Time to stock up.
Mascara is the lazy girl’s beauty hero. If you don’t feel like wearing any other makeup, it is one of the few things that, when swiped on, can instantly wake up your face. It’s universally flattering and doesn’t require tricky shade matching or even a ton of complicated techniques or tools. And so having a good mascara is definitely clutch for anyone looking to up their beauty game.
The downside of mascara (besides, you know, smudging): “Mascara needs to be replaced every three months due to bacteria developing in the tube,” says Ramy Gafni, makeup and brow expert and creator of Ramy Cosmetics. It’s constantly in proximity to your eyes, and so if you’ve got gunk growing in your tube, you could be risking a gnarly eye infection. But there’s a silver lining to this quick expiration date, he says: “You can experiment with new formulas and brands until you find the one you love the most.”
If you need help narrowing down all of the options out there, here’s what five makeup artists recommend as their top mascara picks:
1. BEST MASCARA FOR LENGTH: NARS AUDACIOUS
$26 | NORDSTROM
“I like that it gives great fullness and length without being clumpy.” —Matin Maulawizada, celebrity makeup artist
2. BEST MASCARA FOR VOLUME: WANDER BEAUTY UNLASHED VOLUME AND CURL MASCARA
$24 | WANDER BEAUTY
“My go-to mascara is Wander Beauty’s Unlashed Volume & Curl. It serves major volume, length, and curl plus it’s a lash treatment. I’m always telling my clients to take care of their lashes and this fab formula helps me take my own advice. Lash love in a tube!”—Danielle Lewis, professional makeup artist
3. BEST WATERPROOF MASCARA: E.L.F. ACTIVE SWEAT RESISTANT MASCARA AND BROW DUO
$6 | E.L.F.
“This two-in-one item is perfect to create that polished look while I’m at the gym or just running errands.” —Achelle Richards, e.l.f. Cosmetics global artistic director
4. BEST CLASSIC MASCARA: MAYBELLINE FULL N’ SOFT WATERPROOF MASCARA
$8 | ULTA BEAUTY
“It’s an oldie but a goodie. It gives a clean, defined lash, and is wonderful as a primer mascara when you are looking to hold a curl in stubborn lashes. I use this as a base coat for hold then top with other formulations that give length and volume, etc.” —Justine Purdue, celebrity makeup artist
5. BEST MULTI-PURPOSE MASCARA: M.A.C. HAUTE AND NAUGHTY LASH MASCARA
$23 | NORDSTROM
“I love this mascara because of the two-chamber wand. One is a high-volume applicator; the other is a super-wispy natural application.” —Romy Soleimani, makeup artist