If mascara were one-size-fits-all, there wouldn’t be so many to choose from. But with limitless types of wands and formulas out there, how do you find the best mascara for you? We put together this handy guide to help you get your lushest, longest lashes ever.
For length without clumps…try a synthetic brush.
Stiff plastic bristles separate each individual lash while combing away product buildup. The result? Long, perfectly defined lashes without the black blobs.
Our picks: CoverGirl Lash Blast Clump Crusher ($6.99, drugstore.com); Bobbi Brown Lash Glamour Extreme Lengthening Mascara ($24, bobbibrowncosmetics.com).
If you want to coat every lash…try a big bristled brush.
The larger and denser the bristles, the more lashes these wands coat — even tiny corner hairs. These mascaras add major volume while making eyelashes look lush and soft.
Our picks: DiorShow Mascara ($25, dior.com); Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Mascara ($6.99, ulta.com).
For serious bulk…prep with a lash primer.
Want more volume than any mere mascara can create? Layer up with a lash primer, which gives mascara a plumped up surface to grip. These formulas also contain conditioning ingredients to nourish and protect your lashes.
Our picks: MAC Prep + Prime Lash ($16, maccosmetics.com); Smashbox Layer Lash Primer ($17, sephora.com).
For a false lash look…try fiber formulas.
These mascaras contain tiny fibers that adhere to lashes to bulk up volume and lengthen at the tips — the fibers are actually designed to extend from the ends of lashes for a longer look. It’s the closest you can get to falsies without tangling with glue.
Our picks: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous False Fiber Lash Mascara ($7.94, target.com); Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes ($26, lancome-usa.com).
To play up corner lashes…try a spiky, domed brush.
Eyelashes that extend at the outer corners make your eyes look bigger and create a subtle almond shape. Brushes with a spiky ball-shaped tip are designed to make grab these lashes easy to maneuver.
Our picks: Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara ($30, sephora.com); Benefit They’re Real Beyond Mascara ($23, benefitcosmetics.com).
For curled lashes…try a curvy wand.
This shape adds lift in the center of your lash line to create a rounded, doe-eyed effect. Position the brush with the curve facing upwards (so it looks like a frowny face, not a smiley face) and let lashes rest on the wand for a few seconds to set the curl.
Our picks: Buxom Sculpted Lash Mascara ($19, sephora.com); Maybelline The Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara ($6.29, target.com).
If your eyes are sensitive…try an all-natural formula.
Mascaras made from naturally occurring materials have come a long way in recent years. If you prefer an ingredients list you can pronounce, choose one of these.
Our picks: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! ($19, sephora.com); Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Lash Boosting Mascara ($9.99, physiciansformula.com).
If you tend to tear up…try waterproof mascara.
Waterproof formulas last through wet weather, sweat and tears — you can even swim while wearing them. Bonus: Waterproof mascaras have a stiffer texture, which can also help your lashes hold a curl.
Our picks: Revlon Colorstay Overtime Lengthening Mascara ($7.99, drugstore.com); Clinique Lash Power Mascara ($16, clinique.com).
What’s your favorite mascara? Do you have a favorite formula? Or prefer a certain type of wand?