I Tested 5 Mascaras and the Best One Wasn’t the Most Expensive

Did you know that you are supposed to either finish or throw our your mascara every 6 weeks? Say what? I am certainly guilty of having a few mascaras that are even (dare I say it) years old… until now. No, I’m not throwing them out – I’m finishing them! The first step is to only open one mascara at a time, of course, which is why this post took forever to write. I’ve been sampling the best mascaras for months and finally have the all-star list and the best part is that most of them are drugstore brands and under $10!

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1. L’Oreal Paris Makeup Voluminous White Primer

Before you launch into any of these mascara, I will go to my grave swearing by a primer. I use primer on my eyes and on my face so why not on my lashes? White primer adds length and dramatically changes the way your dark mascara looks.

Shop: $5.19 L’Oreal White Primer on Amazon


2. Urban Decay Big Fatty 

If you are going to invest in a non-drugstore option, I think this should be the one. The large roller lets you coat your lashes in just a few swoops and doesn’t smudge. If you are a fan of a big wand, you need this mascara.

Shop: $20.97 Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara on Amazon


3. Essence I Love Extreme 

This was the first mascara that I ever actually finished. 

Shop: $4.99 Essence I Love Extreme Mascara on Amazon


4. L’Oreal Paris Lash Paradise 

I spent the greater part of my entire adolescence trolling the aisles of CVS for the best drugstore products. I knew so many people that swore by L’Oreal, but I never found the right one – till now. The Lash Paradise mascara is groundbreaking and is even waterproof. Best part? It doesn’t flake and lasts all day!

Shop: $7.49 L’Oreal Lash Paradise on Amazon


5. Essence Lash Princess 

You can’t be disappointed when you’ve only spent $5 on a mascara, but what’s the point if it does nothing for you? I had no regrets when I tried out this mascara and was pleasantly surprised at the results. When paired with my white lash primer, my lashes were longer and more voluminous with no smudging or fallout. What more can you want?

Shop: $4.99 Essence Lash Princess on Amazon


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It is hard to make recommendations for mascara because people have such varying issues. Some have long lashes that are thin, some have short lashes and need length, and some who are *super* lucky like me, have short lashes with no volume. These are mascaras that work for me and sometimes you just need to try a few to know what formulas are out there. I realize that’s hard to do when mascara costs a fortune, but hopefully, some of these affordable options will work for you.

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