2022 Has *Already* Been the Best Year for New Mascaras—These Pics Prove It

The newest beauty trends and formulas are so wearable—and I’m living, breathing proof. Welcome to Case in Point, a new beauty series where I try out the latest in all things beauty so you can see how it looks on a real person. I’ll test the current buzzy formulas, the trending looks, and the daring styles you didn’t know could be so versatile. It’s no secret that the best way to know if something’s worth trying is to have an industry expert test it themselves and give you honest commentary, and that’s the whole point of this series.

Up first, I’m testing 2022’s mascara launches. This year’s mascara formulas are entirely built on innovation. Think tubing formulas, miles of length, and blown-out volume. Check out how all of these formulas look on my lashes, plus my honest reviews of how they wore throughout the day. I left one eye bare for comparison’s sake.

Let's make sure we're on the same page in terms of formula. In my eyes, the perfect mascara adds tons of length without looking spidery, pumps up the volume so I get a fanned-out effect without clumping lashes together, and holds a curl all day. Even if a formula does all those things, it absolutely cannot smear under my eyes as the day wears on—I, above all, hate smeared raccoon eyes. I'm willing to work to take a near-perfect formula off at the end of the night, but an easily washable mascara is a pro. I always use a lash curler—here's my favorite one before we get started.

Maybelline Volum' Express Colossal Curl Bounce Mascara


The claim: curling, volumizing

My take: I think this made my lashes look great. It definitely gives you a lot of volume, so you get a fanned-out appearance. I'm not so sure about the curling claim—I didn't notice any more curl than usual after applying it, but it did hold the curl that my lashes already had well as I wore it, and it didn't smudge or flake throughout the day.

Byredo Astronomical Mascara


The claim: volumizing, curling, and thickening

My take: I thought this mascara gave me tons of volume and separation. It made my lashes look fanned out. This mascara wasn't the best one I tried for length, but for volume and curl, it might be my favorite. It also stays on well throughout the day (no flakes or smudges) and washes off easily.

Yves Saint Laurent Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara


The claim: volumizing

My take: Talk about really impressive results right up front. I found that YSL's Lash Clash fanned out my lashes perfectly with no clumps, made them look thicker, and added length and curl. It stayed on perfectly throughout the day with no smudging or flaking. It definitely takes a bit of elbow grease to get this formula off—I typically double-cleanse to remove my makeup but had to go in with a makeup remover as well.

Freck Lashrocket Mascara With Lash Enhancing Peptides


The claim: lengthening, conditioning

My take: I actually audibly said "woah" when I first put on this mascara. If length is what you're after, this is the new mascara formula for you. I think my lashes doubled in length after putting this on. As you can see from the photo, this doesn't do much in terms of volume or thickening, so skip it if you're looking for that. It also wears well.

Lancôme Lash Idôle Waterproof Mascara


The claim: lifting, lengthening, volumizing

My take: I've been a big fan of Lash Idôle for a while, and when I found out they were launching a waterproof version, I was beyond excited. This mascara lived up to my expectations and more—it lengthens, separates, and volumizes, all without smudging. Like the YSL formula, this one is also a bit hard to get off. 

MAC Cosmetics Macstack Mascara


The claim: volumizing, lengthening

My take: I wanted so much for this mascara to be a clear winner because I've seen it hyped so much on TikTok and Instagram. It makes my lashes look dreamy—so much length and volume!— but it smudges and flakes quite a bit as you wear it. 

BareMinerals Maximist Phyto-Fiber Volumizing Mascara


The claim: volumizing

My take: Okay, wow! Yes, I would say this formula is volumizing. I'm not sure how, but it actually makes my eyes look bigger. I wish it added just a smidge more length, but for fanned-out lashes, this formula will do the trick. It doesn't smudge or flake, either. 

Urban Decay Cosmetics Wild Lash Plant-Powered Volumizing Mascara


The claim: volumizing, lifting

My take: This is a very good mascara. It didn't necessarily wow me in terms of immediate impact, but it made my lashes look better than they normally do, and it didn't smudge under my eyes even during a sweaty commute. I also like that it's infused with nourishing ingredients like avocado and coconut oil to keep lashes healthy.

Covergirl Exhibitionist Stretch and Strengthen Mascara


The claim: lengthening

My take: I really like how this mascara makes my eyelashes look. It gave me tons of dramatic length, separation, and curl. The only con is that it did smudge a bit under my eyes by the end of the day, but it gives a really high-impact lash-extension effect right up front. 

Milk Rise Lifting + Lengthening Mascara


The claim: lifting, lengthening, volumizing

My take: I love using this mascara for feathery, separated lashes. It's not the best option if you're looking for volume, and it doesn't give the most length, but it does lengthen lashes a bit. I did find that this one flaked throughout the day. 

Up next, The Reviews Are In, and We Have Mixed Feelings About This Viral New Beauty Balm

Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.