Want fat, volumised lashes that go on for days? Then read on for team STELLAR's recommendations for the very best mascaras – ever.
We’re big mascara fans round these here parts and yep, we’ve tried a lot of ’em out too. So, we’re pretty sure we know what’s good when it comes to lash flatters.
The key with mascara is often in the wand. A good one will wick product excellently over the lashes and allow you to add layer upon layer with no fear of clumps. A lot, too, rests in the mascara-gunk itself, of course. Too dry, and it’ll flake down your face by midday – which no one wants – but if it remains too wet, it’ll smear.
So, to complement our Hello Dolly feature in July’s issue of STELLAR, we rounded up the team and got rating the 10 mascaras we knew we never wanted to live without. Have we included your fave? Left one out? Let us know below.
There’s something utterly amazing about all YSL’s mascaras, to be honest from Faux Cils to Babydoll and Shocking, €31, which gets our top spot because of how, well, shocking it makes lashes. This is the one to pick if you want those real ’60s-esque, Jean Shrimpton eyes. The small, precise wand combs the product on beautifully and gives shape and thickness to individual lashes, as well as adding definition across the whole lash fringe. Yes, it is expensive, yes, it does dry out, and yes, we still think it’s worth it.
Yes, the wonky-looking wand on Lancome’s Grandiose Mascara, €30, can take a bit of getting used to. The idea? It’s designed to make it easy to pass it across the nose so you can do your other eye easily with no bumping it off your face. But that handy bit of design aside, this is an excellent, dark black mascara which really, really dramatises eyes. The wand has a reservoir which houses the mascara, the bristles are shaped to draw it across the lashes and it’s easy to keep on going so you can have super-duper volumised lashes with zero spidery finish. It’s brilliant.
Don’t want to spend a fortune? Then have a squizz at Masterpiece Transform Mascara, €14.99. Its performance really belies the price and when you take a look at it first, you can’t see how it’ll do the job. The brush is more like a comb, but it’s really effective at pushing product onto the lashes and into the lashline, so you get tons of definition and volume. Well worth a punt.
A newbie, so a recent entrant onto our chart of mascara greatness, Rimmel’s Wake Me Up Mascara, €9.99, is deadly. Unusual in all its green glory, the fatter wand isn’t one we’d generally go for either (we tend to find plastic brushes perform better for volume), but this mascara is a great all-rounder, at a deadly price. You can apply just one layer for nicely defined daytime lashes that won’t have anyone wondering if you were out all night and on a walk of shame into work, and it’s an excellent product for the layer ‘n’ pair with a Friday night smoky eye. All that for under a tenner? Eh, bargain.
Let us count the ways we love L’Oreal Paris Miss Manga, €12.99. A mascara deliberately designed for a big, doll-eyed effect, it delivers a chunky, separated effect that’s anime-tastic. It can do that because the formula contains ingredients like collagen spheres and a trilogy of polymers that deliver hold and staying power, and which coat lashes for that BIG effect. This is the one for you if your lashes are wimpy – and you want them to be wow.
Every girl needs a double-ended in her life. A double-ended mascara, that is, dirtbirds. Maybelline Big Eyes Volum’Express, €13.49, doesn’t do the more precdictible thing of having a thickening primer on one end and a regular mascara on the other, either: nope, this is designed to maximise all your lashes, so the bigger brush makes the most of your top lashes, while the smaller one works on those teeny tiny bottom lashes. Great for false lash-effects, doll eyed looks and for the blackest, biggest smoky look ever.
This is such a divisive mascara: people love it or they loathe Benefit’s They’re Real, €26. We happen to get on great with it, but there is a knack to its use, and you do know that it takes dynamite (or cleansing oil), to get it back off again. You’ve very little ‘playtime’ with this product as the formula is stiff and, warning: you won’t get to apply more than three very fast coats before it sets, and sets hard.
But once you’ve got the knack of getting it on quickly, and then using the special spiky tip to push lashes up and into position, you’ll (probably) never look back. If you can get the hang of this, it really is like a Wonderbra for eyelashes.
Don’t let that green banana-type wand put you off: High Lengths, €21.50, is an absolute gem at combing product on, and then lengthening lashes back out when you pull the wand the other way. Buildable, easy to apply and clump-free, this practical, super hypo-allergenic mascara is a total winner.
An oldie, but the oldies are often the real classic goodies, Diorshow, €35, has just been re-worked into an even better formula. Yep, it still has its big fat brush, so props for that if you’re a fan. This is a really good, reliable high-end pick for anyone who wants to know that their mascara will do the job, do it well, and come in a super-glam want, to boot.
Not a brand which used to be known for its mascaras, MAC has really pulled its socks up in recent years and launched a slew of products that perform for various needs. We love the newish Mineralize Multi-Effect Lash, €26, because, well, it’s just so very enfattening and va-va-vooming on our lashes, basically. The formula is good for sensitive eyes and even though it delivers good volume, it never feels crunchy or heavy on the eye.