Mascara bottles often give the impression of working miracles, so searching for the perfect product to fatten up and separate lashes without clumping or smudging can be a daunting prospect. On top of that, working out which ingredients and wand shapes are best for plumping, lengthening and volumising isn't easy either, which is why we've done the hard work for you.
Here at mybest we want to help you achieve the most luscious lashes imaginable, so we've trawled some of the best eCommerce sites to find products that seriously thicken lashes, won't give you panda eyes and will last all party long. From Lancôme and Dior to Maybelline and Rimmel, the internet has blessed us with some cracking choices. Moreover, we have partnered with Makeup Artist Marie Dancer for reviewing and fact-checking the article so that we can deliver you the best information.
As a professional make-up artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all her clients she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
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As a professional makeup artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK, working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all of her clients, she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
Find out more about Marie and what are her favourite makeup products are through her Instagram! She even shares some industry tips on makeup application too. And if you're interested in getting your makeup done by Marie, you can contact her via her email found at the top of her page.
The most effective volumising mascaras will be superbly thick and creamy, to ensure a thorough, full coverage. To achieve this viscosity, mascaras tend to contain ingredients such as natural beeswax, candelilla wax and castor oil, or man-made polymers which help to plump up individual lashes by wrapping them in a protective layer or tube. Keep an eye out for either in the ingredients list!
If you're more concerned about length, head to our buying guide for the best mascaras for length here!
For the plumpest lashes you can possibly imagine, a 'fuzzy' bristled brush (not dissimilar in appearance to a furry caterpillar) does the job best. The reason they work so well is that their brushed texture and sheer quantity of dense fibres allows them to catch every single lash. They'll also help you to apply your mascara more thickly, because their design is able to hold a greater amount of product in comparison to other types.
While we're on the topic of brushes, explore our favourite eyebrow brushes here!
The classic straight wand is fool-proof and easy-to-use. Straight wands allow you to reach right up to the root of the lash and wiggle product into the upper waterline, known as tightlining. This technique means you can achieve a defined eye look with evenly coated lashes.
If you have sparse lashes, you will find a classic, straight wand mascara the easiest to apply. It's the perfect tool for makeup newbies to achieve effortless, volumised, natural-looking lashes without causing clumps. They're the most common wands for a reason!
When people look at your face directly or from either side, curled lashes will ultimately appear larger, making your eyes themselves appear fuller and more striking. One way to achieve this is by using eyelash curlers, but to further emphasise their effects a curved brush is the ideal tool.
Pull on your eyelashes gently with the wand as you comb it through them, to reinforce the curling action of your eyelash tongs. Oval brushes achieve this result just as well, with both finishing in fluttering lashes that look as good as fakes (but are 100% real)!
Oval wands mimic the natural shape of the eye to create a fanned out, doe-eyed effect. The tapered end means you can brush mascara onto your inner corner lashes with ease. Curved wands also help give a lift giving an open-eyed, naturally fluttery lashes look.
A good bet for a wand that thoroughly thickens lashes whilst also helping you catch those pesky, barely-visible hair is a chunky wand with a slightly finer tip. They enable you to twirl plenty of pigment through all your lashes, bulking them up nicely, before neatly catching the final few with the point for exceptionally theatrical heaviness of colour.
As an alternative, try a mascara brush shaped like an hourglass; that is, fuller at the top and bottom than it is in the middle. Wands of this shape do extra work to volumise the lashes at each end of your eyelid, resulting in an intensity that will trick even an expert eye into thinking you're wearing falsies.
Got sensitive eyes? Explore hypoallergenic mascaras here!
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Extra 3D Lash
Celebrity Lashes on a Shoestring Budget
Yves Saint Laurent
Volume Effect Faux Cils The Curler Mascara
2-In-1 Wand for Intense Volume and Curl
Beeswax Formula That Can Be Layered for Thicker Lashes
Lash Sensational Volume Mascara
Pointed Bristles for Better Lash Definition
Air Volume Mega Mascara
Hypoallergenic Volumising Mascara for Sensitive Eyes
Supra Volume Mascara
Super-Fuzzy Bristle Brush for Extra-Thick Lashes
Paradise Intense Volume Mascara
Hourglass Mascara for Maximum Impact
Lashtopia Mega Volume
Voluminous Lashes Without Clumping or Flaking
So Curl Mascara
Perk Up Lashes with Peptides and Passionflower
Diorshow Multi-Dimensional Volume & Treatment Mascara
Pointed Nano Brush to Enhance Your Eyes From Corner to Corner
Rimmel guarantees great results for a fraction of the price of many fancier cosmetic products; there's a reason they're a household name and have collaborated with huge stars including the likes of Kate Moss and Rita Ora.
This product contains natural beeswax which guarantees a fabulously thick consistency. The brush is also a gorgeous and easy to use oval shape; rounder in the middle with fine, sharp bristles that comb sleekly between each eyelash hair. It's a winner!
Yves Saint Laurent's mascara range is much talked-about, mostly because the designer brand is always up on the newest technologies in terms of both product ingredients and application tools – nourishing coconut oil, jojoba oil, and walnut leaf extract feature in this one!
The Volume Effect Faux Cils brush has two parts; the first adds curl and shape while the second provides clean definition and volume. Winning exclusively five-star ratings from John Lewis customers, the product glides on cleanly and won't smudge or budge all day.
Lancôme's standout mascara is without a doubt this super-plumping offering, which drafts in beeswax to give it a silken texture that can be effectively layered to create fullness without clumps.
The sharply-defined spikes on the wand are extremely useful for combing cleanly through messy lashes ensuring the formula is stretched from the roots to the tips. The lasting effects of the product also makes the eyebrow-raising price tag feel more than fair.
Maybelline's Lash Sensation mascara is a huge hit across eCommerce sites, largely thanks to its clever formula, which can be slathered thickly over lashes using one clean, sharp sweep of its multi-bristled brush.
The wands spikes have an impressive six different lengths, helping to guarantee you've caught every last hair, even ones you can't see. The bristles are sharply defined as opposed to fuzzy too, which gives astonishing definition alongside thickness.
The whipped texture of this mascara is truly game-changing, giving you inflated lashes as the formula expands on lashes for up to 10x more impact. The big cushiony brush coats every lash with the Air Volume technology, locking in up to 24 hours of volume.
The hypoallergenic and allergy-tested formula make this gentle on lashes, so you can get mega volume worry-free! The texture does not clump, so more coats can be added to build greater impact.
This super-fuzzy bristle brush guarantees you extra-thick lashes that fan out around your eyes like a peacock's tail or an exploding firework. Twirl it a few times through your lashes and it gives brilliant coverage immediately.
Clarins's formula is described as 'tubing', meaning the polymers in its formula wrap each lash in a protective layer, which adds not only volume but length too. Trust us, your lashes will attract enough compliments to justify the price tag!
The best thing about this mascara, as well as the price, is the lovely, big, fluffy brush which allows you to make plenty of big, sweeping strokes through your lashes to build up some remarkable volume.
The wand is brilliantly effective too, mainly because of its curvaceous hourglass shape, so it's a cracking choice if you love to go wild with your eye-makeup and cake on plenty of layers for maximum impact.
For a buttery, raven-black mascara you can layer generously over lashes without fear of lumps and clumps, pick bareMinerals' Lashtopia. Skip out on smudges and flaking and stick to the important business of maximising the potential of your lashes.
The whipped-up formula is an easy-to-apply product that multiplies the appearance of lashes gloriously. Some customers will prefer to avoid it as the acrylates copolymers in the ingredients are technically a microplastic, which is why this product doesn't sit higher on our list.
Sisley's So Curl Mascara not only coats your eyelashes in a gorgeous, thick layer of black, it also works its magic to potentially enhance the capacity of the hairs to grow thicker and more fruitfully.
The vitamin-rich formula contains plumping peptides and rice phytoceramides, both of which give it a lovely waxy texture that can be built up in velvety layers. The rather hefty price tag may be off-putting for some, but if you've got the cash it really does perform.
For head-turning lashes, this product does exactly as it promises. The formula itself is a serum, which is said to separate each lash carefully before adding a thick smear of waxy pigment which enhances your eyes considerably with only one layer.
The wand is rather generously described as a 'nano-brush' but in reality, it's your standard pointed bristle-wand which does the job of seeking out tiny, hidden hairs just fine. But you may find the price-point quite high for what it offers.
Written and Researched by Annie Hopkins
No. 1: Rimmel｜Extra 3D Lash
No. 2: Yves Saint Laurent｜Volume Effect Faux Cils The Curler Mascara
No. 3: Lancôme｜Hypnôse Volume-a-Porter
No. 4: Maybelline｜Lash Sensational Volume Mascara
No. 5: L'Oreal Paris｜Air Volume Mega Mascara
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