The drugstore beauty market is continuing to give its luxury counterpart a run for its money — and mascara is the product leading the charge. The classic formulas you're already fond of have been getting impressive upgrades, and the results are showstopping. That's because the
best drugstore mascaras for dramatic lashes are made to lengthen and add major volume — and the best part? They all cost $14 or less.
How these mascaras deliver these lash transformations vary. For some, the secret is in the brush — whether it's curved with layers of bristles for a fanned-out effect, oversized and hourglass-shaped to hug your lashes as it plumps them up, or skinny enough to coat every one of your tiniest hairs. Bottom line: There's no one clear brush style that wins the most points in the dramatic category, so the right one for you will depend on your preferences.
Beyond their wands, the intensity in these tubes can also be a product of their formulations. Getting a striking lash look may simply mean that the mascara has an intense black hue and is clump-free and buildable. For those who crave serious length and volume, there are potions that utilize primers, fibers, or tubing technology, which build upon one another to give you
out-to-there lashes. And if you want dramatic lashes will last all day long, you don't have to rely on waterproof formulas (though, those are reliable); You can also look for ones that indicate they are long-wearing, which should be easier to wash off.
Ahead, you'll find
the best drugstore mascaras for creating visibly longer, thicker, and more dramatic lashes. They're all conveniently sold on Amazon, and some of them ring up so cheap, that you may as well add a few tubes to your cart while you're at it. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
A French Beauty Buy That Amazon Reviewers Love
With nearly 2,500 (and counting!) five-star reviews on Amazon, this
Vivienne Sabó Cabaret mascara is an absolute fan-favorite for its ability to produce long, dramatic lashes. It works to coax your lashes up and out with its lightweight, clump-free formula. Even if you don't use a curler, your lashes will look lifted in just one swipe. Though the brush is on the narrow side, that's all the better to give you the ability to get right into your lash line to grab onto the tiniest hairs and add as much length as you desire. If you're looking for maximum volume and drama, though, you will want to add at least two coats. Rave review: “LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! Very dark. Makes my lashes appear dramatically fuller and longer. Looks like I'm wearing falsies with 3 coats. Can get a bit spidery if your not careful applying but if you comb through you lashes between coats that's easily solved. Easy to remove. I will definitely be repurchasing.”
A Washable Mascara With A Clever Wide-Eyed Brush
A uniquely designed brush is what gives this
L'Oreal Paris Bambi Eye Mascara its oomph. It has a "wide-eye" oval shape in which the bristles are shorter on the outer edges and peak in the center. This is meant to help coax your lashes up and out, giving you an amazing eye-opening effect. The formula doesn't clump, either. Instead, it delivers a velvety black wash of color across your lashes, helping to give you Bambi eyes in just one swipe. Though it comes in a few dark shades, for the most intense look, you'll want to snag "Extra Noir," which is the brand's latest iteration on the formula that was created to deposit the deepest black pigments. Rave review: "Bambi doe eyes is a perfect name for this mascara. Wow!!! This formula and brush combo is incredible. It gives the perfect fanned out lash look! This formula is build able but does not ever clump [...] It provides amazing lift. I didn’t even have to curl them."
This $5 Tube That Gives You A False Lash Effect
Don't discount this
essence Lash Princess Mascara just because it's the cheapest tube on this list. It provides the look of false lashes without, well, nearly any of the effort involved. With a conic fiber brush, this mascara lengthens and adds volume with every single swipe. It's long-wearing, too, even though it isn't waterproof. No smudging or flaking — just dramatically lengthened lashes. Rave review: "My sister suggested Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect and I IMMEDIATELY fell in love. It provides dramatic length and great volume. I can honestly say I can’t stop looking at my eyelashes in the mirror every single day because of how awesome they look."
A Mascara & Primer Duo For Stay-All-Day Lashes
If you're anything like me and you struggle with smudging and fallout, adding a primer underneath your mascara will be a game changer.
This pick (yep, another great one by L'Oreal) comes with a primer and mascara that, when layered on together, will give your lashes length and plumpness that could rival lash extensions in a side-by-side test. Once the primer is applied, the mascara coats each individual lash with "tubes" that lock everything in place, which not only adds fullness, but also ensures that the mascara stays put until it's washed off at the end of the day. Rave review: "I have exclusively used this product for years and always get compliments when meeting someone for the first time. It does exactly what it says, it lengthens your lashes dramatically. Best yet, although it's not waterproof, it's almost as good because the ONLY way it's coming off is with warm water. You don't have to worry about flaking or smudging."
This Waterproof Mascara With A Curved Wand To Grab Onto Every Single Lash
Looking for a fan-like effect? This
Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara provides just that. It has a unique wing-like brush that's slightly curved, so it lifts and separates your lashes. And since it has shorter bristles, too, it grabs onto the tiniest hairs of your outer lashes, fanning them out to perfection. The formula is waterproof but not flakey or drying, so you get a natural look that lasts all day long. And if waterproof isn't your speed, you can also pick up this tube in a washable version. Rave review: "The product went on easily and smoothly, no clumps, no lumps, even on a second coat! Dramatic lengthening and still very natural looking. I am very impressed."
This Mascara That Utilizes Fibers For Outrageous Length
COVERGIRL Super Sizer Mascara utilizes uniquely formulated fibers that cling onto your natural lashes and then build upon themselves for sky-high length. It adds fullness too: "The volume this mascara provides is unreal," wrote one Amazon reviewer. But beyond its cool fiber technology, the brand also gave it a clever upside-down, cone-shaped brush, which adds a ton of length to your outer lashes — ideal for those looking for that cat-eye effect. It's not clumpy, either, and many fans report being able to wash it off easily with soap and water. Rave review: "I have been a Lancome user for many years but this mascara is better than any of the new Lancome mascaras and at a fraction of the price. The brush builds and separates lashes with just one coat. For more drama, apply a second coat. Does not clump and comes off easily."
This Longwear Mascara With A Supersized Brush
For va-va-voom lashes, the
Rimmel Scandaleyes Retroglam Mascara is your best bet. Its oversized, hourglass-shaped brush was designed to coat even the tiniest baby lashes and make them pop. It's a long-wearing formula without being waterproof, so you don't have to worry about smudging or smearing, nor will you have to add any extra elbow grease to remove it at the end of the day. And its brush gives you a wide-eyed look, which provides a fanning effect in just a few swipes. Rave review: "This is my favorite mascara!! I have tried lots of different brands and price ranges. I get a similar look with this that I get with the fiber lash, but without the flaking! This doesn't clump, doesn't flake and stays on until you wash it off. It also comes off with soap and water without harsh scrubbing."