We don’t know about you, but we firmly believe that a lick of mascara in the morning can make you feel like a whole new human. Seriously, in our minds, mascara and coffee have the same ability to make you look and feel alive (and we’re not just saying that because both make your eyes appear wider). But there’s a lot that goes into finding the best mascara, you need to think about things like formula and wand shape, as well as what it is you want your mascara to do for you — lengthen, add volume, look natural, etc.
So, how do you find the perfect mascara without having to try them all? Well, dear reader, we’ve gone and done the hard yards for you and found the best mascaras for every style, formula choice and budget. From the best vegan and cruelty-free formulas to the volumising and tubing mascara, these are our top picks.
Best overall mascara: Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara
Adored by beauty editors, influencers and consumers alike, the Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara is hands down the best overall mascara. While it does come at a more expensive price point, the way it effortlessly lengthens and volumises each lash makes it totally worth it. Its tubing formula ensures flake-proof, clump-free and smudge-resistant wear all day. The skinny wand was designed for precise application even in the inner and outer corners of the eye. It’s also easily removed with warm water.
Where to buy: Mecca ($42)
Best cheap mascara: Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
After 40 years, Great Lash has earned its status as a cult-favourite mascara. The long-perfected formula gently conditions the lashes as it thickens them with each swipe. It glides on evenly and fans out the lashes for a fuller, natural look. The price point is also easy on the wallet, which is a huge plus.
Where to buy: Adore Beauty ($12.95)
Best waterproof mascara: Lančome Hypnôse Doll Eyes Waterproof Mascara
If a waterproof mascara takes pride of place in your beauty arsenal, Lančome Hypnôse Doll Eyes Waterproof Mascara is a worthwhile investment. Enriched with nylon powders, it offers an effortless application for long, fanned out lashes. The wand is a unique cone shape allowing for precision application even in those hard-to-reach corners and lower lashes.
Where to buy: Sephora ($59)
Best volumising mascara: Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara
If it’s good enough for Selena, it’s good enough for us. Formulated to be the perfect all-in-one mascara, the Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara was designed to lift, lengthen, curl, and volumise for longer, fuller lashes. The formula is weightless, easy to build and even easier to apply.
Where to buy: Sephora ($34)
Best lengthening mascara: Milk Makeup Rise Lifting + Lengthening Mascara
Milk Makeup is easily becoming a cult favourite amongst Australian users. Milk’s 93 per cent natural, vegan mascara lifts, lengthens and gives weightless volume for curled, clump-free lashes. The cruelty-free formula is also infused with lash-caring ingredients and hydrating oils. The curved brush was also created to lift all lash types (straight, curly, fine, thick) from the root while fanning them out for clump-free volume.
Where to buy: Sephora ($39)
Best mascara for sensitive eyes: Eye Of Horus Goddess Mascara
If you’ve got sensitive eyes, the Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara curls, lengthens, volumises, and adds deep colour without irritating or causing redness. It’s also said that this natural product features botanical ingredients, which have been used in cosmetics since the days of the ancient Egyptians.
Where to buy: Adore Beauty ($43)
Best vegan and cruelty-free Mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
If the name is anything to go by, the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara has earned its place on this list. Not only is it a best-selling mascara, but the vegan mascara lengthens, volumises and separates your lashes for a lush, full look. Created in the blackest black, this buildable formula gives you curled lashes in two coats and a false lash effect in three. The hourglass-shaped wand also curls the lashes for a dramatic lift.
Where to buy: Mecca ($40)
Best smudge-proof mascara: NudeStix Vegan Splashproof Mascara
Formulated with lash-loving ingredients like argan oil, mango seed oil, rice bran wax and bamboo extract, it’s easy to see why the Internet has dubbed it one of the best mascaras. Not only does it strengthen and protect your lashes, but the flexible ball-tip wand allows you easy access to upper and lower lashes, no matter how short or sparse. This waterproof mascara is formulated with clean polymers and plant-based waxes for gentle wear on natural lashes and removes easily with cleansing with an oil-based cleanser.
Where to buy: Sephora ($43)
Best tubing mascara: Mecca Max Whip Lash Tubing Mascara
When it comes to tubing mascaras, you can’t go past the Mecca Max Whip Lash Mascara. The fuss-free formula means you can easily coat the lashes from roots to tippy-tip. This gentle tubing mascara is formulated with next-gen polymers, so you can trust that it’ll never ever flake or clump, and it’s also easily removed with water and won’t snap or damage your natural lashes. Hence why it’s one of the best tubing mascaras.
Where to buy: Mecca ($25)
Best curling mascara: M.A.C Cosmetics Extended Play Perm Me Up Lash
Instantly lift and curl your lashes with the M.A.C Cosmetics Extended Play Perm Me Up Lash. Its smudge-proof, clump-proof and flake-proof formula can last for up to 16 hours before easily washing away with warm water. The curve of the brush head makes it easy to fan out lashes and create a fuller, more lustrous look — making it one of the best mascaras for curling your lashes.