Mascaras are next in my Top Ten series! If this is the first post you are reading in this series, make sure to check out the other ones I’ve done: Top Ten Affordable Concealers, Top Ten Affordable Blushes and Top Ten Affordable Highlighters. Affordable mascaras are some of my favorite products because I really think these products beat out high-end mascaras hands down! I’ve tried my fair share of high-end mascaras, and I’m always left underwhelmed and regretful. The price tag is always too high and the outcome is always mediocre. Affordable mascaras do so much more for my lashes that it’s hard to justify buying anything else.
I will say that I’ve been on a journey trying to find the right mascara for my lashes. I unfortunately have very straight lashes with absolutely no curl at all. Trying to find a mascara that will keep them curled all day and hold them in place has been tough (first world problems 🤷🏼♀️). Most mascaras will apply fine at first, but within minutes, the product would actually weigh down my lashes and they would slowly droop back down to be straight and invisible.
BUT THEN….I tried waterproof mascara. *insert choir of angels singing from heaven* I know you hear all the time how it’s bad for your lashes and you should only wear it for special occasions blah blah blah. Who made those rules anyways? Well it’s the only product that will hold a curl in my lashes all day. And honestly, as long as you use a good and gentle eye makeup remover, what’s the big deal? So if you are like me and your lashes need some serious help in the curl department, try waterproof with a good eye makeup remover. It’s seriously changed my lashes for the better and I won’t go back.
I’ll link my two favorite eye makeup removers if you are looking for a good one to take off waterproof mascara.
Johnson’s Baby Oil Gel (really any baby oil gel will work – doesn’t have to be this brand. The gel really breaks down your makeup gently without needing to scrub your eye area. I’ve never had it burn or irritate my eyes and have used it for over 10 years!)
With that said, I use the waterproof formulas in all of these products but feel free to use whichever you prefer 🙂
Claims: volume and length
The new OG that I just can’t put down. This is an amazing mascara – and honestly, it will be hard to top this. I’m not sure if someone can do it?
Claims: coats every lash for fan effect
This was my favorite up until Lash Paradise came out. It’s great at giving your lashes some extra curl. I really liked the wand and felt like it really did coat every lash.
Used to be my favorite before Lash Sensational…haha I see a pattern! I might not use this religiously anymore but it’s still so good! I am a big fan of plastic wands and this one is extra spikey. It’s easy to use and maneuver versus bristle wands.
Clearly Maybelline has a crapload of mascaras most of which do the same thing. Honestly, I don’t really know the difference between most of them. With that said, this is a good option if you prefer a bristle wand as opposed to a plastic one.
Claims: thicker and fuller lashes
The actual OG of the bunch – you can’t go wrong with their original voluminous formula. It might be basic but it sure beats out tons of other mascaras. It’s been around forever for a reason.
Claims: volume and length
Don’t let the price tag fool you, this mascara is not playing around! Essence has a good selection of mascaras and most of them are really good. I haven’t tried them all but I’ve really liked all the ones I’ve tried. The only bummer is that many of their formulas don’t come in a waterproof option – but if that isn’t your thing then definitely check these out!
Claims: long and defined lashes
The formula is ultra-black and long lasting. I especially love the wand because it’s really small and thin so you have a lot of control when applying. It’s easy to layer coat after coat because the wand helps to avoid clumps.
Claims: coats the smallest lashes
I wasn’t too impressed with this mascara at first but it’s a GREAT option for bottom lashes. If you are as extra as me and sometimes need a special mascara just for your bottom lashes, then look no further. This will give you all the high-maintenance vibes for under $5 and I’m here for it🙌🏻
Yet another Maybelline Volum’ mascara…do you really need them all…no! Again, I love this one because of the applicator. My current mascara routine is actually going in with one good coat of Lash Paradise, waiting for that to dry, then doing a second coat with this one. Sometimes I have a hard time getting Lash Paradise to get the ends of my lashes because the brush tip is on the thicker side. But this wand is smaller and easier to get the ends of my lashes that might have been missed the first go around.
Claims: volume and length
Last but certainly not least is a good ole’ fashioned duel-ended option. I think most duel-ended mascaras are garbage and don’t really do anything extra special besides give you half the amount of product for $5 more because the packaging is so expensive. But this one might be worth your pretty pennies! I like that the primer is black so your lashes don’t turn out grey like with many white primers. And the second coat has fibers which help intensify your natural lashes. This is a great option if you want big false-looking lashes but aren’t great with applying actual false lashes or just don’t want to go to the trouble.
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And there you have it…the best top ten affordable mascaras! You really can’t go wrong with any one of these. It just comes down to what solutions you are looking for (i.e. volume, curl, length) and the wand you prefer. Is anybody else ride or die for waterproof mascara like me 🙋 Let me know if you are in the comments because us waterproofers gotta stick together 😜
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