By now, you probably know me as that one editor who never shuts up about mascara. Sure, I could blame it on my career and the fact that it's just in the DNA of my job to write to the point of breathlessness about all of the best beauty products. But in all honesty, mascara, and anything lash related, just has an extra-special place in my heart. A: It's the one makeup product I'd bring with me on a desert island. B: Even though I have naturally long lashes, they're super straight and droopy, so finding a mascara that enhances their length while still excelling in the lift and curl department has become a personal passion project. And C: Mascara was the gateway drug into my love for beauty back in high school, and full disclosure, my favorite wands and go-to lash aesthetic haven't really changed. Oh, and something else that hasn't really changed? Where I shop for all of the best mascaras.
Some of my very best memories growing up involve tagging along with my mom when she would go shopping for makeup, and Ulta, in my mind, was some kind of mystical mecca I never ever wanted to leave. This was back in the day when I had an allowance, so I loved that I could browse and ogle the more expensive products my mom was after while ultimately blowing my personal stash of cash on more affordable drugstore names like Covergirl and L'Oréal. Of course, that flexibility in price point is still one of my favorite things about Ulta, and this fun rundown of the best mascaras currently available at the retailer is the ultimate proof. Keep scrolling! I'm sharing 10 of the best mascaras at Ulta in addition to the helpful lash accessories you can add to enhance your look.
Is there a more iconic mascara than Too Faced's signature baby pink tube? Better Than Sex is one of associate beauty editor Courtney Higgs's all-time favorites, and the fact that it's the number one most-wanted (aka best-selling) mascara at Ulta drives home our point. This is a really solid all-in-one option, but it's especially great for volume and length.
If you're looking for a more affordable option at Ulta but still want the Bambi-like effects of a more expensive, prestige formula, this one from L'Oréal will blow you away. Again, it's one of Courtney's top recommendations, and the super-black pigments enhance its plumping and lengthening perks even further.
Uoma Beauty Drama Bomb Extreme Volume Nourishing Mascara
This mascara from Uoma is one of the newer formulas to hit Ulta shelves, but it's already gaining a fast and furious fan circle. Courtney says it's one of the best she's ever tried. According to the brand, this magical little wand is like a bottled lash lift and extension appointment combined, and the formula is one of the most nourishing we've seen. Healthy fares like avocado, castor, and jojoba oils, vegan waxes from rice, and synthetic beeswax treat your lashes to some much deserved TLC.
Believe it or not, my 73-year-old mom is the person who got me hooked on this consistent best seller from Ulta. (She has amazing lashes, ICYWW!) As the name would suggest, this isn't just your average, straightforward mascara, it's a four-in-one multitasker that effortlessly curls, lengthens, volumizes, and conditions with just one swipe. (That said, it builds and layers beautifully, so we recommend more than just one coat!)
I first heard about this mascara from a fellow beauty aficionado, Kirbie Johnson. Any time I saw her on Instagram or heard her sharing her makeup routine, this cult-loved mascara from MAC was always in the mix. Since I'm obsessed with having the longest lashes as humanly possible sans extensions or falsies and since Kirbie's natural lashes look like extensions, I obviously had to get my hands on the MAC magic. Not surprisingly, it didn't disappoint! Even though it's waterproof and promises a practically impenetrable 16-hour wear, when you do want to start the removal process, it easily slips off your lashes with warm water thanks to its cutting-edge thermal-sensitive technology.
Honestly, I could have included all of the mascaras from Benefit Cosmetics within this roundup. They're all consistent best sellers and garner a ridiculous number of positive ratings, That said, I decide to choose just one, and I had to go with this one. Any mascara that promises falsie-like results is my absolute kryptonite, and this wand is one of the few that actually lives up to its boastful claims. The mascara itself is light and pillowy, which creates the perfect environment for lots of curl and lift, and the strategically designed rubber brush ensures easy separation, length, and definition. It's truly the perfect mascara, and Ulta shoppers seem to agree.
Not only is this mascara from Essence one of the absolute best Ulta has to offer, but it's also one of the cheapest. (So really, you're totally cheating yourself and your bank account if you don't go ahead and order it.) I personally think Essence is the most underrated drugstore brand on the market, and it does mascaras unlike any other line I've met. (There are so, so many options.) However, this is always the first one I recommend because it does everything, and it does everything brilliantly. The secret is all in the brush—the cone-shaped tool is infused with lengthening fibers, so you get the long, thick, and perfectly sculpted flutter of your dreams.
For chic, long, thick, and voluptuously lovely lashes, this holy-grail French wand from Lancôme comes in at the top of the pack. Now, this mascara isn't for the faint of heart, as it does pack a lot of heat in the volume and drama department, but we're obsessed with the statement-making finish and the fact that it won't smudge, clump, or flake.
It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara
If only mascaras could wear capes, right? It Cosmetics makes some of our very favorite products at Ulta (and, honestly, just in general), and this top-rated mascara is always on our most-recommended list. As far as this mascara's superpowers, an elite roster of collagen, proteins, peptides, biotin, lash-lifting polymers, and the brand's signature Elastic Stretch Technology comes together to deliver volume, length, separation, and thickness is one fell swoop.
Honest Beauty 2-in-1 Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer
For those looking for a super-clean mascara, consider yourself peer-pressured to invest in this two-in-one mascara-primer hybrid from Honest Beauty. First, you apply the side with the lash primer to improve how smoothly your mascara will apply and last and then flip to add a coat (or three) of the ultra-black mascara. You'll get mega-watt length, definition, volume, and even some subtle lift and curl.