mascara makes lashes prettier (and stronger) from the inside out. You can apply all the coats you want, too, but be sure to do so without letting the formulation dry in order to prevent clumping.

Price at time of publish: $25

Benefits: Conditions, strengthens, lengthens | Shades: Black, brown black, deep blue | Waterproof: No

Best Budget: Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

4.6
Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

What We Love: It delivers loads of length on a budget.

What We Don’t Love: Some users found the flexible brush difficult to use.

We love all of Maybelline’s products, but their mascaras are truly sensational. While the brand has a new product going viral on Tik Tok almost every week, none compare to the buzz the Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara garnered. After it first went viral in 2021, it was sold out everywhere for weeks. Thankfully, it has stayed in stock in recent months, but that doesn’t mean the hype has died down. Like the name suggests, this mascara takes lashes sky high thanks to bamboo extract, extending them to eyebrows without weighing them down. Part of the reason it works so well is the exclusive Flex Tower brush — the flexible design ensures you can adequately coat every lash in the lengthening formula. While we’ve never experienced any issues with the brush, some people say it can be too flimsy, but those reviews seem to be few and far between.

Price at time of publish: $13

Benefits: Lengthens and lifts | Shades: Blackest Black, Cosmic Black, True Brown, Very Black | Waterproof: No

Best Fiber Mascara: MILK MAKEUP KUSH High Volumizing Mascara

4.8
MILK MAKEUP KUSH High Volumizing Mascara

Sephora

What We Love: Its hollow, heart-shaped fibers create the effect of thicker, longer, and fuller lashes. 

What We Don’t Love: Sometimes it can clump.

The reason fiber mascaras are extra effective in lengthening is because they contain tiny fibers — typically silk, nylon or rayon — that cling to lash tips, extending the length and fullness of your flutter. This vegan formula is infused with heart-shaped fibers to build up each individual lash, resulting in an eyelash makeover. The brush also has crisscross bristles to catch every last lash, guaranteeing you won’t miss a spot.

Since the formula is buildable, you can go for as much or little drama as you want. To nourish and soften lashes, it contains hemp-derived cannabis seed oil, too. And to ensure you won’t end up with raccoon eyes, vegan beeswax keeps the fibers on lashes where they belong. Just be sure to allow the mascara to dry between each coat or it tends to get a bit clumpy.

Price at time of publish: $26

Benefits: Volumizes and lengthens | Shades: Black | Waterproof: No

Best Tubing: Caliray Come Hell or High Water Volumizing Tubing Mascara

Caliray Come Hell or High Water Volumizing Tubing Mascara

Sephora

What We Love: The tubing formula means no smudges and easy removal.

What We Don’t Love: It can start to flake after a few hours.

A true triple threat, this tubing mascara delivers it all: Volume, length and curl. Its brush is its secret weapon, with wavy fibers and a defined tip to catch and separate each and every lash. Then there’s the formula itself, which is spiked with two percent argan oil to nourish, along with a triple-wax mix and film-forming agents to lengthen while fighting off smudging and flakes (but be wary that after a few hours it can begin to flake ever so slightly). Tubing technology means the mascara comes right off at the end of the day, but the formula is water-resistant until then. For a feel-good bonus, the clean formula comes in a tube made from 100% recycled ocean plastic.

“Tubing formulas really work wonders when it comes to getting lots of length without messy flaking and smudging,” Bodnar says. “They are incredibly buildable and offer the look of lash extensions with just one coat. And because it can be loosened and removed with just a little warm water, it’s ideal for people whose eyes are easily irritated by makeup removers and harsh cleansers.” 

Price at time of publish: $24

Benefits: Volumizes, curls, lengthens | Shades: Black | Waterproof: No

Best Waterproof: Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara

 Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara

Sephora

What We Love: The luxe formula brings on major drama.

What We Don’t Love: The big, voluminous brush can sometimes smudge, especially if you have hooded eyes.

When you want to wrap your lashes in luxury, this is the mascara for you. A long-standing favorite among professional makeup artists and makeup enthusiasts alike, it delivers on drama — big time. Diorshow curls, lengthens, and thickens like few others, living up to its reputation as a runway staple. And the waterproof version means it’ll stay put even longer. If you have hooded or smaller eyes, the big, voluminous brush may be too big and cause smudges. Other than that, though, the formula is so powerful that you can skip lash primer before applying. Plus, if you really want to make a statement, opt for the bright blue shade.

Price at time of publish: $30

Benefits: Volumizes and lengthens | Shades: Black, Bright Blue, Brown | Waterproof: Yes

Best Volumizing: Lancôme Lash Idôle Lash-Lifting & Volumizing Mascara

Lancôme Lash Idôle Lash-Lifting & Volumizing Mascara

Sephora

What We Love: It delivers mega volume and length.

What We Don’t Love: The formula dries quickly, so work fast if you want to do multiple coats.

Want mega volume but struggle to find a formula that doesn’t weigh lashes down? Lancôme Lash Idôle is the solution. It creates a major fanned-out effect that rivals false lashes yet somehow feels completely weightless. The key is in both the formula and the brush. The former is enriched with white tea extract to nourish fringe, while the brush is completely covered with micro-bristles that latch onto every last hair, ensuring that no hair is left behind. The brush also features a slight curve which pushes lashes up and out, giving them staying power for up to 24 hours. While buildable, you’ll need to apply each coat quickly because if you try to layer once the formula dries it can get clumpy.  

Price at time of publish: $27

Benefits: Volumizes and lengthens | Shades: Black | Waterproof: No

Best Colored: L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara

4.4
loreal paris voluminous original mascara

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Love: With seven shades to choose from, you can find the perfect hue to accentuate your eye color.

What We Don’t Love: The colors aren’t as vibrant as you might expect.

There’s no need to always stick to basic black mascara. “Another favorite lengthening mascara is L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in burgundy,” says Alex Sanchez, National Makeup Artist for Lancôme. “This is a gorgeous pop of color for fall [and winter] that is both striking and subtle at the same time. I also love this shade because it is so inclusive and beautiful on all eye colors and skin tones.” Along with the burgundy hue, the mascara also comes in an assortment of fun colors including cobalt blue, deep violet, and deep green (though keep in mind that they’re somewhat muted). 

The wide color range isn’t the only thing going for this mascara. It also amplifies lashes to five times their natural thickness, building a bit of boldness with every swipe. Clump-free and smudge-resistant, the formula is spiked with panthenol and ceramide-R to nourish and protect lashes, too. 

Price at time of publish: $11

Benefits: Volumizes and lengthens | Shades: Blackest Black, Black, Deep Burgundy, Black/Brown, Cobalt Blue, Deep Violet, Deep Green | Waterproof: No

Best Splurge: Pat McGrath Labs FetishEyes Mascara

4.2
Pat McGrath Labs FetishEyes Lengthening Mascara

Pat McGrath Labs

What We Love: The formula works to strengthen and condition lashes.

What We Don’t Love: The high drama results aren’t for those seeking a natural look.

As one of the most admired makeup artists of all time, Pat McGrath’s creations simply do not disappoint — and this high-stakes mascara is no exception. “Not only does Pat McGrath FetishEyes Mascara have a great name, but it delivers truly long lashes while being super black,” says Jenna Kristina, celebrity makeup artist and Brand Ambassador for Maybelline New York.

Since it’s beautifully buildable, you can customize how you want your lashes to look, using the exclusive staggered brush that works wonders. Though the mascara is buildable, one swipe will still give pretty dramatic results, so if you prefer a more natural looking flutter, you may want to opt for something else. That said, a little bit of drama is never a bad thing, and the long-lasting formula boasts peptides to strengthen lashes, and panthenol to hydrate.

 Price at time of publish: $32

Benefits: Lengthens and defines | Shades: Black | Waterproof: No

Best Clean: ILIA Beauty Limitless Lash Mascara

4.8
ILIA Beauty Limitless Lash Mascara

Dermstore

What We Love: The buildable formula gives lashes a natural-looking boost.

What We Don’t Love: It’s not the best at holding curl.

“I love the dual-sided brush of Ilia Limitless Lash Lengthening Mascara,” says Karissa Bodnar, Founder and CEO of Thrive Causemetics. What does a double-sided wand do, though? Well, it ensures that the product is evenly distributed and helps to brush out clumps, meaning you won’t have to worry about spidery-looking lashes. The buildable formula also works to add length and volume for an effect that’s essentially your lashes but better, but even a single coat will do your lashes good. If you’re looking for major curl, you won’t find it with this (but that’s nothing a good lash curler can’t fix). 

Infused with shea butters and beeswax, it’ll leave lashes looking and feeling healthier. Plus, because it’s impressively lightweight, it’ll stay put all day but wash off effortlessly to save you from scrubbing.

Price at time of publish: $28

Benefits: Volumizes and lengthens | Shades: Black | Waterproof: No

Best Conditioning: Wander Beauty Upgraded Lashes Treatment Mascara

Upgraded Lashes Treatment Mascara

Nordstrom

What We Love: The nourishing formula boosts lash health.

What We Don’t Love: The formula is pretty thick.

Talk about a twofer — Wander Beauty Upgraded Lashes Treatment Mascara is essentially a lash serum and mascara in one, saving you a step. The jet-black formula contains conditioning copper peptides to boost collagen production and extend the growth cycle of hair follicles, while Widelash (the brand’s custom ingredient) aids with thickness and volume. The mascara has been clinically proven to deliver fuller, longer lashes in only two weeks, as well as minimize lash fallout. Then there’s the hourglass-shaped brush that’s coated in comb-like bristles to lift and separate every lash, creating buildable drama that won’t clump, cake or smudge. While it’s expected because of the nourishing capabilities, it’s important to note that the formula is a bit thicker, which some people might not like — this doesn’t effect the overall performance, though.

Price at time of publish: $26

Benefits: Nourishes, volumizes, and lengthens | Shades: Black | Waterproof: No

Best Technology: Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara

Sephora

What We Love: The clever science behind the magnetic formula delivers longer lashes and wear.

What We Don’t Love: The packaging can flake, leaving silver particles all over your vanity.

There is some serious science behind this lash-boosting formula. The name says it all — you might have to do some convincing to prove your eyelashes are real. Wondering what the secret is? The wand and formula are magnetically charged — the wand takes iron oxide pigments from the formula and deposits them on lashes. This helps each lash get an even coat, giving them a fuller appearance and extending the length by as much as 40 percent. That’s not all, thought: The formula has an impressively long wear, lasting for up to 36 hours, and the brush features zig-zag bristles to fan out and define every lash. We don’t have a single strife with the formula itself (and honestly, can’t get over the technology), but the packaging can use some work as silver flecks can flake off. 

Price at time of publish: $27

Benefits: Volumizes and lengthens | Shades: Black | Waterproof: No

Best Curling: NARS Climax Mascara

NARS Climax Mascara

Ulta

What We Love: Bold and beautiful, it curls lashes from root to tip. 

What We Don’t Love: It has a tendency to smudge after longer periods of wear.

Its sexy name matches the gorgeous results — flexible and buildable, this mascara will transform even the most lackluster lashes into a wow-worthy fringe. The lightweight product curls and separates lashes, creating a fanned-out look, sans any clumping or smudging. You can thank its innovative brush for those perks, as its ribbed bristles coat every lash to up the drama, curling them from root to tip along the way. The formula is infused with the brand’s Lash Moisture Complex that makes it feel creamy and whipped to lift and build lashes. We suggest wearing this for shorter periods of time because it starts to smudge when worn for more than eight hours. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Benefits: Volumizes, lengthens and curls | Shades: Black | Waterproof: No

Best with Primer: Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer

4.9
honest 2-in-1

Honest Beauty

What We Love: The dual ended tube has a primer one on end and a mascara on the other.

What We Don’t Love: You have to wait 30 seconds after applying the primer to put on mascara.

If regular mascara isn’t giving you the results you're after, you should try a lash primer. This two-in-one pick from Honest Beauty has a primer and a mascara that work in tandem to take lashes to new lengths. First, brush on the primer to coat lashes with jojoba esters that strengthen and protect them. Wait 30 seconds, then apply a coat or two of the mascara to give lashes length and lift. Beyond how long your lashes look, there’s a lot to love about this product: From the cruelty-free formula to the 100 percent tree-free paper carton made with upcycled sugarcane this pick is doing its part to help the environment.

Price at time of publish: $18

Benefits: Primes and lengthens | Shades: Black | Waterproof: No

What to Keep in Mind

Wand

Mascara wands come in all shapes and sizes, but when it comes to lengthening, the ones that will give you the best results will be thin with lots of rubberized bristles. This design helps you comb the formula through each lash without clumping. The brush on Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara is one of the best for lengthening for this reason. 

If you want other benefits beyond lengthening (like curling or volumizing), you may want to look for a thicker brush. NARS Climax Mascara has a bushier brush that simultaneously curls, volumizes, and lengthens, so it’s like using three mascaras in one.

Ingredients

While the main purpose of every mascara on this list is to lengthen, the ingredients vary vastly. This doesn’t matter too much when it comes to performance, but if you’re looking for a formula that will also strengthen and nourish lashes, you should look for jojoba, shea butter, peptides, and castor seed oil. Wander Beauty Upgraded Lashes Treatment Mascara is specially designed to provide lashes with an extra boost of nourishment, so if they need some extra TLC, this is a great pick.

Your Questions, Answered

How does lengthening mascara work?

Lengthening mascara works in a few ways, but it’s all in the formula. Some use powder pigments to build upon natural lashes. Other formulas, like Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara, utilize tubing fibers that envelope and extend each lash. No matter what type you use, each swipe builds upon your lashes and extends them to new lengths. 

How do you apply lengthening mascara?

"I always apply [lengthening mascara] as close to the base of the lash as possible to ensure you’re coating the full lash,” says Kristina. “Start by applying on the under part of the lash. Let it dry a little, then coat the backside/top part of the lash. That way your lash has a 360 coat of mascara.”

Bodnar tacks onto this, saying “for an especially fanned-out, lifted look, you can apply an extra coat on the outer half of your lashes to create an elongated cat-eye effect.”

Should you apply lengthening or volumizing mascara first?

“If you like to mix and ‘cocktail’ your mascara it's best to start with the thinnest formula first as a base coat,” Sanchez says. “Lengthening formulas tend to be thinner and wetter so they are perfect for building an elongated base on the lash for the volumizing formula to wrap around.” 

Why Shop With Us

Celia Shatzman is a freelance writer for multiple publications including InStyle and Forbes, and has nearly two decades of beauty writing experience She considers mascara and essential staple and has tested dozens of lengthening formula over the years To compile this list she consulted with Alex Sanchez, National Makeup Artist for Lancôme; Jenna Kristina, celebrity makeup artist and Brand Ambassador for Maybelline New York; and Karissa Bodnar, Founder and CEO of Thrive Causemetics. Along with their tips and recommendations, she found the 13 best lengthening mascaras of 2022.

Related Articles