I’m a Beauty Editor Who’s Rarely Impressed by Mascaras, but This $16 Volumizing Formula Blew Me Away

It makes my lashes look thick and curly.

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Florence by mills Up a Notch Volumizing Mascara

Courtesy Florence by mills

When I scan the spreadsheet I use to track all the beauty products I try, most mascaras get a “meh” rating — but one recently caught me by surprise. I was mindlessly swiping mascara on while getting ready when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought, “Woah, wait. What did I just do?” I picked the tube back up to find Florence by Mills new $16 Up a Notch Mascara in my hands, and I knew I had found my new obsession.

For the uninitiated, Florence by Mills is Millie Bobby Brown’s makeup brand. According to one cosmetic aggregator, Florence by Mills was the most popular beauty brand of 2022. Although I was initially skeptical, I realized how painfully true it is when I tried to nab one of the brand’s forever sold-out lip oils. Still, this is a brand created by a teenager that is meant for teenagers, so I was skeptical that I would ever find one of its products to be truly astounding for a woman nearing 30. Evidently, I was wrong. 



Shop now: $16; florencebymills.com and ulta.com

The clean and vegan mascara’s highlighted benefits, according to the brand’s description, are dramatic length and lots of volume. But that is merely the tip of the iceberg; its most impressive quality is the way it makes my lashes look like they were treated with a heated curler. 

My lashes are sparse and many mascaras, paradoxically, make them look sparser — they’re long but at the expense of their thickness. I ultimately end up with a handful of clumped lashes reminiscent of the Rugrats Cynthia doll. 

Up a Notch does the opposite of that — it makes my lash line look thick and full. The formula grips well, is smooth, and doesn’t clump. It’s also formulated with a good-for-your-hair ingredient, sunflower seed oil. It's rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that combats and prevents the damage free radicals do to strands and follicles. 

Shoppers can’t get enough of this mascara, either. One wrote that the volume of their lashes after using the mascara “is really incredible.” Another added that it “stays on well,” and “doesn't clump or flake.” So take it from me and dozens of shoppers and head to Florence by Mills or Ulta to shop the affordable Up a Notch mascara. 

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