I used to think mascara was not for me. The volume and length it gives my lashes is great, but inevitably, a few hours down the line, my under eyes are covered in black smudges and dust. I always assumed I was the problem. I rub my eyes too much for mascara, I’d tell myself. Or, My eyelashes are not compatible with makeup. I tried and tried to find a mascara that worked for me: Mascara formulas like Too Faced Better Than Sex stayed put better than others, but looked a bit too dramatic for daytime use. Chanel Inimitable Eyes gave me the perfect, natural darkness and length, but would almost instantly cause black dust to flick all over my face as soon as I blinked. I tried eyelash primers — which supposedly makes your mascara adhere better to your lashes — from Tarte and Benefit, but mascara still managed to flake and smudge. I experimented with waterproof mascaras, which stay put but generally feel clumpy. No matter what measures I took, mascara always left me looking like a panda.
Then, this May, Glossier released Lash Slick, a mascara they swore wouldn’t clump, fall out, or look obvious. “Expect to hear a lot less ‘what mascara are you wearing’ and more ‘your eyelashes look good,’” read the ad copy. These words spoke to me personally. But since I had tried and failed with so many mascaras, I was skeptical.
I don’t know what they put in it, but this mascara is unlike any I’ve ever used before. With it, your lashes just look better: longer, but not in a dramatic way, and darker, but not in an obvious way. The teeny-tiny bristles coat your lashes without causing any clumping; every little baby lash is individually tended to. Just one coat achieves the prettiest, most fluttery, feathery lashes
And, crucially: After a day at work, and then after a long night out, there wasn’t a single speck of black dust or a makeup particle under my eyes. I even put it on and then rubbed my eyes and there was no damage done. I’ve actively tried to find a fault in this mascara’s design, but I can’t.
I used to save mascara for glam events where I wanted a dramatic look and knew I could carefully take it off after an hour or two. Now I can’t imagine a daytime look where I wouldn’t use this product. My rapid-fire daily makeup routine has now grown from quickly concealing my under eyes with NARs radiant creamy concealer and applying Tata Harper lip balm, to adding a swipe or two of Lash Slick. It’s the barely there, but still effective, boost I was looking for.
Other Strat-approved mascaras
“This mascara is revolutionary in that it is not waterproof, but it also never inks under your eyes. How, you say? Well, the Lash Curling Mascara actually forms water-resistant tubes around your lashes — that’s the ‘tubular coverage’ — making each strand super bold and long. Instead of simply brushing black goo on your lashes to highlight and then cement them into place, the lash-curling wand puts what I imagine to be tiny straws around each lash, keeping them separate and making them enviably bold.” —Ariel Kanter
One hyperenthusiastic Amazon reviewer said 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.” We’re sold.
“Because I have sparse, stubby lashes to begin with, the mascara takes a few strokes to get into ‘false lash’ territory, but it will likely enhance more well-endowed lashes with just a stroke or two. I’ve recommended Essence’s mascara to almost everyone I know (Asians and non-Asians alike), and the results are staggering. Those who’ve fallen under its cult spell post stunning before and after photos on Reddit (seriously, look at those photos). Recently, at a family engagement party, my own father asked if I had gone in for eyelash extensions. I’ve never been more flattered.” —Jinnie Lee
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.