Beauty experts and Redditors alike are raving about the best dry mascaras — and if you prefer formulas you can layer, then it might be time to see what all the fuss is about. Whether you’re on a budget or looking to splurge, there’s a “dry” mascara with your name on it.
First things first: dry mascaras aren’t really a category unto themselves. The term “dry mascara” is referring to a mascara’s formulation and consistency. It’s also true that every mascara starts drying out eventually, but according to some, that's a feature not a bug, because "dry" mascara lets you layer without the clumpiness.
Look To Reviews
When shopping for dryer formulas, look for mascaras that reviewers praise for being "buildable" and "easy to layer." Wetter formulas usually require you to wait for them to dry in between coats, making them less amenable to buildable volume.
Consider Waterproof Formulas
Since they’re formulated to contain little to no water content, waterproof mascaras are naturally dryer than non-waterproof options, giving them a more buildable consistency that’s less likely to smudge or run throughout your day (or night). Waterproof mascaras are also the best at keeping lashes lifted and curled, according to Sabina Wizemann, a senior chemist in the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab.
Take Care Of Your Lashes
That said, while some waterproof mascaras contain nourishing ingredients, like vitamin E, most waterproof mascaras aren’t as kind to your eyelashes as non-waterproof formulas. You'll want to treat your lashes with extra care when removing waterproof mascaras, which is why I included a great (and gentle) makeup removing option at the end of this list. You may also want to consider switching between waterproof mascara and a washable formula if you wear mascara daily and you’re concerned about drying out your eyelashes.
With all that in mind, check out the best “dry” mascaras on Amazon. All of them are highly rated and come backed by glowing reviews.
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1. The Overall Best "Dry" Mascara: L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise
L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara is naturally dryer due to its waterproof formula, and it got a shoutout on Reddit’s Makeup Addiction thread. It was also an Allure Best of Beauty award winner in 2017 and the magazine's Reader’s Choice winner in 2018. Amazon customers love this mascara as well, giving it a 4.2-star rating and over 9,500 reviews.
As one happy reviewer explained, “This is the best drugstore mascara that I have ever tried. There is no clumping, and the formula is very buildable. You can lengthen your lashes dramatically but maintain a natural look. It also dries relatively quickly, so there is no smudging. There is also a lot of product, and the wand is easy to use."
Plus, this pick has a soft brush with over 200 bristles to create feathery lashes. It comes in "black" and "blackest black" in waterproof, as well as in several washable formulas, if you want to alternate throughout the week.
2. The Best On A Budget: Covergirl Lash Blast Volume
Another waterproof mascara pick, Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Waterproof Mascara is designed to be clump-, flake-, and smudge-proof. Plus, fans of this mascara praise it for being so buildable, with one noting: “I love this mascara, bought it four times now! It's completely waterproof even when swimming, lasts all day without smudging, and layers up really easily so you can use it for an everyday or more bold look.”
The oversized, silicone brush promises to deliver up to "10 times the volume of regular mascara wands" too. This pick is Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free as well. It’s available in four hues: black, very black, black brown, and brown.
3. Worth The Splurge: Buxom Waterproof Mascara
As mentioned above, waterproof formulas can be hard on lashes, but this volumizing mascara by Buxom, which is available in blackest black, features nourishing ingredients, like vitamin E and rosewater. The extra-dense wand separates lashes for a voluminous, fanned-out effect with no clumps — and Amazon customers give this pick a 4.2-star rating with nearly 100 reviews.
As one Amazon customer put it: “It washes off easily in the shower with my face cleanser or with makeup remover. [...] Anyway, it is a great mascara. Great brush. Easily buildable. Deep dark black color and not too glossy but not a matte finish either.”
4. An All-Natural Pick For Lash Health: 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara
This mascara by 100% Pure isn’t waterproof, but it's a long-lasting, all-natural formula that fans call "highly buildable." While this isn’t the "driest" mascara on the list, it's a great option to alternate in for when you want to skip the waterproof formula. Plus, Amazon customers seem to love it. As one thrilled reviewer put it, “I love that this mascara has natural ingredients and gives lovely definition without flaking. It's highly buildable, so you can put on multiple layers for a more dramatic look. It worked great for a night out in dry weather.”
It’s pigmented with color from fruit and black tea leaves — and it’s chock-full of pro-vitamin B5 and wheat protein to help your lashes grow. It also uses seaweed to thicken lashes and blackberries to add shine. Plus, 100% Pure is a cruelty-free company offering vegan and organic products.
Also Nice: An Eye Makeup Remover With Soothing Ingredients
Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover is a non-greasy, ophthalmologist-tested, and dermatologist-developed formula that's specifically designed to remove waterproof mascara. It contains aloe and cucumber extracts to help sooth lashes, and Amazon customers love it, giving it a 4.6-star rating. As one reviewer noted, “I have used many makeup removers in my life, but this is by far the very best. A little bit goes a long way. [...] I only use waterproof mascara and eyeliner and this takes both of them off like a dream. I highly, highly recommend this product!”