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The best mascaras

Ladies, I think we can all agree that mascara is a staple when it comes to our daily routines. Where some beauty trends may come and go, mascara is a trusty product that will never go out of style.  Whether it’s applying the daily essentials or getting ready for a night out, mascara will always be a must-have for our makeup bags. 

No matter what you look for in mascara, there are millions of products out there that claim to do different things; making the decision process almost impossible. Rather than just opting for the prettiest bottle or the cheapest price, finding out what product can achieve your desired results will help you skip the trial and error process as well as save you money in the long run. 

So how do you pick the best mascaras for you? In the boardroom, on the dance floor or on the pitch; aside from making your lashes longer, a mascara that is durable goes a long way (literally!). With such busy schedules, us ladies need a hard-wearing product that can take us from work to the club without the need to reapply several times a day.  If you’re a gym bunny or play sports, waterproof mascara is a god-send when it comes to avoiding panda eyes or looking like a member of KISS, and choosing a more subtle colour such as brown for day-time use will give you a more natural look. 

Something that many of us probably overlook is brush shape. The brush shape will dictate how the mascara is applied and what style of lashes you will achieve. If it’s length you’re after, then straight brushes that look like a comb will give you lashes for days, whereas if you find your natural lashes are sparse, a thicker brush with more bristles will provide you the volume you need for a fuller effect. Additionally, if you tend to use an eyelash curler as part of your routine, you can skip this step with a curved mascara brush, which will curl your lashes while giving them definition. 

We’ve rounded up the best mascaras for different looks, as well as ones that promise to eliminate any bugbears you have with your current mascara such as clumping, flaking and smudging. Whether you’re looking for a budget option with fast, achievable results or finally want to invest in a high-end product for your make-up kit, our top picks should help you decide!

1. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

This no clumps mascara is too good not to have in your kit

Best for: No clumps | Waterproof: No | Brush: Hourglass | Colour: Black | RRP: £19.00

Unique brush shape
Comes in travel size
Prone to smudging 

Okay, so this mascara makes a very bold statement indeed, but we couldn’t agree more. The Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara boasts a unique hourglass shaped brush which promises to separate the lashes as well as coat and curl them for the ultimate movie star lashes. This intensely black formula will provide excellent results in just one stroke or you can apply a few layers for dramatic 3D lashes that are bound to get heads turning.  

2. Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara

Striking lashes for sensitive eyes

Best for: Sensitive eyes | Waterproof: No | Brush: Straight Comb | Colour: Black/brown | RRP: £9.99

Easy to remove
Dries out quickly 

Max Factor is a trusted high street cosmetic brand and we love their Masterpiece Mascara that is not only affordable, but tailored to sensitive skin. If you find you get sore or itchy eyes after wearing mascara all day, then this is one of the best mascaras for sensitive eyes. This product promises to be kind and gentle to your skin for beautiful, hassle-free lashes all day every day. Its straight brush makes it perfect for lengthening and can boost volume; making them five times longer than natural lashes.  

3. Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Feel the benefit of longer looking lashes with this day-to-night mascara

Best for: Day to night | Waterproof: No | Brush: Curved | Colour: Black/brown | RRP: £19.95

Easy to apply
A little clumpy  

We love Benefit for making our lives easier with the Roller Lash Mascara’s Hook ‘n’ Roll brush that defines, lifts and curls lashes all in one fell swoop. It boasts curve-setting powers that provide excellent hold for 12-hours without becoming dry or flaky, and it’s extremely easy to remove at the end of the night. For those with a jam-packed schedule, the Roller Lash Mascara is your new best friend for fluttering your eyelashes all the way from the office to date night.  

4. L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes

For naturally luscious looking lashes

Best for: Everyday use | Waterproof: No | Brush: Oversized | Colour: Black/brown | RRP: £10.99

Natural everyday look
Large brush  

There is nothing more frustrating than stubborn mascara that leaves you with dark smudgy eyes when you wake up in the morning. If you find that no amount of make-up remover is able to budge your current formula, then it’s time to switch to the L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes. Not only will it give you the perfect long-lashes you wish to achieve, but it is also incredibly easy to remove. If you want the best mascara for everyday use, then you can wear this formula with confidence and say goodbye to stubborn black smudges on your pillow.  

5. Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara

A low maintenance mascara for all eventualities

Best for: No smudges | Waterproof: Yes | Brush: Tapered | Colour: Black/brown | RRP: £22.00

Safe from smudges
A little pricey 

If you’re always on the go, then this hard-wearing mascara will stand the test of time throughout your busy day. This Bobbi Brown product is without a doubt one of the best mascaras for no smudging, AKA, a raincoat for your lashes. If you also have a habit of rubbing your eyes, you can rest assured this formula will stay put - perfect for girls who don’t have time to sit in front of the mirror 24 hours a day. If you already have a mascara you love, then the Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara can be applied over the top for extra boost and instant waterproof results.  

6. Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Mascara

Brighten up your eyes with multi-coloured lashes

Best for: Statement lashes | Waterproof: No | Brush: Straight comb | Colour: Black/brown/blue/purple | RRP: £25.50

Bright colours
24-Hour wear
Takes a while to dry

For those who like to be bold with their lashes, then the Baby Doll Mascara by Yves Saint Laurent is a must-have item. This is one of the few types of mascara that comes in a choice of colours other than black and brown. Its formula promises to magnify your eyes with its intense colour pigment, as well as provide length and volume for show-stopping lashes. You’ll get up to 24 hours wear making it perfect for special occasions and it’s gentle on the eyes making it easy to remove at the end of the night. 

7. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

For the deepest, darkest lashes

Best for: Going out out | Waterproof: No | Brush: Oversized | Colour: Black | RRP: £19.00

Deepest black colour
Smooth application
A bit heavy for some 

If you’re hitting the town, then you will want Urban Decay Perversion Mascara in your handbag. This is absolutely the best mascara for smokey eyes and promises to get you “sexed up in one stroke”. It has a creamy formula that helps you achieve a truly irresistible look that won’t smudge or clump throughout the night, and is fast drying for when you’re in a rush. This is the ultimate party girl product but is also perfect for those who want sharp definition every day of the week. 

8. Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

Open your eyes with this bottom lash formula

Best for: Bottom lashes | Waterproof: No | Brush: Straight comb | Colour: Black | RRP: £14.50

No smudges
Difficult to apply  

We’ve all experienced the moment when we try to apply mascara to our bottom lashes and end up smudging it all over our faces. However, the Clinque Bottom Lash Mascara promises to help us wave goodbye to spider lashes with its tiny brush that is designed for little lashes. Rather than go in all guns blazing with a large brush designed for top lashes, this smear-resistant formula allows you to apply just the right amount of product for a natural look that enhances bottom lashes and makes your eyes look bigger.  

9. Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara

Unbelievable results without lashings of product

Best for: Long lashes | Waterproof: No | Brush: Straight comb | Colour: Black/brown/blue | RRP: £20.50

Quick and easy 
Choice of colours
Expensive for some 

Forget caking your eyes in ten coats of mascara every day, because the Benefit They’re Real Lengthening Mascara is about to reveal lashes you never knew you had. If you often wear fake lashes as well as lengthening mascara, then you can save time and money fiddling about by using this fantastic formula. This mascara promises to provide all-round results that are sure to see people complimenting your super-long, luscious lashes.  

10. Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara

For ‘don’t sweat it’ lashes that stay put

Best for: Sport | Waterproof: Yes | Brush: Curved | Colour: Black | RRP: £19.00

Fully waterproof
Easy to use brush
Can become clumpy  

We all want to look good whatever we’re doing, and if you play sport on a daily basis, you can now wear mascara with ease. The Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara has been specifically designed for easy application for girls on the go. It comes in a small tube which is great for travel and is the best waterproof mascara that won’t budge even in the hottest, sweatiest and wettest conditions.