The other day I realized I have WAY too many mascaras so instead of just throwing them all out – why not do a review for you guys?! In an ideal world I would have categories and ratings for each thing buuuut that’s not going to happen. Instead, I put all of these on in one afternoon (removing after each application, duh) and wrote down my thoughts. The good news is, I already had notes on most of these mascaras and everything was dead on with what I had written previously so everything here should be accurate! Skip down to number one for my pick for the best mascara I’ve ever used (and yes…it’s drugstore)!
What I look for in a mascara:
- Volume, volume, volume – I’m all about the volume! Thankfully I have a good amount of length with my natural lashes, so even though I like adding some length, volume is more important to me.
- No smudging – I sometimes wear mascara when I work out, so being able to withstand some sweat is so important.
- Non waterproof – I don’t like waterproof mascaras, simply because the removal is too annoying for me.
- Brush type – Some brushes just “hurt” my lashes – I don’t really know how to explain it! Usually I prefer fluffy brushes, it seems like they do a better job of grabbing and coating my lashes.
Alright, let’s do it! Ranking all the mascaras I own, from worst to best:
15 – Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara
Sorry, but this mascara was terrible. I seriously have nothing good to say about it, I couldn’t get ANY product on my lashes. No volume, no length. Nothing. Maybe the bottle I got was old or something but it seriously did not work at all.
14 – NYX Doll Eye Mascara (Volumizing)
The weird thing is, this used to be my favorite mascara! I can’t find any proof of this online (probably because it wasn’t that popular) but I’m 100% convinced it used to not be a fiber mascara. This was actually my fourth tube of this mascara and now I haaaate it. You can get okay volume but I just HATE fibers. Not only are fibers hard to work with, but these flaked all over my face after like an hour! It was terrible.
13 – Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara
This mascara has a huge brush that looks like it would pack on the volume but it barely leaves any product on my lashes. I think the problem is there is too much of a gap between the rows of bristles. If you prefer a really natural looking mascara, this is a great option. Not my cup of tea – I’m all about the drama.
12- Soap and Glory Thick & Fast Mascara
I wanted to love this one (cruelty free and their packaging is so cute!), but I just wasn’t a fan. Brush is HUGE but kind of hard so I found that it was poking me a lot and I ended up with a lot on my face every time I applied. It also has the same issue as Smashbox Full Exposure, too big of a gap between the rows of bristles. It’s hard for me to judge the formula because I couldn’t get enough on my lashes to compare it to the rest. It also made my lashes very “crunchy,” which I don’t like.
11- Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara
I’m not crazy about the rubber brush, although I will say the short rubber bristles grabbed better than some of the other brushes I used. It providees okay volume and length but you can’t really build on it much so what you see is what you get with the first coat or two.
10- Urban Decay Perversion
This one kind of falls in the middle for me, it’s really just okay. That being said, because it’s UD and the price isn’t great I’m knocking it down a few spots.
9- Covergirl The Super Sizer Fibers
I LOVED this mascara the first time or two I used it, now I just think it’s okay. Definitely my fave fiber mascara though! It does a good job lengthening and adding some volume (better than other fibers I’ve tried for suuuuure), but I find that with fibers it’s hard to control and things can start to look crazy and spider-y fast. And once it goes wrong, it’s really hard to correct. The fibers don’t flake like the NYX Doll Eye mascara does, so that’s a perk for sure. If you really need lots of length added, you might want to give this mascara a try!
8- Rimmel London Volume Colourist
One thing that makes this mascara unique is that it tints your lashes, which is really great. You do have to use it every day to get the tinting benefit but I can attest to the fact that it does work! It applies a good amount of product but doesn’t build up as much as I would like.
7- Smashbox X-Rated
This mascara is better at volumizing than the Smashbox Full Exposure, but it definitely didn’t lengthen, it also makes my lashes a little unruly. Like, they get kind of spidery and crazy really fast.
6- The Balm Mad Lash
Overall, great volume and length but it makes my lashes really straight. If you curl your lashes, this one might work well for you but I’m way too lazy for that. The brush is hard, which isn’t my favorite but it’s really large so I find that it can grab the lashes really well. Since it’s curved (unlike the gigantic Soap and Glory brush), it’s a little easier to control than a giant straight brush.
5- Pixi by Petra Lower Lash Mascara
This mascara is really unique (and honestly doesn’t compare to the others because it’s really only for lower lashes) but I wanted to include it anyway. It seems gimmicky but that tiny little brush WORKS. Sometimes I find that regular mascara wands apply too much product in my bottom lashes, but this brush lets you coat every single lash without them getting too goopy. It’s too much work for me to use daily but for special occasions it’s perfect!
4- Rodial Glamolash Mascara
This mascara does a good job putting a lot of product on, but it’s pretty wet (so you better not sneeze right after applying). It lifts the lashes really well and almost fans them out, which I love since I never take the time to curl my lashes. I really like this formula and the brush is definitely one of my favorites. It applies a *lot* of product so be careful with your lower lashes.
3- Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara
Not pictured because I haven’t used it in a while but this is my FAVORITE cruelty free mascara. Unfortunately it’s not drugstore so it’s a little pricey for my taste. It really does everything I want in a mascara and the volume is great. A big fluffy brush, a nice dark formula, length volume…it’s got it all.
2- Maybelline Colossal Volume Express
This one is almost on par with my #1 choice, but not quite there. I love the brush, it stays on really well without smudging and it PACKS on the volume. Colossal is a perfect name for it! The brush is really large so if you have shorter lashes, this probably isn’t the best product for you. I find that it’s a bit difficult to apply to lower lashes for that reason (a big factor in putting it in the #2 spot).
1- L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara
Legit my favorite mascara, y’all. I HATE that it’s not cruelty free but I truly haven’t found a better mascara. The coverage is amazing from the first time you open the bottle, the wand (even though it’s small) is really fluffy and packs on a lot of volume and length in just a few swipes and it’s blacker than black. Seriously, I have nothing bad to say about this mascara (other than the CF part…which is a big deal).
Not included on the list: Better than Sex. I’ve used this mascara but it’s been a while so I couldn’t include it in the ranking because I’m not sure where it would fall, probably be in the 10-12 range. Honestly, I think it’s THE most overrated makeup product out there. Yeah, I said it. I could never get the look I wanted with this mascara and I found that it smudged much easier than a lot of my other favorites. Totally overhyped, in my opinion. But since I couldn’t try it on with the rest of these (and haven’t used it recently), I didn’t want to include it in my ranking….and I definitely wasn’t going to buy it again just for this post.
So there you have it! 15 mascaras ranked from worst to best, including the one that I think is the VERY BEST mascara you can buy – drugstore or otherwise.
- What’s your favorite mascara?
- Do you think Better than Sex is as overrated as I do? Spill!