I Quit Getting Lash Extensions After Rediscovering This Drugstore Brand Mascara

It’s a makeup bag must.

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Maybelline Falsies mascara
Photo: Letizia Le Fur/Getty Images

A long time ago, a not-yet-jaded college graduate in New York thought that her editorial intern salary could fund her newfound eyelash extension habit. That intern was me, and I was so wrong. Luckily, I rediscovered a holy grail drugstore-brand mascara that saved my wallet and my eyelashes years of hurt.

Back in junior high and high school, Maybelline's The Falsies mascara was one of the many mascaras in my rotation thanks in large part to its under-$10 price. But because glitter mascara and eyeliner was usually my choice du jour, I never fully had the chance to appreciate the lengthening formula. Now I know better, and I'm not alone: With just over 8,000 five-star ratings, it's clear that Maybelline's Volum' Express The Falsies Washable Mascara isn't just a "me" thing.

Its formula is full of "fibers" that coat your lashes and give you volume that can be mistaken for a fresh set of salon-done false lashes, and its Amazon reviews are full of phrases like "Everyone thinks I've gotten extensions or something." Some reviewers are even coming back to it, like me. "Used this in high school, recently had to remove my eyelash extensions due to the quarantine, and this baby is as good as I remembered," one said.

Maybelline Volum' Express the Falsies Volumizing

Shop now: $8 for two (Originally $14), amazon.com

You can count on quite a few perks if you forgo the appointment and turn to this mascara: You won't be spending a fortune on a professional treatment (and touch-ups), your natural lashes won't bear the burden, and they won't feel as heavy. The mascara manages to strike a fine balance between not feeling caked and not falling off halfway through the day.

I wear contact lenses, by the way, and the number of times I've flailed my arms in a panic because a mascara I decided to try out shed filaments into my eye is too many to count. Maybelline's The Falsies, fortunately, doesn't flake, bleed, or feather. "I never have any issues with it flaking off or getting into my eyes," echoed one reviewer. "It washes off pretty easily for a mascara that stays so well."

Reviewers who use micellar water, coconut oil, and other common makeup removers had no issue getting it to slide off. I myself prefer a melting balm, but regardless, you won't spend a majority of your nightly routine scrubbing it off — or find it on your pillow. If you are in the market for something that holds on a little tighter, there's also a waterproof version, which is pertinent for maintaining the integrity of those fake-fake lashes all summer while swimming and sweating.

As much as you love your lash tech, it doesn't hurt to test the waters with a mascara that rivals an expensive beauty treatment — especially when it's $4 a tube.

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