The BEST Mascara ever *plus* 15 Mascaras Ranked

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!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)!

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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:

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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.

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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.

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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.

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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.

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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. 

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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. 

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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! 

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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. 

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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. 

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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.

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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!

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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.

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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).

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

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!

xoxo
Valery

The best mascara EVER is included in this post (and yep, it’s a drugstore mascara, too!) Click through for the best and worst mascaras, ranked!

22 thoughts on “The BEST Mascara ever *plus* 15 Mascaras Ranked

  1. Love this! My favorite mascara is Lancôme Hypnose but it’s pricey so I’ve been trying to find a cheaper option. I asked one of my make-up artists friend and they told me to buy your #1. Being the skeptic that I am, I didn’t buy it. Smh. I really enjoy It Mascara and I’m actually currently using Better Than Sex. M actually enjoying it so far. It doesn’t flake or smudge which are a big deal for me along with volume and length. When I run out I’m going to give the L’Oréal a try.

    1. YES! I got a sample of the Hypnose once and it was INSANELY INCREDIBLE. It’s super pricey so I haven’t gone back to get a full tube, but I think it’d be worth it.

    2. Okay everyone is telling me about Hypnose – clearly I need to try it! Actually, I got a Lancome mascara for free from Ulta for my birthday but I haven’t tried it yet. Definitely give the L’Oreal one a try! Worst case scenario, you can keep it as your “backup mascara” 🙂

  2. My favorite is #2 and I am so glad it made the list!!!!!! YAY!!! I am definitely going to try the L’Oreal because you swear by it. Quite a few of these I have received and felt the exact same way about, especially the Smashbox Full Exposure. I wanted that one to be great because I really liked the large brush, but it just fell so flat.

    1. Yessssss #2 is a really good one! I’m glad to see we’re on the same page with Full Exposure – my hopes were so high and then they were smashed!!!

  3. As much as I’ve been pretending to look for a new mascara, I have to say that I actually still really love the same one I’ve been using since high school: CoverGirl Lash Blast Volumizing Mascara! It gives me good volume and builds well, which is my favorite part. It doesn’t flake, it helps curl and fan my lashes, and I like the rubber applicator a lot. I will say that I HATE the waterproof version, but I think I just hate waterproof mascara. I’m interested to try your #1 pick (as well as the Stila) to see if I like them as much. I’ve literally used the same mascara for over 10 years now (wowowowowow) so maybe I’m just missing out on something awesome!

    1. There is NOTHING wrong with sticking with one mascara that works for you! It seems like most Maybelline and CG formulas work well, with a few exceptions. I don’t think I’ve tried Lash Blast though, despite seeing a million fake commercials for it on America’s Next Top Model lol.

  4. I’ve been using Better Than Sex exclusively for over a year now. I love that it gives me the length and volume I need but is easy to wash off at night. I’m actually almost out and I might try your #1 pick before restocking on the Better Than Sex. I love finding something that works for me and sticking with it, but I trust your recommendations so much, especially as a fellow fair skinned gsl.

    1. Easy to wash off is KEY! I really love the L’Oreal and I honestly think it builds better than Better Than Sex (and washes off easily!) Worst case scenario, at least you’re only out like $8, right? Let me know what you think!

  5. Have you tried Maybelline The Rocket mascara in the blue and pink tube? I LOVE it! It gives crazy length and volume and thickness. It does flake and smudge when I wear it on my bottom lashes though. I’ve loved and used your top two. Maybe I should go back to those!

    I’ve wanted to try Better Than Sex so bad! Maybe I’ll try to get a sample size of it. It sucks spending that much on a mascara for it to be a dud. #drugstoreforever

    1. Yeah, try a sample size of Better than Sex! I mean I definitely think different lashes react differently to mascaras because some people are obsessed with it! I think I got a sample in an Ipsy bag or something, which is the only reason why I tried it in the first place lol. I think The Rocket is the mascara my trainer uses (random but she told me once lol). I need to try it! Maybelline tends to have awesome mascaras in general!

  6. I’m going to have to try the top two because I don’t think I have before! I recently got the Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara in Black by IT Cosmetics in my ipsy bag and that is my new favorite. It definitely turns up the volume. I have pretty long lashes to begin with, but I was thinking about getting some false eyelashes to make my eyes bigger for my wedding this August, but now I am thinking I’ll just save the IT Cosmetics mascara. Do you have a favorite false eyelash brand?

    -Ashley Marie | The Vintage Urbanite
    thevintageurbanite.com

    1. Hey lady! I would def recommend falsies for your wedding, just because they make your eyes look SO fanned out and you don’t have to worry about a “bad mascara day” (you know what I’m talking about! lol). Usually for falsies I reach for the Allure Demi Wispies. You can find them at Sally Beauty for sure, and I’m betting other places carry them too. I find that they’re a really nice balance of glam and natural. If you want to go one step further with the glam, the wispies are a little longer all the way across.

  7. Ooooh now I’m interested to try your #1! I’ve been using Buxom mascara for a couple of years now and really like that it doesn’t flake off during the day. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s hard to get off even though it’s not waterproof! It’s really expensive so I’d love to find something better (and if it’s cheaper, then that makes it even better!).

    1. I’ve never tried Buxom! I hate it when mascaras are hard to remove, I always feel like I’m pulling my lashes out lol. Definitely let me know if you try the L’Oreal mascara!

  8. Ooh- read every single word of this post.

    SO I really haven’t been loyal to one mascara in the past, but I’m pretty convinced that Benefit They’re Real! Is actually the best mascara out there. Surprised you didn’t review it here! It just actually makes it look like I’m wearing fake lashes when I’m not! Of course, it is pricier, but in my research (watching drugstore beauty dupe videos on YouTube) I learned that Jordana Best Lash mascara is supposed to be pretty close to it. It’s noticeably not as good, but pretty good for a drugstore.

    I got a sample of Better Than Sex and wasn’t super impressed. And YES the X-rated Smashbox is flaky and that brush makes my eyes burn!

    Priya the Blog

    1. Down with Better than Sex lol! I’ve actually never tried Benefit They’re Real – maybe I need to do another post like this with the “most popular” mascaras or something. This was literally just whatever mascaras I happened to have at the moment lol. I definitely need to try that one, especially if it makes you look like you have falsies!!!!

  9. Chanel Le Volume is the absolute best. Very pricey at $32 (i think) but I just don’t get the same results with anything else. I know that you are supposed to replace after 3 months, but a little trick I picked up somewhere is to add eye drops to get a little extra time with your fav tube mascara!

  10. I too have try tons of mascara over the years. I didn’t used to have to wear much until I had eye surgery and the doctor burnt my lashes off with the laser during botch procedure. That’s a whole other story. Since the surgery I have to be very careful what makeup I use around my eyes…. very sensitize and causes blurriness if I get anything in my eyes. So any kind of fiber is out of the question in using with my eyes condition. So I now have had to find a mascara that both builds volume and thickens. I have tried several pricey products that are said to suppose to work. All I found them to do was thicken by mating e my lashes together. So I looked online and found post that said to use the L’Oreal works the best. So I tried it and found great results. Even better is that they have a white mascara that I can use as base to build lashes and them come back with black to bring volume to my lashes. Other than L’Oreal I have found Avon’s “Big & Daring Lashes” or “Big Like Falsies” are both good products. Also, I have found some plastic lash brushes at Ross that help when you don’t like the wand that comes with your mascara. I have even interchanged wands if need be when I like one.

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