10 Best Lengthening Mascaras That Are (Almost) Better Than Extensions

These are the 10 lengthening mascaras to know about right now, including the L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara.

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Best Lengthening Mascaras
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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."

Our favorite drugstore find, the L'Oréal Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara is formulated to lengthen and condition your lashes without hurting your wallet.

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.

Our Picks

Best Drugstore: L’Oréal Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara

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. The Volume Maximizing Brush works to quickly and evenly build lashes up to five times their natural thickness. With nourishing ingredients like panthenol and ceramide-r, your lashes will receive extra protection and conditioning. 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

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

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 Waterproof: Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara

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

L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara

Shoppers are not shy about their affection for L'Oréal Paris' waterproof mascara. 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.

To buy: $8; amazon.com

Best Fiber: Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara

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

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

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 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

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

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