Stubborn, hard to reach and too short! No, we’re not describing your last Tinder date—we’re talking lashes. Mastering that sly, come-hither stare is hard enough without accidentally giving off convincing Overly Attached Girlfriend meme impression. And since growing your sparse, short-ass lashes is nearly impossible, a good tube of mascara does the trick.
Most mascara names talk a big game, claiming to thicken, plump and give the illusion of a false set, yet few actually live up to the promise. That's why most women tend to opt for higher-end formulas purchased at NYC’s best beauty stores—but is it too much to ask for mascara that lengthens, volumizes and curls for less than $30?
No, you’re not asking for much, but you are looking in the wrong place. So, we went hunting, did some digging and found the answer(s) in our nearest drugstore beauty aisle. And guess what? We found four mascaras that actually do live up to their names.
NYX Provocateur, $6
Strung from NYX’s Boudoir Mascara collection, you can judge from the name that this formula will give you bedroom eyes. The smudge-free formula separates and defines your lashes and really ups the volume.
Maybelline New York Lash Discovery Mini-Brush Waterproof mascara, $8
What’s the secret to full lashes without globs or clumps? Use a mini-brush! It’s easier to cover those hard-to-get lashes (especially the bottom set) and the formula lengthens and defines them to bat-worthy perfection.
L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara, $9
The brush inside this tube is an architectural work of art. The asymmetrical wing tip adjusts to every unique shape and is flexible enough to cover every lash from corner to corner. Plus, the liquid is infused with fiber, meaning the formula coats your lashes a natural, full-look without looking false.
Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara, $9
Finally, lump-proof mascara! The trick to its de-clumping abilities is all in the brush: A curved, plastic shape, where the bristles are spaced far enough apart, so your lashes won't ever stick together.