people's choice

The Best Mascaras on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

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Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written before about a dramatically lengthening mascara for stubby lashes, an ultrablack mascara from Japan that never smudges, and even asked makeup artists what they consider the best waterproof mascara, period, here we’re investigating the best mascaras of all types on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

The Best Drugstore Volumizing Mascara

Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara
$5 at Amazon

“I’ve been on a quest to find the mascara since my babies stole my eyelashes. (Seriously, why does nobody tell us all the things pregnancy can do?) In this search, I’ve tried countless high-end products, shelling out $20 to $60 for a single tube sometimes. Finally, I was sick of spending a small fortune and decided I was going with the cheapest I could find. A quick Amazon search showed this for under $2 subscribe and save, so I jumped on it, but with very low expectations. Boy, was I surprised to find that it blows Lancôme, Make Up For Ever, Smashbox, Tarte, etc. all out of the water. The brush is wonderful! I am so picky about brushes. It has to be just right or you end up with lots of clumps or minimum coverage. This one is fat, with spiky plastic ‘hairs.’ It covers all of my lashes easily, handles multiple coats without giving clumps, and gives me gorgeous lashes! I’m a happy camper and so is my husband now that my makeup budget has plummeted.”

The Best Premium Volumizing Mascara

Elizabeth Mott It’s So Big Volumizing Mascara
$14 at Amazon

“I have been searching for a mascara like this one for probably ten years. I have very oily skin and I sweat a lot. I am a makeup junkie. There are a lot of things I can buy at the drugstore and still get great results, but unfortunately mascara is not one of them. I have tried every single mascara, from the most expensive to the cheapest. I absolutely LOVE Benefit’s They’re Real, but in five minutes the mascara is all over my face, and by the end of a busy night at work I have big, dark circles from it. Certainly not worth $28. I also really love Fiberwig mascara by Imju, but it still would sometimes flake off my lashes. This mascara is a GODSEND! It volumizes, curls, and stays on my lashes all night long no matter how oily my skin gets or how sweaty I am! I have never, EVER found a mascara that stayed on me as long as this one does!! I will never buy another mascara again.”

The Best Curling Mascara

Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Mascara
$7 at Amazon

“I have been looking for a new Maybelline mascara to replace the pink bottle (it leaves black dusting residue on my eyelids). So when I found this I was excited to try it based on prior reviews. After two days, I am in LOVE with my mascara again! The brush itself is unique (it has very soft rubber spokes), which applies the mascara onto my eyelashes MUCH quicker than the normal mascara brushes. That means, for me, I don’t need to spend as much time putting on my mascara! I naturally have long lashes, but this stuff makes them POP and makes then longer. I hope this one doesn’t get discontinued anytime soon. It’s my new favorite!!”

The Best Waterproof Mascara

Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make Mascara
$14 at Amazon

“What is this sorcery? Who made this? Who invented this mascara that curls, lifts, separates, volumizes, lengthens, and stays on, even in muggy Miami weather? [Editor’s note: We’ve written about this mascara, too.] I’d like to shake this person’s hand with the gravity of a doddering Norwegian gentleman handing out a Nobel Prize for Physics, because this shiz? This shiz straight up defies gravity. Two minutes ago, I had the lashes of an amoeba. Now, I’m walking around my house, batting my heavily fringed eyelids à la Catherine Zeta-Jones in a corset with a quivering sword, like Scheherazade as depicted in that 19th-century painting. Lashes today, Pulitzer Prize tomorrow. It’s the natural progression of things.”

The Best Long-Wear Mascara

Clinique Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula
From $23 at Amazon

“I LOVE this mascara. I have tried many, many (MANY) other brands of mascara and this is the last one I’ll try! It stays put! FOR REAL! It doesn’t smear or shift or settle under your eyes. You can touch your eyes and not end up looking like a raccoon! You can SLEEP in this and not wake up looking like a raccoon! It removes easily with just water!”

The Best Lengthening Mascara

TheBalm Mad Lash Mascara
$17 at Amazon

“I got a sample of this a while ago, and when it dried out, I knew I had to buy the full size. This mascara is so great; my lashes look super long, and the color is a nice dark black. I’ve even had friends ask if I was wearing eyelash extensions. I did get used to the shorter wand on the sample, which is taking some readjusting, but this wand and mascara-formula combo will make your lashes look long without getting clumpy spider lashes. The end of the wand is perfect for the corners and small lashes, too!”

The Best Thickening Mascara

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Washable Mascara
$7 at Amazon

“I’ve tried just about all drugstore brands and styles of mascaras. I’ve even tried a few expensive ones from department stores. This L’Oréal mascara is hands down the best one I’ve EVER owned, and I will never try another so long as they keep making this one! No clumps, makes them full with one application, and doesn’t flake, even in the 90-degree heat today after I sweated my butt off running around after my niece and nephew. I love, love, LOVE this stuff!! I don’t know how I never heard of it before. I literally just accidentally found it on Amazon one day looking for a new cheap mascara, and BOOM! Love at first sight I tell ya! All the five-star reviews are true! This stuff is the bomb diggity! Don’t waste your money on expensive mascara when this one right here will do all that and more for a fraction of the price! Buy this and you won’t regret it even a little bit!”

The Best Washable Mascara

Maybelline New York Full n’ Soft Washable Mascara
$6 at Amazon

“I used to only wear waterproof mascara, but it was such a pain to take off. And I wouldn’t wear any other kind because it always rubbed off throughout the day, and I don’t know, I’m just not a huge fan of having mascara all over my face. But I bought this because I figured it was worth a shot, and even though it isn’t waterproof, it STAYS. All day! And I have pretty long eyelashes, so usually I get black marks under my eyebrows, but not with this mascara!
I highly recommend it!”

The Best Double-sided Mascara

L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Lengthening Mascara
$9 at Amazon

“FAVORITE BY A MILE! I am getting older, and my eyelashes are almost invisible, and not nearly as thick as they always were. This mascara takes some time to put on, but once you do, it lasts days!! It doesn’t flake off, and stays gorgeous! HERE’S A TRICK! Put a thick coat of the white on first, and let it dry (can use a blow-dryer to hasten the process). Then add a second coat of white, and allow that to dry as well. Then the black coat will go on fast, and look amazing! Sometimes I do a second small coat of black, but if I do another full coat, it gets too thick. Okay, this is important, but awesome!! The first time I got in the shower with this on, I thought it caused my eyelashes to fall out!! I almost had a heart attack because the ‘tubes’ just slide right off of your eyelashes in clumps, and it seriously looks like real eyelashes! But how awesome is it to only have to use water to get them off!! No makeup remover here, girls! If they stop making this, I’m going to have to jump off a cliff or something. LOL!”

The Best Primer Mascara

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Primer Mascara
$5 at Amazon

“Why didn’t I know about mascara primer before? This stuff is great. I have the shortest eyelashes and zero desire to put on fake eyelashes unless it’s Halloween, so this was a huge find for me. You put it on, it kinda looks like glue but no worries, and then you put your ‘real’ mascara over it. You can curl your lashes and all that if you want, but most days I’m just trying to look like I even have eyelashes, and this does it! So I’m not saying that my lashes were barely there and then I used this and now I look like a lash model. What I am saying is that my lashes are barely there and then I use this and I have noticeable lashes, and it looks quite nice and not clumpy and goopy (I was worried about that).”

The Best Synthetic-Free Mascara

Simply Naked Beauty 3D Fiber Mascara — Non Toxic and Natural
$20 at Amazon

“I don’t really wear a lot of makeup — in fact I don’t wear any really — but recently I have been wanting to do something simple with my eyelashes to make them more visible. So when I saw this, I thought it would be perfect, but was worried I would just be clumsy about applying it or something. But the instructions are simple and easy to follow, and I thought I did a great job the first time I tried it lol, and it didn’t take a long time to apply two coats, which was perfect for me. The next day I tried washing it off in the shower with some soap, and when I came out of the shower, there was some still on. This was impressive! It’s definitely not going to come off with a little rain or tears (unless you really wipe it maybe). I had to follow the instructions to really get it all off, which I think is a good thing. I would definitely recommend this product for lengthening and filling your eyelashes!”

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The Best Mascaras, According to Amazon Reviews