The Best Drugstore Mascaras That Are As Good As False Lashes

There is that often-heard line, “you get what you pay for,” but it doesn’t apply to mascaras. If you spend $10 on a mascara, you can get one that is just as good, if not better, than a $30 mascara. The next time you’re in the market for a new mascara, skip the department store and head to your nearest drugstore. Choose any of the ones from this list, and you’ll be very happy with your affordable pick.

(Related: Signs That You Are Definitely Addicted to Mascara)

These are the best drugstore mascaras, according to you:

1. Lash Stiletto Mascara, Maybelline

Maybelline mascaras kept on showing up on the list. Reader Melissa Carino McCauley selected this one as her fave. It gives you super long lashes. Plus, it is Ophthalmologist tested and safe for contact lens wearers.

2. Volum’Express The Falsies Mascara, Maybelline

This was the mascara that kept on getting recommended again and again and again. Angél is one of the many fans:

“Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies and their patented ‘Spoon Brush.’ I find it makes my lashes voluminous without clumping.”

It also comes in Brownish Black, Very Black, and Blackest Black, so you can choose the right level of intensity.

3. ScandalEyes Show Off Mascara, Rimmel

This was my pick. The brush might look a bit weird, but it works. You use the regular flat side to build length and volume. Then you use the spiky ball to make each lash even longer.

4. City Curls Curling Mascara, NYC New York Color

Facebook commenter Ivone Gonzalez has lots of high praise for this very affordable mascara:

“I have tried every single mascara: (well, I might be exaggerating a little bit) cheap, expensive… Various brands, but the one and only that has satisfied my requirements is the City Curls from NYC, (that, as a nice plus, is only $3.00 to $4.00).”

It promises 60% fuller and curlier lashes with just a few swipes.

5. Big Bold Curl Mascara, NYC New York Color

This was Ivone Gonzalez’s other pick. If she can’t get her regular City Curls, she gets this volumizing mascara:

“If I can’t find it, I use BIG Bold Curl from NYC as well, and it works wonders on my super straight eyelashes. I love it, and in the event that that company stops producing these two. I don’t know what I will do. It is not a waterproof mascara, but that, to me, is another good thing because there’s no need for makeup remover lotion to get rid of it!”

This lash-boosting mascara claims it gives your lashes 99% more lift and 12 times more volume. Who needs false lashes now?

6. Lash Sensational Mascara, Maybelline

Based on this list, if you go to the drugstore and pick up any Maybelline mascara, you will not be disappointed. This is one of commenter Breanne’s picks:

“Maybelline the falsies or Maybelline lash sensational. I can’t recommend them highly enough.”

The patented brush has 10 layers of bristles, so you don’t have to comb your lashes for three minutes to build up decent volume and length.

7. Voluminous Butterfly Mascara, L’Oreal

Jenny couldn’t choose just one favorite drugstore mascara, and she had three standouts. This was the first:

“I was really, really impressed with L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara.”

The brush has a unique Cocoon Fibers design that stretches out lashes at the corners for a wide-eyed look. Remember that for early Monday mornings.

8. Big Bold Mascara, NYC New York Color

Facebook commenter Evania uses this mascara to get serious length without the need for falsies:

“NYC the magenta bottle one it is AMAZING! I use that on top of Revlon grow luscious mascara. Revlon to separate and make my lashes thick and full and NYC to extend them all the way high to my eyebrows, haha.”

It is clump-resistant, long-wearing, and increases your lashes by up to 44%. Never again will you complain about stubby eyelashes.

9. Full ‘N Soft Mascara, Maybelline

Jillian is another Maybelline fan. This mascara doesn’t turn your eyelashes into plastic-y spikes:

“Maybelline Full n Soft is my favorite. I have short and sparse lashes, and every other mascara I’ve gotten at CVS or Duane Reade ends up making my lashes feel super stiff and gross. But this one gives good fullness without clumpiness, and they still feel soft, which is the best. I used to use just Great Lash, but maybe they changed the formula or something because it stopped working as well.”

There are no clumps, globs, or chunky spider lashes here.

10. Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara, Revlon

This was the other product Evania uses for mascara cocktails. (That’s makeup speak for mix-and-match mascaras. Don’t worry, and she isn’t making actual drinks with them.) Not only does it provide great volume, but it also has a lash-enhancing complex to boost your natural eyelash growth circle.

11. Great Lash Mascara, Maybelline

Disclaimer: Blufashion staff don’t have an endorsement deal with Maybelline, even though it looks like we do. Everyone except me just happened to choose Maybelline mascaras as their faves. Susan loved this cult fave:

“This is such a boring and expected answer, but I have to say Maybelline Great Lash. Even though I use Benefit’s Roller Lash on a daily basis, I always have a tube of Great Lash rolling around in my makeup bag. It reminds me of my mom, who has never worn any other mascara in her life!”

If you’re very particular about finding the right color mascara, this one comes in three different versions of black, brownish-black, brown, and royal blue.

12. Masterpiece High Definition Mascara, 2-Piece Set, Max Factor

You won’t need to buy mascara for awhile if you get this two-pack. This was another one of Jenny’s choices.

“Max Factor Masterpiece, mostly because I believe it was the first to bring the silicon brush to the wider market.”

The iFX brush has unique bristles that are soft and flexible. They amp up each individual lash.

13. LashBlast Fusion Mascara, CoverGirl

This volumizing and lengthening mascara was Jenny’s third pick:

“Covergirl Lash Blast Fusion, which is what I’m using now. The [Max Factor and Covergirl] are especially great because it’s usually possible to find them in blackish-brown even in the grocery store, and since I’m very fair, I tend to prefer that to black.”

It has CoverGirl’s biggest brush and the most lengthening formula.

14. Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara, L’Oreal

If you want a good dupe for the cult fave Diorshow mascara, reader Amanda has found a good one:

“Without a doubt… L’oreal Voluminous in Carbon Black. Closest to Diorshow I’ve found anywhere :).”

$25 for Dior versus $8.95 for L’Oreal; what one are you going to pick?

15. Volum’ Express The Falsies Big Eyes Mascara, Maybelline

 Sara is another Maybelline fan, but she likes this version of The Falsies:

“Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Big Eyes, all the way. It’s totally worth saying the ridiculously long name every time I recommend it to someone.”

If you love volume and extremely black lashes, this mascara has triple-black pigments and a Big volume brush. That’s right, “big” with a capital “B.”

16. Lash Waterproof Discovery Mascara, Maybelline

Remember what I said earlier about Maybelline? Reader Amy really loves the waterproof version of this mascara:

“Maybelline Lash Discovery, I prefer waterproof, but the regular is just as awesome. I’ve been using it since I started wearing makeup cause it’s what my mom used. I’ve tried tons of other drugstore and high-end mascaras and always come back to this. Its itty bitty brush makes it easy to get your corner lashes and bottom lashes without smudging products on your skin, which is essential when you have hooded lids like me. One coat lengthens and separates, making me look like I have double the number of lashes than without mascara, and a second coat adds my ideal amount of volume without any clumps. Thankfully this stuff doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, but if it ever gets discontinued, I will hoard it like it’s my job.”

If you also have hooded eyelids, you’ll understand how easy it is to get mascara over your face, but this skinny brush keeps the mess to a minimum.

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