Of the 40+ Mascaras I've Tried, These Are the 15 I'd Recommend

If I could only use one product forever, I would be very torn between foundation and mascara. I reckon that I have tried over 40 different mascaras in my lifetime, so it takes a lot for one to impress me enough to keep flitting between tubes. Everyone has different lashes, and therefore, what you look for in a mascara may be completely different to someone else. While some want their mascara to deliver length, curl and hold, others will favour a mascara formula that volumises lashes without clumping. The best mascaras, however, tend do it all.

While my eyelashes are naturally dark and long, they are also stubbornly straight and won't hold a curl easily. Coupled with having hooded eyes, I'm often prone to mascara transferring onto my lids. For this reason I often reach for waterproof formulas that are both non-transfer and tend to hold a curl better than standard mascara formulas. That said, I love a lengthening and defining formula that won't clump and leaves my lashes looking fanned-out and defined. I'm not asking for much, right?


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden)

My eyelashes are long but straight, so I love mascara formulas that hold a curl and lift my eyelashes to their full potential.

There are tons of mascaras on the market promising to volumise, lift, lengthen and perform a lot of lash magic tricks. But of the 40-plus I put to the test over the last few years, these are the only 15 that I'd genuinely recommend. From the best high street mascaras to the best premium mascaras, these are the ones that are really worth it.

Best All-Round Mascara

Best Defining Mascara 

Best Mascara For Volume

Best Natural Looking Mascara

Best Affordable Mascara

Best Mascara For Fanned-Out Lashes

Best Buildable Mascara

Best Curling Mascara

Best False Eyelash Effect Mascara

Best Lengthening Mascara

Best Mascara With Growth Serum

Best Natural Mascara

Best Smudge-Proof Mascara

Best Lifting Mascara

Best Waterproof Mascara

This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated. 

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Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor of Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.

Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards and also contributed to Powder, winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards for her work in beauty journalism.

Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.

When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner.