The Best Mascara

Posted on 28 June 2022

After carefully analysing 50 mascaras over 16 hours and testing 13 of them, we have determined that L’Oréal’s Volume Millions Lashes has the best price-quality ratio.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best mid-range

L’Oréal Volume Million Lashes

This mascara is the most likely to suit most people. It is easy to apply and does a good job of extending the lashes. The brush with many thin spikes offers a volumising and lengthening effect.

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L’Oréal Volume Millions de Cils

During our tests, this mascara was effective on both short and long lashes. In both cases, it was easy to apply, and it caught small lashes well. It did slightly stick some lashes together when they were longer, but it did not clump them. The short lashes were given a longer effect and the long lashes became fuller. We found it to be quite long-lasting throughout the day and it even proved to be water-resistant, so it can be kept on even if it rains. However, the composition is unfortunate and not suitable for sensitive eyes.

 

 

Best budget

Avril Le Mascara

Certified organic, this low-cost mascara promises a natural, subtle look for even the most sensitive eyes. Ideal for everyday wear, it is easy to apply and lengthens lashes for a more intense look without clumping.

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Avril Le Mascara

Although it is less known to the general public, this mascara has everything to please many of you. During our tests, we saw that in addition to intensifying the eyes thanks to its lengthening effect, it had a good lasting and an impressive intensity. Because the brush bristles are small and thin, we had to go over the longer lashes several times, but this did not cause any clumping. It gives a rather natural look, ideal for everyday use and also comes in a waterproof version. We chose it in brown and its colour kept its promises. Its low price and exemplary composition make it an interesting choice if you want to opt for a more respectful make-up for your eyes, as well as for the environment.

 

Best high-end

Lancôme Monsieur Big

If you are looking for a false lash effect, this conventional mascara could be your 24-hour ally. Intense, easy to apply and long-lasting, it has an effective volumising effect.

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A real must-have in the beauty world, this volumising mascara appeals to people looking for an effective false eyelash effect. Its intense black colour enhances the eyes and its brush makes it easy to apply. In addition, it has a very good lasting, even if the most demanding will prefer the waterproof version. Note however that its composition leaves a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, we preferred the Millions of Lashes for its more reasonable efficiency-price ratio.

 

Budget alternative

Maybelline Lash Sensational

With its curved silicone brush, this mascara offers a good lengthening effect and picks up small lashes, even on the ends of the eye. It is therefore an interesting conventional solution to lengthen lashes.

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Maybelline Lash Sensational

During our tests, this mascara proved to be effective to add length to both short and long lashes. However, the volume is clearly less present. If the curved brush is not unrelated to this, please note that it is not very practical to handle and that you have to get the hang of it. We also had to rub the brush on the edge of the tube to avoid making too many clumps, as the ends of the brush quickly collect a lot of product. The product itself lasts well and is somewhat rain resistant without being waterproof. We preferred it to the Lash Sensational Luscious version, which is more aggressive on the eyes and not at all suitable for the most sensitive.

 

Mid-range alternative

L'Oréal Paris Bambi Oversized Eye

With a thicker brush at the base and a thinner brush at the tip, this mascara is effective in adding volume to your lashes. It also curls them better than many other competitors.

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L'Oréal Paris Bambi Oversized Eye

The brush on this mascara managed to pick up even more small lashes than the Volume Millions of Lashes during our tests, which made the product easier to apply. The fact that it is thicker at the base allowed us to accentuate the application of the mascara on the outside of the eye to give a slight ‘doe eye’ effect. The mascara proved to be tenacious on a daily basis, even when it was hot, and resisted water splashes well for a product that is not waterproof. However, its composition clearly needs to be reviewed and was not the most comfortable for the more sensitive eyes, which stung at the end of the day. We preferred it to Bambi Eye False Lash which is more complex to apply and less effective.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best mid-rangeBest budgetBest high-endBudget alternativeMid-range alternative
L’Oréal Volume Millions de CilsAvril Le MascaraLancôme Monsieur BigMaybelline Lash SensationalL'Oréal Paris Bambi Oversized Eye
L’Oréal Volume Millions de CilsAvril Le MascaraLancôme Monsieur BigMaybelline Lash SensationalL'Oréal Paris Bambi Oversized Eye
This mascara is the most likely to suit most people. It is easy to apply and does a good job of extending the lashes. The brush with many thin spikes offers a volumising and lengthening effect.Certified organic, this low-cost mascara promises a natural, subtle look for even the most sensitive eyes. Ideal for everyday wear, it is easy to apply and lengthens lashes for a more intense look without clumping.If you are looking for a false lash effect, this conventional mascara could be your 24-hour ally. Intense, easy to apply and long-lasting, it has an effective volumising effect.With its curved silicone brush, this mascara offers a good lengthening effect and picks up small lashes, even on the ends of the eye. It is therefore an interesting conventional solution to lengthen lashes.With a thicker brush at the base and a thinner brush at the tip, this mascara is effective in adding volume to your lashes. It also curls them better than many other competitors.
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Honorable mentions

L’Oréal Paris Paradise (£6.18 upon publication): a lengthening mascara for already long lashes. Our tests have shown that this mascara is made for long lashes. On shorter lashes, it tends to clump, but not on longer ones. The brush is quite voluminous and alternates between long and short bristles, which allows to multiply the lashes. Although it is not waterproof, it has held up well during a sports session and resists light rain (but not big crying fits).

L’Oréal Paris False Lash (£14,99 upon publication): a good lengthening mascara, but no longer produced by the brand. This mascara effectively lengthened our lashes on the first pass when we applied it in a zigzag pattern. It is not waterproof, but it is still somewhat rainproof. It lasts a whole day without any problem and we even advise you to remove your make-up with a biphasic product, for more ease. Unfortunately, it is no longer produced by the brand and will therefore be less and less easy to find on the market.

 

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How to choose your mascara?

Whether you are looking to discreetly enhance your eyes or to achieve true doe eyes (with the help of a suitable eyeliner and a touch of highlighter in the inner corner of the eye), applying mascara is a key step in the beauty routine of many of us. However, choosing the right product for you can sometimes be difficult, as there are so many different brands, formulas and prices on the market.

Macara
Mascara application is a key step in the beauty routine. | Source: Selectos

We have therefore listed the most important criteria to consider in your search.

The choice of a mascara is often based on the desired effect:

  • The volumising effect: intended for lashes that are long enough but not numerous, the volumising mascara has a thick brush with a lot of hairs, which allows a greater quantity of formula to pass through, making it possible to catch a maximum number of lashes and “load” them, which by optical effect gives an impression of density.
  • The lengthening effect: ideal for small lashes, the lengthening mascara has a fine brush with large spikes designed to separate the lashes and catch the very small ones on the inner corner of the eye, which ultimately gives an impression of better distributed length.
Mascara
Volumising, lengthening, false lashes, the choice of a mascara depends on the desired effect. | Source: Selectos
  • The combined effect: there is no point in applying a lengthening mascara and a volumising mascara at the same time, as the effects tend to cancel each other out. It is better to use a combined mascara (fibre mascara), often applied in two steps: the first step consists of applying a white base with a sheathing effect, then the mascara part itself, which will deposit small vegetable or silk fibres on each lash to create a volume effect.
  • The false eyelash effect: while some mascaras tend to give a natural effect to your eyes, notably by highlighting the colour of your lashes more intensely, others deliberately give a more sustained false eyelash effect. These are generally mascaras with combined volumising and lengthening effects, but they are often accompanied by a glossy or cardboard effect, emphasising the ‘fake’ side of the lashes thus obtained.
Mascara
The volumising mascara gives an impression of density. | Source: Selectos

Other characteristics are also then taken into account:

  • Formula: most formulas these days are fairly resistant, and are likely to survive heat, humidity or emotion. If in doubt, you can always opt for a waterproof version, which will however be much more difficult to remove and can sometimes cause lashes to become brittle over time. It is therefore ideal for special occasions.
  • Brush: the shape and size of the brush partly determine the effect the mascara will have on your lashes. For example, a wide, bushy brush will give maximum volume, while a curved brush will logically curve the lashes. Conical brushes are ideal for applying makeup to both the inner and outer corners of the eye for an even finish. If you are not looking for a dominant effect, a spiky brush should be suitable.
Mascara
Always pay attention to the composition of the product. | Source: Selectos
  • Composition: as with all skincare or cosmetic products, it may be interesting to look at the ingredients that make up your mascara. In general, ‘conventional’ products contain a number of controversial ingredients, regardless of their price range. If you want to avoid them, an interesting alternative can be found in natural and organic products, which are increasingly common on the market and offer good performance.

 

How did we test?

To test the mascaras, we divided them between two different testers according to their effect (lengthening or volumising) to see if they kept their promises. We judged the ease of application (speed, clumping limitation) as well as the practicality of the brush (shape, stiffness, fineness of the bristles…).

Then we tested their lasting by wearing them for a whole day and their resistance to rain by spraying drops of water on our face. Lastly, we looked at whether the colour of the mascaras corresponded to what was promoted by the brand and we analysed their composition.

 

Other tested mascaras

Amazon Brand (£4.59 upon publication): not practical. In our tests, this mascara seemed to lengthen the eyes well on the first use. However, the result was quite different after the second use, as the large brush collected a lot more product, making a lot of clumps. We do not recommend it for this reason, which makes it much less practical to use than others. In addition, its composition is not the best, making sensitive eyes sting.

Maybelline New-York Sky High (£7.98 upon publication): stings the eyes. Although this mascara offers a real lengthening of the lashes in only two passes, it leaves them straight without curling them. You must therefore first use an eyelash curler to get a beautiful result. Its silicone brush is fine and has tiny spikes that allowed us to easily catch small lashes. Unfortunately, all these advantages are swept away by its very bad composition which makes the eyes sting at the end of the day, even the less sensitive ones.

Maybelline New York The Falsies Lash Lift Waterproof (£6.70 upon publication): a not very defined effect and a brush that clumps. This is the only waterproof model we tested. And it is indeed more tenacious. However, its brush is rather big and bulging, so it quickly clumps, even when you apply yourself. In addition, it was not suitable for lengthening or for really adding volume. Lastly, its composition is deplorable. All this makes it a complex mascara to recommend.

Clinique High Impact (£16.95 upon publication): neither volumising nor lengthening. According to our tests, this mascara offers neither a lengthening nor a volumising effect. On short lashes, it clumps and on long lashes, it does not really thicken them. Its composition is correct, but it is not resistant to rain and quickly gave us panda eyes. In short, given its price, we prefer not to recommend it.

Couleur Caramel (£19.49 upon publication): arrived pasty. We took this mascara in blue and we have to admit that the colour is quite pretty. But that is about the only advantage it has. Indeed, the mascara arrived pasty and not liquid, making the application more complex. The cylindrical brush is quite classic with medium-sized bristles. If its composition is very good, it induces on the other hand a bad global lasting and will not resist to the finest of rains.

 

Translated by Aylin Akturk

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