Hunting for the best mascara is tricky business—and not a task we take lightly as beauty editors. For starters, there’s so much to be considered: our budget, for one, and then our specific needs and goals when it comes to transforming our lashes into their longest, densest, most fluttery selves.
The good news, however, is that there are tons of amazing tubes of mascara out there specifically formulated for different purposes (volumizing, separation, etc.), all coming in at a variety of price points. FYI: celebrity makeup artists say mascaras probably aren’t one of the products you actually need to splurge on. That said, we all pick our poison differently.
We’re in the business of testing and critiquing every single mascara formula that comes our way, so believe us when we say we’ve tried our fair share of expensive and inexpensive mascaras that have impressed and disappointed. We have high standards, and we want a mascara so good it extinguishes the need for false lashes or extensions.
And believe it or not, we’ve found 16 best-of-the-best mascaras that not only meet our nit-picky standards, but have also gone above and beyond. To make our research more user-friendly, we’ve split our finds up into three different categories: volume, length, and definition. Then we took it up a notch by labeling each product with $, $$, or $$$ so you can better sift through our editor-approved assortment with your budget’s bandwidth in mind.
Ahead, see the 16 best mascaras to replace your lash strips and extensions with.